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Family, Parenting

The Talk, Averted

I was driving when it happened. Blindsided.The Talk_1

“Mommy, how do you make a baby?”

I squinted at my 6-year-old in the rear view mirror. Then I quickly looked away. Focus on the road. Something else. Anything else.

“Mommy?” Continue Reading…


Picture Perfect Holiday Cards

Oh. Hi. I recognize you. I’ve seen your holiday card. Hair, perfect. Children, pristine. Spouse, not at all annoyed. In your matching pajamas and your $6,000 Invisalign smile positioned above your charming holiday greeting. Good for you.Picture Perfect Holiday Card_1

When we attempt a family photo we always have at least one of the following: a constipated one, a sleepy one, a grumpster and a look-away. And if we do manage to get a halfway decent shot— guarantee someone’s finger was on the lens. No surprise I have never sent out holiday cards.

Until this year. This year I wanted real holiday cards. I wanted holiday cards like yours.   Continue Reading…

Family, House

Home Sweet Double-Wide

So my parents were here for 15 days. Sleeping on a sofa bed in our study. Waking up at the crack of dawn thanks to tiny early risers. Waiting for my decaf to finish brewing so they could brew their regular. By day 2 my father had declared that he was going home. We understood. It’s not easy staying in other peoples’ homes, especially a family of four. Especially our family of four. But they did it. They sucked it up and stuck it out. On their last night we all went to the beach to celebrate.Home Sweet Double-Wide_1

No one announced it, but I think we were all celebrating our survival of the past 15 days under the same roof. Continue Reading…

Family, Holidays

My Big Fat Egg-free, Dairy-free, Meat-free, Pie-free, Gluten-free Thanksgiving!

I do not eat turkey. My husband does not eat apple pie. My nephew is allergic to eggs. My brother-in-law doesn’t do dairy. Betty eats gluten-free. Michael won’t touch tofu with a ten-foot fork. My sister-in-law is allergic to several foods, ibuprofen and dogs. Hey, wanna have us over?Thanksgiving 2013_1

My 86-year-old father-in-law is the only one without any allergies or aversions. He also gifted me a large sum of cash on Thanksgiving day. I’m not one to pick favorites, but…

Despite our challenges, we managed to have quite a bit of yummy on the Thanksgiving table. There was something for everyone. Continue Reading…

Crafts, DIY, Family

DIY Family Matryoshka Costumes

I don’t see this as humiliation. Not at all. I see this as a way to announce to the world that the family that costumes together, simply has pictures in those costumes together for eternity.Matryoshka Costumes_1

Yes, that’s a positive thing.  

There’s something so endearing, so lovable, so kissable about a human face poking out of something. (Unless, of course, that face is poking out from a hole in the bus station bathroom floor.) I love those plywood “face-in-holes” you see at carnivals. I go ga-ga over babies in furry hoodies. Old Catholic nuns in tight white wimples? I get weak in the knees! So every year at this time I brainstorm ideas for Halloween costumes that can be constructed around our big, round, generally happy faces. Continue Reading…

Beauty, Events, Family, Parties

Trophy, Wife

I remember the night Matt Weiner called the house to welcome Jonathan to his staff of writers for Mad Men season 4.

“Honey, it’s Matt Weiner!” I whisper-shouted. “NOT his assistant!”Trophy Wife_1-d

I was so happy for my husband. Madmen was the best show on television. His career was taking off. OK, the real reason for the twinkle in my eye? I knew we’d probably get to go to the Emmys. Hey, I’d spent the past 2 years as a stay-at-home mom and we had another bun in the oven. I usually had dirty fingernails and something crusty on my clothing. I was due for some glamour.

Flash-forward through a grueling year. We rarely saw each other. At the end of it all, Madmen had been nominated for Best Drama. My first feeling was happiness. The second was relief. The third feeling was intense anxiety.

I had nothing to wear. Continue Reading…

Family, House

People in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Run

My brother and sister-in-law just traded their historic Victorian in Massachusetts for a mid-century modern Eichler in Northern California. Yes, they now live in Cali! So what if the halls are filled with boxes and stuff is strewn about all willy-nilly? We don’t care– we’re family. Puff up the air mattress and unpack those wine glasses… we’re coming to visit!Eichler_1

Basically, the idea behind Eichler housing is indoor/outdoor suburban living, clean lines, open floor plans… and lots and lots (did I say lots?) of glass. Continue Reading…

Family, House

Potty Training 101 – How to Remove Urine and Feces from Upholstery

I want to raise fearless girls. I want them to grow into women who break rules, cross boundaries and don’t take no for an answer. Fortunately, I see them heading in this direction, which is good. Unfortunately, sometimes the rules that should be broken get mixed up with the ones that shouldn’t.

Like when Smalls tells me she’s ready for potty training and then proceeds to pee all over the couch.Upholstery Cleaning_1

This is not the kind of rule-breaking I’m interested in.

When I first saw the giant stain I thought, well, this is what I get for putting a $2,000 Case Study day bed in the playroom. Everyone knows you can’t have nice things when you have children. But then I remembered… we’d been down this road before. Only that time it was a New York City snow globe that leaked oil all over the couch. A friend recommended I call COIT and within 24 hours it was stain-free. There was no doubt I’d call COIT again. Continue Reading…