Job Hunt: Updates with Good News

(i've started wearing eyeliner and eyeshadow!)

Thanks for following my process as I become a working mom.  Remember when I wrote this cry for help? Best thing I ever did! Here's what's happening now:

My internship at New York Family magazine is going really well. What do I do when I'm in the office? I've been blogging for the New Parents Expo here and tweeting for it here. It's been exciting to be apart of the process of putting on a massive expo. It's all going to come together October 15th-16th. Almost here!  I've also been helping my boss Rebecca anywhere she needs me. Assisting her by making copies, organizing info in spreadsheets, and (my favorite) representing the magazine at events around the city here and here.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a position will open up for me at New York Family magazine after my internship is over.

Most of the next info is vague, because I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to divulge yet. But I thought you'd like to know!

1. In the last month, I've been offered two paid writing gigs from two huge websites. I'll go into more details as soon as I know more.
2. I've signed with a major ad network so I'll be making a little extra money off my blog soon. I'll keep you posted.

All good news. I can't wait to start making MONEY!


Learning about Rosh Hashanah

Today and tomorrow the kids are home from school because of the Jewish Holiday Rosh Hashanah. Before I moved to NYC, I wasn't aware of this holiday. Actually, I hadn't taken the time to learn about it until I opened Gwyneth Paltrow's online newsletter Goop. It's embarrassing that I'm learning religious doctrine from a celebrity, but that's besides the point. I was happy to learn that there are blessing for everyone this time of year! Hooray! I'm all for more blessings!

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. Michael Berg, a Kabbalah scholar and author, wrote this in the Goop newsletter:

There are many tools that we can use during the two days of Rosh Hashanah but there are two important connections that we can all make. The first is to take time during these two days and think about our past year, the good, the better, and the not so good. Then ask yourself, “What do I want to change from last year?”, “what do I want to make better?” Also, “what blessings do we want to draw for ourselves and our family in the next year?” The supernal gates open up during these two days and by opening ourselves up to the flow of light and energy from above we can receive endless blessings.

I love NYC for teaching me about Jewish Holidays! I'm off to go teach my kids what I learned. And get some bagels for breakfast. I'm going to spend the next two days thinking about those questions and hopefully make some changes.

As for Ella, here's her answers:
What do I want to change from last year? I don't want to cry as much.
What do I want to make better? I want to get to higher levels of reading.

What do you want to change from last year? What do you want to make better?


Failure starts with F

My kids had their dentist appointments yesterday. Combined number of cavities for my boys: Nine!! I would like to blame it on genetics, but I would be lying to myself. I never brush their teeth. It's one of those things that I've completely failed to do as a mother. $300 dollars later, I've learned my lesson. Oddly, Ella has been able to escape my neglect and has zero cavities.

How have you failed lately? Ha! What a gloomy question to start your Wednesday. It's just that failure has been on my mind ever since I read this article in the NYTimes. Actually, I failed at that too. I really just read the first and last page of the article online. But I liked what I read. Do you think failure is the secret to success? Or at least to less cavities?


Welcome to My World

Horray! Have you heard? Welcome to My World has been released! It's a collection of essays from thirteen bloggers. In it, they write their experiences of being a stay-at-home mom, working mom or work-from-home mom. I'm so honored to be included in it!

My essay was written last June during the last few weeks Ella was in kindergarden and the boys were still at home with me.  I just reread it. Soooo glad I documented what it was like for me to be a stay-at home-mom.  I'm already starting to forget! In the article, I share my secret to happiness as a SAHM. It's what got me through those six years.  Click here to buy it from Amazon for only $6.99.

Do you have a secret for happiness as a mom? I wonder if ours is the same!


Happy Birthday!

I decided to keep the boys birthday party really small this year. I just invited our cousins in Harlem. The last thing I remember saying to Rob before I went to bed on Friday night was, "Shouldn't we plan something for tomorrow. For the boys party?" He replied, "Naw. It will work itself out." Here's the only thing I planned going into the party.

1. Starts at 4pm.
2. Eat pizza at Patsy's.
3. Ice cream at Serendipity 3
4. Call it a "Transportation Party" and get everywhere by using different modes of transportation.
5. Give the boys MTA trains  or something similar.

That's it! I never imagined it would go so well. With surprises along the way!

First Surprise: On our way to Patsy's, we happened to catch the vintage 1920's subway car sponsored this month by Boardwalk Empire. The sound of riding a subway with the windows down, the way it felt to sit in the wicker seats, the hooks, the ceiling fans, the light bulbs. We were in awe.

The pizza at Patsy's was great! No surprises there. It's been around since the 1930's so they know exactly how to make a pie. We ordered two! When we got out, we tried desperately to find a minivan taxi cab to get to our next destination: Serendipity 3. No such luck. Enter the next surprise: An impromptu party game. Boys against girls: Who can get to Serendipity 3 first? The boys caught the first cab, but the girls were able somehow crush them in the end!

Serendipity 3 had a whopping 1.5 hour wait, so the kids went to a nearby playground. While there, they discovered the Roosevelt Island Tram. Surprise #3! The whole ride took a standard subway fare and round trip was around 10 minutes. Best part: Sweeping views of the city. I felt like I was in the Peter Pan ride at Disney World. It goes so high up and has surround views. I really felt like I was flying! Incredible. Go now go!

We finally got our name called from the wait list at Serendipity 3 and got to eat gigantic sundaes! So good. Tip: Get a sundae, not their famous frozen hot chocolate.

For the record: Forms of transportation used at my very thought out party: our feet, a vintage subway, taxi, tram, bus.  Pretty good!

Happy Birthday boys! I hope you had fun!


George Washington Bridge

All I have for today's post is this picture of the George Washington Bridge. I took it last Saturday. Now I will cut and paste this sentence from wikipedia: The George Washington Bridge is popular among sightseers and commuters traveling by foot, bicycle, or roller skates.

And wahla, I have a post for today.

So buy yourself some roller-skates and go to the other side. There's a new world over there. Also called New Jersey. Have a good weekend!


Blog content

Last weekend, I read about the Little Red Lighthouse Festival. I love the book the festival references and was super excited to go. But the boys and I took really long naps instead. After we woke up, I still wanted to at least see the lighthouse even if the festival was over. I thought it would make for some good blog content. ha I'm here to shamelessly admit that sometimes I do things for my blog. Here's my thoughts: if blogging motivates me to get out of the house and do something fun, then I'm all for it. It might feel contrived at first, but usually it's totally genuine and worth the effort in the end. What do you think? Does blogging motivate you to be more adventurous, craftier, better dressed or more fun? Or is it too phony to live like that?

We never made it to the lighthouse. I dragged my family all the way up to Washington Heights, only to get off the wrong subway stop. It was getting late. I was frustrated and convinced I would have nothing to blog about this week. You should have seen me. Hahaha. But then Rob looked around at the totally average park we found ourselves at and suggested I take pictures of some kids playing stick ball in the huge field. Or take pictures of the old men playing chess. Or Ella playing with the purple balloon. I chose the purple balloon. Thanks Rob for being the optimist for once.


Perks of an Intern: Me and my kids get on Invite Lists

So I don't have a paid internship. But that doesn't mean I don't get a few perks! My boss Rebecca takes good care of me by getting me into the coolest events. On Tuesday we all went an event where Elmo preformed with Randy Jackson. I have to say, I was really impressed with the live performance. Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, is so funny! He kept Randy Jackson on his toes. I was really laughing!

After the show was over, Kevin Clash popped out from behind the curtain and walked out to the crowd holding Elmo. Owen was super excited to get a real Elmo kiss. MMwaahhh!

As always, they gave a gift bag for all the people who attended the event. I'm getting quite the collection! In the bag was a bunch of Sesame Street toys. My favorite was the classic Ernie doll.  I loved watching Owen turn the doll into a puppet. Forcing it to open and shut it's mouth. Making it say funny things. Perhaps he'll follow in Kevin Clash's footsteps and be the next great puppeteer! Or he could just be a kid playing with a doll.  We'll see.

And guess what else? Rebecca gave me orchestra level tickets to see Phantom of Opera! I've never been. I can't wait to see it!


dear diary

Last year at this time I was crying to Liz about moving. I never wanted to leave San Francisco. It was my town. I ADORED it. A year later I find myself ADORING Manhattan. Funny how life works out like that. All that stress I felt and wondering how it was going to all work out? Finding a place to live. Making new friends. Ella's school. I don't even think about it anymore because I love my house, Ella's school, and my new friends. Now I've moved on to the next stresses. Becoming a working mom, working for free, finding time.

I thought having all my kids in school would give me a break. Ha! Does that ever happen? It's always such a let down to find out that each phase of life is just as hard as the last. Well, except for the major phases. Like when my mom died when I was 18. And the first year with twins. And the second year too. Third?

Today is only the second day I've stayed at home since the kids started school full time. Other than that, I've been getting the kids ready, dropping them off at school, going straight to my internship, picking the kids up, coming home, making dinner, putting the kids to bed, and going to bed myself. I went to bed at 8pm last night. I'm tired.

Sometimes I wonder if I had my mom around at times like this she could tell me what to do. Or at least tell me her experiences with working and juggling it all. That's the kind of stuff I forgot to ask her.  I miss her at the most unexpected times. Today, September 20th, 2011. Not Mother's Day, not her birthday or the day she died. Just a quiet Tuesday. It surprises me every time. I like it that way because the longer she's dead, the more I worry that I stopped missing her. But hooray!  I still miss her! I still need her! I hope somehow someway she knows that. That would make me happy.



Here's a bunch of pictures starring Owen and a Lombardi's pizza. Lombardi's is known as the birth place of NY Style Pizza. Ah, yes, another assortment of pictures I post on my blog to give the illusion of bliss and beauty. Enjoy!

Congratulations for strolling this far down!  Now for your reward, a dose of reality: After we ate our pizza, we took the kids to a nearby playground, and Oscar crapped his pants. Rob cleaned it up in a Port-a-Potty. Luckily, Oscar's jeans were sparred. We carried on. 15 minutes later, while waiting in the subway station, Oscar started to complain about a stomachache. And that was that. The $30 dollar cab ride home was totally worth it. Stinky, but worth it. We couldn't stop laughing! The poor kid.


Pennwick Custom Golf Carts

Really wished we could have met up with you yesterday John! As a consolation for you driving around for 1.5 hrs with no luck finding a parking spot, I will ask each of my readers to purchase at least one of your amazing custom golf carts. What'll it be--The '56, The Smoothster, or the BROOKLYN?

Hope you get home safely! Thanks for being such a good friend to Rob.

On a related note--I cleaned my house for John's visit because I thought he was staying overnight. You should see my bath tub! I have blue water in my toilet bowl! Quick--someone stop by without warning so I can fool you into thinking this is how my house always looks. And smells!

The '56


Play Yoga: Blowing Pom Poms around the room with a straw

I represented New York Family magazine at WebMD's launch of their latest website Fit yesterday. I learned so much at the event. Like did you know weight is the hardest topic for parents to talk to their kids about? Above sex, smoking, and drugs? Some parents fear that having a conversation about weight will somehow trigger an eating disorder. The doctors behind this study believe that if parents can have discussions on weight in a loving, nurturing environment, eating disorders will not be the result. Fit gives parents the tools to know how to talk to kids about weight. It's great!

At the Fit event yesterday, my favorite part was the lesson that taught how to make yoga fun for kids. One of the ways the instructor teaches kids to have awareness of their breathing is have them blow pom poms around the room. She suggests that kids do races. Or have the children count how many breaths it takes to get across the room. She sometimes spreads the pom poms around the room and has the children blow them back into a big pile. We all got to try it. It was fun.

It just so happened that the drug store next to my house carried pom poms and straws. So after work and school, I let the kids give it a try. Don't you love activities that are simple AND beautiful? I'm hooked. Ella took it one step further and made pom pom snowmen. This delighted her to no end when she knocked it down with one breath.

This activity was such a success. It was like blowing out birthday candles without the fire! What other activiries can you do with pom poms and straws?


you say goodbye i say hello

Today is the first day that all my kids are in school full-time. 8:30am-2:30pm. They have slowly eased the boys into preschool by adding an hour each day. I purposely didn't plan anything today. I'm afraid I'm going to waste the entire day doing nothing. Maybe I'll listen to NPR. Sky dive. Make blueberry pancakes. Buy a pair of jeans. Shoes. I'm in a weird place. Full of contradictions. I'm thrilled they are gone and that I'm over that part of my life. This is one step closer to them growing up and moving out. For forever! But at the same time, I miss them already. I want it all back. Do it again. They watched too much TV. They annoyed me too much. Their tiny hands. The picnics. Today is the start to a new normal and I don't know what it's gong to take to actually feel normal. I've listened Hello, Goodbye by the Beatles three times while writing this post. It's exactly how I feel today. One contradiction after another. The party at the end of the video. Everyone waving and smiling. Kicking! Hula dancing. Exactly. I'll play it one more time and get myself together. It's so quiet as soon as the song is over.


How a Fat Rat changed my weekend plans

So much I want to show and tell! This post could take all week.

I was taking pictures of my kids on the lawn at Lincoln Center on Friday. I decide to tweet Natalie from Nat the Fat Rat my location, she tweets me back that she's on her way, and minutes later I see her walking around the fountain towards me. She's with her baby Huck and bloggers Susan and Ez. Why hello! Hp flew Susan and Ez out to see the Project Runway show. So awesome. We were chatting and suddenly they get the idea to add me to the guest list to the Project Runway Reunion Party. Really? Me? I'm in? Not out? Hooray!

Later that night we ditch the kids and we all meet up again.  This time blogger Megan from Not Martha joined us too. These women are incredible.  We head to Times Square to shop at Forever 21. I found the perfect dress for the party for a whopping $26 bucks! I added a metallic vintage belt from Susan's closet and I felt up to par for the party.  I was so so excited for Saturday night.

So finally, the party! It had a guest list and my name was on it! Can you imagine? There was a red carpet with bright lights and cameramen. Of course the photographers didn't want to have anything to do with me, but I didn't mind.  By the end of the night one of the photographers took a pity shot of me and Natalie.  Ok, you got your shot, time to move it along, girls. UPDATE: here's Hp's flickr stream :)

What else can I say about the party? The designers were really nice and approachable. I would compare them to successful/talented bloggers.  Totally nice people that are flattered when someone is a fan of their work.

Here's some of my favorite parts of the night:
*The party was held on the roof at the Empire Hotel. Stunning views of Lincoln Center!
*I ate almost every hors d'oeuvre that was offered to me. Tacky? Are there rules on this?
*All I had was my camera phone with about 20% of it's battery. Whoops. It died of course.
*I was shocked that hardly anyone was smoking outside. I smelled pot for a second. But that was it.
*It was sweet that Chris March wrote a quick note to my niece.  She's in the second grade, just got her first sewing machine and adores him.  

Perhaps for some people, nights like this are common place. But for me? I'll be bringing it up for years! Thanks Natalie for checking your tweets and Susan and Ez for putting my name on the guest list. It was one of the best nights of my life. Oh! I forgot to tell! I met my fashion icon: Betsy Johnson!!! I adore her. I hope to grow old just like her.

It was fun to meet and see all the people from the Project Runway, but  my favorite people I met were the bloggers. See us all in the picture to the left. When I started my whole blogging shenanigan, I wanted it to be a place to work on my writing skills and eventually use it as a portfolio to get a writing job.  Over the last few months, surprisingly, I've met friends from it. I feel so lucky to have stumbled into this NYC blogging world!


September 11th Memorial

photo via

Since moving to the city, I've been able to talk to people about their personal experiences with September 11th. They all mention an eery silence. A smell. A grayness that blanketed the city. The loss.

I discovered the Staten Island September 11 Memorial when I first moved here. It's titled "Postcards". The large white envelopes framing the city skyline always have an impact on me. The silence does too.


First Day of School 2011

 Biggest surprise of the day? Ella had only eleven kids show up to her first grade class! Yay! I know the class will probably grow a little over the next few weeks, but so far so good. And, get this, they have a teacher AND a teacher's aide all day! Who said NYC public schools are doomed? I found my hidden gem and I'm sticking with it!

The boys did great too. They are not only having structure for the first time (secret: i've never signed them up for any classes! whoops), but also being separated for the first time. It was so effortless for them. Sometimes I wonder if they are even twins.

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