Rob's Bathroom Story

I went to the open mic night thing on Tuesday night. Something got messed up and I didn't get a a time slot. I'm glad I didn't because I sat through the show and got a feel for the audience. What I was going to read wouldn't have gone over well. Good news is I have a guaranteed spot next week. If it goes ok, I think I could get addicted to this sort of thing. It would definitely push me to write more thoughtful pieces. I'll keep you posted. In the mean time, as promised, here's Rob's most embarrassing bathroom story . . .
i am smiling. 
A few days ago Sharon posted this story about an embarrassing incident that happened to me in a Taco Bell bathroom. At the end of the post, I mentioned that it wasn’t the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me in a restaurant restroom, this was …


Saying Yes to the Dress Kids Edition: White Party Dresses for Girls

from my instagram
Last Saturday Ella and I spent hours searching for the perfect white party dress. I thought it would be fun take the bus to this New Jersey mall and introduce her to food courts, mall directories, and the glorious concept one stop shopping. While I swear she's been to a mall before (we've been to the The Shops at Columbus Circle a million times), she insisted this was her first. I eventually took her word for it after seeing her ooh and ahhh at everything. A few stores and an ice cream break later, she found the perfect party dress. I can't wait for her to wear it at her birthday celebrations this summer.

I've been making a pinterest board called White Party Dresses for Girls to give her an idea of what was out there. Check it out if you're in the market for girl's white dresses. I've found over 50 adorable options. Here's some of my favorite stores:

After the jump, more pictures of our trip to the mall. Including a couple of her wearing the runner-up dresses, the ugliest kid shoes ever, and the most fun a daughter can have while making her mother sick.


Get Out There: Open Mic Night

me. and another one of me. aka miss thang. 
When I was in second grade, I asked my crush if he wanted to race at the playground. I hoped it would get his attention. When he said yes, I was stoked. As the race started and I was gaining momentum, I tripped, and crashed my head onto a sewer lid. I got up quickly and he said, "Ew. There's blood dripping." I brushed off the dirt from my hands and knees and acted like it was no big deal. I still can feel the scar where the ER doctor put stitches on my scalp.

Then in high school, I wrote about the experience for a student literary magazine. I ended the piece with something like, "Now I'm about to graduate from high school and my love life hasn't changed since." The teachers creating the journal loved it and asked me to read it at the magazine's launch party.

While I was completely terrified, I loved hearing the reaction of the crowd as I read the last sentence.   Oh unrequited love. Always a hit. I don't remember if I got an award for the piece, but I remember the feeling of walking off stage. I want to do this again, I thought. However, I've never had the motivation. Until now.

The Go Mighty team approached me to create a summer goal to get out there for P&G's Summer Stunner Tour. I can't think of anything else that would get me out there more than to read at an open mic night. I found a venue in the East Village for poets, comedians, singers/musicans, and storytellers. I knew I would be fine when I read it's "a family style restaurant, so NO EXPLICIT LANGUAGE." haha

I'll probably develop something I've written here. Got any favorites? A few I was thinking . . .

Portrait of a Mother
Mother's Day Recap
My Awful Trip Home

If you want to see me, I took a 5 minute slot this Tuesday night, 6:30-11pm at Bareburger. It will truly be for the fun and terror of it all. I promise not to read a poem.

Sponsor info: Become a Summer Stunner! The Color Tour, featuring complimentary salon services with hot P&G products, will be stopping at a retailer near you. Click here for tour dates and more! #SummerStunner

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Birthday Present Success: Kids Regifting. They start so young these days.

Last Saturday we attended Toby's Birthday party. My kids were stoked to get something for him. Ella decided to draw him a picture and write a story. Oscar got him balloons. And then Owen. He was set on giving his dear friend Toby his old broken Mater Truck. The batteries are dead, the remote control is missing, and it's the size of most NYC kid's bedrooms.

On our way out our door I said, "It's rude to give your friend an old used toy for their birthday. Let's get him something else. Please?" Owen didn't say a word, just looked at me with his wide confident eyes and nodded his head in disagreement. As we were waiting for the elevator, Owen noticed a half role of Christmas wrapping paper in the recycling bin. Our neighbor must have been doing some spring cleaning. He walked over to pick it up and said, "Great! All we need is tape." Great.

We walked to the store and bought a few helium balloons and a roll of tape. Owen proudly wrapped his truck in the middle of the store, instructing me where to put the tape. When we got to the party, he looked at me seriously and whispered without moving his lips, "Don't, mom. Don't tell anyone that this used to be my toy. He's going to like it. I know it."
And sure enough, Toby didn't question the gift and happily played with Mater in the grass. While Owen watched, he came up to me and said, "Seeeeee. Told you he was going to love it." He was right. It was actually kind of sweet. Owen used to love this truck when he was around Toby's age. He even brought it out to display during this photoshoot. It's one of my favorite pictures of Owen (below). I'm happy to see the truck passed on to a new dude.

Yet, despite the sweetness of it all, I gave Toby's mom the option to throw the truck out on the way home from the party. I hope she took me up on my offer. There's nothing worse than being stuck with a giant broken toy, even if it is a sheet of Christmas paper away from being the best regift ever.
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Rob's Birthday Post: Happy Birthday!!

ella's smile is freaking me out. 
It's my husband's birthday. I'm running around trying not to make a big deal out it. In the mean time, here's something he sent me. He calls it his wiener post. Take it away Rob! Thanks for writing a post for your birthday . . .


NYC School Field Trips: This is How We Do It

that's one of Owen's teacher holding the giant blue backpack. it's filled with lunches. his other teacher is the fuzzy face bottom right. ha love them! 
Instead of waiting around for a yellow bus to take students on field trips, many NYC public school children either walk or ride the subway to check out the city. What's more, Oscar and Owen's school goes on field trips about once a week. It's one of my favorite things about their school and a major reason why I'm sending Ella there next year. I joined Owen's class as they made their way to the Urban Farm in Battery Park a few weeks ago. I'm still recovering from it. It's no easy task taking 25+ kindergartners across Broadway (6 lanes), down multiply flights of stairs and into a subway. But these city kids do it with ease. God bless their teachers! 
Rock . . . Paper . . .
Scissors, and Shoot! #1 Subway Game. 
Introducing David Silver during his kindergarten years. 
Keep reading to see pictures of the Urban Farm . . .


Our Magic Number

When I try to get my kids together in a picture, it usually turns into a total shitstorm. I'm pleading with them to get closer, one kid is refusing to be in it, and the other one is throwing punches. But every once in a while, magic happens. I blame the Rule of Three. Supposedly, things that come in 3 are funnier, more satisfying, and more effective than any other number of things. There's also the Latin phrase, "omne trium perfectum" (everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete) that drives the point. And to think we only wanted to have 2 kids! Three has definitely turned out to be our magic number.
(ella eventually stopped growing to give the boys time to catch up.)
Keep reading to see more pictures of the impossible: all three kids in one frame . . .


Mother's Day Recap 2013

nov. 18, 2007. in one of the first anthropologie items i ever bought. you can't see it in this picture, but there were tulips growing on my boobs! ha i loved that cardigan. 

The day before Mother's Day, Rob and I went on a date. We decided to go to Chelsea Market for dinner, but first I wanted to stop by Anthropologie. Just to peek in for a minute to get a new dress for Mother's Day. He found a giant flowery couch to sit on while I shopped. I didn't find anything on the first floor, so I walked down stairs to their basement level.

I took my time looking through the racks of clothes. I asked the salesgirl when they closed. I had an hour. I tried on a few dresses, looked through a few books, and checked to see if they had my size in sweaters I really didn't like. Nothing stood out to me in the entire store besides the blue dress I was holding. Everything else looked gaudy. The overly embellished sweaters. The patchwork chairs. The over sized necklaces. Ruffles in odd places. The kind of wallpaper I loved and bought 3 years ago

Then a I started listening to a song they had playing in the background. The chorus had something about moms. Mine died in 2000 when I was 18 years old (i try not to bring this up in every single conversation ha). The singer sounded like Jack Johnson, so mellow and sad. I looked around the store and remembered that when I was 18 years old, these were exactly the clothes I thought were so fabulously feminine and so me. I still remember the day my dad tossed an Anthropologie catalog at me and said, "Here, this looks like you." To my teenage self, I took it as a massive compliment. I was yearning to have the same style as women in the catalog and I was thrilled that someone noticed. I had yet to purchase anything from the store, but I held onto the catalogs for inspiration. This went on even into my 20's when I could finally afford to splurge on a few things.

But now as I was standing next to a belted zebra print dress and that same damn guy was singing about his mom, I started to cry. I realized there's almost nothing the same about me when my mother was alive. I've somewhat abandoned or outgrown that person. While there's still parts about me that are the same--my love for writing, my appetite for food, my messy bedroom, there's something sad knowing she never got to see me evolve. Not just in my ridiculous fashion choices, but in becoming an adult. I'm sure she would have been different over these last 13 years, too. I would have loved to see her retire, become a social media guru, and turn into a grandma. It always comes down to that for me. She never missed out on anything. She was always present. It's so annoying she didn't get to live a few more decades.  

Finally the song ended before anyone noticed me crying. I checked my phone to see what time it was, which led to me checking my Instagram. And with tears in my still in eyes, the first picture to show up was  Rob with this caption: Been sitting on this couch for the last hour. Sharon said she was going to try something on and never came back. If you see my wife please tell her I am still waiting for her on that couch in Anthropologie.

And completely by accident, he got me out of my funk. I walked back upstairs, bought the blue dress, and we went out for dinner. I didn't mention my meltdown immediately, but I did put in a request for more self portraits from him in the future. There's nothing like an awful selfie to make it all better. 


Happy Mother's Day at 9pm: My Husband's Thoughts on Ella's Birth

that's me and ella on Dec.24, 2005
A couple of years ago, my friend Joanna asked my husband Rob these questions about Ella's birth. It's funny to reread his thoughts about the day we entered parenthood. I should post my answers on Father's Day. Keep reading for the hilarious Q&A . . .


Last Minute Mother's Day Flowers

Eeeek. I totally forgot to post about the flowers I received from BloomNation for Mother's Day. But I'm sure I'm not the only one procrastinating this time of year. If you haven't picked up a Mother's Day gift, flowers are the perfect option. I ordered this Floral Heights bouquet on Wednesday night and it arrived the next afternoon. I love it.

BloomNation can be described as the Etsy of flowers. It has that same personal, handmade feel as well as the benefit of supporting local businesses. The only flaw is that like Etsy, it has a few stellar designers mixed with mediocre ones. I went through and picked out some of my favorites. Hopefully there's a cool florist featured on the site in your area. If so, use coupon code Bloom20 for an extra 20% off.

San Francisco: $75 Wild Romance
Burlingame, CA: $145 Garden
Denver: $40 Soft Rose Arrangement
Raleigh, NC: $65 Laurel and Lace
Huntington Beach: $59 Jacobs
Atlanta: $95 Blue Paradise
Los Alamitos: $80 Vintage Bouquet 2
I also adore this option to create a custom arrangement. You choose a local florist you like, set the price, describe the kinds of flowers you prefer, and even upload a few pictures to inspire the florist. Next time I'm doing that!

Thanks BloomNation for the sending me the arrangement :)

Flower arrangements from years past: Valentine's 2013Valentine's Day 2012, Mother's Day 2011. Every year they get better!
I love arrangements that feel like a scavenger hunt. Where from every angle I find surprising flowers I wouldn't expect. Keep reading to see a bagillion pictures of my Mother's Day bouquet . . .

Spring Has Sprung: What Kind of Mood is Bloomin?

 Ella and I took a walk the other day to test out what kind of mood spring provokes. According to her mood ring, spring makes her feel alert. It's a good thing because I wouldn't want her to miss out on any of the beauty that is happening around the city right now. From the bright green lawns to the cherry blossoms blowing in the wind, it's enough to make anyone feel alert and alive.
her idea
After she tested her mood, I asked her if she wanted to go home. She responded with, "Noway, I'm alert!"
(pictures taken in Riverside Park)

ah damn it. Soon after I published this, I saw a mouse in my kitchen. I'm currently wearing rain boots in the living room and looking at these pretty pictures again to take my mind off of that nasty critter. Even though I wanted to mop tonight, I can't go back into the kitchen. That mouse makes me look at these pictures differently. Like that grass? It's probably filled with mice right now. So much for the idyllic NYC image.


NYC Glamour: The Red Carpet Kids Hollywood Premiere Family Weekend Package at the Four Seasons

We had the most glamorous weekend in NYC. The Four Seasons asked us and a few other families to experience their new Red Carpet Kids Hollywood Premiere Family Weekend Package. From the moment we checked in until the time we caught a cab home, we were treated like Hollywood royalty. It's by far, the coolest thing we've ever done in the city . . . 


The Best Way to Enjoy Central Park with Kids: Picnic Lunches

When I lived in CA, I used to pack a bag of food in the morning and head out for the whole day. When lunchtime came, my kids and I had a picnic. It wasn't anything special and it was anywhere. A park bench. On a blanket if I remembered to bring one. Or sometimes it was in my minivan if the weather was lousy. I felt like a show-off when I started packing plates, but it was so much easier to divide the food evenly between the three kids. Picnic lunch days felt like the norm in sunny California.

Then I moved and learned very quickly that picnics are a seasonal activity in NYC. The first winter I lived here, I felt out of whack and insanely jealous when my friends from SF posted their picnics on Facebook. On a cold January day in 2011, without thinking, I made a picnic lunch and tried to have the boys eat it in the stroller outside. They had one mitten on and one off. They used their bare hand to pick up food, but then their fingers got so cold and numb they started dropping the food on the sidewalk. Huge disaster.

At the risk of frost bite and starvation, I knew had to change our lunchtime habits during the winter. Either we started going home for lunch or I'd buy the kids sandwiches at a cafe. I couldn't wait for the temperature to rise so we could get back to picnic lunches again. I didn't realize I'd have to wait until May.

But it's here. Picnic season has officially started. Luckily, yesterday the boys had a half day of school so we could start the month right.

When Red Envelope asked me to select something from their online gift shop, I knew I had to have their Picnic Basket for Four (pictured). I couldn't resist the carafe, cheese board, and adorable mason jar sippers among other things. I even brought the bag on the cruise with me. It's perfect size to stuff a beach towel, a book, and some sunscreen. Another great Mother's Day gift idea. :)

Keep reading to see picnics of our past and some funny outtakes of our picnic yesterday . . .


Central Park with Kids: Wild Flower Graffiti

Nothing is more badass than making wild flower graffiti. Especially if there's a rule about not picking weeds in Central Park. Which I'm sure there's one somewhere because there's so many rules in Central Park. You better stay alert or be too rebellious to care. We're clearly the rebel type. Well, at least one of us is. . .
"owen made me do it!"
"where are those damn flowers?"
Keep reading to find out the gender and see more pictures of our wild adventure . . .
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