hank has lost TWO pounds. that is 5.71% of his total body weight! we are very proud of ourselves… it has not been easy. i have had to really monitor how many snacks he gets and shut him away in the playroom when i am eating lunch or scotchmallows so that he is not looking up at me with those big, desperate eyes.Read More
hank came home with us on december 5, 2017 and we have been beside ourselves with love for him ever since. we love the way he rotates his big, bat ears around, we love his snorty, white noise machine breathing, we love his little button that is too tiny to wag, we love when he rolls around on his back looking for a belly rub, we love when he snuggles up with us on the sofa, we love when he howls along to theo’s trumpet playing, we love when he picks up sticks four times his size and carries them around, we love when he flops down with his legs splayed out behind him like a frog and we love the way his bum wiggle waggles left to right when he is trotting about the neighborhood.Read More
we moved to amsterdam from san francisco when i was pregnant with my first baby. we stayed there for nearly the first five years of his life and the very beginning of my daughter’s. traveling with babies is not easy… particularly on eleven hour international flights. and then when you arrive there is the horrendous jet lag that kicks in (there’s a NINE hour time difference between california and the netherlands.) so i only brought my children home once a year, but we would stay for at least a month to stabilize and enjoy the visit before heading back. now that we live in colorado we have continued this summer tradition. the kids LOVE their camp in berkeley (kee tov) and i get to spend time with my family and all my growing up friends.Read More
i was so delighted that the editors at houzz decided to feature my playroom project… THANK YOU bryan anthony!Read More
in early december i got an email from my girlfriend in la with the subject line, “have you heard about this coat?” she attached an article from the strategist that detailed the popularity of the orolay amazon coat among moms at pick up on the upper west side. it was sold out, of course, because it is the coziest, most comfortable, best priced coat in the world. i stalked amazon until it came back on offer and it was well worth the wait. i LOVE my amazon coat! it has tons of pockets that are straight up and down so that stuff doesn’t slip out of them AND they all have zippers, just in case you are carrying around something super special. the hood is lined with fuzzy, warm stuff and the inside is a bright, cheery orange. you can get it in black, navy and army green (putty too, but that colorway is not nice.) i was so delighted with my coat that i planned all my christmas travel outfits around it (no dresses, just boots and jeans because the amazon coat is too casual for a party dress.) i had to wear it on the plane because it is too bulky to put in a suitcase, but i pulled that snuggly hood up and had the best airplane nap of all time, despite the fact that i was sitting between my two children. the hood also seems to be noise cancelling. so i thoroughly enjoyed the holidays with my amazon coat and then my life became a series of shit fuck events that snowballed into my nearly falling completely apart… but praise jesus, i had my amazon coat. i just crawled into that coat and added my pizzeria pom pom hat and i have hardly taken them off (even indoors) for the last three weeks. because overlaying all of these horrendous events has been planning my son’s bar mitzvah. i am so PROUD of my son for his dedication and earnest commitment to learning, but planning a bar mitzvah (especially for a shiksa mama) is no small endeavor and despite all of my hyper-organized lists and spreadsheets, i still felt desperately behind three weeks out. following are the events that sent me diving into the safety of my amazon coat:Read More
every year, we send out a holiday card featuring the kids smiling and laughing together. they DO laugh and smile together pretty frequently, but hardly ever when we are shooting these photos.
“FEO, FEO” lucy (when she had no teeth) yelled downstairs in alarm a few years ago, “the christmas clothes are out… i fink we have to do the card today!” then a series of loud groans as they commiserated together.Read More
fifty is a BIG fucking number! i kept thinking i’d get used to it… i’ve actually been telling myself and everyone else that i’m fifty for the last four years, just to give myself some lead time (which has also led to a lot of confusion as i would forget how old i actually was.) but the truth is, i am NOT best pleased about being associated with this enormous number and i am NOT used to it. i wanted to be bouldery and think about all the things i’m grateful for - i get emails from oprah and deepak so i know grateful people are happier people … and i AM grateful for a lot (glitter nail polish, the pacific ocean, my beloved hank, my vacuum cleaner, see’s scotchmallows, boulder’s hot pink sunrises, the brique poulet at ten ten, the doctor in san francisco who got me pregnant, first with theo and then with lucy, the doctor in amsterdam who finally got lucy out of me, the surgeons in amsterdam who stopped my hemorrhage and saved my life, jane austen, fog, the whole of paris, dove soap, pom-poms, my first husband, mint chip ice cream, sheepskins, pompadour chocolate shop, the day’s first cup of coffee, audrey hepburn in “funny face,” the frick museum, my writing group, men’s white, ribbed tank tops, the lights lining the bridges of amsterdam, the bar method, good times drive through, flannel pajamas, my GG’s cursive, macklemore, peppermint tea, white walls, the lazy boy movie theater at the flatiron’s mall, my superstar colorist, rain, oatmeal chocolate chip (notice i DIDN’T say “raisin”) cookie dough, red tulips, the “little house” books, the google maps lady, mahjong, cuckoo clocks, the new bay bridge, sparkly gold hairbands, my incomparable parents, my checkered, slip-on vans, my bed, triple cream brie, my wonderful friends, the seat heats in my car, and of course, my dearest, darling children)…just NOT for fifty. i think i’d rather be fifty-two, already immersed in the decade but not anywhere near sixty… which i don’t imagine i will be grateful for either!Read More
many of you have been asking how hank is doing on his diet. i have to say, it has not been easy. with the big drop in temperature, we tried on his favorite sweater from last winter a few days ago. last december, it was cozy, yet roomy, but this year, it fits him like a crop top a la britney spears, early nineties. i’m wondering if he is going to be one of those dogs whose closet is filled with a range of sizes he dips into depending on how much bacon he has had. will he need enough space to house his “fat jeans” and his “strictly following the paleo” jeans?Read More
halloween in boulder is outrageous. when we stepped out to go trick or treating our first year in colorado, i thought we’d wandered onto a movie set. literally EVERY house in our neighborhood was decorated, and not just with a pumpkin or two but with strings of orange lights, giant spiders and webs stretched across the houses, skeletons and zombies and werewolves emerging from the lawns and ghosts and ghoulies hanging from the trees. and when you ring the bell, the homeowners answer in full costume. sometimes they jump out at you and sometimes they just smile and offer the kids candy and the parents a glass of wine or a beer. yes - if you accept all the libations presented, you will be quite tipsy by the end of your neighborhood rounds. there are even a few famous addresses that do full spook houses… i took lucy to the one on 10th street when she was a little too young and we were both traumatized … i nearly peed my pants when a gazillion enormous spiders dropped on us and she let out a wail that lasted for at least two blocks. we had to retire for the evening after that.Read More
now that hank is on a diet, we have been trying to step up our exercise routine and we made an amazing discovery… COOT LAKE! coot lake is the perfect kind of nature for us… there is always parking across the street, the paths are flat and well maintained and we can circle the lake in converse or even low boots. there are lots of nice dogs for hank to romp around with (he can go off leash!) and there are benches for me to sit on, as well as little poems posted on signs here and there. and of course, there is the pretty water to look at. one of the hardest things for me about living in boulder is that there is no ocean. i have never lived anywhere before that wasn’t bumped up against a big body of water and sometimes i feel a bit panicky about being landlocked. certainly, a lake isn’t the same thing as an ocean, but it is still blue and has movement and reflection and alleviates the dry, dusty feel of the relentless colorado sun.Read More
we just had our first blizzard in boulder… in typical colorado fashion we went straight from summer to winter, with only an afternoon of fall. i never get used to the roller coaster weather here. i am never prepared with the right size snow boots for the kids or snow pants that fit properly or matching pairs of mittens. at best, i get a whiff of the cow poo smell (which is a pretty reliable snow predictor - i don’t know why) and i have a few hours to get ready. at worst, i wake up and the yard is all white and i have to scurry around and see how i can outfit the kids in some collection of warm clothes before school starts. we are usually late on this first snow day… i just always expect there will be that third season before the snow comes and even after seven years here, i haven’t learned to check the weather.Read More
hank is on a diet. we took him to the vet a few weeks ago because he had a weird boo boo on his lip and the vet told me he should have a waist. he was thirty-two pounds. i WAS wondering how big he ought to be because his dad is only twenty-six pounds. six pounds more on someone the size of a breadbox does seem like a lot, but i HATE diets. the vet asked me how much i was feeding him and i replied, “3/4 cup of kibble with water and a spoonful of wet food twice a day, like the breeder told me to do.” (i didn’t mention all the treats and extras that i gIve him throughout the day… just like when you fill out those forms at the doctor’s and they ask you how frequently and how many glasses of wine you drink…who is ever truly honest then?) “yes,” said the vet, “but that was when he was a puppy. now that he is over a year, he is a regular dog and that’s too much.” i still consider hank a puppy - his first birthday was just in september. also, it doesn’t really make sense to me that as he gets bigger, he should have less food. i feed my kids way more food now that they are eight and twelve, than i did when they were babies… bigger kids, bigger portions. i guess that’s not how it works with dogs. and it never occurred to me to alter how much i feed hank because i am a rule follower. the breeder gave me a big binder with all kinds of instructions about how to take care of hank and i have been following it (mostly) to a tee.Read More
i don’t know what factors came together to produce such an enormous bounty of fruit on my farm (i.e. my backyard) but the output has been tremendous. i decided to have a couple of neighborhood harvest parties so that i could get some help picking all the apples and then the plums that ripened a few weeks later. i thought i could pull off a tom sawyer “painting the fence” caper and make my friends think it would be FUN to harvest with me. i would provide snacks and drinks and my neighbors could do the labor. i was imagining something like the barn raising parties they used to have on little house on the prairie. pa would be out there entertaining everyone on his fiddle (i could play macklemore on my sonos), ma would would lay out cornbread, fresh, grilled deer meat and homemade pies (i made a run to trader joes), the children would be running around (i have a couple of those) and the grown ups would build a barn (the neighbors would pick my apple tree and plum bush clean) so i wouldn’t have to gather up any more rotten fruit or worry about the bears coming into my yard and leaving giant poops or mauling us.Read More
"say, say, oh playmate,
come out and play with me
and bring your dollies three
climb up my apple tree
slide down my rain barrel
into my cellar door
and we'll be jolly friends
forever more, 1-2-3-4"
when i was little, i was desperate for an apple tree like the one in my favorite hand clapping song. i also wanted a rain barrel, although i wasn’t really sure what that was. forty years later, i do have a great, big, sweeping apple tree in my backyard. my tree has a beautiful, twisted, architectural trunk with a hole the perfect size for hiding easter eggs, it makes lots of shade (crucial for a fair-skinned mama living in a town that bumps up against the sun,) in the winter, the way the snow lands on the branches is right out of fairy tale, it’s covered in lacy, white blossoms in the spring, and every other year or so, my tree grows apples in the late summer.Read More
either of two corvine birds, Pica pica (black-billed magpie), of Eurasia and North America, or P. nuttalli (yellow-billed magpie), of California, having long, graduated tails, black-and-white plumage, and noisy, mischievous habits.
a person who collects or hoards things, especially indiscriminately.
hank can be pretty cheeky… he gets away with it because he is outrageously cute, but sometimes i am astounded by how forgiving i am of his behavior. if my kids did any one of the naughty or disgusting things he does, i think i would sell them on ebay. somehow, when i discover one of hank’s bad acts, i just end up giving him kisses. (my children HAVE started to notice the inequity in how i discipline - or don’t, rather - hank vs. the time outs and revoked desserts and phones and TV time that they suffer. i figure i am providing them with important material to discuss with their therapists in their forties.)Read More
i grew up on the north side of berkeley, right near the little tunnel that runs under the marin circle and off a shopping street full of restaurants and quirky boutiques called solano. my friends all lived very close by… mostly because i got lost so easily and could only have friends whose houses i could find. this was in the days before mothers drove you all around the world for playdates. i can still distinctly picture the map my friend cynthia’s mother drew for me so i could get to their house. at the time we were in a rental behind the library and i had to walk three long blocks past the firehouse (she made a perfect circle that i marveled at, to indicate the station, as berkeley’s no. 4 is cyclindrical - designed in 1960 by ratcliff architecture) and turn right on los angeles for half a block. i carried that map with me for months (yes - i am a SLOW geographic learner) when i was going to her house.Read More
the first time it happened, the kids had taken hank over to their father’s house. i got an excited phone call AND photos. i had really hoped that we would never have to deal with this because hank is so mellow, but there it was, a glossy, hot pink protrusion coming out of hank’s nether regions. i have to say, if you didn’t think about what it was, it was really quite pretty… so shiny and my favorite hue of pink. it is rumored that someone touched it (before really understanding what it was) but that has not been confirmed.Read More
a few weeks ago, hank ate a cherry chapstick. he didn’t eat the plastic part, but all the waxy stuff inside. we are all still getting used to having a puppy and taking care not to leave things out that aren’t good for him. at the time, i was annoyed at the kids and fascinated by the new sweetness of his breath, but was not overly concerned. i should have been. at 4:30 am the next morning i woke to the sounds of loud slurping. when i managed to get my eyes open, i saw that hank was licking something off my duvet (YES… he has started sleeping in my bed. one night i just meant to have a cuddle with him and i fell asleep before putting him back in the crate and now his new spot seems established.) i couldn’t understand what he was eating and then i came to the horrifying realization that he was re-ingesting his own VOMIT! i am not great with bodily stuff and it was all i could do not to throw up myself. i scooped him up and took him outside for some fresh air. then i brushed his little teeth and had him drink some water. he seemed okay and i thought it was a “one off” situation like my children sometimes had as babies. we went back upstairs, i replaced the blanket and we both went back to sleep. and then at 6 am he did it AGAIN! this time, i was much swifter. i picked him up before he could eat it and quarantined him in the bathtub. he was not best pleased with this situation, but i could not let him roam around my house barfing. i was already faced with laundering two duvets and their covers. luckily, the vet opened at 7 am so hank didn’t have to stay in the tub too long. the doctors were a bit surprised that i brought him in… apparently dogs eat weird things and throw up all the time, but i have never had one before and was worried he would get dehydrated… he is such a little guy. we both went home to rest and do laundry - you wouldn’t believe all the feathers flying around my drier from the duvets! hank spent most of the day sleeping and i thought it was over. unfortunately, i had a date that night with someone new and i could not get a single sentence out without yawning (so rude!) because i was so tired. it didn’t really matter as it turned out this guy had THREE cats. that was definitely a deal breaker… i am now a dog person, even a barfing dog person.Read More