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Month: January 2015

the snowy day

the snowy day

I feel like it is kind of a tricky thing to get a snow day just right. Especially a snow day that turned out to be less snow and more “Wait, everything got cancelled for this?” I mean, you want it to be special and fun, not cold and miserable. You want to relax and not feel rushed, but you also want to take advantage of the snow. You want break all the rules but still get to bed on time.

And I feel like we kind of nailed it.

Slow morning. Penguin pancakes, a puzzle and a (sort of) game, followed by a prolonged effort to get everybody appropriately bundled for a scouting mission. I planned to just go look around, but at the last minute we grabbled the sled, which turned out to be a good idea because, well, when is it a bad idea to have a sled when there are several inches of snow on the ground?

I pulled the kids around a parking lot across the street from our building for a bit, but then we decided to make a hill out of the steps in front of our building. It was pretty amazing.

We went back inside for a quick lunch and to switch up the snowpants situation—and to grab Micah who was “working from home”—before we went to the park for some real sledding.

The park was, as expected, a zoo. On their first run down, the boys knocked into another kid on a sled. Miraculously, that was our only mishap. Simon was so excited by sledding and the hill that he ran down it when it wasn’t his turn on the sled, just because he couldn’t help himself.

Elsa, however, didn’t have such a great time. She had insisted on stepping in as much snow as possible on the way to the park, and on carrying chunks of snow and ice. As you can imagine, she was a bit cold by the time we got to the hill. I took her home after a couple of runs.

Of course there was hot chocolate when the boys got home. And of course our apartment became one big drying rack.

The kids spent the rest of the evening immersed in Wild Kratts while I chatted with a friend who came over for dinner with her baby. We had a really relaxed meal of nachos supreme, followed by an early-ish bedtime. The kids (especially Elsa) were appropriately exhausted.

And Micah and I, having pulled it off, gave ourselves a snow day present as well and went to bed before midnight.

the joy of baking

the joy of baking

The joy of baking is, obviously, the “snacks.” You know, the clump of brown sugar that you just can’t bring yourself to put in the measuring cup, the fingerful of creamed butter/sugar so light and fluffy that it seems to have sprung into your mouth uninvited, the scoop of batter that you have to make sure tastes just right.

That is what Oliver and Elsa discovered yesterday when I recruited them to make the Saturday morning muffins. (Simon was invited as well, but he got distracted by words on a page, as he is apt to do.) But Oliver and Elsa made formidable baking duo, once they stopped arguing over who got to do what and found their callings. Oliver measured the ingredients. Elsa was in charge of the “snacks.” The two took turns stirring, alternating that task with licking whatever stirring implement was not being used.

Despite the distractions, the two did a fabulous job of making the muffins (blueberry poppy seed, if you must know). I only stepped in to retrieve ingredients—and to fill the muffin cups with batter. If I hadn’t done that, I’m not sure there would have been any batter left to bake.

Yep. I think baking won a couple of converts yesterday. Rightfully so, of course. There is a lot of joy to be had therein.

in which I almost lose Oliver

in which I almost lose Oliver

First, you must know that Elsa is being toilet trained. That is a crucial detail. It’s been going well, in the sense that she does use the toilet. Almost all the time. However, there have been some rough patches. There have been times in which she has adamantly refused to even try to sit on the potty, even when offered chocolate, or when faced with the prospect of being wet and cold because there are not many potties on our running route around the park. That said, there have also been some surprises. Like, that Elsa can refuse chocolate AND that she can hold her water while sleeping in a stroller that is being pushed around the park.

But that is not really the point of the story. It is a crucial piece of information, however, so it is worth spending some time on.

This is the story: I went to pickup the boys. With Elsa, as always. This was her second attempt to make it through pickup without a diaper. The previous attempt, the day before, was successful. She had even fallen asleep in my arms and not peed on me (or herself). So, yay! Still, it felt a little bit adventurous to take her out on the two-hour trip without a diaper.

We made it to the school. We picked up the boys. The kids were playing in the snow. And then Elsa started doing the dance. I asked her if she had to go and she confirmed. Simon was right there, so I asked him to keep an eye on Oliver and tell him that I’d taken Elsa to the toilet. This was, of course, a bad idea and I knew it. But I thought I’d just be a minute. Run her up the ramp, use the toilet right inside the door, BOOM! we’d be out of there.

That didn’t happen. The ramp was closed, I had to find another way in, I had to find another bathroom . . . blah, blah, blah, we came out of the school and Simon was there but Oliver wasn’t. And Simon didn’t know where he was. A scan of the playground let me know he wasn’t on it. What I didn’t know is whether he had thought I left him and started walking to the train station or if he went into the school to look for me.

I walked back and forth between the two options for a few minutes. Where should I go? Where did I need to be? What would Oliver do? I felt like I couldn’t leave the school until I knew he wasn’t there, but I thought if he had left, maybe I could catch him.

Anyway. It was as I was waffling that I saw a couple of moms and a couple of kids walking toward the gate. One of the kids looked wonderfully like little Squish. I ran up to them and reclaimed my kid. The moms said he had been crying, but he hadn’t made it much past the parking lot. He had thought I’d left him. He was going to find me.

Oh, I felt so bad. Obviously. I knew I should have told him myself where I would be. I made a bad call in my fear that Elsa would wet herself. And I realized that I could have done some better prep-work with my kids. Like if you lose me, stay where you are and I’ll come find you. Because I would never leave you.

So, not even two weeks in and I’ve lost the mother of the year award. Good luck to all you ladies who are still in the running.

nye in nyc

nye in nyc

It’s been a long time since we’ve done anything fancy and grown up for New Year’s Eve. Or ever. It felt terribly indulgent to put on our fanciest clothes, to hire a babysitter, to sit a candlelit tables and have uninterrupted conversations with people we have grown to know and love over the past 7 years.
But we did it anyway. We indulged. We ate dinner at the (in)appropriately late hour of 10pm. We counted down to midnight. We blew horns and cheered as balloons and confetti dropped from the ceiling of an apartment in Carroll Gardens.

It felt like, for once, we did New Year’s Eve right.

Or one kind of right, anyway.