My Son’s Birth Story – 100 Word Story

I’ve written three essays on my son’s birthday and I could probably write another two with all the “outtakes.” Is there a limit to how much you can tell your kids how awesome they are? Tiger mom would argue yes. Why am I still writing about my firstborn? “Write what you know,” they say. So I do. I enjoy writing about the men in my … Continue reading My Son’s Birth Story – 100 Word Story

“My Boy, He’s Just Like Me” Club

At a certain point when my 14-year-old son was knee-deep in boy years (5-11), I wondered if he and I would ever have anything in common. I would continue to build Legos and watch Superhero movies but I didn’t love them in the way he did. We agreed on a love of science, but when he geeked out on me with equations, I went AWOL. … Continue reading “My Boy, He’s Just Like Me” Club

“I Hate Food” Club

At the onset of food’s introduction into our lives, its primary function is to nourish us. However, somewhere down the line, it takes on a far greater role: it entertains us, comfort us, and often control us, marionette-like. Most people lug with them some “food” baggage; not just anorexics or bulimics (or women), but anyone who’s ever been on a diet. My long-term and often … Continue reading “I Hate Food” Club

“I Want to Vacate On My Vacations” Club

I enjoy a vacation where I can dive into the utter meaning of the word, down to its root, “to vacate.” I strive to abandon my daily annoyances and embark on the temporary movie-of-my-life mode. I crave the beach; it is therapeutic and sacred. At the beach, my body is warm enough to be almost naked, one with the earth. Here I can collapse into … Continue reading “I Want to Vacate On My Vacations” Club

“14 Years of Motherhood” Club

14  years ago I was awarded the mommy title and never looked back. Who was I before I became a mother? I vaguely remember waking up thinking of myself first. As a child, I didn’t play with baby dolls or babysit. Having a sister seven years my junior was plenty motherhood for me. I didn’t even think I wanted to have kids. Before children, life … Continue reading “14 Years of Motherhood” Club

“At the ER Waiting Room” Club

Another 100-Word Story My 14-year-old son’s face became swollen; cheeks like chipmunks and lips resembled bad botox. His mouth ached, with pustules in his throat. No fever. Probably a virus but fear gripped me by the shoulders when he said his throat felt tight. Sitting in the ER, I feel foolish. My son seemed fine, playing video games. After 4 uneventful hours: “Here’s Prednisone, Benadryl, … Continue reading “At the ER Waiting Room” Club

“I Recognize Myself in My Daughter” Club

Last night my five-year-old daughter came out after we tucked her in for some familiar bedtime shenanigans. My husband and I are natural night owls who can understand her tug towards wanting to stay up. Who wants to go go to bed when mommy and daddy clearly throw a party every night after she goes to bed? Her excuse this night was, “I’m just so … Continue reading “I Recognize Myself in My Daughter” Club

“I Audit Friendships” Club

I’ve conducted varying degrees of spring cleaning on friendships over the years. As I’ve gotten older, the less time I have for shitty friends. Women friendships seem to undergo transformations with the catalyst of motherhood. Instead of supporting one another, we turn into judgmental know-it-alls who are desperately insecure. The only way I saw my friends who were now moms was under the added stress … Continue reading “I Audit Friendships” Club

“I Welcome Age” Club

You don’t understand the cliche, “Getting old is a privilege” until you witness people your age drop dead. Age floats down our body like a feather. It’s a fairy Godmother waving her wand across the body to ensure all of it is touched by aging dust. Gray hair was my first indicator I’m one step closer to mortality. These random silver strands frosted my dark … Continue reading “I Welcome Age” Club

“I Tell My Daughter She’s Beautiful” Club

 On Valentine’s Day, my family visited my 87-year-old grandmother. My five-year-old daughter wanted to dress up. She donned a dress with a sparkly heart top and a tutu skirt. She asked me to do her hair with the curling wand (she saw me using it earlier). Then she took my brush and put on some blush and some red (!) lipgloss. I also let her … Continue reading “I Tell My Daughter She’s Beautiful” Club

“My Daughter Reminds Me Life is Awesome” Club

My daughter’s hair smells like honey, because that’s how little girls are born. Sugar and spice and all things nice is not an exaggeration or a poem, it’s based on scientific fact. But I didn’t always like girls; I had been a mom of a boy for 8 years before the XX made me puke for 9 months. Without a sonogram I knew she was … Continue reading “My Daughter Reminds Me Life is Awesome” Club

“When Suicide Hits Too Close to Home” Club

The other day, my 8th grader got into the car after school, chipper as always. We started the usual pleasantries: how was school, what did you eat for lunch, any tests coming up? We carry on for about 5 minutes until he says, “Someone at school tried to kill himself today.” I didn’t say anything at first because my immediate instinct was he was kidding. … Continue reading “When Suicide Hits Too Close to Home” Club

“The Shower is my Temple” Club

I truly started to value the shower 13 years ago when my son was born. As a new mom, my hierarchy of responsibilities and time management had endured an earthquake and luxuries such as bathing ended up very low on the priorities list. Of course, this was completely counter-intuitive, because what I needed more than anything was 15 minutes of solitude for more than just … Continue reading “The Shower is my Temple” Club

“I’m More Like My Mother Than I Thought” Club

Every mother has mommyisms. These phrases are typically derived from life experiences and hand-me-downs from their own mothers. Here are some Soviet-inspired nuggets I got from my mom: You can never be too rich or too thin. Only prostitutes wear anklets. If you have a gap between your legs, you’re a whore. If you’re a pretty secretary, then you’re a “secretutka” (a word formed by … Continue reading “I’m More Like My Mother Than I Thought” Club

“I Chose Me” Club

Choosing Me feels selfish. It causes intense guilt that never really goes away. Mothers are supposed to be martyrs, not egotistical. But Choosing Me has always moved my life forward. While it wasn’t always the easiest choice, ultimately Choosing Me equaled choosing happiness. When I was 15 and I used sun-in in my hair because my mother didn’t let me color it, I chose me. … Continue reading “I Chose Me” Club

“I Stopped Cleaning Toilets” Club

AKA Pubescent Problems on the Potty I spent 15 years in the corporate world in various forms of advertising playing with fancy office stuff. But none of that matters; that’s as ancient history as the 6th grade dance as far as my kids are concerned. I’ve been working from home since my daughter was born five years ago. Last year in preschool, she was asked … Continue reading “I Stopped Cleaning Toilets” Club

A Decade of Motherhood

My son turns 10 years old today, and while he celebrates turning double digits, the celebration is essentially all mine. Growing up, on my birthday, all my parents’ friends used to call and “Congratulate” them on my birthday. I thought it was a stupid Russian thing; “It’s MY birthday – they get their own day.” But after I made it through the first year of … Continue reading A Decade of Motherhood

A One Year Hiatus … But Who Even Missed Me? Maybe Just Me …

I haven’t blogged in over a year. I just got annoyed at the whole internet, at social networking, at sharing my life with anyone. I just got disinterested. I wanted my life to myself; a private celebrity if only in my own mind, wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses and avoiding the media. I hated my blog; every single thing about it. I was in … Continue reading A One Year Hiatus … But Who Even Missed Me? Maybe Just Me …

Having Faith in Life

I went backwards in life with my money making. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I live very much hand-to-mouth, relying on the man in my life for much financial support. This was not so in my 20’s, when I was making a steady paycheck and spending whatever I wanted on almost anything I wanted (within reason, of course). I don’t buy for myself now … Continue reading Having Faith in Life

Celebrating 8 Months with Pizza (Is There a Better Way?)

Mackenzie turned 8 months old today and to celebrate, she got up an hour early – but compensated with a late nap. After returning from my drive to pick up Jake at school in Riverdale I found the girl still sleeping at 5pm. Strange for someone who goes to bed around 6:30pm. I was excited at the prospect at dinner out with the whole family. … Continue reading Celebrating 8 Months with Pizza (Is There a Better Way?)

A Girl Raising a Boy: What I Want for My Son

I’m a girl whose raising a boy. He’s six now; I’m 34. How can I control the programming for a gender for which I hold no code? I want to sculpt him into a good man. I want to make him tough enough to take the punches and emotional enough to cry when they hurt. I want him to be aware of his happiness first … Continue reading A Girl Raising a Boy: What I Want for My Son

Super Bowl Sunday Pillow Fight

This morning, my two kiddos decided to have a pillow fight. OK, one of them decided and truthfully it was kind of one-sided. In fact, baby’s dad wasn’t really on her side, as you can see in the video below. This lasted for over 10 minutes, but I figure these 40-seconds were enough to get a smile on anyone’s face. The best part is that … Continue reading Super Bowl Sunday Pillow Fight

Finding Bliss in Driving

Driving is fun – when you live in the city and don’t get ample opportunity to hit the open road. Driving is not fun when you have to drive your 8-year-old son to school and back – through Manhattan traffic – three times a week. If it was just in one direction – it would be tolerable. But on Mondays and Tuesdays, I have to … Continue reading Finding Bliss in Driving

Stream of Consciousness Blogging: Can I Do It?

I’m not one of those bloggers that publishes stream of consciousness writing. You know what I mean … more like journal writing or ranting. Not much for sentence structure or even direction. Just trying to type fast enough to keep up with the words my brain is spitting out. In theory, it could go something like this: I woke up this morning and my eyelids … Continue reading Stream of Consciousness Blogging: Can I Do It?

One Order of Happily Ever After, Hold the Marriage

As long as he’s been able to speak, my 8-year-old has been philosophizing, rationalizing and challenging me. He’s not just precocious – he’s insightful, kind and caring. I knew it was just a matter of time before he said something that completely paralyzed my normally loquacious tongue. We were passively watching David Turtera’s “My Fair Wedding,” and the boy asks me, “If you had a … Continue reading One Order of Happily Ever After, Hold the Marriage

A Piece of Plastic Makes Injections Easier & Less Painful

“You’ll remember this day forever and yet he’ll forget it right away,” the pediatrician told me right before she stabbed my two-month old’s beautiful chubby thighs with the dagger – three times! A mother never forgets her baby’s first set of shots. But this was 8 years later. I felt more ready; I had done my mental preparation exercises. So we get there for her … Continue reading A Piece of Plastic Makes Injections Easier & Less Painful

And So the Days Go By …

I wrote this over 6 weeks ago and rereading it, so much has changed – especially the ROCKING, which is gone, gone, GONE! Sleep training is a tremendous gift parents can give their children and themselves. I cannot say enough about it – and because it’s such a personal issue, I won’t. I’ll just say that it has revolutionized our baby-centered lives. I am preempting … Continue reading And So the Days Go By …

Getting Ready for the 2-Week Road Trip

So it’s my birthday and we spent the day packing for our two-week road trip through New Hampshire and Maine. It will be mommy, daddy, 8-year-old boy and 2-month-old baby girl. On the road. Together. 2 weeks. I feel brave, excited, nervous and slightly crazy all in one. Here’s the plan – and what will happen is yet to be determined: Rent car in Jersey … Continue reading Getting Ready for the 2-Week Road Trip

To Breastfeed or not to Breastfeed – That is the Question

I Hated Breastfeeding. There I said it. Go ahead and judge me, critique me, criticize me. It won’t be anything I haven’t already berated myself about – over and over again for almost 8 years. Before my son was born just over 8 years ago I had no question about whether or not I would breastfeed. I wasn’t Earth Mother Extraordinaire nor some would-be Granola … Continue reading To Breastfeed or not to Breastfeed – That is the Question

Ending First Grade with Hatching Chicks

One of my first-grader’s favorite memories from this year was the hatching of chicks. Last week, after their first grade show, I snapped some pix of the chick-a-dees. Each class got to vote on the names for the chicks. Jake’s class came up with Fluffy and Cocoa; clearly this was the week that most of the boys were out with the flu. Jake came up … Continue reading Ending First Grade with Hatching Chicks

A Modern Urban Sunday Afternoon

Sunday afternoon was a quintessential spring day in New York City. 61 degrees and the sky was as blue as the Caribbean I’m dreaming about (and will feel on my feet in 3 days). But somehow my 7-year-old son and I couldn’t motivate out of our pajamas. By 3:00pm the guilt was killing me. I had to take this boy outside. Heck, I had to … Continue reading A Modern Urban Sunday Afternoon

Who’s Mommy? By: Son, Sister Boyfriend

A friend of mine tagged me in a note on Facebook. She conducted an interview with her 7-year-old son and suggested I do the same. I did – but my experiment evolved… My sister was hanging out with us when I was conducting the interview with my son — and she wanted to give her answers. So I documented those. Then I thought it would … Continue reading Who’s Mommy? By: Son, Sister Boyfriend

What Makes His World Wonderful…

My six-year-old wrote this in school (in perfect handwriting, no less!) Yes, he has a blog. No, I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Social Networking: Kids.1.0 Tear. Smile. Love. What makes my world wonderful? I will tell you …Although I’m allergic to dogs, I still love them. School makes me smart every single day. Playing with Legos makes … Continue reading What Makes His World Wonderful…

Robot Birthdays + Toys R Us + Times Square

Birthday party season is upon us here at New York City private schools. Birthday parties in this circuit take on a special flavor. Where the rest of middle class America is feeling the economy and throwing more modest parties, the private school scene still plans some elaborate bashes for the tykes. Today my son went to a Robot Galaxy birthday party for a 7-year old … Continue reading Robot Birthdays + Toys R Us + Times Square

Monday Like a Sunday … A Day in Photos

I used to think I was special because I made waffles rather than defrost them. Then my boyfriend got me a waffle maker that even made my waffles feel special (see proof below). This morning, I made waffle batter from scratch. Presto deliciousness. The waffles were so pretty, they served as perfect models for an impromptu photo shoot. Then the Lego crew decided that they … Continue reading Monday Like a Sunday … A Day in Photos

Pictured Words Define My Blog

Wordle is a cool new toy for generating “word clouds” from your blog (or text that you provide). The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. What does this say about me, besides DONUTS? But more interesting, on my 6-year-old son’s blog, these are the words … Continue reading Pictured Words Define My Blog

I Heart Lego (&) NYC

I love New York. My son loves Legos. This totally rocks! Full article from New York Times is here. About the ArtistChristoph Niemann’s illustrations have appeared on the covers of The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration. His work has won numerous awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Art Directors Club and American Illustration. His Web … Continue reading I Heart Lego (&) NYC

Mommy Versus Nanny

My six-year-old and I get in our daily morning debates before school. This rainy Monday in late Fall was no exception. I tell him to wear the raincoat. “Zipper it,” I say. “I don’t want your t-shirt to get wet.” “I can’t,” he whines and I get on my knees to attempt the zipper. The silver zipper puller thingy falls off. “Ooh – can I … Continue reading Mommy Versus Nanny

So – What’s With the Hearts?

In 2006, I started seeing hearts everywhere. Not just on the necklace I wore with three little silver hearts and not just dangling from my keychain. Hearts exploded around the world: glass hearts in Venice; hearts on telephone poles in Amsterdam; chocolate hearts in Brussels. Little girls had hearts on their shirts and on the barrettes in their hair; their grandmothers had antique heart brooches … Continue reading So – What’s With the Hearts?

Grade One, Trimester One: Emergent Writer

We had our first parent-teacher conference of the first grade today. Jake got raving reviews! The Grade One Report summary starts with: “Jacob is a happy go lucky little boy who loves school. His transition to the academic expectations of the first grade has been a smooth one. He is a bright child who approaches his assignments with confidence.” It goes on to give details … Continue reading Grade One, Trimester One: Emergent Writer

ABOUT ME

I put off writing the ABOUT ME section of my blog for a long time. Partly because the Me changes so often. Partly because I don’t know how to stop once I start writing (especially about Moi). I tried to write a bio-type blurb and 5 pages of narcissistic crap came out. So I started a memoir. In the meantime I feel like I owe … Continue reading ABOUT ME

I Can’t Get Them Out of My Head …

I’ve always struggled with getting a song stuck in your head. When you have a six-year-old, sometimes the songs that bounce around the noggin aren’t always what you would have picked. Here is what’s plaguing my head right now: http://media.imeem.com/m/PJgsjQHLyb/aus=false/ http://www.gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=http://mike.s.duffy.googlepages.com/mp3player.xml&up_songURL=http%3A%2F%2Fboxstr.com%2Ffiles%2F3630169_fte6x%2F01%2520Imagination%2520Movers%2520Theme%2520Song.mp3&synd=open&w=320&h=50&title=MP3+Player&border=%23ffffff%7C3px%2C1px+solid+%23999999&output=js http://www.gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=http://mike.s.duffy.googlepages.com/mp3player.xml&up_songURL=http%3A%2F%2Fboxstr.com%2Ffiles%2F3630203_k3yfs%2FMickey%2520Mouse%2520Club%2520House%2520Hot%2520Dog%2520Song.mp3&synd=open&w=320&h=50&title=MP3+Player&border=%23ffffff%7C3px%2C1px+solid+%23999999&output=js Continue reading I Can’t Get Them Out of My Head …