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Some real perspective.

5 Dec

Hello! Broadcasting live from yet ANOTHER sick day at our house, with both kids home, coughing and sneezing.

Some folks might get frustrated that their plans (large and small) have to change for another day, so that they may look after their snotty offspring.

But oh no.

Not here.

I feel lucky to be here, still in my pajamas pants after noon, attempting to get my son to watch something other than The Real Housewives for five minutes so that I can put my hair in a ponytail.

Because, you see, had I not been here I would have missed my son,

walking, on his own (!!!)

to the toilet, and put my dental floss in the water. And then licking it.

photo 1-11

And I would have missed him stealing my phone, sliding down the stairs at warp speed, only to do some redecorating of my console table.

photo 2-9

And, it certainly would have been an utter tragedy to have missed my son trying to ride Lola.


So what I am saying, is that I am truly blessed with my sick day in…

but I am out of dental floss.


“I am thankful for magical days.”

27 Nov

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

In my life, it has also been marked with special moments and memories.

I remember Thanksgivings as a child, of course; helping to stir the mashed potatoes and the little mouse characters that my Nanny would set out on the table each year.

And then, as I got older, it was coming home from college to be with my family.

I remember being 21 and sharing my first Thanksgiving with my husband (who was then my boyfriend) as we both silently acknowledged this thing–this thing that meant that we were already on the road to being each others’ family.

Thanksgiving when I was 24, my husband called me into the other room at my Aunt’s house and said, “I want to have a baby.”

I will never forget that moment. I type the words with tears in my eyes.

The very next Thanksgiving day we were lazy, staying in bed to watch the parades on TV and my husband felt my growing baby, inside my belly, kick for the very first time. I was 19 weeks pregnant with our daughter.

And as we grew and grew, Thanksgiving became a tradition that we shared with our little girl. It was that day, 4 years ago, that she had her first bagel. It was blueberry. Tiny flurries fell from the sky, and we held her up to the window of our little former house to show her the first glimpse of snow.

Four years ago on Thanksgiving I also quoted my dear childhood babysitter, now a beautiful mother, as her words touched me:

“We don’t give thanks because we are happy. We are happy because we give thanks.”

And then there were other Thanksgivings. And some were lovely. And others…not so much.

But today, how could I spend the morning by being anything but supremely thankful?

My son woke me up at 6, as I heard him from his room. As I carried him downstairs for his morning milk, I noticed the softness of his skin. I am falling more in love with him each day.

Fifteen minutes later I heard small footsteps coming down the stairs, and before I saw her, I heard her voice:

“Wow! Look at the snow!”

Magic. My daughter still brings me magic.

In fact, in school, when they were asked to decorate a feather (!!!) with what they were thankful for,

she said “I am thankful for magical days.”

And right now it isn’t quite light out. My kids are sharing an apple and playing together with Mr. Potato Head, and Lola is sleeping, curled up beside me,

I am not going to begin to list the things for which I am thankful; not yet, anyway. I am still rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

But I can say that I am thankful that this morning, when I heard my son cry, my husband, still 90% asleep, pulled the covers up around my shoulders so that they would be covered and warm. I am thankful that I am that loved.

And for these two. I am happy because I am giving thanks.


I just realized.

25 Nov

I am going to admit something difficult. Today has been a hard day.

My daughter finally got to go back to school, which is wonderful.

This is finally happening, which is also wonderful…

except that it means that they are currently jack-hammering the perimeter of an 1100 square foot basement. It’s a little loud.

So my son’s 2 hour morning nap was cut to 15 minutes.

I don’t like to bother my family and friends with my problems; I know that may seem surprising, as I am constantly talking about my incredible support system, but I desperately do not want to be self-involved or insensitive of their time or to worry them. I keep a lot in. But today, I felt like I could admit it. I spoke with my dear friend of over 13 years this morning about the crippling anxiety I was feeling. She guided me through some techniques to assuage the feelings.

And I told my mom, which is something that I have rarely done as of late. And she said that what I am feeling–this heaviness–is all because of what is coming up on Thursday. Thursday is Thanksgiving, for which I am more thankful than ever, but it is also the anniversary of a very troubled time in my life.

And then my mommom called to invite us to the mall and I wasn’t able to go because of the whole baby no-nap situation and she knew I was anxious and she said, “I am always just a phone call away. Although my fax machine broke this morning and I am so frustrated, I don’t know what to do.”

I assured her that I wouldn’t be faxing her with an SOS, so that she could take that off of her list of worries.

And then I texted with a special friend, a friend who gets me, because she sat on the floor with me all last winter, even through my darkest of times, as our babies rolled around and drooled on each other. And I told her that I felt as though I was unraveling. And she made it better.

And all of those things that I just wrote about are concrete examples of the incredible tribe that I have surrounding me.

But then I did the most important thing of all;

I picked up my son and looked into his eyes. I kissed his face and nuzzled him into my cheek and inhaled him so deeply.

“I love you, I love you, I love you.”

I asked him if he wanted a baba. “Baba!” he said.

My son, who is now learning to talk, and learning to walk, and dances when he hears music and squeals with glee over Lola and knows to pet her ever so gently and who understands everything we say; As I looked at him, I felt more love for him than I have ever felt for him before.

And then it hit me;

My daughter is, and has always been, so obviously my dream come true. She is named the name we chose 3 months into dating and that I chose when I was 10 years old. She is exactly like me in looks and personality. We are so bonded. She is my heart and soul.

But my son, my dear son

just may be the very best thing that has ever happened to me.

I looked over to the framed painting I made for him that hangs in the corner of his nursery.

Take me where the music’s playing

Get me on the dance floor, hold me a little closer.

And I swayed with my son, my lips to his cheek, and the deluge of memories of the past year poured over me.

He has taught me that I could overcome things that I never imagined I would be strong enough to endure.

He may drive me crazy with his “lively antics”, but oh my goodness, my son is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

He redefined me.

He has given me purpose.

He opened up parts of me that I didn’t know existed.

His first year was not filled with the magic and enchantment like it was with his sister.

He didn’t come out looking like me or acting in a way that I understood inherently.

But I now rock him to bed every night, and I look down at his sleeping face and I marvel at how he looks exactly the same as he did when they would place him next to me to nurse in the hospital bed.

This little ball of energy and activity and constant movement and craziness has saved me.

Remind me to thank him for it.

A purple shirt.

28 Oct

There is this old saying or belief that has been shared by survivors of near death experiences; it is a phenomenon that has become a part of our culture. Right before you’re about to die, your whole life will flash before your eyes.

“It is said that life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”, Terry Pratchett


This morning, as I dressed for a casual at home playdate, I was feeling cold. I decided to layer my tank with a long sleeved shirt under my sweater, and for some reason, today, I picked a purple shirt.

This is significant for several reasons:

First, I have a thing about purple. I have written time and again about the fact that I am incredibly superstitious. For someone with the amount of anxiety that I do, superstition is not only burdensome, it’s infectious. One little seed is planted and the superstition just grows and grows and grows.

Years ago, when my husband used to have to travel often for business, one of my colleagues at work told me that when she or a loved one flies, she always wears purple underwear.

What a silly tradition. But once I heard it, I had to do it.

And then, as they often do, my superstition only grew with time, so that not only did I need to have my lucky purple underwear (which, by the way–and omg I can’t believe I am actually writing this–I wear around my wrist when my parents are taking long overnight flights) but when my own family travels, I insist that we all wear some purple articles of clothing. When I went into the hospital to have my son, I wore my lucky socks, which are a bright neon purple. They would not let me wear them into the OR, so my kind husband put them on, under his suit and with his dress shoes, so that I would be swathed in this mysterious purple protection.

And truthfully? It’s not my favorite color.

But I do it. Because I feel like I have to.

The other reason why this purple shirt, thin and soft with age, is special is because it is part of a very special memory for me.

My husband and I were visiting his grandparents in Connecticut. It was to be the first time I would be meeting his extended family, just a month after we became engaged (which was just 9 months after we started dating). I bonded with his (sadly, now deceased) Pop Pop because we were both teachers, and it was a special trip for us, as it was our first getaway as a couple. Once we bid his grandparents farewell, we took a small detour on our way home to stop in West Hartford for some shopping and scones. I really liked this little clothing boutique, with designers whom I had never heard of before, and I agonized over what to buy, deciding to be prudent and just going home with one sensible top.

A few days later I got home from a late evening grad school class and walked into the big, walk-in closet of our old townhouse and there, hanging straight on the back wall, displayed proudly, were the items that I had loved from that boutique but had decided against buying. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had called the store and had them send the clothing to me as a surprise. There was a cool sweater with a skier on it, a velvet blazer and

a purple shirt.

Today, as I dressed in my purple shirt, both my superstition and my memory crossed my mind and I thought, “I need to write a blog post about this. What a cute story that was.”

And then the day went on.


We had a lovely playdate. My son got to play with his sole baby boy friend and his mom, a dear, very special friend of mine, said how she could not believe that our babies were now a year old. We talked about when we first found out we were pregnant, confiding in each other before it was public knowledge. We remembered bumping bellies and fantasizing about our future sons becoming friends.

And we talked about how life goes by so fast.

It flashes.

Then, we had to go on with our days

and then a bunch of weird things happened.

First, I had to go to my parents’ house to take care of their dogs. And, of course, Mommy’s Law, I was stuck there with a soiled baby, no diaper to change him into and an older child to pick up from school. I took off the baby’s dirty diaper and drove him commando the .3 miles from my parents’ house to ours. I contemplated letting him stay that way for the short ride to my daughter’s school, but I couldn’t do it. “Let’s say he pees in his carseat.” I thought. And so I ran into my house, grabbed a diaper, took him out of his carseat, put him on the floor of the backseat of my car, put on the new diaper and re-fastened him into his seat.

And then I had this fleeting, anxious moment that I had not seen Lola in the house. So I raced back to the door, unlocked it feverishly, called for Lola and she came running. And I felt a rush of love towards our “first child” and I thought,

“You know what? I am going to do something different today; I am going to bring Lola with us on our drive to pick up my daughter from school. It will make everyone happy.”

It was an odd thing for me to do, but I did it. And as I was re-locking the front door, Lola at my feet, I thought “Is there some reason why I feel compelled to bring Lola with me? Is there some sort of natural disaster looming, and it will be beneficial to have all of my children, furry and otherwise, in my care?”

I chalked this up to my typical anxiety and we drove off to the preschool.

And everything was normal.

My daughter asked for ice cream from McDonald’s

(don’t judge)

and I told her that of course we could get the hot fudge sundae, no hot fudge,

our routine order, and see either Tyrell, Omar or Henri, depending on who was at the drive-through window this afternoon

(I said don’t judge!)

It was good timing for me. The baby had fallen asleep in the backseat and I figured we would kill time by getting ice cream and then I would go and make a deposit at the drive-through window of the bank.

Except, I missed my turn for McDonald’s. I never miss my turn. And I thought about turning around, or taking a different route, but then decided that I would reverse my errands and go to the bank first.

And so I made my deposit and as I put my car into drive, I had an unusual thought:

“Maybe I should go out a different exit. Why go through the whole loop around the block when I could just turn around? It would be faster.”

But I had the time to kill, so I went on my normal way.

I made a right hand turn out of the bank’s lot into the right lane of a main street

and then


All I remember was a crash.

I looked over to see that an enormous truck (for a beer distributer) had hit the side of my car.

My kids, my dog and I were all in the car when this giant beast of a truck mangled the side of my small SUV.

Now, let me say that I knew immediately that we were all unharmed. But I was shaken. And I was also aggravated that I would have to go through the whole accident protocol, so I pulled over and waited for the truck to follow me. I never saw the truck again. I did, however, see the driver, who walked down the side street where I had parked.

“OK, so there’s no damage to my car,” he said. “It looks like your car is hit pretty bad so why don’t you just let insurance take care of this and let’s just leave it at that?”

“What exactly was your impression of what just happened?” I asked

“Well, I was driving straight down the road and you were the one who turned out of a driveway. But I’m fine and my car is fine, no damage to me, so how about this? Why don’t you write me a note and sign it that says that I am not responsible for this accident and I did not cause this damage to your car?”

And so I called the police.

At first I was angry at my purple shirt.

It didn’t protect me. It let me get into a car accident with my kids, one thing I pray daily to not happen.

But then I got home and looked at the damage. I saw a gaping gash about 8 inches from where my son was sleeping in his carseat.

And I realized, we were very lucky. It could have been so, so much worse.


Just yesterday I had a visit from a dear family friend, and during that time my grandmother stopped by. In our year of craziness, the past week in my family has been utter chaos. We joked that our bar is now set very low; that our barometer for success in a week is if we can avoid going to the hospital for seven days straight.

We laughed. But there was a lot of fear, and sadness, and pain behind our laughter.

What would be next? Locusts?

By the time I got home from the accident site and situated, my dad had calmed me down over the phone and my grandparents pulled up in my driveway with treats for my kids. A half hour later, my Aunt pulled into the drive behind her, dropping off a gift for my son. Then, my husband arrived, racing home early from work. An hour later a Physiatrist friend (also double board certified in Sports Medicine–see? I pay attention!) came to examine the aching left side of my back.

And I thought, “Wow. I am so lucky.”

My village of sorts really is super.


Today, my cold weather outfit got me thinking about fond memories of the past

and today my car accident got me thinking about the fragility of life.

But, most of all, everything that happened today, every single thing, reaffirmed something that I am trying to embrace:

Life is precious and it’s happenings are unexpected. Time goes by really quickly. Things change in an instant.

When people say that you have to live every moment,

it’s kind of true.

If I hadn’t stopped home to get my baby a diaper, or ran back inside to grab Lola, or missed my turn for McDonald’s or decided to drive out the certain exit of the bank parking lot

I would be, right now, sitting in my next door neighbor’s living room and sharing a glass of wine with her and catching up.

Instead, I am resting with an ice pack on my back and a heaviness in my heart. Not a sad heaviness; it’s something more profound.

Today, in a way, my life did flash before my eyes. I reminisced with a best friend about our pregnancies and tiny babies; I remembered to take care of my first child, my fur baby;

I remembered a sweet story from my past that I had forgotten.

And that,


was all because of a purple shirt.

I carry your heart with me

29 Jun

I have now fallen into the role of doing bedtime for my daughter every night.

Sometimes I am in a rush,

to cook, or to make it on time for a dinner reservation or the start of a tv show,

but other times I savor the time, letting the minutes roll by as we linger in the dark, under her covers.

Tonight’s bedtime stories were different;

usually they are fanciful, made up tales about the popular character of the day;

but tonight, I told her the story of when we first brought home our dog Lola.

She giggled.

And she told me that while I was getting acquainted with Lola, she was busy planting flowers with D’Ba.

And I just felt so much love for her bursting out of every part of me.

And what came out of my mouth was a line from ee cummings,

“Here is the deepest secret nobody knows”

and then I read to her the whole poem.

And she said, in a whisper,

“Mommy, you carry my heart with you and I carry your heart with me. Because I love you.”

She knocked the wind out of me with that one.

I am welled up with tears as I type.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows,
my dear girl.
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart). 

All my loving

27 Mar

This morning, before the sun had time to rise, I had the chance to cuddle up in my little girl’s bed with my daughter, my son and my my Lola.

We all got under the covers.

My daughter held my hand, as I used my other arm to feed my son a bottle. And she asked me to sing for her. So I told her,

“There is this band and they are called The Beatles and they are amazing.”

“Okay, mommy.”

So first, I sang “I want to hold your hand.”

“I love it, mommy.” She was in a loving mood.

Then, I sang “All My Loving.”

“More!” She requested.

So I took her into The White Album and said, ‘This song is more of a story.” And I sang for her “Rocky Raccoon.”

“I like that.”

And I had my three little loves with me and I felt grateful, but I also felt something I haven’t felt in a very long time;

I felt peace.

And yes, a few minutes later life set in. I had to change my son’s full diaper. Lola ran downstairs to go out. My daughter decided she wanted “I’m Alive” from Next to Normal instead of the Beatles.

But for a little while this morning, I felt content and happy and oh so very lucky.

All my loving

I will send to you

All my loving

Darling I’ll be true.

That time of day.

14 Mar

You know that time of day,

when you’ve been up since 5:30 am

and not just up but on,

and you are juggling two children at once

and a particularly needy dog

and find yourself scrubbing the floors and filling up cups of orange juice and bowls of donut holes and folding laundry

and not taking a moment to catch your breath?

Maybe, just maybe,

in that very moment

you’ll find

a penny from heaven

in a spot where it just shouldn’t be,

And you know that it will all be OK.

photo 1 photo 2

Our Family: A Mother’s Day Story

3 Mar

This morning, early, before the sun had even made it’s way up into the sky, my daughter ran in to my room, excited, with this is her arms:

photo (93)“Mommy! Mommy! I have something for you!”

And you know how I feel about love notes; this one may reign supreme.

The story of us, and how we had evolved (at that point it was just about our love, our marriage, our baby, Lola and (bless his soul) Ziggy.

The most touching gift for my first mother’s day as a mother. 

And oh how much has changed.

And oh how we have grown.


Out of all of the furry things that are happening around me right now,

17 Nov

I’d rank these 1 and 2.


Amazing things.

4 Jan

Lately, it feels as if my daughter is doing new, amazing things every day. Every hour.

Whether it is a new word or expression,

a new number she is able to count to,

a new connection she’s made or memory she has conjured and expressed,

I am finding myself constantly in awe of her and the speed at which she is learning and growing.

And changing.

I have been trying to think of a way to share some of her most recent “moments o’ wonder”, but it would be a really, really long post.

And as much as you love my kid, I don’t think you have two hours to spare, reading about her newest dance move, involving a funny, back-and-forth head bob and right foot stomp.

So, while I have about 80 grillion cutie cutes to share with you, I will instead share with you the most amazing thing that she did…

in the last five minutes.

Let me set the scene:

My little girl has gotten really into music. She loves everything from folk to alternative to Motown and R&B, and so family dance parties have become a part of our daily routine. They are pretty epic. And her new favorite thing is to dance around while holding our “henties”, the Yiddish word for “hands” that we use in our family.

She loves to twist to Brett Dennen holding my henties.

She loves to slow dance to Al Green with her daddy, holding his henties.

She especially loves to rock out to Cee Lo holding Lola’s henties.

We all hold henties, we dance like maniacs until we can’t breathe,

and then we dance a little more.

And so, five minutes ago, as I read my baby her pre-nap bedtime story,

That’s Not My Snowman,

she came to the page where the Snowman held up his hands, covered in mittens that were too fuzzy.

And she put her palms on each of his hands and said,

“Snowman? Henties!” and began to dance with the snowman in the book.

And I keeled over with cuteness overload.

So yeah, my daughter, dancing with the snowman in her book….most amazing moment of the last five minutes.

And, just because you asked

(or, you know, you would if you could…)

I will also be a dear and give you the second most amazing moment of the last five minutes.


Almost paradise.

10 Dec

My apologies.

I know that things have been quiet around these parts.

While I may have been absent outwardly, 

 rest assured that I’ve been a good blogging squirrel,

gathering seeds and hoarding stories and collecting photos of my baby, bee-lining towards sparkly shoes, to share with you.

But, the truth is, it’s been a hard week.

And it’s a long story.

But the short story is this:

This week, I was quiet because I was, quite literally, at a loss for words…

Because this week, I had to hold my big dog in one arm, and my little girl in the other arm, and tell my big dog to give my little girl a kiss, and tell my little girl to give my big dog a kiss….

and then I had to tell them to say goodbye to one another.

This week, we had to let go of our Ziggy.

And I can’t really write more now,


I just can’t.

And while I’m not usually a fan of the ellipsis,

there is so much that I want to pour out from my insides, but the only thing I can muster are these three dots. And in these three dots are the story of my little boy,

who came to me with a tongue too big for his mouth, and feet too big for his stature,

and a heart too big for his body.

And the story of how, on the first morning we got him, he played with his metal food bowl, clanking that thing around the kitchen, until the walls jingled and jangled around us…

how on that first morning, we thought we had found our boy his forever home, having rescued him, in every sense of the word.

And the jingling and the jangling only continued,

as our Z boy made noise as he barked and bellowed,

as he stomped and tromped,

and as he loved big.

As big as his paws.

As big as his heart.

Everything about Ziggy has always been supersized, and although that was so often a good thing, and so much of what made him so lovable,

his fear ultimately got the better of him.

Big fear.

And this summer, when he began to snap at our little Lola, we took it very seriously. We took it as a warning. And we worked hard. But as his anxieties got worse, so did his aggression, as he would snap at other dogs on walks, and pounce on Lola, viciously, for scraps of food or a turn with a toy. And soon, Lola got no more scraps and no more turns. And she got injured. And we got worried. But we worked harder.

And then, last week, our worst fears came true. He snapped at our daughter. While we have always known how much our Zig loves our little bee, we also know that his fear has gotten out of control. Perhaps it is from the scars of his former life. Perhaps he has reached his sexual maturity. Perhaps his wires are crossed the wrong way.

But all speculations aside, we knew what we had to do. We had to protect our family and, most of all, our daughter.

And so, with the advice of our vet, family and friends, we surrendered Ziggy back to the rescue home from which we got him, 2 1/2 years ago.

And typing those words, I feel like I’m going to throw up.

On the last morning we had him, Ziggy played with his metal food bowl. The walls jingled and jangled around us. My heart wept.

As we said goodbye to him, we told him how much we loved him, how much he has meant to us–will always mean to us–and how quiet our lives will be without him.

My husband and I sat on the floor, holding our big boy in our arms, and we melted into a deluge of tears, wishing that there was some other way, but knowing that there was not.

The rescue organization will be working hard to find him a new home, and is confident that they will place him soon, with a family without young children or other animals. He is an incredible, cute, wonderful dog, who will thrive in the right home. We just wish that home could be ours.*

So, our lives have been quieter.

And I have been quieter.

And now that I’ve found some of my words, I’m hopeful that the first leg of the grieving process has begun…and ended.

And now is a good time for us to start fresh, as tomorrow, we embark upon a rather exciting chapter in our lives,

Baby’s first vacation.

And we are going back to our most treasured spot; our happy place; our Paradise.

And while we are there we will be surrounded with sun and love,

and reminisce about our engagement there, in that very room, five years ago this week

(The Proposal, Part Une

The Proposal, Part Deux

The Proposal, Part Trois

The Proposal, Part Quatre

The Proposal, Part Forever)

And we will draw lines in the sand with our toes

and we will listen to the sea

and it will be quiet.

And I will miss our boy.

Our boy who is never quiet, and who is always loved.

*If you, or anyone you know, is interested in helping us to find the perfect forever home for our Ziggy, please email me at, or contact the fabulous rescue organization directly Here. Much love and noise and thanks xx Becca