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For the last five days, I have been thinking quite a bit about stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, denial was my initial reaction - but it was brief.

Anger quickly followed. 


fierce and boundless love

"There is only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love we have. For our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a child's embrace - that is true. … That fierce and boundless love that we feel for them … we know that's what matters. We know we are always doing right when we are taking care of them. When we are teaching them well. When we are showing acts of kindness. We don't go wrong when we do that. That's what we can be sure of. That's what you, the people have Newtown, have reminded us."
- President Obama


Why We Crown Our Tree with a Taxi (originally posted at Circle of Moms)

We put up our tree this past Sunday during that delightful window between the afternoon naps and dinner. The tree is named Herbie the Fourth. We found him this morning at our local Boys and Girls Club. He is a perfect height for our apartment, and he has a nice, full shape. He is also perfectly scrappy - with more than a few dry needles.

In 2008, we found Herbie the Original on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn.



Tonight, I am watching the American Country Awards and eating a dinner of leftover vegetable tempura (take-out) and crispy orange beef (homemade) with a beer.

My husband is out with one of his brothers watching football tonight.

So, I am engaging in what one iconic television show dubbed secret single behavior (ssb).  It's not just the fried foods, it's the "awards" show, and it's country music. 

It's completely luxurious. 

Sure, my evening has been interrupted about three times by my favorite Bug.  So far, he has moved from my bed to his bed to my bed and back to his bed again.  I imagine he will move one more time within the next three to four hours.  

So it goes.

Next up in my night of ssb, I might fold laundry while I watch a certain soapy show about a certain doctor and her various dramatic friends in Seattle.

Look out - things are getting crazy here in Arlington.


A funny thing happened . . .

"A funny thing happened . . ."  Isn't that how all of these parenting stories could start?

Nevertheless, two nights ago, a funny thing did happen.



This week I traveled for work - left on Tuesday afternoon and came home on Thursday mid-day.

So, on Tuesday morning, when I left each of my boys, I said, "I love you, and I cannot wait to see you again on Thursday [two days from now - I hope the teachers who hear me aren't judging me - I hope you, Squish especially, don't think I am abandoning you because your understanding of days, let alone their names, is so limited]."

Nothing about saying that feels good.  In fact, it feels lousy.

The next forty-eight hours were jam packed.  I checked in to my hotel and debated next steps before meeting an old friend for drinks.  Go to the fitness room and get a run in before dinner and drinks?  Do yoga in the room?  Order dinner to my room?  Go across the street to the chain restaurant I can see from my room window?  Eat downstairs in the hotel lobby/bar?





All hopped up

My mom came up for a visit this weekend, and she graciously offered (several times) to babysit on Saturday night.  After the third offer, we accepted and started to plot our date. 

We thought about going to the movies (we love the movies), but then I said, "Is it okay to go to the movies on our date?  Aren't we supposed to do something where we talk to each other?"



The other day, a colleague was looking through a deck of cards on my desk.  The cards are flashcards with business lingo on them.  She was shuffling through them and came to "Work-Life Balance." 


Tale of Two Mornings

Yesterday, the Get Ready To Leave Process felt like it was actually a battle of wills between me and Bug.  I'm not sure exactly how many times I said, "Please use your big boy voice," but I'm sure the number pales in comparison to how many times I said, "Please stop using the whiny voice!" 


Low-key weekend

"How was your weekend?"

I tend to answer the same way lately: "Good.  Low-key."

True but an incomplete answer.  How can I share what were actually the most memorable moments of the weekend -- the moments when time expanded?

Saturday morning, Squish was up at 5.  Time may have expanded for that moment.  I have no idea.  I am pretty sure I reached over Bug and tapped my husband in a plea for help.  (Yes, reached over Bug... we may have lost the war on that one... maybe just the battle... but probably the war.) 


Vote for A Momma Grows (every day!)

A Momma Grows has been nominated to the Top 25 Family Blogs by Moms 2012 at Circle of Moms...

Vote early and often.  You may vote daily until November 29, 2012.

Click here:



Two days ago, a (male) colleague asked me why I left my law firm.  After a bit of rambling, I found myself, sans filter: "It was hard to be a woman, a married woman, and then a woman who was having children.  Things started to get ... I didn't like the way certain people's biases were playing out."

Yesterday, I woke up and thought to myself, "Today, I will not let my inner radical feminist go unfiltered at work.  I will remember [that CEO] who has said that she never noticed having been the only woman in her upper-level classes in college.  I will remember [that other CEO] who wore a pink blazer to the masters.  I will let my success be my roar."

Today, I woke up in a state that elected its first female senator and in a country that elected 20 women to the Senate - the highest number in US history.

Thank you, my country.  I feel so much better now.

COMMUNITY (NYC) NEWS: BAM! Puppets on Film Festival

I recently got a note about the following festival at BAM this weekend.  Check it out and enjoy!

One of the most well-attended BAMcinĂ©matek series of 2011, Puppets on Film returns



For the past couple of weeks, I have seen various status updates on Facebook letting me know about "GOTV."  It was not until maybe a day or two ago that I realized "GOTV" stands for Get Out The Vote - and not GO Television, an internet television station where people publicly support their candidates (something I clearly made up in my head but believed wholeheartedly). 

With that misunderstanding out of the way, please allow me to persuade you to Get Out And Freaking Vote Already (GOAFVA!), if you haven't already.

I want anyone reading this to GOAFVA today, but I'd like to focus on women for just a moment.

We have been guaranteed the right to vote for less than a century in this country.

Is that right? 
Does that seem right to you? 
Less than a century? 

It was in the 1900s when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

My grandmother was born less than a decade after its ratification.
My mother attended a college that excluded women (for being women) until the year she enrolled.

I was born only a year after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was added to Title VII.

I had my first child the same year that the president signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.


Do it as a thank you to the women who made it possible. 


Model the behavior you want to see in your granddaughters, daughters, sisters, nieces, God-daughters, and students.


Just vote already!


Scrappy The Chicken

Perhaps it goes without writing, but we are not exactly organized around here despite my best intentions.  The kids' closet is filled with small storage containers (labeled by size!) of their old or out-of-season clothing.  Nevertheless, there is a growing pile of clothes on the closet floor waiting for someone to put them in properly labeled storage container homes.  And still they wait.  .

Yesterday morning (Halloween) was like most mornings except that Bug and Squish would be wearing costumes for the day. 


Principles and Practicalities

Squish and I rocked in the dark in his room at 6:27 a.m. today in my vain effort to lull him back to sleep.  He responded by making the sign for milk. 

And so began an extra long morning (thanks, in part, to the delayed opening of daycare/school today). 

By 8 a.m., it was time to get all of us dressed.  With Squish on the changing table, I hollered to Bug, "[Bug], I am putting on [Squish's] clothes now, and then in two minutes it will be your turn."

Bug responded with an enthusiastic, "Okay, Mommy!"

Then I made a big mistake.  I thought to myself, "Well, isn't that great?  All I have to do now is give [Bug] a two-minute heads-up, and he is so cooperative.  We have a loose routine here, and I'm not sure I even really know the routine myself.  But that's fine.  I have cracked the Three-Year-Old-Cooperation-Code.  All [Bug] needs is a heads-up.  A little preparation before he has to change gears.  I am brilliant.  [Bug] is brilliant.  Oh, and look, [Squish] is brilliant now, too, in this amazing outfit I chose for him.  Fantastic!"


Confessions of a Mom at the Breaking Point

On my way to work this morning, a little orange light shaped like a wrench went on in my dashboard.  I looked down and saw "15% OIL LIFE."

New to the area and without any idea where to go to deal with the orange wrench, I picked up my phone and told a certain "intelligent personal assistant" — let's call her "Weary" — that I needed an oil change.

About forty-five seconds later, she replied, "I'm really sorry about this, but I can't take any requests right now."

Normally when she says something like that I throw down the phone and let out a dramatic harumph. Today, I kept the phone in my hand and said,



This morning, I opened my hotel room door, picked up the Times, and read the news out of the Upper West Side.  It's a nightmare.  A term I use loosely because I don't think our brains would actually force us to have a bad dream of such enormously terrifying proportions.  My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies are with that family today.


Giving back

I received a message with the following ways to volunteer and contribute to your communities... take a look and figure out which one works for you!

5 Little-Known Things you can do Right Now to Improve the World
…and they won’t cost you a cent!

1.       Offer a Veteran a Ride
The Disabled American Veterans' Voluntary Services Program provides numerous opportunities for men and women of all ages to help make a difference in the lives of disabled veterans:

2.       Spend time at a Shelter
You don’t have to be an animal expert to help out at your community’s shelter. You just need to have the time and desire to lend a helping hand:

3.       Help safeguard the environment
It is as simple as recycling batteries. The kind that get recharged, like the ones in laptops and cell phones, contain mercury and lead, heavy metals that can contaminate the air, topsoil, and water if they’re tossed in the regular garbage.  Call2Recycle has partnered with major recycling facilities in the United States and Canada to process and reclaim materials from rechargeable batteries and cellphones. You can find a Call2Recycle recycling location here:

4.       Declutter and Donate
You might not think so, but you can donate your old running shoes (they’ll recycle them!), same with your old mattress, and much more:

5.       Offer to babysit for free, it could be a friend or relative
There are a few things you can do to help out families in your neighborhood and even your own that would be much appreciated:


Women, the new Ohioans. (For the week anyway)

I want to write a blog post.  I really, really do.  Maybe something about making sure my Bug and my Squish maintain a balanced diet and get all of the nutrition they need.  Or something about work-life balance - I have plenty of thoughts to share on that one.  Or what about a little something about costumes, pumpkins, or candy. 

I cannot write any of those posts.


Hey, is that a truck book over there?

This morning, Bug and Squish and I were playing on the floor in the living room.

Squish pulled out a musical toy.  Squish seems to love musical toys and music in general.

Bug quickly turned his interest toward Squish and the musical toy.  Bug started playing with the musical toy.

Squish seemed not to notice.  He turned his interest toward the book shelf.  He picked up a book - a book about trucks.

Bug loves books and trucks and books about trucks. 

Excited at the possibility that Squish also loves books about trucks, I started to read the book.

Squish seemed excited for the first page.

Bug turned his attention to the book about trucks, too.

Once Bug was fully engaged with the truck story, Squish crawled to the abandoned musical toy and took it back.

That is one clever Squish.  One very clever little Squish.


The case for walking

"Why don't you run an errand?  Grab us some [of our new favorite beers]?  Just get a walk?" my husband suggested.


twelve days, two brothers, two birthdays, two parties, one [totally normal] momma

We are preparing to host the second birthday party in our home in two weeks.  The first was for my three-year-old Bug, the next will be for my one-year-old Squish.

When I was pregnant, the potential proximity of my boys' birthdays became a pretty big source of concern.  Any time I met someone who mentioned a birthday within the same week or two of a sibling's birthday, the following conversation usually ensued:



Today, my Squish is one year old - it is his very first birthday.

It bears repeating: one year old.

This morning when I was getting Squish ready for the day, I opened the drawer to look for something special that he could wear.  I saw a bright orange Halloween onesie that seemed a little flashier than what I usually find in the drawer.  (Think brown sweatpants and striped tees... lots of them.)  I looked at the label and read, "6-9 mos."  I hesitated.  I actually wondered if Squish could wear the Fancy Halloween Onesie even though he has been breathing air on this earth for twelve months today.  (And he has been pretty big for his age for each one of those twelve months.)

It is time to admit that I often think that Squish is nine months old.



Four days after Bug's third birthday, he was scheduled to visit the doctor for a check-up.  In the week leading up to the appointment, I tried to prepare him.  I listened to his heart to check for any drumming; I looked in his ears, eyes, and throat to check for tiny monkeys that may have been hiding back there.  We acknowledged that he might get a shot, which could definitely hurt, but that the shot and the pain would be over really fast.


Like riding a bike. Exactly like riding a bike.

Phone Call Number 1:
  • 6:55 am
  • My husband called me.
  • He explained something about having taken my keys that morning so he couldn't lock his bike at the T.  
  • Would I please use his keys - which include the bike lock key - to lock the bike at the T?  
  • Yes, okay, of course I could do that.

About five minutes later, I looked for his keys to add to the pile of Things I Have To Have With Me Before I Leave In The Morning Or Else...

Phone Call Number 2:


national holiday

As I was driving from work to daycare/school this evening I remembered years ago someone said, "Your birthday is not a national holiday.  And neither are your kids' birthdays."


Tell me the story of...

This morning at breakfast with my Bug and my Squish, Bug looked up and asked me to tell him a story.

I said, "You want me to tell [not read] you a story?!?"

Bug replied, "Yeah.  Tell me the story about the dishwasher!"


BOOK REVIEW - The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard

In the past year, Bug showed some interest in a little bear who loves honey, so I went big and got the family a copy of The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Spoiler Alert


movie night

Friday night is movie night - a tradition I might have been waiting to start just a little too enthusiastically.

Movie night means that Bug gets to do two things that are not part of the norm:


BOOK REVIEW - The Global Game Changers

The Global Game Changers, by Jan Helson and Rachel Annette Helson

We all want to make the world a better place for our kids, but one book asks whether kids themselves can change the world.  

This book is by a mother - daughter writing team who introduce us to two (fictional) superheroes searching the world for real kids who are game changers.  

The good news is...

Spoiler alert


custodian of memories

During the first year or two that I lived in New York, my mind's eye would occasionally take me to an old, familiar haunt in Boston.  One afternoon, during corpse pose at the end of a yoga class, I found myself on a little side street in our old green car (Greens) heading to the YMCA in Dorchester (Dot).


Dino Nation

This morning, I tried to find a sports-team-themed shirt for Bug to wear to "school" because the theme for the entire daycare today was to wear your favorite team's colors or jersey.


The Return of the Chicken Monkey

Many years ago, I learned the phrase, Chicken Monkey.


quiet mind

I keep trying to think of a post that will be witty, entertaining, and hilarious . . . but then end on a tender note.  Just keep racking my brain.  My poor, spazzy little brain.

Folks, not much is coming.  Moving is one of those things that I readily acknowledge is a stressful life event, but that I also believe should not stress me out for longer than about a week.


here we are

We are here.  On the other side of the move.  I haven't been able to process much of anything lately.  But I decided that if I don't chronicle this insanity, I may elect voluntarily to do it again.  

Right now, Bug is yelling, screaming, shouting from his room, from his doorway, from the hall.  His latest phrase, "I'm tired!  I'm tired!  I'm tired!"  It is eight thirty post meridiem.  He should be tired.  He hasn't had a normal bedtime in weeks (months?).  

In the last few weeks:


father's day

I walked into Bug's classroom on Thursday afternoon ready for a "parent-teacher conference," but when I got there, Bug was just waking up from a nap, and he had a low grade fever.

That afternoon, at home, Bug's fever got worse.


Where are we going?

"Where are we going?" Bug asked from the back seat.

When he asked on Friday, the answer was, "Boston."

When he asked yesterday, the answer was, "Home... I mean Brooklyn."

Why the clarification?  Because we are moving away from Brooklyn in a couple of weeks -- up to the Boston area.  


Happy Mother's Day

May it be filled with peace.



This week, one national periodical asks if I'm mom enough.  

Right now,


COMMUNITY NEWS: Lend a hand tomorrow (5.9.12)!

I just got a note about the following event at Mount Sinai tomorrow (May 9, 2012) from 1-3pm.  If you are in the area and free to stop by, I think it looks like a great opportunity to volunteer to promote and protect women's health on a global scale.  If you cannot stop by in person, think about giving $5 by texting "MOTHERS" to 50555.   
In advance of Mother’s Day, Mount Sinai staff and patients, including new moms and moms-to-be, will be assembling donated supplies such as beanies, blankets, and sanitary pads, for clean birth kits to be delivered to local hospitals in Liberia and Guatemala as part of the Saving Mothers program at Mount Sinai. The event will take place at 1176 5th Ave on Wednesday, May 9, from 1 – 3 pm.

Each year, more than 340,000 women around the world die due to childbirth-related complications.  Out of every 100,000 live births in Guatemala there are an estimated 290 deaths; in Liberia the death rate is 994. Compared to only 14 deaths out of 100,000 live births in the developed world, these are staggering statistics.

Most of these maternal deaths could be prevented with basic supplies that would ensure hygienic births. 

Saving Mothers, a program spearheaded by Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, Director of Global Women’s Health at Mount Sinai, aims to give these underserved women and their health care providers the tools they need to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Saving Mothers has been asking new mothers, who may have more resources than they need, to donate supplies for clean birth kits to make births safer and more sanitary in the developing world.

Saving Mothers has also launched a text message campaign asking for a $5 donation by texting “MOTHERS” to 50555 to help pay for additional kits.

Saving Mothers' Clean Birth Kits include basic materials chosen to prevent the infections that lead to maternal death as well as detailed pictorial instructions to the kits to make them easier to use and understand. Dr. Shirazian and her team will bring these birth kits to Guatemala, Liberia, and other countries in need as part of their program to help educate the traditional birth attendants and midwives who currently provide obstetric care. 


COMMUNITY NEWS: tinkergarten - optimizing outdoor time with our kids!

A fellow Brooklyn Momma reached out to me recently to let me know about her latest endeavor . . . tinkergarten!

Check out the website.  I spent quite a bit of time there on my first visit and have been back several times.  Right now, they have a list of 10 ways to optimize outdoor time with kids.  My personal favorites are #3 and #5.  



have to get away

When my rendition of The Go-Go's Vacation fell on somewhat startled ears in the car, I quickly found a video of the actual Go-Go's performing the song and played it for my husband, Bug, and Squish as we made our way from the airport to the hotel in Florida last week.  

Ahhhhh, Florida.

My birth peninsula.  


COMMUNITY NEWS: Open House for Kids Yoga at Sacred Sounds Yoga - Monday 4.2.12

I just got an email about the following open house for kids yoga next week . . . enjoy!!

 Open House for Kids Yoga on next Mon 4/2 (ages 3-7) and Wed 4/4 (ages 8-12)
both at 4:15pm.  

Classes are FREE for new students, so that parents and caretakers can ask our kids yoga 
teacher Caprice any questions they may have -- and even sit in on their class.  

You can find out more information about our kids program 

On a side note, we also offer Afternoon Express for adults at the same time, 
so that parents or caretakers and kids can take class separately too.

212.533.YOGA (9642)


the present

For the four days leading up to my return to the office this week, I tried very hard to be in the present. I did not waste precious time weeping and wailing about the fact that so soon my leave would end.  I focused on my breath.  I looked at the Squish, and I mean I really looked at him.  Not my (typical?) kind of looking during which I am also planning dinner, a summer vacation, an online diaper order, an exit strategy from our over-scheduled and hectic lives here.  I indulged in the afternoon ritual during which he nurses and then sleeps on my lap while I hold him.  I meditated while I nursed him at bedtime, and I imagined that I would find the time to meditate in my office when I went back to my day job.

Then came the big day.  


be mine

Valentine's Day 2012.  Bug's first Valentine's Day in a classroom.  Leading up to the big day, I started to wonder about getting his classmates little Valentine cards that would be from the Bug.  I hemmed and hawed.  I asked my husband if he thought it would be inappropriate.  He said not as long as each classmate received a card.

So I went to my neighborhood Big Box Pharmacy That Also Sells Make-Up, Junk Food, "Seasonal Items," and Stationery.  I tried to find the part of the store that had what I assumed would be a large and varied collection of packs of Valentines for kids.



Now that we have started the new year, I have been thinking regularly about my return to work. For various reasons, most of which are financial, I plan on going back to the office on March 1.  And so the preparations - logistical, mental, and emotional - begin.

The logistics are not settled yet - but they should be soon enough.

Mental preparations are going to require some exercises to get my brain back in shape.  I had to think long and hard the other morning about what seven times seven is.  When the answer did not arrive automatically, I thought,


COMMUNITY NEWS: Book Drive For Trilok Preschool

Trilok Preschool is seeking book donations!

Clean out your kids’ rooms and recycle!  Books should be in good condition and appropriate for children (target age range is 2 – 8).We welcome books in foreign languages as well!

Donation bins are conveniently located at some of our favorite local businesses until the end of March:

·Gnarly Vine – 350 Myrtle Ave,

·Cake Joy – 364 Myrtle Ave,

·Green in Brooklyn – 432 Myrtle Ave,

·Pillow CafĂ© – 505 Myrtle Ave,

·Graziellas - 232 Vanderbilt Ave,

or you can donate directly at the school:

·Trilok School – 143 Waverly Ave (at Myrtle)


from all the parents and staff - and especially the kids! - of Trilok

For more information on the school, please go to:http://


A man walks into a freezer (it's a walk-in) . . .

Well, it's official.  I now firmly believe that babies can hear everything you say about them.  No matter where you are when you say it.  Even if you are not with your baby.  Even if you are saying it to yourself.  In your mind.

So maybe you are about to say something like,