Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guess who's on my plane?

Yep, Tim Meadows (aka Principal Duvall) from the best movie ever, Mean Girls.  He's not to shabby on SNL either.  

I love a celebrity sighting and wish I were sitting with him in first class so we could discuss the Burn Book, among other things.

Hope to round off my LA trip with a glimpse at Angelina's new rock!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


My baby boy turned five today.  Five, as in starting Kindergarten in the fall.  Five, as in doesn't really call me Mommy anymore.  Five, as in can really go about his day without needing me all that much. Stop. Breath. Okay.

I marvel at this child - my child.  How did someone like me create this perfect, adorable, smart, thoughtful, mischievous, remarkable, loving and wise-beyond-his-years person?  And, with each passing day, it becomes more and more clear that my son is going to leave his mark on this world in some magical and amazing way.

So, to my darling on your 5th birthday,

You woke up this morning at 4:11.  Maybe down to the very moment, five years ago, that I began to feel those first signs of labor, three and a half weeks early.  Your sweet, sleepy-eyed face appeared at our door and a smile as big as the room filled your face the moment I wished you that very first "happy birthday."  This year you knew, you just knew a birthday was a very special day. You were so sweet as I was putting you to sleep last night, that feeling coming over you I so remember as a child -- just too excited to sleep for what you knew was to come.  Oh, I so love reliving those moments through you.

Each year I am surprised at how vividly I remember, like it was yesterday, the moment you were born.  I can still close my eyes and be transported to that day and place, all of the minute details still etched in my mind. It dawned on me today as I was thinking back, that I could see your curiosity with the world, trepidation, kindness and need-to-soak-it-all-in before reacting in your eyes almost instantly. Your big, blue eyes tell the exact same story today.

You, my love, have bettered my life and those who adore you, beyond your wildest imagination.  Your sweet, kind soul...it never ceases to amaze me when your little heart shows love, compassion and empathy more times than not.  And, your vivid imagination and curiosity for the world -- I know I say it all the time, but I can actually see your mind working through your eyes as you stop to process, take it all in and come up with the most thought provoking questions.

You are, hands down, the most unbelievable and amazing big brother.  You probably don't even notice it, but your sister's face literally lights up when you walk into the room.  She just downright adores and worships you.  You are always thinking about her, making sure she is never left out, sad, confused or missing out.  What a gift.  There isn't a luckier little girl on the planet.

Nothing brings a smile to my face more than seeing your dimpled cheeks when you break into your signature grin or hearing your contagious belly laugh.  I marvel at your kindness and understanding towards others and your passion for things you love.  You are a homebody, like your Mom, yet would drop anything for those tried and true things that you know, trust and love. You are a natural at board games and win more times than not, but to you that isn't nearly as important as making sure everyone else gets a turn to win too.  I love your memory -- sometimes I'm downright floored with the things you remember. I adore your sensitivity and applaud your ability to show and share your feelings when they get hurt but also your uncanny capacity to forgive and move on.

You, my darling, are becoming so fiercely independent.  But, thank you for continung to let me shower you with about a million hugs and kisses a day. 

I hope you know today and always how much your Dad, sister and I love and adore you. The happiest of birthdays to you.  Hugs, kisses and touches this night and all nights, always.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Finding the Words

Last night, MDB was playing quietly on his floor, right before bed.  He stopped for a moment, looked up at me and said:

MDB:  "Mom, who is your Mom?"
Me:  "Nana"
MDB:  "Well, who is your Dad?"
Me:  "Pop-Pop"
MDB:  "Who is Nana's Mom?"
Me:  "Gre."
MDB:  "Mommy, how come we have never met Pop-Pop's mom?"

I'm fairly certain the wind was knocked out of me for just a moment, as I peered into my boy's baby blues, trying to catch my breath and think of what to say, the perfect thing to say, in that moment. 

You know the scene in the movies, where a million pictures flash before someone's eyes?  That's what happened to me as I contemplated the right interfaith answer, debated lying, dealt with the sudden grief that hit me out of the blue and agonized over some of the pure innocence leaving my sweet, sweet child.

More than life itself I wish my Nan were here to meet my kids.  She would have just adored them.  I miss her, still, after all these years. 

I am that Mom.  The one that desperately tries to shelter her kids from anything bad, longing for them to be innocent and naive as long as humanly possible.  I knew, as the words came out of my mouth countless times, that it was wrong to tell him that squished bugs were sleeping, but death just seemed too scary and real for a child.  Honestly, I would rather talk about sex.

But, questions about death have been on his mind lately.  And, I'm struggling with finding answers.  I actually googled "explaining death to children in Judaism", "explaining death to children in Christianity" and "explaining death to children without landing them in therapy."  I covered all my basis and still don't really know what to say.

So, I told him that when you die you get to be with G-d in heaven and that Pop's mom was in heaven.  I have an tendency to over-explain, and I don't want to scare him, so I left it at that and asked him if he wanted to talk about it more or had questions.  He didn't and moved on to play with his cars.

When I was young, it helped me to think that my Nan was up in the clouds, playing cards with Frank Sinatra or endless rounds of golf - happy and carefree -- always watching over me. 

Man, I wish there were a manual to help with this critical stuff. Through the early years, I read countless books/articles to find the perfect swaddle technique, what to feed and when and more -- but things that help shape their beliefs for years to come -- I feel helpless and speechless (which, if you know me, doesn't happen often).

And, bam, just like that, all those time the hubs and I said, "don't worry, we don't need to face the raising kids with our separate religions issue yet" just reared its head.  And, I really, really want to get this right. 

Any tips out there from people in a similar situation?

Friday, March 9, 2012


Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Emily at Emphasis Added, for sharing this amazing tribute to new moms.  While it has been almost 5 years, to the day?!?, since I was bestowed the "new mom" title, I still remember those early, helpless, lonely, bleary eyed and amazing days!

Happy Friday!

Friday, February 10, 2012


the number I hope to see a lot in Las Vegas next week.
the weight of a toddler.
a forever store that I won't see the inside of until I am dragged there by my own teen.
a film with Kevin Spacey that I have never seen...or heard of.
the second album by Adele.
$33.05, in British Pounds.
the amount of weight that I have lost since September!!!

Sorry, had to shout that one from the rooftops! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Girl

An open letter to my daughter on her 3rd birthday...

My darling,

Where to begin?  The nostalgia started last night when I was putting you to bed.  Rocking my 2 year-old baby girl, as we have done hundreds and hundreds of times since you were born.  In my mind, a two year-old is still a baby and when I placed you in your bed and kissed you goodnight, I felt almost like I was saying goodbye to mine.  I lingered in your room longer than usual, soaking it all in.  And, your Daddy told me this morning that he snuck into your room last night just to watch you sleep.  I guess he felt the same way.

Tears stream down my face as I think of all the joy and love you have brought to our lives.  From head to toe and from inside to out, you ooze happiness and love.  As it has been since your first gummy grin, your smile lights up a room.  You have a way with people, my love, and you capture the hearts of anyone in your path.

I love your spirit and tenacity.  I must admit, its hard to let go, as you crave to do everything on your own.  Things that have been my job all along.  But, how could I not admire your gusto for life and fierce independence?  I can and do, because, secretly I know, that at the end of the day, its me you want to give you your last few bedtime kisses. 

I love your wicked sense of humor, that seems to pick up on all the inappropriate things and scream them from the rooftops.  Like how you've been going around saying, "keep the change you filthy animal" from "Home Alone" -- a movie definitely not made for your age group.  I love that you would forgo any meal, any dessert, any time of day for a piece of gum.  Girl, you love your gum and put Violet Beauregarde to shame.  I love how you enunciate words, like ash-eh-leigh and that you still say lellow, for yellow.  Speaking of which, your language, wow.  Sometimes the things that come out of your mouth, have me searching the room for a college kid.  I love when you grab someones face to get their undivided attention.  I love that you love to dance and can't think of anything cuter than when I catch you dancing in the mirror.  I love that you forbid anyone to use "your bathroom."  You're lucky you have a brother who is okay with this set up!  I love that your face still lights up when people you love walk in a room.  I love your genuine concern when you hear someone is sick or hurt.  I love that you love books and music and are the first to plop on the couch to watch football with Dad.

Your big brother, oh how he loves you so.  The way he looks at you, it takes my breath away.  Just the other night, you locked yourself in the bathroom, in the dark and broke a vase.  I was scared because I couldn't get to you and when I finally scooped you into my arms, safe, it was him I saw.  He was clinging to his Nana, heart beating fast, with concern in his eyes.  I wish I could have captured on film to show you one day how his hand reached for yours, stroking your face, asking you over and over again if you were okay.  And, no one was more excited that you moved into the older class at school, because it meant that he got to spend more time with his sister.  And, just this morning, do you know what he said when I was trying to put a crown on you for school?  "Mom, she doesn't need the crown.  She is as beautiful as a princess without it."  I mean, just melt my heart.  All the nights that you woke up in the middle of the night with a bad dream, only wanting your "broder"...I rest easy knowing you a set for life with him by your side!

Oh my Ellie-girl, know on this day and everyday that follows how much I love you. 

As our favorite book says, "I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.  And, if someday your lonely, or someday your sad, or you strike out in baseball or think you've been bad...just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.  That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.  So hold your head high and don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade.  If your still my small babe or you're all the way grown, my promise to you is you're never alone.  You are my angel, my darling, my star...and my love will find you wherever you are."

Happy 3rd birthday love.  Your Daddy, brother and I adore you with all our hearts.  Thank you for being you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The 9/11 Memorial

I'm writing this from 30,000 feet. I still marvel at technology. I'm using the Internet on the plane, while the man sitting next to me is reading a book on his iPad (the Steve Jobs biography ironically enough -- not that I looked over his shoulder or anything). I really don't like to fly, so being able to shop play online, is now another thing in my arsenal to take my mind off the ever-present fear.

I'm headed back from NYC, where I was since Monday for a business trip. I don't travel for work a lot, so when an opportunity comes up, it feels like a treat.

I was booked back-to-back for some really neat and exciting meetings. I barely had time to take a breather, but I managed to squeeze in a little time with some of my favorite people on the planet and meet my dear friend's adorable and perfect baby boy!

And, lucky for me, this morning I mis-read my calendar and thought a 11 a.m. meeting was actually at 10. This left me with an hour to kill. I jumped in a cab and went to the 9/11 memorial. I can imagine the mere mention of downtown Manhattan is still heartbreaking for some, but for me, to stand on this ground has been calling me ever since my first glimpse of the devastation in 2001.

As I write this, just mere hours later, I'm still reveling in the calm and serenity of the memorial, on the exact site that brought anything but. When I rounded the corner, after weaving through the fences protecting visitors from the overwhelming amount of construction to rebuild the NYC skyline, into the memorial site I instantly knew I was witnessing one of the most unbelievable, breathtaking, historical, sad and poignant things I've ever seen.

This first picture is of the tree that survived at the base of one of the towers. It was miraculously nurtured back to health and re-planted among the hundreds of trees within the memorial site.  It stands out from the others and seems at rest in the foreground of the unbelievably beautiful (more so in person that in pictures) Freedom Tower.

The pools are just, for lack of a better word, perfect.  And, something I couldn't fully appreciate or capture on TV, was the sound of the water. When I walked up, first to the North pool, the closer and closer I got, I noticed the the noise of the water melted away all other sounds. By the time I was standing overlooking the heartbreaking and all-so-real rows and rows of names, I forgot I was in NYC, in the middle of a HUGE construction site and surrounded by people. All I could hear was the peaceful sound of the water.

There was something about being there, especially alone.  No one really talked, but when I met eyes with passersby, the Port Authority police security or volunteer workers, the eyes said it all. 

Sadly, I only had 15 minutes to spend there. I know I'll return to take the proper time to pay tribute.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ode To An Ankle

Its been a while, I know.  Excuses, catch up and updates coming soon...but the point of this post is to share this...

Last I checked, an ankle is NOT supposed to look like this. 

My poor brother slipped on some ice, dislocated and fractured his ankle and is in a brace and needs surgery.  It was so bad, he took an ambulance to the emergency room.  Poor guy -- two years ago he tore his Achilles (on the other foot!) and needed surgery on that too. 

It's his right foot, so he can't drive.  He has a very active and mobile almost-2-year-old at home.  And, a family trip to Florida was scheduled, that has to be rescheduled.

So this post is ode to my baby brother in the hopes that he feels better soon, has a plethora of pain meds coming his way and a quick and easy recovery. 

This post is also ode to his wife in the hopes the wine doesn't stop flowing!