26 May 2012


Saire's a Daisy.  That is, she's a member of Daisy Troop 4147.  The Daisies are the 6 year old version of Girl Scouts and part of their mission is public service and giving back, so they raised money (selling cookies, of course) and got a whole lot of goodies for Extreme Kids.

Saire in her Daisy vest

 My cousin Jamie (aka Saire's mom) bravely offered to host 25 six year old Daisies at a campfire where they presented us with the presents for Extreme Kids in Lula's honor.  I couldn't imagine what it would be like to spend an evening with 25 six year olds, but the weather was perfect so they all just ran around on the lawn and scrambled up the jungle gym.  Six is old enough to let them run feral but young enough that you don't have to worry that they are going to sneak off and smoke cigarettes or something.  It's kind of an enchanting age.

Getting the party started. Photo Courtesy of Sam.

Ronan held up pretty well despite being outnumbered. Photo Courtesy of Sam.


I decided to make Girl Scout badges for all the girls, but rather than making them all uniform I wanted each one to be unique.  Extreme Kids had a felting workshop a few weeks ago so I went and made a bunch of felt with some of the kids (and a huge amount of help from the adults since I had to make so many). Then I sewed each into a flower.  I explained to the girls that each one was different and unique and special even if it had flaws in it.  I tried not to sound like a fortune cookie.

Little flowers for the darling Daisies
Detail shot

There were lots of songs and games and then the girls presented us with all of the presents and gave us a plaque that they all signed with a photo of Lula.


It was all so meaningful and touching and just when you thought it couldn't get any better...

Once sufficiently hopped up on sugar the girls all donned glow-in-the-dark jewelry and ran around with flashlights like giddy fireflies.

 We spent two more days there. Roan literally had the time of his life.  He was beside himself with joy at all the space and toys and cousins.  

Off to play
Photo Courtesy of Sam
Photo Courtesy of Sam
I had a small heart attack every time she did this but she was totally fine
Driving lessons with Grandma Soup*
Dinner with Saire and Dylan. Luca boycotted the kids table.
Bedtime stories with Jamie.
 Roan slept until after 9:00am and took 3 hour naps for two days when we got back he was so exhausted. He couldn't have possibly had a better time.

* We thought Roan was calling my mom Grandma Sue, but one day I realized he actually calls her Grandma Soup, which is far funnier so it stuck.

24 May 2012


There is this project that is being done by a Swedish organization wherein they asked anyone and everyone to photograph one single day - May 15, 2012 -  and submit 10 photos with descriptions, keywords etc to help create a worldwide database of images from that one day.  I love this idea for so many reasons so I decided to do it. 

Turns out my day, at least that day, is probably nearly identical to that of every American housewife since the dawn of time.  It was a rainy day filled with cleaning, laundry, errands, and plenty of great little moments with my favorite companion.

If you want you can check out the photos I submitted at the link below.

Really, though, you should check out the site on or after May 30th when everyone's images will be live.  I really can't wait to see what everyone's day was like.

18 May 2012


Oh yeah, know what else I did for Mothers Day?  Well.....

They were designed by the perennially brilliant Lisa Lev Sercarz (nee Fisher) based on these guys' gorgeous wedding invitation design (which, given Obama's announcement this week made it seem all the more fortuitous) and executed with perfection by Stephanie Tamez at Saved Tattoo.

Also a special thanks to Aggie who held my hand the whole time and told me funny stories to keep me occupied.  They itch like hell right now, but otherwise I'm thrilled.

16 May 2012

13 May 2012


Most mom's wouldn't think twice before throwing themselves in front of a moving bus to save their kids, but sometimes being a parent is even harder than that. 

Please watch this.  This family is incredible.  Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there who would do the same.

11 May 2012


Let me just tell you all that I am blown away by what a big kid Roan is these days:

1. He is speaking pretty much in full sentences now. Not Shakespeare, more like caveman ("Roan take scooter to park") but we are having actual conversations. And actual arguments.

2. Instead of saying "yes" he says "alright".  We have no idea where this came from.

3. He is now riding his scooter rather than pushing it around like a lawn mower. The helmet is mandatory.

4. He may be a soccer phenom. At least among 2-3 year olds. He kicks like he means it.

5. Today he woke up from his nap, climbed out of his crib, and took everything out of Sam's bedside drawer including a tube of chapstick which he smeared all over himself. He then knocked on the door so I would let him out, awash in the smell of beeswax.

6. He asks me at least 10 times a day if he can drive.

Wow, do they grow up in a big ol' hurry.

05 May 2012


Weill Cornell, the hospital where Lula died, looks to me a little bit like a cross between the British House of Parliament and a Mormon Church.  I suppose that's appropriate since medicine now seems to occupy a precarious middle ground between government and religion.  It's a building that will always be sacred to me and full of the most weighted memories of my life.

The pediatric unit held a service this week in remembrance of all of the children that died there in 2011.  They had 2 large trees with branches made of felt onto which a leaf with each child's name was affixed.  There were probably 50 kids names, but not nearly so many loved ones in attendance.

There were some lovely moments.  My favorites were a quartet of teenage boys from Laguardia High School singing "What a Wonderful World" a cappella, and a middle aged clown from the big apple circus singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"  while strumming a tiny banjo.  Other parts were painfully awkward but the fact that it was a homespun affair complete with ward clerks reading Emily Dickinson and singing nurses made it all the more sincere.  I pretty much kept my head down since the waterworks are on full blast these days with almost no prompting.

There was a lot of self congratulation on the part of the hospital staff for putting this event on, and I suppose this was as much for them- to remind themselves of the momentous emotional rollercoasters that they are a part of every day.  I think it can be a case of self survival in such an environment to shut some of it off, but it is occasionally important to stop and feel things for a moment or two.

Dr. Howell, who really was the woman who helped us to decide that it was time to let Lula die, was there.  She is a brilliant clinician who has obviously had the best training and experience possible but she also has an inherently maternal soul, which you either have or you don't.  Somehow it allows her to be empathetic and professional at the same time.  I was telling her about the passing of Lula's spiritual partner in the battle to be heard from inside of an uncooperative body, a friend of a friend named Kupajo Janda (Paj).  After Paj came down with a mysterious cerebral virus that put him in a coma, his family and friends waged a relentless battle for 7 months to get him the best treatments and care possible despite endless resistance from hospital administrators and doctors.  His circumstances made me realize how amazing the PICU at Weill Cornell was, and as I told her about Paj Dr. Howell knew exactly why;  she said "it doesn't matter how good a doctor is or how right they are, if they don't establish trust with their patients families their knowledge is meaningless".  I think the only way you can let go of your child without an unsurpassable mountain of doubt and fear is when you know that the best of everything has been done by the best people to try to help them.

It was a little surreal to have a sort of reunion of people who were part of such a tragic but powerful experience, like a high school reunion meets a funeral.  I don't think things like this bring closure-  I don't believe in closure, really- but it allows you to feel the distance you have from that moment.  It's a little sad but a little comforting to know that the sadness safely resides in this monolith full of other persistent souls.

03 May 2012


Despite all that Brooklyn has to offer you sometimes find yourself at a loss for things to do with a two year old.  This is how Roan, Sam, and I wound up at the dubiously named Touch a Truck fundraiser for PS 295 in Park Slope.  There were fire trucks, garbage trucks, tow trucks, school buses and the like.  Even the DJ was on a truck.

There were also, as per any Brooklyn school event, absurdly long lines.  There was no chance I was waiting 20 minutes to experience the inside of an NYC garbage truck so we opted for the least interesting of all, namely the Home Depot pickup truck.  Seriously, the inside looked pretty much the same as our minivan but Roan was happy to tool around in it and pretend to pick up day laborers on the way to the job site.

It was a pretty great idea for a school event and it was raising money in a way that didn't involve selling sugary baked goods so all in all I think it was a good way to pass an overcast Saturday afternoon.

Trying to make an escape