27 November 2015



Brooklyn Prospect Kindergarten , 2015

Roan insisted on wearing his kilt for Class Picture Day

Version 2 at the reshoot day a few weeks later

The more you look at this photo the better it gets!

15 November 2015


Our first child is twelve today (we think. Not 100% sure because we are terrible at keeping track of this stuff) Our poor, sweet, beleaguered dog who bounded in to our lives as a little brown furball is now relegated to third place in hierarchy by two interloping humans. 

She's had Lyme Disease, a splenectomy, and an unfortunate fear of car alarms. Thank god for doggy Prozac. Nowadays she mostly rotates between various sleeping stations throughout the house as she tries to avoid being stepped on (unsuccessfully).

Still, occasionally she surprises us with such puppy-like feats of playfulness that we can't believe she's actually 12. 

We celebrated with cheese. On cream cheese. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACIE WHIPPLE

04 November 2015


And what a Halloween it was!  Unseasonably warm, and falling on a Saturday to boot.  

Festivities actually began on Friday with a Halloween Parade on the streets near Roan's school.  Brooklyn Prospect is on the top floors of an old all girls' Catholic school that's smack in the middle of Downtown Brooklyn and it lacks outdoor space for the moment so creative solutions are necessary.

KB Class in their Halloween Costumes. Cuteness!

I have to say I was AMAZED that Roan's costume survived relatively intact.  I was sure there would be legs everywhere by days end.

On Saturday we were spoilt for choice with Halloween festivities. BAM and Fort Greene Park had Halloween festivals including hay rides, a giant fake cemetery and, of course, the Great PUPkin dog costume contest (We retired Gracie after she won in 2012)  The first year we went to the PUPkin was 2005 and there were about 20 or 30 of us standing around drinking our coffee and laughing at our dogs (Gracie won runner up for being Oscar the Grouch).  Oh, how times have changed in Fort Greene!

We guessed there were about 1,500 people there!  And 170 dogs competing.  Some of my favorites:



Mr. T
See more of the PUPkin here

Roan, as ususal, owned the mood of his costume entirely.  He added fangs so he was a Golden Ninja Vampire Spider, thus the funny mouth in the pics.

With his buddy, Leo
Me, spidered

Roan, scaling

Eamon, buzzing
This clown scares the crap out of me

The boys were all great about wearing their costumes

Fort Greene is at it's very best for Halloween.  This is a neighborhood that truly embraces the creativity, the fun, and the community spirit with full vigorous creepiness.  There are shows and bands and entire streets closed down and filled to the brim with families.  I LOVE it! 

That's a wrap!  Already thinking about next years' costumes.

30 October 2015


Roan practicing in his Halloween costume (a Golden Ninja Spider).

03 October 2015


I've been plotting to get a photo of the Lynch/Murray kids all together and have failed many a time.  UNTIL NOW!

Ronan, Saire, Eamon, Roan, and Declan

Version 2.  Which do you prefer?
Ronan, Saire, Eamon, Roan, and Declan

We are missing the Zaidan and Ahl cousins but some day that will happen too.

23 September 2015


Today as the kids are all off from school for Yom Kippur  my friend Tasneem and I took Roan and Eamon and Suraiya and Mahla to Queens Farm.  It was super fun and mostly the kids lept around on bales of hay and fed some very rotund goats.  

Did I mention they dressed themselves for the occasion?  Apparently Suraiya was worried as she put on her cowboy hat and boots that Roan would tease her for her outfit.  Um, yeah, no.

Roan, Suraiya, Mahla


These two


21 September 2015




Roan had his first day of Kindergarten on September 9th and it was at a new school, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. Roan has now been to three different schools in three years so he seemed to adjust pretty quickly. While he had a great year at PS20 last year we became increasingly convinced that Roan wouldn't be able to get the support at PS20 that we know he needs. 

Roan is not a "go along to get along" kid.  He doesn't sit and stay on command, he is not obedient or cooperative or patient or attentive.  This, I know, makes him sound like a spoiled asshole, but he's not.  He doesn't lack discipline or structure, he lacks a control dial to keep his mental RPMs in check. The thing I find myself saying to him most often (despite his assertion below) is "SLOW DOWN". He is a very perceptive and empathetic and thoughtful boy when you can catch him.

In the playground this makes him fun, but in an academic setting it makes him the "problem child" because he commands so much attention from the adults. He has had an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) since age 2 when his preschool teacher came to our house and told us that he was at a loss as to how to contain Roan in class. Roan's "problems" are not really his problems at all; he is quite happy going at 80 miles per hour. He's like Road Runner. They are our problems because we have an absurdly homogeneous way of teaching and managing children.

After years of OT (Occupational Therapy) and a SEIT (special Education Itinerant Teacher) to help us understand what makes Roan tick we have learned a hell of a lot, most importantly that if you really want to help him to slow down and take things in you have to work from the inside out (helping him to learn to get out his energy and then calm his body before trying to work with his mind) rather than the outside in (reprimanding him for not sitting still by making him stay in during recess).

Brooklyn Prospect is, as best we can tell, very much an inside-out school.  We were very very lucky to get a spot there.  AND, by sheer coincidence, one of Roan's teachers just happens to be one of my sister's very best friends.  How's that for kismet?

ANYHOW,  I am starting a tradition this year which is the Annual First Day of School Interview.  Here are his answers (written by me) for Kindergarten.

12 September 2015


Can you believe it's finally not 95 degrees out there? I am wearing jeans for the first time in eons (maternity jeans, natch).

Summer is over and I am just getting to the Fourth of July.  Editing backlogs have a way of creeping up on you like piles of receipts or laundry.

We went to Rochester for the 4th - Eamon's maiden voyage out of the city.

I think this was an IHOP? Or maybe Dennys. Anyhow, Roan got to eat a waffle for dinner.

Rochester is like 7 hrs drive from NYC, so I got us a hotel room for the night on the way. My only requirements were that they took dogs and there was a hot tub. I found these flowers while walking Gracie on the grounds.

They also had a basketball court at the hotel, which was unexpected.

We stayed in Corning, NY that night, the home of Corningware, and they have an amazing Museum of Glass. This is a stack of glasses all found in secondhand shops and the like.  I kept wondering who dusts.

I know it's tacky to photograph Mennonites but they looked so crisp and clean compared to everyone else. And those hats look almost glasslike, like vases.

We also stopped in at Watkins Glen State Park. It's amazing, but packed with tourists.

Roan and I walked behind the waterfall!

It used to be some Robber Baron's private estate, thus all the beautiful stonework

Rochester at last!  The boys (dads included) spent an entire afternoon constructing and shooting off bottle rockets

Sawyer and Roan

In the dictionary next to "enchanting" there is a picture of this child, Ivy.  With bubbles and lettuce.

Ivy's secret garden

Bedtime stories. Glad to see Roan is paying attention, as usual.

Jerome and Sam with Eamon and Gracie, getting ready for a paddle in the canoe

Their friends Fay (with Elijah) and Pascal also drove up from Brooklyn for the weekend. Jerome with Eamon in the sling

Gracie. Styling by Ivy. Photo by Sam.

Eamon is like this all the time. All. The. Time.

Competitive swinging

Dads and their boys taking a break from all the hard work

B shocked the hell out of us by juggling fire!  Apparently he had a whole other life as a street performer (I'm not at all surprised)

Their neighbors put on a HUGE fireworks display in their yard

Me and Eamon pool lounging

This pretty much sums up how Roan and Sawyer were the whole time. By day 3 Sawyer went to his mom and said "I need a break from Roan"!

Aaand we bookend the trip with shitty Diner food on the way home.  It's the American way.  Happy 4th of July!