It’s Not Me; It’s You

brooklyn-bridge-painting-vojirWell Manhattan, I am finally doing it. I’ve finally worked up the nerve and guts to say it out loud. You and me are OVER. DONE. Yes, you heard me correctly. No more threats and ultimatums; the gig is up.

Come on! Don’t look so surprised. This is hardly the first girl you’ve sent packing. I should have known all those years of moving around from block to block, less than a mile from each, I was just buying time. You can’t really look me in the eye and say that things have been the same between us lately.

Perhaps your busloads of tourists and clogged streets drove me to the edge, or that lately Luca can’t walk anywhere on your streets without stepping in dog poop. Since when did everyone in the city get a dog? And, no matter how overpriced and overhyped it may be, you still want me to call 6 weeks in advance to get a dinner reservation? Ok, I know I’m sounding bitter; I guess I just never expected it to end this way. We had such a good run for so long. It used to be so easy.

And, just this year we had that long and brutal winter. How about that day in March! Desperate to avoid the frigid temperatures, with an hour to kill before I could take the girls to Kidville, I dragged all three (Luca home for a 3rd snow day), underground from the Fulton Street Transit Center to your new (I’ll admit, stunning) Oculus, heading for Joe & The Juice. Figuring, it would be empty (who the hell wants a $10 smoothie when its ten degrees outside), at least we could sit somewhere warm and have a nice healthy, albeit freezing, snack before heading over to Kidville.

But no. Backing my double wide umbrella stroller through the ridiculously crowded venue, holding three winter coats and music blaring, I was desperate to find a table. Before I knew it, Laurel had already hopped out, wanting to touch all the lit candles on each table while Maxine made her way around the counter where the teenage employees, using machetes, chop large pineapples and exotic fruit. After stalking a tourist couple who looked like they should have been done (you taught me so well Big Apple), I finally shoved all three in a tiny corner table, put Luca in charge of an iPad and set out to wait on a line for 20 minutes, glancing over every second hoping they didn’t get kidnapped. Thirty dollars later, just as I arrived back at the table with 3 smoothies in tow, Laurel said she had to go pee. . .

Now don’t get so sentimental on me. I know we had a good run. There were some very special times. That day I arrived at my new rental apartment on Houston and Mulberry with all those roommates. When I was able to own my first apartment.  Meeting Mark for drinks that first time. God, I will never forget our glorious wedding day at the Kitano Hotel! Or, Mark and I racing in a cab, me screaming with contractions, to NYU Hospital for Luca’s birth. And what about the twins coming in the middle of the night in January, five weeks early! So many memories; plenty blurred from back in the day. How can I possibly begin to sum up our 21 years together?

We’ve had more than a good thing. It was L. O. V.  E. And, while I am not one to kiss and tell – you’ll find out soon enough. I’m just ready for something more wholesome, less gritty, maybe a little less raw. I know. I was the one laughing all those years ago when the hipsters started moving out en mass to make their artisanal cheeses, beer and whisky. Turns out I actually like all those things. So here we are too. Headed for the County of Kings where at least I can still keep a very close eye on you.

Do you think we can still be friends?




I Left My Heart in San Fransisco

img_3307.jpgNeglect has been eating away at me as I realize it’s been way too long. I’m struggling to keep up my writing with the girls’ schedule this year. After picking up my two non nappers midday from preschool spending all day outside or at Kidville’s gym trying to tire them out, cooking dinner, cleaning up, helping Luca with any homework, school projects or studying, I am letting some stories simmer on the back burner for a while. Until something gives, I may opt for some sporadic posts when the urge hits and I just need to share.

In the meantime, since November, I’ve been meaning to write about what turned into an amazing early Christmas present. Given the rarity of such an occasion, I had to documented it so Mark and I can remember a time when we got away together.

Over Thanksgiving Mark suggested we take a trip. Alone! Assuming he tried some mind altering drug, I initially just laughed it off. While the thought of jetting off was appealing, it’s really hard for me to leave the kids. Seven years passed before Mark and I left Luca for a long weekend away, together. We don’t have a lot of nearby family, and never had a nanny to just leave him with. But back then, after crafting a meticulous and elaborate plan of care that included friends, a babysitter and my mom video chatting from afar, we took an amazing trip to Paris.

Looking back, it still wasn’t easy. Days before our flight, Luca was showing some anxiety that played out in the most bizarre way.  Even though he was excited for the weekend of awesome activities, 4 days before we were leaving he literally crawled into our room at 4 o’clock in the morning crying that he couldn’t feel his legs OR walk.

I assumed it was, obviously, an act or some sort of subconscious anxiety. But after several mornings in a row, it got stressful and I suspected something awful may be wrong; my mind off to the races –  imagining a possible link to years earlier, when (I thought) his pediatrician sloppily administered his polio vaccination . . .

Fast forward to today and it’s no longer just a matter of leaving Luca – we’ve got Maxine and Laurel to contend with too. But, with Mark’s persistence, I started believing we could pull it off. With task force planning that spread the balance of care between Grandma and our trusted sitter – including detailed activities to keep everyone busy, we were ready to go.

For the second time in almost a decade, after shedding a few tears, Mark and I were jetting off, (this time) in business class, headed for San Francisco. Staying in a gorgeous hotel, we ate, drank and walked our way through my second favorite city in the US. It was an amazingly romantic and incredible trip.

With a few minor incidents, everything back home went off without a hitch. But for the girls taking full advantage of Grandma, managing to clog our toilette and get up at 4 am for a dance party, everyone survived. Now long back in our routine, when, on occasion I push the girls in their stroller (instead of their preferred scooters), and hear a mysterious squeak in the wheels that also developed that weekend, I am forever grateful for that time and to everyone who helped us get away.

Lucky 13

comet 1With our wedding Anniversary passing this week, I have now been married almost as many years as my time attending 1st grade up to junior year in high school. Anyone unsure of the math, or wondering if I was held back, it’s been 13 years (and no, I wasn’t held back)! I couldn’t help but contemplate if, so-called, unlucky 13 will bring some ominous impact this year. 

Wondering what I could get my husband, I Googled the traditional “gift” for a 13th anniversary and, to my dismay, discovered it was lace something my husband hasn’t seen on me in quite a while. To my point, after just sparring one another about cleaning up, I started comparing the outlook as a 1st grader to that of a newlywed- so excited to learn as much as you can about the world and each other, enthusiastically embracing whatever is ahead for you.

Then, before you know it, just like the ole “dog ate my homework” excuse in middle school, the years pass and things begin to slip. Keeping that childhood vision can be a challenge. And, while I hate sounding cliché, taking time out together really can help reconnect you to what you saw in each other in the first place.

Our usual family dinners are hilarious, exhausting and quite educational; offering critical life skills like eating an entire roasted chicken with only your left hand and (sometimes) a fork; bouncing 1-2 toddlers on your knee while eating such chicken; juggling both while chugging a glass of Pinot with your free hand; and doing all 3 while bending down to pick up crayons, keys, phones, salt shakers other randoms thrown on the floor. While eventful, they tend to dampen intimate conversation.

To celebrate our 13th, we saw an amazing show, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812– which, by chance, only a few days prior, happened to received 12 well deserved Tony Award Nominations.  Our friends also invited us to Nur, (check out Manhattan’s Hottest New Dining Spot :The 20s), just opened by a famous Israeli chef looking to make his mark in the States. This guy is a big star in Israel and, judging from our food, the full house, and meticulously run kitchen, will do exceptional here.  

Any chance to behold the next hot thing in New York is pretty awesome.  So far, the 13th is off to a lucky start. Hopefully no apocalyptic asteroids, collision comets, or double doomful, dirty diapers are headed our way. . .

Welcome Home!

AIMG_2343 picture can say 1000 words, but this one was shouting “turn around and don’t come back.” Unfortunately, after our twins’ behavior on the flight home, which continued during the hour-plus ride back to the city, in a car service, I was pretty sure we were added to a “no fly or travel at all list”, which meant that we had no choice but to find out what awaited us behind door number 1.

If only we could get it open. Turns out, while we were enjoying a lovely vacation (to which I am grateful),  our neighbor’s apartment sprang a leak, and the water managed to find its way to the “lowest ground’ ie, our apartment.

Landing at JFK from a long international flight at around 9:00 pm, followed by an eventful time at Customs, put us at home at roughly 11:30. Actually, I didn’t arrive to my front door until well past midnight after one of our extremely over-tired 2 year olds, Laurel, insisted on dragging an oversized suitcase, in her words “myself”, from outside on the street, to the building; then through a huge lobby, finally reaching  the elevator and the long hallway to our door.  I was too late to witness the panic (and exhaustion) in my husband’s eyes because he had just ripped out a few wood floor boards, with his bare hands, in order to open the door wide enough to get us inside. Of course, me not knowing what happened (only wondering why they abandoned me with Laurel and the suitcase), I wondered what kind of lunatic would do this when we just had the floors re-finished not long ago. . .

When I, finally, did start this blog, I had envisioned myself writing revealing, heartfelt, and humorous stories of motherhood, family, life in New York City –  you get the drift. Some of it easy, some, maybe, more revealing and personal. But, if this sort of “material” keeps surfacing every week, at this rate, I may never need to go there. So far, I am finding, the day-to-day is all I can manage.

Getting Started

img_2170-1-e1494866887393.jpgI started writing this post 8 years ago. And, if anyone is reading this, then yes, you read that correctly. It has been EIGHT years since the day I sat to put some thoughts together and contribute something new and interesting to an already clogged online blogging world. There were big plans to become a successful NYC blogger mama (yes, another one) and launch a new career at home making all sorts of money from various online advertisers. I had just terrified my husband and left my job to be home with my 1 year old son, at the time my only child, and the new love of my life. But, anyone can safely verify that no advertising checks have been rolling in, and, though now delivering on a weekly basis, has never come knocking begging me to sample free new products.
While a lot has happened over these years, it’s humbling and terrifying that it’s taken me this long to put something out there- or perhaps expose myself more personally. How the hell did I actually manage to let 8 years pass without completing a post? And, now that I’ve actually written this, how embarrassing it could be if i can’t come up with any new material. So, if anyone is reading, this could be the beginning and the end all wrapped up in one short post. Only time will tell. I pray I will have something to say, or the time to say it, on a somewhat regular basis. But who knows?
Since life doesn’t always go as planned, I am working more on “letting go”; just seeing what happens and not being so afraid of the unknown or possible failure. Only thing is that the last time I did this, on some level, I wound up having twins at the age of 45. Since they are identical twins, these were truly the “surprise” kind. That our lives were turned upside down is putting it mildly. Going from an easy, breezy, flexible family of 3, able to make plans on a dime, to the parents of a 9 year old and TWO 2 year old, defiant, toddlers can be harrowing. Before, we could spend time on “each other”. Now, there are days where the only civilized words spoken may be “she pooped again, it’s your turn to change her”. This can test a marriage. But, having survived the first 2 years, I keep hoping we’ve turned a corner; that things are going to get easier. Well now I don’t want to bore you with carrying on; let me save some for the next time- hopefully less than 8 years from today. Until then.