Friday, September 28, 2007


Ethan was playing on the computer. Jennifer and I were in the next room. All of a sudden--

"I hate this f---ing game!"


(Louder) "I hate this f---ing game!!"

Apparently he'd overheard Jennifer telling Samuel it was okay to curse now and then in private. We had to explain that that doesn't include that particular word. Especially when the f---ing windows are open and the neighbors can hear every f---ing word you say.

Monday, September 24, 2007


"It would be hard to walk on water without God training you."
--Ethan Tarpley

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Samuel Magic Trick

Okay, I'm only 10 months late posting this, but it's Samuel in his element. From The Studio School talent show, November 2006.


"Why do people have to do yoga instead of just taking a sleeping pill?"
--Ethan Tarpley

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bonus Summer Day

We had no babysitter the week before the boys started school, so I used a vacation day from work to cover one of the days. Even though it was legit, it still felt like I was getting away with something--playing hookey at the water terrace while everyone else in the city was working. Ha!

This is the view as you come upon the water terrace. Anticipation, like cresting the top of the roller coaster. I had to stop and snap this picture, because I wanted to go hug that little girl. Woo-hoo!

Samuel demonstrates his rubber band-shooting technique.

Aaron learns from the master. No children were permanently injured.

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe.



Ethan amidst the planets.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Giggling Sam

I saw a toddler on the subway this morning, with big brown eyes and the sweetest little smile. It reminded me of Samuel when he was that age, and how I used to write poems to him, including this one:

There's nothing like a giggling Sam
To pull me from depression
I tickle him, he giggles back
My giggling Sam obsession

Sometimes I go from toe to head
Sometimes from head to toe
Sometimes I tickle back and forth
And sometimes to and fro

He squirms and writhes and writhes and squirms
And laughs and screams and squeals
Who knows the depth of giggleness
That tickled Sam reveals

Sometimes I kiss his belly
Sometimes I kiss his ear
Sometimes I kiss his armpit
Sometimes I kiss his rear

It doesn't matter where I kiss
A giggle he'll emit
And then I find I cannot stop
It's much too fun to quit

No war, no fear, no hatred,
No sadness could withstand
The healing power of one half hour
Of tickling giggling Sam.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


"My dream is to stay at Great Wolf Lodge for a few days. My other dream is to have a clothesline outside."
--Ethan Tarpley

The End of Summer

Summer is my favorite season. Every year I anxiously anticipate its arrival, and every year I hate to see it go.

It's nothing grounded in reality--it's not like we spend all summer at a beach house, with the kids selling lemonade from a red wagon while Basset puppies nip at their sand-covered toes. We manage to do a few fun things every other weekend or so, in between laundry and bills, and maybe squeeze a mini-vacation in there somewhere, but it's basically like any other season, with a little more daylight.

But summer represents the potential for fun...if I had enough money, and a wagon, and some lemonade and at least one Basset puppy. And there's always waterparks--given a whole summer I believe I could visit every waterpark in America, and wouldn't that be cool?

I could make dozens of You Tube videos with the kids--a re-make of "Officer and a Gentleman" starring Ethan and Samantha, for starters. River rafting? Definitely. Sliding down natural rock waterslides in the wilderness? Let's get a map of every single one in the Eastern United States, and buy an old convertible, and just go for it. Are there any drive-in movie theaters left in America? How many? Let's hit 'em all--cheeseburgers are on me. Waterskiing? Absolutely. And don't forget houseboating on Lake Powell, where you sleep on the roof and look up at the stars and see the ring of the Milky Way. Toasted marshmallows, watermelon, homemade ice cream, cotton candy, the sound of the Mr. Softee truck.

I was meant to exist in a Fantasy Summer like that, where smart people don't have to work, and you never run out of Coca-Cola Zero or frozen Snickers or dogs or kids. Nobody barfs in the car, sand fleas don't exist, your arms don't get sore from paddling a canoe, nobody ever gets cranky, and your 9-year-old doesn't miss a spot on your back with the sunscreen.

Here are the highlights of my summer of 2007:

10. Canoeing the Hudson marshes in Piermont, NY
9. Day trip to Fire Island
8. Great Wolf Lodge overnight trip
7. Rye Playland for Father's Day
6. Playing softball with Jennifer
5. Day trip to Old Greenwich Beach
4. Day trip to Splash Down waterpark in Fishkill, NY
3. Making the "Say Anything" movie trailer with Ethan and Samuel
2. Weeklong trip to Myrtle Beach with family and parents
1. Signing a contract for my first children's book

All in all, I can't complain. I'm thankful for the summer that I actually had, still wistful for Fantasy Summer, but most important, still happy to be alive.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Ethan (screaming after falling on the sidewalk and skinning his knees): I hate these Heelies!!!

Samuel: Then why do you wear them?

Ethan (bawling): Because they're fun!!!

Jen's Softball Debut

I wish I had a photo of this, but you'll just have to use your imagination. On Monday we played sissy liberals WNYC Radio for bragging rights to not being dead last in the NYC Media League. This was the rubber match, each of us having defeated the other previously. I think our season record was something like 1-75.

We needed one more female to field a full team, so with less than an hour to game time, I frantically called Jennifer at home and begged her to grab her old softball glove (and Samuel and Ethan) and meet us at the field.

Not only did she show up, she went 2 for 3 at the plate (hey, .667 season batting average) and scored twice, securing our margin of victory. Most important, she looked hot doing it.

I married her because she was one of those rare Valedictorian/Homecoming Queen combos you only see in John Hughes movies. But I knew that, 17 years down the line, she'd come through in a clutch situation like this.