Monday, October 29, 2012

Tracking Hurricane Sandy, live from NYC

5pm: High winds.

6pm: Emergency rations from West 82nd Deli.

7pm: Very high winds. Time to take cover.

The kids of West 82nd Street

Early Halloween party in our lobby, while waiting for Hurricane Sandy to arrive...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wall-to-wall screaming kids, aaaahhhhhh!!!!

Toddlers jumping on beds, a baby with a balloon, a ballerina, a monster, a birthday cake. Pure pandemonium. It's just what I needed.

A 3-year-old in a tutu is the antidote to all evil in the universe.

Oh, and happy birthday, Natalie!

Friday, October 26, 2012

2 beautiful kids

I read the blog of the Upper West Side family who experienced tragedy yesterday. I can't even bring myself to say "whose two children were k---." 

I don't know them, but of course I feel like I do. We share a neighborhood, a love of kids and dogs and water fountains and blogs and the joys of raising a family in the city.

The blog was taken down this morning. It broke my heart to read it last night, and I cried and cried and cried.

What I saw:

A wonderful mom. A mom who spends the time to be with her kids, to enjoy them, to love them and to share that love and joy with the world.

Kids you wish you could play ball with, run in the water with, play in a cardboard box with, read a story to, pick pumpkins with.

Lucia has an absolutely beautiful smile, the sweetest smile you can imagine. She looks so proud to be the big girl in first grade. She still plays with the little ones--you can just tell she's the best big sister ever.

Leo looks like his mom. He likes trains and firetrucks, just like Samuel did. His little diaper sticks out of the back of his britches, just like Samuel's did. He has a great big smile, like his sister, and you can tell how much he is adored.

I can't even talk about them in the past tense.

When you become a parent, you forever see your own children reflected in every child from that day forward. It hurts to see any child in pain. It makes you smile to see any child smile. And you'll always instinctively turn your head whenever you hear a child shout, "Daddy!" Even if your kids are eleven and fourteen. Probably even when they're fifty. If you can still hear anything by then.

This? Man, it tears me up. It just annihilates me.

When I was younger I was afraid of dying. Now I'm just afraid of out-living my children. Given a choice between dying tomorrow or out-living Samuel and Ethan, I'd gladly take the former. You understand if you're a parent.

I walked Ethan to school this morning, and I actually held his hand, my poor little eleven-year-old. I made a point to hug him goodbye and kissed him on the forehead, which I just don't do that much anymore. I walked down 95th Street and turned left on Columbus Avenue to catch the bus across the park to work, and I noticed every other parent squeezing their children's hands a little tighter too.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I just cleaned out the fridge

I threw out:
  • 6 take-out containers of half-eaten Chinese food (from two different occasions)
  • 2 take-out containers of rice
  • A take-out container of Chinese soup or dipping sauce or something dark and icky
  • An unopened package of bacon with an expriation date of Oct 2
  • A near-empty tub of butter (there's a full tub still in there)
  • An unopened FreshDirect pre-packaged salmon dinner with an expiration date of Oct 2
  • A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, date of creation unknown (but rigor mortis had set in)
  • A blondie wrapped in tin foil, date unknown, but hard (I tried it, just in case)
  • An unopened package of jumbo ravioli, "use or freeze by Oct 4"
  • Half of a salad, lettuce wilting
  • A small take-out container of salad dressing
  • A tiny container of something else vaguely liquidy
  • An unopened half pound of cheddar cheese, expiration date Oct 19 (but also showing mold)
  • An unopened take-out container of chicken soup from Citarella, "sell by 10/11"
We're only staying in this apartment during our bathroom renovation--we just moved in on October 1.

Jennifer's going to come home and say, "Where's that tub of butter? It was perfectly good!"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

DeLoreans, insanity, and happiness

Samuel and I skipped out of Manhattan yesterday at 6pm, had dinner at a Houlihans in Long Island, stayed overnight at a Marriott, then got up this morning and tagged along on the DeLorean Mid-Atlantic Club's fall driving tour.

First stop was an abandoned insane asylum on the north shore of Long Island. Apparently it is abandoned because nowadays insane people are simply given medication and sent on their merry way, where they are free to join DeLorean clubs and drive to abandoned insane asylums for no particularly rational reason. Three cheers for the pharmaceutical industry.

We stopped for pizza in a town on the shore, toured a Vanderbilt mansion full of creepy stuffed antelope, then Samuel and I headed back to Manhattan, detouring only briefly for a couple of Frosties from Wendy's.

Samuel rode in one of the DeLoreans. When I asked him for details, he just shrugged in his Samuel way and said, "It was good."

But seeing him grin like this made the whole trip worth it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Big news of the day

Ethan found a Siamese-twin McNugget in his Happy Meal and insisted that I take a picture.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wolf in sheep's clothing

We found a white bathmat in the back of my closet. I vaguely recall we were going to make a puppet out of it, but never got around to it.

That's okay. Better idea.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Six Flags Fright Fest

In an effort to extend summer into October, we went to Six Flags today, which is decorated for Halloween. Apparently it gets a little rowdier and spookier at night, but we went during the day, where the spookiest thing they had was a blood fountain.

Weather was pretty decent for October (74 and mostly cloudy), so we wore shorts and t-shirts and pretended it was summer--until about 5pm, when it dipped down into the 60s and we started shivering.

We rode some rollercoasters, consumed some Johnny Rockets cheeseburgers and onion rings, had a pretty good time.

Maybe not quite summer, but, hey, we play the hand we're dealt.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A little bathroom renovation

We've been planning to renovate our crumbling disco-era bathroom since we moved in fourteen years ago. A few years later we got rid of Ethan's potty chair and realized we needed a second bathroom. My concerted efforts to win the lottery, train Bailey and Kahlua to tunnel under the floor into a bank, or persuade Jennifer to become a hedge fund manager have all been unsuccessful.

But I'm happy to announce that our living room now looks like this:

This is our bedroom, from two angles:

That gaping bare spot in the picture below was Jennifer's closet. It's going to be our new Barbie-sized second bathroom.

And on the other side of the wall is...our existing bathroom.

And here's where we're living for the next thirty days: the studio apartment next door, with all of our furniture and dogs and kids crammed in. It's like living in a one-room tenement owned by Gustav Stickley.