Monday, September 30, 2013

There are few things more fun than rowboating with a toddler in a tutu

This is L, my three-year-old friend with her new birthday tutu (from We went rowboating in Central Park this afternoon.

No one else in my family wanted to go. Ethan wanted to stay home and play on the computer, Samuel had homework to finish, and Jen was too tired and wanted to just watch TV and veg. My poor little family has out-grown me. I'm forced to go rowboating with surrogate children.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

New book

My third picture book, Beep, Beep, Go to Sleep: A Robot Bedtime Story, will be published by Little, Brown in fall 2015. Illustrator is Caledecott Honoree John Rocco, who did the picture book Blackout and illustrated covers for Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

Today was the official announcement by Publishers Weekly.

You know, when I signed the contract for my first book, I didn't dare let myself get too excited. I didn't want to be all Eric Stoltz telling my friends I got the lead in "Back to the Future," lest something go wrong. I figured I'd contain my excitement for the day I could physically hold it in my hands.

I'm starting to feel more like a real author now, which is a good feeling. Will I ever be able to actually make a living doing this? Probably not. But I like having a creative purpose in life. I like the idea of creating something other than Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint decks. Writing something that makes a toddler giggle is a more important legacy for me than, you know, achieving 10% market-share growth.

Don't tell my boss.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If you squint really hard... will see that she is reading "Ten Tiny Toes." Seriously.

I realize this is of no importance to anyone except me and my mom.

Carry on.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Upper West Side, 2am

During the summer Ethan started walking the dogs with me at night. He's a night person, like me. He says he likes the fact that everyone out late is drunk and having fun.

Since school started, I'm back to walking the dogs alone, and I've missed having him with me.

Tonight I was so tired that I fell asleep at 10pm, then woke up at 1:45 and realized no one had taken the dogs out for their final walk. Ethan was still up, so....

Friday, September 13, 2013


Samuel and I are up late tonight--he's finishing homework and I'm writing a manuscript about grumpy trucks.

A few minutes ago he asked me for help deciphering a short essay. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance."

I hadn't read it since I was in grad school at Iowa 25 years ago. It resonated with me at the time because I was young and rebellious and trying to find my way in the world, and sometimes feeling like I was the only person on the planet who questioned the things that everyone else seemed to take for granted. The thing I dreaded most, at age 25, was a life of dull conformity.

Emerson made my adrenaline surge, made me want to scream at the world, "You're not the boss of me!" Emerson told me to be myself. I needed to hear that at 25. Everyone needs to hear that.

I am happy that Samuel and Ethan have strength of character. I want them to live their own lives and follow their own dreams. I will never tell them they should follow a different path than the one their hearts tell them to follow.

That is what I gleaned from Emerson. Happy to be reminded of it tonight, sitting on the sofa at midnight with my sweet boy, whom I love more than life itself.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The new climbing wall at Studio School

We had a little dedication ceremony at the school this evening for the new climbing wall that was installed over the summer.

Samuel and Elise cut the ribbon...

Open for business...

Even Jennifer gave it a test drive...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

End-of-summer weekend

I hate saying "end of summer." It sounds so terminal.

But it could be worse. Jennifer spent most of Labor Day weekend in bed recovering from a root canal that became infected and had to be repeated.

So I won't complain that I took the kids canoeing, camping, mountain-coastering and waterparking.

The next morning we rode the mountain coaster...

...followed by two hours at Camelbeach.

And Jennifer is doing better, thanks for asking.