What we’ve been up to

November 3, 2011 § 3 Comments


In the almost two months since school has begun, we’ve found ourselves in a new rhythm around here.  We are out of the house earlier.   I’m learning to release my death-grip on every moment of Grace’s day-to-day and to trust a little bit more. And in the letting go, I find that there is so much joy in seeing how new and wondrous everything is to her.

With all this new time alone with my boy, I’m finding him to be a man of many funny moods.  In some ways,  I’m getting to know him for the first time, which is both heartbreaking and amazing.  He is just plain silly and will give you a cuddle almost any time you ask for it (unless you’ve really pissed him off by asking him not to dump the entire contents of your spice rack out.  Then, do look out).  He’s got a physical agility that he did not get from me.  Ahem.  He loves solving problems and he will drop anything to help you unload the dishes, open the refrigerator or, as the case was last weekend, help his dad carry a screen door across the house.

Every day,my two little ones play out the roles of best friends and adversaries over and over (seriously, guys, already?!).  Every day, I marvel at the people we made that are growing and forming their identities all on their own, their own paths ahead of them.  Every day, we are full of gratitude for the gifts – the laughing, the reminder to take it slow, the joy of Halloween candy – they bring to our lives.

First week

September 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

Gracie girl.  Here we are just having finished your first week of preschool.  The plan for you to join this school’s program smoothly was a lovely one, with a brief one-on-one introduction to the teacher and classroom the first day, followed by three days of only one hour of class time for you.  Next week you will be there a bit longer and then your regular half days will begin the week after that.  It all sounded so smart that I really didn’t take any time to consider whether I would have any feelings about this new period in your life.  In fact, I sort of smugly assumed I would be fine.  I don’t know why, but I really didn’t think it would be hard.  You are so social and open to people and you’ve really never had a hard time with leaving us, so I thought the normal obstacles wouldn’t present themselves in our situation.  Which they didn’t. Or at least, these particular obstacles didn’t.

Instead, the annoying little troll of uncertainty has been what has plagued me this week, despite my total confidence in both you and your school.  Is it a nurturing enough environment for you?  Is it the right fit for your very inquisitive nature? Perhaps most importantly, will they see that they have a tiny being of unsurpassed kindness, joviality, beauty and brains in their midst and worship – er, I mean treat – you accordingly?

I have cried, my Gracie, more times than I care to admit in this past week.  And yet every day you have walked out of class with your teacher and reported that you were thrilled to have been in the surroundings you were in, all while clearly still adjusting to your new environment.  You immediately ask me when you will be going back.  Even the day when you had to apologize to your assistant teacher because you got her coffee down from the counter and filled it up with water didn’t seem to faze you too much.

So here I am, wringing my hands over every little detail you share with me, trying to figure out if we have made the right choice.  And by the way, I have a sneaking suspicion that about 75% of these details are made up or cobbled together from different things throughout the day, because that is what you do when you are three (or maybe just when you are YOU) and all the memories don’t iron themselves out so smoothly in your mind just yet.   Of course I know, have always known, that the day would come when you began interacting with the world on your own, independently of me.  I know it has been a true privilege to be with you almost all day, each day for the last three years.  I knew it, but that didn’t mean I could know how it would make me feel like I needed to wrench your little hand out of the teacher’s, make a mad dash for the door, and keep you in the house with me until the world gives me an iron-clad guarantee that you will be safe out there in it without me. Because that is what I need here, friends. Iron clad.

I get it.  It’s only a few hours a day.  To many, such theatrics might seem ludicrous, obsessive, or self-serving, particularly when so many parents have to or choose to send their children “into the world” so much earlier.  Grace: believe me when I say to you YES.  It is all of those things, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier right now.

In this post there is that picture of you and Noah holding hands as you excitedly wait for your teacher to come get you, and then the next one is just of him watching you go.  Like he’s thinking, Hey, what just happened? Don’t I get to come, too?  All I can say Noah is: I feel you, little brother.  It’s a whole new world for us both.  Amazing, terrifying, and everything in between.

Back to the beach

September 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

I know.  I have absolutely exceeded my happy-to-be-on-vacation picture limit with this post. I know it.  But it was a beautiful week, what with the sunsets and the pool and the falling asleep to waves crashing ashore.  Sure, there were the requisite displacement issues for the kids, including two skull-numbing sleepless nights for all involved (sorry Grandpa Herbie), except of course, Rumplestilskin i.e. Grace who would absolutely sleep through a volcano if you let her.  This time, I counted myself lucky, as I definitely did not get struck in the head with the giant kite portion of a kite board, like, er, say earlier this summer.  Not to worry, I’m fairly sure a good knock to the head can only improve things for me.

Now we are home and ready to enter the post-Labor-Day era of 2011, where we eschew white and regularly question our choice of hearty, brutal, Midwestern winter living.  Where we dream of hot sand and cold, blue pool water, and walks in wagons to feed the ducks, and the feeling of pebbles at the shore in our toes.  Where we keep our heads up to avoid the closest kite board.   Next summer it is, then.

The second first

August 24, 2011 § 4 Comments

Oh Noah,

You turned one-year-old over two months ago now, and I am just finally sitting down to write you this note.  It was a lovely day, with some decorations placed around the house that you immediately tore down and stuffed in your mouth, some good cuddles, and a trip to the park.  Your dad came home early for dinner and cake and we talked about you.  Your gift from us was a drum that you banged on with great pleasure for about five minutes and then returned to your preferred instrument: door slamming followed by mischievous cackling.

Admittedly, I was much more laid back about your first birthday than I was with Grace’s.  Technically, we had a party at our house this year that was for you and Grace on Grace’s birthday a couple weeks after yours, but you didn’t seem terribly concerned with your hosting duties and spent most of your time testing your guests’ reflexes by walking over to them, reaching up to be picked up and then swooping out of their arms head first toward some desired object on the floor.
For Grace’s first birthday, we had a party for friends and family at a kids’ art studio.    At the time, we lived in our condo and couldn’t figure out how to celebrate with our family in our small space, so we did something a little bigger.  While I am happy to have done it, I am even happier that I didn’t need to do it again this time.

Your birthday was perfect. You were pleased as punch having the four of us together to celebrate, and that, to me, seems to be exactly who you are, right now.  You are happiest when we are all together.  These moments in the day are few, since your dad has been tasked with making sure we can keep our house and eat food and thus has to go to work pretty regularly.  But he is usually around for breakfast and dinner and these times you are your most chill.  Often, your Dad gets up with you in the morning, brings you downstairs and you sit in his lap sharing a bowl of cereal with him while the coffee brews.  I know that you must feel content in these times because – believe you me – it is a rare moment in the day that you sit still without being strapped down.

When your dad comes homes for bedtime you want all four of us to stay in Grace’s bed indefinitely, climbing on each one of our laps and then attempting a headlong plunge off the edge just when you seem to be settling in, only to climb back on and demand more books, more tickles, more cuddles.  You are very, very clear about what you want and, as you have since the day you were born, you take great pleasure in making it known – immediately and with tremendous volume.

You are changing every day, with new words and moves that keep me on my toes.   Life with you is completely wonderfully and wondrously different, so full of fun, zesty, dancing, door-slamming goodness.  With you, we became a Family with a capital “F” – or, in romantic comedy terms, you complete us.   I love you, my sweet, amazing Noah.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/26916562″>Fierce Moves</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user1252571″>Amanda Zoloto</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Summer days…drifting away

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

We are back from our unplanned summer break-from-blogging! We are doing great, a little bit more sun-kissed than we were back in June, and doing our best to enjoy this beautiful time of year without worrying about how fast it’s passing us by.  And how are you?

Is there anything better than summer? We have really enjoyed the warmth, the walks, the trips to the pool, the zoo.  We have a new fence that has expanded our world of play by a lot, giving us opportunities just to be outside without having to do all the prep work that often accompanies being outdoors with little ones.

Everyone in the house is also a little older and wiser, with three birthdays celebrated.  In fact, Dan and I got to celebrate his 32nd birthday (what a youngster!) with a fabulous trip to see Trey, Mike, Page and Jon just a few steps from our front door (relatively speaking) and feel like we were 20 years old again.

As we wind down the warmer days and ready ourselves for the start of preschool, cooler weather and falling leaves, I keep thinking of what Jeff Bridges recently said in an interview that his mom used to always say when he left the house: “Have fun. And don’t take it too seriously.”

Let’s try it, shall we?

Your Day

June 19, 2011 § 2 Comments


When I was six years old, there was a time when my Dad was a single parent and it was just the two of us in a small apartment on Roosevelt Road.  I was in first grade, and before school my dad would gently wake me and then carry me over to our couch and turn on The Bozo Show while he finished getting ready for work.  It was a nice, slow way to wake up and I remember how peaceful I’d feel in those moments (I also remember thinking Bozo and Cookie were AWESOME).  It is this same quality, the essence of these feelings that I see Grace and Noah experiencing with you.  It is truly gentle fathering paired with this completely unreserved way that you love with your whole heart.  Since you I and I have had 13 years to grow up together now, it has been an amazing thing to watch you grow into this role while also growing into mine. I just wanted to say so.  I love you, we love you.  Thank you.


One Love

June 14, 2011 § 3 Comments

Today is my Noah’s first birthday. And Grace’s third is just a few short weeks away!   Wow, there is nothing more cliche than “time flies” but it feels especially right today.  There are so many things I want to say about my little guy, but until I have a few moments to share them, please enjoy some moments from our year.


Happy birthday, Grace and Noah! from Amanda Zoloto on Vimeo.