Monday, September 29, 2008


Lauren: "Deer die easily."

Me: "They do?"

Lauren: "Yeah. They are too soft on the outside and their insides are too fragile."


Lindsay, playing pirate: "Hi, Mateys!"


This morning, Lauren sat reading a book to herself about Ernie and Bert.

"What are you reading?"

"It's a book about Sesame Street, y'know the tv show?"

"Is it good?"

"It's kind of predictable."

Friday, September 26, 2008

At my computer

I thought this picture ended up kind of cute. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some quick points and pictures

Don't get too excited. My camera is broken, so these are some bad ones from my phone.

We're doing soccer and children's choir at church, so all our activities are compressed into the first 3 days of the week. Last night we didn't get home until 7:20 from soccer, and then had to make and eat dinner, bathe, and get the kids to bed. After struggling to make dinner after soccer practice on Monday, I did all my dinner prep early. It meant we got the kids to bed at 8:30 instead of 9:15, so that was good.

On Fridays, we go to the farmer's market in town, and drive out to Suydam Farm to feed the chickens and buy eggs. They also have sheep. We pet them. When Lindsay and I got there on Friday morning, we discovered they had about a dozen piglets.

Lindsay called them "scaredy pigs" because one of them would startle and then they all would run into the barn. Lindsay thought this was very funny.

On Tuesdays, Lauren has soccer clinic. She wanted me to take a picture of her posing. You can actually see her new 'do in that picture. No more ponytail. Unfortunately, every other girl she knows has this same chin-length haircut (though most of them don't wear it with bangs), and I still don't recognize her all the time with short hair.

Lindsay gets really into the practice. Here she is dribbling the ball. She's the red blur in the background - she was wearing an Elmo shirt. She was sort of playing with the blonde in pink the the foreground who didn't understand, as Lindsay does, that soccer is a game you play with your feet.

Yeah, that's the youngest Anderson girl, but I don't remember her name.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A bit of an update

I had thought about pulling Lauren out of school today and trying to attend a memorial in the city, but the idea of going into the city with my two kids was a little scary for me. I thought I might make my morning walk longer, but I found that walking this morning, catching my clock at 8:43 AM, that I remember those details just too vividly...walking down 8th Avenue to work, noticing people were stopped and pointing up. Looking up, finally. Ducking into the coffee shop, smelling their dark roast. They were listening to 1010WINS, and they were just announcing the second plane hit as I paid for my morning cup. I went outside into the little alcove where I would sip my coffee and smoke a cigarette, looking at a grotesque hole in the North Tower, with flames leaping out and smoke billowing. The atmosphere on the streets was becoming panicked, and I retreated to the silence of my office - I was the first one in always. My phone was ringing as I sat down, it was my mother, and then Alec. The phones were gone pretty much directly after that with all of the circuits either jammed or gone.

Today, I walked to church to sit on this bench under a weeping willow, but with the construction on our church grounds, the bench is not there right now. I sat on another bench with Lindsay, watching squirrels gathering acorns, birds bathing in nearby mud puddles. Lindsay gathered sticks from the ground (in her bare feet) and tried to put them back on a nearby bush.

I tried to focus on how much life we've lived in those 7 years, as I looked at the big muddy construction site due to be housing for a family transitioning out of a homeless shelter, the beginnings of our church's community garden planted so that we could provide our town's food pantry with fresh vegetables, and what will eventually be a prayer garden. It's not much now, but it is brewing hope. A promise of what will be.

September 11 didn't shatter my hope. My hope was already shattered then. It stomped on broken bits. Things couldn't be the same after that. Many of my coworkers left New York City shortly after that, never to return. I ended up closer. Six months after that, I took a job on Chambers Street, two blocks away from where those buildings once stood.

For today, I will try to carry on, maybe not business as usual as life around me seems, but with some semblance of profound gratitude and hope.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lauren's birthday

It's hard to believe that 6 years ago, I held itty bitty little munchkin...for the first time. This picture was taken about 30 hours after you were born, because, as I described yesterday, I was too sick in the 24 hour period after having given birth to be taken down to the NICU to see my baby. My first few days of motherhood were filled with these sort of disappointments - it was not the "birth plan" I had chosen - to be admitted a full day before having you, on what seemed to be every sort of monitoring machine in the unit while they tried to keep my blood pressure stable. The long period of not getting to see you while Daddy gushed about feeding you from a tiny bottle holding a mere ounce of formula. Being told that you would be kept at the NICU for some indetermined amount of time after I left...which ended up being only 24 hours...there was something that felt like failure in that first day, being home with no baby. Daddy would call the NICU to find out when you'd had your last bottle, when you'd gone to sleep to try and stave off the tears.

You were so tiny. 16 inches tall, 4 pounds 3 ounces at birth and just 4 pounds when we brought you home. In those first 8 weeks, we had 8 weigh-ins (one with a visiting nurse at our home), and feedings every 2 hours by the clock, even in the dead of night. Daddy and I split feedings so that we could get a mere 4 hours of continuous sleep.

And those out there in the Internets probably remember that even though your newborn wasn't 4-pounds that at times it felt you were only keeping her alive by the sheer force of your will. You'd get up even when it wasn't one of those every 2 hour feedings to stare into the bassinet at your bedside to watch her tiny chest rise and fall.

Self portrait, August 2008

You're just too cool for me these days. Our conversations are punctuated by eye rolls, foot stamps, and door slams, but you're still my little munchkin.

I love you, peanut. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It may not be happening, but it did happen

I've been doing more than my share of whining lately. It's not very appealing or productive.

It occurred to me that my current state of upset is bigger than adjusting to the day without Lauren, my current level of activity including Irving, the PTO, art history class, church, whether or not Lauren can bring a snack for her class for her birthday, even flea abatement. My reactions are so far over the top from what's reasonable. I wrote today "I'm struggling a lot", and it is true but with what? I'm behaving as though the sky is falling.

And it dawned on me.

Seven years ago this Thursday, the sky fell.

And when I had that thought, I started sobbing uncontrollably. I write that with some guilt because although I was in NYC that day, I was 12 blocks away. Lives were much more effected than mine. I don't know anyone who never came home. But I can say when I think of that day, I feel the thick smoke caught in my throat. I hear the constant sirens roaring down Seventh Avenue. I remember how lost we were staring at signs in the twice closed Grand Central Station not able to comprehend.

There was heightened alert, as though you were constantly vigilant to hear what couldn't be heard and see what couldn't be seen. There were weeks when you had to plan your commute around the subway you were on being evacuated for suspicious packages and Anthrax scares. The fires burned at Ground Zero for months. The posters of the missing and then presumed dead their smiling faces from happy times of their lives holding children, dressed on their wedding day...spouses, children, parents were mourning them.

I just don't have the words to make you understand the ache inside me when confronted with all this. I have maintained media silence every 9/11, including the one I spent a year later in a New York City hospital a year later waiting for someone to tell me how my tiny 4 pound baby was doing because I was confined to my bed and she was in the NICU. The charge nurse who cheerily came in to introduce herself at the 7 AM shift change found me sobbing because I'd convinced myself I was never going to see little Lauren, and with all the drugs I was on they had just not told me yet she hadn't survived.

I'm not doing a good job of just pretending that it's just any day where we soldier on and walk on treadmills and go to school. I don't know what to do about that right now, but it seems I have 48 hours to figure that out.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

First day of school

Lauren sporting her new "back to school" 'do, the butterfly dress with a built in sparkly necklace(!), and her 1st grade present - a ladybug bracelet from Auntie Jules.

More later...