Monday, December 29, 2008

Sandler Family Hanukkah 2008

The Light-up Spinning Dreidel

Annual Merry Zoo Day

Mike Love at Saks Fifth Avenue

And Even More Love from Saks for Mike

Friday, December 19, 2008

First Store to Receive Permanent Immunity: Trader Joe's

How did Trader Joe's earn the first ever Immunity Award I've ever given out to a business?
Like this:
I went to Trader Joe's. I did an entire grocery shop. I got in line. I realized I didn't have my wallet. They let me take my groceries with just the promise I would bring my receipt back and pay later.
Long live the Trader! I promise I'll never cut-you-off (again)!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More things overheard at Kelly's Nursery School

Mom (looking at pretty, glittery menorah pictures from the preschool class): Ooohhh, honey! These are so nice! Which one is yours?
Daughter: This one!
Mom: I love it! And pink, your favorite color!
Daughter (pointing to another picture, of a shiny Mogen David): And this one is mine too!
Mom: That's great! I love it! It will look great on our Christmas Tree!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A trip to the Larchmont post office

Last week I took your regular-ol trip to my local post office. I needed to mail a package. After getting postage for the package, I realized this being the holiday season and all, I should probably get some stamps. I'm not much of a holiday card sending kinda person, but I send a few. I asked for Hanukkah stamps. The postal employee cheerfully told me they were all out, "given Larchmont's sizable Jewish population as you know, I'm sure you're not surprised." Actually, I was completely surprised. First, at the thought of Larchmont having a sizable Jewish population - it was news to me. And second, that the Jewish population had managed to clean out the post office of all its Hanukkah stamps by mid-December. So I say "I can just take any stamps, as long as they're not Christmas." And he says "How about Kwanzaa?" "No," I say, "Just anything non-holiday - don't you usually have snowflakes or snowmen or something like that?" He says "No, I don't think so. We have all the holidays though. We even have Jihad stamps." I look at him blankly. "I know you won't want those. To be honest, their a tough sell. They came out right after 9-11. Bad timing. No one wanted to buy them. A few people did, I think they felt guilty. So they bought the Jihad stamps, but in general, they're not a good seller. Not like the Hanukkah stamps!"
At this point, I am kinda ready to leave without stamps, but being a small town post office with a small town feel, the lady at the teller next to me says, "Get the ones with the man carrying the heart. They're perfect." Given that I had very low stamp requirements, I was sure they would be perfect. The guy brings me green heart stamps. "Perfect," I say, delighted to be getting out of this suddenly too-long and too-religious post office outing, when my friendly neighbor looks over and barks "Not the green ones! It has to be the red ones!" Without consulting me, the teller then goes frantically from bay to bay looking for the red ones. At the last bay, he grabs a strip, and shouts to me "It's the last ones! You got here just in time!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Molly's Birthday Weekend

Molly's birthday was last Wednesday, but the celebrations continued through this weekend with a family party on Saturday at our house and a party with her class friends on Sunday at the Children's Creative Corner in Larchmont.
Here's her birthday cake from Saturday, a joint effort of her Uncle Ethan and me:

And here is the cake from her party on Sunday with her school friends, make by Erica of Erica's Edibles:
Erica also made great ice-skate cookies, I'll post soon.
Here's Molly and her Dad decorating her birthday reindeer:
It was great, it was fun, but now Monday the birthday festivities are over. Except, as Molly reminded me, "I still need to have a party with my friends from the City."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Big City Larchmont Mom has Hit the Big Time

I am very excited. Someone has linked to my blog and even wrote a post about BCM! I know seasoned bloggers wouldn't be acting like this is the biggest deal ever, but for my little blog and me, it is.

So thank you Lynda Larch for your post and your link.

We feel at home in Larchmont already.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Molly!

Molly's fifth birthday is today.
She celebrated with purple cupcakes...

Her Central School classmates...

And Grandma...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Scholastic: This Means War

I have been dreading the day Molly goes to a school Scholastic Book Fair ever since January, 2007 when I read this particularly depressing article from my oft-quoted Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood:
Last year, Caroline sent her seven-year-old son to his Scholastic school
book fair with five dollars and a note to his teacher that she wanted him to
pick a good reading book. Instead, he came home with a Batman drawing
book and three thirteen-inch flexible pencils.

I have been dreading the day, too, because I know when my daughter brings home her version of the tale above, I am going to insist that her public school no longer holds Scholastic Book Fairs. And then, all the trouble I've gone to to fit-in will evaporate. Scholastic themselves claim that 35-40% of the books sold at a typical book fair are linked to a movie, television show or video game. This is not what I want for my child.
Have educators really just given-up? Just told the corporations, OK you win - make the kids consuming clones who think a book needs to go with a movie or TV show, that this is what life is all about?
Well, today was the day. Book Fair Day. I gave her twenty bucks. I told myself, my kid loves books as much - if not more - than any other kindergarten kid. She will bring home a good book. A classic, or maybe a new book destined to be a classic. I can't wait to see what she gets!

But, alas, that fairytale was not meant to be.

She brought home these:

1. Dora's Perfect Pumpkin - what possible plot could this book even have? Have we not already exhausted the Halloween genre completely?
And wait, it gets worse:

2. Barbie the Island Princess Panorama Sticker Book - this is not even an actual book, it is a sticker panorama!

So I ask you, my loyal readers? Is it time? Should I start a rival school Book Fair company? Vote here!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Is there such thing as commercial-free holidays?

At least one organization is trying. Here's the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood's guide:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Being Thankful

Our little clan had a tropical twist on Thanksgiving this year, celebrating in Puerto Rico (photos to come soon).
Right before bed, after eating too much, sunning to much, and swimming way too much, I said "Hey! We should all say what we're thankful for!" Mike and I said some boring platitude stuff, Kelly said "me too" and Molly took the cake with:
"I'm thankful for Hashem for this perfect little sister," and kissed Kelly on the head.

One more reason to avoid the big chain stores

I cannot believe that a man died on Friday because of shoppers insane desire for the latest and cheapest TV, or whatever it was that seemed worthy of line-waiting, five-am-arriving, running, and ultimately, ending a man's life in the quest of something sold at Wal-Mart. What has this world come to?

If I didn't already semi-boycott chain stores, this would be reason enough to start. I don't shop 100% local, but I do try to buy from the "little guy" when I can. I blame the culture of possession in this country just as much as I blame every one of the people involved in this horrifying expression of Americanism. I don't even celebrate Christmas, but I am pretty sure this is not what the "Christmas spirit" is all about.

As I read on another blog online, "You know, it makes so much sense that this happened at Wal-Mart, the epitome of American grossness. I hope that on Christmas morning, when the Wal-Mart savages' children are opening their stupid presents, they tell them "I hope you like it, because I had to kill a man for it."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Other Car is an Art Car

This art car was done entirely with Sharpies. Seriously.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Toddler Poetry Community Still Strong One Year Later

Today, the approximate one year anniversary of this blog, I wanted to take a moment to look back to our roots as a toddler poetry blog, and to share with everyone that we still are not only the first, but also the second, search result when you Google "toddler poetry community."
Am I proud? Sure. But would I be even prouder if there were tons of other blogs that followed in our footsteps to bring poetry to the teeming toddler masses?
Sure. (As long as they come-up third and fourth in Google search.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More kids dressed-up - my actual last Halloween post

And One Last Halloween Update

After all the candy discussions, we got no trick-or-treaters at all, probably because there was a large sewer truck parked outside of our house due to a problem at the house about three doors down.
If we had gotten a trick-or-treater, you can see what our two candy bowls looked like: mini-fruit-roll-ups, mini play-dohs, leftover kosher lollipops, and dum-dums with gum in the middle I bought by accident back in August.
It's almost like someone had already told the local kids to skip our house....

The pirates and their treasure

A Larchmont Halloween

Some people's houses were impressive....

...but the highlight of the night was going to Franklin's house:
Anna (to Franklin's mom, when she opens the door): Molly and Kelly insisted that the house they wanted to go to the most was Franklin's!
Franklin's mom: Isn't that sweet! I don't know where Franklin is right now, or I'd have him come say hello... honey (yells to husband) do you know where Franklin is?
Husband: I'm not sure, I think he might have gone up the street...
Mike: Hi, I'm Mike. Nice to meet you. Are Franklin and Molly in the same class?
Molly and Kelly: Daddy!!!!! Franklin's a cat!!!!!
Mike: Oh.
After Franklin's house, the second highlight of the night was... CANDY!

This Little Light of Mine

When you hear the line: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.."
What do you think of?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Lil Pumpkins

In case you're wondering

These are the two times the name of Jesus was invoked at my daughters' Jewish nursery school.
Incident #1:
Caregiver A: "School is closed tomorrow."
Caregiver B: "Again, tomorrow? Really? There's another holiday?"
Caregiver A: "Yes, there's another holiday."
Caregiver B: "Sweet Jesus, Have Mercy! I can't believe they're having another day off!"

Incident #2:
Mother A: (Reading a sign) "There's another meeting?"
Mother B: "Yes, I just read it too, I guess there's another meeting tomorrow morning."
Mother A: "Jesus Christ! How many meetings are there going to be?"

Jesus is alive

Number of times I have heard the word Jesus at the Westchester Jewish Center (WJC): 2
Number of months Kelly has attended the WJC: 2

Number of times I heard the word Jesus at the Chabad Early Learning Center (CELC): Zero
Number of months Kelly attended CELC: 10

The numbers of times I would hear the word Jesus if Kelly went to CELC for the next 100 months: Zero

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas

You know the retailers are worried when the Christmas decorations are up before Halloween is even over. I got an email today from one of my favorite organizations, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. They are urging toy companies to only target parents and other adults this holiday season, and not children directly. They are asking for the toy companies cooperation because especially this year, new toys just may not be a possibility for a lot of families. It's so sad to think of a kid being totally unhappy on Christmas because their parents couldn't - or just didn't - get them some over-hyped piece of mass-produced plastic from China.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is sending emails to all the toy manufacturers asking them to advertise responsibly. And I am asking you to please send an email, too. Click here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Halloween. I've got a scary skull ninja and an adorable scarecrow living at my house. I can't wait for the trick or treating. Last year, I gave out stickers. I don't think we got anyone over the age of 4 at our apartment house, so these were a big hit. I didn't see anything wrong with it. Mike came home from work and saw the little bowl of stickers, and said "What? We're the house giving out STICKERS? And no candy? I can't be that house."

He vowed to make things right this year. I said, if you want candy, you need to go get some. I like being the healthy and wholesome house, even if it's the healthy and wholesome, covered with toilet paper, house.

This year we're giving out Play-doh, unless the man of the house gets candy between now and Friday. What do you think? Is candy the only acceptable offering to the trick-or-treating gods?


I love these German - Chinese comparison icons.
I first saw them on my cousin Arthur's blog.
You can see them here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It seemed like a good idea at the time

That's what Molly and Kelly would say if you asked, why did you take everything (and by everything, I mean everything) out of your rooms and put it on the stairs? Every piece of bedding and nighttime sleeping companions, clothes, books, toys, even rugs and other furnishing!

Why? Because we wanted to re-create our rooms on the stairs so we could slide down our room.
My biggest regret? No batteries in the camera to commemorate this moment.
Where is their stuff now? As this little room-switch-aroo happened right before bedtime, bed stuff went back on the beds, everything else is in shopping bags.

For those who know me, you know I just unpacked and did a pretty half-assed job of that as it is. When do you think their stuff will ever leave those bags?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An old email i came across from my mother

"...I got Kelly a Kenzo suede coat- I'm pretty sure she'll like it and it will go well with her evening black bag and brown dog..."

In case you're wondering, dear readers, the Kelly mentioned above, was two-years-old when this email was written.

And also in case you're wondering, the coat did in fact go quite well with both her evening bag and her dog.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Astrology in the house

Kelly is a Libra.
Molly is a Sagittarius.
Kelly is three. But, as she is a Libra, her room is spotless.
Molly is almost five. But, as she is a Sag, her room is hopeless.
Today, while they're both at school, I noticed a huge messy pile in Kelly's room. I said to myself, "huh?" And then noticed on closer inspection it was Molly's deck of Old Maid cards. Somehow, she had managed to make not only her room but also her sister's room messy!
I'll send an update later of what our little Libra has to say when she sees this when she gets home.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think Kelly's reaction will be. I'll send an update at 4 when we're home.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm a rotten egg!

Sometimes it's great watching the older sister try to be mean to the younger sister, and seeing it totally backfire. In the case today I don't think it's because little sis is trying reverse-psychology, but that is essentially the result since she has no idea what the big sis is going on about.

Molly repeatedly keep taunting Kelly, "If you don't hurry up, you'll be a rotten egg!" And Kelly replied, with total glee "I'm a rotten egg! I'm on a rotten egg!" Even after many, many attempts by Molly to impress upon Kelly that she in fact did not want to be a rotten egg, that being a rotten egg was bad, bad, bad.... Kelly, still, as afternoon approaches, is singing in a happy voice "I'm a rotten egg! I'm a rotten egg!"

Sorry, Molly. This is how little sisters get their reputations of being, well, little sisters.

And thank you, Kelly, on behalf of little sisters everywhere, for scoring one for us.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Life imitating blog

Molly went to her first suburban birthday party this weekend. It was surprisingly (or not surprisingly) pretty much the same as all the parties she went to in the big city. The one thing that set this party apart was that the birthday boy's mom is a really incredible baker, and made in addition to a super-scary dinosaur birthday cake, a super-scary dinosaur cookie for each of the kids to take home with them.
As we're leaving, I say to Molly "don't eat your cookie until later."
And she says (in front of everyone), "Why, do you want to take a photo of it for your blog first?"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rosh Hashanah 5769

Here are the photos from yesterday.

Today is Rosh Hashanah

We had a great eruv Rosh Hashanah last night, photos to be posted soon. I also got a very nice email from one of Molly's morahs that was really nice. It's here for everyone else to enjoy too:

Wishing you all a k'sivah vachasimah tova! shana tovah umesuka!May you all be blessed for a very good year with only brachos and happiness and only revealed good!!May we meet in Yerushalayim with Moshiach now!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Have a question about how to live cheap in NYC?

Ask my brother! He's the "Talking Questions" author this week in the City Room section of The New York Times.
Check it out here.

The song this morning at my house

"Stephanie and Unc-le are coming, Stephanie and Uncle ARE COMING!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rookie Suburban Mistake #2

Telling my husband as he is walking out the front door, "put the garbage can at the edge of the driveway. it's garbage day" and thinking he'll remember to do it.

Result: Smelly garbage for three more days.

Rookie Suburban Mistake #1

Going to Home Depot at 10am on a Saturday. No words to describe it. Just don't. ever.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Second day of school

Yesterday afternoon was a fevrish attempt to have the second attempt at school to go a little better than the first. I went into town and got Molly a delightfully tween backpack (knowing how she likes to be sophsticated) in tie-dyed purple and a rhinestone tatoo-style heart, a purple polka dotted folder (she had been very upset not to have her folder on the first school day) and then later that evening went on a family outing to CVS to get the rest of the pencils, markers, paper and scissors to the teacher's exact specifications.

I also went to the grocery and got a snack that could only be the envy of the other kindergartners, since being snackless the first day had also been one of her major complaints with the school day.

And so, off we set to school, Molly having packed the snack herself and wearing her gigantic backpack, and looking every bit a kid who was going to have a much better day at school. Did I mention she was wearing her sparkly English Roses purple lace dress and rhinestone sushi headband - a power outfit if ever there was one. And her hello kitty socks and pink rhinestone shoes.

And, yes, by golly we did it!

Mommy: How was school today?
Molly: A
Mommy: That's great! I'm so glad to hear that.
Molly: Well actually it could be an A plus.
Mommy: Really, how?
Molly: You could take me for ice cream.
Mommy: Everyday can't be an A plus. A is fine.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First day of school

Mommy: How was School?
Molly: F.
Mommy: Really? An F? You don't really mean an F, do you?
Molly: Well, actually, you're right, I don't... F minus.
Mommy: Really? Everything or just some parts?
Molly: F minus. Everything.
Mommy: The teacher? She seemed so nice.
Molly: F minus.
Mommy: Well, what about the snack? How could snack be an F minus?
Molly: F minus. It was way too salty.
Mommy? How about the walk to school?
Molly: It's not that it's too long, it's just that it's unpleasant. I told you F minus everything!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bristol Palin: All Day, All the Time

Let me just admit, despite having about 1 million things to do, what with moving to a new town, not driving even one little bit, needing to enroll both my kids in school, and unpack an entire house-worth of home-stuff, I spend all of my waking moments, plus some moments usually spent sleeping re-purposed to waking, just so I can read all I can find on Bristol Palin. First, it was my incredible interest in the purported mother-daughter baby-swap, then once that was debunked, I shifted my interest to her singularly teenaged pregnant self. As soon as all of that information was suitably ingested, today I find myself inordinately interested in her hot - albeit redneck - boyfriend, his "country gal" mother, and the rest of their Alaskan backwoods world.
If ever a TV show had sweeps winner written all-over-it, it is the Bristol Palin Story. Set my DVR, I don't want to miss an episode!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The road to Larchmont is paved in rhinestones

Who knew that the road from Manhattan to Larchmont would be lined in rhinestones? But it is literally from our move last week. I can not go 10 feet without spying another rhinestone. On the stairs of our new house. On the driveway outside. Not to mention the apartment we left, everywhere I looked - rhinestones, rhinestones, rhinestones.
My younger daughter is obsessed with rhinestones -and always has been - which is why there are so many. We had piles stashed around our home like a drunken pirate who wanted to know at any moment he could reach out and run his fingers through his piles of jewels and treasure. In our case we had rhinestones under (and over, and between, and inside of) every surface because you never knew when you'd here the plaintive wail of "where are my rhinestones?" and need to refill whatever pirates chest or satchel Kelly would give you, and not be satisfied 'till it was overfull of her shiny jewels.
I wonder if rhinestones will continue to be our currency of choice out here in the suburbs? Personally, I'm betting on itty-bitty boots and multi-colored dresses from the rare and exotic Island of Polly Pocket.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yankees Monkey

Sometimes the kids bust out with the most random memories and I don't even know what to say. Molly's stuffed animals have had a long history of injuries. First there was the stuffed doll that Grandma got her for her birthday. Ever pushing the envelope, Grandma chose a nice boy doll of Asian heritage - which of course Molly had no interest in. We named him Hideki in honor of the great Yankee. Grandma very solemnly bandaged stuffed-Hideki when real-Hideki sprained his wrist. Every day Molly would ask if we could take the bandage off and every time Grandma would reply "not yet" until that exciting day when both real and pretend Hideki had healed.
When Molly was around 3 her Dad and I went to a Yankees game and brought back Yankees monkeys for both girls. Kelly's lived a carefree and injury free life. But poor Molly's monkey was - alas - very delicate. He had several neck surgeries, and at least two and maybe three limb re-attachments. This was at least a year ago, and I think even two.

And then out of nowhere today, I hear her telling Kelly (who was upset her brand-new plastic Disney fairy's head had fallen off) about her Yankees monkey. "Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. Do you remember? My Yankees monkey? Daddy got it for me from the Yankees game? It had a little fluff sticking out of the neck? Grandma put a bandage on it? I couldn't touch it? And then after the bandage came off, the head still fell off! It was a very delicate monkey. Not like yours. Yours never had any problems. Well, your fairy is like my Yankees monkey. It is always going to give you trouble. The head will fall off. It won't stay on when you put it back. But grandma will try and fix it. Try. Some things are just really delicate, even if they get fixed."

Do I even know myself at all?

I just tried to retrieve my NYT's online account. Of course I don't remember my user name or password - I never do. But what really stumped me was I had no idea of the answer to my secret question - which is "What is your favorite book?" I was so interested to find out what is my favorite book that I stumbled around the NYT online account interface until I found the question/answer section... only to find that my answer is not visible other than six little black circles.

So, with that clue, six letters no spaces, can any one tell me, what is my favorite book?
And more importantly, how can I not know this?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Save Our Kids from the Corporate Machine - Sign the Petition!

And yes, I understand this message is coming from me, and I've never claimed to be anything but the material girl I am and always have been and always will be.

But sometimes the corporate culture just goes to far. I'm talking about marketing junk food to really little kids, advertising violent movies to preschoolers, and putting soda machines in schools and McDonalds advertising on report cards. That's not good for anyone - and I'm not talking in a vague sort of way. I'm talking in a huge rise in childhood obesity and diabetes kind of way. More violence kind of way. Kids self-esteem being linked to what they own and don't own.

So please, take a minute and read the petition from the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood. And if you agree, please sign it twice. One time to be submitted to the Democrats and one time to be submitted to the Republicans.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Upper West Side Relics

I cannot believe this. I went to Oppenheimer Prime Meat's and Seafood today. And there it was in the window. Yet another "LEASE AVAILABLE" sign staring me in the face.

I could not be more broken-hearted. This was the place I was going to miss most when I left the Upper West Side for the bleak suburbs beyond. This is the place that made my special occasions special. This is the place I got brisket for Hanukkah. Roast chicken for Rosh Hashanah. Short ribs for Pesach. Bologna for the kids. Burgers for Mike.

And worst of all, it will give away the fact that I am not a great cook - I just have (or should I say had) a fantastic butcher.

To those of you not fleeing the Upper West Side for lands afar, I think the time has come to take back your neighborhood. No more Oppenheimer. No more Jake's Fish Market. No more Little Extras. No more Liberty House. No more Ivy's Books, MurderInk, Embassy Florist, or Happy Burger.

The time for (real) change is now.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Molly's first day of camp

Today was Molly's first day of summer camp. Luckily, there was a spot for her when I called woefully late and asked if she could enroll for the last three weeks. Unfortunately, there was no such luck in finding a space for Kelly, who made it clear that she did not think it was fair there was no space for her but telling me when we went to get Molly, "but I see other little kids here. It's not just big kids like Molly." Sadly, Kelly does not really have a grasp of state licensing rules that dictate a 4:1 teacher/child ratio in her age group but only a 7:1 ration for Molly's age, hence how Molly was able to get a space and Kelly wasn't. However, as consolation, I know that it would take the full three weeks for Kelly to actually want to go to camp, and by then of course, it would be ending.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A little follow-up to the official moving post

Thank you to the reader(s) of my blog! News has traveled quickly about my departure from the great city of New York. But I need to clarify - it is not 100% official. The previous post was brought on because our landlord was wonderful enough to grant us a three month extension on our lease, so we can move as of September 1. However, we could also renew our lease for 9 or 12 months on September 1, instead of vacating the apartment and moving out to the suburbs.

My guess is that we will move, but we still haven't found our country home, so it's not a done deal. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks - as always - to everyone who takes the time to visit and read my blog. Leave a comment so I'll know you were here.

Friday, July 4, 2008

It's Official: Big City Mom is gonna be Small Town Mom

Hastings-on-Hudson mom to be exact. I'm excited for the real-life move, but not so excited for the virtual move. I love Big City Mom. I can't imagine loving a Small Town Mom url the same way.
What do you think? Can a Small Town Mom still hide behind the guise of a Big City Mom blog url? Or is time the blog moved here?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Heart New York

Have you ever noticed how Bostonians have the biggest inferiority complex? They always have to tell you how it's the best city, when in fact if it was the best city they wouldn't need to keep talking about how wicked aweseome it is. That's what I like about New Yorkers. They never go around telling you about how great New York is... they just know that it is.

And that knowledge is all a real New Yorker needs to be sure that they are in fact living in the center of the universe.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Am I actually a really lame mom?

Every day my kids ask me about going to school. The older one says "When do we get to go back to school?" and the little one just plaintively wails "Schhooolll. Schhoool. I wanna go to school!" And every day, I say cheerful as can be "In the summer it's a vacation from school. We do fun stuff together, go to the playground, to the library, play with your friends...." And they just ask again about school. So, I offer up the big things I have to offer over school - we can go to the zoo! Grandpa's beach-house! Out for ice-cream! And still, they just want to go to school. Which makes me have to wonder, is it really that bad hanging out with me? And, more to the point, is it time I called their school and asked them if they have two spaces for the last three weeks of camp?

Monday, June 23, 2008


I'm not usually one to retell my kid's syntax mistakes, but one of Kelly's words is so cute, I just have to share. Whenever I tell her no about anything she asks, "tomorrow-day?" to which I usually answer, "Yes, sweetie pie, tomorrow-day you can do that." Because even Kelly knows tomorrow and tomorrow-day are not the same thing. Tomorrow-day is everything that could be and should be in Kelly's little toddler world, and I wish that even just one of the many tomorrows we live through would live-up to the expectations of a tomorrow-day, too.

Thanks for voting!

Thank you to everyone who voted in the latest poll about where to move.... I can't believe it's 6 to 2 in favor of Brooklyn vs. Westchester and not a single one of my friends or neighbors wants me to stay here on the UWS. hmmm.

Also unbelievable is that there were EIGHT votes. Biggest traffic day ever for Big City Mom!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who knew my relocation could be so polarizing?

I've posted a new poll focused yet again on where my little family should move. The prior poll had no Brooklyn option (since I would never live there) and no stay on the Upper West Side option (because if that was an option there wouldn't be all this talk of moving). However, since I like to be considerate of all the points of views held by the (few) readers of my blog, here's a new poll with both the Brooklyn and stay put options.
I'll just be happy if more than one person votes and if I get at least as many votes in the poll as I get in protest votes.

Last Day of School

Don't worry, Instructions for Mike will be back soon

Sorry to all the readers of Instructions for Mike (IFM) for the recent blackout of IFM, the blog will be back bigger and better than ever in a few days.
Until then, you're stuck with this, the less inflammatory New York City Mom blog.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nursery School Relics

Today was Molly's last day of nursery school. She came home with a whole bag full of swag, including all of her day-to-day stuff from class - her carpet square for circle time, her chair name tag, her yellow triangle with her photo on it which was used to check in every morning, and perhaps most touchingly, her Shabbat Ima (handmade) necklace, complete with Hebrew name. All these things were in her classroom day in and day out, and of course amongst the bustle of a rainy Tuesday morning or a hurried pick-up on a way to a dentist appointment, were the most mundane things in the world. Now, out-of-context and lying around our apartment, they are of course overwhelmingly touching. And like so many things with one's child's childhood, I am suddenly filled with regret for every moment this past year that I complained about, rushed past, or simply didn't appreciate. Or, as Molly would say, "no more pre-school."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hello New Readers!

Now that we are "live" on FaceBook I am looking forward to greeting some new readers of this blog. If you're here for the first time please take a minute to give your opinion on our latest poll or to leave a comment, and please accept our hearty welcome!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Could New York City Mom Become Westchester Mom?

My (clearly brilliant) kid got shut-out of the New York City public school system.
No Hunter.
No G/T.
No lottery placements, either at the lottery-only schools or the general education lottery.

I thought we could just give her zoned school a try, but after a tour, decided that too just wasn't an option.

So, what to do? Move to a good zoned school? Try the lotteries again next year? Apply to private schools?

My answer: Goodbye, New York City. So, the question is, where is the best place for a New York City Mom to live, besides New York City?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Now This I Gotta Buy

Molly and Kelly are both promised dogs - or the pet of their choice - on their ninth birthday. Never have I so much wished for a family dog as now, just so we could have the pooch wear this.
For more elitist merchandise, go here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dora the Explorer

If you ever doubted the many fine points of Dora the Explorer, read this review.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

I love this site, but until now I never had anything worthy of submission. I hope they post it!
Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

When is MY book deal coming?

The latest blog that is becoming a book:

Postcards from Yo Momma.

...which I admit, is actually pretty funny. As is Stuff White People Like and of course the blog-father of all blog book deals, PostSecret.

But just because I can admit these blogs are good, doesn't mean I don't want MY book deal too!

Update: Just read about this site: Young Me/Now Me. It is so book deal bound too.

Friday, April 25, 2008

"No more quarter hunts!"

This was my daughter Molly's response when I told her about our apartment building's gleaming new laundry room, that unlike the old one that had coin-operated machines, takes a re-fillable cash card and means we will no longer need to procure one-million-trillion quarters every time we want to do the laundry. For us, finding the requisite quantity of quarters required for even the most humble amount of laundry meant hunting around the apartment for hours in the vain hope that a stray quarter might be stowed here or there, in a random drawer, an overfilled dish or forgotten corner of the floor. This was inevitably followed by raiding the piggy bank, the tzedakah box, and on one particularly bad day, even the state quarter map.

Farewell, quarter hunts. I will miss you.

And just like that, another relic of childhood... gone forever.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Taking a Good Idea too Far

Is it just me, or is there something just not right about this:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lower East Side: First stop, not quite a total success.

So, we went to visit my brother, Ethan - also known as l.e.s.ter on the Lower East Side. However, it was at best a partial success because:

1. I forgot the camera to commemorate the event, and
2. I forgot we needed to have Molly and Kelly, and Kelly didn't even come on the trip.

Still, it was a good trial run for our first "real" trip we'll take one day soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lower East Side - Our First Stop from "Up & Down New York"

So, it's decided. This Saturday we will be going to the Lower East Side in our first stop from "Up & Down New York." More details to follow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Our first NY journey on short-term hold

Wow, I could not have predicted the three-way tie that resulted from the poll about where the girls and I should go first in our recreation of Up & Down New York. Nor could I have foreseen that Molly would receive an invitation to a friend's birthday for this Sunday, the planned day for our first outing.

So, the location and the date of our first outing is TBD for now, stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Who Knew So Many New Yorkers had Blogs?

I found this site today. It has blogs organized by which subway stop they were closest to. I of course immediately signed-up to have my blog added.

For all you New York City bloggers, this is a great place to add your blog or find other Big City bloggers.

Check it out here: NYC Bloggers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A website everyone should check out

I rarely find a site or organization I feel compelled to pass along, but I am a really big fan of an organization in Boston working to curb marketing and advertising to children. They are Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), and I cannot believe some of the things the corporate world is doing. Some examples:

  • McDonalds being allowed to advertise on public school report cards in Florida

  • Bratz and other commercial items being sold by Scholastic at School Book Fairs

  • BabyFirstTV, the first TV channel aimed at infants as young as six-months old.

The CCFC successfully protested against all these attempts by the corporate world to truly act against the best interests of children, and I am just genuinely grateful these folks are out there looking out for children and doing something about the ridiculous marketing to kids that is so incredibly widespread these days.

If you feel like getting angry about the state of the world, definitely check out CCFC's website and the links to current campaigns. And then, you can click "take action" on their campaigns, and feel a little better about this little over-producing, global warming, materialistic chunk of dirt and water we call earth.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

1920s music suggestions?

I thought to help the girls get into the mind-set for Sarg's New York ,I'd introduce them to some greatest hits from the 1920s. Not knowing too much (and by not too much, I mean nothing at all) about 1920s music (what was in then, anyway? big band? jazz?) I was hoping for some ideas about what might make a good listen.

Who has the desert island discs from 80 years ago?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Where should we go first on our New York journey?

The choices are endless in an endless-if-24-is-the-new-infinity kind of way. I am inclined to do one of the easier locations first, but no reason why we can't try to do one of the more difficult to reach places, or one of the harder to document landmarks. Some places have changed more than others since the book's publication over 80 years ago.

A few options are in a poll, but let me know other ideas you have about where the girls and I should head in our first stop from Up & Down New York!