Monday, December 5, 2011

We're Moving...Come With Us!!!

Our blog is moving!!!! So pack a little overnight bag (don't forget your toothbrush), and make the trip with us!

From now on, you can read all about Max's adventures (and my misadventures) at

The amazing Tori Porter (who, along with being a Blog Goddess also happens to be my lifelong best friend) has got me all set up at a brand spankin' new address. Same family, same stories about my crazy amazing two year old, but well, things just look prettier now. Let's just say that I finally look as beautiful on the outside as I feel on the inside. I mean.... my blog does. And Tori has lovingly (insanely?) offered to help me take this "mama blogger" thing to a whole new level. Maybe I'll even learn some Twitter ;) And how to spread the Max-love to lots of new friends. And you? My old friends?? Well you're the most important part of this blogging experiment! We'd miss your smiling faces if you didn't come with us....I mean really, you're the whole reason why we're brave enough to "grow up" a little now....

So come join the party at!

See you on the flip side!!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Christmas Inferiority Complex

I want twinkly blue Chanukah lights hanging from every dang inch of my roof.

I want one of those ugly electric menorahs shining in my window. Right now we have the stupid plastic stick-em's on the window, and even though there's a dreidel, some Stars of David AND a menorah, they're really hard to see when it's ummm....dark.

Before I had Max, I was perfectly content with quiet, private, light-the-candles-and-maybe-share-a-few-latkes kind of Chanukah celebrations. But you know what? Before I had Max, when it was just Sean and I, I would only SPEAK the Chanukah blessing. Growing up, my mom would always lead us in singing it. I was embarrassed to sing in front of Sean.

But now we have Max. And I've found that suddenly, we're the ones leading the holiday traditions. Max's memories will rise and fall around what Chanukah looked like, felt like, and tasted like when he was little.

So celebrate, we will.

Not just the material things, but the traditions that bind us together as a family. We will make latkes, and light the candles, and spin colorful driedels across the hardwood floor until they crash into the furniture. We will read Chanukah books, and Max will stuff his toy sticks into the menorah and pretend like he's lighting it. And of course we sing. The Chanukah song, the Dreidel song, the latke song, and even the Chanukah prayers.

Perhaps I'm looking for decorations to bookend all of these things. Maybe the Chanukah aisle in Target completely barfed in my shopping cart because I want my son to experience how a holiday becomes a season, and a season punctuates a culture. Like all of the Christmas kids do? Maybe.

And apparently I'm not the only one of my FaceBook friends who thinks that Blue Balls for Chanukah are absolutely necessary.

Oh my god. I am fucking hysterical.

There's something magical about this time of year. No matter who you believe in. There are light parades to be shared with friends....

Warm fuzzy hats and preppy mittens to wear in a San Francisco Winter Wonderland....
Every night at bedtime Max says "You read CHA-mukah book to me peease?", and we climb in bed and snuggle up. We read the ChaMukah book over and over and over again. And we talk about how special it is that the Jewish people around the world will all be celebrating ChaMukah together soon.

You can bet your ass I'll be in Target next week too. I need some more glitter branches and silver tinsel to round out our living room.
'Tis the Chamukah Season!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What THAT?!

When Max was about 8 or 9 months old, I was chatting with a friend about how difficult it could be to get a shower in when you have a baby. Max was still small enough that I could strap him into the bouncy seat and he'd hang out in the bathroom with me. Somewhere between conditioning my hair and shaving my legs though, he'd start crying inconsolably, and I'd be left singing 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider' while frantically washing off the last of my grapefruit body scrub. I thought THAT was rough.

"Just wait till he's older" my friend said. "And he starts noticing that you're NAKED."

I was horrified. "Oh my god! When will that happen??" I worried. Should I not be showering in front of my baby??? "Of course it's fine" she said. "Don't worry, when the time comes, you'll know."

I quickly forgot about our conversation, and focused instead on the daunting task of how to keep Max from unraveling the toilet paper/squeezing out all of the toothpaste/dumping his snacks in the sink and running out the bathroom door while I was showering. At 2 and a half, he's now content to watch an episode of Word Girl on the iPad while sitting in his beanbag chair on the bathroom floor, oblivious to the fact that I'm taking a shower.

Until today, when I stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around me.

"What that?" he asked, standing up.

" towel?" I said.

"No. What THAT?" he asked again, as he tried to unwrap my towel and look behind it.


My immediate reaction was panic. And embarassment. I was, quite frankly, terrified.

"Ummm....that's Mommy's um, chest. Mommies have umm, chests, and boys have ummmm....wait..."

And then he went back to Word Girl.

Major. Mommy. Fail.

Immediately, I was SO PISSED at myself. He's TWO! He doesn't know anything at all about privacy, or body shame, or being embarassed. It's normal and healthy and normal and age-appropriate and oh, NORMAL for him to ask. He's asking about my breasts and vagina so that he can give them an appropriate name, like he names his elbow or his head or his toes. He's not asking so that he can say "Geesh Mom, well now that I'm really paying attention to the fact that you're naked, it's pretty clear where the rest of my Halloween candy went!" He's not laughing and pointing. He's not horrified that I dared undress in front of him. He's just curious. And yes, probably starting to figure out that Mommy's parts are different than his and Daddy's parts.

I guess it's probably time to start actually living the philosophies that I believe in. That bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. That children need to know the real names for body parts, and not call them something stupid or derogatory. And that the way that parents model positive body-talk will shape the way that children learn to respect and care for their own bodies. And I need to be able to say the word vagina, I guess. And breasts.

Starting tomorrow. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Two Peas In A Pod

Happy Thanksgiving!!! As soon as I can locate the very important cord that connects my camera to my computer, I'll inundate you with pictures of our turkey/stuffing/Baubee's amazing sweet potato casserole/our beautiful decorations that looked just like Pinterest in my mind, but in our dining room not so much/the family pictures that just might make the holiday cards/the adorable pinecone place setting that my two year old made/proof that my Mom, Terri and I ROCKED our Thanksgiving menu....but for now, I have to show you what I'm absolutely loving this week......
Cousin Aaron is here visiting with Aunt Terri and Uncle Harvey, and Max is thrilled to have his big buddy around! Max calls him "E". Or "Air". Except he can't really say his "r's", so it sounds like "Aiiiw". They do every.darn.thing.together.They feed the bears. They pose for the 314th cell phone camera shot.
Aaron turns Max's blocks into dinosaurs, and spaceships, and robots.They eat bagels together. At 7 am. GOOD morning.They're a darn near mirror image of each other. And we are SO lucky to have the AZ Simon Family with us this week!From our house by the bay, to your house across the miles, we hope you had a delicious, warm, SWEET potato casserole kind of Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

What I Love About Winter

I used to think that the best thing about being on the cusp of the holiday season, was the White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha. Nothing screams cozy cuddly toasty warm holiday season like that bright red Starbucks holiday cup.

Well, except for a sweet two and a half year old boy in a winter hat.

So long triple grande peppermint white mocha, you're no longer my number one favorite thing about Winter.

This little guy is.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welcome To The Club!

Dear Baby Adam,
Let me introduce myself. My name is Max, and my Mommy and Aunt Susie and your Mommy are all friends. And this guy down here with the baseball cap on? That's your pretty awesome Daddy, Ryan. But you'll just call him Daddy. So here's your Daddy and our Uncle Matt, and our boy Jack, and me....
Wanna know why we were hangin' out? It's because the Mommies were all hanging out with YOU!!! Because you were just born!!! My mom, and Jack's mom, and YOUR mom got to spend some time together catching up when you were just a few days old, so the big boys made the best of our girl-free time, and did some very "boy" eating pizza.

And sitting by ourselves on bar stools.

And working together to get some yardwork done. Umm, Uncle Matt? Do we get some allowance for this??

Like I was saying, the mommies were visiting with you, and Baby Molly got to go too....because she's a girl AND a baby. And she can't eat pizza. Here's my Mommy with Baby Molly (bad picture of my Mommy, but great one of little Molls).
So Adam, what I'm trying to say is that we're saving you a seat on one of these bar stools. And a slice of pizza for when you're a little bit bigger. Your mom and dad are two of the kindest, most thoughtful, genuine, and funny people we know, and we are SO excited that you're finally here! I know that you have tons of grand adventures ahead of you, and that your folks are going to let you do some really cool stuff. Jack and I can't wait for you to hang with us and play, but right now, we know that you have some very important things to do first. Like sleep, and eat, and sleep and eat again. And poop, I guess. Jack and I can tell you all about that if you need any pointers. Oh, and the mommies say you're really cute, too. So eat, sleep, poop, and look cute. And when you're a little bigger, we're here to hug it out with you....

By the way, as soon as you're ready, there's TOTALLY room for you to ride in this car with us! No really, there is! But no girls allowed. Sorry Molls, I'm just sayin'..... Welcome to our club Baby Adam, welcome to our club!
Love, Max (and my buddy Jack)
We love you Janette, Ryan, and Baby Adam!!!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Don't Say "Football", Say "I'm Sorry"

Dear little boys who were hurt at Penn State,

This is not your fault.

I see the shadow of you, hiding behind the crowds as they surge in the Student Union. I see you watching the group of college men as they start shaking the news truck in anger. I see you hiding behind the bleachers as the rest of your friends cheer their football team each weekend. I see you stone-faced, watching the evening news with your family, feeling like you no longer have any air to breathe.

This is not about football. This is about you.

This is about children, who were let down. This is about the little boy in the shower, who saw an adult come around the corner and thought that adult would save him. And he didn't. This is about being 10 years old and having your whole life ahead of you, and losing your dreams, your hope, your spirit, in one afternoon.

So instead of everyone talking about football, instead of wasting our collective Internet breath by discussing "winning streaks" and "coaching legacies", let's instead say to you "I'M SORRY".

This is not about football, this is about YOU.

I spent the early part of my career working with children who had been sexually abused. 6 year olds. Toddlers. Bright-faced little kids who had been raped. What people often don't realize, is that when a child is assaulted, it CHANGES THE TRAJECTORY OF THEIR LIFE.

It changes everything.

Children who have been hurt suddenly hurtle towards a category that no parent wants their child to fall into. We call them "high-risk". They are at high risk for suicide. They are at high-risk for self-mutilating behaviors. They are high risk for teenage pregnancies, and drug use, and domestic violence. They suffer from PTSD, and Depression, and a general mis-trust of the grown-ups who CHOSE TO WALK OUT OF THAT LOCKER ROOM. The coaches who knew about this, and never went to the police. If these heroes failed them, then who else will? These kids have learned that no one will save them.

I would bet, that many of you whose lives were severely altered by this coach, have started the process of putting your spirits back together again. Perhaps you have had counseling. Perhaps you have found the love of a supportive partner. Perhaps you have gone on into careers that help other children like you. So I want to be one voice, in what will hopefully become a chorus of voices, that say to you "Way to go".

This is not your fault. You came forward. You spoke up. You told someone the truth when you were so afraid. Your courage flies in the face of the cowardice of every single grown-up who heard about your pain and did nothing. You are bigger than a football legacy. You are bigger than a fight song. You are stronger and braver than any player on that team.

This is not about football. This is about your courage, and your pain, and your right to hear all of our voices tell you, finally, out-loud "I'm sorry".

With Best Wishes For Your Ongoing Recovery,

Someone's Mom