For All My Ho-Ho-Hos

A few weeks ago I got an email from a reader who said,

Sorry to be a demanding blog reader but . . . will Santa Pan return this year?

As if I could stop him!

Dear Santa Pan,

I have been a very good girl this year. 

For Christmas I would like:

an iPhone 
(since I ask for one every year),

and maybe a good job for my Holbstudent when he graduates.


(You get to ask Santa Pan for super extravagant things, it's sort of his forte.)

* * * * * * * *
If you have been good this year,
and would like to tell Santa Pan what you want for Christmas,
I'd be happy to pass along the message
* * * * * * * *

Merry Christmas!


The New To-Do

Today was a banner day!

Today I

Changed some pants.
Assisted in the safe passage of some tummy bubbles.
Wrestled one {1} pacifier and two {2} baby socks out of Peter Pan's mouth.
Listened to a lot of Beirut on youtube.
Got spit up all in mah hair.
Pushed a baby in a stroller to retrieve one {1} three-pack of wipes and two {2} 12-packs of Diet Coke.
Nursed a bajillion times.
Discovered a mysterious wet spot on the back of my jeans, and smelled it without even thinking twice. 
Pushed a baby in a stroller on a walk with the dogs and to pick up the laundry from the basement, and managed to stuff us all (one-handed!) into my tiny elevator.
Performed a private Christmas Concert, Audience of One.
Bathed a baby till he was squeaky clean, then lovingly smeared lotion all over him, including all ten {10} of his Huckleberry toes.
Thanked the Lord above for the person who invented baby swings and also for the person who discarded their perfectly good one on the street for me to find and love forever.

In a little bit I will

Rock a baby till he falls asleep.
Pray fervently that he will pretty-pretty-please sleep through the night!
Collapse exhausted onto the couch and have some egg nog with a Diet Coke chaser (don't knock it till you try it, yo).

My life these days is pretty flippin' rad.

is worth watching.


Thoughts In The Night

In the quiet of my dark bedroom, as I rock my Huckleberry in his tight swaddle and look out over the twinkling New York City apartments, I start to wonder if maybe our babies are made up of little slices of our very own souls, slices that we unknowingly part with the first time we feel the stirrings of maternal longing. He feels so familiar to me, and in a strange way it seems like I've known him forever.

I wonder if know him because he is part of me? Fitting perfectly into the space I carved for him during all those years of waiting.

Or maybe we are spirits that have reunited after a long separation. As I sway in the darkness, his head under my chin, I wonder if we were, and if so, what we talked about. I wonder if I promised him I'd find a way to bring him home, even if it was difficult, even if it seemed impossible. Or was it the other way around? Maybe he reassured me that even though it would take a while, that he would be there waiting. I sometimes wonder, even as he is so helpless, who really needs the other more.

It is so obvious that he is mine, and that he was supposed to be mine all along. Sometimes in the dark I imagine that on the day he was born the Universe shifted to correct for its imbalance.

As the lights from distant windows twinkle and the night gets later he finally drifts to sleep. I am so glad I fought. And so grateful he waited.


And I On The Opposite Shore Will Be

We just got our family Christmas photos back from our amazingly talented friend Kaitlyn and I had to share them. I love them so much I could die. Thank you so much, Kaitlyn!

p.s. THIS is my very favorite thing I read all day



We stopped for a quick visit with Santa at Macy's the other day.
Huck didn't buy it.


Some Things To Share

First of all . . . 


In other news
this is cute. 


What To Do In New York CITYYYYYYYY!

{me and huck and the flat iron, september 2010}

Touristy Stuff, Only Cooler
Skip the lines at the Empire State Building. Top of the Rock is faster and just as tall.
Skip the Statue of Liberty. Walk the Brooklyn Heights Promenade instead. You'll see the Lady and all of Manhattan's skyline, plus you can say you went to Brooklyn, which is exciting! (Wave at Montague Street for me while you're there!)
Skip Grimaldi's and get Juliana's. Same family, same ovens, smaller line. Get ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for dessert, and then walk back to Manhattan across the big girl.
Get tickets to a taping of something. Jimmy Fallon is my favorite. Sign up for tickets in advance, and if they're all booked you can always try the standby line day-of.
Skip Times Square, and visit Union Square instead.
(Unless you want to see the four story Forever 21. The four story Forever 21 is totally worth the hassle of Times Square.)
Skip the cupcakes at Magnolia and get the banana pudding instead.
If you go to Ground Zero, be sure to check out the old graveyard across the street. It's really rad in there.
If you're going to do a museum, I suggest the MoMA. The MoMA cafe is especially worth it.
You know what's every bit as fun as you think it's going to be? FAO Schwarz. I mean it. Go there.

Shopping? Yes, You Will Be Shopping
On a weekend, nothing beats the Brooklyn Flea Market and the Smorgasburg.
Spend most of your time on and around Broadway south of Houston, and on 5th Avenue south of the 23rd Street. Zara, Topshop, Madewell, H&M, Barneys CO-OP. Be sure to wander down Spring and Prince and Wooster when you're in SoHo. That's some of my favorite places down there.
For a real New York experience, you're going to want to hit up a Sample Sale ( will keep you posted.) Be sure to wear your cutest underpants for when you strip to your skivvies next to model-types. This sounds horrifying, but it's good for you, you should try it once.
Go to Mood and pretend you're on Project Runway.  (M&J Trimming is fun.)
Department stores are fun to wander through. I really like Bloomingdales a lot.

Good Things To Eat
Shake Shack. Get the Shack Stack. You won't need to eat for the rest of your life.
Eat a Levain cookie, but whatever you do, don't look up the calorie information on that sucker, you'll regret it.
Benny's Thai in the Financial District (hole in the wall, and sooooo goooooood).
Iron Chef Sushi in Brooklyn Heights (tell them Natalie sent you, and order the MONKEY ROLL).
Falafel in the West Village
Bubby's in Tribeca
Amy Ruth's in Harlem (I've been dying to check this place out, you'll have to tell me how it is)
John's Pizza on Bleecker Street

Other Fun Stuff
Pick an Avenue and walk it. Any Avenue will do. (I like Fifth.)
Ride the subway for funsies. Just, not from 8-10AM and not between 4 and 6PM and not any time after midnight, unless you want a different kind of funsies. I like the N/R line, goes right down the middle.
Get lost in the west village. You're going to get lost down there anyway so you may as well say you did it on purpose.
Go stare at hipsters and do some thrifting in Williamsburg.
Go see my lover the Flat Iron building and then wander around Eataly because that place is BONKERS.
Check out the bathroom at Bryant Park. It was named the third best public restroom in the nation!
Pressed for time? Do a bus tour. I know I know. They're actually kind of fun.

Things that aren't worth it:
Waking up early to stand outside the Today Show windows. Please don't stand around and scream at Al Roker. You won't feel good afterward. Same goes for any restaurant anywhere near Times Square. The Lego Store is lame, but the M&M store sells gold M&Ms!

Bonus Extra Credit:
Take a You've Got Mail pilgrimage to the West corner of 69th and Columbus to see The Shop Around The Corner (next to the L'Occitane). Then wave at me, you're in my neighborhood!


Milk Drunk

My new favorite thing to do is to take crummy cell phone pictures of Huck right after we've nursed and text them to my mom. He sort of rolls off me like a drunkard and passes out into this goofy stupor. It's sublime. I'm thinking they'd make a great collection in some swanky art gallery in Chelsea. I would probably be featured in Vogue. I would call it . . . Milk Drunk! (Or possibly Boob Drunk!, depending on how classy I am feeling at the moment.)

Please to enjoy the fruit of my boobs!


A Message From My Middle Child

A little note from Barnaby MacDuff to you. 


Hi! Hi!


I like birthdays!

This is my daddy.

I loooooove my daddy.



I like sticks.


Ohhhhhh noooo decisions. . .








Cute Baby Alert!

Today was a good day, because today was the day my wallet came back to me from Queens.

I lost it in a cab on my way to the doctor's office, where I was declared fit for "strenuous physical exertion," wink wink, and then as I was packing up all of my parts and pieces (do I have my keys? do I have my Huck? does my Huck have his socks?), I was suddenly aware that I was missing my wallet, my cab fare home, my ID, aaaaaaand my MetroCard.

And then in a moment of pure Irish luck (I am not Irish), my phone rang (Lady GaGa is my ring tone), and on the other line a-calling was Huck's pediatrician (her name is Carole).

"You left your wallet in a cab!" Carole said.

"I know!" I said back. "Wait--how do you know?"

"Billy called me."

"Who is Billy?"

"Your cab driver."


"He said to call him before five."

I looked at my watch. 4:59. Luckily I can dial super fast.

What do you suppose a wallet does while it is in Queens? And what do you suppose the inside of a cab company's office must look like? People must leave things in cabs all the time. I always get a little nervous when it is time to pay and calculate the tip and try to exit the car gracefully. It's any wonder I leave cabs with any of my belongings at all. Probably a lot of take-out boxes get left in cabs. I always leave my take-out boxes in mysterious places. Do you do that too?

When my wallet returned to me from Queens I did the cursory check to make sure everything was there that should be there (credit cards) and that nothing was there that shouldn't be there (bedbugs). (Really, you've got to take these things seriously.) And what do you know? Every last cent.

So now you know the story of how my wallet came back to me from its grand adventure in Queens. It is also the story of how I came to know that, as much as people might try and pretend otherwise, New York City is actually a pretty nice place to live after all.


Today I tried on a pair of stupidly awesome pleather pants. 
For about twenty seconds they were totally coming home with me, 
and then common sense won out. 

Common sense is so boring sometimes.