Monday, April 30, 2012

Bittersweet Endings

Clare's birthday was a little bit bittersweet. It marked endings and beginnings, wrapped up into one neat calendar determined package.

Her second birthday marked her ability to join Grace at the Montessori near our house. It is a place where I know she will be nurtured emotionally and academically. She will have the security of her sister and small, comfortable classrooms. She will play in the dirt, sun and rain. She blossom.

But she is no longer with me.

My girls are now 60 minutes away from me instead of 60 seconds. The voices drifting through the windows into my office no longer contain their voices. The distance seems deafening.

Only to me though.

The girls? They are enraptured with their reunited status as sisters 24/7. Instead of lunch time giggles that are disembodied drifts, I am greeted with shouts and giggles and ear to ear grins. I get reports of fresh fruit snacks and play time mud pies.

And honestly, what better celebration of a 2nd birthday is there than a gift of toddler self-actualization?
(And commutes listening to CSPAN instead of Lori Berkner?)

Thursday, April 26, 2012



You are a perfect combination of storm clouds and sunshine. I guess, by default, that makes you my rainbow, huh?

And you are two today.

When you were born, I was so afraid for your ability to thrive. You showed me though. You've blossomed and grown like a wild vine, weaving a path of your own choosing. Your eyes sparkle with laughter and mischief, your voice sounds with clarity and force. You leap blindly and fearlessly into adventure. You twirl uninhibited, stretching your limbs into service for your own joy and our amusement.

Happy Birthday my Love. I can't wait to watch you grow, making your colors as vivid as your personality.


Saturday, April 21, 2012


So. Sometimes, I get a little carried away by ideas and the big picture. I forget a little bit about the reality of a situation.

Last week, I wrote about figurative sunshine and roses. How many times do you get to go stomp around the White House grounds, right? Shouldn't I push the memories of stress related sweat trickling down my spine out of my head?

It seems I did a little bit to good of a job with the mental cleanse of that one, because when Matt received another email announcing free unscheduled access to the grounds for Garden Tours, I jumped at the chance. Of course I want to go! I want to write about real sunshine and roses!

We started off with a good plan. Brunch at Founding Farmers followed by a stroll through the White House gardens! How could we go wrong? Well, for one we didn't realize the IMF World Bank Meetings were going on. Right next door to Founding Farmers. Blocking streets and sidewalks galore. And we seemed to forget about the fact that Clare won't sit longer than 5 minutes to eat. The out-of-this-world beignets did hold her in her seat for a solid 7 minutes, but after that she spent the hour dancing in her chair and receiving glares from the wait staff.

Inside the White House gates we faced another entirely new problem. A week ago they had free access to run across the luscious grass. Today, there were heavy chains and Secret Service protecting the blades. My children, Clare in particular, did not care of this. At all.

I think it became a game with her. After a few rounds of "How far can I get onto the green?" I was done. And the worst part? I pictured formal gardens squirreled away in some secret part of the lawn. Nope, the garden tour was mile markers with pictures of presidents planting trees.

Any pictures I have of the event I deleted from my phone. My children were pissed off the entire time. I was drenched in sweat. The one upside? We were within a stones throw of  of access to the front portico.

And we seemed to amuse the guards.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


One of the perks to Matt's fancy detail job is his ready proximity to the White House.

For years, like many American's, we've tried in vain to get tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll. This year was no different. We tried. In vain. Several times. And was once again shut out.

But, the upside to being one of the few late-thirty-somethings in an office of work-a-holic Washingtonians is the is one of the 'few old guys with kids'.  And he was plied with sympathy. All of his co-workers entered their name into a lottery with the intent to pass on their tickets to us.

We hit the jackpot.

It was a beautiful day.

The girls were dressed in their White House appropriate finery, and I had a plan. We stopped to have lunch near our house to fill bellies before heading into DC. The problem was food never really make it into bellies. At the end of lunch, I saw Clare give me the look. A half second later, that look ended up all over herself and Grace as my carefully laid plan crumbled before my eyes.

In the rush to go home and change the girls, a key part of Clare's wardrobe was left behind.

Once we got past the chaos of actually getting on the grounds, the girls hunted and dyed eggs. They met their heroes: Dora, Diego and Curious George. And we procured a much sought after family photo on the south lawn of the White House.

All sans-shoes.