June 2021
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January in New York

At the beginning of this recent December, my Mom had a milestone birthday. And my sister Melissa had a non-milestone birthday. December is a tough time for a get-together, so we arranged to get together on MLK day weekend for a belated celebration. Melissa and her family always have a long drive up from NYC to see us, so we decided to get together in Brooklyn this time. What a lovely weekend we had!

(We were all really sad that my sister Christina wasn’t able to make it, but I guess that just means that we have to all get together again soon!)

We rented a house using AirBnB, which means that we got to spend a lot of family-time together. It was a little on the pricy side, but much more reasonable when compared to getting enough hotel rooms for seven adults and one kid.


It also meant that we weren’t the only ones who had to read “Pancakes for Findus” 50 times over the course of the weekend.


We decided to drive down halfway on Friday night, and then stay with my sister Allison outside Hartford. This was a genius plan for two reasons: 1. Lilian can only take about two hours in the car before she starts to bug out. Breaking up the trip meant a lot less of “Wan’ get down! Wan’ get dowwwwwwwn!!!” 2. My husband is *not* a morning person. Doing part of the drive the night before gave us a much better shot at getting to NYC by lunch-time. This also meant that we got to spend some extra time with Allison, because she had to work on Saturday and there was a good chance she was going to have to work all weekend and miss the trip entirely.

(Spoiler alert! She made it down after all!)


Stopping at my sister’s house also meant that we were able to bring my brother-in-law Dustin with us. Which was great for him – free ride to the city. But it was freaking awesome for us – built in back-seat entertainment! Dustin, you are always and forever welcome to road-trip with us again. My kid has never been so well-behaved at the two hour and fifteen minute mark of a car trip.

We all did our own thing on Saturday afternoon. Melissa and I met up with our Mom and took Lilian to a park. Which prompted the most Park Slopiest of all Park Slope conversations I have had with a six-year-old.

Six-year-old (walks up to me, points to Lilian, sounds very excited): “Does she have two moms?!?!”
Me: “No, I’m her mom and this is her auntie.”
6YO (sounding disappointed, slightly dejected): “Oh. Where’s her Dad?”
Me: “He’s napping.”
6YO: “My Dad is napping too.”

Apparently six-year-olds in Brooklyn think it’s cool to have two moms. I think I like where this country is heading.

We all got together for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. The food was excellent, and we got to bring in our own wine. Manly wine.


Real men wear jaunty scarves.


Sunday, it rained for approximately a million hours straight. My mom’s one request was that we all go to the Brooklyn Museum together. Which just so happens to be a place where three kids can stretch their little legs out to their hearts content. The art’s not bad, either.


I think we got the stink-eye from every single guard and docent in the building, but the kids all behaved themselves. Nobody even attempted to touch the artwork. Lilian even managed to use her inside voice. Mostly. I can’t say I got to really soak in most of the collection, what with corralling my toddler, and hissing “inside voices! don’t touch!” repeatedly. But I saw my fair share of paintings.

My Mom was really excited to see Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party with (most of) of her daughters and grand-daughters. It’s a pretty amazing piece. I don’t think the grand-daughters were really able to fully appreciate its place in art history. Or the importance of honoring forgotten women. Or even to realize just how “vulvar” the place-settings were. But, hey, we were all there together. And I dug it.


We also made it to the Killer Heels exhibit. Which was the most popular gallery we saw. By far.


Not heels. Not killer.

I somehow managed to convince Melissa and Mom to go to yoga with me later that afternoon. It’s not like yoga is a hard sell, but I did drag them out into the rain and away from the rest of the family. So. Worth. It. We all felt so much more relaxed and restored afterwards. I think I’m in danger of becoming a yoga junkie.

Sunday night was the big AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Colts. Our rental didn’t have a TV. It looked like the owner used a projector to watch movies, but I assumed it wasn’t something that was available to renters. My resourceful husband actually went ahead and texted him to see if we could use it (crazy, right?). Turns out it was right there in the ottoman the whole time. Kristian plugged his laptop into the projector, streamed the game, and we had ourselves a football party.


I tend to get a little… excited when it comes to the Patriots. Lilian learns all sorts of awesome vocal words during games. I was warned to be on my best behavior, and I managed to keep it all under control. Mostly. My nephew did say to me, “I never met a mom who likes football before.”

(Brooklyn is apparently ahead of the times when it comes to moms who marry other moms, but kindof behind the times when it comes to moms who watch football.)

Monday morning, we all started heading off in the direction of home. But, some of us did get together for one last breakfast. And a trip to the park. And I finally managed to get a photo of all the cousins together… where nobody is naked and nobody is crying.


Apparently our kids are all little emotional nudists. Because this is seriously the only decent picture I have from 2.5 years worth of attempts. Let them get naked, and they’re all smiles. But, put them all together and force everyone to wear pants, and it’s like they hate each other. And, trust me, these kids love each other.

Clearly, we need to get them all together more often.

4 comments to January in New York

  • Such a fun weekend! Thanks for coming down. And as for football liking moms in Brooklyn, there are plenty, just not in your nephew’s home. 😉

  • MJ

    On the issue of cousins and nudism in the preschool years…on the advice of my attorney, I’ll say nothing further.

  • I think we should make it a yearly tradition! We all had a great time.

    My nephew clearly needs to ask the moms in his life about how they feel towards football. 😀

  • I can neither confirm nor deny that I spent most of my time at that age running around naked…

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