I’m moving!

Come see me on Tumblr! 

I think it’s my new space! Where everything… poetry, kids, photos, inspirational articles and quotes… all comes together.  I’m a lot happier having a space where everything is in one spot.

I’ve really enjoyed this blog, butit’s time for a change.  Hope to see you there!

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Autumnal Update

We’ve been busily enjoying fall here, and a week of Indian summer: unexpected rebirth of hot weather, which means we have to cram in as many last summer activities as possible!

Ian and I went camping in the Lake Placid area a couple weekends ago… just us, our tent and vanful of camping gear: pie iron, repair kit, etc.  We climbed two mountains and slept in our tent, in a windy nook near a little fishing pond. Roasted lots of junk food and drank a lot of whiskey and ogled the stars by a campfire.  And I slept without any white noise!! If you know me at all, you know this is huge.

It’s got us thinking about our lives and what we want: how we are happiest in the most simple circumstances…. close to nature, using our bodies physically, and being together.

Here are some pictures from the trip:


At the top of Bald Mountain near Old Forge.

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Camping! I thought about swimming here, but it was chilly.  Camp shower instead!



On top of Ampersand Mountain: mismatched socks and all.  At least my Echoes are serious.  In  our defense, we pretty much climbed in pajamas and jeans but we smoked the Italian hikers with their designer gear and mega-backpacks.  Maybe all that stuff slowed them down. We had expected this climb would take five hours (that is the time estimate on the website for slightly out of shape hikers) and we scampered up and down in 2.5.  It was very windy, wet and scary at the top.  I stayed long enough for this picture.

I am lazy about posting here lately, but it seems like so much else is going on.  Lately I’m obsessed with Instagram. Love that I can take a billion crappy pictures and edit, edit, edit! I have to stop myself from uploading a photo every ten minutes… nobody else thinks it’s that cute, Lindsey!! 

But if you’re interested, here we are having lots of fun and adventure and the occasional really awful painting incident.

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The State Fair

Every year, we tell ourselves: Never again.

Every year, we forget.

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San Diego


Even though flying with kids sucks, being in the places we love is so worth it. San Diego and Ireland are the two places we consistently visit: since my mother’s side of the family is here and Ian’s family is in Ireland. The two places are about as different as places can be, and yet it has always been my dream to live in both of them (at once, if possible. I just need a private jet. I’m sure my writing career will eventually lead to private jets, right?)

This trip was amazing, since we had two full weeks. My mother and I braved it with the two boys, staying at my aunt’s house that she always graciously lets us use when we visit. The flight, like I mentioned before, and in my video: sucked. For one thing, the idea of it is so stressful that I always know I’m not going to sleep the night before. Because I now know that, I also can’t sleep the night before the night before because I know I won’t sleep. Et cetera…


Please let me sleeeeeeep.

So you begin the trip very tired, which is never good. And then there is everything else sucky about flying with children. They were good, compared to how I always imagine they will be. It’s just not a pleasant way to spend time with them.

But then we got there! Palm trees! Fresh fruit! 90’s dance music! (Because every night is a dance party in San Diego… until 7 pm, when I fell asleep every night, because I was still on NY time.)




Plus the zoo! We went on my mother’s birthday; it is her favorite place and even tried the SkyTrain this time. I thought Tadhg would be afraid but he is totally cool with being suspended above trees in the air. I was not as cool.


Me pretending to enjoy myself whilst keeping a death grip on Oscar. Do not even think about looking out there, Oscar. You can look at the sturdy pole that everyone seems to trust will hold tight up here.

It was hot in the middle of the day, ninety degrees-plus. We drove around in an old AMC Hornet (insert fist shake at my father)  with no air conditioning in stifling San Diego traffic for a couple days and then gave up and just lounged around at home, keeping cool.




Pretty much survived on smoothies and ice cream.  I figured the green stuff canceled out the pink, sugary stuff.

I had a chance to go through a lot of old photos with my grandmother and found some gems, like this one, from nursing school:


And then we had some surprise guests show up!

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The men just couldn’t stay away.  And yes, that is my father picking pennies OUT of the wishing fountain.  Sadly, the only thing he wants money for is yet another Hornet.  I just hope my children haven’t inherited the AMC gene. They flew in for a few days, with an air-conditioned rental car.

And then, home again.  It’s been thundery and muggy here and I am really missing the ice cream….I mean, the oranges.  Plus the evening walks and the cacti everywhere and long stories about the past.  San Diego is such a special place to me: magical really.  Filled with my childhood nostalgia and exciting differences for my adult self.

Totally worth 10 plus hours in transit.


Just keep bringing the milk… or the guy in front of me gets it.  And by gets it, I mean eventually jumps from the plane because he cannot stand another minute of his seat being pummeled by my adorable, inexhaustible legs kicking the shit out of it.

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Traveling with Kids, A “Real Time” Vlog

My first crappy attempt at vlogging, which gets cut off at the end.  I made it on my phone at the airport, so I think it captures the situation pretty well.


That fourth and final tip, that I hadn’t even thought of at the time, but that I know at the end of every journey is: it is just a day (or two or three days, if things go really shitty) and you will survive. (“Survival is key”; melodrama likely).   Do whatever it takes to stay cheerful, or at least sane, and keep perspective that you will get where you’re going and it will all be worth it! So, drink your $9 glass of wine; let the kids watch crap on the laptop until their eyes bleed and get where you’re going! Cheers!

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Happiness, Day 5.

Late, because I was too busy having the happy moments to blog about them.  And the Internet access sucks at camp.

Here’s one: Tadhg ‘reading’ from a book of poetry.

DSC_0346  Of course, he’s reading out ‘where the fires today are’ so that he, Chase the Police Bot, can go and fight them.  But, still…

And then we spent the weekend at camp, celebrating Pappy’s Birthday.  I had a helper to make Pappy’s cake, which was a lemon/chocolate cake.  My helper added his tears to the mix, tears of not being able to eat each ingredient as it went into the bowl.


I just finished reading “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” which is what got me thinking about making lemon cake in the first place.  This picture could be an alternative cover for that book.  But he got his just rewards in the end:


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And my third happy moment: relaxing in this gorgeous place.  So peaceful, so scenic, so much sand and water for little people.  Plus, you just have to feel happy looking at Tadhg in the padded wet suit.



And there’s fun for the big kids too.  Relegated to outside in spite of the rain.  Nothing will stand in the way of a good time!



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Day Four: Happiness

Awhile ago, I read this article entitled “The ‘Me Time’ Myth”.  It pissed me off, enough so that I even commented on it.  I don’t like the idea of mothers being shamed for wanting to do something without their kids or families.  Most mothers feel enough guilt as it is, and most can’t even remember what they used to do with their free time.  If they want a kid-free hour to go read a book, they shouldn’t feel like it’s wrong to want that time.

But I’ve been thinking about it ever since I read it.  Something about it does strike a chord with me, like it doesn’t seem right to spend so much time pining for alone time or “me time” instead of enjoying the we time with your family.

And then, this week, I read this.  It’s very long but to sum up: French parents typically set more limits than American parents do.  They say “No” (in firm voices!) and have higher expectations for their children’s behavior.  They don’t expect that having a child relegates them to a life of child-centered playdates and child-centered activities.

The other day, I was trying to grade papers on the computer while Tadhg was still awake: something I normally don’t attempt, but he had slept late and I knew there was little chance of him having a nap.  I threw down some art supplies and let him go at it.  Took a picture and labeled it on Instagram #crappyparenting.  Later, looking through that hashtag, I saw photos of kids asleep in bars, kids left in backseats without seatbelts on, judgmental comments about what constitutes “crappy parenting”.   I wouldn’t even put those things under the category of ‘crappy parenting’ without knowing the story behind them. Logically, I know letting a kid play by himself while I desperately try to do a little of my own work is NOT crappy parenting.

But every time I try to read my own book, have my own conversation, go on the computer: I feel guilty.  The norm is to spend all day, every day making your kid happy.  Doing things for them,  Getting them what they want.  Going places that they like.  That’s why mothers desperately crave “me time.”

After reading that article and thinking about the “Me Time” one, I realized that the point is: I can have Me Time WITH my kids. What do I like to do that my kids like to do? We both like being outside, going on walks, eating ice cream.  So that’s what we did.  I dumped all the chores in the house, left the papers ungraded, the dinner unprepared and went to Onondaga Lake Park where we walked along the lake and watched sailboats.  We stopped and looked at the engravings on every park bench.  We got chocolate ice cream cones from the ice-cream van and watched a midday thunderstorm roll in.  It was exactly what I wanted to do.  They liked it too.  Our interests often do align, if I can put all my guilt about what I should be doing aside.  And when they don’t align, I need to start feeling more comfortable saying, No.  I’m doing something else right now.   It doesn’t make me a crappy parent.  It makes me a happy one.

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