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April 2, 2016

It appears that Ali has caught a touch of my micromanaging disease.

Just last week – while we were in Los Angeles – my husband so kindly delineated how I needed to “pull into that driveway, reverse, and then go straight” in order to turn the car around.

He even used hand gestures and I’m sure that if he’d had a piece of paper he would have drawn a detailed diagram.

His instructions were quite welcome because I haven’t really been operating a vehicle for the last 24 years, I’ve only been pretending.

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At Maya’s LA birthday lunch…where she wore purple running shoes with her pink dress.

In other news, Maya’s Spring Break is finally coming to a close (thank God for that).

Also, I bought a new pair of New Balance shoes in navy blue (yes, I really did purchase something that isn’t black), and resurrected my beloved Target hat from the depths of my closet (see below picture) now that temperatures are far more reasonable.

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Visiting with Nadia…always a highlight of visiting LA.

The Whole Foods in Union Square finally grew a brain and created an Express Lane during the high peak lunch hour (now I only have to wait an average of 15 minutes in line to buy my lunch, instead of the usual 18 minutes. I am beside myself with happiness.).

Oh, and I burned a batch of homemade crackers (I ate them anyway, because I cannot waste food).

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In LA where I decided to single-handedly bring back the super stylish side ponytail to minimize frizz.

There isn’t much else going on but Ali and Maya are due to fly back to NYC tonight so I’m sure I’ll have more sarcasm to share shortly.

 

she’s 11

March 15, 2016

I decided not to buy Maya a gift for her birthday this year.

I came to this decision because Maya still hasn’t opened the sewing machine I bought her for Christmas. The one that she’s always wanted. The one that she had to have.

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Balloons. It’s all about the balloons.

This sewing machine – in it’s original packaging – taunts me every time I walk by her closet because:

  • It was a giant waste of money.
  • It’s taking up much needed closet space.
  • Few things trouble me more than wasting money. Or space. (I know I say this about everything.)

I also decided not to buy Maya a gift because I couldn’t think of a single thing to buy her.

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No pizza and cake for Maya’s party…instead she requested spaghetti with meat sauce, salad with avocado + balsamic + olive oil, garlic bread, and chocolate fondue. Her elevated palate fascinates me.

Me: Instead of buying you a gift I want to take you somewhere. Where do you want to go?

Maya: Dos Caminos.

Me: Anywhere else? Maybe a show?

Maya: No. I just want to go to Dos Caminos.

Apparently all it takes to make my child happy on her birthday is lunch at a sub-par Mexican restaurant. A restaurant that features unfriendly service and $26 guacamole.

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Maya’s friends bought her books, which are the BEST gift.

Although I can probably fly to Mexico for the price of the guacamole at Dos Caminos, I’m not going to complain for once.

Mostly because Dos Caminos won’t ever taunt me from Maya’s closet, and that in itself is a gift.

 

keeping her occupied

March 4, 2016

I went into last weekend with much trepidation, knowing that with Ali out of town it was up to me to entertain Maya for 48 hours.

You’re probably thinking, “Must you worry about everything Ameena? She’s not an infant for crying out loud. Just put her in front of the TV.”

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At Central Park…funny how we head to the park when it’s 45 degrees or more here, but in LA we wouldn’t step food outside unless it was 60 degrees or more.

(Side note #1: I despise turning on the TV before 8 pm. It somehow depresses me.)

(Side note #2: Nothing makes me feel like a worse parent than when I see Maya zoned out in front of the TV. Except when I see her zoned out in front of the iPad. Or zoned out with Ali’s phone in her hands. — > This one tops the charts.)

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Maya on Ali’s phone – because heaven forbid she actually sits still on a train.

Ultimately the weekend went fine.

Since the key to keeping Maya happy is to feed her, much of our time involved restaurant lunches, cookie and donut making, and one hectic visit to Trader Joe’s (20 minute line – nuts).

We also went to Michael’s – a store that I just don’t understand- to buy useful things like green fondant.

The weather was great so we hiked through midtown (6+ miles) and then hit up the library and Barnes & Noble.

We wandered through Grand Central.

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Messy hair made several appearances. Clearly utilizing hairbrushes wasn’t an important part of the weekend.

We didn’t fight. Nobody was injured (although I nearly fell on my face while rock climbing at the park). The TV didn’t get turned on until after 8pm, and even then, just for half an hour. I even got some work done Saturday night.

I’m not sure why I work myself into such a panic about dumb things like keeping Maya busy, but somehow I do.

Wish I could say I’ve learned my lesson, but we all know I’m already worrying about this weekend…

 

This is 40

February 18, 2016

I wasn’t particularly concerned with turning 40. Until Ali plastered the walls with foil signs that read “Happy 40th Birthday!

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Lunch at Quilon…one of our new favorites in London.

Yes I know he meant well. Yes I know I should appreciate his efforts to decorate more. But I’m just throwing it out there that the number 40 looks VERY large and ominous in printed form.

Plus one sign was substantially crooked. (Sorry, I couldn’t hold that back.)

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We took this picture at the end of lunch….when I was less angry about Ali being SO LATE.

As I waited for Ali to join me for my birthday lunch I concluded that I really don’t feel 40.

(Side Note: My husband was 25 minutes late to lunch…nothing new there. Sorry, I couldn’t hold that back either.)

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At the Corinthia Hotel for tea. I think Ali mentioned it was my birthday so he could eat my free dessert.

Okay, so I mostly don’t feel 40. Especially if I ignore my:

  • bad knees
  • wrinkles
  • gray hair
  • unpredictable temper (not sure if this has anything to do with age but it seems to be getting worse)
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At the Wolsley where Ali and Maya scarfed down scones. I scarfed down jam.

In any case, my wrinkles, gray hair, and bad knees are limping onwards to 50.

This means that Ali has exactly one decade to learn to be on time. And to use a leveler when hanging a foil “Congratulations, you’re over the hill” sign.

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Final birthday dessert at Scott’s in Mayfair.

I’m not holding my breath.

 

help me help her

February 9, 2016

For years other parents have been warning me that it only gets harder.

The truth is that I laughed at these warnings, knowing that NOTHING could be harder than the non-stop diaper changing, the sleepless nights, the formula mixing, the bottle cleaning, the sleep training, the potty training…and don’t forget the terrifying Costco runs.

(I haven’t been back to Costco since Maya stopped wearing diapers. I cut up my membership that day and will never go back. There are few things more dangerous than a Costco parking lot.)

And while I’d rather do anything than any of the above, I will admit that Maya has been working my last nerve the last few months. Not sure how things are going to progress but Maya’s just 10 and I’m already over:

  • the drama (“I HATE French and I HATE math and I HATE things that aren’t fun.”)
  • the teen lingo (“That’s amazeballs.” Really?)
  • the obsession with technology (I couldn’t give a @#$% about Minecraft. Seriously, I have no idea what it is and don’t want to know.)
  • the lack of appreciation for all that I do for her (I still do her hair and make her lunch for crying out loud.)
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Just one picture this time…there haven’t been too many photo ops since we’ve been at odds with each other.

The icing on the cake was this past Sunday, when I insisted she practice her French on the iPad for 20 minutes, before we headed out for lunch. My reward for that apparently offensive suggestion was for her to ignore me for the hour it took to walk to Soho.

I was tempted to keep walking to see if she’d finally ask “How much farther?” but lunch was calling my name. (I’ll save that experiment for the next bout of silent treatment.)

Looking back I should have just enjoyed the silence and turned on my audio book. That’s what Ali would have done, I’m sure. But instead I cycled between anger and frustration at her lack of respect (and yes, even admiration – I had to take a moment to appreciate her ability to not speak for an entire hour to prove her point).

Need to nip this in the bud…any and all suggestions are welcome.

 

my neighbor

January 18, 2016

You must be thinking…two posts in one week Ameena? Something very important must have happened to justify this!

Well, not really. But I feel COMPELLED to relay details about the mother sitting next to me on my flight to LAX this past Friday.

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On my flight to LA…love the snow covered mountains.

First off, she had the coveted aisle seat, which probably kicked our 5 hour and 14 minute relationship off on the wrong foot. (Although the seating arrangements were obviously my own fault!)

And she didn’t share well, hogging up the table between our seats with her numerous cups of tea, water, and wine, and buckets of cashews and cookies (often all at once).

But what really troubled me about this lady was that she got up 251 times during the flight to cater to her two whiny children who occupied the two seats across the aisle.

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Watching the sunset from my parents house.

So if these kids were little I’d totally get it. I mean, nobody needs to relay the importance of quick airplane reflexes when your child barfs at the drop of a hat. But these kids were barf-free (not even a threat), and at 8 and 10 years old were definitely old enough to:

  • Tie their own shoes. (Seriously, she tied her son’s shoes.)
  • Adjust their own seat.
  • Find their own iPad / book / earphones.
  • Reach into their carry-on, in front of THEIR feet, to get their own salami. (Not really sure what to say about the salami. Really I just don’t.)
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A half picture of the very pretty Rosario Dawson, who sat in front of me on my way back to NYC this morning.

I’m looking deep (very deep) inside to see if I’m really just jealous that this selfless mom had no problem getting up 251 times during the flight…or if I’m just allergic to lazy, spoiled children.

I know I’m unfairly judging right now but I’m tired and jet-lagged from my red-eye home this AM. Plus I just cleaned out the fridge, emptied my suitcase, made the beds, emptied the dishwasher, and cleaned Maya’s breakfast dishes.

Maybe my flight companion and I had more in common than I initially thought?

the food situation

January 13, 2016

Me: “As soon a Dad gets back to NYC I’m going to LA for a few days. Okay?”

Maya: “Okay. But what are Dad and I going to eat while you’re gone?”

My first thought:@#$%@#.

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At a restaurant…because Maya was hungry.

My second, third, fourth, and fifth thoughts:

  • Have we really made so little progress since the first time I left her with Ali 2 years ago?
  • I’m confused. The way she’s acting you’d think I cook like Ina Garten. Is she forgetting I opened a can of sodium-laden Trader Joe’s Chicken Noodle soup for her dinner tonight?
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Maya about to eat….

  • Apparently she’s not going to miss me at all, just my skills with the Oxo can opener.
  • Ali’s been out of town since mid-December. Funny how she posed no questions about how she and I were going to manage when he left to be wherever in the universe he happens to be right now.
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You guessed it…Maya eating!

I think it’s ironic that I – a person who thinks so little about food – lives with 2 people who are obsessed with their next meal.

I’ve decided that this time around I’m not going to worry about their food situation. After all, if they can’t manage on their own for a whopping 67 hours I just don’t know what to say.

**Note. That last paragraph is totally false. Of course I’m going to worry what they’re eating. I’m already worried and I haven’t left yet. Sigh.

 

 

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