Thursday, December 31, 2009

Count down

Courtesy of Polka Dot Design

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cool cat

Michael's Aunt Nancy met Dominic for the second time earlier this month and fawned over him as the women do. As you can see, he seems to take the attention in stride.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow is glistening

This weekend snow blanketed Boston and Gabriella earned her first cup of hot cocoa by helping Michael shovel the sidewalk.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Gabriella: I. NEED. A BOOK.

Me: Excuse me, little girl. That is not how you ask for something. You say, please mama, may I have a book.

Gabriella: I can't remember all that!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

Pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jolly Old Soul

If Gabriella is this excited to meet a plastic Santa then stick a corncob pipe in my mouth and call me Frosty because I'm going to need to tether her to the ground before she meets the real thing. If I don't, she's likely to rise to the ceiling of the Natick Mall as if she were a float in the Macy's Parade.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Me: Behave yourself. I'm watching you.

Gabriella: Don't look at me! I'm GORGEOUS!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The gift of Domi

Sunday afternoon we walked a block and a half for Dominic's baptism at the local Catholic church. The ceremony included my new favorite prayer:

God has brought joy to all mothers, as they see the hope of eternal life shine on in their children. May he bless the mother of this child. She now thanks God for the gift of her child. May she be one with her son in thanking God for ever in heaven.

Then we ate antipasto, bruschetta, chicken salad, mini hotdogs, popcorn and bacon-wrapped scallops at home with family and friends. Oh! And the men stood around admiring the features of our baby monitor as if it were the latest iPod touch and singing Happy Birthday a cappella to Gabriella because she asked them to.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All I want for Christmas

I used to wonder what type of person asks Santa for two front teeth. But now I'm sleep deprived. Beyond sleep deprived. Because I live with a baby who is cutting his two front teeth. So Santa? Can you please bring me two front teeth? Soon, DAMMIT!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drawing the line

Gabriella got herself into a whole lot of trouble today with her father. The crime: bouncing up and down on her brother. LIKE A KANGAROO she later told me. Dominic usually puts up with his sister's rough ways, I think because he finds her so damn entertaining. But the other night Dominic was rolling around the living room minding his own business when Gabriella lassoed his head with a pink headband. I grabbed the camera and he looked up as if to say, seriously Mom, you too? Where's Dad?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dear Santa

Today Gabriella turns twenty-nine months and the world turns the corner toward the most wonderful time of year.

Santa is a daily topic of conversation in our house. Gabriella gets the presents, the milk and cookies, the carrots for the reindeer. But the letter to Santa confuses her. She keeps listing toys she has instead of toys she wants. Until today.

Today in the grocery store checkout line Gabriella thought of something Santa could bring her: ice cream. And oh, she didn't want to go home to take a nap. She wanted to go to the North Pole.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not So Newlywed Game

In honor of our fifth wedding anniversary, I forced asked Michael to play the Not So Newlywed Game.

How do I take my coffee?

Tara: Soy milk and two Splenda
Michael: As a latte

If I could be married to a movie star who would I choose?

Tara: Mark Wahlberg
Michael: John Travolta

What would I eat every day if you could?

Tara: Pizza
Michael: Snyder's honey-mustard pretzels

What is Michael's dream job?

Tara: NFL coach
Michael: Lottery winner

What is one food Michael doesn't like?

Tara: Pot Roast
Michael: Pot Roast

What would Michael never wear?

Tara: A Halloween costume
Michael: Slacks

When I leave the house, is it party time, time to clean, or nap time for Michael?

Tara: Nap time
Michael: Nap time

BONUS QUESTION: Where was our first date?

Tara: Armani Cafe
Michael: Franklin Cafe

Happy anniversary, baby! I look forward to many more years so we can get to know each other.

Michael on our wedding day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Boy Crazy

The other night Gabriella spotted a little boy eating dinner at the next table and said, “I love him.” Michael almost had a heart attack. “I love him. He’s cool.”

Recently she’s been developing crushes on older boys. She calls Michael from Barney and Friends on the phone. She cooks him dinner, cries when he misses an episode (which I suppose is the toddler equivalent of being ignored after a first date.) I know. THE HEARTACHE.

I think Gabriella reacts so positively to boys because she just loves her three boy cousins, especially Jonathan who is the oldest and spends a lot of time entertaining her.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Curse of the Bambino

The year we got married the Boston Red Sox won the World Series after an 86-year drought. When Gabriella was born, the Red Sox won the World Series again. Now that it’s Dominic’s turn the Yankees win the World Series. The NEW YORK FUCKING YANKEES.

We’re stunned. Domi’s pissed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Michael is feeding Dominic dinner when Gabriella shows up wearing his t-shirt and demanding a photo shoot. She has also started calling us by our first names and rolling her eyes dramatically when we order a time out. This weekend, we’re going prom dress shopping.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Wrinkle in Time

21 years since I met his mother.
13 years since his mother introduced me to my husband.
5 years since his mother stood as the matron of honor at my wedding.
2 years since his mother co-hosted my baby shower.
1 year since his mother became a mother.

Happy birthday, baby Max! Love always, Gabriella and Dominic

Friday, November 6, 2009

An Interview with Domi

  1. What is your favorite food? Apples and Sweet Potatoes
  2. What is your least favorite food? Peas and Green Beans
  3. What makes you happy? Drooling, Banging, Jumping
  4. What makes you mad? Socks
  5. What is your favorite song? Gabriella's cover of MJ's "Thriller"
  6. What tickles you? Llama Llama Red Pajama
  7. What fascinates you? My hands
  8. What is your favorite way to start the day? Lounging around in bed with Mama
  9. What is your favorite way to end the day? Splashing in the tub
  10. If you had to give all your toys away except one, which one would you keep? My Zebra Clacker

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Speaking of Sock Monkeys

If you've ever wondered what it's really like to live with a toddler, this photo is for you.

Your child will suddenly wake up in the middle of the night, barking orders for a glass of water and a back rub, as if she just went fifteen rounds with Apollo Creed and you're the Mick to her Rocky. Then she'll refuse to go back to sleep unless you stay in her room. FOREVER. The next day, when you finally pass out from exhaustion, she'll stage a compromising photo op with the help of a Sock Monkey jack-in-the-box.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two Divas and a Sock Monkey

For Halloween Gabriella dressed up as her favorite storybook diva, Fancy Nancy, and I dressed up as my favorite pop diva, Madonna. Obviously neither one of us subscribes to Coco Chanel’s advice on accessories: always take one thing off before leaving the house. And Domi? We dressed him up as an old-fashioned sock monkey. Because we can.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Punk Rock Pumpkins

Gabriella is madly in love. No, she’s infatuated. Pumpkins are her favorite thing EVER. She refers to them as punks and every time we leave the house she tries to recruit soldiers for her army of punks.

Yes, Gabriella. Yes I do. I do see that pumpkin over there. No, no we can’t take him home. He’s too heavy. He belongs to someone else. HE’S NAPPING, DAMMIT.

We finally picked up pumpkins of our own and Gabriella was understandably happy, until I decorated them and she couldn’t touch all the wet glue and paint. OH BOY. She cried inconsolably on and off for a half hour, in between proclaiming them her best friends and wishing them a happy birthday.

So everyone, meet the punks that caused the commotion.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Schlemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Rain is one of those surprising reasons I love having kids. Staying home is this super fun pajama, cupcake and cartoon festival. And going out involves an adorable wardrobe of mismatched items inspired by animals and fruit.

On this particular rainy day, Gabriella insisted on carrying a small container instead of her frog umbrella. As I ran her from house to car, from car to store, I felt her warm puppy breathe on my neck while she held out the container to catch raindrops. And that’s when—if my life were a movie—I would push a button on the jukebox and “My Girl" by The Temptations would begin to play.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Terrible Two

Gabriella spits chewed food into her hands and then rubs it into the kitchen table. She shoves her hand down her diaper WHILIE LOOKING DIRECTLY AT YOU. And after her bath, she will run and hide under her brother's crib. Wet and naked! IN THE MIDDLE OF FLU SEASON, Y'ALL.

She's no joke.

Then there are moments like this one when Gabriella is just sitting there quietly, with an oversized pencil and construction paper, and she is totally scribbling a picture for you. Like, who me? A terrible two? I don't think so.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Doodling and Daydreaming

You know on a date when suddenly you realize HE'S THE ONE! Soon you're doodling your new signature and daydreaming about happily every after. DOODLING AND DAYDREAMING. Who has the time? Not me, now that happily ever after is here and kicking my ass with her mountains of laundry and months of sleep deprivation. But, by god, if this shot doesn't make me want to sprinkle glitter down Pacific Coast Highway from the window of my convertible pink Barbie Dream Car.

Friday, October 16, 2009


This shot was taken moments after Gabriella returned her first library book.

What can I say? The kid loves books.

She's trying to turn her brother into a bookworm.

So far it isn't working. Dominic is far more interested in grabbing, banging, even eating books than he is in reading them, with one very adorable exception.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

Inspired by Bakerella's Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites, we baked individual Pumpkin Pies tonight.

It was the perfect rainy day activity. Gabriella stood on a chair eating raw pie dough and critiquing my technique. Apparently, I'm a good mixer and need to be more careful when cracking open eggs.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Ram Sam Sam

I signed up Gabriella for Groovy Baby Music. She calls it pre-school. I don't have the heart to correct her. We walked to the first class where she played the triangle and Geoffers played the piano with his nose, mama, did you see that? She stood while everyone else sat, sat when everyone else stood, danced in the sunlight and stuck her name tag to the mirror, my hair, everywhere but her shirt. Here she is studying the CD we received at the end of class.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Not What It Looks Like

A certain someone is already worried because Dominic points his toes. So I'm going to pretend these two are playing football.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Halloween Awesomeness

We bought this sorry looking fellow at the grocery store this morning.

I didn't think he was much to look at then. He's even less to look at now that Gabriella gave his hat to Geoffers.

Yes, it was only a matter of time before Domi got mixed up in the Halloween awesomeness too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pumpkin Cupcakes

GFR @ 2 years 3 months

Gabriella is talkative, dramatic and imaginative. We wake up to full-blown expressive conversations through the monitor. She marches madly to the Barney theme song and loves a good tea party. And when Dominic cries, she’s the first to cheer him up with a silly song only the two of them understand.

Gabriella is also completely unpredictable. She’ll gently pat Geoffers to sleep one minute and toss him out of the crib the next. She’ll ask for pancakes and then stare at them in confusion because she NO LIKE pancakes.

The other day, I accidentally bumped her hand. She got this goofy look on her face and said, "I'm sorry, Mom," as if she had hurt me. THEN SHE PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE WITH A LEFT HOOK, Y'ALL.

That right there is my mercurial little girl, celebrating her monthly birthday with a Pumpkin Cupcake from Whole Foods.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Garden in the Fall

September 18th, 2009
Charlestown, Massachusetts

The Achiever

A couple of weeks ago someone introduced me to a cool personality system, and since I love anything that remotely resembles a Cosmo quiz I took the online assessment pretty much immediately.

I am very conscious of the image I present to others. Very accurate. I have a strong desire to be accepted by others. Very accurate. If people are coming over I make sure my place is totally clean. Very accurate. According to the results, I am The Achiever. The Motivator. The Performer. The Image Builder. GAH!

I found myself thinking about Erma Bombeck who once said that if she had her life to live over she would invite friends over to dinner more, even if the carpet was stained. And about Gabriella who puts socks on her hands to wipe down the glass on our coffee table and French Doors. And about Oprah who went on television without makeup.

Sure, there’s a lot of good that comes from being an overachiever, experiences I would hate to give up such as marathons and graduate school and a real estate closing. But that thing Erma Bombeck said about inviting friends over even if your house isn’t spotless? I’ve never done it and I know that I should.

Because that little girl and eventually that little boy… they’re watching everything we do and imitating it, now in play and later in life. So I have to finally get it right. The balance between accomplishment and fun. The science of rest. The art of living in the moment.

So here is our house at the end of a long day, on Oprah, without makeup. Toys all over the floor. Dirty bibs and socks on the ground. Food stuck to the table. Laundry in the washing machine, in the dryer and spilling out of the upstairs hampers.

Want to come over?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Real Men Wear Pink

Dominic ate his first vegetable today. Pureed carrots.

He's pretty much the man around here, pink bib and all.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Notice anything different?

Nope, not the hair. Nope again, not the outfit. The mouth, people, the mouth. Here is Dominic days after CUTTING HIS FIRST TWO TEETH!

Of course, when I try to take a picture of them, he just looks at me, all, yeah, I wasn't born yesterday.

Or he sticks his tongue out.

Kid, as long as you don't bite me while nursing, we're good.