Category Archives: Wife

My wish for everyone is a best friend, an enduring friendship.

I have so much to say about this article– as a wife and as a mother of a son.
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Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys? by Mark Greene, Author REMAKING MANHOOD-Senior Editor, Good Men Project

My instinct with both my son and my husband is to nurture their friendships- their relationships other than their relationship to me. I neither want a monopoly on their affections nor wish them to be dependent on me as their sole source of emotional support.
I encourage my husband to maintain his friendships. I facilitate it when I can. I consider it a priority. I feel happy when he leaves for a game convention with his dear friend. I shoo the kids out of his office when he has game night with his friends that always start with catching up, jokes, and life updates. I’ve never once begrudged him his time with his friends. That is important.
For my son, he is facing separation from his best friend. They love each other, clearly, and are each other’s favorite person. But they will be starting kindergarten in different school districts. The parents are already laying plans for how to maintain their friendship. Plans for karate lessons together. Playdates and sleepovers.
When my son tells me how much he loves his friend I reply, “I know you love him. Doesn’t that make you feel good?” Just the other day he told me that during a sleepover he hugged his friend and his friend didn’t even wake up! It was adorable to see how happy he was, to know he’d been so overcome with love and affection for his friend that he just had to hug him.
I know how important my friendships are. I love so many people, and am loved in return. It never occurred to me to think it was different for male friendships. And actually, this piece makes me wonder about platonic friendships between opposite genders, or between two people who are seen as potential romantic partners. (The article discusses homophobia, but seems to assume there are no friendships between gay boys that remain platonic, or at least doesn’t address them).
Just let go of worries of convention. I have had moments with my son where I feel uncomfortable- like when he wants his nails painted, or when he says he wants to marry his best friend, but I stop myself. I realize that the feeling of discomfort is not because I think something is wrong, but because I know others would be critical and find it wrong for a boy to paint his nails pink or marry his best male friend.
As long as I can I will protect my son (and my daughter) from the horrors of social pressure. They are too young to understand romantic love. They haven’t had a crush yet. They think (rightly so) that gay marriages are just as normal and common place as heterosexual marriages. They discuss marrying their best friend (my daughter has already picked out names for the daughter she plans to adopt with her best friend). IT IS FINE! They are children! Let them be!
My wish for everyone is a best friend, an enduring friendship.

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Cursed pestilence

We have been ravaged by a stomach bug.  It was going around in the local public schools and quickly made it’s way, via siblings, to Mabel’s nursery school.

She was sick Wednesday and Thursday of last week.  Then Nemo was sick Sunday into Monday.  Note, by sick, I mean, threw up in their sleep and rolled around in it for some period of time before we noticed and had to spend an hour in the middle of the night cleaning the child, the bedding, and the beds themselves.  Perhaps it was punishment for poor parenting choices?  On Wednesday we’d let Mabel get mac n’ cheese on ‘kids eat free’ night at the local red sauce place.  On Sunday we’d let Nemo have Domino’s pizza since it was Superbowl Sunday.

This would have been craptastic on a normal week, however, this week was not supposed to be normal.  Mac had a freelance job to do on-site in NJ.  My company provides a lovely back-up care plan for employees through Br!ght Hor!zons.  The plan seems to consist of a website that lists local daycare centers you can request care from and a bank of operators who call you back and tell you that there is no space in the center you requested, but there is another center on the other side of the Hudson River or 45 miles north of your home (which is 45min in the wrong direction from work).  Alternatively, you could send your 1.5yo to the affiliated center nearby your work that has online reviews discussing how filthy the place is, how unhappy the staff is, and how they restrain children who won’t stay in time out.  None of those alternatives were tenable.

Thusly, we cobbled together childcare from a variety of friends and family so Mac could take the freelance job (households with two working parents who encounter this stuff routinely have my respect and sympathy).  Monday Nemo was to stay with a friend (and her kids) during the day, and Mabel was going to go home from school with another friend.  This solution for Monday flew out the window like Domino’s out of a toddler sometime around 1am.

To complicate things further, on top of the pestilence, there was snow.  We’d been up so much in the night Sunday into Monday, that when we did wake to lots of snow we pretty much gave up.  As it was I had a miserable cold, no sleep, 800 loads of pukey laundry, and a sick toddler.  Mac’s office was closed that day, so I took the day off to recuperate.

Tuesday I was scheduled to work from home (we couldn’t cobble together care for Tuesday and Friday).  I took Mabel to school, spent the morning finger painting with Nemo, and waiting for my dad to arrive in the afternoon so I could take Mabel to the Museum of Natural History for a class we’d signed up for.

Nemo enjoying being an only child for the morning.

Nemo enjoying being an only child for the morning.

Around noontime, it was clear to me that something was wrong with my own GI tract.  I didn’t want to miss out on the already-paid-for/no-refunds class, so I took some Pepto, grabbed some plastic bags (just in case), and headed out.  I made it through and back home, but just barely.

By the time we got home, I knew I too had the stomach bug.  I spent Tuesday night doing what one does when one has the stomach bug.  Thankfully, I’d only had a cup of chicken soup (and not free mac n’ cheese or Domino’s).  However, whilst I was out of commission Nemo spent the hours from 1am to 5am wide awake and refusing to sleep.  Additionally, Mabel woke up (she’d fallen asleep in the car on the way home and I’d just put her into bed in her clothes) screaming that she had to get washed up and put on her PJs.  I tried to help, but figured not puking on the carpet was help enough and retreated, leaving the hysteria to Mac.

Nemo finally settled down and Mac came to bed around 5am.  By 7:30 Mabel was up and raring to go (having forgotten about her 1am sh!t losing).  I crawled out of bed, turned on Doc McStuffins, and laid down on the couch.

A while later, Nemo was awake.  When I went to get him, I found he had again puked all over his bed and self. *Thankfully* it was only a frozen waffle.  However, I was so sick, all I did was take off his PJs, wipe him down with a baby wipe, change his diaper, put him in new clothes, carry him downstairs, and let him lay with me on the couch.

We remained in this state for an indeterminate period of time and Mac awoke to this site, at which point I notified him of the mess in the bedroom. Once that was cleaned up, we sat Nemo down for a light breakfast, at which point he projectile puked up all the water he’d drank that morning. More cleaning and laundry.

In addition to the pestilence, there was more snow- a lot of snow, highways closed, state of emergency declared snow.  So, at least my work was closed and I didn’t have to use more PTO to stay home sick.  However, Mac couldn’t get to NJ for work.

By the end of Wednesday, it had been several hours since anyone had puked, we counted our blessings, and went to bed.

Thursday Mac went to work, my mom came to watch Nemo, and I dropped Mabel at school.  I cautiously made my way to work, and actually made it through the day without embarrassing myself.

I arrived home thinking we’d finally made it through, that we were recovered!  Then Mac came home.

I’m home with the kids again today- none of us have puked since Wednesday- and Mac is at work, but feeling like crud.  I hope he’s just having sympathy symptoms.

It has been a hellacious week (this morning’s breakfast of champions was a Dunkin Donut in the car on the ride to preschool- mom of the year!).  I went into lab one day this whole week. I only managed a few hours of working from home.  It sucks using so much PTO for nothing.

I really hope this is the end of it. I haven’t been that sick in a long time.


Filed under Mabel, Mother, Nemo, Wife

The Ultimate Geek Valentine’s Day

This year Mac and I are going to do something AWESOME for Valentine’s Day.

We are going to spend it at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History!

The tickets were a bit of splurge (considering last V-day was take out at home), but when I found out about the event, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Romance Under the Stars

Romance Under the Stars

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a unique NYC experience only at the Hayden Planetarium! Join us for a cocktail hour, complete with open bar, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres, along with the music of the Josh Rutner Quartet. Then join Hayden presenters Lydia Maria Petrosino and Ted Williams in the planetarium for a view of the night sky. Sit back and enjoy some of the greatest romance stories from the ancient celestial past.


We have a membership to the museum, which means we can park for only $10.  Throw in free babysitting from my mom, and it won’t be all that expensive.

I haven’t been to the Hayden Planetarium in YEARS (like since high school), so I’m really excited.  Mac is too!

The only thing that could made this night even better is if Neil deGrasse Tyson is there.

There are still tickets left if you are interested! Click here. (If you’re going, let me know so I can briefly say hello and then leave you to your galactic romance.)

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Mac posted the following on FB the other day with the caption, “A very special time in a young girl’s life – her first gaming dice. (First d20 roll was a 17)”

A very special time in a young girl's life - her first gaming dice. (First d20 roll was a 17)
A very special time in a young girl’s life – her first gaming dice. (First d20 roll was a 17)

I responded with, “And thus another generation is indoctrinated.”

Mac’s retort made me laugh out loud, “You get country music and Catholicism. Let me have this.”

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Happy Halloween!

We took it down to the wire and carved out pumpkin last night.  What do you think?

pumpkin mcphdIt was a collaborative effort (meaning my husband did all the work and the kids did their best to thwart him, while I took pictures).



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First Yanks Game!

Every year my company holds an employee lottery for their season tickets to both The Yankees and The Mets home games.

This year I put in for tickets, but only for Yankees Vs. Red Sox games, and wouldn’t you know it- I won!

So, on September 5th, we took the kids to Yankee Stadium, met my sister, and Nemo saw his first Yankees game!  (Mabel’s first game was last year)


We all had a lot of fun.  Mabel was exited about the singing and the cheering.  Nemo fell asleep around the 5th inning, but woke when the Yanks rallied in the 7th.  We left on a high note during the 8th inning, and we super bummed they lost.  However, all in all, it was a really fun first game!

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Wordless Wednesday: Like father, like son

One of these is my son, the other my husband.

One of these is my son, the other my husband.  Meiotic recombination is amazing.


Filed under #scimom, Mother, Scientist, Wife, Wordless Wednesday

Happy 34th

Yesterday I turned 34 years old.  Overall it was a good day.

The morning started with Mabel giving me the birthday card she and Mac had made for me.

Work was hectic, but I was able to spend time coordinating some STEM outreach.

Traffic was bad getting home, but once I finally did, this was waiting for me on the front porch!

My rusty old Jessica Fletcher bike and my brand new bike trailer!

My rusty old Jessica Fletcher bike and my brand new bike trailer!

Technically it’s a shared birthday present with Nemo, since a friend had given us money to put towards it for Nemo’s birthday.

I’m also getting a bike rack for the car, to be installed soon by my dad.  I’m looking forward to family excursions!

Mabel enjoyed trying it out.



Then, just before we went out for dinner at the diner around the corner, Nemo took his first steps!  What a gift!

Later, the kids went to bed easily.  Mac and I laughed out loud watching some Jim Gaffigan standup.

I went to bed content and exhausted.

That said, there were two women who were on my mind a lot yesterday.

One was my mom.  It really struck me this year, that my birthday marks the day she become a mom.  I think having two of my own now, puts that in a new perspective.  While I don’t really think about Mabel’s birthday as the day that I became a mom, I’m thinking of my own birthday as the day my mom became a mom.  I wished her, “Happy Gave Birth Day!”  This weekend she’s taking the kids overnight (Nemo’s first night away since we’ve started to wean), so Mac (whose birthday was 6/1) and I can celebrate both our birthdays with a night out and a morning sleeping in.  We’re lucky to have my mom so close, and so generous with her time.

The other woman who was on my mind is my Aunt Millie.  I wrote a little about her here when I discussed why I was raising funds for the Revlon/EIF Run/Walk for Women.  It was 6 years ago on my birthday that I answered the phone thinking my mom was calling to wish me happy birthday, when in fact,she was calling to tell me that my Aunt Millie had passed away in the night.  It was completely unexpected.  She had finished her treatment for breast cancer.  She’d gotten the all clear from her doctors.  We thought she was home free when a complication from her treatment took her from us. Not a birthday has passed that she has not been on my mind- along with my cousins, her daughters, who lost their mom.  I’m so grateful to the friends who helped me celebrate my birthday, and my Aunt Mille’s life, by donating.  It was the best gift I could get!


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Memorial Day Weekend

Apologies for the radio silence.  A lot of (good) stuff has been going on.  Travel, birthdays, talks, work, etc.  I have a bunch of drafts in various stages, but no time to polish and post.  Despite being a short week, it has been crazy, and we’re off to New Hampshire for a wedding early in the morning.

Thus, here are some photos from our Memorial Day Weekend.  We spent it in the Catskills.  Even though the weather didn’t really cooperate, we still enjoyed being up there.  It was our first trip up of the season, so we did our best to enjoy being away from it all (there’s no cell phone reception or electricity up there!).


Note Mabel pouting in the bottom left photo. She was upset because she could not find any large puddles to jump in.

We did manage to get into the woods, catch creepy crawlies, see lots of deer, and marvel at how lush and green everything is.

Even in the rain and the cold, it’s my favorite place.

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How About We: Date Day

On Sunday Mac and I had a Date Day.  Not a Date Night, a Date Day.  An entire 10 hour chunk of time that was just the two of us, no kids, doing stuff together- like eating a meal, going for a walk, shopping, etc.

I jokingly called it “Mac Day” because I’d organized it to be things that Mac liked.  He’s the stay at home parent, and he does nice things for me daily (packing my lunch, running errands, bringing me home flowers for no reason, etc.), so I wanted to reciprocate.  However, since he’s a guy, I can’t just bring home flowers.  So, I planned a day- all of it a surprise for him.  He knew when we were leaving and that we’d be in the city, but otherwise, he was in the dark.

I planned a whole day in Manhattan using (and no, this isn’t a sponsored post or anything!).  I happened to notice a Sponsored Post from them on my Twitter feed because it mentioned bacon- specifically Baconery (a bacon bakery).  Mac likes bacon.  I wanted to take him to the Baconery.  So, I clicked through and explored  They had so many cool date ideas I thought Mac would like, that I actually paid for the membership so I could book them!

I think it actually worked out to be a good deal financially because much of what we did on our Date Day was free with our membership.  Since we live in the burbs of NYC, I’m not sure it makes sense to keep paying monthly for the membership, but perhaps a few months out of the year, when there are dates we like, it would be worth it.

So, here’s what we did!

Our first stop was Baconery on the Upper West Side for a late lunch.  In a word, yum.

date day food mcphd 032413

Some of the food we tried- at Baconery, Murray’s, and Bees Knees.

Our HowAboutWe “Bacon Me Crazy” date entitled us to drinks, sandwiches, “bacons” (ie a strip of bacon dipped in chocolate), and baked goods to take home.  I got the Wilbur (basically a BLT with avocado), and Mac got the Elvis (bacon, banana, honey).  For dessert, I had a bacon strip dipped in chocolate with rainbow sprinkles, and Mac got bacon strip dipped in chocolate sprinkled with more bacon (did I mention he likes bacon?).  There was a jazz duo (Beautiful Pussycats) playing while we dined cafe style.  After that, we were stuffed, so we got a chocolate peanut butter bacon cookie and a chocolate bacon Rice Krispy Treat to go.

From there, we headed all the way down to the West Village where we would spend the rest of the day.  I didn’t want us to feel rushed, but I also didn’t want us to feel bored, like we had a lot of time to kill, so I chose to book a Stray Boots Greenwich Village scavenger hunt- again through HowAboutWe’s “Urban Adventure” date.

This worked out really great.  Since the rest of our scheduled activities were happening in the West Village, we could do the scavenger hunt at our leisure, in between the other scheduled activities.  It was fun to wander less than aimlessly, with a purpose, and explore the area (although at the end of the day Mac and I agreed that we weren’t sure we would have paid full price for it had it not been included in our HowAboutWe membership).

So, standing under the arch in Washington Square park, we started the scavenger hunt.

date day mcphd 032413

Just some of the sites we saw on our Stray Boots Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt.

At 4:30, we took a break at the Bees Knees Baking Company.  Our HowAboutWe “What’s the Buzz?“date included a drink and two cake cups each.  We chose red velvet, honey bourbon, banana marshmallow, and chocolate peanut butter.  We shared the red velvet and honey bourbon at the bakery, and took the other two home.  We enjoyed sitting and people watching at the bar facing the front windows, and it was nice to sit and take a break; however, we both felt the cake cups were just OK, not anything spectacular.

After our little break, we resumed the scavenger hunt.  We were both thrilled when it took us to Murray’s Cheese Shop.  Mac and I love us some stinky cheese, and Murray’s is the place to go for any and all cheese (except maybe American Cheese?).  Since we were there, we decided to try some cheeses.  A friendly and knowledgeable cheese monger gave us samples of several Aged Goudas and we settled on Aged Goat Gouda and Roomano and took home two big hunks of cheese.

After all the sampling at Murray’s, it was time for our next stop- the highlight of my ‘Mac Day’ festivities- Goorin Brothers Hat Shop for our “Hat Trick” date.

Ages ago, I had recalled Mac saying that he’d really like a hat, but was never sure what fit him, how it was supposed to look, etc.  So, I figured that this “Hat Trick” date would be perfect.  Surely a hat shop that had been around since the 1800s would know what he should get, and have it in a size that fit him.

He was totally taken aback that I’d remembered, and totally stoked to find a hat.

The sales guy offered us Bourbon while we browsed (part of the date) and tried on hats.  He offered suggestions on what would work, what fit, told us the history of the various hats as well as the hat shop.  In the end, Mac narrowed it down to two different hats and wound up choosing the first hat he’d put on when we first walked in (made all the nicer by the substantial discount our date entitled us to).  I think he looks quite dashing in it, and am looking forward to occasions on which he can wear it.

date day goorin mcphd 032413

Goorin Brothers had plenty of stuff for the ladies as well, but this was “Mac Day” so I only browsed for myself!

With hat in hand, we left Goorin Brothers and picked up our scavenger hunt where we left off, shortly completing it in Washington Square Park near where we had started.  At that point it was almost 7pm, so we decided to see if we could be seated at the restaurant early for our 8pm reservation (and knowing it was an ungodly early hour for dinner in NYC, we didn’t have trouble doing so).

Another HowWeMet date (“Crave Worthy“) was our dinner at The Quarter.  We had a smokey tomato bisque with grilled brie croutons, wine, and two burgers with fries.  Everything was delish (although not amazing enough that we’d make a return trip)- and the menu board had several intriguing items.

With that, our Date Day was over and we headed back home.  Our favorite dates- and the places we’d return on our own- were definitely Baconery and Goorin Brothers.  The Bees Knees and scavenger hunt were fun, but I’m not sure that we’d pay for them outside the HowAboutWe membership.  That said, Stray Boots has a Museum of Natural History scavenger hunt that might be fun to do (since we have a family membership to the museum).

The final surprise, for both of us, was that the kids were already asleep when we got home!  A big thank you to my mom for babysitting!

It was really nice to get to spend a rare day alone together.  It was also a trip doing new and different things together.  Now that we have two kids, opportunities for adventures seem few and far between (having been replaced with parenting misadventures it would seem!).  I’m looking forward to Nemo being weaned so that we can perhaps get an entire weekend alone together!


It just so happens that our date, and this post coincided with Kelly’s Show Us Your Life:  Date Ideas!

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