Monday, January 22, 2018

When in E. Hampton...

When in E.Hampton... must go to Kmart to buy LOL dolls.  Because nothing in life is as wonderful as unwrapping those plastic layers to find a $.50 toy that cries, pees or spits.

NY Hall of Science

Sunday, January 7, 2018

School Pictures (Kindergarten and 2nd Grade)

Home for the Holidays (Christmas Edition)

The kids and I were home between Christmas and New Years and we had to find fun indoor things to do since New York was hit with a Polar Vortex (or as the cool kids are now calling it: Bomb Cyclone). Here's a list (and some pics) of our adventures that week: Kalahari Water Park, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway, lots of lunches/dinners out, baking a pie that resembled an owl, family games (Monopoly was a big hit; Mouse Trap made my blood boil), Cat Cafe, Children's Museum of the Arts, getting our nails done, Red Hook Mini Golf and running rrrands (my personal favorite activity).
This photo was taken 10 minutes after Violet puked in the middle of Time's Square--what a trooper!

Breakfast at Tiffany's. (it was actually Luluc)
This apple pie tasted better than it looked. 

Ivy driving the getaway car as I got ready to run out on our dry cleaning bill.
The day I have been patiently waiting for: Violet and I get to have our hot drinks together on the couch.
Ivy stole $500 from me and then teamed up with Peter.  Whoever said cheaters never win has clearly never played with Ivy.
Aint no Santa like a TJ Santa

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

R.I.P Grandma

My grandma and I had a very special bond.  She was the doctor who delivered me and the very first person to hold me when I was born.  From that moment on, we were inseparable.   During my early childhood, my grandma lived in the same apartment building as me and my parents.  There was rarely a day that went by when I didn’t see her. 
Once I started school, she was often the one that picked me up from school and I fondly recall spending our afternoons together.  I also remember sleepovers at her apartment and how she managed to make every-day things seems extraordinary.  Whether we were eating tea sandwiches or playing with her make-up and perfume collection, it somehow always felt really special.  I was her only granddaughter and it was crystal clear that she really cherished me and our time together.
In the Fall of 1989, I learned that we will be leaving Ukraine and moving to America.  My whole world came crashing down when I realized that my grandma wasn’t coming with us. 
We left Kharkov that November and started our long bus journey towards Austria.  My grandparents were allowed to join us, but only until we reached the border of Ukraine and what was then Czechoslovakia.  It was below freezing and 3am in the morning when we finally reached our destination and they were asked to leave the bus.  Even though I knew they wouldn’t be coming with us, this somehow felt sudden and abrupt.  I recall hysterically crying and as they walked away, turning around and screaming what I then thought will be my last words to my grandma, “Please, take me with you.”   It was one of the hardest goodbyes I can remember.
It was only a few years later when my grandparents came to join us in the States.  Not only did they move to Brooklyn, but they were once again living in the same apartment building as us.  I couldn’t be more excited.  At the time I was about 11 years old, and both my parents were working, so once again, it was my grandma and I.  She picked me up from school and we spent the afternoons together perfecting my favorite cake recipe.  
I did eventually move away. First to college, then on my own and ultimately with my husband.  While no longer as close geographically, we always remained close at heart.     I shared with her my ups and my downs and all the things in between.  I fondly remember sharing with her when I got pregnant with my first daughter Violet and then once again with Ivy.  She adored the girls with all her heart and the girls knew that a visit to great-grandma always meant candy.  I feel lucky that they had an opportunity to know her and spend time with her. 
The last few years have been hard for grandma.  Two years ago she lost my grandpa, who she loved dearly.  With grandpa gone, life began to take its toll on her.  But, even as her memory faded and she lost her ability to walk, one thing remained the same, the love for her family.   When we would come to see her, her whole face would light up and she would smile from ear to ear.  There was no denying it, her love for us was eternal. 
I love you grandma and hope you’re smiling that big smile right now because dad and grandpa are at your side.
Grandma and I (circa 1985)
Grandma and Violet (1 month)
Grandma and I (circa 2000)