Look what I just found: An old article I wrote in 2005, for Chicago magazine, titled “Fling Theory.” I love the title the editors came up with for it, as well as the dek: “Meet the new breed of commitment phone: a text-messaging, party-hopping connoisseur of the casual affair—who just happens to be a woman. And even at 31, she’s too busy having the time of her life to think about settling down.”
“Connoisseur of the casual affair…” I’d hardly call myself that. I think that’s just a fancier way of saying I dated a lot.
You can read the full article here. The amazing illustration below (by Lara Tomlin) is supposed to be me, but looks a lot more like my mom I think.
It’s the little things in life that make me happy…
My son’s infectious laugh (and hilarious obsession with water).
Spending New Year’s Eve, four years in a row, with my best friend from high school.
Watching movies in bed with my husband (especially when it’s a movie we both agree on and like).
Spending New Year’s Day with my family, almost every year I’ve been alive (Jan. 1 was my late Grandma Rhoda’s b-day—the most elegant and sophisticated woman I know).
Reading, and actually finishing, a good book.
And the Grateful Dead (Grandma Rhoda didn’t share my love of Jerry Garcia, needless to say). I spent the better part of my high school and college years going to Dead shows, selling veggie bagels and beer in parking lots from Chicago to Indiana to Atlanta, scoring “a miracle” ticket (and backstage passes!) to the last Dead show at Soldier Field with my partner in crime Jamie.
Which is why I am in love with this new tank-top, handmade by my old friend Laura Merlo. She buys soft vintage-like tees adorned with band logos, and then cuts, twists, braids and sews the edges herself, to give them that worn look—like the tees I still have from all the shows I attended, but a helluva lot cuter.
If you’re interested in buying one (she also makes Guns ‘N’ Roses, Beatles and Hendrix tees and tanks, among others), send her an email at laurabethmerlo at gmail dot com. It’s safe to say this is my single favorite piece of clothing right now—I like it so much I wore it on New Year’s Eve.
I’ve suspected for a long time that I have the world’s cutest and most authentically hilarious kid. But after seeing this video Jay shot of Preston last night, I’m 100 percent convinced. (Expand it to full-screen for the full effect.)
Shot by Dad; edited to be G-rated for the Internet by Mom
I kid you not, Preston’s grandparents got him this faux leather red-and-black bomber jacket for Hanukkah. He’s going to have to watch his back on the playground. Doesn’t this look like the Michael Jackson “Thriller” jacket? I had one in the ’80s that I wore all the time…I’m gonna have to dig up a pic to make a photo comparison.
This is what happens when you decide not to spoil the kiddos.
I think it’s safe to say Preston’s favorite Hanukkah gift was what we gave him on Night 6: Little Jumpers Trampoline
I’m fashionably late on commenting about this but I finally got a chance to read Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop blog, which isn’t overwhelmingly interesting yet still impressive for someone who certainly doesn’t need the exposure with an online audience. Of course I had to read that controversial post: “A Day in the Life” of someone who has it much better than you. Friends Stella McCartney (the designer and Paul’s daughter) and Juliet de Baubigny (a successful venture capitalist) chronicle a day in their respective lives as working moms. So does Gwyney, she who needs no introduction.
I’m not going to join the hateratti on this one: Despite the bad press it got back in January here, here, here and a ton of other places, the reason it made me feel crappy isn’t because these women are outrageously successful and wealthy and have access to things I don’t. Nope. That’s not what did it for me. In fact, some of the things they do to keep busy when they’re not working aren’t completely out of reach (a trainer, acupuncture, a weekly blow-out, the Tracy Anderson DVD). All these things in moderation are totally doable.
It’s because they have an endless amount of energy for their kids, in spite of all they do. They could easily rely on nannies to raise their kids, but as you’ll read in each of their daily accounts they take multi-tasking to a new level. It actually kind of motivated me to want to work out in the morning to jumpstart my day. (I said kind of.) It also made me want to crawl into bed and turn on E!
Needless to say, a day in their lives doesn’t much resemble a day in mine, save for the presence of coffee. So I thought I’d do my own version of “A Day in the Life,” but with someone who doesn’t have it much better than you…me!
7-8 a.m. Jay and I hit snooze for about an hour, waiting for the nanny to arrive at 8 a.m., hoping (praying) Preston doesn’t wake up and get antsy to the point of screaming for us before she arrives. Those extra minutes in bed are heaven. More likely than not we were up way too late the night before, sometimes till 1 a.m., either watching the worst reality shows on TV or working. Or both, simultaneously.
9 a.m. Leave for work, after about 20-30 minutes of breakfast and playtime with Preston. Not only is there no morning cardio in my routine, some days I hardly get fresh air, much less walk very far. I go from one indoor parking garage to another. Don’t get me wrong though: Sometimes I break a sweat playing with Preston. Does that count?
9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (or later usually) Chained to my desk at work. And by chained I mean there are days I don’t eat lunch, or visit the ladies room. I can’t disclose the details of what I do (the work we do in the digital division of Playboy is top secret stuff), but let’s just say there’s nary a break in my day; it’s manic. The one thing Gwyney and I do have in common is I have a Keurig in my office, and I use it. A lot. (But it didn’t cost $3,000.) I was averaging two trips to Starbucks a day, now I’m on 2-4 cups of coffee from my Keurig. This might have something to do with why I’m not going to sleep till 1 a.m., which we’ll blame on my mom since she gave me the single-cup coffeemaker for my office. I also have one at home, which I use on weekends. Next to wine, coffee is my single worst vice since becoming a mom. (Yes, I drank both wine and coffee before becoming a mom, but not to this degree.)
5:30 p.m. (or lately 7/8/9 p.m.) It’s a mad dash for the door because if I’m not home by 6 p.m. (the usual time) to relieve the nanny I get the stink eye. Or worse, a silent treatment. Is there anything worse than the silent treatment from your nanny? I have a terrible case of road rage, so the drive home is pretty stressful–as in, I recently told an off-duty S.W.A.T. team officer to f**k off. I make good use of the drive though, and catch up on personal calls. That’s multi-tasking, right? (This is probably why I could use the aforementioned acupuncture.)
6/6:15 p.m. (or lately 8/9 p.m.) I arrive home, just in time to feed Preston dinner (if I’m lucky). This week I’ve been coming home just in time to put him to bed. And what’s that chilling in the fridge? A fresh un-opened bottle of Santa Margarita? For moi? My nanny probably thinks I have a drinking problem, but that’s okay–she’s got her own issues.
6:30/7 p.m. (or later) It’s a battle for the remote control. I want to watch Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight (after all, I work in the entertainment industry, this is considered research!), but Preston wants to watch–say it with me now–Yo Gabba Gabba. He usually wins. Could you say no to that face?
7 p.m. Jay’s home! We order in dinner, or he cooks up something on the grill. Love a husband who likes to try out new recipes.
7:30/8 p.m. Playtime with Preston! Shoot hoops, play in his kitchen, make pretend sandwiches, do puzzles, read books, whatever we can do to tire him out before bedtime.
8/8:30 p.m. Pajama time. I take Preston in his bathroom, we brusha, brusha, brusha, he prolongs the routine as much as humanly possible, and then we either read books in my bed whilst, yes, watching another episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, or we do it in a more peaceful environment in his room. Depends on how late it is, both our moods and levels of exhaustion. He usually prefers to cuddle in my bed, and it’s the most intimate time we have together all day. He’s a master cuddler.
9 p.m. He’s in his crib and I’m scratching his back, saying goodnight to everyone in our family, name by name. The kid is a freaking genius. (And he knows exactly how to milk it with me.) And now it’s my turn for bed. Oh, hey elliptical machine, nice to see you’re still collecting dust in the corner of my bedroom! One of these days, one of these days…
10 p.m. I’m either writing a blog or magazine article, attempting to start on my book proposal, fiddling with Facebook, Twitter, or doing something productive like trying to read an actual book. Currently fondling the pages of “A Place of Yes” by Bethenny Frankel, ya know, real highbrow stuff.
11 p.m. This is as close to “me time” as I get. I’m tired, exhausted actually (have I mentioned that?), but I’m fighting it to stay awake to enjoy this time to myself. Why do I keep myself up so late? Because if I go to sleep now, then I won’t be awake to enjoy it, clearly. I could–I should–be getting more sleep. But I like spending this time to myself, and I want to be up for this party, ya’ll. I’m a really fun person to hang with. Barkley’s in his crate, Jay’s usually at one of his restaurants, Preston’s asleep, and Mommy has full control of the remote.
Midnight/1 a.m. This is usually when Jay declares “lights out” which means the lights literally have to go out, the cordless headphones go on, and I’m left to watch whatever’s on DVR alone and think about how tired I’m going to be for work tomorrow…
What’s your daily routine like?
I know I’m a little late on commenting about this, but surely you’ve read about, or seen countless reposts of the Facebook status update by a disgruntled father that turned into the no. 1 best-selling book on Amazon.com, right?
You know what my first thought was when I read that Adam Mansbach’s hilariously irreverent status update was turned into a children’s book, Go the F**k to Sleep: Why the fuck didn’t I think of that? My second thought: Oh, yeah, because even if I had, getting a book published is about the hardest thing to accomplish today, unless you’re Chelsea Handler, Lauren Conrad, Tori Spelling or Bethenny Frankel (I know this first-hand since I’m currently working toward this goal).
Adam Mansbach is already a published author. He wrote The End of the Jews, and has a best-seller, Angry Black White Boy, and according to this CNN article started out as a poet. Which explains the laugh-out-loud iambic pentameter in Go the F**k to Sleep (which, by the way, isn’t even out yet). I can’t think of a better gift for the new sleep-deprived parent! Will you be buying this book? I sure as fuck will. Here are a couple great verses:
The windows are dark in the town, child.
The whales huddle down in the deep.
I’ll read you one very last book if you swear
You’ll go the f**k to sleep.
The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the f**k to sleep.
I came home tonight at almost 11 p.m. from a lovely dinner/drinks/dish session at Arami, with the even lovelier Carolyn Pelissero of Boldface Communications Group, to find this sight.
I just ordered a new crop of toys for Preston, since he’s been bored to tears with all his infant/baby toys. My favorite thing ever is this red vintage-looking kitchen that I’ve been coveting for months now. I cannot wait to play with it tomorrow, er, uh, with Preston I mean—it’ll be like Christmas morning in the Gorenstein house. (Except we don’t celebrate Christmas.) This thing has a microwave, fridge, sink, oven, stove top and phone! I wish my kitchen was as cool looking as this.
(Red Retro Kitchen by KidCraft, $149, Amazon Prime)
Poor Jay spent hours putting it together today—don’t believe the lies on the consumer reviews that say it takes two-and-a-half hours to assemble. It most certainly doesn’t.
The finished product is beautiful though (thousands of tiny screws later). We know who’s winning Dad of the Year this Father’s Day.
And of course we also had to have a shopping cart by Little Tikes ($30, Amazon Prime) to go with our new kitchen and pretend vegetables and condiments.
The endless hours of fun we’re going to have for years to come: priceless!
Is it normal to be this excited?
Update: Preston was almost as excited as I was about his new kitchen set. And he almost caught yet another finger in the cabinet door. (No wonder the product says it’s for ages 3 and up.)
The kid already knows how to multi-task, talking on the phone while simultaneously pushing his shopping cart around. Photos will be posted later, stay tuned.