Ten things only people living in micro apartments say

In honor of us staying up to watch David Letterman’s final show, here is a list of ten things. Ten Things one hears at the Fun Apartment:

1. I bought the smaller, more expensive one.

Don't ask me about how the physical therapy is going.

Nobody ask me about how the physical therapy is going.


2. Don’t buy a gallon of milk. There isn’t room in the fridge.

There is enough room for box wine, though.

There is enough room for box wine, though.


3. Your scissors are too loud for nap time.

Monkeys probably shouldn't use scissors.

Monkeys probably shouldn’t use scissors.


4. Put your shoes under the bathtub where they belong.

What? They don't get *that* wet.

What? They don’t get *that* wet.


5. What was I thinking, buying all of this toilet paper?

My request for bathroom shelving is marked as "pending."

My request for bathroom shelving is marked as “pending.”


6. Sam’s Club? What’s Sam’s Club?

(Sorry, no picture. I really have no idea.)


7. Your wallet? I think it is by the sink. Or under the crib. Did you check the salad spinner?

Oh, of course that's where you put it.



8. Let’s go to Yonkers to visit the furniture.

Sigh, I miss our furniture.

Sigh, I miss our furniture.


9. Don’t put your feet on your brother. He’s sleeping.


Do not wake, upon pain of death.


10. Hang up your keys! I just cleaned and now the place is a mess!

Does anyone have a good way to clean A LOT of grout lines?

Does anyone have a good way to clean A LOT of grout lines?


(By the way, did everybody realize exactly how late the Late Show is on? No wonder I’m exhausted today: apparently I’m old.)

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Mother Lode

i had a brief list of demands err requests for Mother’s Day.

1. Go get bagels in the morning. Take the boys, and take the long way home.

2. Watch the boys while I go to ballet class (Imagine a drunken helicopter at low altitudes and that’s pretty much what I look like in ballet class)

3. Buy me some lilacs.

4. A picnic, with so much tzatziki that I don’t panic about having to share it with other people.

That’s it. I’m not much of a demander. In retrospect, I should have thrown some cupcakes in there somewhere. Ah well, there’s always next year.

And that’s all it took to make my Mother’s Day. There were those heart-meltingly awesome moments. And then there were the moments that felt a little more authentic, a little more Fun Apartmenty. Like having my little guy tell me “I kind of like your shirt, Mommy.” Or waking up to find this sweet note about scheduling:

That's a relief. The mother's day hung was originally scheduled for 6.

That’s a relief. The mother’s day hunt was originally scheduled for 6.

I know there’s a big “breakfast in bed” business for mother’s day, but I think I’ll have my coffee and wait for my breakfast alone, thanks. Like Saint Augustine said, “Lord, grant me beautiful happy lads to climb all over me, but not yet.

This is my favorite spot in the Fun Apartment.

This is my favorite spot in the Fun Apartment.

So my demands brought me a pretty awesome day full of peace, joy, and leg pain. And sunshine and Greek yogurt. So even if it is kind of a made up holiday, I am taking it. After all, I overheard the man of my dreams admonishing the boys in the hallway: “Remember, there’s no fussing today. None. It’s Mommy’s Day, so no fussing, I mean it.”

A day without fuss: perhaps the best gift of all.

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Star What?

Thanks to the incredible heavy-handedness of Lego’s marketing department, my younger son claims to be obsessed with Star Wars. I don’t really believe this is possible, given that he’s four and has never actually seen the movies. But, still, he insists “I weawy wuv Staw Waws.”

I doubt him because as an ubercool preteen, I actually was obsessed with Star Wars. And to be fair, I hadn’t seen the movies at first either. I caught this virus from a library book: a novelization for Return of the Jedi. And it was surprisingly overwritten, as I recall. I remember my mom reading it aloud in a perpetual tone of surprise. I mean, it’s Return of the Jedi. The author of this novelization had every right to just phone it in. But he didn’t. He wrote the heck out of it.

And I became obsessed with it. I hadn’t seen the movies, because well, it was all girls at our house and it just never came up. But then in sixth grade, it came up big time. And these were the days when renting a video was kind of a big deal, at least at our house. I had to wait for weeks. I remember reading the weekly booklet of TV listings searching for the Star Wars movies, hoping against hope that this, THIS, would finally be the week when there would be a Lucasfilm triple feature. That day did not come, alas.

So now that the kid has taken an interest, I’m uncertain. Do I just unleash it on him? He’s four, after all. Isn’t most of it going to whoosh over his head like the star when the Million Falcon, as he calls it, makes the jump to light speed?

I tried to compromise by starting small: we’ve checked out some Star Wars easy readers from the library, including some Lego Star Wars, so I know we are smack in the middle of some kind of boy demographic here. Well played DK, well played.

But really? Let him watch Star Wars? He can barely sit still through the books. And to be honest, I can’t even follow the plots for all that Episode 1-3 business.

I’m not completely sure what my hesitation is. Maybe I don’t like feeling like I’ve been marketed into something? Maybe I’m not sure we have enough room in the Fun Apartment for a Lego Star Wars obsession? The lego bin is already overflowing. . . .

Or maybe I want to wait til he can actually appreciate the story. I have long suspected that kids movies aren’t really for kids. Take this huge steaming pile of . . . . merchandising, for example. I know most grownups appreciate kids movies with adult humor too, but I am sort of turned off by it, because it means there’s a bunch of jokes the kids can’t understand but can repeat. And they kind of make the movie boring for kids. Trust me, they were bored somewhat stiff while I snickered through this.

Also, I am not sure that any kid who insists it is “3DPO! Not C3PO!” is really ready. Then again, I did actively argue back, so maybe I am not ready either.

So I guess the answer is maybe, coming soon to a galaxy near us.

Until then: Help me Obi Wan Kenobody, you’re my only hope.

You have failed me for the last time, Admiral.

You have failed me for the last time, Admiral.

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Spring Breaking.

We did not go anywhere for spring break. And by anywhere, I mean we didn’t go past 6th Avenue. It was a true staycation.

We stayed. We played. We watched some videos. We had a couple playdates. We went to Trader Joe’s. And we did not get bored.

There are several actually worthwhile New York things to do within shouting distance of the fun apartment. And we did none of them. The weather did not know it was spring break, so there was not a lot of outside time. There was hanging in. The man of my dreams worked late. Twice.

And I did not succumb to alcoholism.

I worried a bit before spring break that it would be messy and grim — a true test of survival. But instead it was a nice, low-key week of doing little boy things.

See, being on spring break with girls looks like this:

Not my kitchen. Not my kids.

Not my kitchen. Not my kids.

Being on spring break with boys looks like this:

WWE Practice

WWE Cage Match

Or sometimes this:

They grow up so fast that he's ready to shave.

They grow up so fast that he’s ready to shave.

On Sunday night, as I tried to remember whose lunchbag is whose and which pants belong to which boy, I thought to myself, “Wow! That was easier than I thought! Hey, we did it! Yay! Now, what street is the school on again?”

But then, as I typically do after surviving something stressful, I had a mini-breakdown over nothing after the main event. On Friday evening, I found myself sobbing into a sinkful of dishes, weighed down with angst about never finding a suitable (i.e. paying) job.

But luckily that passed quickly and we sat down to a spur-of-the-moment living room picnic dinner, buoyed by wine and surprise cupcakes provided by the Mister.

After all, this is the Fun Apartment. We can put legs on anything and make it walk.

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Filed under Living Small, Not cool

Something to whine about.

Do you want to know why my son is whining?

Here’s why, in chronological order:

7 am: He woke up and wants the lights off, so he can play night time.

7:20: He doesn’t want the oatmeal he asked for.

7:30: He hates oatmeal.

7:45: His oatmeal is cold.

8: He’s full.

8:20: He doesn’t want *those* airplane underpants.

8:30: His pants are too soft.

9:00 – 10:00 Sesame Street (Hey, don’t judge. I’m not at a bar. Yet.)

10:15 He wants to pick up the cups from the floor with his feet.

10:16He can’t reach the floor (screamed from his position lying on the floor.)

11:00 He dropped his favorite toy behind his bed.

11:10 Again.

11:15 And once more.

12:00 He wants to use a big spoon to eat yogurt.

12:05 He has yogurt all over his shirt.

12:10 He hates cheese. Except string cheese. And parmesan. And mozzarella.

(On our way to pick up his older brother.)

3:10 He doesn’t want to go up 9th Avenue.

(We procure older brother and start for home.)

3:15 He doesn’t want to go down 8th Avenue. He wants to go down 9th Avenue.

3:20 He wants to stop in the playground. (It’s 30 degrees and he’s wearing a spring jacket.)

3:25 He’s cold.

3:30 He wants to be the first and the second one up the stairs.

(Sainted mother in law comes over to babysit. I deny that these are even my children. Instead, I blame her son and the devil for them. She stays anyway.

Two hours pass. I return largely sober. Sainted mother in law insists they were little angels the entire time I was away.)

5:30 He doesn’t have any bath toys. (We have hundreds).

5:32 He can’t find his bath toys in the bath tub.

5:33 There are too many bath toys in the tub. He has no room.

6:00 He doesn’t know what we are having for dinner. But he doesn’t like it.

6:15 He can’t set the table because he can’t carry a fork. It’s too pointy.

6:35 He wants more bread. But not the half-eaten piece on his plate. A new piece.

7:00 There are too many (i.e. six) toys to clean up.

7:30 He wants PJs that he saw in a picture of himself as a baby. (A 3-6 month sleep and play).

7:35 He doesn’t want to read the book he picked out. He hates it.

7:40 He wants to read that book again.

7:45 He desperately wants to sit in the dark and drink wine by himself.

WAIT. Sorry, that last one was me. Somehow, I must have started whining too. No idea how that happened. Well, you know where to find me. . . .

Beast Mode.

Beast Mode.

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Filed under Not cool, Mommy

Spring reigns.

We hit a major weather milestone here at the Fun Apartment recently. Blow ye trumpets! We are back on scooters! And the rest of the city is so happy to unzip their poofy jackets that they don’t care about three wheeled terrors on the sidewalk!

See, without the scooters, we are virtual shut ins. I blocked out with alcohol err conveniently forgot the fact that the scooters are three season transportation. They have no snow tires. After the stroller went the way of the dinosaurs, bouncy seats, and things I thought looked good on me in college, the Age of Scooters commenced.

Why, oh why, did no one tell me about the scooters? Suddenly, aboard these wheeled wonders, we got places on time (ok, closer to on time, but Still!) and, more importantly, we got there happy! And exercised! Our springs and summers and falls are efficient and relaxed. (And hardly anybody asked me about the bruises on my shins!)

And then the snow fell again. The scooters went to drydock. We were stuck. The sidewalks were somewhat clear, but they were significantly more narrow. And lined with piles either garbage or ice. With lots of slushy patches and clogged reservoirs of brown sludge deep enough to accommodate an outboard motor at every intersection.

So I found myself dragging the boys up and down these gray brown paths, tugging them by the mitten, (when I could manage to find the mittens). I felt like some sort of large ship towing her loaded rowboats  behind her. It was trudgery.

But now, after a few warm days and one good rain, the whole dirty world is ours again! We have survived! One after school visit to our local (playground, not pub) and everyone’s head is clear and mood is up. We come home happy! We arrive there before nightfall! Trader Joe’s is accessible again! And the best news: two exhausted boys, sleeping away.

See you at home!

See you at home!

But for now, I care not. We can ride. We are out. Spring is here.

(Naturally, just as the spring weather commenced, I found this amazing coat at the salvation army for $8. It is cute enough to make me wish for six more weeks of winter. I will now hide under my desk to dodge all of the snowballs you are flinging at me.)

Holmes. Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes. Sherlock Holmes.

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Filed under Mommy, Not cool, The outside world

We don’t make it look easy.

Sometimes, my life feels like a string of unrelated and inexplicable tasks, perplexing projects, and quests for bizarre items, interspersed with the repeated cleanup of the Same. Exact. Things. I put away only hours before.

Like Valentine’s Day. All four of us sat at the kitchen table trying to eat breakfast and assemble super hero valentine lollipops. We needed 44. And we ran out of tape on number 7, thanks to the older son and his tape fetish. His “I’m a fixer!” Phase suddenly became an “I’m a problem!” Phase. The discovery of some double sided tape helped a little, but not much. The man of my dreams wanted me to cut it into two millimeter strips so that it would better affix the tiny masks. I didn’t show him my middle finger, but I did show him the one with the wedding ring, which means “Nope. We’re married, dude. Now start taping,”

After this fun family project, I had a quality four minutes to get dressed, because, you know, a girl likes to look her best, and then get the kids to school. With both of them safely ensconced, I could go on a mad tear through the city in search of toy sharks. Party City 0, pet store 1.

This day also included assembling Lego Star Wars separatist commandos (who the . . .??), caving to demands to put AC/DC’s Thunderstruck on our playlists, pulling an architecture coloring book from thin air, making an origami dinosaur, “helping” to clean up the knocked over cat food, and researching the role gladiators played in the society of Ancient Rome. And in preparing dinner, I spent rather too long trying to make my hard-boiled eggs heart-shaped. This whole process was not overwhelmingly successful, because when I asked my kids what they thought they looked like, my pensive older son looked at them for a long time before he finally guessed “Turtles?”

Sometimes I wonder: why all the effort? We don’t need to eat turtle-shaped eggs. Drug stores do sell valentines. But I guess life needs the exciting moments to drown out the screaming tedium of the repeated daily routine. Even if nobody follows the routine without me reminding them twenty times at exponentially increasing volume.

I guess that’s how we put the fun in the Fun Apartment.

I heart you.

I heart you. Or I turtle you.

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Filed under Home Ec, Mommy, Not cool