Sunday, October 31, 2010


jack o' lanterns we made with the neighborhood kids & our friends nancy & keith
hope your day is full of treats!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

pumpkin party

 here's m last year at the pumpkin patch. she's so itty bitty!
we headed to the pumpkin patch with m's class from school today. 
lots of pumpkins, wagons & friends with whom to frolic!
m picked out a cinderella pumpkin (somewhere, somehow in the past couple of weeks she learned the word cinderella, so i guess it's appropriate that she happened to pick a pumpkin variety with a name she knew) & raced around the patch with the other kids.
i have to say i'm daily amazed at where her language is.
we got in the car and she was chattering away about the field trip, "mommy, today was so so much fun. it was my favorite. maybe tomorrow i can have cinderella costume like riry (lily)..." and on and on. 
it just doesn't grow old to hear her talking and listening and expanding her vocabulary. i love hearing her talk to her friends now - little girls who have implants or hearing loss just like her, who are laughing, talking, giggling, and being toddlers. i adore it.
i'm so grateful for her progress every single day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

a little more new york

...slowly but surely i will finish our fantastic new york trip!

carrying our delightful treats from milk bar, we headed to central park!
we found a cozy spot right inside the park and settled in to have our snack.
matt takes his first bite of cinnamon bun pie. oh yes, you read that right.
ooey, gooey and in pie form.
and here is the aforementioned candy bar pie.
it was so yummy that i included two photos. 
chocolate cookie crust, caramel, peanut butter nougat & pretzel? 
as i may have said before, hello amazingness!
seriously, i savored every single bite and crumb.
it was so peaceful and so relaxing to hang out, talk, 
and just enjoy such a beautiful spot in this vast city.
ruby looks upset, but i promise she was mostly content-
i think she's just said here because she wanted to nurse some more. 
(can i say that this trip could also be called "susannah nurses at every spot in nyc, especially in locations at which young children rarely never set foot")

(see? look how delighted ruby looks just moments later)

we then proceeded to walk about 60 blocks worth of central park for over an hour. it was perfect weather, and so beautiful as we wandered along paths and through different areas of the park.

(image from yelp)
we headed to a spot we've gone before when visiting new york, that our friends brandon, steve & renetta had told us about, the hungarian pastry shop. 
lest you think ALL we did was eat treats, we went to get some cappuccinos. (promise)
although i won't lie- they do have tons of delicious baked goods there (see below.) 
it was jam packed with people studying (it's right by columbia university), pretending to study, waxing philosophical, flirting, reading and hanging out. 
we stayed for a while until ruby was over it and headed to the subway 
(our feet were tired after so much walking!)

(image from

my friend rachel & her husband joseph ever so kindly offered to watch ruby for matt & i so that we could go out to dinner sans kidlet. it was so generous and thoughtful of them! we got to stop by their very cute and very new york sized apartment before going out to dinner at the spotted pig (which had just happened to get a michelin star that very week!) it had a new york sized wait of 2 + hours, so we went up to the bar and ate there.

(image from
how cute is it? the bar was slammed and such a scene. we did lots of people watching and then matt got the pig eared salad (yes! he did-and i tasted it. it was actually incredible.)
(image from
...while i got the burger. (2 burgers in one day! the burger had gotten rave reviews in one of my favorite imported magazines-jamie oliver's magazine. he'd done an article on new york restaurants & included spotted pig's burger. so, i tried it.) it was amazing. yum. yum. yum.

we headed home to rachel's to get ruby (you can see the awesome baby fort she made for ruby to sleep in on her blog) and alas, poor rachel was outside holding a not very happy baby ruby. apparently she didn't want to sleep; instead she wanted to troll the streets of new york looking for new places that i could nurse her. rachel and joseph lived close enough to the apartment we were renting that we took the half hour walk home to soak up some more of the city.

(& more to come as long as you are game for more nyc play by play)

Friday, October 22, 2010

my new favorite book

no, it isn't freedom by jonathan franzen, which is our current book club book (although we really usually just eat and talk)...that book was too depressing, so i took a break.

matt got me this book for our anniversary and i love it. i haven't done any of the projects yet, but it is chock full of amazingness.

how fun does this look?

i'm thinking of throwing a holiday open house where friends can come over to our house and eat, drink warm drinks & work on holiday craftiness (i'd provide something like one of these projects to make as gifts or you could bring your own stuff to do) or just hang out and chat. what do you think? would you come?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


live music is good.

went to two amazing shows this week, both of which were inspiring, beautiful & completely different from each other. i love watching makers who delight in making, and who you can tell love what they are doing. my favorite is that at both concerts they would shuffle instruments, lead vocals.

i loved it.

suffice it to say it made me want to be in a band. no, i'm not kidding. well, maybe in an alternate universe i can be a singer in a band.

i love mumford & sons. and why not? as we know i love bands that specialize in rousing anthems - uh, u2 anyone? oh, they were so good. i will not lie-i could've stayed all night. i practically did, since they played til just shy of midnight!

even more awesome? my mom came. cause she's a lover, too & she loves her some passionate music. (it's where i get it, you know.)

and the jonsi show was well...crazy, creative, visually stunning, bizarre, and wonderful. his music is haunting and moving and beautiful all at once.

now, i am going to paint. because music makes me want to paint.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

new york...(part 1)

oh new york. i really like you.

(cue alicia keys singing...)

i flew back last thursday to meet up with matt in new york city. he was back working for the week and then we spent the weekend together. i took baby ruby along with me, and matt's mom came up for the long weekend to stay with little m.

as we waited to board the plane, my normally mellow ruby started screaming. i was trying to balance my coffee in one hand & my yogurt in the other without dropping either on ruby-who i was wearing, my carry on and laptop. i totally looked like crazy bag lady mom i'm sure. miraculously (or maybe because whoever was supposed to sit next to me fled in fear after they heard ruby's lung capacity), on a jam packed flight with no empty seats? the seat next to me was the only empty one on our plane. ruby promptly calmed down & long story short (with some amazing mom move's thrown in over the next 6 hours) we survived the flight.

we got off the plane to absolutely beautiful fall-ish weather. it was a perfect & warm evening, and my husband was waiting for me. we were staying in the lower east side, so we headed to the apartment we rented through airbnb and once we decided the street wasn't as sketchy as we originally thought we grabbed a couple of slices (yum) and crashed early.

first thing friday morning, after sleeping super soundly, we began exploring...
we passed magnolia bakery & decided to stop.
who says you can't have a cupcake at 10 a.m.?
matt had a s'mores cupcake & i had a caramel cupcake.
i think my friend renetta makes way better cupcakes 
(perhaps more humble in appearance but more delicious in taste), 
although the frosting was amazing & glorious, and really- isn't a cupcake just a vehicle for frosting?
ruby was crashed out while i savored every bite.
cupcakes-breakfast of champions, my friends.
i am a total sucker for cakestands & cute bakery displays.

we headed to moma (museum of modern art) to soak up some art...
ruby decided to wake up
(she's very culturally aware, my 5 month old)
there was some pretty amazing work there by yoko ono
(here matt watches a piece by her from the 70's)

i love looking at art. it made me want to rush home and paint all day and night. so many ideas and thinkers and makers in one place-it is pretty incredible to get to see it all in the space of a few hours.
do you recognize this popsicle mold? 
if this was facebook i'd tag my mom in this photo. 
there was an exhibit of the evolution of the modern kitchen 
and this was one of the pieces included in a display. 
hello, 1982. this tupperware mold instantly brought back lots of memories. (remember sticking your tongue through the holes of the stick? well, maybe you don't, but both matt & i did...)
a view from one of the rooms in moma.
ruby was all about it. (see her intently taking in this painting?)
she especially (and rightly so) loved the abstract expressionist show that is up right now. 
it was a fantastic show, and so great to see so much work from mid-century artists all together. 
loved it. did my soul good.
yoko ono's wish tree where you can write a wish/hope/prayer and hang it from the tree. 
(what would you write?)

post moma we were starving so we went to the hotel le parker meridien, where a burger joint is hidden inside the lobby. oh my deliciousness.
exhibit a

exhibit b

does this look like it's inside a swanky hotel? 
oh, but it is. just follow the teensy neon sign of a burger back in the corner of the lobby.
just like her sister, ruby does not pose.

what should you do after eating cupcakes, burgers and fries?
why, eat treats of course.

i promise we were walking for hours and hours in between all of these eating adventures
(but it wouldn't be a trip with matt without eating adventures, right?)

we went to momofuku's milk bar.
now, don't get confused. i, myself, am not a fan of milk.
nope. never have, never will like it.
(sidebar: don't try to convince me how awesome cold milk is with a cookie-it is about as futile as trying to convince me that smoothies with a bit of banana hidden inside don't taste like banana.)
milk bar should actually be called treat heaven.
this is the cake my daughter would eat if she was choosing: it has rainbow sprinkles all over it.
apple pie cake? yes please... but actually, that isn't what i picked. so many treats, so little time.
treats packed up we headed on another lengthy walk to find a spot in central park to lounge around, soak up the amazing weather, and eat our sweets.
ruby was feeling quite cosmopolitan as she hit the streets of new york. (doesn't she look streetwise?)

you'll have to wait for my next post for pics of the aforementioned treat...let's just say it was called candy bar pie. (how can you go wrong with a name like that?)

for now, i'm off to snuggle into bed before it's time for ruby to wake up for a midnight snack.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"i hear that!"

m has been going to her school, jean weingarten peninsula oral school for the deaf, since she was 7 months old! at first she went to one on one speech therapy for an hour a week. last school year she increased to two days of class a week and 2 hours of speech therapy. this year she goes three days a week to class and 3 hours of therapy! every day starts with the whole school and staff at morning music. one of the things that i really like about jwposd is that they see parents as the ones who are teachers 24 hours a day. our time there is not just for little m, but it is also to teach us as parents how to foster speech and language at home and in the future.

(i promise not to keep posting lots of videos, but thought these would be relevant to this post, especially in tandem with m's speech sample video that i posted last week.)

here is a snippet from morning music a couple of weeks ago:

thanks to her hard work, to the guidance of her teachers and speech therapist, and to our own work at home, monrovia is thriving. she is learning to think through situations, listen and speak. her school consists of typical hearing kids, kids with a range of hearing loss, and profoundly deaf kids. it has been a commitment to drive an hour each way to school, but the sacrifice has resulted in great gifts for our daughter and for us. she is surrounded by immensely talented professionals who tailor their interactions with her to her individualized needs and level.

here is a bit of morning music from last november. you can see here how much little m's langauge has skyrocketed since a year ago:

here is a minute from little m's class during play/exploratory time last november.

next month is jwposd's annual benefit to raise money for the school. as you can imagine, her school is in a hard financial place right now- as most organizations are. i would love for this school to continue and thrive long after we leave, as it has transformed our daughter into a speaking, listening deaf child. donations to the benefit are being matched, so this is a great way to help her school out with funds. if you are in any way inclined, you can donate cash in any amount-even a few dollars, donate an item to the auction (anything! even something small can be grouped together with other items. you can donate services or goods!), or even sponsor a table-top. for more information on anything related to donating to or attending the benefit, go here.

i am so grateful to the work of this school, and i see it as such an amazing cause, so wanted to give anyone who has followed our daughter's story the opportunity to be a part of enabling it to help other kids who have hearing loss.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

happy sunday!

my toddler days, rocking an underwear & shoes ensemble, eating blueberries on peaks island in maine
hope today you are having some time to rest, relax & recharge for the week ahead!

there's still time for a sunday nap!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

and so it is

my dad & me (with a very dirty face from crawling around in the garden), summer 1975
two years ago today is the last time i saw or spoke to my dad. this week i've been thinking a lot about the fact on october 16th 2008, that i had no idea that this is how life would go. i had no idea that my brief conversation that thursday morning would be my last in person interaction with him. despite the fact that my dad is very much alive & lives only a couple of miles from me, the end of relationship was as sudden as if he had died suddenly. i've thought through if i would have said anything differently, or tried to say one more 'i love you' or any other final statement. but my last words to him were that i loved him, i just couldn't trust him.

i've wrestled a lot with the boundaries i've chosen to have with my dad. my decision (with matt) to cease contact with him didn't come lightly, and it only reflects what is best for matt & me, not necessarily anyone else. sometimes the best way to love someone has nothing to do with saying the words "i love you." sometimes the best way to love is to say, "i love you too much to continue being in this relationship as it currently is in its dishonesty and inauthenticity." and so that is how i personally can best love my dad right now - by refusing to be in a relationship of pretending.

i've thought a lot about my dad this week. three days ago was his birthday. today is the anniversary of my last contact with him. that day's events are still burned into my mind so clearly, and it grieves me that that is my last memory of my own dad. sometimes i really miss having a dad. it can be hard when matt's dad is here & playing with such delight with our daughters; i love it, but at the same time it serves as a reminder that my children won't know my dad too. it reminds me that i haven't seen him in such a long time. still, i know it is the best choice for my immediate family. and i've had to work through worrying whether other people will understand or bless our decision to be estranged from him.

we don't really get to choose how the story of our life goes. this is not the plot i would've desired or expected, but it is the one i am living. i can only hope that as time passes that these experiences grow me into a deeper, more authentic & empathetic person, parent, wife, and friend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

little m speech sample at 2 1/2

well, i realized that m turned 2 1/2 this week! while we were sitting at the table last night i took a video of her as a speech sample. she's now had her cochlear implants for a year and 7 months. she gets very silly & loud (shocking)...
here she is singing and jabbering away:

dance party

my friend is having a dance party this weekend & i am getting ready to dance my bootie off. i'm trying to think of fun songs to add to her playlist.

any suggestions?

monrovia would say "boom boom pow" by the black eyed peas since it is still, after months & months, her favorite.
 p.s. my daughter will be able to wear the above outfit when she, are you kidding me? never.

so, suggestions welcome. you can comment anonymously too, for all of you blog lurkers that don't normally comment.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

and the winner is...

for once in my life i won something.

well, i should clarify- i did win $100 of wallpaper from a wallpaper store when i was in 8th grade. the hideous pastel palm tree border and matching wallpaper that adorned our downstairs family bathroom in the 90's? yup. thanks to me, it was both uglypants and free.
lucky for me, this item was supercute and free. 
i entered a blog contest on deliajude
and for once (since every other blog contest i've entered equaled zilch) i won!
a festive mini garland showed up in my mailbox. now i just need to find a fun spot to stick it.
you can get your own cute garland at deliajude's etsy shoppe! (i highly recommend the garland of the month club. i had it for 6 months & it was the most fun my mailbox had every month. promise.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

(8 years)

today marks eight years of marriage for matt & i. there is so much i could write about marriage, about love, about life with another person. i will leave it to someone far better with words... to a writer that makes me think of matt. wendell berry wrote the following poem for & about his wife. i include it today for my husband, who loves me despite the fact that i am a handful.

"the wild rose" wendell berry

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,

Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,

and one again I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.

Monday, October 4, 2010

double trouble

he's my favorite. 
and he's gone all week. so it's just me and the girls.
we'll miss him.

p.s. at the end of the week i'll be joining matt in nyc for a long weekend. i'll take ruby with me, but m will be staying here with her grandma. any tips or ideas on special things i can do for m so she isn't too parent-sick? this is the longest i've left her for, and the same for matt. (of course i know she'll be spoiled silly by grandparent love, so she will be just fine!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

big sister

i watch m with ruby and think so often about what it must have been like when my little brother johnny was born. jonathan and i are the exact same age distance as m and ruby: 25 months.
susannah & jonathan
it's hard to stop being a big sister. i know it drives my siblings crazy sometimes, and i do work intentionally to not be the big sister anymore, but it's hard when it has been so ingrained for so long. one of the things that is the hardest is to watch my siblings go through pain and loss. for all of my failures and faults as the eldest, i love all three of my younger siblings.
oldest to youngest: me, johnny, becca & aaron

since johnny is 2 years younger than me, i don't really remember life before my brother was born. he has been a part of my life for a long as i can form recollections of childhood.
some of my silliest moments growing up were with my brother. 

my brother's taken a lot of hits since he was a little kid, but sometimes i still see that side of him:

as uncle johnny

or as karaoke king
one thing is true about my brother: he's either on or off- there is no convincing him to be in a good mood if he isn't, and there is no stopping him if he is ridiculously silly. 

jonathan is in the middle of a divorce right now. this wasn't the path he wanted or expected, and so it is hard to see him grieving the loss of something that he thought would last forever. yesterday, after he went to family court, we met for lunch and talked and laughed and snuggled up ruby. it was good just to be with my brother; as unable as either of us are to fast forward this painful season or fix it, we could just hang out, at ease with each other because we have a lifetime of being in each other's space. sometimes siblings make life a whole lot more complicated, but as we shared the afternoon yesterday, i was grateful for our history, for what lies ahead, and for just sitting with my brother.