Friday, March 30, 2012

Loving DC

People ask  me all the time how we ended up in DC, and the fact is, I'm not really sure.  We had no good friends here.  We had no family here.  Our jobs didn't take us here.  Instead, I think we kind of ended up here by default.

I was miserable in Manhattan.  MISERABLE.  For a variety of reasons, mostly of my own making. But I got to the point where everyday I just felt overwhelmed. Claustrophobic.  Smothered by my job and traffic and crowded bars and booked restaurants and the four walls of our apartment.  I wanted kids.  I wanted freedom.  I wanted OUT.  And fast.

DC just seemed like a logical choice.  It was in between my parents and my husband's parents.  It would be cheaper (I laugh at that now).  The hours would be better (I laugh at that too).  We could have a house and a dog and kids (check, check, and check).  We had some tangential friends and friends of friends and hey, it was closer to the south, so people have to be friendlier, right?  (This is totally true by the way).

Of course, the grass is always greener, but five years in, I am loving this town.  So, in gratitude for the amazing weather DC has dished out these past few weeks, here are the top 10 reasons why I love DC:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Your Turn - Karin's Story

"Your Turn" is a series of posts where readers share their stories of parenthood, work, the struggle for a balance, or just life generally.  If you are interested in contributing a story, please email me at, or click here.

Awoke from 4-5 hours of disrupted sleep on time – check. Got self and 1.5 year old up, dressed, fed, lunch packed, pee-peed, washed out potty, out the door by 8am – check. One daycare drop off, one temp training session for my upcoming maternity leave, two hours of fighting spontaneous cubicle nap – check, check and check.

As my 37 week OB appointment was wrapping up I was mentally checking off all my usuals. It had been a good day. Until Dr. Sabado asked something I was never asked during my last pregnancy – “Um… Are you dieting?”

Under any other circumstance this question would be met with smiles, thanks and a glance at my skinny jeans which must be really working. But during a trimester in which I’m to be gaining about a pound a week, I had apparently lost weight since last week’s appointment.  This question had me in tears in .4 seconds. It was the pointing out by an unbiased, unassuming party that despite my best efforts, I was not doing so well.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I awake with a slight hangover headache.

My best friend from college is visiting me, and we had a late dinner the night before.  But the evening was cut short a bit, as she started feeling queasy around 11:00pm.  Was it the alcohol, or the stomach flu that her daughter had been enduring for the past couple of days?

I see her in the kitchen and she confirms the latter (and most unfortunate of the two options).

I give her my condolences and offer gatorade.  She accepts, and then I realize we have no gatorade.

I ask her if she wants a banana.  She accepts again, and I give her a spotted brown version.

She leaves to drive home to Philly.

We lysol the crap out of our house (we know this routine all too well.).

My husband and I both start to experience psychosomatic nausea.

We take the kids to Barnes & Noble.  Braden is screaming as we walk in that no, he doesn't want the book store, he wants the toy store.  I tell him that he had better calm down or he will get no store at all, and we will be going to the book store today.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Good Neighbors

I awoke to this scene this morning, which evoked dread, devastation, and a hint of acceptance.

Our neighbors our moving.  And these aren't just any old neighbors.

Our neighbors moved in in March of 2010 - just a few days after I started my first "sabbatical" from work.  Having only lived in the 'burbs a short time, I wasn't quite sure what the customs were with new neighbors.  No one ever came to welcome us to the neighborhood, and I suppose I didn't expect them to.  But when I noticed that they had three young boys running around their back yard, one of whom looked close to Braden's age, I decided to hell with custom.  We brought over a bottle of wine, and the rest is history.

Heather really got me through those first few months of being home.  Having recently become a stay at home mom herself, we bonded over the million dollar questions:  What do we do all day? How do we adjust to this new identity?  The answers ultimately became different for both of us (particularly as she has 3 to deal with, two of which are older).  But at least once a week, the answer to that question meant spending time together.  And for the past two years, we've had weekly playdates, with rare exception.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Calling All Writers

So I have an idea.

A lot of you that read this have a lot to say.

A few of my posts have generated some really interesting discussion in the comments sections.  (See here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here, and most recently, here.)

And since the blog's inception, I've received numerous emails from other women who are either leaving their jobs or wanting to leave their jobs or staying in their jobs or who are just pretty amazing people with interesting stories and good advice.

In any event, I love hearing about other people's experiences.  And if I do, wouldn't you?

I was thinking that once a week (or less frequently, depending on if anyone actually wants to do this), I'd feature someone else's story.  And that story could really be anything - how you've managed to balance work and family, how you've left the workforce and regret it/love it, how you completely regret/love your career, how kids change everything, how you find time for yourself, how you've faced life obstacles, how a particular partner you work for is the biggest jackass ever, etc.  Anything, really, as long as it's authentic, sincere, written without judgment, and preaching is kept to a minimum.  You can write anonymously, but I would ask that you not be anonymous to me (I can keep your name off if the post is published).  And if you have a blog, I can provide a link to it.

Anyway, this could be a completely stupid idea and I could get zero takers.  But I know at least some of you have something to say - let me know if you'd like to say it on here!

Email me at if you're interested.

Monday, March 19, 2012


This past weekend my husband and I sprung for a babysitter and went out to dinner.  We left at 8pm after we tucked the kids into bed, and I told the sitter that we'd be home by 10pm.  We're rebels, you see.

Dinner went quicker than planned, and at 9:15pm we were signing the check.  But nonononononononononono, it is a blasphemy to return home earlier than expected when one has a babysitter.  Going home at that point was not an option.  So instead, I suggested we find a bar to grab a drink.

And there it was, like a beacon across the street - Public.  I had never been there, but it seemed easy enough.

But oh yeah, it was St. Patrick's Day.  And oh yeah, we're near American University and I think I was a good decade or more older than 90% of the bar patrons.  And oh yeah, I ordered a Pinot Noir which was disgusting because who orders a Pinot Noir in a college bar on St. Patrick's Day?

We were out of place and could barely hear ourselves speak.  But I'll be damned if I was going to waste a glass of wine, even a crappy one.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I have three pairs of jeans I wear.  That's basically it in the pants department.

I usually buy one nice pair of jeans a year.  Hence, these jeans were bought over an approximate three year time span (with the most recent pair being purchased over Christmas).

In the past month, all three pairs of jeans have simultaneously developed holes in the left knee.

Not the right knee!  Just the left.  


Weird things, people.  Weird things.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

On the Lighter Side

Jeez, this blog has been heavy for the last few weeks.  I am getting so sick of my own lamenting. So today?  Today we are keeping it light.

On Sunday we took the kids to the National Building Museum (which is AWESOME if you're in the area and have never been).  All was well and good until another mom looked down at Casey, smiled, and turned to me and said:

"How adorable.  How old is she?"

SHE is a boy, bitch!

No, I didn't say that.  Though I have to admit, I am a bit sensitive to this issue given the gender-neutral nature of Casey's name.

Instead I just smiled and said thanks.

But when I thought about it, I realized this woman didn't know Casey's name.  And he was wearing a blue and green striped shirt, jeans, and sneakers.  Why would she think he was a girl?

I knew the answer.  I just didn't want to admit it to myself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


There's nothing better than an unexpected good mood when you have been stuck in a funk.

Nothing monumental has occurred, I just woke up today feeling happy.

For one, here is a screen shot of the weather forecast:

Goodbye, seasonal affective disorder happy light.  I won't be needing you for a while.

Second, I have a night out tonight with an awesome friend.  And we are actually doing something other than getting dinner and drinks (not that I'm knocking that at all).  Instead, we'll be going to Lunafest, "a traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for, about women."  Yay for something different.  And if it sucks, we'll just get dinner and drinks.

And there are so many other things.

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's Only Preschool

When Braden was two years old and one day, he started preschool at a neighborhood Montessori. It was a rough beginning, with a lot of leg clinging, and a lot of tears (on both our parts, I have to admit).  But my God, he looked so adorable on that first day of school.

I did have some guilt and a bit of trepidation about starting him in school so young.  But with work and a second baby on the way, I fledged ahead.  And after a few months, it proved to be a good decision.  Braden loved the school, I loved the school, and I had my mornings with Casey.  We were in a groove and Braden was thriving.  He was in a cute little classroom with 11 other cute little kids and two awesomely loving teachers.  

This year Braden moved from the 2's room to the "real" Montessori room.  Real Montessori meaning mixed ages (3-6), larger class size (around 18 kids), and real Montessori work.  I was a Montessori kid myself, and I believe in the philosophy, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.  Braden has a September birthday and would be one of the youngest kids in the class. He is a little wild.  He is a little sensitive.  He is a little shy.  He's a little boy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Girl Friends

In the past two weeks I have been showered with love by my girl friends.  Not that I didn't know this already, but I have some pretty amazing friends.

I've had dinner brought to me.  I've had dinners out planned for me.  I've had wine nights brought in for me.  I've had countless offers of childcare.  And that's only the local ladies.  For the next three weekends, three of my best friends are descending upon DC to hang with me.

I'm very lucky.  Particularly because as I've gotten older, I've noticed that it's easier and easier to let friendships fall to the wayside.

It's nobody's fault, really.  Life just gets in the way.  People live in different cities.  People have husbands.  People have kids.  Weekends are designated family time.  And before you know it, weeks have gone by without a phone call, and facebook becomes your major mode of communication.

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