Monday, November 13, 2017

Diary of an Angry Pink Baby #11: Hiking

It took longer for the leaves to change this year because the world is ending, meaning there was still opportunity to see them in mid-November! So the family made the fifteen-minute drive to Wildwood State Park, and for the first ten minutes of our hike through the woods, everyone enjoyed leaf-centric banter, walked with the legs attached to their bodies, and complained only lightly.

Wildwood State Park 2017
Wildwood State Park

The remainder of the hike didn't go as well, mostly because Miranda decided she was tired, first of walking and then, incredibly, of being carried. We debated turning around until we reached the exact place where it was a thirty-five minute walk in either direction, and this is when Miranda entered some sort of Memento loop wherein she only understood the following three things:

1) I'm tired of walking.
2) I'm tired of being carried.
3) Are we going to Grandma's house?

I addressed these, relentlessly, as follows:

1) Everyone else is walking.
2) Nobody else is being carried.
3) We're going to Grandma's house in ten days.

To which Miranda replied, earnestly, as though we might not know, and it was important that we truly understand:

1) I'm tired of walking.
2) I'm tired of being carried.
3) Are we going to Grandma's house?

Then the woodlands of Eastern Long Island transformed into a sort of Euro discotheque, wherein Miranda, in my arms, jamming a "pink" (red) leaf into my nostrils, mixed the order, sometimes lingering on 3) up to five times in a row (Grandma-Grandma-Grandma-Grandma-Grandma) before spinning a few 1) or tossing in 2) to keep us all on our toes. Her toes were in the air.

Wildwood State Park 2017
Miranda "hiking"

Finally, after a couple of miles, Miranda spotted a playground, which she legit sprinted to with newfound reserves of energy. She left maybe thirty minutes later, aggressively crying, because she both wanted to stay and leave. Her teenage years should be FINE. The rest of the day she forgot about being tired and only mentioned Grandma's house six or seven hundred thousand times.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Two Days Off From School- Nov 2017

Two days off from school- even nonconsecutively- is a lot these days. James was off school Tuesday, a day that Miranda doesn't go to school anyway, and then they were both off school on Friday. We played Life (A LOT), performed plays, built Lego dragons, and jumped in leaves. James also found and put his Pigeon Activity book to good use. We survived.

November 2017

November 2017

November 2017
Playing Life- Miranda won!

November 2017
Using her nursery school scarecrow puppet to perform a play

November 2017
James's play from his Pigeon Activity Book supplies

November 2017
Building a Pigeon airport

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bob Visits- November 2017

We went to James's soccer game, played with the kids at home, ate Indian for dinner, and then drank a lot after the kids went to bed. Oh and Bob shaved his beard.

November 2017
Playing with kids.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Julie Buntin at PWR Reading 2017

Julie Buntin read from her novel Marlena at Stony Brook!

Buntin Reading- November 2017
Julie reading

Buntin Reading- November 2017
Kevin is the reading series coordinator

Buntin Reading- November 2017
Small part of very engaged-looking audience

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Miranda's First Art Show 2017

Miranda's Nursery School hosted an art show featuring the kids' artwork. We have a few artists in the family so maybe this will just be the first of more art shows for her.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Next to her hand-print owl. (James is pointing to it.)

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Her teacher Miss Dee welcoming everyone.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Cookies and crackers.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Miranda pointing out her tree.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Delightedly looking at her graffiti leaf (top)

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Class handprints

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Miranda and Ella's bats are friends

Miranda's Art Show 2017
James helping by pointing out Miranda's sponge pumpkin

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Miss Sabrina greeting and saying farewell to families

Friday, November 3, 2017

Halloween 2017

Pictures from Halloween Trick-or-Treating!

Halloween 2017
Heading out to trick-or-treat!

Halloween 2017
With our favorite neighbor Carol

Halloween 2017
Our neighbors are hardcore about decorating!

Halloween 2017
Hustling to get more candy!

Halloween 2017
They went half a mile down our street, and half a mile back!

Halloween 2017
Goggie dressed as a taco!

Halloween 2017
Chatting with his friends John (potatohead) and James (Godzilla)

Halloween 2017
The tiara has been transferred to Dada

Halloween 2017
Tyler (grade 2), James, Mallory (1st grade), Miranda, and Sabrina

Halloween 2017
Very dark now! Time to get dinner!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Kids' Halloween Parties 2017

Miranda's nursery school Halloween party was on Monday. She arrived a little late and missed some jams, but enjoyed seeing her friends in costume, having a snack, taking pictures, and picking up a big bag of treats.

Halloween Party 2017
Ella, Miranda, Jordan

Halloween Party 2017
Miranda's teacher Miss Dee as Cat in the Hat

Halloween Party 2017
Ella and Miranda

Halloween Party 2017
Ella with her mom Carrie. Fiona and her mom.

Halloween Party 2017
Other table of cuties

James's 1st grade Halloween party was Tuesday. We did two craft projects (candle holder, pumpkin decorating), played Bingo, and read Halloween books. The kids also had a parade when the parents weren't there.

Halloween Party- James 2017
I brought Miranda to James's party

Halloween Party- James 2017 
Decorating the candle holder

Halloween Party- James 2017
James's teacher Mrs. Gamino was a Dalmatian

Halloween Party- James 2017
The whole classroom

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Power Outage 2017

There was a storm Sunday night/ Monday morning and we were fine. Fine! But a tree fell on our street, and the bus didn't even pick up half the kids for school on Monday. Then Monday afternoon we were asked to pick up the kids from the bus at a location that made no sense, and then they took the tree away right before the bus came, and they cut our power. It was all super dumb. We didn't have power from 3:30 pm until lunch the next day. Oh yeah, the next day was Halloween. And James's Halloween Party. And I needed my cell phone charged so I could take an Uber to it. And we had no hot water. Disaster.

Power Outage 2017
Tree removed on Monday. Next time leave it.

Power Outage 2017
Power outage selfie with a flashlight.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Casey and Jacyn Visit 2017

Earlier this month, Casey and Jacyn were in New York City for an event. Kevin and Jon were able to meet up with them for drinks. Sorry I missed you guys.

Casey Jacyn 2017
KEvin, Casey, Jacyn, Jon

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Mom's Time

Here we are again. Just as what happened with Dad, mom is no longer able to talk or live, but we must still wait for death. All I can do for her is make sure she gets adequate pain medication, watching her for signs of pain, and advocating for her with nurses and doctors. At night, her boyfriend Bob and I take turns sleeping in her room. We never leave her alone, but this is a very painful and lonely time for all of us. Just like with Dad, I don't want to write about her in past tense, but I do want to write about her, so I'll do it in this strange in-between time.


Back when mom had me there were no sonograms but she claims she knew she was having a girl and bought only baby girl clothes. If she said so, it had to be so. Back then, fathers waited outside the delivery room so she is the first person I ever met, and the person I've known the longest.

1979 03 12 Hospital 
Getting to know each other

So who is she? She is beautiful. She has always been beautiful, but like a fairy princess with a strange curse, with each year she has grown lovelier.

Ana's Quinceañera 1972
1972, with her parents ar her quinceañera

Shute Wedding 1985
1985, her wedding to my dad (age 28)

Monumental Celebration 2004
2004, my graduate school graduation (age 47)

Ramsey 2006
2006 (age 49)

2009, my wedding (age 52)

For many people, one of the greatest revelations of her character happened when my dad was dying of cancer. She was at my dad's side every day, all day, throughout his illness. She advocated for him and slept on a cot by his side in the hospital for a week. I was surprised that some people were surprised. She has always been a good person to go to in need or illness. A rainy weather friend or a dancing friend. She has always been an advocate, and she has never been afraid to be disliked in her advocacy. Now that she is dying, I am standing in her shoes as a caregiver, and they are expensive high heels that I find difficult to walk in.

Christmas Eve 2009
Our last Christmas together 2009

Parents' 25th Anniversary 2010
Twenty-fifth Anniversary 2010

She is strong, independent, and a fierce fighter. I am not like her in this regard, but it's not too late for me to grow in that direction. She can be loyal, but if she needs to, she can start over again. After my dad passed away, she had to pull together a life all over again. She had to find a job more than once, she had to change apartments, she had to fight cancer. No one wants to do all that, much less repeatedly, but she pulled herself up over and over again and did it.

And that goes for double for love. After a love like my dad, most people wouldn't realize that there was still more love in the world for them. But she has always believed that everyone deserves a true deep love. More to the point, she believes, and so do I, that kind of love is attainable for everyone. Not all love is the same, but as she said- it's what most of this trip is about. She started dating Bob in February 2012.

Nana Visits- June 2012
Bob and Mom, June 2012

Nana Visits- June 2013
Wild girl with Bob, June 2013

Miranda- 2 Days Old 2014
Meeting Miranda, 2014

2015 07 11 Love
Mom and Bob at a wedding, 2015

2016 09 10 Bob Mom
Weekend lunch dates with Bob, 2016

Her other loves- James:

Baby James Born! 2011
Meeting James, 2011

Nana and James- April 2011
Nap time

Nana Visits- June 2013
Kisses, 2013

Day After Thanksgiving 2015
Kisses, 2015


Miranda- Day 2 2014
Meeting Miranda, 2014

Nochebuena 2014
Hair bows! 2014

Christmas 2015
Tickling, 2015

Nana Visits- August 2015
Reading, 2015

Nana Visits- October 2016
Lipstick, 2016

Mother's Day 2017
Mother's Day 2017

And her other loves, her friends and other family:

Mom's 60th Birthday 2017
60th Birthday

Mom's 60th Birthday 2017
Bob's family

2016 05 22 Lunch

2015 10 18 Onel Tania
Onel and Tania

2016 03 18 Trivi Zelmy
Dancing night

2015 11 14 SocieTea
Fancy Tea with Yayas

2016 01 02 Moises and Magaly
Cousins Moises and Magaly

2015 11 21 Reunion
High School Friends

2015 05 15 Alice and Olivia
Work friends from Alice & Olivia

2015 09 26 dinner

2016 05 21 Diner
Diner with Sandy and Yvonne

Shute Visit 2017
Elaine, Richard, and Griffin

2017 06 09 Nurses better
Her oncology nurses

Clou Baby Shower 2011
Sylvia, mom, Arelys, Yohana

Mom Moves In 2017
Jen, Ampy, mom, and me

Thanksgiving 2015
Family picture

I love my mother and will miss her. I also think the world will miss her love and style, more than they know.

2015 07 11 Glam Mom
Hollywood style, even in the middle of cancer treatments
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