These Dog Days

It’s been a really nice, busy summer.  I love that there is never a dull moment here in the city.  There is always something fun to do, and for that reason alone I never want to leave.

With YiaYia at Victorian Gardens in Central Park

Victorian Gardens, Central Park

Madison Square Park Kids throws a free concert for children on Tuesdays, and has many other programs geared toward toddlers on up.  We can walk to MSP, so it’s an easy and fun option for us.  We go as often as possible.

Horrifying Parents at Madison Square Park

The Dirty Sock Funtime Band

Other days, our daily routine feels like groundhog day.  We wake up, eat breakfast, scramble to get out of the apartment to head to the park for the eleventy-billionth time this month.

Park Bound

As mundane as these days feel though,  they are the opposite of that in the life of a toddler.  Small, yet monumental changes are happening daily with the kids in between our normal routine.  Zoe is ready for her very own scooter.  The fact that she’s ready and able to ride a scooter absolutely blows my mind.  She’s also potty training herself, which is messy and blindingly frustrating at times but at least we’re moving in the right direction.  I wasn’t quite ready for this, but she is a child that does things on her own watch, not mine. Clearly.  I estimate she will be using the potty, emptying my pocketbook, and wearing my make-up by the time she turns two next month. Sigh.

Jack is expressing himself so much better than a couple of months ago.  He’s been in some speech therapy and it seems to have really helped him.   He’s building Lego castles, cutting shapes from his KUMON workbooks, and spelling nearly every word he sees.  We have difficult, power-struggle days, but the majority of the time he is a cool, laid back kid.  I fear I will be one of those moms that cries her eyes out on his first day of real preschool.  I cried at the parent orientation for Pete’s sake.

Justin is taking the last final of his summer courses as I type this.  We’re headed back to our home town in California next week and will be spending some much needed time with family and friends.  I’m hoping it grounds me a little.  I’ve been piling things onto my plate at a breakneck speed and am struggling to find a balance.  It’s a complex place that I’ve found myself that I wasn’t anticipating.  But it feels really great.  I’m trying to find a way to improve myself and my place in this world apart from being a stay at home mother.

Yet I am a mother, first and foremost.

Reminding myself constantly to capitalize on the sweetness of their babyhood.  The moments in between the chaos of life are the most crucial.  Especially during the long, dog days of summer.

Join the Conversation


  • Your kiddos are so adorable! I wish I lived in a bigger city with so much to do.

  • I’m glad you’re having such a fab summer. Your babes are gorgeous and growing and I love reading about them. Hoping you have a relaxing and safe trip to CA!

  • Beautiful post Jess!! Hope you have a great time in CA. Planning a bunch of City days w/the kiddies before they go back to school and would love to finally see you guys!! I too am on the emotional roller-ride of summer, trying to balance, and getting ready to put my “baby” Charlie on the bus to kindergarten… I can start crying just thinking about it! What will I do w/out my sidekick everyday??? Thank God it’s only 1/2 day kindergarten up here 🙂 And just cannot believe that my Annelise is starting THIRD grade (how did that happen??) So bittersweet letting them go 🙁 Again, have a GREAT trip.. relax, and bask in the CA/family glow 🙂

  • Oh my gosh, I just love the pic of the two of them where Birdie has the railing in her mouth. lol

  • We have the same stroller! I love the pics!

  • I should go borrow someone else’s kids for a while just so I can enjoy summer with them before it’s over.

  • First of all your kids are hot. Is that wrong of me to say? 🙂 Second, you always have so many beautiful pics. Do you print them all? What do you do? I plan on doing an album for our little girl every year. Ill keep the pics in one folder and then shortly after each birthday (or right before, whatever) Ill have an album printed for that year. Id love to hear what youre doing!

  • Such a beautifully written and illustrated post….and oh so accurate.

  • I love the recap of summer and especially love the point of how much our everyday mundane life is actually very new and exciting to toddlers. This is so true. I love viewing life through the eyes of Audrey. “Oh my- it’s an airplane!” I mean really, would I really care to see one, no, but Audrey makes me excited to watch it. 🙂

    Your family is so beautiful!

    xoxo Abra

  • Wow, you are a great photographer. And you dress your kids well.

    I didn’t know about Victorian Gardens, they look awesome. I moved here as a manny a couple months ago and I am big on exploring the nooks and crannies of this city with Rose before Winter slows us down.

    I love going to those MSP/USP live performances but Rose isn’t the type to sit down and watch a performance for more than two minutes. She needs to be doing something active or she gets bored.

    Jack looks about Rose’s age… 3.5? Maybe we’ll see you at the parks.

    Love, Anthony

  • Looks like you’re having a great summer, makes me wish I could take a trip to NYC with the kids before school starts. The bands in the park look especially fun.

  • Your kids are so sweet. Posts like these make me wonder, why am I working full time and my son is in daycare all day. ( oh right, bills lol). Enjoy the rest of the summer.

  • What lovely pictures! I am glad to hear you are having a nice summer!

  • I’ve just begun following your blog but love it already. I just read your post for “Project Mom” and thought it was poignant. I think blogging becomes, for so many of us, a way to put ourselves out there and challenge ourselves in ways that we didn’t before. As a new NY mom (recently moved here from Boston), I will definitely be back to see your adventures. It seems like you all take so advantage of this city and are having a wonderful time!

  • Great pictures! I love Madision Square Park. I can’t believe that your daughter is potty training herself. I am insanely jealous!

  • I’m in the same place. Mom first! Had an amazing summer and turned down many opportunities to have the gift of time with the kids. I consider myself fortunate–I won’t ever get this time back. I’ll ramp up work and outside projects once everyone is back in the fall routine.

    Oh, and super-duper photos.

  • I Love Your Posts! Every time I sit to write I think about your blog and kick myself for not walking with a camera more (I’m working on it). Your kids are too precious and you are a wonderful mom. I’m finding it a little hard to find who I am outside of wife and mother (even my job isn’t helping) but I’m enjoying being a mom to the fullest. It seems we’ve been at some of the same events/parks and never met lol typical NY I guess and don’t worry I’ll be the exact same boo whooing mom at Chunks’ 1st day of school lol. Again, great post!

  • I love your blog! Bubba has grown so much and is so sweet!

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