May 20th, 2017

Our big Mother’s Day weekend event was going to see the musical “Hamilton,” which we did last Saturday. So some background: Like most everyone else, I had watched as the musical took the country by storm the year before last, and I asked Q to get us tickets when it arrived in San Francisco this spring. We’ve all been listening to the songs for months, so by the time the show came around the girls knew the whole story and could watch out for their favorites (including “Washington on your side”“You’ll be back” and, of course, “Alexander Hamilton”). We all loved the show (no surprise there!), and we’ve had the songs on non-stop ever since. (Some new faves include “What’d I miss”“Cabinet Battle #1 and “The Schuyler Sisters” – the latter which Avery and I like to sing together. “Angelica!” I sing, to which she calls out “Eliza!”)

The show is one that really sticks with you (there’s a reason it won all those Tonys and that so many people are obsessed with it) and isn’t something we’ll soon forget. And I love that someday the girls can tell their kids, “I remember when my parents took us to see Hamilton…”


A Mother’s Day race

May 18th, 2017

It makes sense to schedule an event that’s all about girl power on Mother’s Day – and so the semi-annual Girls on the Run race was held last Sunday. Before spending the day driving down Highway 1 and exploring Half Moon Bay, we joined about 5,000 other people at a nearby park and watched as Zoe and some schoolmates ran another 5K. (And look, Dad, at what’s behind her!)


Second-grade performance, part II

May 16th, 2017

And a few photos from the other day…


Second-grade performance

May 14th, 2017

Avery’s class had an end-of-year performance at school the other day; below is her little blurb and a few of the kids’ songs. Avery said a few words about a morning prayer and commented that it’s a reminder that we shouldn’t take things in life for granted… Amen to that!


Fourth grade overnight

May 12th, 2017

More now from Zoe’s recent overnight. As described in the school’s newsletter:

Fourth graders spent last Wednesday to Friday in a three-day simulation of the gold rush in “1855 Hangtown” (conveniently transplanted to Camp Tawonga), where they engaged in the everyday experiences of miners, merchants, teachers, and children of the 1850s.

In their mining teams, students panned for gold in the river, built fires, cooked their own miners’ meals, learned about the local flora and fauna of the area, and square danced. They even took part in an old-fashioned spelling bee in the makeshift one-room schoolhouse.

The activities in Hangtown helped the fourth graders better understand how difficult life was in 1855 and were a great way to build on their yearlong study of California’s history. Some came home with gold, others lost it all in the Hangtown Saloon on their last day—but all brought home nuggets of knowledge about a legendary era that shaped California’s future.

“It was so exciting to see the students panning for gold in the cold river, hiking and learning about the wild plants in the area, and cooperating and problem-solving by making their own Miner’s Meals,” says teacher Valerie Welsh. “One student exclaimed after his group had finally eaten, ‘This is the best meal I have ever had! It really makes me appreciate all that goes into making a meal.’”

And, some photos…


Girls night

May 10th, 2017

With Zoe out of town and Q at a movie, it was just me and Avery one night last week. We wound up having a girls night (dinner and ice cream) with some good friends – and Avery, who had previously been sad that her sister was gone – was one happy camper.



May 9th, 2017

Avery to her sister the other day: “Can we play a game where I’m famous?” (Then she proceeded to grab a guitar and pretend she was a famous musician. That’s quintessential Avery.)


She’s back…

May 7th, 2017

Zoe came home last Friday afternoon very tired, very smelly, and very happy. She said the camping trip was “way better” than she had expected, with the highlights being the food (apparently the barbecue chicken and grits were quite good) and the campfire stories. The school is sending us more photos soon; for now here she is with a few friends, moments after stepping off the bus.


First school overnight

May 5th, 2017

As you may have seen on Facebook, Wed. was a big day for Zoe: She took off for her first school overnight as part of so-called outdoor ed. She and her classmates headed to the popular and picturesque Camp Tawonga in Yosemite, where they’re going back in time to 1855 and looking for gold in “Hang Town.” We had a lot to prepare for (the packing list was long!), and Zoe had a lot of questions about what the trip would be like, what she should wear, etc. – but she was all smiles as the bus arrived.


Salad time

May 4th, 2017

Another week with lots of school activities for the girls: On Monday night, Zoe performed with the choir at an event honoring Israel’s Independence Day, and on Tuesday there was an all-school assembly, a dance party and other events for both girls. I popped in the classroom to help out with the second-graders as they made Israeli salad — they didn’t really need my help (the teacher and I marveled over how independent almost-third-graders are), but it was fun to be there just the same.


Run, Zoe, run

May 2nd, 2017

As I think I’ve mentioned here before, Zoe is running again: The spring program began several weeks ago, and she had her first 5K of the season on Sunday. It was a trail course with tons of hills (held in the very pretty and very large McLaren Park), but she seemed okay with it!


“I’ll take the cash!”

April 30th, 2017

A big event in the life of our family happened recently, when we left the girls home in the evening for the first time. We stayed close and just had a quick dinner in the neighborhood, but it felt kinda monumental. And I’m happy to report that all went well: Avery got a bit sad at bedtime and kept asking Zoe to call me, but Zoe made her feel better by pulling up the restaurant on a map on her tablet and showing her how close we were.

The next morning, we gave Zoe some money – like we would any other babysitter – and she looked surprised. “I don’t need that,” she said, only to have her sister cry out, “Ooh, I’ll take the cash!” (And if that story doesn’t perfectly encapsulate their personalities, I don’t know what does.)


Zoe’s family Shabbat presentation

April 28th, 2017

Every Friday in Zoe’s class, a student and his/her family comes in to give a presentation on their family’s Jewish traditions. It was Zoe’s turn last Friday, and I so enjoyed being there and sharing some of our stories. But an even bigger highlight was how her teacher started things off: by having her classmates write on the board their favorite things about Zoe. I can only imagine how it made Zoe – who was sitting in the middle so proudly – feel.


Sitting on the rocks of the bay…

April 26th, 2017

One recent weekend, the four of us did something we’ve never done before: Hung out on the bay and watched the planes fly in and out of SFO. It was cloudy and a bit cool but also the best place to just sit and be.


My Achille’s heel

April 24th, 2017

The girls and I were playing around the other day and one of them called me the best mommy in the world. (Ha – hardly.) “But I yell sometimes,” told them, to which Zoe shrugged. “So? Everyone has flaws, Mommy. I just think that’s your Achilles’ heel.”