November 27th, 2020

Zoe’s birthday looked different than it would have if we weren’t in COVID – but we couldn’t let 14 happen without a celebration. She got together with a few friends the weekend before her big day, and the 23rd started with her opening presents, including a Marauders hoodie she had been eyeing and an autographed copy of her new favorite YA book. And the day before Thanksgiving we took her to the bookstore to do her favorite things: browse and buy books. She’s smiling under the mask!


“First” day of school

November 22nd, 2020

The girls’ school started at the end of August, but a big milestone was reached this month when it welcomed the kids back in person. The re-opening was a slow process, with the kindergarteners and first graders going back first and the other grades arriving every week thereafter, and it was (finally) Avery’s turn last Monday. She was cleared to go after a negative COVID test.

Though she’ll only be there two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays) to start, Avery was all smiles about being back with her friends.


Getting away, part II

November 18th, 2020

A highlight of our Maryland trip was our last day there. After days of anxious waiting, the election was called for Biden – and impromptu celebrations sprang up in cities across the country, including DC. It was PopPop’s idea to drive downtown and check it out, so we grabbed masks and hopped in the car.

Zoe wasn’t super excited about joining us (Avery, meanwhile, stayed back with Safta), but we wanted her to be part of the historic day. “You’re going to look back someday and be really happy that you came,” I told her when we arrived. And I know she will!


Getting away…

November 16th, 2020

I recently found myself on a bit of a break from working (story soon), and we decided to take advantage of the time off and go visit family. Traveling during COVID can be risky, but after weighing the pros and cons and knowing we’d continue being super careful (masking, tons of handwashing, etc.) we made our way to Maryland.

The good thing: Traveling wound up feeling/being very safe. The better thing: Being with family after going almost a year without seeing them was wonderful!

(As I type this, the country is experiencing an increase of cases – and many things are closing up again. We got there and back just in time!)


Happy Halloween, part II

November 6th, 2020

There was no trick or treating for us this year, sadly, but we still got out and about during the day. We met Avery’s BFF and some other Brandeis families for a socially distant pumpkin carving party, and Zoe joined a few friends for a Halloween potluck in the park.

It was unlike any Halloween we’ve ever had, but we managed to have fun!



Happy Halloween (COVID style)

October 31st, 2020

COVID may stop trick or treating – but not our celebrating!


Overheard (shelter-in-place edition)

October 24th, 2020

Our house isn’t that big, and with the four of us working and taking class via Zoom it’s sometimes a challenge to find a quiet spot. So it wasn’t at all surprising to hear Avery call out from her bedroom recently, “Can you be a little quieter? I’m trying to do math over here!”


Back to the pumpkin patch

October 18th, 2020

As PopPop recently commented on, not even the quarantine can prevent us from making our annual trip(s) to the pumpkin patch! Despite less excitement from the girls, especially Zoe, than in years past, we headed down to Half Moon Bay yet again to pick out and enjoy the pumpkins. (What can I say about our return year after year? It’s one of my favorite traditions!)


The high holidays

September 30th, 2020

The holidays looked different this year, obviously, with everyone at home and unable to go to synagogue. We did, though, tune in to services from the comfort of our home (I admit to kind of liking it; I watched in my robe for one of them!) and break the fast in a socially distant way with friends. And I was so proud of the girls, who without being asked by me or Q, got a little dressed up for Rosh Hashanah – as shown here.


No Cal get-away

September 27th, 2020

Since the four of us can work/go to school anywhere, we took a little break from the city and recently rented a house up near Redding, Calif. There were wildfires in other parts of the state, but the skies were mostly clear for us as we spent five days relaxing, playing games and swimming. We also visited their main landmarks, a pedestrian bridge/art installation called the Sundial Bridge and the nearby Turtle Bay Exploration Park.


Zoe and Zachary for Co-Presidents

September 15th, 2020

The beginning of the school year was a very busy one, with Zoe and her good-friend Zachary campaigning as co-presidents for their school’s student board. They’ve been planning to run together for more than a year, and they met every other week over the summer to come up with their platform and speech.

I was excited and a bit nervous for them – they were competing against two other teams – and also proud and nostalgic. These two have been friends since their first year in preschool! They took it very seriously and worked hard, and our families were thrilled when the votes came in and we found out they won.


Ready for school, part II

September 1st, 2020

I’m a bit late to sharing this, but we captured the girls’ thoughts on the eve of the new (very odd-looking) school year.


Ready for school!

August 24th, 2020

Just as school ended online last year, it will begin online this year. Classes start on Tuesday, and the girls excitedly picked up bags with their laptops, textbooks and other goodies earlier today. They even got a Brandeis-branded mask!

(When I asked Avery if she wanted me to snap a photo of her without a mask, she said no – she wanted to wear it “for sentimental purposes.” Someday I suppose we’ll look back and say, remember when??)


Glamping in Gold Country

August 19th, 2020

To celebrate my birthday late last month we did another NoCal get-away, this time visiting the very cool Nevada City, right in the heart of Gold Country. We went glamping, exploring and swimming (it was our first time to the Yuba River), and we celebrated with Avery’s best friend – who happens to have the same birthday as me!


Keeping busy while stuck inside

August 14th, 2020

The girls were supposed to spend this part of summer at sleep-away camp, but the pandemic thwarted those plans. Though stuck at home, they’ve been pretty good-natured and quite good at keeping busy! They have, admittedly, done a fair amount of watching videos and scrolling through Instagram, but the majority of their time has been spent on other activities. Zoe has done tons of reading, Avery is constantly playing with slime, and they’ve both been making videos and working on soon-due school projects. And they’ve also been creative with other activities, like when they did a blind taste test with staple-type foods (think mayonnaise, lemon juice and pepper) – as in the photo below.