10 Products That You Need To Kick Off Summer 2017

"Goals," by Gray Malin

My son graduated from pre-K yesterday, and lets please not discuss that because another thing that happened yesterday was that he got embarrassed when I kissed him in front of his friends, and now I need to cry. Instead, let's focus on the bright side: Summer vacation!

Now, if you're a stay-at-home or work-at-home parent, you know that what "summer vacation" means is precisely the opposite of what it means to your children, because what it means is they're right there next to you. Like, all the time. Needing things. If you're a work-at-an-office parent, you know that it means either extra daycare/nanny hours or camp, which means hoooooooly crap so much money.


Just There

This morning, on the walk home from school, my daughter suddenly pointed towards the grass and said "Stop! The orange thing!" I spun around, trying to figure out what she was talking about, and finally saw it: a little orange circle that's part of our backgammon set. She had been playing with it on Friday morning, and I guess she carried it while we walked Indy to school and then dropped it somewhere along the way. It sat there all weekend long, and was still sitting there this morning, waiting to be seen. And my daughter did see it, right away. Not because she was looking "for" anything, or even really "at" anything...she was just looking.

I remember what that felt like, to just look. I miss it so much.

I barely remember anything I learned in the ice-skating classes I took for years and years, but I do remember the precise sound of my blade against the ice, how satisfying it was to hear the scrape build and build and then suddenly go silent when I made a quick stop. When I flip back through my memories like a scrapbook, what pops out at me are moments so small and quiet they almost seem silly: sitting on a dock late at night, watching dots of light on the black water. Laying on the carpet in my grandmother's apartment - a brown one that smelled like dogs - and spinning a big plastic globe around and around on its axis. Standing in a white shower, inhaling the scent of cucumbers and arugula and wishing everything in my life smelled just like that soap.


Breaking Out The Breakables

When I was pregnant with my son, I asked my parents whether they'd babyproofed for me, already pretty certain what the answer would be, because they did things like put me in a backpack and then drive around New York City on their motorcycles. And sure enough: "No," they said, "Why would we do that? We just told you not to touch things. So you didn't."*

Why has no one ever thought of this before?! You just tell a child not to do something, and then they simply listen to you! GENIUS.

Armed with this obviously foolproof approach, I set about doing the exact same thing with my own child, theorizing that if I let our home remain fairly adult-y, he'd be better-equipped to handle himself in other people's non-child-proofed homes, in public spaces, etc. I did the basics, of course, but I left our table edges uncovered, only locked up cabinets with actual chemicals in them, and never purchased one of those seat-lock thingies that make your toilet impossible for anyone - adults included - to open.


Links & Love & Stuff

Here is my Glossier face (the products I used for this look: Super Glow SerumPerfecting Skin TintStretch ConcealerCloud Paint in Dusk, Boy Brow in Blonde, Balm Dotcom in Rose, and Generation G Lipstick in Cake, plus Make Up For Ever Liquid Eyeliner and a dark brown NARS shadow). If you missed it the first time, a video with my totally unfiltered thoughts on Glossier is here.

Do your upcoming travel planes include things like planes and babies? You'll be fine. Probably. Read this first, in any case: So Many Babies On A Plane (Or How To Make It Through A Long Flight With Kids).

I definitely compared having dogs to having kids back in the day, and now I completely understand why these statements were met with either eye-rolls or outright fury. Dogs bite you way less than kids do, poop outside, and tend not to have meltdowns over whether they're allowed to watch another Bubble Guppies episode. Ergo, dogs are not kids. (Saying Your Dog Is Your 'Baby' Is An Insult To Moms Everywhere, via Pop Sugar.)


The Perfect Homemade Pizza

I miss New York City pizza so much. Whenever I go back to the city, I head straight to Claudio's on 10th Avenue not because it has amazing pizza...just because it's right there next to my parents' house, and even non-amazing New York pizza is amazing. (It's a cliche, but an absolutely true one. Even the 99-cent pizza you get from the random kiosk outside the Port Authority Bus Station? Amazing.)

Pizza in California is not amazing. I've found a few places that are good - even very good - but they're all of the personal pizza variety, and tend to be fancied up way more than I want my pizza to be. I need a medium crust. And red sauce. And a lot of drippy, melty cheese. That is all.

So I started making pizza myself, and you know what I discovered?


My Dark, Dated Backyard Got A Light, Bright Makeover

I think I bought our house because of the pool (okaaaaay, and the school system). Not because our pool is especially pretty - it's not. And was extra-not when we moved in thanks to a semi-terrifying algae issue that alerted us to the fact that the water hadn't been changed in eight to ten years (uggggggg). No no: the exciting thing about our pool was the fact that it existed. And was part of a property that we could actually afford. (Such a fortuitous combination is, shall we say, "uncommon" in the Silicon Valley area.)

The reason I wanted a pool so much is because I hate entertaining. (Stay with me, because I'm aware that this doesn't make sense.)

See, here's the thing: entertaining makes me fall asleep, like those narcoleptic goats on YouTube. I've mentioned this before, and it's true: all I have to do to get in a really good nap is know that I am about to be forced to interact with large numbers of human beings.