Time to Shine

You were kind enough to follow me to Texas.  Any chance you’re up for a trip to The Big Apple?

My agent Dede got a call last week from a producer at Yahoo! (her name is Casey – wrong different spelling, but still, her name is Casey!) asking if I’d travel to NYC to interview for the new video segment of their website Shine, called, wait for it…The Shine! (about half-way down the page in the right-hand column you can see the videos. Mine should post in a couple of weeks – Gulp!)

Several rearranged orthodontist and eye doctor appointments later, I said yes, and the kids and I started packing our bags!

We drove down from New Hampshire to my brother’s house in Connecticut, had a little lunch, backyard playtime with the cousins, some self-tanner application on my legs from sister-in-law, Lollie,


Now that’s a good sister-in-law!

and I was ready to drive us into The City.

I sound so nonchalant, right?  Drive us into The City.

Well…Note to self, When entering a New York City street address into the Nav system, please distinguish between East and West!


After my brother patiently stayed on the phone and guided us from the west side of NY to the East, we dropped off our bags and headed out to check out The City.

We ended up in Central Park, passing kids still in their school uniforms, outdoor exercise classes and lots and lots of little dogs on tiny leashes.  We ended up at The Boathouse, all of us super hungry, but way underdressed for dinner.  As evidence from the picture below, we threw caution to the wind and somehow the hostess was nice enough to seat us at a gorgeous table right next to the water.  The kids wanted to order the $48 steaks but settled for the $12 cheeseburgers off the kid’s menu instead!


We weren’t exactly “dressed” for our impromptu dinner!


After feeding bread to the giant carp and biggest snapping turtles we’d ever seen, a leisurely stroll took us home to bed for a good night sleep before The Big Day.

Or not.

I couldn’t sleep.

I didn’t sleep.

At all!

All night, I tossed and turned, fretting about the interview, wondering how I’d gotten myself into this mess.

Thankfully, I did end up catching a few Zzzzzs between 7:00 and 8:00 am and interestingly, when I woke up, I wasn’t nervous at all.  A really clear thought had passed through my head – You have the opportunity to speak for/to all preemie moms. Just go and do it!

At that same moment, poor Andie walked into the room saying, “Mom, I just got the worst nervous stomachache ever.”

Whoops.  Thanks, Andie for carrying it for me!

Yahoo! was sending a car to pick us up at 9:45. The kids and I stood on the sidewalk, garment bag etc. in hand at 9:40, waiting.  I’d already approached one fancy car only to be told, No, he hadn’t come to pick us up.

When the cream colored town car stopped next to the sidewalk, I stepped forward and the kids followed.

Leaning in I asked, “Did Yahoo! send you?”

“Yes,” he said, and we climbed in.

We were half-way down the block when I named the avenue where I thought we were headed (I only knew ’cause my brother had looked it up)  and when he repeated back a different street name, my stomach lurched.

“Did they send you from Yahoo!?” I asked again, this time in a much more urgent, bordering on crazy, tone.

“No, but I take you,” he said.

Walking back down the block, trying not to drag my dress on the sidewalk, I could only shake my head.  So much for my promise there’d be no “running with scissors” moments on this trip.

The “real” driver only laughed and told us we had to be more careful in NY and gave us a really fabulous car tour of Manhattan, starting in the 1600’s with the arrival of the Dutch, to the set of a movie scene and the studios of MTV.

Once we arrived at the tall building that housed the Yahoo! studios, I learned from our knowledgable driver, that the building was the scene of the last shot in the Bourne Supremacy (is that what the last one is called?) when Jason Bourne looks across the Manhattan skyline into the eyes of the agent who’d been hunting him throughout the movie.  I was pretty pleased with myself that I actually knew what he was talking about!

But I wasn’t quite as pleased with myself when we walked into the granite-walled lobby, and I realized I had not a clue what floor we needed to head to.  A quick text message, phone call and email later, we were on the elevator with a sweet summer intern.  She took us to the green room where the kids plopped on the couches, armed with an iPad and an iPhone to keep them entertained.  I was wisked away to Hair and Makeup.

Hair and Makeup!

I only wore mascara and lip gloss on my wedding day!

The makeup and hair artists assured me they really could work with my straw-like hair (my term not their’s) and freckled face.  I decided to sit back and enjoy it.

“My mom would be so happy right now,” I told them and they both laughed.


Hair and Makeup! What????


Andie took these pictures because Tucker refused to walk in the room!

As ready as I’ll ever be

Once they were done with hair and makeup, I kissed each kiddo and was led into an overly air conditioned studio.

“I’m glad it’s so cold,” I said to any one of the ten or so people in the room.  “I’m a little nervous.”

To which they all nodded and smiled and assured me I’d “do great.”

Once seated on the canary-yellow couch, I crossed my legs at the ankles to hide the swollen bruise from the Father’s Day Mother/Daughter soccer game.

“I tend to talk a lot with my hands,” I announced to the cameramen, producers, make-up artists and wardrobe fitter.

“Just be yourself,” someone called out.

Be careful what you wish for, I thought!

Before I knew it, one of those black and white markers was held up between the host and me and someone said, “And, 3, 2, 1…”

“Imagine giving birth to a baby half way through your pregnancy…” the host, Alesha Renee said into the camera, before turning to me.

In the past, in times of great anxiety, my usual response is to become completely untethered and float right out of my body.  But as I discovered when I spoke at the conference in Texas, I can’t do that with a room full of people waiting to hear what I have to say.  Instead, it seems that rather than going outside, I go to some deep internal place, a place where I’m able to dial in and focus to a degree of which I didn’t know I was capable, and stay present to the situation at hand.  Which is really fantastic and pretty surprising.  The problem is, when it’s all over, I don’t remember a thing.  A few little bits and pieces come back, but for the most part, it’s all a vague memory.

I do remember showing Alesha one of Andie’s tiny newborn diapers, and I remember talking about life in the NICU and watching my hands make the motion of a roller coaster before I could get them folded back in my lap.  And I remember a really good-looking, soft-spoken producer squatting down in front of us, telling us we were doing well and my mind rewinding eleven years prior to Lee squatting down in front of my wheelchair assuring me that I could go to the NICU to see Andie and that I was a good mother.

Beyond that, nada.

I guess we’ll all just have to wait for the video to find out the rest!


Andie said I looked “young” with the makeup. Not next to gorgeous, Alesha, who by the way, was a total sweetheart and made me feel so comfortable!


So glad I had the kids by my side!

After the interview, I changed into shorts and a t-shirt (with all my make-up still on!) and we were ready to play!

Off to Central Park Zoo, where we learned that Andie weighed just a few ounces more than a polar bear at birth!


Newborn polar bears weigh just a pound!

And then we finished the whole day off with “the coolest ice cream cones ever!”



Thanks again for coming along for the ride!

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