the mamabird diaries
The shooting of reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward is horrifying.
As a former TV reporter, I can remember being an Alison Parker. She had everything in front of her. And now what does she have? A funeral. I look at the smiles of Parker and Ward and think about their parents, their friends and everyone who loved them.
And the whole thing is evil and senseless.
I don’t understand when we as a nation will say… enough.
The statistics are staggering. More Americans reportedly die in gun homicides and suicides every six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
Yet, we still have no universal background checks to help keep guns out of dangerous hands.
In fact, we apparently have more regulations for toys, mutual funds, swimming pools and ladders.
Guns are involved in the deaths of 33,000 people annually.
The President of the United States recently said, “No other civilized nation on earth except the U.S. accepts this kind of gun violence.”
He want on to say that he doesn’t think Congress will do anything until the American public feels an urgency to say something. Until they say to themselves, “This is not normal. This is something we can change and we are going to change.”
So we can bury our heads and hope the next shooting won’t be near where we live or where our kids go to school or where we happen to be that day. Or we can actually stand up and say, enough.
We can not end gun violence but we can seriously make a dent in the thousands who lose their lives every year with sensible gun solutions.
If we all did one thing, it would make a difference. One donation. One call. One signature.
Because we Americans are better than this.
I made it back to Florida! Just 21 hours of driving – spread over 3 days – with 5 kids in the back.
I got to watch my 10 year old steal every conditioner, lotion, coffee filter, tea bag and anything else that wasn’t nailed down in the hotel room. I’m guessing she’s planning to open up some kind of beauty coffee house in the next few months.
My father (who thankfully came along for the ride) entertained me by reading headlines from USA Today.
I sounded super grateful by saying things like, “That’s interesting dad but I read that on the CNN website 24 hours ago.” This did not deter him. The man loves his USA Today.
We tried to make the trip bearable by stopping in cute places like Charlottesville, VA and Charleston, SC.
In Charlottesville, it was wonderful to see my friend Valerie from Tulane. But my children behaved so badly at a restaurant that the waitress came over and said, “Can I get anyone a cocktail?” It wasn’t 5 pm anywhere but she could tell the adults were in need of something.
The next day, as I pulled into Charleston, I said to the kids…
“Look at this beautiful southern town.”
“I see a highway and a carwash,” said one of them.
“Look out your windows. It’s so cute,” I exclaimed.
“I see a palm tree. It looks like Miami,” said another.
“Charleston is mommy’s old stomping grounds. I used to come here and visit my friend Jordana. We were young and free and crazy and ….”
“I’m bored,” said another.
“That’s what’s wrong with your generation. You can’t just sit in a car and enjoy the view,” I said (wondering if I had ever sat and enjoyed the view when I was a kid).
“Hey, I see a garbage can!” said another.
“Look at that church. It’s beautiful,” I said.
“I hate beets,” came another voice from the back.
When we finally got back to Florida – I asked my kids what they thought of the trip. “It was fantastic! We got to stay in hotels and watch TV in the car and eat at McDonald’s everyday!”
Well, at least they liked it.
I’m traveling from Connecticut to South Florida with my dad and five kids. I think I’m currently between, “There’s no good snacks left!” and “Mom, can you rent an RV next time?” and “OMG are we there yet?”
Also known as South Carolina.
My biggest insight from the trip is that children are able to lose one or more of their shoes in the car. And not be able to find them for long periods of time. Even though the shoes are – in. the. car. So far South Carolina seems very welcoming of one shoed children.
Well, in celebration of the end of summer, I wanted to re-share one of my most favorite summer stories ever about my husband and tank tops….
Men in Tank Tops
You know how on your 25th birthday, you were wearing a tank top and you couldn’t get into your favorite bar because it had that dumb “no tank tops” rule and you were so bummed out?
Okay, I don’t remember turning 25 either but I’m sure something like that happened.
And well, it happened to this guy on Sunday night.
But this birthday boy, who was turned away at the bars and was destined to go home and sob into his entire tank top collection instead found a savior.
Who, on the streets of Newport, Rhode Island, took off his own collared shirt and gave it to this guy so he could go out on his birthday.
That’s my husband’s shirt. Not the Hawaiian inspired one. The other one.
Of course, this left Rick to continue his evening bare chested, so he took the guy’s tank top.
Which really does prove that I am married to the nicest guy. Ever.
Who can apparently still work a tank top.
A few weeks ago, my LinkedIn account (which I haven’t logged onto in a very very long time) got hacked. I knew because I started getting emails from people wondering if I was truly a mystery shopper.
Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have padded my resume with all that fake mystery shopper experience!
Apparently, all my LinkedIn contacts received a lifetime opportunity to make more than 2 thousand dollars a month by being an outstanding mystery shopper who helps evaluate customer service and sales efforts for clients in the USA.
That does sounds exciting! I suddenly imagined myself in dark sunglasses and a trench coat (wait – a trench coat sounds shady like I could be a flasher). Okay, dark sunglasses and a black shiny cat woman suit ducking in and out of designer clothing racks secretly recording the comments of cranky, hungover sales clerks. I would be a millionaire!
Despite my deep longing to live a life of mystery and intrigue, I knew my efforts would be sabotaged by my loud children who would say things like, “Mom! Why are you wearing that shiny cat woman suit and hiding behind the evening dresses?! Can we go now? I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. I have a paper cut. I have a stomach ache. Why are we still in this store? Can you buy us something?”
So I decided to give it all up and just continue my normal life. I changed my LinkedIn password to something tricky like “AdamLevineIsMyExBoyfriend” and went on with my life.
Except that I’m now inexplicably locked out of my LinkedIn account and my emails to support go unanswered.
Which means LinkedIn must hate mystery shoppers and Maroon 5.
It’s still summertime and I’ve been working on two reviews for you at Alpha Mom. First, I’ve got a review of 8 great sunglasses that will actually protect your kid’s eyes…
And also on Alpha Mom, a review of kids’ goggles that we absolutely swear won’t leak…
Enjoy these sunny days. xo
Every time I visit my mom in Connecticut, I am always trying to log onto her wifi and I always fail.
Mostly because she never knows her wifi address or the password. And her computer guy is always vacationing somewhere (where I am guessing there is a kick ass wifi signal).
Well, it only took two years but the mystery is solved!
Turns out, my mother doesn’t have wifi in her house.
Gosh, I’d be an excellent detective. I mean, a slow one. But still. Case closed! (Wifi is now finally and thankfully installed.)
Also, my mother is the last remaining person on earth to call information when she needs a number. Yup, there are still 411 operators standing by to give you the number of your favorite hibachi restaurant. But how often can they possibly get a call? They are probably just waiting around in some office saying, “I’m so bored. I hope Kelcey’s mom calls again soon!”
Before I head back to Florida, I’m going to teach my mom how to do an internet search on her phone so she can stop paying for 411 calls. Obviously this is just the first step to her historic rise as a tech genius at Apple.
(By the way, it’s probably best to not make fun of one’s mother who has a Phd, three masters degrees and is currently giving me and my 5 children lodging. So disregard everything I’ve said so far in this post.)
It has been so nice to be back in Connecticut. It’s one of my favorite places in the summer. And it has been amazing to see my mom, my sister and her family and all our old New York friends.
Meanwhile, 2 year old Cash has been mainly trying to disassemble my mother’s kitchen, dive into the Long Island Sound, and lie down at every opportunity he gets. This is at Rye Playland amusement park….
This kid is not afraid of germs. At all.
My 5 year old son has learned the delightful phrase, “SHUT UP!” which he is attempting to use freely to quiet other people down.
And my 5 year old daughter ended up in the ER because of an allergic reaction to my mom’s dogs. She is now doing completely fine.
Of course I had just remarked to my husband, “We’ve been on vacation for a week and have yet to go to urgent care!”
Per a friend’s suggestion, next time I’ll say, “We’ve been on vacation for a week and have yet to win a million dollars!” I’ll let you know if it works.