I just got back from a 4 day visit to New York City with all my kids.
My 5 year old said her favorite part was visiting Dunkin’ Donuts so obviously it was money well spent.
In life, I can be a bit over ambitious at times. Which is exactly how I ended up on an airplane alone with 5 children.
Here’s my biggest advice for when you see a mom traveling alone with many children. First, pick up one of her many carry on bags and help get it to her seat. Second, buy her a glass of wine as soon as the refreshment service begins. And third, make sure you are not seated in front of her 2 year old. Because no one can kick the hell out of a seat like a 2 year old.
Luckily my mom met me in the city so I wasn’t completely on my own. We did some fun stuff like visiting the American Museum of Natural History and the Children’s Museum of the Arts. And of course that noteworthy New York City destination… the Statue of Liberty. Oh wait, I meant Dunkin’ Donuts.
I’ve actually never been to the Statue of Liberty. I mean, sure I was born in New York City and lived a short distance from it for most of my life but I don’t want to rush it. In good time.
And there is a new chapter in 2 year old Cash’s never ending effort to give me nervous breakdowns.
I can’t really bear to drag this story out because I’m still having post traumatic stress syndrome but the 5th floor apartment we were staying at had an outside deck. A locked outdoor deck.
Well, at one point, 5 year old Harlowe says to me, “Cash is outside.”
I stare at her, not really understanding but at the same time I start racing towards this deck and there is Cash, standing on a chair trying to peer over the side.
I immediately grab him, run inside and relock the door.
How did he get out? His 5 year old brother unlocked the door.
Why would he unlock the door? He doesn’t know why because he’s a 5 year old boy.
What if Harlowe hadn’t told me? It’s terrifying.
So anybody who saw me at the Museum of Natural History with Cash on his backpack leash, don’t judge me. This kid has no regard for his personal safety and I’m just trying to keep serious tabs on him.
I’m grateful to be home. Although I still haven’t unpacked from the trip. Because that would involve things like taking stuff out of suitcases and laundry.
Like the Statue of the Liberty. All in good time.
Husband: Let’s watch a movie.
Wife: Sure. But what?
Husband: I have two movies I want to see. One’s a documentary.
Wife: Okay, what’s the other?
Husband: The other is a biographical film. It’s called Love & Mercy and it’s about Brian Wilson.
Wife: The Beach Boys are fun. Let’s watch a preview.
3 minutes later.
Wife: Okay, so it’s about Brian Wilson’s downward spiral into mental illness and some radical therapist who basically stole his money. Tell me about the documentary.
Husband: It’s about a pet cemetery.
Wife: Of course it is.
Husband: It’s a classic. It’s call Gates of Heaven. Roger Ebert said it was one of the best movies ever.
Wife: I just can’t do dead pets. Anything less depressing? More light and airy? How about that Melissa McCarthy movie, Spy?
Husband: Let’s watch a preview.
3 minutes later.
Husband: I don’t think so.
Wife: What about The Intern? My mom said it was very good. Apparently she doesn’t have the “I don’t like Anne Hathaway” issue that many Americans suffer from. Mostly because she has no idea who Anne Hathaway is. And bonus, no romance between Hathaway and Robert De Niro because ick.
Husband: Nope, not on demand yet. The Martian?
Wife: How many hours do I have to watch Matt Damon alone on Mars, trying to get plants to grow?
Husband: Let’s see. 2 hours and 24 minutes.
Wife: What happened to the 90 minute movie? What about The Big Short?
Husband: It’s in the theaters right now. Just came out.
Wife: We should be able to stream movie theater films right into our home. It’s 2016. Why can’t we do that?
Husband: How about the Vacation remake? With Christina Applegate and Ed Helms. Only 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Wife: Yes! And Chevy Chase is in it. So we can have the “What happened to Chevy Chase? Why is he so bloated and Ben Franklin-esque” conversation.
1 hr, 39 minutes later.
Wife: That was funny! Especially for a remake. Not 100% realistic but better than I thought it would be. But seeing Chevy Chase is depressing. I want him to be young and funny again.
Husband: That’s easy. We can just watch the original.
Wife: Good point. Anyway, I’m sorry you didn’t learn about Brian Wilson’s downward spiral into mental illness or pet cemeteries.
Husband: Another night.
My 11 year old’s last baby tooth fell out a few weeks ago. Or at least she claims it’s her last baby tooth. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really investigate.
Over the years, she’s usually received about $2 a tooth, sometimes $5 if perhaps the fairy was running low on ones. (I can imagine the tooth fairy has a lot of anxiety about constantly having small bills available.)
So my daughter wrote one of her last notes to the tooth fairy….
Okay, let’s first notice that my daughter misspells “tooth” but has a very strong grasp on how to spell “mascara” and “eye liner.” We generally don’t let her wear makeup but she does love to put it on when she plays with her friends.
But does the tooth fairy dabble in the cosmetics industry?!
We waited all night long with bated breath.
Turns out she does.
The next morning Dylan had $2 and a blue eye liner from the tooth fairy.
To this day, we can’t figure out how such a tiny fairy carried that eyeliner. She must have very strong wings.
New Year’s resolutions are ridiculous. How can you possibly commit to improving yourself for an entire year? Especially in the gloomy month of January. (Okay, it’s sunny here in Florida but I try to keep that weather gloating to a minimum because I’m afraid of your backlash during the summer when this place turns into the land of sweat and humidity.)
I think it’s way more realistic to have New Year’s resolutions just for January 1st. Yup, one day only. (Like a one day sale at Walmart but you won’t have to get into a shouting match over a parking spot that was so obviously yours.) We can all do one day of New Year’s Resolutions, right? And if you extend to January 2nd, well, that’s just makes you a rock star.
New Year’s Resolutions for January 1st (or beyond):
Think of children less like “little people meant to bring you joy” and more like “workers you’ve recently hired to get stuff done around the house.”
Watch TV and not fold laundry. Feel no guilt about this. Look at that laundry basket and say, “Why would I bother folding you when my children will just wear you for 6 minutes and then deem you dirty so they don’t have to put you away.” Husband may wander in and ask why you are talking to the laundry basket but you remain unphased, triumphant and happily watching TV.
When kids are applying metallic jewelry tattoos, clarify much sooner the rules about applying these tattoos to their younger sibling. Especially when it comes to his face.
Don’t let anyone make you listen to Adele because that song where she calls a thousand times is starting to make you sort of crazy. Like multiply crazy by a thousand. Like you are longing to hear the Frozen soundtrack again. That crazy.
Yell at your kids less. You can do that for one day. Okay, you can do half a day if they really get annoying.
Ask that mom who doesn’t seem to age, how she looks so gorgeous.
Start a kickstarter campaign for Botox and fillers because it turns out that’s how she looks so gorgeous.
Commit to less Ryan Gosling in your Facebook feed. Because my god, you are a middle aged woman and you have better things to do than lust after a movie star. (Resume on January 2nd.)
Congratulate yourself that you have survived another holiday season without caving to your children’s demand for a gigantic inflatable Santa in your front yard. (Know in your heart that one of your kids is going to break you one year and you just pray that you at least get it on sale.)
Realize that your inability to spend 5 minutes uploading your pictures means you have no memory on your phone, preventing you from taking any photos or videos and that has actually made you a more present parent. #BlessedByLimitsOfTechnology. Then laugh because you just take photos and videos with your spouse’s phone instead.
When the CVS guy asks for your number so you can get your customer rewards and discounts, stop saying, “I can’t give you my number. I’m married!” and then snorting with laughter because man, you are hilarious and clever.
Practice a random act of kindness. Like secretly eating the last of the holiday chocolates alone in a dark closet so your kids don’t have to watch and long for a bite.
Be the fun, happy mom for one day! You know the kind of mom that is up for anything and never says things like.. “Hey clean up this mess before you start your next activity” and “No cake before dinner!”
Of course, that means the house will be trashed, and everything will be in complete disarray, but who gives a crap. You are the fun mom! (Half way through the day realize that it is completely exhausting to be fun and you’re going to just send everyone outside so you can scrape crazy glue off the countertops.)
That’s it. I mean, how much more can you do in one day. Wishing you an amazing new year! Or at least a pretty good one where you feel healthy and glow gorgeously in dim lighting. xo
So Christmas happened. Here’s proof:
For Christmas one of my darling children really wanted an iPhone 6 Plus. Despite the fact that she couldn’t really explain why she wanted it except that “everybody has one.”
And because my husband and I are very loving, giving parents, we decided to give her a refurbished blender instead.
Our blender has been broken for a really long time. This made my 11 year old daughter Dylan sad because she really likes smoothies. You can tell because when she was 8 years old, she wrote a list of things she wanted and “smoothie” came before “freedom.”
So Dylan begged us to get the blender fixed. It needed a $10 part but the store was not close by and only open on weekdays. And it probably won’t surprise you but with 5 kids, we don’t have a lot of time to go on fixing-blender-adventures. So it just never happened.
The obvious answer would be to just buy a new blender on Amazon but they aren’t cheap and we already had a high quality one (except for the pesky broken part).
Anyway, in the spirit of the holidays, Rick got the blender fixed and presented it to Dylan on Christmas. Dylan quickly realized that she couldn’t FaceTime her friends on the blender but she could mix and chop.
Well, this blender turned out to be some sort of holiday miracle, because on Christmas Eve, 5 year old Harlowe fell on the playground and had to get 5 stitches inside her mouth. Inside her mouth. I didn’t even know that was a thing. And that meant an immediate need for a lot of smoothies.
That’s her trying to smile on Christmas. But she is now healing nicely.
Now soon after that blender got fixed, our garage door broke. On garbage/recycling night. Which meant carrying all our recycles from the holidays through the house and then outside.
And we had A LOT.
Wow. I really hoped we tipped the recycling guy.