My husband has been trying to get me to go to Disney World since our first born was 1 month old. But I kept insisting we visit boring old Italy for our big family trips. Well, he finally convinced me to go.
The first day at Disney was pretty good. A little exhausting with all the crowds but definitely fun. Then Rick said, “We aren’t in Magic Kingdom yet. This is just the Disney Marketplace.”
The next day I knew we had finally arrived at Magic Kingdom because I immediately saw a grown man wearing a T-shirt that said, “First Time at Disney” and a woman in a wedding veil with mouse ears. You know you are a marketing genius when you get people to fork over money for rodent ears.
Thankfully, Rick’s parents were with us and somehow with 4 adults, we were able to keep track of 5 kids in the throngs of people.
At 5 pm, after lots of rides and waiting for rides and not exactly picking the right Fast Pass rides, I said to my husband, “So we’ve been here about 7 hours. Are we ready to wrap it up and go home?”
Rick looked at me like I just asked him if he wanted his hair done at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Big Bucks Boutique. Apparently, we still had more rides, an electrical parade and fireworks to attend.
I knew I had to find the margarita ride immediately.
Why haven’t they built a margarita ride?!
Somehow I survived the entire 14 hour day and I even felt a little Disney magic. Apparently I wasn’t the only one…
Day two, we got into a Disney groove…
I nursed on the Jungle Cruise. We napped in the Enchanted Tiki bird room. We snacked during the Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate show. We took all the kids to pee. At. The. Same. Time.
Sure, I was the only one who screamed on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride…
And Rick was nauseous and wanted to throw up on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride.
But we kicked family ass on Space Mountain. Okay, only Rick and 7-year-old Summer went on Space Mountain. (Can you explain to me how a girl is TERRIFIED of a teacup poodle but ADORES Space Mountain?!!)
Is a teacup poodle a real dog? If it’s not, Disney will declare it one.
Now we are moving on to Epcot. Which I call Ep-ee-cot. Because I’m fancy. Or an idiot. Or maybe in between.
I heard they might have margaritas.
This weekend I left all five kids with Rick and headed to South Beach in Miami to hang with a bunch of my girlfriends in town from New York.
I was a little anxious about the trip because 10-month-old Cash doesn’t take a bottle. He does take a breast but I had decided to bring both my breasts with me to South Beach. But Cash apparently hung in there. He must have known how much I needed a kid break.
There were nine of us ladies and as you can imagine things got pretty crazy. Here’s a table in our hotel room…
Yes, those are breast pump accessories and a spice pack for my slow cooker that a friend brought me because they don’t sell them at my local grocery store.
I think we can assume that when the Rolling Stones crash at a hotel, it pretty much looks the same way. I heard Mick loves an Italian chicken crockpot recipe.
We went to two great restaurants for dinner – Catch and also, Seasalt and Pepper. Seasalt and Pepper was fun because the cab takes you to this really desolate warehouse district where you are pretty sure you will be knocked off by the mob and then suddenly you are in this posh waterfront restaurant.
I even pulled out my new black short shorts. Does this look like a middle age Nairs ad?
Now my friend Smeredith is the cruise director of partying but knows not all of us love shots. So instead she bought us “sippers.” These so called “sippers” looked like shots and tasted like shots but according to Smeredith, you could sip them if you wanted to torture yourself.
You know, now that I really give it some deep thought, they may have just been shots.
After many sippers, we ended up at a lounge called Hyde Beach. There were a lot of layers of velvet ropes before we could get into Hyde. Once we finally got in, we danced, drank some high school inspired cans of Bud Light and then declared that the place was dead and left.
(I don’t know why this looks like a sorority party pic from 1991.)
I really had a great time and not just because I ate my weight in Peppermint Patties. But by Sunday, my breasts had had enough of the manual breast pump and were very stoked to be reunited with this guy…
I just want to thank my husband Rick for making this trip possible. He seems slightly traumatized but I’m sure he’ll bounce back in time for my next solo getaway. I’ll give him a few weeks.
My aunt Terrell, my sister Quinn and her two children came to stay with us for a few days. The trip was so fun and I loved having them here right up until the moment they said…
“What’s that noise we’ve been hearing for the past couple days?”
And I’m all like, “That’s the noise of seven spirited children in one house.”
And they said, “No, not that noise. That other noise.”
And then I heard it.
It was like a low siren. Or maybe more like the wind whistling. Or perhaps like the faint crying of a baby.
It was hard to know. What I did know was that the noise immediately started to make me insane. Like cranky crazy.
As we listened to it over and over again, I kept asking them, “I don’t understand who am I supposed to call to investigate a low siren, wind whistling, crying baby sound? Seriously! Who am I supposed to call for this?”
Quinn and Terrell both desperately wanted to say, “Ghostbusters” but knew I was in a fragile state.
I finally decided to call my air conditioning guy because he’s super nice and the kind of person who doesn’t charge you to swing by and investigate the supernatural. Plus, maybe it was the air conditioning.
So he came to hear the incessant noise and the moment he arrived, it abruptly stopped.
I told him to just stand by because it would definitely start again.
It did not start again.
After quite a bit of time – about the amount of time someone starts to feel like a hostage victim – I let him leave.
And that’s when the sound began again.
Luckily, he was still in the neighborhood and actually came back.
And finally heard it.
“That is definitely not a problem with your air conditioner,” the AC guy said.
“Okay, what is it then? Is it an electrical issue? A water leak? A problem in my vents?” I asked.
“Sounds like an owl. Do you hear it more at night?”
“Yes!” I exclaimed.
“I think you have yourself an owl problem. Probably on your roof. But don’t try to shoot it because this is the Everglades. Those owls are protected.”
“Good to know. Because I was about to scamper up my drainage pipe to the roof with my rifle.”
Except I don’t own a rifle. And I don’t even know how to scamper very well.
My AC guy/ Everglades wildlife expert/ Hardy boy left.
My guests departed.
And now I’m hoping the owl does the same.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post for Alpha Mom about The Absolutely Most Useless Baby Products Ever. Because I am not new to the baby rodeo and have had 5 kids, I think I know what works and what doesn’t (at least for me).
And if I can keep one mother from buying knee pads for her crawling baby, then at least I have made a small difference in this world.
But this is what you have to know about me. Once I declare something, there is a pretty good chance that I will some day do the opposite.
Like I once said, “I will absolutely never move to Washington, DC. It’s sweltering in the summer and there are no hot guys there.” And of course, I did move to Washington, DC for a few years and even eventually found a hot guy there. Not the smartest chap around but seriously model material.
I also once declared that I would never wear skinny jeans. I have about six pairs in my closet. I wear them all the time.
And for some reason that I can’t remember, I was against buying a Wii. I think I envisioned my children turning into video game obsessed monsters. I bought the Wii. Nothing evil happened.
And I also remember finding out a friend was moving to the suburbs and saying to her, “Why would anyone leave the city?” Apparently me – just 3 months later.
Now thankfully, I have not bought knee pads for a my 10-month-old. I still hold firm that babies don’t need knee pads unless they plan to go roller blading.
However I did recently buy this….
Yes, that’s a shopping cart cover. And it is on my list of The Absolutely Most Useless Baby Products ever. In fact this is what I wrote about it…
“Don’t buy one of these unless you want to take a photo of your baby in it so you can laugh at yourself years later. There are germs everywhere. It’s actually good to expose your kid to germs so they can build up their immune system! This cover is not going to protect your child from the universe.”
Well, 10-month-old Cash was sucking nonstop on the metal shopping cart and it was totally gross. So I caved and now he’s got this plush ride.
I can’t wait to laugh at myself in a few years.
Every time one of my kids says they are sick and can’t possibly make it to school, I immediately assume I am being swindled.
Because sometimes I am. It’s just so hard to know.
Recently my 3rd grader was so sick she couldn’t even lift her head off the pillow. And it was field day at school. That’s a day where kids get to run around and play games for a couple hours in the afternoon. Given her great desire to participate in field day, I knew she was seriously sick.
Well, by noon – when I had to leave to volunteer for field day – she had somehow summoned the strength to go.
“How am I supposed to explain to your teacher that you were too sick for math and reading but now you are fully healed in time for the field day activities?” She shrugged her shoulders.
I guess it was a miracle. But because I really had no desire to volunteer for her class without her there, I let her go.
In some ways I understood. In college, I distinctly remember being too exhausted for 8 am English class but had rebounded in time for a fraternity mixer that evening. We all have the great potential to heal ourselves (or ignore our symptoms) when fun is involved.
As a parent, you really have to be a super sleuth to decide whether kids are truly sick.
My one tip… make sick days at home as tedious as possible. I don’t let the kids watch TV or play on their iTouches. They are allowed to read books (the paper kind), do art, play the piano or rest. That’s it. If that gets boring, they can help me unload the dishwasher.
It seems to work. My daughter Summer still refers to one sick day as her “most boring day ever.”
So when she recently had a minor sore throat, she opted to go to school. I gave her a quick spray of Chloraseptic sore throat spray and she was good to go.
I remember using this product as a kid and totally forgot about it until the company asked me to do a sponsored post.
I always struggle when my kids have sore throats because I’m still not comfortable letting my 7 and 9 year old have lozenges. (Hey, at least, I no longer cut up their grapes.) But seriously, this is an easy way to treat minor throat pain.
This post was sponsored by Chloraseptic. All ideas are my own.