You know that phrase, “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” They weren’t talking about traveling with kids… right? Because when you are flying with your children, seems to me it’s all about the destination.
Before we leave for the airport, I tell 3 1/2 year-old Dylan that she has to TRY to go potty.
Dylan: Nooooooo. (sobbing) Nooooo. (More howling) I don’t want to try.
She finally, begrudgingly, sits down on the toilet. But nothing.
In the airport, before we board the plane, I tell Dylan she has to TRY to go potty again.
Dylan: Nooooooo. (Very dramatic sobbing that tips off the other travelers that I must be a super cruel mummy.) I don’t have to goooooooo.
Dylan finally caves (after threats of no DVDs on the plane as if I would carry through on that!) and comes to the ladies’ room with me. She sits ever-so-quickly on the toilet. Nothing.
We are on the plane.
We are in the air.
She is peeing.
On the seat.
Dylan: Oh no! Mommy, I’m having an accident. I’m having an ACCIDENT!
Not a few drops but streams of pee are soaking her tights, her dress (she is a fancy flier), the seat and the seatbelt.
God, if only, “I told you so” was an appropriate parenting technique.
At least I have a dry pair of pants and a sweater for her to wear. And the next person who sits in that seat will never be able to track me down. I made sure that we didn’t leave a scrap of paper that could possibly connect us to that drenched seatbelt.
Finally, we are in warm, sunny, heavenly Boca Raton, Florida.
That night, my in-laws graciously babysit and we head to Trattoria Romana, an Italian restaurant where a huge group of older Floridians are outside waiting for the valet.
And I’m thinking, “God, I love this town. I have never felt so young. Boca is like a shot of Botox without the money or the injections. You just feel so fresh and vibrant here.”
Inside the restaurant, there are lots of “young” folks like myself. The food is delish and Rick’s cousin Wendi (the original Obama mama) makes her Barack pitch to a most likely Hillary-loving 4 top next to us.
In addition to a lot of spunk and a rock star aura, Miss Wendi has got major angst over this Super Tuesday. She and her boss Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Fl) boarded the Obama presidential party train early on and both hope they’re backing the winner.
We get home around midnight and that’s when 14 month-old Summer starts crying. Not sure why. She doesn’t mention anything specific but she does seem to have some aversion to her pack n’ play.
Then, of course, Dylan wakes up because of all the shrieking.
A rapid 2 1/2 hours later, I’m defeated. Rick’s defeated. We sleep awkwardly and uncomfortably with two little monkeys hogging all the room in our bed.
Summer catches up on her baby beauty sleep poolside the next day.
And both girls have a fab case of Boca fever.
mama bird notes
Don’t forget to enter our mama bird giveaway. One lucky birdie will win the following….
Burberrry “The Beat” Eau De Parfum.
The SwaddleKeeper blanket with newborn head support. A wonderful way to calm fussy newborns. The giveaway item comes in an organic cotton paisley print.
This is for all you Deadheads. This children’s book, “Monkey and the Engineer” is based on the lyrics of the popular Grateful Dead song (lyrics + story by Jesse Fuller).
Teething Bling by Smart Mom. A cute teething toy that you wear around your neck, plus a matching bangle.
To enter to win all this loot, simply leave a comment on the mama bird diaries. You also need to be subscribed to the mama bird diaries via email or a reader. To sign up, click on “subscribe to this free feed” under the menu bar. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.
I’ve recently discovered that many of you are READING. For enjoyment. Huh?! And not just, “Curious George Takes a Job” 452 times. Actual. Adult. Books.
I thought we mamas had temporarily given that up, along with all those movie outings complete with junior mints, fattening popcorn and occasionally that weird fake butter topping. Gosh, that topping is so greasy and so yummy.
Of course, I am forced to shamefully admit to these avid readers that there is no literature stacked on my bedside table. Just some magazines and maybe a NY Post. Oh, I feel so shallow and guilty. Must find short book to skim so that I can casually mention it in one of my posts and appear to be super smart.
Speaking of that famed tabloid, this week the NY Post had a venti-sized report about Starbucks shutting their doors for THREE epic long hours for something ridiculous called “espresso excellence training.” The java nerve! Apparently this was extremely upsetting for a few Starbucks’ junkies here in New York City.
One New Yorker fumed, “I am shocked. Shocked and appalled.”
Another said to the Post, “A lot of people come here to make out, read, sleep. I can’t imagine how lost people will be.”
Look, I heart Starbucks too and certainly relish the opportunity to make out there…. but closed for 3 HOURS? In a city with a gazillion trillion coffee houses? I say – wipe your caffeine tears and prepare yourself for a new commitment to espresso excellence!
Meanwhile, on frigid winter afternoons, I sometimes take my kids down to our barren, cold lobby for a little change of scenery. I know it sounds pitifully depressing but they actually love it. I, for one, could use a coffee bar down there.
3 1/2 year old Dylan needs no caffeine. She brings all her musical instruments and puts on a show.
And yes, she picks out her own show outfits.
And yes again, she instructs me how to style her hair.
And of course, yes, she’s barefoot.
During one of her recent numbers, she stubbed her toe. And thrust this dirty foot at me, requesting a kiss for her boo boo.
If this was your kid, would you kiss it?
Well, I’ll admit that I did.
Anyway, we’ll all be getting a break from winter lobby fun because we are soon headed back to Boca Raton, Florida, the land of Ricky’s relatives, warmth and leaking catheters for a week.
Well, here’s hoping all those catheters have been fixed by now.
mama bird notes
Because an escape to warm weather makes me just so darn giddy and happy, it’s time for another mama bird giveaway. Free, fun + fabulous stuff! This giveaway includes….
Burberrry “The Beat” Eau De Parfum. $62 dollar value. This spray promises to be a blend of unexpected contrasts expressing the unique personality of the Burberry woman, naturally sparkling and carnal, slightly wild, incredibly chic and sexy. Wow. That is me in a nutshell. Why am I giving this away?
The SwaddleKeeper blanket with newborn head support. $31 value. I really failed miserably at swaddling. This blanket makes it so simple. No complicated folding, tucking or wrapping. A wonderful way to calm fussy newborns. What an amazing gift for a new ‘rent! The giveaway item comes in an organic cotton paisley print.
This is for all you Deadheads. This children’s book, “Monkey and the Engineer” is based on the lyrics of the popular Grateful Dead song (lyrics + story by Jesse Fuller). It’s the endearing tale of an engineer’s pet monkey who makes off with his train. You and your kids can light up.. oh never mind. That’s not a good idea. Just enjoy the book. $15 value.
And finally, because this item was so popular before – here’s more teething bling by Smart Mom. A cute teething toy that you wear around your neck, plus a matching bangle. Totally safe for your baby. The silicone material is non-toxic, latex-free and even dishwasher-friendly. $20 value.
To enter to win all this loot, simply leave a comment on the mama bird diaries in the next week. You also need to be subscribed to the mama bird diaries via email or a reader. To sign up, click on “subscribe to this free feed” under the menu bar. Good luck birdies.
I was looking at one of my old scrap books from college. And I was just so YOUNG. With such large hair.
3 1/2 year old Dylan pointed to a picture of me from sophomore year.
Dylan: Who’s that?
Me: That’s me.
Dylan: But you don’t look like a mommy. (I guess mommy’s don’t have power bangs). Where am I?
Me: You weren’t born yet.
Dylan: I was a baby?
Me: No. Not a baby. Not even a little sparkle. (How could I have ever imagined such a creative, beautiful, frustrating, sweet spirit with golden curls was headed my way?)
I wish I could go back there. To those moments in the pictures. I want to laugh with my college friends. I want to have a crush on some guy in economics class and then find out he likes me too.
I want to be more gentle with other people’s hearts. I want to make some of the same choices and some different ones too.
My life is soooooooo completely different now.
Take the Academy Awards. I am a sucker for these shows. I get all caught up like somebody is going to give me a gold naked statuette to honor all my hard labor. I’ve twice been nominated for best multiple loads of laundry in one single night, but always lose out to this chick Meryl somebody.
So I’m trying to watch the preshow red carpet gabfest. I like to survey the gowns and cringe at the awkward interviews.
Poor Felicity (well, that’s what I still call her) was asked why kids should study math (a taped question from a young viewer). Keri Russell simply mustered up a, “It’s important for kids to go to school.” Yeah, right. Unless you can make millions as a celeb. Then who needs math? Just hire a money manager.
But my runway show was temporarily interrupted for a viewing of, “Elmo’s World.”
Turns out Elmo, like many of the stars, was also wearing red. He looked good, although I would have loved to have seen his matted hair in a sleek ponytail.
Once the kiddos were tucked in and re-tucked, I could really focus on Oscar and his 80 years. But it’s hard to root for your fave flick when you really haven’t seen any of them. Plus, with no friends over, the Oscar pool was a bit on the paltry side. Rick always wins the pot anyway so I just handed him 10 bucks.
But earlier that evening, Rick and I took our kids to Tortilla Flats, a Mexican restaurant down the block. Every weekend, this place is bachelor party central, but at 6 pm on a Sunday night, it’s pretty mellow.
The girls were incredibly content, groovin’ to the music and eating copious amounts of tortilla chips. Rick and I were talking and laughing and connecting.
This moment. This is what I always wanted. All along.
As a 19 year-old college student, I dreamed that someday, I would meet this guy, who just somehow was right for me. We would have a family and we would be happy. Not all the time. But a good chunk of the time.
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever get to this place. But I hoped. I dreamed.
So as I sat there at this Mexican restaurant eating my enchiladas verde, I realized that it had indeed all come true. This is happy, I thought. This is definitely happy.
So why do I want to go back and be that 19 year-old again? I guess because there was so much ahead of me. Of course, there still is. I only have to witness my 65 year-old mother, who is going back to school this summer to earn a Master’s in Social Work, to remember that.
But in my life, choices have definitely been made. Roads have been taken. And although I wouldn’t give up my current life for anything, there are moments sometimes when I long to be at the beginning of the story.
mama bird notes
Contributing mama Daphne Biener has electrifying chills for a certain musical. Hmm… I wonder which one. Click on contributing mamas to read more.
And a mama needs your help with some sibling rivalry. Click on askamama and share your brilliance.
So I’ve been waiting. Waiting for this hamburger phone (a promotional item from the crazy good movie “Juno”)
to be removed from my husband’s side of the bureau. It was given to Rick about a month or so ago at a movie screening. Now, day after day, it sits there. With no purpose. Just taking up space. Apparently, just in case Rick happens to wake up one day with a fierce hankering to reach out and touch someone with a hamburger. So far this has not happened.
Normally, I (AKA Anti-Clutter Patrol Chief) would just make it disappear. But now I’m sort of fascinated by how long he’ll let that burger just hang out there. If only the burger had a close friend – like an iPod in the shape of a side of fries.
Due to our limited closet space, Rick did recently clean out his closet and found this gem: a pair of stylin’ leather pants circa 2000.
It was in the Goodwill pile until I coerced him into trying the pants on. So we laughed about how we used to go out for dinner, both wearing our cool, trendy leather pants. God, I wish I was kidding.
And then Rick says, “Maybe I should keep them.”
Rick: Well, you know, just in case, I dress up as a cowboy someday for Halloween.
Me: Oh. That seems kind of… I don’t know… UNLIKELY. You hate dressing up for Halloween. And don’t cowboys wear jeans anyway?! I thought they’re all about the denim.
Rick: Hmm… I don’t know.
We both momentarily ponder a cowboy’s wardrobe but come up with no definitive answer.
Rick decides to keep the leather pants. Oh snap. That’s when it really hits me. That Juno hamburger phone ain’t going nowhere.
Meanwhile, we recently woke up to snow in New York City. This means pushing and yanking my stroller through this…
And sloshing through massive puddles like this…
And if that didn’t slow me down enough, walking takes an excruciatingly long time because…
3 1/2 year-old Dylan wants to explore every inch of snow, even though her sister is pretty Les Misérables in the stroller. But there is reason to celebrate because the post office is nearly empty due to the nasty weather. And after we’ve mailed our packages, Dylan takes the opportunity to pee just outside.
This should be sufficient proof for all you nonbelievers in the portable potty. With that done, we can go home and change into warm, dry, pink clothes.
By the weekend, the snow had mostly melted and that’s when Princess Katie and Racer Steve rocked our Sunday. I am definitely not one to swoon over children’s tunes but this band mixes all kinds of music (like rock, swing and funk) with shot glasses of humor and attitude. But it’s mostly the tiara that I love. This is Princess Katie. Pretty cool, right?
With my wedding behind me (yes, of course, I wore a tiara. As if I would miss that opportunity.) and no bachelorette parties on the horizon, I’m always looking for new venues where it’s acceptable and even encouraged to don a tiara. There is no quicker way to go from feeling sort of drab to simply fabulous.
And I’m telling you, at the Princess Katie and Racer Steve concert, I spotted moms wearing their sparkly head pieces proudly. Now Dylan did this…
And Summer did some of this…
Oh please. I only let her drink coffee on the weekends. But most of the time, Miss Pouty and Miss Caffeine were unbelievably entranced and enthralled with Princess Katie and her crew. I wonder if Katie is looking for an assistant to polish that tiara. Maybe she’d even let me wear it now and then.
My husband and I have been arguing about waffles. Or more accurately, the syrup.
Rick believes 14-month-old Summer should get waffles WITH syrup. In his opinion, waffles WITHOUT syrup is like mac without cheese, Brad without
Jen Angelina or shake without the bake.
On the other side, I believe that Summer gets plenty of sugar the rest of the day (I view sweets as a fun let’s-get-in-the-stroller-and-be-happy motivator). Plus, our carb lovin’ younger daughter seems quite content with just a little butter on her waffles (Of course, I butter them! I’m not Mommy Dearest for god’s sake).
So how do we end this waffle war? Now, keep in mind, my record is clear. I always voted against the waffle war and Rick initially voted for the war but now wants to cut and run. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. I think I’m watching too much primary election coverage.
While you are pondering all that, please enlighten me about another matter. Can my 3 1/2 year old actually hear me? This is how it works in my house.
Me: Dylan, what do you want for dinner?
Me: Dylan! What do you want for dinner?
Me: Dylan, can you hear me?
Me: Ok, if you can’t answer me then no books or “Sesame Street” tonight. And heck, while we’re at it, no dinner or dessert either.
Dylan: Grilled cheese.
In contrast, I wish I could tout my own stellar listening skills. But I really can’t. For example, when we go to a restaurant, and the waiter comes to tell us the specials, this is what I hear.
Waiter: Good Evening. Tonight we have the steamed artichoke for an appetizer… I wonder if we have to pay the babysitter’s cabfare home if we get back before 11 pm…. These spanks are really digging into my stomach. Would anyone notice if I pulled them down just a bit…. I really need a pedicure. Is there anyway to possibly bring two kids to a nail salon? No, that’s ridiculous. Hey that might be a money maker. A nail salon with a kid’s play area! Simply brilliant! Wait, actually that’s not good. All those chemicals… And for dessert we have a red velvet cake with a vanilla icing. Let me know if you have any questions.
Wait, what happened? I didn’t hear any of the specials! Is there a fish dish? A grilled sea bass or breaded halibut, by chance? Should I ask him to repeat it? Oh, he’s walking away. Damn. I’ll just order off the menu.
Dylan and I may need to work on our listening skills.
Meanwhile, let me update you on my zen go-with-the-crazy flow parenting techniques.
3 1/2 year-old Dylan continues to wear 14 month-old Summer’s sleep sacks to bed – EVERY NIGHT. Of course, I always try to tuck Dylan in without one. The other night she says to me, “Mommy, you ALWAYS forget my sleep sack.” Sorry girl. Don’t know what is wrong with me.
Then Dylan started wearing layers and layers of Summer’s clothing around the apartment.
And now she wears Summer’s clothing wherever we go. This is Dylan stuffed into Summer’s winter jacket.
You’ll notice the sleeves are just a smidge short and it’s all a bit snug.
Would you let your kid out like this? I’m either so chill or such a pushover. She can’t look that odd because she got THREE compliments in Starbucks on her outfit. Me? Not a one.
mama bird notes
Last night, I saw a beautifully shot documentary about human endurance and spirit that just lifted my soul. You don’t always get that kind of soul lifting on a week night. This is one incredible movie. Click on drooling over this to read more.