I am a train wreck when I’m away from my kids.
When I’m caring for Dylan and Summer, everything (diapers, snacks, water, sunscreen, you get the idea) is way way organized.
But the moment I am on my own, I don’t just take my eye off the ball, I lose the ball all together. Usually in my hotel room. Probably never to be recovered.
In San Francisco, I lost my room key numerous times, misplaced my free drink tickets (oh, the tragedy! Seriously.) and even forgot the top of my steamer. Let me just say there is a darn good reason that clothing steamers come with two parts. You really need both. They’re tricky like that.
And despite my need for a clean and orderly home in New York, this was the state of my hotel room by the end of day three in San Francisco. Crap everywhere.
I guess my organized self was on vacation.
I was quite impressed with the BlogHer conference which was incredibly organized. There were super fun perks like swag bags and shindigs and I did meet and connect with some super cool gals like, Sticking to the Point, Mom Without a Map, Freitas Family Follies, Who’s the Boss?, Mommy Needs A Cocktail, Not Just A Working Mom, Mommy Poppins, Mayberry Mom, Magpie Musing, it’s my life, Baby Faith, Savvy Auntie and londonelicious.
And, of course, there were lots of fab mums who I wanted to meet but just never found.
I definitely felt enormously overwhelmed by all the people (like a thousand). And sometimes, surrounded by the blogging masses, I just felt lonely and homesick.
So after two days of trying to be extra perky and extra funny and extra myself (only perkier and funnier), I was greatly relieved on Saturday night to meet up with this chick.
That’s Sarah. I used to hang with her in the West Village before she got all fancy and west coast on me and moved to beautiful Marin County, just outside San Francisco (damn her!). And I found out that she is pregnant with number three which rocks. So send Sarah some positive energy for her little growing baby.
After dinner, she dropped me at the airport where I had managed to upgrade myself to a first class seat at a deeply discounted rate.
And that’s when I met Aaron. My seat mate with the gold chain.
I had barely sat down when he leaned over, all sultry and Barry Whitish and said, “Hi. I’m Aaron. How are you?”
Oh crap. This is my one chance to enjoy a little first class service and I’ve got Aaron giving me his airplane rap. Of course, if he was a young hottie, I would have been completely flattered… but he wasn’t.
A few minutes later, Aaron leaned in again (and I’m not joking even one little bit) and said, “I love that book.”
REALLY? I want to believe you Aaron. I mean, I really do. Except that I’m reading a book called, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” by Nora Ephron. It’s a humorous look at being a woman and growing older. But somehow I just really doubt Aaron, with the gold chain, is reading it.
But maybe he is concerned with his neck. I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. The guy is probably completely obsessed with neck.
Aaron thankfully nodded off quickly and I turned my focus back to my book and my neck. The neck apparently goes at the age of 43 so it’s really time to start appreciating it. I only have a few years left to show this baby off.
Yup, that’s my neck. In all its glory.
So I’m sure you all are just desperate to know. After great internal debate and much soul searching, I went with the screwdriver. A perfect breakfast cocktail for the long trip to San Francisco.
And I, blissfully, watched three movies and read US Magazine (Am I the last person to find out that Lindsay Lohan is a lesbian or at least dabbling in that arena?).
After arriving in San Francisco, I caught a cab. When I’m a tourist, I’m convinced that everyone is trying to take advantage of me (I guess because of all the tourists I regularly hustle in New York City).
So I hop into the taxi and try to act all cool and San Franny as I talk to the driver.
Me: Hi. How are you? THIS visit I’m staying at the Westin (Translation: Look taxi guy, I can’t even count the number to times I’ve jetted in and out of this city so don’t try taking me in circles. I’m on to you buddy.).
Taxi Driver: Which Westin?
Taxi Driver: There are two.
Me: Ummm. Let me see. I have the address right here. Well, I had it a minute ago. Hold on, it’s right here in my calendar. Oh, the one on Dowell Street. Yes, Dowell.
Taxi Driver: Oh, you mean Powell street?
Me: Yeah, yeah that’s the one.
Boy, I really showed him. That will be the last time he tries to mess with an out-of-towner.
Actually, he just seems super nice and not at all interested in taking advantage of some dumb New York girl and he takes me directly to the hotel. Where I find this…
From my family. How incredibly sweet! I don’t want to call Dylan and Summer slackers, but I’m guessing that my husband Rick was the one who really made the flowers thing happen. I want to ask him if the flowers are organic but I just say, “thank you.” Whether organic or covered with chemicals, they sure are pretty.
As soon as I’m settled in, I want to immediately start soaking up the true San Francisco experience, so I head here:
There are three Starbucks within a two block radius of my hotel. And a lot of traffic. And many stores. You know this place sort of reminds me of somewhere familiar. Oh, wait, I’ve got it. New York City. Except with cute street cars going up steep hills.
I’m here to attend the BlogHer Conference, along with hundreds of other blogging women. Make that hundreds of blogging women I don’t know… which really scares the crap out of me. So thank goodness for this girl.
That’s Lia of Frietas Family Follies. She’s my roommate and is a super fun, sassy girl who seems to know everyone here. So I’m sticking close to her. Oh, and I’m like glue to this guy too.
Don’t you love his ‘stache? Actually, I’m not really hanging with him that much. He’s the doorman from the rockin’ Silicon Vally Moms Group party I went to last night. Do you think he uses some kind of special moustache gel? You can get back to me on that and anything you know about the Lindsay Lohan thing.
You know, just trying to stay young and current here.
I never dreamed all of you would come up with so many rockin’, under the radar, cocktail ideas for my flight at 10 in the morning. I’m quite impressed with all the mama mixologists out there.
Not only did you relieve my guilt about boozing it up so early (I think they have a word for it… enablers or something) but you also made me feel a whole bunch better about leaving my kids for a few days. Well, Suburban Correspondent was mocking me a bit but she just wants my plane ticket. She has six kids so… well, I guess I don’t have to say anything more.
Meanwhile, my husband Rick is ready to take on the full responsibility of taking care of Dylan and Summer. Right, Rick? Wait, where did he go? I swear, he was just here two seconds ago.
Oh Rick, just a heads up, I mistakenly created a new addendum to the girls’ bedtime routine a few weeks ago. You see, I thought it would be fun one night if we danced to our bedtime songs. You know, instead of the kids being all sleepy and calm in their beds. Because nothing helps a toddler drift off faster than a rowdy sing-a-long to Jingle Bells.
Umm – it kind of looks like this…
The girls love the new routine (what a perfect new delay tactic for avoiding going to bed AND mommy came up with it!). They can’t believe their good luck.
And it’s just so hard to break a routine once kids are all jazzed up about it.
The other night, after we brushed teeth or at least really pretended to, I said to them, “Ok, let’s go to your room. Time for songs.”
They both booked it to their bedroom with incredible speed and focus and Dylan shouted out, “It’s a dance party. Yippee!!”
So yeah, sorry about that one Rick. You can thank me when I return. Jingle all the way.
mama bird notes
Still want to read more? Really?! You can catch my latest post on NYC Moms Blog called, “How Do You Say, ‘Can I Have My Money’ Back in Italian?”
And as many of you know, contributing mama Daphne Biener has a new blog called, A Greener Biener. So if you have a minute, swing by and show her some love.
I’m headed to San Francisco this week for BlogHer. I’m super excited to go to this awesome blogging conference except that I’m totally panicked. I just get very stressed about flying across the country and leaving my kids.
I don’t know why I am so freaked out on planes. Usually, a glass of wine can calm me a bit but my flight is at 10 am. See the problem? You can’t really order booze at 10 am without looking like some kind of desperate, pathetic lush. Or if you can, please tell me how.
And it just gives me anxiety to leave my children. I know I don’t control their destiny but I, at least, like to be around to make sure their faces are wiped and their snack box is filled. And you know, to check that their little bodies are inhaling and exhaling in deep slumber before I climb into bed myself.
Loving people more than yourself can be a real bitch.
Nobody told me this before I had a kid. I heard about the crying, the price of preschool and the stains on the furniture. But not one single person mentioned how amazingly hard it would be to let go – to trust my beautiful, crazy, lovable, insanely perfect daughters are ok, even when I’m not with them.
Plus, other things have been going on that I just can’t blog about. But the past week was tremendously difficult and it all gave me a truckload of stress. Yoga is one of the ways I re-center and snap myself out of a funk.
But it can’t be sleepy, meditative yoga. It needs to be high impact, athletic yoga.
So I tried a new yoga class at Equinox gym this weekend and the teacher was just maddening. He talked way too much and barely had us moving. After 40 minutes, he stopped us all together and said, “We are now going to partner up and learn how to breathe into our backs.”
Oh annoying yoga dude, are you friggin’ serious?!
Maybe I’ve lived in New York City too long but I definitely didn’t want to be touching anyone in that class (although I’m sure they are super nice people and I mean them no disrespect). And I absolutely didn’t want to spend any more of my limited gym time – LEARNING HOW TO BREATHE INTO MY BACK.
So I walked out of the class.
And headed for the Arc Trainer cardio machine.
In my flip flops. Cause that’s all I had.
And I didn’t give a crap.
I pounded away on that Arc Trainer for 30 minutes in flip flops, despite tripping and almost falling off twice. But that may have been partly due to my obsessive focus on “The E! True Hollywood Story of Heath Ledger.”
After I finished, I felt better. Not about the tragedy of Heath but you know, overall.
I may have even felt a little breathing in my back. Whatever that means exactly.
After a lovely, radish filled visit, I packed up my mom and sent her off to Memphis to stay with my sister for a few days. I don’t know why joint custody arrangements get such a bum rap.
Without my mom lovingly lurking around the apartment day and night, I was able to turn my focus to Ms. Kyra Sedgwick, the star of TNT’s, “The Closer.”
The ever-talented and energetic Beth Feldman of Beyond PR and Role Mommy, held a screening party for “The Closer” last night at a cool place in Chelsea called Ultra. I absolutely know it was a cool place because it was very very difficult to find the bathroom. The door blended in with the wall in that dark and sultry club kind of way.
If you like Kyra Sedgwick (and I’ll tell you why you really should) and you like cop shows, this one is awesome. And I’m not just saying this because Rick’s best friend Steve Kane is a writer for the show. Shameless, blatant plug for Steve Kane has now concluded.
I’ve liked Kyra Sedgwick ever since the 1992 movie “Singles.” I can still remember those ridiculously perfect lines… What took you so long? I was stuck in traffic. And many years later, I got to see the actress in person.
As I’ve written before, Rick and I saw Kyra and her husband Kevin Bacon at a concert in New York (can you believe I wrote SIX whole paragraphs before mentioning the Footloose and free Ren McCormack – ok, they were short paragraphs.). After the concert – James Taylor, if you’re wondering – ended, we saw the celebrity duo again, this time going home on the subway. Kyra, Kevin, Kelcey and Rick hanging together on the 1 train.
You know, we had such a nice night with them. I wonder why we don’t hear from them anymore. I guess, they just got busy. You know how life can get in the way of close friendships.
So I was thrilled to see Kyra again at last night’s screening. She did a Q and A with the audience and she was just so authentic, honest and funny. She does not shy away from the F word which frankly I find refreshing and only made me like her more, despite her being pretty and skinny and talented.
And I was quite relieved to hear that she, too, has suffered from mom guilt. She admits that she used to feel guilty when her kids were young and she was working. But as she put it, “Unless you’ve killed someone, guilt is a useless emotion.” See, you can learn important stuff from cop shows (I mean, other than how to outsmart the police and keep them off your trail).
Sedgwick also confesses that she used to be a bit obsessive about exercising and talked honestly to her 16 year-old daughter about this. Yes, they have teenagers.
In fact, Kyra and Kevin are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. And Kevin Bacon is now 50. I know, it seems like just a couple years ago he was fighting for the right to take his sweet Ariel to the prom.
And Sedgwick (who plays a super smart, Southern, fast talking LAPD Deputy Police Chief on the show) says she doesn’t really unwind during the 6 months of filming. In fact, she listens to her lines nonstop on a tape recorder – even when she’s on the toilet.
Yeah, I told you she’s honest.
mama bird notes
Contributing mama Daphne Biener is a girl that just looks good in green. But she’s finding that it’s not always easy to be an eco mama. Kermit could have told you that. Click on contributing mamas to read more.
And Daphne has also just launched her new website, A Greener Biener, dedicated to her family’s efforts to live and eat green. See, that name would have totally not worked if she kept her maiden name “Slade.” Go Bieners! So swing by and check out her new planet friendly blog.
Speaking of our efforts to save the earth, Maggie is the winner of the two reusable bags from eco-artware.com. Email me your address to collect your winnings girl!
And I want to thank the very kind Madge for this super cool award…
I am so enormously grateful. Go check out her awesome, entertaining blog, It’s a Mad Madge World.