So my mom just wrapped up her first semester at Smith College and is home for Summer break. See, here she is…
I’ve only had her home one day and I’m just sick and tired of doing her laundry, picking up after her and listening to here whine, “I’m bored. I have nothing to do.”
No, she’s actually been a perfect house guest. After an insanely stressful first semester (she’s earning her Masters in Social Work), she just wants to relax. And I can’t think of a better place than my apartment, with the always calm and zen 3 1/2 year-old Dylan and the meditative and self contemplating 19 month-old Summer.
It’s a wonder I don’t open up a Buddhist monastery over here in my West Village apartment.
My mom is actually very much a Buddhist and I’m very much not, so we’ll have conversations like this one:
“Wow. What a magnificent looking salad!” she exclaims last night.
“What? Where? What salad?” I reply very confused. I’m suddenly thinking, gosh darn it, did Dylan cut up an entire salad when I wasn’t looking? I’ve really GOT to keep better tabs on that girl.
“Over there on the counter,” my mom says as she points to this:
“Mom, that’s just a bunch of radishes that need to be washed and cut.”
“Oh, they look so magnificent.”
Really? Well, ok.
And later in the evening, she describes Dylan’s musical princess book as “remarkable” because it’s a book AND also plays music.
Remarkable? Do you mean remarkably irritating? Because oh yes, I’m on board with that one, sista. Those little, repetitive tunes could make somebody – what? Oh, you just mean remarkable. Well, I guess so. I mean, if it was 1902, that technology would really knock your petticoat off.
But I have to admit – my mother really does know how to appreciate the little things. Only one semester under her belt and she’s already teaching me a few things about noticing and celebrating the details of life.
Those parents. They grow up so damn fast.
Sometimes a moment just feels so completely and comfortably perfect. Like holding Dylan in my lap during the 4th of July fireworks on the beach. She insisted I hold my hands tightly over her ears to muffle the sound of the fireworks.
I would have a way too adorable picture of this if I hadn’t forgotten to charge my camera. What the heck was I thinking? I must have been living in the moment or something. Jeesh.
And Summer adored the fireworks too. At bedtime, she absolutely refused to let go of the glow in the dark necklace she got from her Bubbie (Yiddish for “grandmother who buys super cool stuff for the 4th of July”).
After celebrating our country’s independence, naturally it was time to play the Feud….
Yup, that’s Rick family. I must give credit to Rick’s brother Stevie who thought it would be fun to pose like the Family Feud. The kissing bandit (aka Richard Dawson) was sadly no where to be found.
We are all gussied up here to celebrate my sister-in-law Pam’s birthday. So we head to the Pool Bar at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City.
For a born and bred Connecticut girl, I sure know how to party like a Jersey rock star.
Or at least I thought I did until I realized we were all completely, insanely overdressed.
Umm…. this is apparently what the girls like to wear in A.C..
Holy crap. I could not believe the outfits on these ladies. Hundreds and hundreds of girls dressed in tiny, microscopic barbie doll clothes. And the guys did a lot of this…
Yes, he’s actually winking at the camera. So Rick’s brother Stevie thought he’d give the look a shot…
He just needs to add the wink and he’s there.
And Rick’s cousin Adam posed with some of the bikini clad waitresses…
Someone should tell those gals that if they want to make tips, they actually have to walk around and take drink orders from patrons.
I really like to think of myself as young and groovy but the techno music started to give me a serious headache and we just got so ridiculously tired that Rick and I headed home around 1 am.
But the birthday girl stayed out til 3 am (even without the short shorts or the micro mini).
But in my defense, Pam is a little younger than me. Ok, only two weeks younger but as you can imagine, it really makes a difference.
By the way, there was no sighting in Jersey of the super tan, Marilyn Monroe impersonator I told you about. Last I heard, he’s hiding out in Maine. Apparently, he’s there with his wife, some friends and maybe even Richard Dawson. That’s the word on the shore anyway.
Note to reader: I’m fearing that my blog might be spiraling into seedy territory lately, with all the shots of male abs, banana hammocks and bikini wearing cocktail waitresses. So next post, things are going to get a lot more classy and sophisticated around here. Really fancy. So before you log on, you might want to wear something nice.
Hey, happy 4th of July everyone! I totally dig freedom. Because if you want to wax your back and dress up like Marilyn Monroe to celebrate 60 years of awesome livin’, gosh darn it, you can do it.
You know… like this dude. Recognize him? Unless you are tight with my in-laws, you probably don’t. Yes, they associate with this shy guy.
Trust me, you would want to hang with him too. He’s way funny, super tan and enjoys a cocktail or two. Those are pretty much the qualities I enjoy in a friend.
Freedom also rocks because if you happen to be 3 1/2 and just feel like your split ends are making you crazy, well, you don’t have to wait for your busy bee parents to take you to the salon for a trim. No, no, no. While Daddy is making dinner and Mommy is taking a little power nap and your sister is playing with that has been baby doll, you can just grab your kid scissors and do it all by yourself.
Although the tuft of hair was a bit startling to look at, the damage to Dylan’s do seems to be very minimal. Will confirm in the daylight. Since it took Dylan about 2 years to even GROW hair, I’m feeling ridiculously relieved.
And freedom also kicks arse because if you want to put on a pair of fairy wings, throw your hair in piggie tails, don some princess heels and relax in the sunshine, well… then go ahead.
Because it’s just that kind of country.
So thank you to all who made freedom ring. Because if the Brits were still in charge, we’d all be eating bangers and mash and drinking warm beer this weekend and well, that would totally suck.
But, of course, we would all have those sassy accents and we’d be totally cutting edge with our smart, natty fashion – so maybe that would be pretty brilliant after all.
Alright, alright… go kiss a Brit this 4th of July. Just nothing open mouth because the hubbys get their knickers in a bunch over that.
mama bird notes
I’m giving away two reusable totes that fold up so small, it’s like a friggin’ magic trick. Courtesy of eco-artware. You’ll swear off plastic forever. Click on “drooling over this” to enter.
After going to dinner in our neighborhood the other night, Rick and I popped by a German bar called the Lederhosen. I figured “Lederhosen” must be the name of an awesome German ale or perhaps the name of some big European soccer star but no, it just means, “leather shorts.” Oh, well, ok.
Before I go any further, I fear that I’ve given the impression that Rick and I are constantly out and about… living it up at burlesque shows, doing the safety dance in Atlantic City and putting back the pints at the European–themed bars.
Let me reassure you that we have plenty of tedious, boring nights at home. Rick is shaking his head vigorously in agreement. My dear Rick – Just know that I’d rather be horribly bored with you than anyone else on this planet. Yes, if you have any friends planning their weddings, I am available to write romantic, personalized vows.
Anyway, on this particular night, we found ourselves at the Lederhosen. We had been there once before and the owner just LOVES Rick. Apparently, a big Fox 5 fan. So Rick signed something for him during our last visit and this time around, we saw this up on the wall….
Yes, Rick’s photo on display above the bar! Even more glorious, he’s right next to Kiefer Sutherland!!!! The way I see it, the producers of “24” now have no choice but to offer Rick a recurring role on the show.
I’m sure you are desperately wondering whose photo is on the other side of Rick? I don’t really know. Some football player or maybe it was soccer? There was a number on his jersey for sure.
Ok, enough of Kiefer, Rick and that guy with the number on his jersey…
Because this past weekend was Gay Pride in New York City.
We live in the West Village (the epicenter of the pride). Despite the crowds and the chaos, I love Gay Pride weekend because it’s just the kind of thing that makes New York so New York. I mean, where else can you walk down the street at 6 pm and see this…
and you know, a guy handing out fliers like this…
Those must be some pretty interesting fliers. In addition to the surplus of banana hammocks, there were also a tremendous amount of….
cops. Apparently for crowd control. Nearly naked guys are bound to draw crowds. And bloggers. And for some reason and I’m not sure exactly why, all these NYPD officers now seem enormously overdressed. Not a banana hammock or lederhosen in sight.
mama bird notes
Contributing mama Daphne Biener goes into the wild wilderness with her family this summer. Brave girl. Click on contributing mamas to read more from this always entertaining mama.
Not long ago, I discovered a blog called Mean Mommy which isn’t very mean at all. In fact, Ashley wrote such nice things about me that it made me blush. So thank you for the love!
Finally, I’m am so OVER plastic bags. Will you join me in saying no to plastic bags? To read more, click on drooling over this. You can even leave a comment and enter the reusable tote giveaway.
There comes a time when a family needs more than city cement, incredible restaurants and burlesque shows to survive. That day has come.
So we decided to go family road tripping to the country. Bucks County, PA or bust – or maybe a brief stop because Dylan has to poop.
Buck’s County is quaint and countryish (It is too a word! Or at least sort of a word.) and green and awesome.
We saw a “Duck’s Crossing” sign. No ducks but the sign itself was really enough of a thrill.
At one point, Rick and I had a conversation that went like this…
Me: That woman we just passed was doing some kind of interesting gesture with her hand. Did she want us to pull over or something?
Rick: I think it was a wave. I think everyone here just waves at each other.
Me: A wave? I love that.
And we picked berries! Lots and lots of berries.
Dylan loved it. And Summer…
Oh crap. Someone wake up Summer. She’s missing our country adventure! Just like her to nod off during the fabulous blueberry and raspberry picking. If she thinks she can just take a long snooze and then eat our hard earned berries without lifting one baby finger in the hot Pennsylvania sun – well, she’s probably right about that.
And then we ate ice cream! And pizza! The pizza tasted much more charming and far less greasy in the lovely surroundings.
I even had a hankering to peruse and purchase antiques, although I am not really into that sort of old, dusty furniture thing. If you adore antiques, please substitute, “beautifully preserved and crafted treasures” for “old, dusty furniture.”
Frankly, I was completely swept up in the fresh air euphoria until the trip back to Manhattan.
Since my dad came along and it gets very tight between the two car seats, one of us had to sit in the WAY back. And boy does it make your arse hurt to hang out back there for extended periods of time.
I kind of felt like the family dog or like Rick’s smuggling me across state lines. And no, my kids aren’t on drugs. They are just so very tired and watching the DVD player.
Apparently, we didn’t tucker my dad out enough because the next morning, he was willing to go to his first yoga class ever with me.
Here he is practicing his downward dogs before the class…
He was pretty damn good for an inexperienced 65 year-old yogi. Then he left to catch the Amtrak train back to his home in Cape Cod.
As the train pulled out of Penn Station, he texted me, “This downward dog has left the station.”
I wished him a peaceful, kid-free, zen ride home.
mama bird notes
Sandrine won the boys’ baby giveaway!! Congrats Sandrine. Send me your address and I will mail these goodies off to you.