I feel like I’m losing a bit of my creative soul. I’m not sure when it happened exactly.
Sometime between my 20’s and when everyone stopped calling me by my name and started calling me, “Mom.” And I’m not talking about my kids. I’m talking about dental hygienists, doctors, class instructors and just about everyone else. “Hi mom!” they say, with cheery smiles as I walk in with my children.
Damn, I swear my name used to be Kelcey.
The funny thing is I thought I would lose a part of myself when I got married. I was an independent person and I couldn’t imagine how I was going to join someone in holy matrimony without giving up a part of me.
But what I learned was that although marriage meant more compromises, I could still truly be myself. Actually, a better version most of the time.
Then my husband and I had kids but they didn’t take my creative soul either. Just the opposite. Yes, they gobbled up time and stole my energy but they also filled me with a completeness and joy I had never known. Even as I type this, it is hard for me to fathom that my oldest daughter, 10, is already two years passed the half way mark to “adulthood.”
Even though these days, she is a roller coaster of emotions… one minute gloriously happy and then next minute expressing her desperate need for an iPhone 6, an Instagram account and her own room, to the next minute in a fit of tears because we bought the wrong color protractor.
She can make me crazy and yet, I don’t want her to leave. Ever.
So no, it wasn’t parenthood.
It wasn’t even the night I recently played Bunco, at long last succumbing to this intriguing suburban ritual of dice and musical chairs. It was something else.
I realized it one night at dinner in Miami. I was sitting there in this great restaurant, feeling the energy of a city and I felt more like myself than I had in a long time.
And I realized how much I missed stuff… off broadway plays, coffee shops that don’t start with “star” and end in “bucks”, photography shows, West village cobblestones, pre-war architecture, finding a great seat at your favorite sushi bar, people watching, city grit and a million other little things.
Courtesy of Grub Street
I miss the energy. I miss it rejuvenating me. I know, I am making it sound like a facial. But it’s about lifting my whole spirit.
I guess it happened slowly overtime, so quietly that I sort of missed it. As the years have gone by, we have for many necessary and important reasons (good schools, safety, affordability) moved deeper and deeper into a suburban bubble.
And although there are many advantages, I realized that it’s suffocating me a bit. And I need to free myself just a little before I spend too many days not feeling like myself.
So somewhere between shuttling kids to activities and finding the right color protractor, I’m committed to finding more city grit in my life. So I can be a bit more me.
I remember when I got my first daughter Dylan sleeping through the night. She was 6 months old and when she slept from 7 pm to 7 am, I wanted to shout with crazy glee. Okay, first I had to tiptoe in multiple times to make sure she was okay but then I expressed that glee thing.
I adored her new sleeping schedule but didn’t quite understand that once a baby becomes a toddler and can actually get out of her crib or bed ON HER OWN, it all can get insane again. I now have 5 kids and can not get through an entire night without being woken up. Sometimes it’s once. Sometimes it’s 60 million times (estimate).
And the worst offender is my 4 year old son Chase.
I’m peacefully sleeping and suddenly there is hot breath in my face and I open my eyes to this…
Whoa. What’s up buddy?!
Good question right? Because when someone is peering at you, just inches from your face, at 2 in the morning, something must be up. Right!?
Well, let’s see…
It’s either a bad dream, hot pajamas, a stomachache, he can’t sleep, the room’s too dark, a strange noise, he feels itchy, he has to pee, he’s hungry, he has to poop, checking to see if it’s morning yet, needs to be tucked in again, his nightlight isn’t working, he can’t find his pillow nightlight, he can’t find his sister (who is sleeping in her bed right near him), he missed us or he just wanted to say hi.
We either pull him into bed so that he can sleep perpendicular with his body taking up every width of the bed or we walk him back to his own room.
I know this won’t last forever because my daughter Summer used to do the same thing and now she sleeps perfectly well in her own room without needing me for hot pajama emergencies.
But for now (like many parents), I’m often jarred awake. So when parents are sleeping, they deserve more than a flat pillow and 20 thread count sheets. They deserve luxury!
Like 100% Egyptian cotton. Bed linens crafted in Italy. Cashmere blankets. Luxury you usually only find in the most amazing hotels. And you can find all this at Frette. And while you’re at it, you deserve one of their heaven on earth robes.
And right now, you can enter their awesome contest. Enter to win a $3,000 shopping spree from Frette!! Why wouldn’t you enter? Unless you hate sleep. Does anyone hate sleep? Just click below….
This is a sponsored post for Frette. All ideas are my own.
A lot has been written about how to handle the death of a pet in your family. Very little has been written on how to handle the death of a pet while on a playdate. More specifically, a hamster.
I’m here to fill that void.
Last weekend, my kids were on a playdate at the house of a neighborhood friend. The friend is a lovely 3rd grader named Ava and my children were delighted to be at her house for the first time.
After exploring her toys which are the same as our toys but totally amazing and fun in a different house, they decided to play with the little girl’s hamster.
And that’s when there was the first inkling of foreshadowing that something might not be right when this little girl said to her mom, “Sami the hamster won’t wake up for everyone!”
Now because I am well versed in animals that don’t wake up…. due to the fact that I once had a “sleeping” raccoon in my yard, I knew we might be in trouble.
The mother went upstairs to investigate the sleepy hamster and quickly yelled down, “We have to cut short the playdate for today.” And then the little girl Ava came downstairs with tears running down her face.
“Children! It’s time to go!” I called out. “We’ll come back and play another day!! Thank you!” And I rushed them out the door.
But it a dramatic plot twist, the hamster was apparently still breathing. But very listless. So after we left, my friend put him on a heating pad because he seemed cold. Bless her sweet heart because that is a kind thing to do for your kid’s hamster. I’m not sure it’s medical protocol, but very nice indeed.
I offered to text my friend who is a vet in NYC but it was too late. The hamster died shortly after.
I explained to my 4 year old twins and 8 year old who were all at the playdate that Sami the hamster had passed away but he had lived a short but vibrant life.
They seemed okay with it and my 4 year old son updated the rest of our family… “We went on a playdate today and Ava’s hamster died but it’s okay because she has a lot of other pets.”
Ava has already gotten a new hamster… an adorable little rodent named Delilah who apparently poops in her wheel. I wish her a long, happy life.
When it comes to award shows, I love the red carpet. It’s fun to see the stars all dressed up and check out what they are wearing. I enjoy the commentary, especially from my daughters. 8 year old Summer had this to say about Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress…
“I love the dress. Just not the flower sticking out of her shoulder.”
Honey, I think that dress is pretty much all about the flower.
But what I can’t stand at these events is people’s amazement that anyone over 40 still looks good. Like 54 year old Julianne Moore…
Or 45 year old Jennifer Lopez…
Or 46 year old Jennifer Aniston…
There is just too much of… OMG she looks gorgeous. And she’s a million years old! Can you believe it? How could she be THAT old and still look good?
I don’t have to point out to you that no one says this about men. Ben Affleck is 42 and STILL looks handsome?! And I hear he’s still getting movie roles! (Yeah, that doesn’t happen).
And then I was reading a blog post by CNN’s Carol Costello called “I’m 53. I’ll Wear Short Shorts If I Want” and it was all about the ridiculousness of magazines and retail stores telling us what women should be wearing at specific ages. Here’s an example she showed from JCREW…
I hope if you’re in your 40’s, you’re following “Ashley’s” guidance.
And watch out “Pia,” because once you’re 60 and above, they really don’t give a crap what you’re wearing. I guess it’s just a free for all of muumuus, polyester pants and hairnets!
Gwen Stefani, a rock star, fashion designer and overall super cool chick doesn’t follow anyone’s tips for what’s appropriate for any age.
And she’s 45 and somehow still gorgeous! This is what she has to say…
“For me, fashion is not really about age as much as it is reflecting your personality,” she said. “Your personality is what it is. I don’t see that as I’ve grown and aged and matured in my life that I have much of a different personality, so I feel like there’s definitely an evolution of style….”
I don’t think I have an evolution of style and I’m not attending any award shows, but I know what works for me and what I feel good in style wise. And I don’t need retailers to put me in some kind of fashion age bracket.
Nor do I need media outlets flabbergasted that women can be beautiful and glamorous at any age. Because they can. (Oh god, please let me look like Helen Mirren some day.)
I recently wrote about my dad’s texts. The texts were so sweet! And so warm! And so redundant! I’ve been recovering from surgery so he did a daily check in. Here’s an example….
My reaction to these daily texts ranged from… “How nice he’s sending me healing vibes!” to “Who taught my dad how to text?!” to “Please stop or I’m blocking my number.”
Well, the rumor that he reads this blog is apparently true. Because after posting about my dad’s texting ritual, I started to get these…
Which just goes to show that in a tech savvy world, parents over 70 can still win.