This summer, I spent a month in Westport, CT. It’s my hometown and completely gorgeous with beautiful marinas and views of the Long Island Sound. And the town is just a part of my soul.
Even before I moved to Westport in 7th grade my grandparents lived there.
My childhood is memories of swimming in their pool, trying on my grandmothers 1950’s bathing suits, doing cartwheels in their thick grass and wiggling my body through a small service window that connected their kitchen to their outdoor patio – so they could easily move hors d’oeuvres outside when they were having a party.
I remember every inch of that house from the mints in their living room to a white pencil my grandmother kept to clean under her nails to a small smooth rock that sat her on her dressing table that read, “Make Love, Not War.”
At the time, I didn’t know what “Make Love” meant but it sounded a whole lot better than war.
Everytime I come to town, I visit their old street, Bluewater Hill South. I drive slowly up the road imagining they are still in the house with the familiar wallpaper and a pitcher of ice tea with mint leaves sitting on the counter. I can almost taste the scrambled eggs my grandmother would make in the morning.
But as I pull up to their old address, I only see a gigantic house that I know was built long after theirs was gone.
As I look across the street, I can still see the old clay tennis courts we played on many many times. And the winding trees that I can remember climbing in and out of. And just for a moment, it’s like they are still there.
And I guess they do intersect in a way. With me.
But my grandparents died long before I ever leaped into the journey of parenthood.
My children will never experience the taste of those mints or all the great hiding places in that house or wiggling their bodies through that service window.
But they will experience other things. With their own grandparents. Stories I’m sure they’ll tell their children someday.
It’s their own Bluewater Hill.
Last week we had the chance to meet my sister’s new baby…
She’s the smaller one.
The baby is completely adorable. And the great thing about having an infant around is that there is plenty of baby apparatus. Which means 3 year old Cash took the opportunity to squeeze himself into a baby seat.
And we couldn’t exactly get him out.
Eventually my Aunt Terrell did manage to get him out of there. I would have helped but then who would have taken the video?
And it was great to have Cash out of that thing because it freed up his time to go break some big glass Japanese inspired bowl in Terrell’s yard.
I guess everyone has their own way of saying thank you.
Do me a favor and ask my husband Rick how last weekend went because the poor guy literally drove from Fort Lauderdale to Connecticut and then flew home the next morning back to Florida.
Raging party weekend, right?!
He did it because he didn’t want me to drive the kids up north alone. Probably because I would have abandoned them in Georgia when they lost their shoes IN THE CAR for the fourteenth time.
And twice along the way, a stranger said to me, “Wow. I never saw a kid do that before.”
Of course they were talking about my 3 year old son Cash. First time, he dumped over an entire trash can in a restaurant.
Second time, he discovered the glorious joy of a high chair on wheels. Why does a high chair need wheels? It doesn’t. But Cash realized these wheels enabled him to scoot around the whole restaurant instead of staying at our boring old table.
Along our trip, we tried to make meal tops at Chick-fil-A because they actually have decent fast food and always seem to have a play area.
At one of them, I got all my kids seated and then Rick and I sat down at a nearby table. A very sweet employee said, “Would you like me to push tables together so you can eat with your children?” Rick and I politely declined. “Our kids are fine. We can see them.”
Good parenting is all about making the right decisions.
We made stops in Savannah (where you must check out their very cool outdoor children’s museum) and Virginia Beach (where we spent roughly a million dollars to let the kids go on rides at the beach).
I don’t want to brag about the hotels we stayed at but this was the pool at one of them…
I think it’s safe to say, No Diving.
After many hours of driving, we made it to my mom’s house in Connecticut.
Rick flew back and a few days later, I took my kids to Westport Pizzeria – a place I frequented many many times as a teenager. It’s in a new location which felt weird but the kids seemed to really like it.
Especially Cash who immediately joined some guy at another table.
I think that guy is really warming up to him.
I love the idea of a lazy, 1970’s inspired summer. Where kids pass the afternoons sitting on tire swings, running through sprinklers and eating ice pops on front porches.
A time when boredom quickly gives way to fort building, messy art projects and neighborhood lemonade stands. And with no set bedtimes, there are hours to run around catching fireflies, playing cards and whipping up cupcakes (with lots and lots of toppings).
I love the idea of ALL of this.
But I can’t do it and there is no way I’m feeling guilty about it.
To read more, go on over to Alpha Mom.
I’ve developed an obsession with eyelashes. You know – like the kind of obsession you had in high school with Sun In. That obsessed.
It started a few years ago when I was at one of those baby play classes with my youngest son. I would have been 100% focused on interacting with him so he could glean every ounce of enrichment from the class – but you can’t overestimate the importance of independent play. So that freed up my time to notice this girl who had awesome eyelashes.
I wanted her eyelashes.
Of course, I immediately befriended/interrogated her. Turns out, the lashes were fake and fabulous.
I immediately committed myself to focusing more on my eyelashes. I mean, my family too. But also my eyelashes.
I first tried the Younique transplanting gel and natural fibers. Because suddenly everyone was selling this product. It was the Stella & Dot of the makeup world.
And Younique really does add major volume. You just put on the gel as if it’s mascara. Then apply the natural fibers with a different wand and then use the gel one more time.
But this (like mascara) is temporary. So next, I decided to first try one of those eyelash conditioners like Revitalash that make your eyelashes grow.
My sister-in-law was suddenly sporting amazing eyelashes and she said she was using one of these eyelash conditioners. And you know what? It worked. So if my sister-in-law ever tells you to buy something (eyelash conditioner, stocks, subprime mortgages, whatever), buy it.
But then I ran out of the eye conditioner. And I forgot to buy more. And well, pretty quickly I had the same lame eyelashes as before.
Finally, I decided to really give this fake eyelashes thing a go. I booked an appointment at a salon and learned that it would take two hours to apply the eyelashes. Okay, that seemed lengthy but YOLO baby, YOLO. (I’ll wait while my mom googles YOLO.)
I showed up for my appointment and half way through the first eye, I asked the woman, “How long have you been doing this?”
And she said, “Two weeks.”
“Two weeks at THIS salon?” I said, hopefully.
“Nope! I just got trained. This is my second week applying eyelashes.”
If there was ever a time to use, OMG, this was it. So OMG.
After the first eye was completed, I took a look.
Hmm…. I don’t think so. I immediately brought up a friend’s Facebook page. This! This is what I’m looking for…
Super glam, right?
I very very very nicely told the eyelash woman that my look wasn’t quite what I was going for, had her remove the eyelashes, tipped her and left.
I’m not giving up.
I may try fake eyelashes again. Can you train children to put these on? I’m looking into it.