I don’t know when the term “life hack” became a common term. All I know is that I had never heard of it and then suddenly it was sweeping the nation. I think it all happened in about two hours.
Life hacks are tips or tricks to handle everyday tasks more efficiently. Something you may not have thought of – like using a tennis racket as a pasta strainer. Or using pants clips as a chip clip for your snacks.
Somebody apparently comes up with this stuff. Probably the same people that video cats doing crazy things.
This was one of my favorite life hacks I saw recently. Someone turned a crib into an art center.
Well, I had my own not-quite-as-genius life hack moment.
You see, suddenly one day my glove compartment broke. It just hung open like this. All the time.
Now obviously this is no way to live. A glove compartment can’t just always be open. It makes the world off kilter. So I did a lot of sighing about it and when that didn’t seem to fix it, I went and got an estimate.
And it was going to cost a couple hundred dollars.
Now there are things one might spend $200 bucks on but a glove compartment should not be one of them. So I went to a hardware store, bought $5 worth of some kind of dual lock, stronger than Velcro material and sealed that glove compartment shut.
Upside: 5 dollars! And my glovebox looks normal again!!
Downside: I can no longer use my glove compartment.
Upside: I don’t really care because remember… $5!
After doing this task, I pretty much felt like some kind of auto mechanic superhero.
And with that, I went home to drain my pasta with my tennis racket.
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.