“I always do a double take when I’m told a newborn’s ‘length.'”
– Aaron Karo (who obviously does not have kids, but is funny as hell)
“I always do a double take when I’m told a newborn’s ‘length.'”
– Aaron Karo (who obviously does not have kids, but is funny as hell)
“The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed.”
So true. No matter how exhausting the day or how crabby the daughter, everything always seems better when I can reflect on it in a quiet house with wine in hand. No matter what the day was like, by the time we go to bed my husband and I spend at least 30 minutes talking about how wonderful/smart/funny/perfect Lyla is. Unless of course, she is up crying…
Every time I am at the airport I am amazed that thieves don’t come to baggage claim and steal suitcases. There is no security… anyone can just walk in there and just grab a suitcase. Mr. Thief could just stroll in off the street, grab the medium-sized black suitcase that everyone and their sister’s cousin has, hightail it out of there and pray that no one notices until all the suitcases are gone. Mrs. Missing Suitcase will then blame the airline, who will not be able to find the suitcase and then, eventually after a lot of hassle and nagging, will issue a refund for the missing suitcase. By the time all this is said and done, Mr. Thief will be back at his studio apartment trying on all Mrs. Missing Suitcases bras and wondering what he is going to do with size XXL vacation wear. Hey, so maybe this suitcase grab was a bust, but Mr. Thief can return to baggage claim and try, try again. Winners never quit, Mr. Thief.
You’d be in luck if you happened to grab my suitcase. I don’t know about you guys, but I always take my best clothes on vacation with me. And if you are reading this and happen to be a thief, my suitcase is NOT the large red one with a red ribbon tied to the handle so I can recognize it. Seriously… it’s not that one.
Intellectual random thought. Hey, it’s Friday…
When I am filling out a form on the computer and it asks for my birthdate, it always depresses me how long it now takes to click all… the…way… down… to my birth year.
After 16 days, 3 countries, 27 hours of flight time with a 14-month-old, 5 hours of total flight time without baby, 12+ hours in a car with baby, 6 bus rides, 2 train rides, innumerable taxis, 2 sleeping pills, 2 all-nighters, countless bottles of wine, 12 gelatos, 4 lbs (a small price to pay), many frustrated screams, many, many nervous laughter outbursts (I tend to laugh at inappropriate times when I am stressed), 1 amazing wedding, 1 week with my husbands lovely family, 0 relaxation and too much laughter to count… I have returned. And along with a small spare tire around my belly and a couple of crappy souvenirs (sorry family!) I have brought many stories to tell. But, as I am still exhausted from everything listed above, I will start you out with the following list.
10 THINGS I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION
1. Discovered that a baby screaming on a plane while all the other passengers are trying to sleep is NOT the end of the world. As much as I was dying inside at the thought of being “that mom”, I got over it. And I am sure that the other passengers did too. Eventually. And even if they didn’t, I will most likely never see any of them again anyway.
2. Learned the art of the afternoon nap. Italians are very good at this. It took me a couple of days and a couple of bottles of wine at lunch to learn, but I finally got the hang of it… just in time to come back to the real-non-napping world.
3. Walked around in my bikini WITHOUT SUCKING MY STOMACH IN. Hey, if 82-year-old Italian women with breasts that look like beach balls in a trash bag can rock a bikini with confidence, I sure as hell can too.
4. Stayed up all night to confirm that, yes, currently there are nearly 24 hours of daylight in Norway. Twice.
Bonus: No getting up with baby, who was safely with her Grandparents in a different country. Hallelujah!
5. Made sand castles on the beach, paddled around with the entire family on a paddle boat with a slide, rented one of those 6 person bicycle-cars where you strap your kids to the front, and partook in other various cliche familial activities I swore I would never do – and had more fun than I have had in a long time.
6. Gained 4 lbs. This is only notable because I expected it to be much more considering my daily meal schedule in Italy:
Breakfast: Americano coffee with latte frio. Brioche and toast with Nutella.
Lunch: Salad and grilled vegetables, followed by a first course of pasta or risotto, followed by a second course of meat or fish, followed by a dessert of fruit or gelato. All washed down with a few glasses of white wine and sparkling water.
Aperitivo: 1-2 drinks made with Aperol, such as a Negroni (gin, Aperol, and sweet vermouth) or Aperol Spritz (champagne and Aperol) plus nuts, focaccia, chips or whatever the bar brings to the table.
Dinner: Another 4 delicious courses, similar to lunch, ending with fruit and dessert.
Walk around town, ending with 2 scoops of gelato. Yum.
See… only gaining 4 lbs is pretty much a miracle. Maybe I sweat off the rest of the weight on the night the hotel air conditioning broke. Don’t ask.
7. Spent hours and hours walking around the small Italian town of Cesenatico in the middle of the night when my jet-lagged and over-excited daughter didn’t want to go to sleep. AND kicked my flip-flop an impressive distance when a cockroach crawled on my foot during one of these walks.
8. Sang Itsy-Bitsy Spider in every single accent my husband and I could think of (British, Southern, Gangsta, Spanish, Indian, Rastafarian, Alien, the list goes on and on…) in a desperate attempt to entertain my daughter after 5 hours in the car.
9. Saw more peni (is this the plural of penis?) barely concealed in thin spandex speedos in one day than I ever hoped to in an entire lifetime. I’m still recovering.
10. Learned to let it go (kind of), take a breath and just laugh when my daughter didn’t behave as I would like. She was in a new place with new food, new people, new schedule… new everything. Is it any wonder that she doesn’t want to sit in her high chair for a 2-hour 4-course dinner, stay seated and silent after 9 hours on a plane, or sleep when WE wanted her to even though her body was telling her otherwise? When I would get really frustrated, I forced myself to take a step back and just laugh. Usually. If that didn’t work, there was wine and gelato.
Until next time… Ciao!
A sick husband, a hivey (and thus unsleeping baby), a last-minute job, a non-functioning internet connection, a wild goose chase to fix said non-functioning internet connection, not to mention shopping, laundering, researching, packing, stressing and grooming for a two-week trip with my husband and daughter. After the week I have had… I need a vacation. The good news: I have an amazing vacation planned to Italy and Norway. The bad news: first I have to get there. On a 15 hour flight, not counting layovers. With a highly energetic 14-month-old. Whoever said that it’s “all about the journey” is full of poop. When it comes to traveling with kids, it’s absolutely all about the destination.
Actually I know who said, “It’s all about the journey.” My husband, last night. I laughed so hard that I almost shot wine out of my nose. Of course, he hasn’t spent the last week packing, planning, shopping, researching and stressing about our trip the way that I have. He just throws his stuff in a bag the night before we leave. It’s not his fault. I am the one who stresses about such things. And I would never dream of letting him help shop or pack for our daughter. This is a degree of control that I cannot relinquish. It might be stressful, but there is something slightly calming about knowing without any shadow of a doubt that you have 3 changes of clothes, 20 diapers, 30 lbs. of snacks, and 50 lbs. of toys for a single flight.
The prep is done. Now all that stands in my way is the journey itself. But I know that if things get hairy, I can just think about the destination… pasta in my belly, wine in my bloodstream, and a smile on my lips as I watch my daughter play with her cousins. And if that doesn’t work there’s always Xanax.
ps. I will be enjoying my “vacation” for two weeks, and that means a vacation from blogging… you guys are exhausting. But I am sure to return with loads of stories to regale you with soon. Ciao!
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If I never teach you anything else, please remember one thing…
“He who laughs last… thinks slowest.”
That’s enough for today. Class is adjourned.
It has now been a little over a week since my eye surgery, and though everything went perfectly, I am still plagued by headaches, eyeaches, and a vague general tiredness. I also have to be very careful with my “new” eyes, so it has really limited what I can do. I have been unable to work, exercise, write, or blog. I have rarely checked my email,
stocked browsed on Facebook, or kicked the usual ass on Words with Friends. I have also not been allowed to wear make-up, wash my face or really even shower. Also, because I haven’t been feeling so hot, I have had to turn down various social engagements. For the past week I have really been able to do little more than take care of my daughter. And you know what… it’s been fucking awesome.
All of the things that I listed above are things that I actually really enjoy doing. But having an excuse to NOT do them for an entire week has been such a relief. I feel more relaxed than I have felt in a really long time. It’s amazing how much time I have when I am not constantly racing off to exercise, work, shower, blog or catch up with friends on Facebook. I have spent a lot of quality time with my daughter without having to check my phone or email. I have gotten a lot of errands done that I have been putting off for a while now. I have logged more than a few hours on my couch watching silly TV. Yesterday I even… wait for it… sat down and ate lunch. An entire lunch. While sitting down. Can you imagine?! It’s been a while.
This forced “vacation” has been great. I am totally relaxed, completely at ease, and absolutely bored. Now, I can’t wait to get to back to the rat race. I need the stress. I crave the chaos! (Please remind me of this when I am bemoaning the stress and chaos of the future. Actually, don’t remind me unless you like a good slap in the face. I have a tendency to lash out when I am stressed.)
I have discovered that I like my life as busy, messy and full as possible. So watch out world… I am rested, determined, inspired, and I can see the shit out of you.
Ok kids, gather ’round because I’m gonna tell you a story. Names and dates have been changed, but the facts are real. Well, mostly real.
Once upon a time there was a little Princess. The little Princess was happy in her ranch-style castle in Colorado, but she was cursed. Some wicked witch… or possibly genetics… had cast a spell that made the little Princess unable to see very well. So the little Princess was again cursed… this time with glasses. She didn’t mind them too much at first, though the big thick glasses (with pink-tinted lenses because the misguided Princess thought it made her look like she was wearing eyeshadow) got in the way of her playing sports, and they were constantly sliding down her face. She didn’t mind that a few kids made fun of her and called her “4-Eyes,” because it made her tough like a knight. And she didn’t mind that she wasn’t really a beautiful princess because she thought that if she couldn’t be the fairest in the land, she would be the funniest. She learned that laughter is the best self-defense, stronger than any sword. She learned to make fun of herself before other people could. And she began to learn one of the most valuable skills that any princess or knight could ever have… not to listen to what the court fools say about her. But this, my children, this is a skill that takes a lifetime to perfect.
One day, the 4-eyed Princess got magical contacts, and her whole world changed. She could do many of the things she wanted to do without worrying about her glasses, and many of the knights in the kingdom began to look at her in a new way. But, this new power did come with a price. Her eyes were often red and sore. Sometimes she would lose her contacts and the King and Queen would lock in a tower to punish her. (I need a little drama here.) And she still couldn’t do some of the things she wanted to do, like swimming in the ocean, for fear of losing her contacts. But despite all of this, the Princess was happy. And eventually she met her Knight in Shining Armor, and they lived happily ever after.
Until… a few years later the Princess had a little princess of her own. And amazingly, she was able to feed the princess from her own breast. This was also an amazing power, but it, too, came with a price. You see, this magical power can affect you in ways you never imagined, and it made the Princess’ eyes very dry. This, along with little time for the Princess to rest her eyes, combined with wearing contacts for many, many years (more years than the Princess would like to admit) made her tired eyes begin to reject the magical contacts that had so changed her life. And the Princess, once again, found herself cursed with glasses. And though her Knight in Shining Armor assured her that he loved her glasses, the Princess did not love them. They made it hard to all the things she loved to do, like exercise, play outside, and go to the beach; and the little princess would constantly pull them from her face. But the hardest part was that after so many years of having magical contacts, the Princess’ thick armor now had a few chinks in it. Now she found it more difficult not to care what the fools might think of her. She no longer was a knight who paraded around confidently in her glasses. She was now a peasant who slunk around, hoping that no one would notice her. And the Princess didn’t like herself very much.
One day, the Princess went to see a magical Eye Wizard, in a very, very fancy castle in the greatest kingdom of all… Beverly Hills. The Wizard told the Princess that his magic could make her see again. But she would have to be very brave. And pay most of the gold in her vault (almost more gold than she had paid for car). The Princess was frightened… mostly of the dragons of her own making. You see, she is very scared of doctors and hospitals, and has an almost paralyzing fear of needles. She was no longer a knight, and even if she was, her humor tactic wouldn’t help her here. (Trust me, the Princess tried, but apparently most Eye Wizards don’t have a sense of humor.) Her Knight in Shining Armor helped her face her fears, even though she was scared (and also pretty sweaty) she went to Wizard’s castle and had him cast his spell on her.
When she awoke from her slumber, the Princess was very surprised and very, very happy to see that she could… well, SEE. She no longer had to hold her alarm clock directly in front of her face to see what time it was. She could look at her Knight, and see that he was smiling at her. (Although, when he is frowning the Princess might still pretend that she cannot see his face.) The Princess was finally FREE of her curse. She was proud of herself that she had faced her dragons. And though it was the Eye Wizard who had cast the spell, it was she (and her gold) who had the courage to break the curse. Once again the Princess felt like the knight she once was. Like she could do anything. And she lived happily ever after…
especially when she finally met Sir Ryan Gosling, who fell immediately in love with the brave Princess and her new eyes. Of course, she already had her Knight, so she let him down gently, but he swore he would never love another (especially that hideous witch Eva Mendes).
Hey, this is my fairy tale…
The Princess and her curse