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10 Lessons From a Girl’s Weekend

February 28, 2011 6 comments

I had a fabulous girls weekend.  Friday night was book club a passion party and Saturday I left for San Francisco for some quality time with my cousin (who is more like a sister).  I had a wonderful weekend full of laughs, yummy food and female bonding, but certainly learned a few lessons:

  1. When soup boils over, do not grab a wet paper towel to pull the grate off the burner, in order to clean it immediately.  Fight the OCD impulses, wait until the stove has cooled down and never use a wet towel – paper or otherwise.
  2. When hosting a passion party, not only do you need to have the kids out of the house, but they need to remain out of the house until you do a full cleaning.  Check under the sofa to make sure there are no passion party product catalogs that your kids can find.
  3. When departing for the city – listen to the advice you give your kids – go potty before you leave.  While you may not be conspicuous running through Union Square doing the pee pee (or worse) dance, it can be uncomfortable and the thought of not making it to the hotel bathroom frightening.
  4. When driving to any big city, choose your car wisely.  The biggest SUV on the road is not the best choice.  If you have no other vehicle option, make sure you know the height restrictions of the parking garage AND the height of your car.  Accuracy is important here, otherwise one might learn what those metal tube height signs sound like when they scrape the top of your car.  Luggage racks can act as the sacrifical lamb life saver in this situation.
  5. Valet parking (with the additional oversize vehicle fee) at the hotel is expensive, but slightly less than the deductible on your car insurance.  Suck it up when the valet mentions your car is not the best choice for the city.
  6. Eating your way through San Francisco may sound like a good great idea, but should be left to the professionals.  Over eating can lead to food coma which can cause falling asleep during the previews of a movie and one should be careful about sleeping in the Metreon.  Three such food comas in 24 hours probably isn’t healthy and may result in a sleepless night, despite the Heavenly Bed.
  7. Check your cell phone alarm clock and ensure it is off.  Waking up at 6:00 am on a girls weekend after a night of food coma fall-out can be hazardous.
  8. If you plan to shop in the city, tell your husband in advance to avoid shell shock.  If you don’t plan to shop in the city, you’re just fooling yourself.  Shopping in the city is as unavoidable as encountering crazy, ranting women with black eyes and missing teeth.
  9. When a man is sitting in the park with a sign that says “Free Advice”, you should stop and listen.  It can’t be worse than the advice we give our friends.
  10. There is nothing better for your soul than a weekend of girl time (and nothing worse for your waist line).

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A Mother’s Take on Airport Security

December 3, 2010 24 comments

I just returned from another business trip, I  travel enough for work that I know some of the TSA agents better than my friends.  I feel bad for many of them; it’s a hard, stressful job.  If they screw up, bad things can happen.  If they don’t screw up, bad things can still happen and they will be scrutinized and blamed.  With all the recent press about pat downs and body scans, I became irritated.  I question the effectiveness of some of these measures, but I appreciate that there is a group of people trying to keep us safe within the constraints of our justice system.  I am going to spare you my diatribe on why we can’t fight terrorists when we play by different rules…  I would rather be a little inconvenienced and live to bitch about it than be a victim.  So let me provide a mother’s reality check on airport security:

  • A pat down is nothing to me.  I have kids pawing at me all day.  I have had strangers watch me give birth.  I have had lactation consultants man handle my lady lumps. You want to pat me down? Knock yourself out.  I am sorry if you get peanut butter on your hands, my kids accosted me before I left for the airport.
  • Body scanners are the least of my worries.  I dodge Nerf bullets, have my feet taken out by moving furniture and am exposed to entirely too many loud noises.  A little radiation sounds like a picnic.  My lack of sleep is a much bigger threat to my health.  As far as the modesty goes – see number one. And here’s a newsflash – my anatomy is the same as every other female.   And right now that anatomy is intact, without bullet holes or damage from bombs.
  • Don’t blame the agent.  Being jerky to a TSA agent is like being a jerk to a kid.  It’s not their fault.  TSA agents just follow orders.  Kids are just a product of their parents (which explains SO much about my children)!  Let’s follow the Golden Rule people!
  • An ounce of prevention… This is a common phrase to explain that being proactive is worth it.  If one extra kid lives from wearing a bike helmet, it was worth it.  If one extra terrorist is stopped by the scans and pat down, it was worth it.
  • Being half dressed is normal. Many people complain about stripping off belts, shoes and coats.  Mothers are having a good day if that is all they’re missing. 

A final suggestion: Let my kids run airport security.  Terrorists would take one look at my diabolical children and surrender!

What do you think about airport security?

Don't worry, it's a Nerf gun...

Maui, Poop and Hookers

November 23, 2010 6 comments

We have just returned home from ten glorious days in Maui.  Okay, we got home Saturday, but it took some time to adjust to reality.  I had planned on writing and blogging from Maui, but I was too busy living and enjoying.  I am so far behind on the novel challenge that I may have to abandon it and I am ok with that.  Ten days of truly enjoying my family provided me joy and memories that I can’t catch up on later.  I can catch up on writing when the time is right.

You may already be saying to yourself, this is not the Paige we know.  She didn’t push to get everything done, she didn’t stress over what she wasn’t accomplishing.  With fruity drinks, gorgeous sunsets and no work, I think even the craziest of moms can find a little balance.  It was a wonderful, relaxing vacation where I had the opportunity to play with my kids and enjoy time with my husband.  There is no greater gift or sense of accomplishment.

Telling you all about my vacation would be just bragging and possibly painful if you would rather be in Maui than reading this.  When you are on vacation or have returned from vacation the Golden Rule is reversed: ‘If you can’t say something mean, don’t say anything at all’.  This prevents taunting others with your fabulous life.  This rules keeps my friendship with some of my friends going.  When Sarah called me in Hawaii to see how it was going, I could hear her kids screaming in the background as she tried to do laundry and make dinner.  I was smart and kind enough not to tell her I was sitting in a lounge chair with a cocktail and my kids were frolicking in the pool while I watched the waves crash.  Who wants to hear that when they are stuck in normal household hell.  I simply replied, “It’s nice, and a bit overcast”.  She giggled and thanked me for my discretion.  In the spirit of the reverse  golden rule, I will stick to the unusual “highlights”.

Our first dinner: We had planned to have a lovely dinner on our first night in Hawaii to celebrate our arrival.  But after starting our travel day at 3:30 in the morning, then taking the kids swimming, our craving for dinner became a craving for sleep.  Our dinner of Ritz Bits and POG (pineapple orange guava) juice never tasted so good before our seven o’clock bedtime!

Avoiding the Pool Closure:  My three-year old is potty-trained.  We have a pool at home and never have had an issue with accidents in the pool.  Within 20 minutes of our arrival at our timeshare, she limped down the stairs of the kids pool, holding her bottom.  I thought she was hurt, but when I asked if she was ok, she said “Mom, I have to poop NOW!”  I realized she was holding in what had already happened and raced her to our room (thank goodness for a first floor room).  I narrowly avoided being the mom whose kid caused a six-hour pool closure. 

Closing The Door on the Kids: The first three nights my husband, my two kids and I shared one hotel room.  We tried to make the kids share one of the double beds, but listening to them fight over who kicked who did not work out so well.  The lesser of two evils was to have one of them sleep with each of us.  My son snores and grinds his teeth and my daughter kicks like a lunatic.  So my husband and I traded off, one night I had physical pain, the next would be audio torture.  But once we moved to our time share, we were able to put them both on the pull out sofa and close the door.  They still kicked, whined and snored, but we didn’t hear it.  Ah bliss!

Escaping the Stinky Runner:  Several mornings I ran from our timeshare to Whaler’s Village and back. It’s three miles roundtrip.  About a mile in to my run, a very fit female runner got on the path just in front of me.   As I was running behind her, I noticed the most awful smell.  It didn’t go away.  I came to the conclusion that she was crop-dusting me.  If you don’t know what that is, let me give you a lesson full of class – crop-dusting is when you are trying to get rid of some gas without getting caught by those around you so you keep moving.  I figured it couldn’t last too long, but after another two tenths of a mile, I decided this was not what paradise should smell like and I turned around and went the other way.

A New Friend:  My husband and I did three dinners without the kids.  On one of our date nights we went to a very kid UN-friendly restaurant in Kapalua.  We were sitting on a deck watching the sunset over cocktails.  A stunning brunette asked us to take her picture, explaining it was her birthday.  She was by herself (kind of weird on her birthday, don’t you think?).  She twice struck up odd conversation with us that we politely closed.  At one point the waiter walked by and gave her a funny look.  She quickly excused herself.  As she walked away, my husband and I looked at each other and said “Hooker”.  About forty-five minutes later she found herself a “client”.  I thought I was the only one who worked on my birthday.

Hawaii was amazing and filled with just enough humor, odd smells and interesting people.  What is your idea of paradise?  What are the unusual highlights of vacations you have taken?

Happy, balanced family!

10 Things to Do In My Lifetime

October 11, 2010 2 comments

Yesterday was 10/10/10.  It is a cool date and it was my husband’s birthday so it was a fun-filled weekend.  I want to commemorate this auspicious date with my top ten wish list.  I am currently working on a Mighty List that will be a life list of 100 things I want to do in my lifetime.  But my current top 10 feels appropriate for yesterday.  Narrowing it down to 10 was tough but here we go:

  1. Change the life (for the better) of someone close to me
  2. See a cure for cancer
  3. Renew my vows
  4. Get paid to write
  5. Sponsor a family in need at Christmas
  6. Inspire somebody to pursue their dreams
  7. Watch my children fulfill their dreams
  8. Give a large amount of money  to a stranger on the street
  9. Give a speech to 10,000 or more people
  10. Travel the World

What’s your top 10?

Categories: Life, Lists Tags: ,

What New York Taught This Suburban Mom

September 7, 2010 7 comments

I am home from New York.  I spent four days with my husband, WITHOUT MY KIDS, in a town of incredible sights, history, food and culture to celebrate the wedding of a friend.   It was my first trip to the Big Apple and I was delighted, overwhelmed and more than a little off-balance.  Here are my lessons learned…

Flights Are Fabulous: Normally, when my husband and I fly together, we have the kids with us, which means I come off the plane sweaty, exhausted, cranky, stained and ready for a parachute.  On these two glorious flights I read books, drank wine (yeah, the break-up might be over), watched movies and RELAXED.  I didn’t actually care where the flight landed since the experience itself was so therapeutic.

Size Does Not Matter, It’s All About the View: My 2,800 square foot house can seem too small with the kids and all their toys, but a 1,000 square foot corner suite hotel room (thank you hotel points) over-looking the harbor is a little piece of Heaven. 

I Hate Crowds: I am a people person but  I DO NOT love swarming crowds of tourists.  Yes, I get that I was one of those tourists, but I think the problem was that I would like to sight-see like a celebrity, while everyone else stays home.  The sensory overload of Times Square is craizer than 25 kids for a six-year-old birthday party!  If I am in the mood for sensory overload I will chaperone my daughter’s preschool field trips.  At least then I will know the kids who own the sweat I rub up against. 

Suburban Life Requires Less Showers: I have shared in my posts that, since I work from home,  there are times, a-hem.. days, when I do not shower.  I had to wash city life off of me at least twice per day.  If I stepped off the curb wrong, I was splashed with gutter grime (water would not be an accurate word to describe what hit my legs). 

Moms Should Teach Taxi Driving School:  I can get an SUV full of 6 year olds anywhere on time without inducing motion sickness.  I can drive the carpool, while putting on a movie and passing back the juice boxes, without breaking any laws or startling anyone. (Unless I yell, “Don’t make me pull this car over”).  The taxi to the airport took two ginger ales to recover from.

Moms CAN Sleep-in After Having Kids: It turns out that staying up until 2:30 in the morning, having cocktails is doable if you can sleep until 11:30 the next morning.  I didn’t even know if I was still physically capable of sleeping late.  I have confirmed that mothers can still do shots and be the life of the party if given time to recover…

Adults Need Moderation Too: We don’t hand our children the candy basket and tell them to use their best judgement.  The same rule should probably apply to parents re-released into the wild – aka at an event with a fully hosted bar.  Just because it is there and free, doesn’t mean one (okay, me) should try to take full advantage.  The extra sleep helped, but I still had to relive the hazy memories of giving breast-feeding advice to someone I had just met.

Parks Are For Adults Too: My favorite part of my kids-free trip was a park!  We had a delightful brunch at The Boathouse in Central Park and then strolled around the lake. I turned to my husband and said, “oh the kids would love this”.  He said, “You’re right, but we’re not bringing them while they’re young”.  He’s a smart guy.

Thank you New York for reminding me what being a civilized adult feels like.  Thank you for the one-on-one time with my husband, for the beautiful sites and delicious food.  Finally, thank you for perspective – when I had my first dose of mommy frustration upon coming home, as the kids were being loud and rowdy, I was able to say, ‘Thank God I am not in the heat of Times Square with all those crazy tourists!’

I Have Slept in the Rain, I Am Not High Maintenance

September 2, 2010 2 comments
I realize that yesterday’s list of rules may have made me sound a bit high maintenance.  So I would like to set the record straight: I am medium maintenance.
My husband always says being high maintenance is relative and that on the spectrum, I am “not that bad”.  I think I was on the path to high maintenance, and then I had kids.  They took my wallet and kicked me off the path.  They keep me balanced.  Here’s the proof:
  1. I don’t belive in manicures. (Although I have vastly different views on pedicures)
  2. If there is food involved I can be ready in under three minutes to walk out the door. (But you may not want to sit across from me)
  3. If you’re cooking, I will eat it, no questions asked.
  4. I drink beer, not just wine and cocktails.  The Silver Bullet suits me just fine.
  5. I love hand-me-downs for my kids.
  6. My Nieman Marcus is Marshalls.
  7. Filet mignon and pizza are pretty much on the same level for me.
  8. Days, okay I won’t lie – weeks, go by without me doing my make-up or hair.
  9. If I don’t leave the house, I don’t dress up, or get dressed…
  10. I will camp.  In a tent.  In the rain.  And have fun.

Just like the Four Seasons!

The Difference Between Men and Women: Vacation

August 27, 2010 3 comments

My husband left today for a guys’ house boating trip.  I was thinking tonight about the stark difference between his boys’ weekend and a girls’ weekend with my friends.  Allow me to compare:  

  • His trip:  3 days of house boating
  • My trip:  A weekend in Napa
  • His luggage: a backpack and toothbrush
  • My luggage:  Rollerboard, large tote bag, make-up case and purse
  • His shoes: Flip flops
  • My shoes: 2 pairs of flip-flops, running shoes, 2 pairs of wedges and  heels
  • His activities: Skiing, wakeboarding, drinking
  • My activities: Wine tasting, spa treatments, pool time, shopping, eating (yes for us, it qualifies as an activity) and drinking
  • His time spent getting ready: 45 seconds to brush his teeth (which is optional)
  • My time spent getting ready: 90 minutes if I hurry
  • His conversations: boats, trucks, work
  • My conversations: CENSORED

   

  • His bedtime: 11:00 pm
  • My bedtime: 2:00 am
  • His cost: $150
  • My cost: More than $150… no exact figures if I hope to do it again someday!

I hope he is having a wonderful time and knows that I am planning a girls trip as I write this!  

His

Hers