Friday, June 25, 2010

Observations from My First Family Vacation - Part 1

We just got back from our first official family vacation since our two new additions, Thomas and Mini. It was awesome! We went to Cedar Point and Soak City. We chose that destination because it is close and reasonably priced, unlike our usual vacation destination of Myrtle Beach which is reasonably priced, but so very far away. I hadn’t been to Cedar Point in 10 years, and even though we didn’t go on a lot of the “big-people rides,” we had a BLAST! However, I just can’t turn my mind off, so I had some pretty interesting observations.

1. I loved seeing Marie’s face light up when she went on the rides. She can be a lot little reserved, but she was a trooper out of her comfort zone and had a blast! Times like that I remember how her first physical therapist was so negative and said that she would never enjoy things like that. Suck it, Marge!

2. Thomas is getting easier now that he’s older. For the first time, I felt like all that hard work taking care of babies was paying off. It was like a light bulb went on, and I realized that one day we will be able to do more fun things as a family. Don’t get me wrong, babies are sweet, but I love being able to do things and go places with my Babes.

3. This trip further affirmed that I am more of Let’s-Go-And-Do-Something-Fun Mom rather than a Let’s-Do-Imaginative-Play-Activities-For-10-Straight-Hours Mom. So I am not going to feel guilty when I am 45 minutes into reenacting the tea party from Alice and Wonderland with Marie’s princesses and not loving it. Because there are other things as a Mom that I am good at.

4. I get why some people don’t like to travel together as a family. If things truly aren’t working at home, then they are only going to get more complicated on vacation. I, conversely, got to discover the opposite. Things are working out at home, but maybe I just don’t always see it because it’s easy to get in a rut and tired and cranky. So I realized that Harrington and I are a good team. He and I worked together in perfect unison. When I took a step back, I realize he does all this at home, too. It was a great eye-opener.

5. I am so grateful that my parents instilled in me the love of travel and adventure. Ever since my brother and I were wee Babes, we always were traveling somewhere. I have so many memories of our trips together as a family; without those memories and experiences, I would be a totally different person. I am so thankful that I have this as part of my core so I can hopefully pass it down to the Babes.
Yes, these are all the warm and fuzzy and lovey observations I made on our first family vacation with our new additions. Next post will be all the amusing scenery that one can only witness at an amusement park.

So, Friends, have you gone on any vacations lately? Have any planned? I’d love to hear about it.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Treasure Sale Update

*Special Announcement*
I always try to respond to comments with an email, but it has come to my attention that not everyone is getting those emails because their email address is not attached. I am sorry that I just realized this! I’ll be sure to leave comments in the comment section!!

So those three short days were pretty much my life for the past three weeks. Running the shop was the easy part, dare I even say fun. Inviting the general public into your living space is always entertaining. Also, Marie was having a blast trying to up sell my brother’s disco light. I thought I was going to die laughing when she tried to show this elderly man how fun the disco light was and how much he needed to have it. Whoever said that customer service is dead just hasn’t had the pleasure of working with Marie.

The hard part was, of course, setting it up and even harder was getting my house back in order afterwards. I’m just going to say that garage was looking nicer than the rest of the house since I couldn’t spend any time doing laundry and cleaning.

On the upside of this, I made more cash than I ever imagined. Who knew peddling my wares could be so lucrative? When I had the hard, cold cash in my weary hands, I felt a rush of power and accomplishment that I have not felt in a long, long time. The feeling took me by surprise. Who knew I missed making money so badly? For a few days afterwards, I felt despondent. I never expected to feel this confused about motherhood and my former career as a teacher.

But then I remembered how miserable I was when I was teaching. (I promise a post or two on this soon. I’m working up to it). The stress was unbearable. At the time, Harrington had what he calls a “coasting” job; the kind where you just show up and do your thing and go home. Teaching is the antithesis of a coasting job, and he never understood why I would be all cranky and emotional when I got home from a hard day of managing 150 teenagers and their parents. Well, years later, he has a job that requires total engagement, and he gets it now. And I am reminded why I don’t want to go back at this time. Not to mention, in my heart, staying home with the Babes is what works best for me and my family. . . I just need something a little extra, and I need a plan so when the Babes are in school, I know what I am going to do.

I know that I have talked about this before, but after the Treasure Sale, I see my future goals much more clearly. I am going to slowly start my freelance writing career. I am going to set a goal of writing an essay every one to two months and submitting it. I am going to continue to go to my writer’s meetings. I feel this is so key because the discussion helps me think of myself as a writer in an actual industry. The moderator is really good, yet I don’t think he realizes what an impact he has on me and my ability to see myself in a different light.

I have already submitted an essay and received a really nice rejection letter. I seriously didn’t think I could feel so uplifted from a letter like that. I think it was because the editor said how much she liked my references to pop culture, which means she actually did read it. Yea! And getting read is half the battle. So being an optimist, I only have another half to go. Next week, I am going to submit it to a second round of magazines now that I have a better feel for the process.

Hard to believe I got all that from some silly, little Treasure Sale. Oh, all that and this:

I skimmed off the top and treated myself to a pedi. As my friend Tracy wisely said, “Take some of that money and do something nice for yourself.” Thanks, Tracy! Now for the rest of the money, we are saving it to spend on our family vacation.

Money AND wisdom AND clarity on my future career plans, yeah, I’d say the Treasure Sale was successful.

Well, if you made through this gynormous post, congrats! Enough about me, what’s going on with you, Friends? How’s your summer starting out?

Sunday, June 13, 2010



I am testing out Mail2Blogger. I hope everyone had a great weekend. The Treasure Sale went well. I'll post more later.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Other Treasures Discovered

If you follow me on Twitter or are fan on the Mommy on the Spot page on Facebook, then you know I have been bitching up a storm about getting ready for my Treasure Sale (which sounds way better than garage sale). (garage sale sounds like I have junk, whereas a Treasure Sale sounds like I am parting with my Beloved Possessions because they no longer fit our lives). During the process of the Treasure Sale, a few Intangible Treasures have been discovered.

1. I think that I am more overwhelmed than I realize. Or maybe sifting through almost ten years of stuff is just too much while taking care of little ones. But I felt that I almost had a mental breakdown during this time. I don’t know, but I just feel drained. Is this normal part of purging? I don’t know. Or is that just a normal part of taking care of a 1 year old and a 4 year old?

2. I think that I am lonelier than I care to admit. It’s like I am never alone, but often feel lonely. I am taken back by this because I feel that I am kind of hitting a stride in my mothering skills and have created a nice circle of friends. So why am I like this? I think it has to do with the face that the person I share my life with just doesn’t get what it’s like to be a mom, let alone a stay-at-home one. It’s not that Harrington doesn’t value my prowess in SAHM-y skills; it’s just that he doesn’t get what it takes to take care of a house and kids. I don’t know why this should bother me. My friend Ali at Sunrise Rants talked about living in a village. I totally get this.

3. The Male Ego is tough to crack. I will not bore you with all the tedious details of the arguments surrounding the prepping of the Treasure Sale. Let’s just say that when I want something done around here and it’s put off or done as quickly as possible with little concern to quality, I take it personally. This is my “office,” and when it comes to certain things, please just respect the way that I do it. Don’t let your ego get in the way. I feel like there is little talk of the Female Ego. . . probably because it went out the window when giving birth. The whole mothering, nurturing thing leaves little room for an ego. The birthing process, nursing, being pooped on, vomited on, calming irrational fears, learning the special patience that is required to put up with little ones – all that destroys the ego so the heart can grow and give the Babes what they need. That in turn takes a lot out of me. So if I need a little extra support, be it emotional or manual labor, to get through a tough day or an extra duty such as the Treasure Sale, I feel it should be given. Without reservation.

So, yeah, who knew I would find these gems right alongside my old papasan chair (my first piece of furniture I bought all on my own for my new apartment) and Wizard of Oz poster (from my childhood room).

Because this is going to take some time, I probably won’t get to posting for Feel Good Friday or comment much on your blogs. But I will be back next week!

Wish me luck!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Feel Good Friday: A Face Mask and Beer

Be sure to check out The Girl Next Door Grows Up and her Feel Good Friday Post.  She is awesome!!

So this week was one of those challenging weeks that I had to dig deep for a Feel Good Friday Post. How could you be so unhappy when you have your new darling family member, Mini? Two things: sleep deprivation and garage sale prep.

The sleep deprivation is killing me. Because the weather has been so nice, I’ve been going on walks at night, and Marie ends up going to bed a bit later, which makes her wake up earlier. I understand that this might be ironic to some, but it makes perfect sense to me. Sleep begets sleep, I get it. I just don’t like it.

The garage sale prep is a major pain in the ass. I’ll spare you the blow by blow since I pretty much lit it up on Twitter and Facebook. (Which is you are not following me on Twitter, come check it out. If Twitter isn’t your thing, then check out me out on Facebook. I feel like I am talking to myself out there)! Anyway, for marketing purposes, I will now refer to the garage sale as The Treasure Sale; these fabulous items are wonderfully awesome treasures that no longer fit in my life, and need to find a good home. Because they are no longer allowed in mine. Ever.

Enough of the vent; here’s what went great this week:

- The satisfaction of kicking my dungeon’s basement’s ass and organizing it. Getting rid of stuff, especially some stuff that just had bad memories attached to it, felt liberating!

- I went to see Sex in the City with my bestie, Ann. The movie was OK (I wish the scene with Miranda and Charlotte talking about mom stuff would have been much longer because it was freakin’ hilarious), but having a Girls Night Out in the middle of the week was great.

- Thomas is talking so much more and pointing to things. It makes me happy to see him growing and learning. Maybe this newfound self-expression will lead to less screaming and banging his head on floor.

- Marie hates to ride her bike, but this week she rode 3 houses down and back twice! I think she’s ready for me to drop her off at the 7:00 a.m. Cycle class at the gym.

- I am super excited that I made it through this week. I am rewarding myself with a face mask and a Blue Moon beer. Cheers!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome Home, Mini!

Alternative title - My Mini is BA!

I have a very important announcement to make: we have a new family member! She’s beautiful, and I fell in love with her the day we brought her home. She is our brand new Chrysler Town and Country Minivan! I named her Mini for short. Now, for the record, I don’t usually fall in love with cars. If it gets me from Point A to Point B, it’s good enough for me. But things were starting to get cramped in our Trailblazer. There were books and toys and garbage everywhere! Not to mention, the space in the back was not big enough to accommodate the double stroller AND groceries. So Harrington and I talked long and hard about it. We decided to have the dealership buy his car and get the minivan. And two days later, I officially became a SAHM-y that drives a minivan.

Let me tell you, this vehicle is effin sweet (said like Napoleon Dynamite)! The doors open up and the car turns on at the push of a button. I feel like I have my own personal assistant that is always being really sweet by making sure that the car is ready for me. It’s awesome! My wrists are saved from yanking down on the trunk since I can close it at the push of a button, too. We got the upgrade on the center console so all my sunglasses and coupons can be stored neatly. Not to mention all the cup holders – water and coffee and sippies for everyone! I have secret trapped doors to store stuff like a portable high chair, umbrellas, and an ice scraper. The third row seating is now down so I can fit my double stroller and groceries, but when I want it up, like if I want to go to my aunt and uncle’s summer home with my parents, I can. Plus, Mini glows at night. It’s pretty sweet. Like I said, I am in l-o-v-e.*

Now, I understand that not everyone loves a minivan. I had one friend say that she doesn’t want to drive one because it’s the last piece of her that she is holding onto. I get that. I had someone else actually laugh that I got one. She backpedaled saying that she wasn’t laughing at me, she was just laughing because she never thought she’d drive one. I was confused by all that, but whatever. My Mini makes me feel like a BAMF. (For all you Dane Cook fans out there, you know what I am saying).

I understand why there are Haters out there. I didn’t think I’d ever want to drive one, either. I thought minivans were for the Uncool. That was before I had two kids and all the crap gear that comes along with them. But hey, that’s my life right now. My house is never totally clean all at one time. My yard is never perfect. I have young kids, that’s what happens. I have happily and blissfully given in to the minivan. So much so, I felt all light and cheery pulling out of the Target parking lot with Mini while listening to Marie’s Disney Princess CD. I will rebel in other ways, like blogging and tweeting and watching my reality TV shows and listening to my old Weezer and Beastie Boys CDs. That is when I am not rocking out to Disney Princesses. Either way, I feel bad ass with Mini. And as my good friend Ann says, “I never identified myself with my car so I never had a problem driving a minivan. I have one, and I am never going back.” True that, Ann, true that.

So now for the big reveal of Mini:

Isn’t she beautiful? (sigh)

*Chrysler has not paid me to write this. I don’t even think Chrysler knows I exist except in the form of a monthly payment.

So, Friends, anything new and lovely you want to talk about?