Archive for category crazy days

Happy birthday to me

It’s shortly after midnight on July 14, and it’s my 33rd birthday.  Happy, sad, elated, conflicted—I’m really not sure how I feel about being in my *gulp* mid-30s.  Actually, to be completely honest, other than feeling like a Mack truck has run me over a 1,000 times by the time 5:00 p.m. hits every day, I don’t feel a day over 23.

Ok, that’s a lie.  I just don’t feel that old.

Well, besides all this gray hair!

I’m not sure that we’ll celebrate this year, like with a cake or whatever.  Other than that sweet Facebook birthday reminder, I’ll be surprised my friends will even remember it’s my birthday anyway.  I’ve been so far off the radar, what with the nose wiping and website creating—who could blame them for not remembering!?

Just like I’ve concurred with a few other friends that are moms, birthdays just seem like any other day anyway.  I’ll still have to do those damn dishes, cook dinner, change diapers and chase a toddler all day, which isn’t all so bad.  It’s the grind.

The celebrations aren’t necessary anymore, really.  No more Friday night What the Buck at our local watering hole.  No evites to lure friends to town for all-night parties.  I have my guys, our family, our health, and as a plus, the websites and writing opportunities are flourishing, and I get to do what I love every single day.

I’m so grateful for this new path in life, but the eye is still on the prize.

I’ll be heading out to Chicago next week to attend Blogher.  (For those that don’t know, it’s an annual conference for women who blog.)  It’ll be my first trip away from both Jeff AND Jack.  It’ll be like a rolling cocktail hour with lots of swag and networking.  There will be conference-y stuff, too.  But parties galore.  Two days off from this whole mom gig!!
Lucky me, I was able to secure a sponsor to defray the cost of the trip.  And as my birthday present, my very gracious parents helped out with the airfare.  Of course there’s the awesome Jeff who pushes me everday and is helping me make ______all______ of this happen.  All of it.

So that trip there?  Yeah, that’s all I could ever want right now, other than the wonderful blessings that I already have.

What more is there to celebrate?

By default, I have an instant plus one, so I can go out and treat myself to one of our favorite brunch spots.  Or maybe have a few cupcakes for breakfast.  Or maybe take the day to unplug and be “just a mom.”

Happy hour, however, would hit the spot, too :)

Nah, that’d be too much effort.

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Edited to add:  I woke up this morning to the smell of breakfast cooking, changed and fed kid and a clean kitchen!  If you could believe it, we sat down TOGETHER for breakfast!  What a great way to start the day!

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Taking one for the team

It’s hard to believe that this week is already over!  Well, just about…

Thank God.

Inundated with website stuff and other projects, I’ve been an overwhelmingly busy week.  It’s a good thing, but most of the work and late nights I’ve been pulling are favors.  Such is life.

Poor Jack has been bored since I’ve been way too busy to play/read in the mornings.  But hopefully, this weekend will make up for it.

This afternoon, after a planned trip to the Liberty Science Center, the three of us are yet again trekking down to Va. Beach.  The boys are very excited.  Me, not so much.  Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing our family, but all the timesharing of our visits usually becomes a major debacle.  Between everyone’s work schedules, family plans, weekend obligations, it never fails, there’s always someone we don’t get to see.

Oh, and seeing friends? haha.  Social hour with friends, it seems, is a distant memory.  The emails and phone calls don’t even come anymore…sadly, they know what we’ll be doing all weekend.

While we sit in traffic and dodge craziness, we’ll also be missing out on the amazing fireworks here in the NYC area.  This year, the fireworks return to the Hudson—just footsteps away from our doorstep.  And we’ll be missing out.  Not so surprisingly, Jeff is glad.

I don’t have a say anymore.

And so, I’ll pack our bags again, try to locate all the pieces to my projects that I’m working on, pray that we miss traffic, hope our little passenger doesn’t get carsick and make our way down the turnpike.  Again.

Even as I begrudgingly pack that car with a rowdy toddler ignoring my pleads to SIT STILL, in the end, hearing him laugh with his Lolo and watching him water the plants with Lola makes it worth all the effort and eye rolls.

Because, you see, it’s not about me anymore.

Maybe one long weekend, I’ll stay here by myself to relax.  Nah, that would involve me having fun.

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Belly ache days

We were finally gifted with a weekend of sun, albeit a few storms here and there…but sun, lots of sun! We spent the weekend doing much of nothing but enjoying family time.

On Saturday, I went into the City to plotwith some lady friends on our quest to conquer the world on a new top secret project.  We gabbed for hours on motherhood, writing, the lack of well-paying writing jobs and boys.  Not BOY-boys, but boys.  Boys, as in, our sons who drive us batty but are too cute to give away.

Commiserating over someone else’s little boy swinging with a curtain a la Tarzan made me laugh so hard that my belly ached.  You mean, I’m not the only one whose kid does that?  (OF COURSE NOT!)

We all need belly aches like that.

The thing is, I’ve come to terms that I have nothing in common with many of the moms in my neighborhood, thus our conversations will probably never go beyond “man, that was some rainstorm last night.” And, I’m ok with that.  Don’t get me wrong, most moms are super nice, but there are always that select few that are not so nice.  When the time comes, I’ll be sad to leave: I love our neighborhood and our community.  Thankfully, I’m starting to get my bearings on the whole mom support system.  But, I look forward to cultivating more friendships with moms like me–whatever that means.

I mean, who wants to be fake friends with a bunch of sanctimonious moms who will stare you AND your kid up and down peeps who clearly don’t want to get to know you?

Not me, that’s for sure.

On the other hand, I’m so grateful for meeting like-minded mamas who remind me that their kids, too, scale furniture and wreak havoc in a similar small space.

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While I did my city-thing, Jack and Jeff had a special boys’ day.  They got hair cuts at the barber, went for a few strolls, had lunch and caught up with each other.  After not seeing each other all week, I love when the boys come back with all smiles.  All is good in the world when a boy is with his dad.

Sunday was spent doing much of the same.  Family fun, no plans, just us.

Just the way I like it!

And just like that, weekend bliss turned into another chaotic Monday. hehe. Who am I kidding? Every day is a chaotic Monday!

Today was hell.

From the minute we woke up to the minute the boy went to bed, it was nonstop chaos.  From toys being dumped over, thrown at TVs, to newspapers being ripped to shreds, to an accidental shove at the park (and the aforementioned evil eye from a bitchy mom) to meltdowns galore for dinner time—I was overwhelmed.

Jack’s Godmother even called during said meltdowns and I’m sure we scared her by revealing the underbelly of motherhood.  It’s not always so bad, today was crazier than usual. We all have the not-so-perfect days.  If we didn’t have those, then we wouldn’t have the laugh-so-hard-you-get-bellyache days.

We all need the belly ache days!

Though chaotic, just as we do every night, Jack and I hugged and smooched.  And I promised him that tomorrow is another day…perhaps a much sunnier, less chaotic day!

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Amazing

On Friday night, in a mad dash to prepare for a much-needed outing with friends, my goal was to tackle the bedtime shuffle and then focus on the other stuff, i.e., getting myself dressed, picking up a little, doing some dishes and some cleaning.

As luck would have it, the kid protested bedtime. For 35 minutes.

Of course he did.

And so, I needed help.

“What can I do?” Jeff asked.

Pointing to the parade of plastic cars, random bowls and chewed-up board books I begged, “Can you help me pick up all these toys?”

“Oh, and would you mind cleaning the toilet super-quick, too?”

Clean toilets are a must—even for the babysitter.

After I tidied up the kitchen, it was finally time to dress myself. Only 20 minutes to spare.

On my hands and knees, searching for that brown flip flop that Jack hid, I heard, “Tchhhhhhhhhhh. Tcchhhhhhhhhh. TCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

And then I smelled exactly what I heard: Lysol Crisp Linen.

And then I tasted it.

YUCK!

In our tiny closet-sized bathroom, Jeff commandeered a mushroom cloud of Lysol to tackle the task at hand. Because three small sprays just was not enough.
Oh, yes he did.

Ostensibly, I was grateful for his help (I always am!!) As usual, there’s a but…

“BUT, that’s not how I usually do it,” I told him.

I showed him the Seventh Generation bathroom spray right next to the Lysol.

“I just spray things down with this, but no biggie. It’s cool.”

*hack* I gagged and coughed for good measure. My God, it stunk.

“Oh, yeah, I guess I did go a little overboard,” he admitted.

Unable to wait for the cloud to clear, I held my breath and excused myself to use the newly Super-Sanitized toilet.

YUCK. *hack* YUCK

I opened the door, scowled and quietly confessed, “You see, the problem with using that much Lysol is that my ass now smells like Crisp Linen.”

And without hesitation he explains, “If it’s any consolation, I think it’s extremely sexy.

hahaha.

He laughed at me, I laughed at him. We laughed at each other.

We have our moments that stink, but this wasn’t one of them. haha!

This, my friends, is the father of my child. He lifts me up daily, makes sure we’re on the straight and narrow, keeps me sane and yes, he makes me laugh endlessly. Lysol-ass included.

The way our little boy looks at him with such admiration and intrigue, it gets me every time. To hear the two of them laugh and giggle like they’re the best of friends is an instant anti-depressant. Oh, and the family days…I just can’t get enough. Everything in life comes so easily to him, and fatherhood suits him just as well.

There isn’t much more to add to my many diatribes about how wonderful he is, but to sum it up, yeah, he kicks ass.

Undoubtedly.

IMG_0612

Happy Father’s Day, babe. You rock!

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To my incredible dad, thank you for all you do! You continue to inspire me daily.

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When push comes to shove

With her golden tendrils and perfect pink bow, she exuded such innocence and sweetness.  Like most little girls that frequent our park, she wears perfectly-paired outfits from Gymboree, maybe Janie and Jack.  Necklace to match.  Accessories to the playground…heh.  I personally consider it a good day if I can find matching socks for the kid.

Yesterday, a few minutes after we arrived at the park, Jack noticed the well outfitted 4-year old little girl and the other little children that were following her around.  As usual, he follows the joy, the laughter and more often than not, the bigger kids.

Oblivious to the “personal boundary” rule, Jack desperate to win the little girl’s attention and fit in like the other kids following her around like little ducklings, got in her face and giggled to let her know that he was having a good time .

Surprised by my 1.5 year old’s bubbly demeanor and abruptness, the little girl stopped in her tracks and positioned herself squarely and scowled.

Not getting the hint, Jack proceeded to laugh and play, believing that he fitted in with the older kids–the same ones he always wants to follow around.

Determined to get her message across to my little guy, the little girl then screamed, “GET AWAY. I DON’T WANT YOU NEAR ME,” loud enough for everyone in a 3 block radius to hear.

And then, she went over the top.

*smack* then SHOVE and another “GO AWAY” to get her point across.

Yup.

She smacked and then shoved a smaller kid to the ground—MY KID.

Even worse, this wasn’t the first time she’s done this.
playing in the parkCompletely unaffected by what just happened, Jack laughed, brushed it off and ran off in a different direction.  Me, on the otherhand?  I had nothing to laugh about.  Especially since that bratty kid’s mom was huddled in the opposite corner talking or texting or whatever.

We see the same faces, day in and day out, and this little girl is just one of the many familiar faces.  I’ve tried to make small talk with her mother, Jack has tried sharing his toys with the little girl, but nothing.  Not a single ounce of warmth has ever been reciprocated—quite asshole-ish not very neighborly, if you ask me.

At first, I was pissed at the kid, but then looked at her mother and re-shifted my angst.  The girl is doing what she knows.  Clearly she doesn’t like my boy.  And that’s fine, we’re entitled to like and dislike whomever we please.  But when your bigger kid is being outright nasty and bullying a toddler who wants to befriend you, I feel that it’s the parent’s place to intervene.

Like I said, this wasn’t the first time.  This was like the tenth time something like this has happened with this same girl.  However, this was the first time she actually pushed him down.  The first few times were hard to swallow, but this time, I just could not do it.  How do you tell your toddler that a bratty kid doesn’t like him?

You don’t.

I let Jack play for a few more minutes and then told him we had to go home.  I wanted to go home; I needed to diffuse this situation that had me fumed.  I packed him in the stroller, said goodbye to our friends and made our way home.

I wanted so badly to tell that other mom that she was an asshole.  I mean, who lets their kid push smaller kids and repeatedly say mean things like that?  Oh yeah, moms who are preoccupied with social hour or texting on their phones.  But really, I’m sure that mom is a nice person, it’s just how she handled that specific scenario—or lack thereof—left much to be desired.

Let’s be clear here:  I am hardly the barometer for ideal parenting.  But if there’s anything I try to be in tune with, it’s how my spinningchild interacts with others.  Who would want their kid to be that kid.  Jack is weathering the hitting stage, he’s in the MINE phase and I’m sure there will be even more…but since our playground is also part of our social scene, we have to do what we can to ensure that everyone has fun. That’s how the playground works, folks!

Kids will be kids.  They’re going to roughhouse and get excited.  In fact, Jack’s been pushed and tousled by other kids so much over the past few months. Because he’s such a friendly and sociable boy, he has no problem attempting to befriend others, especially big kids.  Big kids usually want nothing to do with him, but Jack keeps trying.  I intervene when my in-your-face kid pushes or hits, just as I expect parents to do the same if their kid says and does offensive things.  For the most part, other parents, sometimes nannies too, will do the right thing and correct their kid.

But not this kid or her mom.  Nope, not them.

There are so many unwritten rules regarding our playground etiquette–you must dress accordingly (semi-fashionable i.e., my “I Vote for Happy Hour” t-shirt would be frowned upon); if you bring toys, your kid must share them with the other kids’ excessive cell phone usage while you’re supposed to be spending quality time with your kid isn’t well received; and if your bratty kid is acting up, you need to step in!

We all just “know” the rules–it’s common sense when you spend so much time in the same area with the same families.

It’s obviously not my place to tell other parents how to discipline their kids, but I promise you, the next time that kid pushes my kid, you bet your ass I’m saying something to the mom, even if it means that we’re ostracized from our playground.  Intervening isn’t the same as helicopter-parenting.  There’s no mistake about that.  Especially when your kid doesn’t know right from wrong yet!

And to think, the playground was once an outlet of fun and feeling carefree.  Or to go even further, a few years ago, I’d consider someone like myself who gets worked up over something like this, well, an asshole.

Funny how life works.

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And the word of the day is, “No!”

Lately, it seems Jack’s vocabulary has hit a figurative and very negative wall.  As in, the “no, no, no” wall.

Cute at first, the habitual “no” has become something we can’t really avoid.

“What’s your name?”

“no”

“Where’s mommy?”

“no”

“Would you like to eat?”

“no”

Ugh.  I no likey the “no, no, no” phase.

But when we visited the pediatrician last week, per usual, they gave us a checklist of “normal” development for kids this age.  At 20 months, Jack could easily be pegged as the poster boy for said checklist. But truthfully, even though he has no idea what he’s saying half of the time, the endless stream of “nos” is starting to get to me.

"normal" development checklist 18-24m

When I’m the main person he sees and learns from on a day to day basis, I’m absolutely conscientious of the person he’s becoming. 

Thanks to the reinforcement from family, (“Well, it’s no wonder, all he hears is no.” and “Do you say anything besides no?”) I was convinced my parental choices and discipline tactics were backfiring.

But before I get all boo-hoo-y about it being “all my fault,” this is good to know:

Parents Magazine said that a recent study in Child Development showed that 2- and 3-year-olds argue with their parents 20 to 25 times an hour.

Before a kid can completely verbalize their feelings, it’s normal for them to repeat what they hear.  “No” might be heard a lot as Jack scales bookshelves and eats days-old cheerios found under the couch, but I do my best to offset that negativity with hugs and high fives when the situation calls for it.  When other little boys his age are either running away from new friends or pushing to assert themselves, my son, the hugging bandit, can often be found befriending kids and hugging and offering friendly smooches.

There’s always room for improvement; the boy and I are always learning. As we begin to face the beginning of the Terrible Twos, (we’ve already had a full blown, red-in-the-face, head-turning tantrum on the way home from the park the other day) we’ll continue to work on the “no no no’s” and turn negative scenarios around to inject some positive reinforcement. 

But dudes, really, it’s a phase—one that I can’t wait to pass. Hug me.

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Five Favorite Friday–Memorial Day Weekend

Ok, so I know Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, but quite honestly, I’ve been avoiding talking about it.  We came away with more miles on the car, a smiley kid and time well spent with the grandparents.  And for that, we’re grateful.

So for this five favorite friday, I thought I’d share my five favorite moments of the weekend.  There were so many classic moments, so this will be a fun way to recap another long weekend in Va. Beach.

1.  Jack and Lola watering the plants, which later led to Jack and Jeff trying to water Lola.

Jack and Lola watering the plantsGet her!

2. Jack “helping” to wash the cars.

The little guy isn’t so little anymore and insists on “helping” as often as he can. In this case, he proved to be a stellar sponge-wetter. And by the way, this particular car wash soap can double as a kid wash if you’re in a pinch. Ok, not really, but Jack certainly thought so.
Helping daddy and grandpa wash the carsspray me!

3.  The frog sprinkler.

Ah, the infamous frog sprinkler that I was reminded not to forget.  Nope, can’t forget the frog sprinkler!  It’s a good thing I didn’t, that thing was a hit!  Not bad for a $3 steal from CVS’ after-summer sale last year!

The frog sprinkler

4.  Playing in the rain.

I ran to Walgreens to pick up some bug spray, and I came back to this:

playing in the rain

5. Celebrating with the birthday boy.

Lately, trips home (for us) have become more stressful and exhausting than they’ve been enjoyable.  This time around, we were able to get schedules aligned with my restaurant/bar working brothers and for once, we actually celebrated a family member’s birthday together, albeit a week early!  yummm…Trader Joe’s Ice Cream Cake!

Celebrating with the birthday boy

Oh and if you make a face like this when I’m behind the camera you bet your ass I’m posting it on my blog and on Facebook.  Y’know, because that’s what big sisters do!  Happy Birthday, crazy Uncle John!

crazy uncle john

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This learning curve is shaken not stirred

Almost an entire bottle of floor cleaner, half a roll of paper towels, I’m not sure how many outfit changes and a boot bath.  That was our day.

We got litle sleep as usual; I accept the blame for going to bed at 2am, however.  But the 4am sqwuaking for who-knows-why?  Um, yeah.  Definitely not my doing.

So, Jack’s all into destruction these days, much like any little kid.  Just like any little boy.  The first time is cute, the second time is sometimes funny, but the fifth time of flipping over the sippy cup and shaking every last drop?  Not my idea of fun.

He waits until I’m not looking, squints his eyes, (because y’know, if he can’t see me, then I can’t see him) and then he goes for it.  The first incident sometimes begins at 5am when I’m not even mentally awake yet.  Sometimes, it starts at 7am.  But it never ends.

We tether his cup to his highchair to help diminish the chance of milk puddles on our polk-dotted stained carpet.  But, that just means the milk puddles are contained to that area where the cup is located.  I keep the cup in the kitchen and wait for him to sign until he’s thirsty.  But yeah, he will not drink if I watch him.  He goes on a thirst strike and cries and whines until I let him drink on his own again.

And so, I look away and let him drink on his own.  And he rebels.  He shakes and spills with so much excitement and fervor.

He gets me every.single.time.

Oh, this boy is going to give me a nervous breakdown very soon.

Today?  Yeah, it goes down in the books.  I raised my voice more times than I wanted.  I scolded him and put him in his crib area for a time out.  And it sucked.

I know he doesn’t get it.  He’s a curious little boy…

I get it.

When the rain finally let up this afternoon, we ran amuck in the park.  It was a much needed release for both of us.

As we swung on the swing, there was a pair of nannies just hanging out.  “Their” kids were nowhere in sight…until, a little girl about Jack’s age carelessly darted behind his swing.

“ANA!  WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT DOIN’ THAT?  YOU NEED TO WATCH!”  The nanny yelled to the oblivious toddler.

I told her it was fine and no harm was done.

A few minutes later, the little girl was off eating rocks.

“ANA, GET OVER HERE!” The nanny yelled.

The nanny never moved, she never stopped her conversation, nothing.

I cringed because I see that so often at our park.  The nannies just earning their buck.   And don’t get me wrong, it’s not all of the caregivers that do that.  But it’s enough to notice.  Enough for me to cringe and remember who said what and when.

And so, tonight after I whined to Jeff how ‘hard’ it was to clean up milk puddles all day and ignore piles of laundry, I remembered that nanny.

I’ve worked 6 really hard years to learn patience as a wife.  Ok, 13 if you count our dating years.  The point is, I accept the fact that learning patience is a never-ending learning process.  But I’m getting there.

As a mom, I haven’t learned it yet.  I’m as oblivious as sweet little Ana about to get smashed in the head by my kid’s swing!

On days like today when I reflect back, I cringe at the choices I made and how little patience I had for such silly things.  I had almost no patience, even hours later when all he wanted to do was sit on my lap.

It’ll be a long learning process with many more milk puddles, but I’ll get it—eventually.

But, I don’t really have a choice, now do I?

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National Mom’s Nite Out in NYC

Even though I’m still fairly new at this game, I’m still a big believer that all moms—newbies and the vets alike—need to get out regularly. Go out on the town, go get a manicure, go out and shop—whatever—as long as its what you enjoy on your own time!

National Mom's Nite Out: the Ultimate Celebration of MotherhoodJust in time for Mother’s Day, forward-thinking moms, Maria Bailey and Katja Presnal, orchestrated the first annual National Mom’s Nite Out. Moms from all over convened via Twitter, blogs, live video and in person to celebrate this crazy, fun roller coaster we call motherhood. I actually had the chance to take part in the NYC event held at the Garden Terrace at the Wyndham. With over 70 moms from all over the Tri-State area, it was such a great turnout.

Almost reluctant to break out of my regular routine, I was hesitant on going to the Mom’s Nite Out Event. I’m so glad I reconsidered. I had the chance to meet and hangout with many ladies I tweet with, not to mention chat with some of the most influential NYC-area bloggers. We all hungout and enjoyed many giveaways Katja and Maria had for us. I’m always so humbled and inspired when I get to hang out with so many brilliant and entrepreneurial moms.

Mom's Night Out

The night, of course, wasn’t complete without a generous amount of swag. When I say swag, I mean SWAG! I haven’t even made my way to the bottom of that bag yet! A huge shout out to the awesome sponsors that made our NYC such a blast: Jose Cuervo (our longtime friend), Honest Teas (one of our faves), Little Debbie, Propel and more!

Sipping on some Mamaritas with Cuervo, chowing on Magnolia’s cupcakes and enjoying a night in the City with other like-minded moms, I have to say, I totally enjoyed the first National Mom’s Nite Out in NYC.  I could do this monthly.  Ah, who am I kidding? I could use a weekly mom’s night out.
Magnolia's goodies

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But, you know me by now, a good time can never be had without some sort of crazy debacle. My Mom’s Nite Out literally became a mom’s night out when I was locked out of our apartment last night!

Oh yeah.

Locked out, as in, Jeff’s phone was turned off, no hidden spare key and it was way past all of our neighbors’ bedtime. After 2 hours of trying to break in and texting and calling Jeff, I gave up and hung out in our hall and took refuge in my beach chair that just so happened to be left downstairs from our trip to the beach a few weekends ago. I was only “let in” when the kid started crying at 4am and Jeff finally woke up to care for him. As soon as I heard his footsteps, I got up and knocked.
Locked out

No words, just hugged my crying baby and tried to crash with what was left of the night. Mom’s Nite Out on my end was a double entendre.  Glamorous?  Not at all.   More like, absolutely ridiculous.

Why, oh why do these Ugly Betty-esque scenarios always happen to me? If they didn’t, I guess life would be all perfect and adventure-less.  Eh, no thanks.

Mental note: stop procrastinating and search the toybox for the house key that Jack “misplaced.”

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Different shades of an intoxicatingly green Saturday

On Saturday, we woke up to a roar of hearty voices out on the streets. It was barely 7am and a sea of green was already flooding the neighborhood. This past weekend was our town’s annual St. Patty’s Day parade, but for many, parade day translates into a huge drunkfest. With drinking into oblivion as the main objective, scores of out of towners come into our small mile-square city by trains, buses and if they’re crazy, cars.

In a different lifetime, the first Saturday of March was always reserved for morning till night bouts of debauchery, corned beef and cabbage, green wardrobe explosions, messy parties in way-too-small spaces and of course, good times with good friends. We’ve been known to start drinking mimosas, kegs and eggs at 9am with the nuttiest of them all. Unlike the many amateurs that ruin it for those that actually live here, we love to party, yet our translation of partying doesn’t equal fall-down-drunkenness and public acts of ridiculousness. I like to pretend I’ve become wise in my old age, or at least smarter in THAT sense. We’re seasoned pros, afterall; just a few short years ago, we were childless and hangovers didn’t equate into a next day death sentence.

Jen and Jeff St. Patty's Day 2006But alas, we set out to enjoy parade day with a whole new perspective.  Because our friends are all busy with their own lives and no one really expressed interest in this year’s St. Patty’s Day festivities, I wrote it off and marked it as a family fun day. So, for the first time, we actually attended the parade—yup, the actual parade for which all the drunken activities originally stemmed. Our first parade was so much fun. We walked over with our neighbors and enjoyed the new sights and sounds of St. Patty’s Day festivities. I never really realized how many organizations and bands participated! The bagpipes, horns and glockenspiels certainly completed this whole new perspective. It was a good time, and one that Jack thoroughly enjoyed.

My favorite band in the whole parade!Hoboken fire truck
crowds at the paradeattempt at self portrait

Even though we only walked a 6 block distance to the parade, walking amidst all the partyers, felt like we were on a different planet. A sober, less tragic one. A planet where I looked in the mirror before leaving the house. A planet where I could still walk in a straight line at 1pm. One where I could see in single, unblurred vision. It felt like we were being Punk’d, where Ashton Kutcher could’ve come around the corner to surprise us— it was THAT weird to be some of the only sober folks in a sea of lunacy.   Jack had a nice glimpse of what the circus is like!

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