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The holidays in rewind

**hello**  (((((((echo)))))

I know, it’s been way too long since I’ve updated over here.  Once again, I’ve been neglectful.  Alas, it’s a new year, which basically means I’m going to reshift my priorities again and TRY AGAIN to do what’s important to me, too.
All this mothering and pleasing other people crap is weighing me down, and quite honestly, has me in a funk.  Then again, so is the whole getting dark at 4pm stuff…

My new favorite ornament

So, yes, since I left you, we were gearing up for the holidays.  Oh, I had so many stories I wanted to share…if there was only more time in the day and less tantrums to extinguish—mine, not the kid’s!

I know all of you have had your decorations and trees put away for weeks, so bear with me on sharing a few of these stories so late. It’s almost Easter and all…and I’m just now getting around to talking about Christmas. haha. Story of my life.

Christmas, my most favorite time of year, flashed before our eyes and was done just like *that.*  But what a magical Christmas it was.

At this stage in the game, actually, within the past 2 months Jack has become so imaginative and verbal.  And when I say verbal, it’s beyond the one word sentences and repitition.  He caught on to all the holiday buzz words, like Sansa (Santa), Chrimmas (Christmas) and anything resembling a Christmas Tree was, of course, a Sansa Tree.  He’d see a wreath and say, “oooh a Sansa Tree!”  And in NYC, every where we went, there was some kind of Sansa Tree or Sansa himself.  It was glorious!

This year’s trip to Macy’s was amazing.  As usual, we went the first thing in the morning in mid-December and braved the crowds.  Thankfully, we were in and out of there in less than an hour!  We enjoyed Santaland and the trains and the beautiful decorations while we waited in line.
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Seriously, the line moved so fast and efficiently this year, we almost didn’t have time to stop and gawk at the billion different things to see in Santaland.  Jack adored the massive train displays as much as Sansa himself.  Seeing Santa at the Macy’s in Herald Square is one of my most favorite family Christmas traditions, and I’m so glad we’re able to “give” Jack such fun experiences.

The rest of the days and short weeks leading up to the holidays were spent working on NKT and attending various events.  By the end, I was so braindead and Jack, poor Jack, he was bored and ready to play as always!

The day before we left for Va. for the holidays, I insisted on taking Jack to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.  Because it’s easier to go during the day rather than at night, we didn’t get the full effect, but we did enjoy the massive tree and breathtaking sights around us.  The celebration on TV for the treelighting really doesn’t do it enough justice.  Christmas in the City is pretty awesome and Rockefeller Center is the epicenter of it all.

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And then the next day, we packed our bags into the car, amidst the snow piles and headed south…

I’ll have to do a photo essay thing on Christmas with the folks, so more on that crazy fun later.

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I think I tweeted something about having so many emotions about this past trip home for Christmas, which is probably an understatement.  With our families so firmly planted in Va., I realized that if Jack is ever going to have strong relationships with them, then it’s mostly on us.

It’s our choice to live here to expand our horizons, but unfortunately, the visits will be scarce.  What will that mean?  It could mean, not as many trips to Va so we can maybe focus on OUR family for a change?  The same amount of visits so we can continue spending money that we could be saving for a house, so we can move out before we kill each other in this tiny space?  Or how about just wallow in guilt because we can’t make everyone happy, including Jack?

We’ve stopped asking people to visit because well, everyone has work, life and everything else going on.  Besides, I hear it’s expensive to visit NYC and small spaces are undesirable ;)
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I couldn’t get out of Va. fast enough after I finished college, so it’s kind of ironic that our kid constantly asks to go to Yoyo’s house.  and Papa’s house.  and to see Uncle John.  All the live-long day this kid rips my heart out with this cadence of asking to go to Va.

My life’s conflict is like a shapeshifter—like, now it’s in a stranglehold by a toddler who knows just what he wants.

And right now, it’s 350 miles away at Yoyo’s house.

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Up, up and away

We have so much to give thanks for this year, but instead of naming material possessions or hell, even noteworthy accomplishments, quite simply, I’m most thankful for our family.  Our big, often dysfunctional, but full of love family.

We’re not perfect, but whose is?

This Thanksgiving reminded me of how much I appreciate each and every one of these individuals who are to blame for my neurosis and my penchant for drinking too much.  But if it wasn’t for all of them, yep, you guessed it, I wouldn’t be who I am today. More on that later…

This holiday started out like any holiday with me procrastinating to pack and clean to prepare for our trip home to Virginia.  Except this year, I pushed the envelope even further.  After reading on Twitter that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation started at 3, I announced to the masses on Facebook that I was going to head into the city with Jack.

I thought, we’re forging ahead with trying to move to the suburbs, my chances of being spontaneous and heading into the city are starting to diminish altogether.  *sob*  Since we did the balloon inflation last year, and Jack was just barely 1, I wanted him to see and experience things a bit more now that he’s a year older.

I allotted two hours at the most for commuting and viewing the balloons.  The traffic crushed that agenda.  The bus and subway were all packed, but thankfully, Jack did great with the public transit.  He’s been known to meltdown when traffic takes a bit too long…but we made it.

Once we made it all the way up to the Upper West Side—which, by the way, is a total pain in the ass to do in the drizzling rain AND insane Thanksgiving traffic—Jack was fast asleep since it was his naptime.  The crowds were bearable (for me) since it was Thanksgiving in NYC., but add a sleepy Jack and the rain?  Oh boy.

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He woke up without much fuss and set his sights on Mickey the Sailor being inflated and immediately begged to get up!  Since our subway stop dumped us off into the midst of the balloon inflation fun, we had to follow the crowd and actually started at the second half of the sights.  Jack and I walked around and even managed to get a few pictures, in between accidentally clipping a few heels with the stroller on the way.  Oops!

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Since we arrived right at the beginning of the inflation, there were a few balloons that weren’t quite bloown up yet.  There were signs that helped  us figure out what was what, and Jack even pointed out a few.  Mickey the Sailor and Hello Kitty were two personal favorites. They’re all awesome, who am I kidding!

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I really, truly wish we had more time to see all of the balloons being inflated, but unfortunately, with the crowds and holiday traffic AND our plans to head to Va after Jeff got off, Jack and I only saw half of the balloons.  Still…I’m so glad we did; to be able to be spontaneous and expose the kid to so much fun stuff that I could only dream about when I was a kid, is a special thing.

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It’s Christmas time in the City (already!)

Just yesterday, we sat in a local restaurant and we listened to Jingle Bells.  Jack and I sang along, but it almost seemed so wrong, being so soon and all.  My goodness, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, right?

Too soon?  Who am I kidding?  We’ve been knee deep in Holiday excitement since August when we went behind the scenes at Radio City Music Hall.  Ever since then, we’ve had Christmas on the brain, but even much more last week with all the holiday-related events we attended.

Jack and I with Santa and the Rockettes at the Mom Blogger Christmas Spectacular Party in August

Jack and I with Santa and the Rockettes at the Mom Blogger Christmas Spectacular Party in August

IMG_2910On Tuesday, Jack and I had the opportunity to attend the Christmas Spectacular opening night.  Since we only had two tickets, when we were first invited, I toyed with the idea of just leaving Jack with his babysitter.  But then I realized that this would be Jack’s first Christmas where he’d somewhat understood what was going on, so I bit the bullet.  I took him to the show by myself.  Ok, so not totally by myself.  We sat next to my bloggy friends and their families.

We were seated pretty close to the front in some of the most unbelievable seats I’ve ever had to a show!  (Thanks, MSG!!)  We were so close to the orchestra and organist, it was like we were sitting WITH them.  UNREAL.

I thought for sure Jack would freak out, meltdown and do what his two year old self would normally do in a seated situation.  To my surprise, Jack sat still and was engaged for almost the entire show.  ALMOST.

Jack and I watched the Rockettes with the same child-like splendor and giggled at Santa’s playful scenes.  The biggest hit for Jack must have been the scene with the oversized toys dancing and that oh-so cute Ballerina Bear batting her eyelashes.

There were several parts of the show where the singers and dancers were performing right above us since the balcony seats were an extension of the stage.  It truly was an amazing experience, and one that I’m so grateful for.

Christmas SpectacularOrganist at the Christmas Spectacular

So, the whole night didn’t go smoothly.  When I said ALMOST, it’s like a switch went off right at the hour and a half mark, Jack got restless and bored.  He wasn’t as interested in the softer, more dramatic scenes and he made sure all the seats around him knew that.  We got up and walked to the back so we didn’t disturb anyone, but as soon as we got there, Santa was flying and there was all kinds of really great music.  At that point Jack wanted to go back to our seats…of course he did.

All in all, it was an amazing night, and one that I hope we can make a family tradition.  The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall is a show that’s perfectly suited for every family member, music lover and Santa and Rockettes fan alike.

We’re so ready for Christmas, but first, bring on the turkey!!

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Thank you to MSG for giving us an opportunity to enjoy a wonderful night out with the Rockettes.

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It’s all about the bubbly

Well, not always…

When I’m not chasing Jack through the park or asking him to keep his clothes on (seriously), I’ve been attending a few blogging and media events. As always, I’m behind on posts, photos and updates, but I had to share this latest event.

Last night, I attended the Bubbles and Bubbly event hosted by Wisk HE, where I had the chance to taste some delicious champagne, get my bubbles read and yes, learn about bubbles and how it relates to laundry. It’s kinda ironic for me to be attending a laundry-related event with all the bitching I do about not having a washing machine! But I will…one day. And there’s still plenty of laundry to be done in the interim.
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Bubbles, it turns out, are important in sparking wine and champagne. Belinda Chang, the sommelier in attendance, advised us that we want to look for bubbles that “dance.” The more, the better, she said. The four different types of champagne that we tried were all equally delicious. Though I had to crack up that the “cheap” champagne was a $30 bottle. HA! You’re talking to a gal who thinks $20 for a bottle of booze is pricey.
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As for the bubble reading, my bubbles were plentiful. From that, I learned that I’ve been busy for the past few months (duh) and that time is on my side. Even better, I should be getting good news in early December…a house? a bag of $100 bills?
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IMG_1299After the fun stuff, we tested out the Wisk detergent on a grass-stained cloth. We did several experiments to learn that the wash DOES NOT need a ton of bubbles to work well. In fact, too many bubbles may leave soap residue, which could be an irritant, among other things. I’ll be honest, I’m one of those people that dump tons of detergent into the washing machine to make sure there are a lot of bubbles. But after the experiments, it was interesting to see that even with only a few bubbles, the detergent worked just fine. And truth be told, in some cases, the ingredients that create bubbles in soaps and detergents is usually not a good thing.
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IMG_1334don't need a lot of bubbles

Because of Jack’s skin and personal greener preferences, I’m big about seeing ingredients lists, not to mention we tend to use plant-based detergents as often as we can. Though, right now, we’re still working on a few bottles of a baby detergent that Jeff brought home from work.

All in all, it was a fun night to sip bubbly and meet a few other bloggers, some of whom were from out of town. I wish I could’ve stayed much longer to mingle, but I had to jet to attend the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower event. The highlights were definitely the bubbly, enjoying a night out and learning about the significance of bubbles. Oh, and I can’t forget: I enjoyed the car service that picked me up and dropped me off at the event, which was a Hybrid Lexus. It took 15 minutes to get into the city. Uh, awesome!?

*As a full disclosure, we don’t normally use Wisk, but will probably give it a whirl (on mine and Jeff’s clothes) since they gave us a bottle as part of the generous gift bag. Thanks, Wisk. Also, not all of the above photos are mine. The two that you can’t click on are part of the Bubbles and Bubbly set from LaundryHE.

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All aboard!

The other night, I complained to Jeff that my computer was running a little slow.  I mentioned that the thousands of photos that I’ve been taking lately might be the cause and that maybe I’d need an external hardrive to remedy this simple, techy malady.

The next day, my very thoughtful husband spent his lunchbreak persuing, geekily I might add, Costco for said remedy. Jeff found this handy dandy Hitachi hardrive that’s water and shock resistant, because you know, day-to-day with our 2 year old daredevil is as chaotic as a white water rafting excursion, except with lots of milk, cereal and toys to wade through. I bet they weren’t targeting this device for a work at home mom, though? But it’s genius!

After finding this ideal hardrive, Jeff, who normally has an aversion to shopping unless there are food samples involved, took a whirl around the rest of Costco.  He found his way to the toy section, which, as he described, looked as though they just put out their bounty of oversized boxes filled with glorious Christmas toys.  And dudes, it’s Costco, so you know there must have been awesomeness involved.

And when he wasn’t looking, just like true love, Jeff found it.  He found THE most gigantic toy one could buy their toddler. 

Have I ever mentioned that we just so happen to live in a small city apartment? 

The enormous box, the size of a standard door and weight of a walrus, enclosed not just one giant toy, but an oversized table, trundle and 100 pieces.  I personally think they forgot several zeros.  There has to be a million tiny pieces!  But alas, we now own a Kid Kraft Metropolis Table and Train Set.
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So, you guessed it, I was reluctant about the size of this toy.  When Jeff first emailed me about it, I assumed he was thinking of Christmas.  I mean, WHERE WOULD WE PUT this metropolis you speak of?

But once I heard and saw Jeff’s excitement; how could I say no?

That night, Jeff stayed up until 2am setting up the metropolis and its table and trundle.  “I want to set it all up so that he wakes up to it.”

It’s oh so awesome.

That next morning, my two guys, with their matching disheveled hair and shirtless chests, hobbled to our living room and played with the intertwined tracks and brand new trains.  Jack and Jeff, on either corner of the table, studied every single acoutrement—all one million of them.  They giggled in unison like little school girls!

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So, I can’t move as freely in our living space anymore, and with all these damn toys cramping my style, I don’t have the Pottery Barn-esque feel either (or anything for that matter!)  But when I saw the pure happiness and sense of contentment from both of their faces, just from this enormous trainset that I didn’t want in the first place, clearly, that other stuff doesn’t matter.

Those early morning smiles and laughs: they are what matter.

That morning, Jeff reminded me of Ricky Schroeder riding on his ride-on train in the opening credits of Silver Spoons.  Jack was definitely Alfonso Robeiro doing his happy dance.  Oh wait, wrong show :)

You’re probably all like, it’s just trainset!  I know, right?  But this, my friends, is so much more…

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Above Jack’s crib, I had wall words made to decorate his closet/nursery.  It reads: “From small beginnings come great things.”  It’s so hard to believe that it’s already been two years ago when we welcomed our little buddy and embarked on that small beginning. 
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This giant trainset might take up too much space in our little living room for right now, but according to our mantra, Jeff had the foresight to pick this fun birthday gift because, undoubtedly, we’re just prepping for all that greatness and space that’s sure to follow.

As Jack would say, choo choo all aboard!

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Citi Field and one last summer weekend

And just like that, summer is officially over.  How did that happen so quickly?  Just before the summer’s warmth slipped by, Jeff, Jack and I had the chance to savor the last weekend of my favorite season, NYC-style.

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Baseball, as I’m sure you know, is such a big part of our summer.  With the Mets games streaming nonstop on our tv from April to September, it’s no big secret that we’re big fans.  Last year, we said goodbye to Shea, and even though this was a less than desirable season (again), we made our inaugural trip to Citi Field on this brisk, but sunny Saturday.

I should note that due to Jeff’s influence, we sort of boycotted going to Citi Field for most of the season—because we’re huge fans of baseball, and well, because of obvious reasons.  I personally think it should be called the People’s Stadium and that all seats should be MUCH more affordable…  But, anyway, per usual, while everyone is getting all excited for fall and football, we’re still doting on our boys of summer.  I loved spending the last weekend of summer with my favorite guys, watching our favorite team, in perhaps the best city in the world!

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As usual, we pulled out our best Mets gear and headed to the sparkly new stadium in Queens.  But unlike past trips, we enjoyed the luxury of pre-paid parking, so we drove there this weekend!  Once we arrived, naturally, we were in awe of Citi Field’s novelty.  For as long as Jeff’s been a fan, the Mets’ home has always been Shea.  So, to drive down the Grand Central and approach a brand new brick ballfield with a totally different name was almost surprising.  After we finally found our cushy parking spot just a few feet from the main entrance, the boys practically sprinted their way into the ballpark.  (You know the Mets are struggling if tickets and parking are easy to come by!!)

IMG_0363IMG_0357IMG_0352IMG_0302IMG_0327IMG_0319Our seats, which overlooked right field on the Field level, were pretty awesome. On Field Level of Citi Field, there’s a big concession area right behind centerfield, which was close to where we were sitting.  As soon as we got there, Jack and I wandered around, checked out Fan Fest and I even grabbed some gourmet tacos.  True story: I heard from some moms at our playground that the tacos were a must-have (seriously!) and dude, were they ever!  But from the tempting but never-ending lines at The Shake Shack and Blue Smoke, to my delicious taco combo from Taxiquera, as Jeff said best, the glorious new stadium resembled a mall with a food court.

Is it possible that beat up ol’ Shea Stadium with its history and character is much better than this multi-million dollar spectacle?

I thought the new stadium was beautiful and cool, especially the Jacki Robinson Rotunda—who wouldn’t want to be greeted with that kind of beauty!  However, the newness and novelty of the entire stadium overall, seemed unbalanced with its “every man/blue collar fanbase,” not to mention, another lackluster season.   In addition to exploring the new stadium, the Mets ended up winning against the Nationals.  It was a very fast-moving game, which apparently had a lot to do with both teams sucking.  I confirmed this observation from mr. baseball stats, himself  :)

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Being able to bring Jack to his second big league game is something we’re quite grateful we’re able to do.  At not even 2 years old, I swear, our kid has seen and done more cool activities than some people I know.  Ok, so he might not have sat still for all 9 innings.  In fact, because of Jack’s curiosity and inability to sit still, I got to see so much of the stadium, especially around the Field Level attractions.  I love the way Jack dance-walked around the ball park’s “little city,” with his oversized hat and Mets jersey, even stopping to chase and giggle with some big kids.

By the way, if it were any other circumstance—such as if they had a winning record, or if we had a bigger family or if we bought these tickets ourselves—we certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford a day out at Citi Field!  It’s so much fun, but certainly not cheap!  It’s kind of sad that a small family has to go into debt just to attend a baseball game these days…

As my diehard Mets fan hubs often says, “that’s the life of a Mets fan.”

(Usually not in that context, but it definitely applies!)

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And as for the hopes of a winning season, as everyone else continues to say, there’s always next year.

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Adventures in babysitting, or the lack thereof

Many years ago, when I pulled the shock and awe moment of telling my parents that I’d be moving to NYC to pursue a career in magazine journalism, they, of course, yelled at me.

Ok, maybe yell is a bit exaggerating.

They full-on freaked out.

“What if you can’t find a job!”  “It’s NYC!” “Where will you live” “WHAT IF YOU CAN’T FIND A JOB.”

In tears, I assured them I would.

And, I did.

I landed an internship at a well known men’s magazine at the time.

Ok, so it was unpaid, but it was a job.

From there, I went on to work at my last position…well, we all know how that ended up.  But, I loved what I did.

Correction, I love what I do.

If I didn’t, we wouldn’t have stayed; we surely would’ve moved back to our hometown, where life is more predictable, mortgages are half of what we pay for rent and more importantly, reliable (sometimes FREE) babysitters flow like water.

And, it’s days like today that make me wonder WHAT THE hell was I thinking?

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On Sunday night, I had butterflies because of all the exciting events and gigs that are starting to fill my icalendar:  luncheons, social media events, holiday showcases, meetings with PR friends, writing gigs.  A year ago, on Sunday nights, in anticipation of returning back to work, I’d get stomach cramps, insomnia and anxiety-induced headaches.

Ah, the Sunday shitstorm, I so don’t miss that!

But now, things are starting to come full-circle; or, at least I thought so.

In line with these new opportunities and gigs, we hired a new part-time babysitter—a sweet lady with college-aged children.  We lined her up to start today, to cover for me while I attended a media luncheon with a major children’s shoe company.  Kids were welcome to the event, but because Jack is in that temper tantrum/into everything stage AKA psychotic 2 year old phase, a sitter would be the only way to go.

I did the dishes, cleared the toys—-hell, I even organized my piles of papers and mountain of product samples that arrive in my mailbox daily.  That, in itself, was a feat.

Though I had a late start in getting dressed, I was done flat-ironing my hair by the time 10:58 a.am. rolled around.  With the lunch at noon, I asked her to arrive at 11 a.m. so I’d have plenty of time to show her around before jetting off into the City.

11:05, still no sitter.

11:13, still no sitter.

11:22, NO DAMN SITTER.

I checked my email—nada.

I checked my voicemail and that’s where things got crazy.

I tried to check voicemails and got some effed up message.  Of course, my phone was not working.  Why would it?

I sent a frantic email to Jeff telling him about the situation, who then, called my phone with no problem.  WTF? His phone worked, but not mine.  But even more interesting, I could receive incoming calls, but could not make any outgoing calls.

WHY me?

At 11:30, still no word from the sitter, but the phone situation figured itself out.

At this point, all I could think about was the childcare battles I had while I was still working at my old office—all the tears, the inappropriate comments, the stress.

It actually broke my heart that the childcare problem reared its head once again.  Jack is such a wonderful boy, and all I want to do is continue the momentum I have going with this new career path, WHY IN THE HELL is it so hard to secure reliable, affordable childcare? Isn’t that why I left my office job in the first place?

By 11:38 a.m., attending the luncheon was a lost cause.  With such a heavy heart, Jack and I grabbed a few books and did what we always do:  we sat and hugged and read.

And then, the doorbell rings.  and rings, and rings, and rings.

It was the babysitter.

Of course it was…

Even before she could make it up the stairs, she was yelling, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”  And then she went on to tell me her story about how she was interviewing for another job a few towns away.  The bus to the lightrail to a cab—her commuting stars just didn’t align.  Like many of us in the area, she’s dependent on public transportation.  And of course, she didn’t have my number on hand.  So compile all the other ridiculous details above, this is exactly the kind of nonsense that can only happen to me.

I sent the sitter home since there was no way I could show up an hour late.  I emailed and left a voicemail for my PR contact, but I still felt so awful.  All I wanted to do was attend this lunch, and then childcare chaos happens.  Why does it have to be so damn complicated?

[As a sidenote, Jeff usually covers for me when I attend most media events.  But because this one was sort of last minute and in the middle of the day, I foolishly thought I could easily get a babysitter.]

I ranted about the whole scenario via my Facebook status, but still, I felt so disappointed.  I’ve had all day and night to think about this and I’ve come to terms that I can’t be upset.

Public transportation is a wonderful thing, though when you missed one connection, you’re screwed.  I know this all too well.  The sitter, who lost her job as a programmer 2 months ago, really is a nice person.  Not to mention, Jack immediately warmed up to her.  Even people he knows get a 5 minute Jack warm up buffer!  How could I be mad when, of all people, I know to expect the unexpected.

Like my cousin wisely said to me when I called her to whine about my day, all of this happened because, for some reason, I wasn’t meant to attend that event.

It’s not the end of the world if I miss an event due to things out of my control.  If I learned anything today, I’ve learned to forgive and forget. I’ll likely email the sitter later today to see if we can have a do-over.  I’m a big believer in second chances.

And oh yes, the scrubbing of the stovetop in preparation for a babysitter?  Yeah, I learned that the stuff I normally put off, it can always wait until tomorrow. Aim low, it’ll leave less room for disappointment.

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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.

*

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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Balancing act

Ever have a really awesome day where everything was perfectly synced from beginning to end? The kind of days that constitute LOVEperma-grins and endless laughter?

Yeah, that was my Wednesday.

They do exist, yes. But lately, they’ve been rare.

But Wednesday? Awesome.

Everyone slept, no one puked on anyone, no broken electronics, no drama. NONE.

On Wednesday for lunch, I attended a media event for Philips that I’ll talk more about on NKT next week. It was one of those events where you go to learn more about new products, and it’s done with such precision and flair. The event was held at a gorgeous hotel, tucked away in Midtown Manhattan. The suite was the size of a home—way bigger than our tiny apartment. It was a lovely event that, again, reminds me how much I miss some aspects of my old job, but truly makes me appreciate the new opportunities even more.

Jack and Jeff have lunch at Helmer'sJeff covered for me again so that I could attend the event. He went to work super early and then came home so I could leave. While I was in the City, he ran errands and even took Jack out to lunch at Helmer’s. It was a boy’s day out—something that both of them craved since they rarely see each other during the week. He was well behaved and ate his entire lunch. Oh, and so did Jack :)

Once I returned, the boys met me at the train station and we headed home. We caught up with one another’s busy afternoons and back to “normal” we went. Jeff drove back to work, as I headed upstairs toting my work bag, while wrangling the toddler with the other arm.

Besides Jeff volunteering to dissect his workday in lieu of hiring a babysitter, Wednesday was a perfect balance for me. I got to work a few hours at home, head into the City to take care of business and Jeff had a chance to take care of stuff and spend a weekday afternoon with Jack.

But best of all, I got home just in time for him to lay his head on my lap, pat my leg and whisper, “Mamama,” before falling asleep.

That balance that I go on and on about?

It’ll find its way.  It has to.

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