Category Archives: Summer

On the road again…

Facebookers, I see your happy family vacation pics and I raise you two: cleaning puke off a car seat and watching as two guys try and fix the dent in the car (made when I hit a pole earlier in the week) that is slowly shredding the tire.In my defense, I only ignored the dent because it happened when I was on my way home from the auto repair shop; the right door refused to open because of yes, all the dents. (I am nothing if not consistent.) 

(Big thanks to a certain neighbor and two passers by for helping out with that sitch.)

I have zero to say about the puking. It happens whenever she’s in the car for more than ten minutes. I put her on a bus to camp last week. She puked every day and three times on Wednesday. Needless to say, she is not going back. And that thing you’re about to suggest I try? I’ve tried it.

I romanticize these car trips in the planning. I have visions of singalongs, covered bridges and quirky bookstores. But in reality, one thing happens after another and before you know it you’re buying Febreze in Syracuse.

UPDATE: One week later we are driving home and I got to hold this: #StillWinning

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Filed under Minivans, Road trip, Summer, Uncategorized

Socks

One summer, a few years ago, I had the rather lofty goal of teaching my kids to load their breakfast dishes into the dishwasher.

I don’t need to tell you how well that went.

This year, I’m not even bothering with the dishwasher. It is only week two of the summer and I just want to never see this again.

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Filed under Summer

Personal Space

Summer means lots of things to me but mostly it means a complete lack of personal space. My home office, once a sanctuary of occasional productivity, has been overrun. I’d take a picture of it, but going in there makes me cry. I went to make my bed – albeit at noon – and found this.

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Summer SOS

Yesterday was the first day of summer and also the first day of summer vacation. Already, I am finding crap like this happening in my kitchen. 

In other news: anyone know how to remove spray paint from a computer screen? Asking for a friend.

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Filed under Summer, Uncategorized

How I Made It Through a Summer Without Diet Coke.

This time last summer we had moved cross country. At some point I realized that the entire move was fueled by a combination of a potent desire for change and copious amounts of Diet Coke.

Copious.

At the high (or low) point of the move, I was mainlining about four liters a day. It got so bad that more than one person said to me: “For someone who is so careful about what she puts in her body, you sure do drink a lot of poison.”

And there it was. During the year I get by on coffee and tea, and neither in ridiculous amounts. Come summer, however, I rely on buckets of fizzy poison to make it through the day.

I was determined that this year was going to be different. Sure we were moving again. Sure the kids were underfoot for weeks on end (camp was here and there, and much appreciated, but it seemed to be the exception to the rule), but I was going to KICK the Diet Coke habit.

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The first order of business was to come up with a substitute. Every night I made a batch of iced tea, stuck it in the fridge, and prayed for rain.

For the most part I was just fine. There were certainly moments where I could smell and taste the goodness that is a cold Diet Coke, where the very thought of the bubbles up my nose and the aspartame in my bloodstream sent me into shivers. But I pushed on and even though iced mint/green tea tastes nothing like Diet Coke, nor does it deliver the same electric thrill, I made it to Labor Day.

This week is a little tricky. New York City was the last corner of earth to start school. I watched all of you send your kids back to school while mine stayed neatly underfoot in full end-of-summer meltdown. To make matters worse, my kids go to schools that are under the impression that small children need to be EASED INTO a full day of school. (Never mind that some of them did a full day of camp with nary a transition or that the little ones are the ones you are most ready to outsource come September.)

My little ones go for fifteen minutes a day for about a week. (Hence, the only easing happening seems to be on my end as I currently feel as though I’m being slowly dipped in a large bucket of full mental collapse.)

By next week, when school actually starts, I may be a complete fucking mess, but I will also be a complete fucking aspartame-free mess.

Victory is mine.

Sort of.

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Filed under New York City, parenting, Summer, summer camp

The Wall

On Wednesday of this week I hit the Wall, the Wall of exhaustion, hunger, dehydration, housework, meal-making, snack-making, fight-breaking, and sheer fedupness that is summer.

Unfortunately for me, I hit this Wall while in the car on the way to a place called Splashdown Beach.

The day was not going well. The heat had gotten to everyone’s heads, boredom seemed to have set in, school is rearing its head, and in general, there’s nothing like torturing a sibling to make all of the heat and angst go away.

A friend texted me that she was going to a water park that was an hour and ten minutes away. I, never one to fully read a text or email, only saw TEN MINUTES. Twenty minutes into the trip I realized my mistake. (I have to say I was particularly thankful that if I have to be driving it was not on the New Jersey freeways where it is perfectly normal to be cut off by enormous car carriers and 18 wheelers. I feel like I’m in a Transformers chase scene or a video game whenever I’m in the Garden State.)

Splashdown Beach is in a place called Fishkill. There is not much else to say about that.

While we were there I saw a man propose by the Splashdown Beach parrots. I am not kidding about this. There were flowers (a mixed bouquet, natch) and family members (all in bathing suits that couldn’t seem to decide if they were bikinis or full pieces) on hand. There was also crying, hugging, and a fair amount of mascara.

Where, I said to my friend R., does a couple go from here? What follows a proposal in front of the Splashdown Beach Parrots?

A wedding in Coney Island, she said. And not the good part.

There’s a good part? I asked.

No, she replied.

I lasted about two hours and had my fill. I don’t remember driving home, but when I walked in, I fell into bed and slept for 12 hours.

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A few rules for next summer:

1. get more sleep.
2. don’t move.
3. if you are in the kitchen all day making snacks, make sure you eat more than the crumbs of their leftovers (half a fishstick and three peas is NOT a meal.)
4. avoid waterparks at the end of the summer when you are naturally running low on patience, compassion and tolerance for humanity.
5. teach the girls how to pee outside so you can once and for all avoid nasty public toilets.
6. bring a change of clothes for when they try to pee outside and pee all over themselves.
7. find the creators of Doc McStuffins and ask them to please stop.
8. don’t move. (I need to say that twice in case I forget.)

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Filed under New York City, parenting, Summer

New Doors

We are all here in the house now. Everyone is home and all the beds have been assembled, so people even have a place to sleep. I think the Emmy Awards are on tonight (the old me would be watching, but then again the old me would recognize the television shows because the old me would watch something other than Masterpiece Mystery), and I feel something like a winner because I honestly could not have won this award (made this move) without my team.

My team included a remarkable friend from Seattle who moved in for a week to help me unpack and organize, and then did things like hang blinds while I lay motionless on the floor. It also included a newer friend who scooped up my children and got them out from under my feet, where they have been living all summer, and are living once again. (This same friend walked over to my house on my first day in Riverdale and removed all my children for the day while I unpacked, fed them several meals and then made us all dinner.) It included a friend and new neighbour who took Sidney whenever possible, which is truly the Gift of Life. It also included a babysitter who first watched the boys years ago in LA when they were toddlers, and who now does manicures on demand for the girls while marinating steaks for the grownups and whose very name brings tears of gratitude, and last but not least, our stellar babysitter from Seattle who just so happens to be in NYC studying and appears when I need her most, like something out of Harry Potter.

Thank you team.

I also have a new door. Not as beloved as my Team, but almost. I walked into the paint shop and told the man behind the counter that I wanted my door as blue as Parisian street signs. He referred me to Benjamin Moore Bistro Blue and this is what I got:

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Sometimes I stand out front for a while and smile.

The door is open by the way. Stop by.

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Filed under home decor, home improvement, moving, New York City, Summer