Category Archives: Summer

What Pics Won’t Tell You: Traveling Sucks.

I am traveling. M is with me. I’m going to spare you details and annoying pics (because, why?), but I’ll share my current revelation: I am a terrible traveler.

While I love being somewhere else, a few things are also true:

1. I suffer from jet lag like an infant, incapable of making sense of the difference in time. Everyone around me is sleeping through the night and almost a week in, I’m wide awake, bumping into things in the dark and swearing under my breath. (It is 2.30 am where I am, and M, God bless his smart-wool socks, is snoring next to me. I am trying to think kind thoughts but it is not easy.) I manage to get on local time at the airport heading home, just in time to spend a good week wide awake on home soil. (M is convinced this is somehow connected to my refusal to change my watch to local time. None of me understands how this is related.)

2. I do not have the stomach of an intrepid food traveler. Not much of a foodie, I can still be tempted (read: shamed) into the occasional food-travel, chasing down some foreign delicacy and letting M take a pic of me eating it. (You will never see the pics — again, why?) This inevitably results in M having to Google late night pharmacies so he can buy everything that looks like Pepto-Bismol while I lie curled on a bathroom floor, sometimes staring up at a bidet.

3. It also turns out that while I like being somewhere else, unless a train is involved, I hate getting there. My kids throw up in relay form when we we get in the car (and the car is the minivan, and nobody has ever been happy in a minivan for over an hour), and as it happens, I don’t like to fly. I used to think I only got nervous at take off and landing, but apparently I’m also anxious at the in between points. (Also, I get one zit for every hour I spend on a plane, so there’s that.)

4. I am lazy and I married the least lazy human alive. Apparently lying in bed watching foreign television (or a personal favorite: old American soaps dubbed in a foreign language which makes me think I spent years studying languages just so I could watch The Bold and the Beautiful all over the world) does not hold a candle to castle tours, walking tours, church tours, you get the drift. Also, a limited attention span does not make for a good member of a group tour. I have about 45 minutes and then I’m ready for a coffee shop or book shop or shoe shop. Again, I’m sure you see where I’m going. (Note to self: Europeans have small feet and you will be shamed if you try to shoe shop. Stick to books and coffee.) I am always appreciative of his enthusiasm and initiative, I just try not go overboard in showing it.

None of this stops me from perusing local real estate, contemplating an expat life, and working out how we will tell the kids we are moving. I’m nothing if not inconsistent. Like I said, I’m more than happy to be somewhere else, as long as I don’t have to fly, eat or sleep through the night.

I should go. We are scheduled for an early morning monastery tour.

I will put up one picture, which confirms my long-held belief that clothes driers are the devil. It seems I am not alone.

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Filed under Summer, travel, Uncategorized

My One Day. 

I was supposed to have one full day this summer – one full day with no children. Four finally shipped off to camp yesterday and the baby (ok, she’s six) and I are headed out of town tomorrow afternoon. She was supposed to do her last full day of camp while I basked in the rare solitude of summer. One day. 

It’s been a pretty hands on summer so far. I’ve spent hours at the pool. Took an eleven year old to see Miss Saigon for her birthday (I may have forgotten that 2/3 of the play is set in a strip club brimming with hookers) and packed and unpacked the beach bag more times than I can remember. I have supervised the making of slime (what’s up with that shit anyway?) and made vats of pasta. As I may have mentioned, I’ve spent a lot of time gardening, but not much of it has been alone. In short, I’m a little on the tired side.  

I had plans for today, big plans. Plans that involved hours alone, including a long run and time at the keyboard. (I admit, we may not all celebrate in quite the same way.)

But the baby woke up in the middle of the night with a fever. She woke up in the middle of the night in my bed because that is where she went to sleep. She figured if it’s just the two of us, she may as well skip the middle man and jump into bed with me. Before she woke up, I slept alongside her, her toes wedged in between my ribs. 

So, my One Day has turned into this:

That long run never quite materialized (and frankly, I’m a little too tired to make the most of it) and while I’m getting time at the computer, I’m doing my fair share of mothering, which includes watching Barbie movies on an endless loop and making cups of tea. Say what you want about Barbie, but that girl can seriously do anything. In just one morning she has piloted a space ship, designed an entire fashion line with the help of some fairies, and turned into a mermaid while winning a surfing competition. I, on the other hand, have yet to get dressed.  

There’s always next year. 

Right? 

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Filed under Summer, summer camp, television, Uncategorized

The Next Stop: Home Goods

Once you’ve packed what you think are the entire contents of your home, the second step of summer road tripping (if you survived the car ride), is the trip to Home Goods to buy the things you thought would be in your rented cottage, but aren’t: BEDDING.

Last night at 10.30 pm, when the kids were already a hot mess, we discovered that even know there was a quilt on every bed, there was nothing under the quilt. We made do with what we could find last night and huddled together for warmth, but this morning M. took the boys fishing and the girls and I headed to Home Goods. We thought about Walmart, but it was 20 miles away, and it’s Walmart.

And Walmart, while it has its uses, does not provide your children the opportunity of waiting in the mile-long checkout line and finding things like this to beg you to buy:What the hell would I even do with that?

Or this:DENIED.

Or, Dear Lord, this: Once they have declared you the meanest mother on earth, you shuffle to the checkout, pay and leave. You may not have two sets of press-on nails, but at least you’ll all be warmer tonight.

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Filed under Road trip, Summer, travel, Uncategorized

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