Vacation distractions (spons)

My mantra during school breaks, “they will not watch TV all day.”  No reason they should, they got a mountain of toys from a man in a red suit. Right now Rex is running around naked wrapping his arm in scotch tape.  That’s better than a 2nd showing of “My Little Pony.”

Yesterday I went to the chiropractor, the gym and got my car washed.  My car gets SO filthy it takes them 40 minutes.  10 of those minutes were spent hearing about the cashiers father’s oxygen levels.  I kept nodding and saying reassuring things as my inner voice spoke, “Why is she telling me this?  It’s slow today, she needs someone to talk to, be nice. Lady, please let me walk away. Oh, I just remembered I don’t care.”

Before I left I told Mark, turn off the TV when this cartoon is done.  I called from the car wash “I can hear the TV, turn it off”  Yes, he said, with the same tone I had for the cashier with the father with C. O. P.

I picked up some lunch for us.  I was back at 12. Still the TV was on.  “Enough.  TV is off.  TV break.”

“TV vacation?” Rex chirped.  Yes, TV Vacation.

C’mon let’s go assemble some hunks of plastic that you were given.

In my idealized alternate universe Kia Sorento self I come up with a fun staycation activity for the kids.  It would help to have a brand new car, however it could be done after a trip to the car wash.

 

Desert Chic

Saw that some comments came in about my oh-so-fab swim cap. Yes, I do have old lady aesthetic. And since I hope in my later years to be one of those older gals you see in Palm Springs with a short coiffed blond do, thin pink pants, and a fun top walking from my golf/tennis game on the way to have a cocktail with my partially deaf husband who doesn’t mind that I drop change on the ground hoping the pool boy, Hector, bends over to pick it up, yes, I love this swim cap.

I have the hair of a boar, so it’s easier not to have to wash and style too often. My dad’s ex-girlfriend Pat bought it for me in Vegas. She had one on at my wedding, and my sisters and I were all aflutter over it. She kindly bought them for us. It has a great vintage look to it. I did a little search and found this site that has some cute ones. Why would I get one of those speedo types that look like you would do some serious swimming in? I’ll be doggy paddling with Angie Dickinson, thank you!

Note, the photo in the lower right corner is of us and our friends at the Palm Springs Tramway. It is pretty cool to be taken up that high, that fast into a different climate. The picture should have been super cheese, with the fake background green-screened on, but we loved it.

Water Wings

Okay, so we are all in Palm Springs for break. And though it’s never restful to travel with small children, it’s still great to all be together in a different topography. One major milestone from this trip has been Vivien conquering the pool. I have tried to get her to swim every summer since she was 2 and half. First time we got a little bit done, last summer, was a non-starter. She likes to sit on the steps. So we are here, and her best friend Avery is with us who is a great little swimmer. I thought maybe that would encourage her to even swim out with mom or dad past the steps. No.

Then Avery’s mom, my friend Renee, had to run to Target for some stuff, and she came back with water wings.

“Has Vivien tried these?” No, I said. All the teachers told me not to get them for her, that it would inhibit her from swimming. Renee gave me a “yeah, right” look.

“Avery started on these.” As her little 4 year old  dove in the deep end and swam the length of the pool. Time to give them a try…
First through guidance and then on her own, Vivien went the length of the pool FIVE times in her water wings. She has made friends with the pool, with the water. She has gotten some confidence. It’s building blocks. It was very exciting, and I could tell how proud of herself she was and she was please that we were.

Moral of the story? Don’t listen to teachers.

Runaway Mom

Now, I don’t mean like that lady who did the old “oh, some black men have kidnapped me” bag o’ crap that nobody should have fallen for since that lady drove her kids in the lake using practically the same story. I mean come on lady, at least give credit to the balloon dad for originality. I’m thinking of a more lighthearted runaway situation. Like a half day at a spa. Or at least two hours reading a book at Coffee bean and tea leaf.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has moments when you want to walk out the door unencumbered. My mom had a friend who did it for real. Left the 5 kids and the husband. Kind of ’70s thing I think. Course if I had 5 kids and no support I might bolt too.

I just want mini runaways. Because after a few hours I would miss my family. But, jeez, sometimes I’d like the chance to miss them.

Sante Fe: What We Think They Will Like

Well, here is what I thought I would be posting last week.  But I came home to find out some people were mad at me that I had the temerity to be upset about being robbed.

Moving on… We really wanted a family vacation. Couldn’t do the 2 weeks Europe I had envisioned when we had money, you know, 8 months ago, so what to do? Fortunately, I have a friend who has a home in Sante Fe, New Mexico. She said if it wasn’t rented out, we could stay there as long as we paid for the cleaning service at the end of our stay. Terrific. I love the southwest, and I really want my kids to see some nature. Yes, La Brea and Wilshire is lovely, but perhaps a tree would be a welcome change for the young ones.

One of our days we took a hike out of town. As Vivien kept saying “I don’t like this; this is boring.” I grinded my teeth and thought, “But I loved going into the woods when I was a kid. “

As parents, we plan for the perfect vacation, and then your kids find something else they like a lot better. Like when we took this shuttle to the rental car, Vivien was joyous.

Of course, she rarely has ever been in a motorized vehicle where she didn’t have to be strapped to a seat so I get it, but to me it was a period to get through. Throw our crap on, then throw it off. For her, it’s an E ticket (except she wouldn’t know what that means.)

Perhaps it’s because kids don’t have the context we have. See her excitement as we show her the oldest house in the US.

We didn’t always drag her to the history and art museums.  We did take her to the kids’ museum, which she loved.

And I would have too if they had sold espresso. Why, why not?

And then there was the most magic moment of the whole trip. Where Vivien herself found the joy, found the out of the ordinary, the thing we don’t do in LA. As we left dinner one night, she heard music playing and asked us if we could go find it. We walked to the plaza, and there were couples on the bandstand all dancing the tango. It was recorded music, but it filled the warm night.

I said, “Do you want me to dance with you?”  She said, “Ah, ah, what about daddy?”

Mark was thrilled, since he is use to her going to me more than to him. She charged up to the stage without any hesitation, and they danced to song after song. She tried to follow the dancers’ footsteps.

Why do I plan? I should just follow.

When Do You Leave the Baby?

I’ve kind of been itching for a night.. or two away on my own.  Either solo or with my husband. When Vivien was 6 months I took off for 24 hours by myself for a birthday present to me.  I took the pump and she was with my husband and my mom.  When she was about 14 months, I went on a 48 business trip.  I have done a couple of those since then.  But, now with baby Rex I’m finding leaving to be harder.

Money wise I’m looking at stuff that wouldn’t cost a lot, use miles, stay at a friends, stuff like that.  But, here is my thinking if it’s with my husband we can’t leave for more than 24 hours.  If he stays I can go for 36 hours.  If I can bank enough milk.  And then I hear my mom’s voice, “leave a nursling?”  And it stops me in my tracks.

I was just playing with Rex, singing “itsy bitsy spider”, which he loves.  Kissing his toes which made him laugh like Ed McMahon (God rest his soul). And I think, sure I ‘d love to have wine with friends, go to a show, sleep all night, but what is better than this and more fleeting?  Stay at home, save up for a big trip. Get over it.

But, I still want to go…

I once met a woman who said she left her 6 week old for two weeks to go Italy with her husband and I almost threw up.

On the other hand I have a friend who has not spent one night away from her daughter who is now 4.  That makes me itchy.

When did you leave your baby, if ever?  And for how long?  Can one justify it if it’s not related to work?

Mommy Vacation

Does this look like a vacation?  For a mom away from home, it can be (it’s me in Austin for Hillary last spring).

Clinton 2008

 

My husband has to go out of town for work all next week. So it got me thinking that before I get any LARGER and certainly before our crown prince is born, I need to take some trips. I cannot leave Viv for more than 2 and half days. I just don’t feel good about that, and I can only leave her at all if Mark or my sisters can be with her. So my thought is that when he comes back, I should take a trip. Especially since after February, I’m going to be one grounded momma for a while.

Here are my ideas; what do you think?

1) Go to a spa/fat farm up in Ojai or something like that. It’s nice to be out of the city. I did this when I was about 4 months pregnant with Vivien and it was great to take walks, talk with other ladies, and eat bran muffins and poached fish.

2) Don’t be idle and get a tan. In ’04, I went to Miami and campaigned for Kerry. I have a condo there (aka, the money pit, as I am one of those people whose mortgage is now more than the appraised value of my property). I have friends in Miami, and Florida is a crucial swing state. So I could go to Miami, knock on some doors for Obama, and get to take a few dips in the Atlantic. Campaigning is tiring, but fun. Just wonder if I can hack it in my present state. But when I think of a possible President Palin, I wet myself.

3) I haven’t come up with three: do you have any ideas?

Weekend in New Orleans

Well, the boogie weekend wound up being pretty fun. I reconnected with the man who claims to be my husband. We actually went out with adult friends both nights and DIDN’T TALK ABOUT KIDS. It was good that some of them don’t have children. I could feel my brain opening up. We bagged out of the Tales of the Cocktail for the weekend. I went to one seminar on Friday and yes, a seminar about booze can be really boring. Even when it’s about hooch, people, you need to involve the audience. They all sound like Ben Stein.

Mark Peel and Daphne Brogdon in New Orleans

Since Mark works most nights, it was a treat to be out with him. I also enjoyed the heat because I could wear my new maxi dress. This is a trend I am partaking in. (I am a firm believer in picking and choosing your trends; Uggs and Crocs went on without me.) It’s also remarkably similar to the dress I wore when I was 6 (in the ’70s), the first time I went to New Orleans.

Rue de la Course mug

I had the best mocha ever at the cafe Rue de la Course on Magazine Street, hence the photo to record the moment. And I made Mr. Fancy-Pants Chef chow on the fried wonders of a beignet. Yum.

Mark Peel enjoys a beignet

Honestly, the New Orleans I saw, French Quarter and Uptown, looked better than when I visited 10 years ago to eat nutria for the Dr. Dean Edell Show. Seemed like there were fewer drunks bugging this time, but back then I was usually walking alone. Our friends who live there had many Katrina horror stories, but they were glad to see tourism was up.

New Orleans is great but I did, however, take issue with the excessive air conditioning. It was hot out, but why the deep freeze indoors? Really uncomfortable. I met one lady who liked it. She said, “It’s an antidote to hot flashes!” My friend Beth came in from Nashville and she said you always need a cardigan in the South. And I was worried about humidity! Silly me.

Vivien was fine with my sister while I was gone, but definitely paid for it the day we came back (at the crack a– of dawn, ’cause I missed her). She was very clingy and needy and wanted to know where I was at all times. Poor baby. By night time she was better.

It was still worth it to go, which I have to remember the next time I resist a similar trip.