Next week

Okay, peeps, next week I’m off to NYC.  First and foremost to emcee Digital content newfront which brings together online advertisers and content providers (refer to earlier comments about how I need to monetize this site).  I was very pleased to be asked.  And I will be also shooting some stuff for The Fashion Team.  I am going to be covering the Ffany’s.  What? you don’t know what it is? Well, until my gbff Michael told me about it, I didn’t either.  But, it’s the shoe equivilent of fashion week.

It’s going to be action packed and I doubt I will have any social/fun time.  I have to admit that I don’t feel guilty about going. This is a first.  But, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my kids and it’s nice that Vivien is old enough to get the “mommy comes back” idea and I will have that tug when I go to walk out the door.  But, honestly, kind of looking forward to a little break.

While I am gone I’m going to try to thumb out some stuff on my phone, but not sure how well that will work. So, Tuesday I’m going to have Amanda from Crabmommy guest blog for me.  She was my first mom blogger friend.  She used to blog at Cookie magazine (RIP) and I always enjoyed her sassy, no apology voice.

Cute picture of Rex and his young mom, huh? I photo shopped the hell out of my face.  This is how I look in my idealized brain.  Maybe if I had had him at 24.  Which I so didn’t.  Oye.

It’s almost summer! OMG!

Pictures My Daughter Takes

I’m not going to make the case that my kid is the next Annie Lebiowitz or Ansel Adams.  Most of what she takes when she grabs our camera is crap.  Lots of pictures of concrete sidewalks, people mid chew, part of furniture askew and partly out of frame.  Come to think of it, kind of like the pictures my dad took my whole life.  But, as I delete 95% of them a few jump out to me as worthy of keeping.

This one is cool, but  Rex and his dad are in virtually in the same position.  Big person chair, little guy chair.

I love this one she clicked of her sweet face with bedraggled mom yapping away in the background.

And while not one I will frame I thought it was composed well and it summed up the vibe of that afternoon: parents and kids.
The parents with their red wine, and the baby bottle of milk.
Of course I’m biased.

when did my little girl…?

I don’t mean to start belting “Sunrise, Sunset”, well if I had a voice I would, but lately I’ve been struck by a discordant thought.  I see Rex and I can remember going through these stages with Vivien, and yet can hardly remember that this spunky, beautiful girl was ever my big chubby baby.  And she was my only baby so I know she was the CENTER OF MY WORLD.  Now, I have to two centers, and she is so independent, it’s hard to remember when I held her everywhere.

Everyone tells you, “It goes so fast”, but it doesn’t feel like that when you are in it.  But I realize I have not aged that much in her lifetime, yet she is a totally different person, so yes, it goes so fast.  I still wear shoes and clothes that I wore when she was born, or before she was born.  Yet, here she is this full person.

So, when I go out to eat with friends and I get this pang of guilt that I have missed a night of Rex’s babyhood, or of this sweet preschool side of Vivien.  Why did I leave?  Why did I go for two hours?  Before I was a mom I would have thought me crazy to worry about a few hours.

But, then I think of how Vivien looked here…

and how she looks now…

(And sidebar, I gaze at this photo of these two cute siblings even when they are right next to me. Put that in the take to the rest home with me box. Will also pull out when years from now they have a conflict and I remind them how they must always stick together.)

Is that the same person? Sure, you can see the shape of the eyes, and the rosy cheeks, but what a difference 3 years makes.  At my age three years barely adds a crows feet.  Not that different.

It’s a person who TOTALLY depended upon you and while they still do, they can now wipe their own butt and put food in their own mouth, so it’s different.

And your first kid changes your brain chemistry forever.

I so get my parents gazing at me growing up.  And me thinking, “I’m not that great”, when they would praise me.  But, now I can’t help myself from gushing to Vivien how much I adore her.

Maybe I should write a song.

The self cut

I couldn’t get a good picture of it  She was moving around and she is on to me.  But here you can see one of the chunks.

The other side is only one long chunk away from being a mullet.  I took her to a hairdresser Saturday to fix it or at least get a trim so it would even out sooner and Viv was undone.  As Rex crawled around eating a baked good on the floor, Vivien writhed and would not sit.  The nice lady tried to soothe her while resorted to “I’ll buy you a toy if you get your haircut.”

“I’ll get you a brownie.”

Then I tried stern voice and threats. ALL failed.  I was pretty pooped since she had had a sleepover and the girls had woken me up early, so I was pretty crabby.

We got in the car and I just kept driving.  I figured we all needed to cool off.  The kids both fell asleep.  When they woke up I said I was sorry we had had a conflict.

“That’s okay mommy.”

“I love you Vivien.”

“I love you mommy.”

“Tomorrow, can we go get your hair cut?”

“No. I will never cut my hair, ever.”

Well, then you aren’t getting a brownie.

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.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

When I got home from my trip, I felt a big surge of love for my husband. He had totally dealt with the kids. He had come early to let Dolly go home at a decent time, as opposed to letting it ride when I’m here. He even bailed on work one night because Vivien said she wanted him home. Ahhh, that’s my guy.

I got on an earlier plane and called them from the airport so Vivien stayed up for me. Also, she wanted to give me my birthday present, a coffee mug that she made with Mark at Color Me Mine.

“Momma, is it okay that there is some purple here?” It was more than okay. So sweet. Granted it probably cost $40 by the time it was done, but she had fun making it.

And I got what I really wanted for my birthday: two new nightgowns. They were EXACTLY what I wanted. Old-fashioned, short-sleeved, knee-length, vaguely house coats. My old gowns were literally fraying so it was time to set them ablaze. Or whatever you do with old nighties.

Easter at The Fashion Team

Isn’t this what all moms look like at work?

Vivien and Rex were part of our Spring Fashion show. It re-airs Monday at 7pm and repeats during the week. DVR “The Fashion Team” to check it out. Vivien charged into the studio full of pluck but shrunk down when I got her in front of the cameras.

“But these are all mommy’s friends; it’s ok.” She clung to me. “You get to keep the outfit if you face the cameras”. A window into what I would be like if I entered my daughter in pageants. Smile! She faced the cameras but looked stern the whole time. She was first on TV when she was 10 months so I thought she might have gotten use to it, but I guess not.

Strangely Rex was perfect. Sat down and faced the camera and didn’t cry or crawl. He played with the candy boxes. The clothes are from Old Navy and are inexpensive and cute.

Very funny to be all dolled up holding my kids. So not the norm. Would love to strut into pre-school drop-off in that get up. I also had huge gold Michael Kors platforms. They wouldn’t recognize me.

Also on the show is Lauren Conrad of The Hills fame.

Nice girl. She has a mini empire now. On the show we discussed her line of clothes for Kohls and a book she wrote. But off camera I broke the ice the best way I know how.

“Poor Sandra Bullock!” We were off to the races. She agreed. How humiliating, and she didn’t even get time to enjoy her Oscar win.

School Search

When I first started thinking about where to send Vivien to elementary school I would talk to other parents about what they were thinking. I often said, “Hey, I’m not going to stress; I know it’s all going to be fine where ever we send her.” That was the point in the conversation where the other parent was suppose to say, “Right, totally.” Or nod. Or do something other than what they did do which was looked appalled that I wasn’t freaking out about this issue.

What’s the matter here? I thought. Well, the pod people eventually got me.  Yes, I have lost sleep over this issue.. just a little

Little Chloe Sevigny

You know when you get a glimpse of your child and you can see a preview of what they will look like older?, The other day Vivien allowed a clip to go in her hair. Very rare. I thought she looked so pretty and it struck me, “She looks like Chloe Sevingy,” the actress on “Big Love” who always shows up on the red carpet in avant-garde fashion. Maybe it’s a silly celeb-fixated culture thing to think ones we know look like someone famous.

I got a glimpse of myself the other day with no make up and very little sleep and thought I bore a striking resemblance to Bea Arthur.

And then there’s Maude…

Utah Fun!

When Vivien and I awoke in Provo I sensed that sweet, lack of sound that snow fall can bring. I looked out and said, “Vivien, it snowed last night!”

WAAAA she ran from bed to look below. I loved seeing my little desert dweller’s excitement at the blanket of white outside. Then it ran through my mind that I might be driving on ice, and this scared the long underwear off of me. I did my “I must be brave; I’m the mom” mantra and pushed out to our complimentary breakfast downstairs.

My sister emailed that the LA Times had come out with their review of The Tar Pit.  They had done a “first look” review, which had been a rave. This would be the bigger review. The one that happens when their writer comes 4 or 5 times. Here is the review. It was good, but not a rave. So that was kind of bugging me, but I pushed it to the side.

I called Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com) who lives SLC.

“It snowed,” I said happily.

“How you doing?” she said with suspicion. She knew I was a weather wimp and might be flipping out.

“Well, I’ve decided to be brave.” She assured me they are great about clearing the roads.

After we procured some much needed gloves at a large store called Shopko, we had the standard battle:

“I want a toy.”

You can’t get a toy every time we walk in a store.

“I want a toy!” ( I caved/compromised and said she could have something if it were under 5 dollars.)

One bunny later we were off. All was going well. Vivien was strapped in the back watching her mini dvd player as I drove, proud of myself that I could still travel like before I was a mother. I could still adapt to any place, get along with whomever I met. I still had a good sense of direction (and GPS) and driving in cold weather with a light snow falling was a piece of cake.

But as I was driving up into the canyon toward Park City, the snow really started coming down. I was on the road with two big trucks and all my fears.

“Momma, strawberry shortcake is over,” Vivien called.

“I can’t do ANYTHING about that now honey. Mommy can only drive.”  Heather’s earlier, “Are you okay?” was going through my head as I white knuckled it up the hill.  ”No, I’m not OKAY!!” I thought.

Finally I saw the turn off for our sledding/tubing park that was our destination. I had decided trying to get Viv on skies for the first time might be too much in our rushed day. And I hadn’t been on them in 12 years, so I Lindsay Vonn I am not. I was aching for some non-bland food but didn’t want to risk driving into the heart of Park City with the nice restaurants.

“This will do just fine,”  I said as we walked to the bagel bakery, the closet place to eat near the tubing park. I couldn’t get on that highway again… not yet. The food was awful and everything was white or pale yellow, but I shoved it in anyway.

We got to the tubing park, and Vivien was a little afraid. She didn’t really get it. I didn’t either, but I kept acting really plucky so my daughter will not grow up to the be the timid dilettante that I am.

We got on our round tubes and some hardened ski bum attached us to the pull rope. ”Because she is under 6 you can only go as far as the first hill.”

I looked at the rope operator like, “Bummer” when really I was thinking, “Cool, that big hill scares me.” Our second bit of luck was when we got to the top of the hill that we were about to launch ourselves from and the worker said, “Sorry, it’s really slow today.”

Without thinking I said, “That’s good, because we are scaredy cats.” Oh, bad mom, don’t transmit fear to young daughter.

Which why I stayed calm when the worker pushed Vivien down the hill, by herself. There went my 4 year old down the hill.

Now, if you have grown up being the least bit outdoorsy in your life this is no big deal. But I was raised by intellectuals who thought that reading was a sport and TV was a sacrament, and I’ve been trying to make up for it since.

Vivien went down the hill, but it did not carry her all the way. She stopped. Just sitting in her tube.

The ski bum “Um, yeah, she needs to get out of the way.’

Me: “Well, you didn’t explain that to her before you launched her.”

I plopped into my tube on the path beside her, and the ski bum pushed me. “Vivien, mommy’s coming to get you.” She thought that was really funny.

The lady who sold us the tickets had warned me that Vivien would not want to do the kiddie park part where kids sit in tubes and go around and around. “Oh, you don’t know my kid.” Sure enough, she loved that, and she had huge piles of soft snow to frolic in just like I had told her about. Now we were in our groove.

We did the run about 5 more times. I could have kept going, but Vivien was pooped. “Mommy, my pants are soaked.” Yeah, no ski pants are a drag. Next time will have those.

We drove out of the area, and fortunately I did think to have a change of clothes. Thankfully Heather and her dear family received us so we could change and I could pump. Lovely people to visit with. They also directed us to a restaurant with spices in their food that was on the way to the airport. Yippie. Red Iguana (we ate at Red Iguana2 as the first one was busy). I even had a very un-Utah-like Margarita. The flight home was easy, and we didn’t have to wait for a cab. Who says you can’t travel with kids? This is fine.

As the cab pulled into our driveway, “Momma, PICK ME UP!” I stared at Vivien while I held my pump, my purse, her cap and gloves and about to grab the suitcase the cab driver had just dumped on the driveway.

“Whaaa? Vivien no, I can’t.”

“PICK ME UP!!!!!” she wailed.

“Sweetie, I still have to grab your booster seat, I can’t.”

“Waaaaa!”

So here it was. The final breaking point. I somehow got her to continue her fit out of the cab so he could leave. I took a few things to the porch, then carried her up and went back for the rest. It was a hard next hour getting her to bed while I also greeted Rex.

“I know honey, it’s hard to have to share mommy again.” I said as she tried to pick Rex off of me.

When she finally passed out I did as well. The next day I felt so burnt. I think traveling is like drinking, I just don’t recover like I use to. Although now that I have, I am really glad we took this trip.