Archive for the 'Travel Mama' Category
July 29, 2012
Wishing Summer Could Last Forever
Every year I after the 4th of July, I start to realize that summer is half-over. I know it’s a pessimistic thing to write, as if I’m looking at the glass as half-empty, but it’s true. We spend six months suffering through December snow, the bitter cold of January and February, followed by slushy and sloppy March and April, to get one month of real “Spring” in May. The anticipation of Summer is exciting! And as fast as Summer arrives, Fall and Winter are just around the corner. I hate that I think like this; I really do.
July was fun. I got to hang out with friends over the holiday. I took my boys to various parks and we enjoyed many walks and bike rides around the neighborhood. Just last weekend we did a mini-vacation, too. We went to Pulaski Polka Days in Pulaski, WI (an annual tradition in my family) and spent two days dancing and enjoying Polka music. It was good to see old dancing friends and members of the bands we love, too.
Listening to Polkas and having a fun time!
We went to Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay again, also. Owen had the best time on the “kiddie” rides. Dawson spent his time with my brother and sister. He went on the Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler and Scat. Last year he didn’t mind going on the same rides as Owen, but this year he told me he was too old for that. The rides Owen liked were for babies. This made me misty-eyed.
Owen loves the Lady Bug Rides.
“Dawson, you’re only 7 years old,” I had said.
“Um, I’m almost eight!” he told me. ”Too big for baby rides.”
I realized he was probably right. I started to pay attention to the kids going on the “baby” rides and noticed the oldest kids on them were probably 5 and 6 years old.
On the Scat ride with Poppa Frank
Later, I went on the rollercoaster with Dawson and my siblings while my parents took Owen on the merry-go-round. Dawson had a nervous breakdown when the car climbed to the top and soared back down at Mach 10 speed. He had his eyes closed tightly and held on tight to my arm.
The Zippin’ Pippin Ride at Bay Beach
When it was all over I said, “Wanna go on again?”
“HELL NO!” he said. I just about died. This is a phrase his Dad uses and I couldn’t help but giggle.
“I’m never going on the roller coaster again!” Dawson said.
“So you’re not as big as you think you are, huh?” I asked.
“Not so much,” he replied. “Maybe I’ll try it again next year.”
Dawson was pretty brave to go on the roller coaster and I was proud of him for trying something new.
We also went to Build-a-Bear and Chuck E. Cheese in Appleton, followed by a Timber Rattlers game on the last day of our vacation. We had such a good time.
Getting photographs and autographs from players was their favorite part. Here are Dawson and Owen with their Aunt Becky and pitcher, Stosh Wawrzasek (who is from Burnaby, BC and a Polish Kid, too!)
Today we went shopping for school supplies. I’m the mother of a soon-to-be second grader! When did this happen?
I really wish I could freeze time. My kids are growing up too quickly. If only we didn’t have to get older. If only summer could last forever.
July 21, 2009
This Post is Crazy
Honestly. What day is it? Oh yeah. Tuesday. Two days before I leave for BlogHer. I’m so out of my mind today, that I asked Doug what the date was, three times, and he was all, “July 21st…all day long…you should know…you wrote three checks today.” Why yes, yes I did write three checks today, but I probably got the dates wrong on them, and no one bothered to tell me.
For those of you wondering why I wrote checks, it’s because we don’t have debit cards for our joint checking. We canceled them after a fraud incident and never bothered to get new ones, because really, not having debit cards has proven to be quite effective in money management. No seriously, we actually have money left over at the end of the month, after paying bills and buying necessities like groceries and toilet paper and beer. The beer is for Doug, not me. DUH.
Without debit cards, we don’t have the urge to buy anything because that would mean we’d have to make like a caveman and actually dig out the thing called a check book and write a dollar amount and sign our names. Like the olden days. You know before debit cards.
So, we don’t spend much money. Today I wrote a check to the garage for an oil change on my car, another for the grocery store because apparently the huz and the kid still have to eat while I’m in Chicago partying like a pregnant rock star, and the third check was to Target for bras, underwear and deoderant. I bought bras and underwear because my current undergarments no longer fit due to the expanding belly and breasts. And I needed deoderant because it would be a crime to stink you all to death in Chicago. You can thank me later.
So. Yeah. Now I have to concentrate on packing and making sure I don’t forget anything before I leave on Thursday. If I don’t start tonight, I’ll be in the Windy city paying $6 for a razor or bottled water. Or whatever.
I have no idea what the point of this post was, but now you have proof, actual evidence, that I am crazy. CRAZY.
See you in Chicago.
January 18, 2009
Home Sweet Home
We’re back from our getaway weekend in Milwaukee. Actually, we got home at one o’clock this afternoon, but I am so drained that I didn’t feel like doing anything but sleep. Of course, I couldn’t do that until I returned the rental car, retrieved my child from Grandpa’s house (which took much bribing on my part) and unpacked all the bags and suitcases.
I’ve head a headache ever since I got home; the kind that hurts so terribly behind my eyes and at the bridge of my nose. While I was driving home from my parents’ house, Dawson was chattering from the backseat about all the fun he had with his Poppa, and I kept thinking about swallowing two Excedrin and crawling into bed. I think my exhaustion hit harder than I expected. It was a long, 2 1/2 hour drive home, but the trip was worth it. I’ve got a recap post planned and I’ll post it as soon as I finish some other important tasks.
I stopped at K-Mart today (before I went to get the Doodlebug — shopping is easier without him begging for toys) and picked up my prescription for Clomid which I’ll start taking tomorrow. I’m pretty optimistic about this cycle, but I must say that even if it doesn’t work, I won’t be taking it next month. I’m hoping this is the “boost” that does whatever it’s supposed to do.
Also at K-Mart, I got a new ceramic-barrell curling iron. I’ve been wanting to curl my hair for awhile, probably because I can’t remember the last time I did something with my locks other than straighten them with a flat iron. When I went to use my old metal-barrelled Revlon a few weeks ago, I noticed the curls went flat instantly. My hairdresser told me that the metal ones cause static and the curl won’t set, and they are bad for the ends of my hair. We’ll see how this new one works.
I also bought three new books, one of which is Marley & Me (I refuse to see the movie until I can read the book, although I said that about The DaVinci Code and I still haven’t finished that book — and I did see the movie when it was on HBO a while back). Can’t wait to read that book, but I’m still trying to get through Gone With the Wind. Even though I’ve read Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece at least twelve times, I love reading it every few years.
Dawson got three new CARS cars and a children’s bible. I knew I’d have to persuade him to come home, so I told him I had a surprise for him at home (even though I had bought the stuff before I picked him up, and had it in the car!).
My little guy didn’t want to leave his grandparent’s house. This is the first time he’s spent the night there in a very long time. Usually he starts to cry when it gets dark, and wants to go home. But, since we were out of town, he had to get over his fear. Grandpa took him tobogganing and sledding, they rented movies and had dinner at Pizza Hut. No wonder he didn’t want to leave! He was spoiled rotten!
So. That’s what’s up so far. More to come. I just need to go to bed. Sleep sounds so good right now. I didn’t get much sleep last night at the hotel. There was an argument between boyfriend and girlfriend on our floor and it was so loud that we actually had to call the front desk to complain. They told us they received other complaints as well, and the cops were on the way. Not sure what happened, but I saw two Milwaukee cops dragging a guy down the hallway when I was peeking out of the peep hole in our hotel room. This was at 2 a.m., so needless to say I’m a little sleep deprived. My bed is calling my name….
July 30, 2008
BlogHer ’08: Feelin’ Funky Friday
Friday at BlogHer was a day of non-stop activity. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. when the alarm in our room went off in my ear. Elizabeth had to work in the BlogHer Book Store, so she had to be up at that time. After turning off that screaming, wake-up machine, I tried to go back to bed. I had a migraine like you wouldn’t believe and I was thirsty. So very thirsty.
After popping an Excedrin, and downing an entire bottle of warm water (yuck, but it helped) I decided to try to blog about the night before. But, really, I was kidding myself. The in-room WiFi sucked and I was too distracted by all the upcoming events of the day.
I went down to the Mezzanine level for breakfast and after eating I got to try out the Wii Fit. Let me just say how desperately I want a Wii and Wii Fit. I’ve been coveting one for months and we just can’t shell out that money right now. Maybe by Christmas. (You hear that Nintendo? I’m in desperate need of a Wii. Can ya hook me up? What? Shameless begging you say? Yes. Yes I know.)
I met Krisco in the grand ballroom and we sat together to hear what Lisa, Elisa and Jory had to say during the opening keynote. The we did some speed dating and I collected and gave away oodles of business cards.
The speed dating session at BlogHer ’07 really intimidated me, and halfway through it I found myself hiding in the ladies room. I really don’t know the reason, other than it was my first time at a blogging conference and I was so overwhelmed.
This year was much better because we had a different way of meeting new bloggers. We all sat at the table, talked for a few moments, exchanged business cards and when the time was up, two bloggers moved to a new table. It was like Survivor: BlogHer in San Francisco, as Lisa described it, and I liked this method much better than standing in two circles like we did in Chicago last year.
And this is where I finally got to meet this amazing, hilarious, wonderful blogger. She fucking rocks my world. I was so excited, I squeeed her. It’s only because I missed her in Chicago last year (I saw her in a panel, made a mental note to talk to her, but then missed her — so this year I was elated to talk to her and pose for a photo with her.)
After speed dating, it was time to head to my first session. I chose the MommyBlogging track and geared up for “Is MommyBlogging Still a Radical Act?” This session was very informative and the many viewpoints that other mom bloggers presented were interesting and relevant. Lindsay Ferrier did an excellent job of moderating the panel. The focus seemed to steer toward the monetizing vs. non-monetizing issue that so many of us get worked up about. Metropolitan Mama did a wonderful job live-blogging the session so I encourage you to read her post to learn more.
After that panel, my brain got a little fuzzy. I went to lunch and had a delicious Thai Beef salad. I can’t even remember who I sat with. I think it was Ashley. Yes, yes it was Ashley. I swear the days are blurring together, which is why it is VERY important to blog it all right away, yenno?
After lunch I attended the second MommyBlogging panel, “Public Parenting & Privacy”. I really enjoyed hearing what Shannon Lowe, Chris Jordan, Crystal McKee, Shino Tanaka & Shireen Mitchell had to say about the privacy and security issues we face when we blog so publicly online. It’s My Life live-blogged this session wonderfully, as well.
I learned a lot about the online dangers we face every day, and I became particularly concerned about using Dawson’s name publicly. Chris and Shannon use pseudonyms for their children’s names to keep their kids “Google Proof” and I worry about the fact that I didn’t do this.
Anyone can Google my son’s first and last name and read all about him, at least from the point of view of his mother. This issue is so duh! for me, because when I first started blogging, I did use nicknames for Doug and Dawson. Then one day I slipped up and used their real names and felt I had to continue doing so from that point on. I’m still not sure how to go about this now.
After this session, I stayed for the next panel: Mirrors: Ours, the Media’s, Our Cultures’ and Our Kids’ (live blogged at Body Impolitic). I enjoyed this panel because it talked about body image and some of the issues our children face about their own looks and self-image.
I asked a question and I was so nervous about speaking with a microphone at hand, so I was totally flustered when I revealed the morals I was raised with. For the record, I said “I was raised in a very strict Catholic family. I couldn’t wear anything that looked too sexy or too revealing. You can’t have sex before marriage. I held to that.”
What I was trying to say but totally screwed up in all my nervousness: “I was raised in a very strict Catholic family. I couldn’t wear anything that looked too sexy or too revealing. You can’t have sex before marriage. I held to that standard, until I was 20 years old.” (I just want this blog to be authentic and felt the need to correct the misinformation.) I don’t know why I was so darn nervous. Maybe because someone said our panel was being video recorded? (Still makes me nervous! Still!)
After that panel, I went to the Community Keynote and cried my eyes out. Not once, not twice, not even three times. No, I had to be the girl to cry four times in less than half an hour. I sat with Lorraine from Wifey’s House and I told her that wasn’t the first time I cried that day. I swear it was all the estrogen roaming the halls of the Westin St. Francis. And, that fact that each of the bloggers linked above wrote moving posts that were even more stunning when read aloud. Just hearing their voices and the emotions behind them really touched me.
After that we all went down to the cocktail party at Ruby Skye. Where I danced, just a little. Here’s a few Ruby Skye photos:
Ruby Skye is definitely one of the coolest clubs I’ve been to in awhile. But after this fabu party, we headed off to Maggie Mason‘s house for her Haus Party. And I danced more (it was like funky dancin’ Friday or something). And that’s where I met Dooce. You already saw that photo. So I’ll share a few others.
Let’s just say that I was so tired at the end of the night I thought I’d never wake up the next day. But I did. At 6 a.m. to go to Yoga. I already told you about that, and yes — I know. I think I’m crazy, too. Stayed tuned for the BlogHer Saturday/Final Recap.