Posts Tagged ‘ driving ’

Why Vacationing With a Mom is Easier

Monday, October 8th, 2012

I loved my mom-cation. I am not sure if the official definition means vacation without your kids, but I did the opposite. Fia, Emmett, Courtney, Teddy, and I loaded up and went on a short trip to San Diego for two nights last week. I did it because my nanny was off, and I was scared of getting bored and antsy in our 100-degree non-air conditioned house.

I wrote a blog about it and my favorite tweet back was from @MothaKim, who totally understood. She said,  ”I preferred our 15hr road trip to Chicago over 2hrs spent at the mall with them.”

I SO get it.

I realized a few things on this getaway. With another mom there, even though she was taking care of her own, it felt easier than if a spouse had been with us. That’s because moms just seem to “get it” more. The schlepping didn’t bother us. In fact, we double-schlepped. The hotel we stayed at the first night was full so we had to move to another one for the second night. Instead of griping, we embraced it. It allowed us to see two different properties and assess whether we’d go back. (Answer: Paradise Point: yes–for the pool and the accommodations. Beach was full of pine needles. The Catamaran: probably not. Rooms old. But bay front convenience and beach were far nicer).

I think with a spouse, it would have felt like more work. Or you could easily get resentful. Probably both. Why am I doing all the packing? Phil, did you remember the sippy cup? Answer: NO. Cue eye rolling and storming off to “do it right.” You know, the typical martyr behavior that is oh-so-easy to get sucked into.

The other thing I realized was slightly more profound. I don’t think I need full-time help.

We got home on Saturday. Turns out, my nanny had to take off more days this week. I didn’t have an escape plan. So I just decided to Mom-Up. (Cassandra is beaming at my progress.)

I had to return a rental car, get my car out of the shop (20 miles away), get a tire fixed, get Fia to swimming then gymnastics…taking Emmett along for the ride…all before noon on Monday. And guess what? I did it just fine. With both kids. Okay okay, it’s not like I haven’t done stuff like this before. But honestly, with a nanny, I often do the mundane, annoying errands on my own. Yes, it’s easier. Plus, I don’t like to drive my kids on the highway when it’s unnecessary (driving in LA still makes me nervous at times.) But the thing is, at the end of the da,y I felt far more accomplished than I have in a long time. Almost proud of myself. Oh, I also had 2 families over for dinner (yes, Courtney and Teddy were there. Told you we were inseparable).

I wrote a blog recently about how tragedy struck a family member. I had to leave the kids for a funeral. I was worried that the household would fall apart without me. It didn’t. Now, the tables are turned. I was worried about not being capable of doing it on my own. Or at least getting super stressed out. And guess what? I did fine.

Emmett is eight months now. Fia will be 3 in December. I think it’s time to take the reigns on my own more. Mom-Up! Here I come.

Fia is having the time of her life. Rules went out the window. Clearly.

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Moving Mid-Pregnancy: Traffic School

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Author’s Note: Join me every Tuesday or Wednesday for “Moving Mid Pregnancy,” to read about my ongoing search for a new “everything” (from nannies to mom friends to health providers) while pregnant and living in a new city.

 

Looks like I get to go to Traffic School. What’s that you ask? It’s like detention in the movie, The Breakfast Club—but for traffic violations.  I guess I have found the downside to driving.  And I was so enjoying traffic here. Damn.

Last week Fia and I were leaving Griffith Park. I had taken her to this lame-o exhibit called Travel Town. Complete with trains that kids can’t climb on and a toy train track with no train (maybe it’s BYOT? Bring Your Own Train?). We were heading home and I must not have stopped completely at a stop sign. Cue the sirens.  My huge belly didn’t help at all. The officer didn’t care. C’mom Little Leroy. Do your magic rather than just kicking me constantly.

In California a violation like this can literally double your car insurance. Which is why they offer Traffic School–an 8-hour day where you get a lesson in proper road rules. Painful. Followed by a Driver’s Test. Doubly Painful. In exchange: you still pay the fine, but the points are erased.

My traffic school date happens to fall on my C-section date. Hmmm…I wrote in my controversial homebirth article that I’m pro-choice. So now I get another choice: Traffic School or Birthing Baby?

I called the LA Superior Court today to see about moving the date. Their recording says, “Due to budget cuts we no longer have operator assistance.” I went online, but the system couldn’t find my citation. So now I’m going to have to waddle in there and change the date.

Maybe I can bring Fia to Traffic School. She could climb on the tables and disrupt the class until they kick us out—as long as I still get my points erased. Hell, I could bring Wayne Sanchez too. Not a bad idea…

 

Stop Sign pic via Shutterstock

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Moving With a Barfing Baby

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

We Broke All The Rules. TV. Pacifier.

When we got to JFK I saw 2 signs: one for the chapel and the other for the restroom. I wasn’t sure which one I needed more. Divine intervention or soap.

We had just left Brooklyn at 7 a.m. to begin our new life in LA. We looked like the Brooklyn-to-Beverly Hillbillies. We had Wayne Sanchez as one carry on, 4 other carry-ons, 4 pieces of luggage, her stroller, and of course we three humans.

The driver, like most of them in New York, kept hitting the gas and brake. Stop and go. Stop and go. I was getting worried, but just hoped we’d make it. No such luck. 10 minutes from the airport, Fia whispered, “uh oh” and out came the barf. It went everywhere. Luckily for us, I had asked to use the driver’s car seat, because I didn’t feel like dealing with installing ours at that hour.

I won’t go into the stench. All parents know how horrendous it is. Make that double horrid when you’re 7 months pregnant and your sense of smell is heightened.

Poor Fia was crying. The driver didn’t say a word. I’m sure he was furious. I told him we’d give him extra for the cleaning. Phil and I were dealing with the aftermath, trying to clean up Fia with wipes, but really there was no point. She just had to sit in her vomit. And we all had to sit in the smelly van with her vomit. The only person who wasn’t rattled was Wayne.

I rushed Fia to the bathroom and the kind TSA women who saw us rushed over some plastic bags for her clothes. Thank god for national security.

I gave her a bath in the sink and managed to get off the smell. Slightly redeemed, we rushed to our gate, the last to board, looking like the 3-ring circus we were.

The plane was packed. All our carry-ons had to go under the seat. Wayne took up so much space we were literally scrunched with our knees to our chest. Fia fell sleep on takeoff and landing. The remaining, oh, 5 hours or so, was sheer entertainment and avoiding the ambush.  Wayne didn’t make a peep.

This may have been the worse travel day of my life. Oh, but it gets better.

(more…)

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