Forget the stress of planning a trip…..F-Stress and go for F-Scape!

Ever had this conversation before?

You: Let’s take a trip somewhere!

Husband: Sure.

You: Great! I want it to be fun and different and really showcase the city we choose.

Husband: Ok.

That’s it.

Were you expecting more? Me too. But that’s where it ends. It’s where it always ends. The idea of a trip sounds great, but the planning of the trip can be overwhelming!   That’s why when Luxury Travel Mom asked me to review the new F-Scapes packages from Fairmont and Cadillac, I was up for the challenge. They plan it all! All you have to do is pick the place….and pack your bag! And maybe pack your husband’s bag. I don’t know what your arrangement is. Anyway, go check out my review on  Luxury Travel Mom and stay awhile. She’s got lots of great travel ideas for families. xo

Fairmont Cadillac

They see me rollin’……

 

Fairmont Cadillac

 

Advertisements

Ain’t nobody got time for these crazy ass Birthday parties!

So I have 3 kids. And their birthdays are fairly close to each other and to Christmas. To say I’m tired of planning parties by January is an understatement. Sadly my 3rd kid is the January birthday. So not only does he have to deal with the 3rd kid syndrome, he also has to deal with the 3rd birthday syndrome. Sucks for him.

first bday jpeg

Anyhoo, do you remember how birthday parties used to be? You’d invite kids from the neighborhood to your party at your house. The kids walked there, in a nice party dress, ate cake and ice cream, you opened your presents, and the party ended.  You were lucky to get pin the tail on the donkey or a clown. Oh have things have changed.

KidParties2edit

The Venue: Forget having it at your house. First of all- it’s not big enough. Unless you are one of the reality show housewives. My kids’ school tries to enforce an all inclusive birthday party. Which I totally understand on some level. No one should have their feelings hurt. But at some point, we need to prepare these kids for real life. Not everyone is invited to everything. I’m not saying rub their noses in it or exclude one child and invite all the others, but a party for 10 is a whole hell of a lot cheaper than a party for 20-30.  Even if you only have 10, you need a venue. If you even think about having it at your house, you better make damn sure the entertainment makes it worth it. Hire a petting zoo or go carts or both!

The Food: You still serve cake but you also must have at least 4 other food options. Make sure they are free of preservatives, gluten, and taste great! These kids may have just eaten but they expect food. Cake is not enough. Even though they just had lunch. Even though the party only lasts 2 hours. We bring snacks to games that only last an hour. What do you expect?

Remember when cakes used to be baked by your mom at home? Just a cake with candles. No writing, no $10 plastic character on top. Just the cake. With icing. And candles. And because it was homemade it usually looked somewhat inappropriate. Or maybe that’s just me.

lego cake jpeg

The Presents:Opening gifts in front of guests is a huge no no now. It would be insensitive to open presents because no one else is getting presents. WTH? It’s my kid’s BIRTH day! That person should get presents! Every kid should experience the joy of opening presents in front of a group of people who aren’t getting any. And every kid should also experience the anxiety of having the gift you brought judged by all the other kids. 😉 Besides, it eats up at least 30 minutes if not more of the party. Then you don’t need a magician! Score!

The Goody Bags: Food and entertainment isn’t enough. They need to leave with a goody bag!   Because if the birthday boy is getting a gift, by God, every other kid should get one too! “Goody bag” is somewhat of a misnomer, isn’t it? By the time I start thinking about goody bags, I’m done. A quick trip to the 99 cent store or the $1 bins at Target and viola! Throw in some left over Halloween candy if you are feeling extra generous.  Let’s face it, everything in the goody bag gets thrown away as soon as the kid gets home…or lost. Why are we doing it????

I guess this has become kind of a “back in my day” post, but seriously! Back in my day, we didn’t need fancy theme parties! We were happy to have all our friends together for some cake and presents!  Let’s take back the birthday party! Stand up to the peer pressure of making it “the event of the season!”

Whose with me?

“Your breath smells like diarrhea!” and other helpful information.

“Your breath smells like diarrhea, Mom.”

I was taken aback because I had actually just brushed my teeth.

“Does it smell like diarrhea or like coffee?”

“Like diarrhea flavored coffee.”coffee-wink

I don’t think I’ve ever written the word diarrhea this many times.  I still don’t spell it correctly on the first try. Ok then.

“Thanks for telling me, buddy. I will try to correct the situation.”

(I also used it as a teachable moment because I’m a great parent!)

“You know, sometimes, if you only brush your teeth and not your tongue, your breath can still smell.

131014_MEDEX_MileyCyrusTongue.jpg.CROP.thumbnail-small

*Blank stare.

Sometimes, my words of wisdom take awhile to sink in. I’m sure he will thank me for this later.

Kids.

They say the darndest things. Like:

“Mom, you aren’t 25 anymore.”

and

“Mom, are you sure you aren’t pregnant?

Because that dress says you are.”

But I have to say, this is also one reason why I was excited to have some. How many times have I tried to smell my own breath, or desperately wanted to check my nose or teeth for indiscretions, but was unable to get to a mirror? (One time is too many.)

I could ask my spouse, but then that last bit of mystery is gone. I’ve been married 20 years this summer, and I can proudly say he has never seen me sitting on the toilet. I hate even writing that word. We say potty. Anyway, that’s another post.

21851_243343579520_4483307_n

I may or may not be sitting on the potty in this photo. 😉

Kids are another story! I can ask my kids (or more often, be told by them without even asking!) and there is no judgement. They tell it like it is and still think I’m pretty. 😉  Except when I wear that one “pregnant dress”…which is now in the trash!

10270693_10152094457492183_4015073839777332948_n-300x200

So if you have children, and they aren’t as forthcoming as mine….now you know they can come in handy in certain situations! Start utilizing them! (And always brush your tongue.)

What’s in a name?

~It’s 2015 and even though I don’t like to make resolutions, I do like to put some intention into the new year. Energy flows where attention goes, so the least I can do is point the year in the right direction, right?

this_way_public_information_sign_2

I LIKE TO NAME THE YEAR.  It helps me stay focused.  Plus I can shout it out randomly when I need to be inspired. It’s fun and empowering to declare things.

I declare this year, the year 2015……

THE YEAR OF ASKING!

You see, I don’t ask for things.  I wait around and hope that someone will think of it on their own. Sure, I’ll give hints. Try to “lay the groundwork.” But ask for it? Out right? No no no.

It’s not polite.

It’s selfish.

It’s downright unladylike!

or so I thought. I am more comfortable with being uncomfortable than with you being uncomfortable. (Did you get that?) So I push my needs to the back. That hasn’t worked out too well for me. How can I get what I need if noone knows what I need? Duh, Whitney. So now,  I’ve got a plan.

scarlett

Here’s my plan, people: 

~I will accept my needs as valuable.

~I will be clear and direct on what my ask is.

~I will not take a no personally.

~I will not let fear of rejection or judgement keep me from asking for what I want.

I’m not gonna lie. Those are exactly the things I am afraid of. And what if I get what I ask for and blow it? Well then……

oh wells

 

Wish me luck!

What’s the name of your 2015?

Christmas break…winter break….psychotic break.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s happening right now. The kids are home for the holidaze. 2 weeks of freedom. I’m not a big planner. I don’t plan my grocery store trips much less what to do with kids when they are out of school in the winter time. Actually I take that back.

I had ideas.

I thought about the indoor rock climbing place and going to the pop up ice skating rink. It crossed my mind to take the kids to visit a museum or two. Make some Christmas cookies and drink hot chocolate. But then I didn’t feel like it. You see, I want a break too. I’m so happy to not have to think about both breakfast and lunch before 7am every week day. And skipping the rush to get everyone dressed, fed, organized etc before school. And the homework. Argh that stupid homework. So yeah, I thought about entertaining the kids, but then I realized I just want to sit in sweat pants and watch movies in the middle of the day. And not kid movies. I want some adult entertainment. Well , not ADULT entertainment…just non animated things, maybe even a documentary or two. OK no that’s not true. I don’t like documentaries unless it’s those VH1 Behind the Music ones. Those were great. I wonder if they still make those. Maybe I’ll check it out later.

Anyway, my point is that I want a break. At my house. In my house. From my house routines.

So this time, I decided to go with that. ~No, I’m not taking you to the mall the day before Christmas so you can spend the money your grandad just sent you. (So they are saving it.) ~No, I’m not going to use this time to do a big clean out. (My husband is forcing the kids to do it.) ~No I’m not going to fight with you about your dinner. Have cereal if you want. (They did.) Because I’m on a break. A break from all those mommy things I do most of the time. Don’t bathe if you don’t want to. I’m not. Yes this is a glass of wine. It’s cold out and I’m watching Love Actually. What do you think I should be drinking? 10441202_10152947038079521_2470934416130239660_n

me and my sweat pants

It’s going fairly well.  I have managed to stay in pajamas or sweat pants for most of the break and have watched all the episodes of the Starz show The Missing. Definitely not a kid show. No one has starved or been injured more than usual. I’ve taken naps! I’ve never been a napper but this year I made it a goal. I reached it. Usually the day after Christmas I have the tree down and all the decorations are boxed up. But not this year. The tree is still up and I’m not sure when it’s coming down. That’s just a huge mess of pine needles I have to deal with after pushing it out the door. image

Who says we can’t enjoy this all through January?

I haven’t planned much for my kids except for playdates. But those have been instigated by others. Not me. So yeah, it’s going pretty well.

Except for the guilt.

Don’t worry, I don’t act on the guilt. I just sit with it. Just me and my guilt watching tv. Me and my guilt enjoying a glass of wine. Me and my guilt napping. It’s so stupid really. Why shouldn’t I take a break? Is anyone going to die because I still have my tree up? Are my children going to be scarred because they didn’t go ice skating? Is it really a problem that we have no milk or toilet paper? OK yes, that last one may be a problem, but my husband was kind enough to handle the grocery store for me. Score! So I have a few days left where I can choose to not do anything. My kids are old enough to figure out what they can eat for breakfast and lunch.  And my husband is kind enough not to make comments about my “relaxed” appearance. image

A multitude of choices for breakfast and lunch 😉

Maybe someday I will figure out how to do this guilt free, but I guess that comes with practice. 😉 I’ll keep practicing for the next few days. In my sweat pants. I hope all of you out there are practicing taking a break as well.  After all we have a lot we will have to do in 2015 so we need to rest up. Cheers! Golden 2015 Happy New Year Greeting Card With Sparking Spot Ligh

There are 12 days til Christmas!

I have a lot to do. So much actually that when I realized I only had 12 more days til Christmas, I decided to get my butt in gear……and write a parody to the 12 days of Christmas. Because writing a song is way more fun than doing most of that other stuff. Yes, I am the queen of procrastination. You’re welcome. If you know the tune….sing along! 😉 Happy Holidays!

santa

There are 12 days til Christmas and I can barely breathe!

I don’t have a Christmas tree!

There are 12 days til Christmas and I can barely breathe~

-My cards need addressing

~And I don’t have a Christmas tree!

There are 12 days til Christmas and I can barely breathe~

-I’ve got to order presents

~My cards need addressing

~And I still don’t  have a tree!

There are 12 days til Christmas and  I can barely breathe~

-Buy teacher gifts

~I’ve got to order presents

~My cards need addressing

~And I still don’t have a tree!

There are 12 days til Christmas and  I can barely breathe~

~CREATE CHRISTMAS MAGIC

~ Buy teacher gifts

~I’ve got to order presents

~Someone print me labels

~And I may just get a fake tree.

There are 12 days til Christmas and I can barely breathe!

~ I need holiday sweaters,

~CREATE CHRISTMAS MAGIC

~Buy teacher gifts

~I’ve got to order presents

~Someone print me labels

~And it’s terrible I don’t have a tree.

There are 12 days til Christmas and I still can’t breathe!

~I forgot to adopt a family

~ Where’s a stupid sweater

~CREATE CHRISTMAS MAGIC!

~Buy teacher gifts

~I’ve got to order presents

~The cards will be new year’s

~And I may just get a fake tree.

There are 12 days til Christmas and I can barely breathe!

~The kids need to meet Santa

~ I forgot to adopt a family

~I despise Christmas sweaters

~THAT ELF FORGETS TO MOVE

~The teachers can have gift cards

~I’m screwed with the presents

~The cards will be for New Year’s

~And I’ll pay someone to deliver a tree.

There are 12 days til Christmas and I am hyperventilating!

~Order Christmas dinner

~The kids must meet santa

~ I forgot to adopt a family

~ Forget the sweater party

~ OH THAT CHRISTMAS MAGIC

~The teachers can have gift cards

~Argh the presents

~The cards will be for new years

~And I’ll get that tree if it kills me.

There are 12 days til Christmas~ my heads between my knees!

~Does Amazon do wrapping?

~Why am I hosting dinner?

~The Santa line’s a nightmare

~ I forgot to adopt a family

~We don’t wear sweaters in LA

~WHY’D I BUY THIS ELF?

~The teachers can have gift cards

~I’ve got to order presents

~Again with the cards

~and I really just need a Christmas tree.

There are 12 days til Christmas and I think I may pass out!

~Batteries aren’t included,

~Gifts can be in bags,

~I will just order precooked

~The kids can email Santa

~I feel bad about the family

~Enough with the sweaters

~WHERE’S MY CHRISTMAS MAGIC?

~Teachers like coffee

~Is it too late to order presents?

~No one is getting cards

~ But I’ll definitely get that damn tree.

There are 12 days til Christmas and my true love said to me:

~Just enjoy the meaning,

~Batteries can be purchased,

~Dinner will be fine,

~The kids should go see Santa,

~Give to Salvation Army,

~YOU HAVE CHRISTMAS MAGIC,

~Gift card for the teachers

~Amazon Prime will save you

~I’ll address the cards,

and let’s go get the Christmas tree!

Forget Stranger Danger- I’m scared of the Good Samaritans!

marge jail

The situation is out of control. Did you read the story about the mom who was arrested because her daughter was at the park alone? Cliff notes:

Mom works at McDonald’s. 9 year old kid sits at Mcdonald’s while mom works. Kid begs mom to go to the park nearby. Mom gives kid a cell phone. Kid goes to park. “Good Samaritan” sees kid alone and calls the cops. Mom gets arrested.  Kid goes into foster care. And they all live happily…wait, nope that’s not right.

Or what about the parents who were investigated for allowing their daughter to walk to the post office? These are just two examples out of many.

Are we so far removed from the days when kids left on their bikes in the morning and didn’t come home til the streetlamps came on that we call the cops on parents before knowing the full story?  Most of these stories are not about neglected children. The kids are well taken care of, given a cell phone and allowed to head to a neighborhood park for an hour or two.

Listen, I don’t know if I would trust my 9 yr old to go to the park alone, but not because of stranger danger. I would worry about the other people at the park….and the park itself. My 9 yr old is a bit mischievous.

kid on big wheel edit

I don’t know the kids in these stories. I don’t know the parents. I also don’t know the area in which they were “left.” All of those things are factors in how I would handle the situation. What I do know is that kids from the 70’s and 80’s were left to their own devices ALL DAY and we not only survived; we thrived.  We had street smarts. We gained self confidence and independence. We knew how to entertain ourselves.  And yes, we also all have a story or two about the “strange man down the street.”

mr burns

I worry that the kids today, my kids, are too supervised, too protected, and don’t get the opportunity to explore and use their instincts.  I’m trying to find a balance.  I don’t want fear to raise my kids. And now while I’m attempting to find that balance, I have to worry about police showing up at my door.

police edit

 Is it more dangerous today than when I was growing up?  It seems all the 24/7 “bad news” is having quite an impact on us but is the threat real? I don’t think so. I think now we are so afraid of the 10% chance that we forget to focus on the 90% chance that it won’t happen.

Like I said, I’m working on a balance. I’m going to squash that lump in my throat when I say yes, you can walk to the neighbor’s house without me watching you. I’m not going to sit out front when I agree to let the kids play in their own front yard. Hell, I may even get crazy and let them ride their bike around the block by themselves! Try not to judge me too harshly.

And if you happen to see my kid, alone but happy, please don’t call the cops. (Unless that cop comes to my house with his own boombox.)