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It’s all fun and games till your kid starts kindergarten.

Dear parents of toddlers:

You think you have it rough. You think temper tantrums in Target’s Nate Burkus aisle are bad. Explosive diaper changes, psssht… emptying every cabinet in the kitchen if you leave them unattended for a split second. Well I’ve got news for you. Shit is about to get real.

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Until now, you’ve dealt with your share of behavioral milestones, sure. But they’ve been your little babies. Your snuggle muffins. Your innocent little kiddos. Aw, look, he rolled over! OMGGGG she is sitting up unassisted!! Stop the presses!

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Until now. Kiddo #1 started kindergarten this week, and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all that is this new, mad world for us. Let’s see; Well there’s packing a healthy, wholesome lunch every day. If that weren’t stressful enough, now add Pinterest to the equation. If you ever wanted to have your parental qualifications tested, just go to Pinterest and type “school lunches” in the search. These Pinterest bitches are on fleek. Organized, color coordinated, coded bins in pantries to choose select number of healthy, organic (obvi) items out of. Cookie cutter-cut sandwiches in the shape of alligators, palm trees and Porsches. Do-It-Your-God-Damn-Self-pureed-pouches. (Honestly, if you have enough time to puree and “pouch” your own vegetables, I have a few errands I could pass on to you, if you wouldn’t mind.)

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But that’s not all. My Facebook feed is flowing with stories about Kindergarten BULLIES. That’s right. 5-year old menaces to society who are going to be a threat to my innocent, sweet, doll-faced kiddo; the one who thinks Chuck E Cheeses is called Chucky Cheezits.The one who schooled me this morning about buckets in your heart, that get filled up when you do nice things for people. The one who has an invisible friend named “Invisible Bob” who has drawings all over his body and sometimes makes bad choices (hey, you can’t win ’em all.)

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I don’t want to believe that my kid will ever come home upset or hurt over being taunted or bullied for ANYTHING. I don’t want to believe my kid would ever be the one on the bully side, either. But this is just a hard fact about setting our kids off into the world. One I’m sure gets easier day by day, but right now has me quaking in my boots.

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I’ll take a Target meltdown any day over an experience I can’t be there to hug him for, where my kid’s feelings get hurt or he’s scared or feels misunderstood.

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And all of this on top of the fact that I’m an emotional wreck. I worry that I haven’t prepared him for life well enough. I don’t even think he knows how to open a snack pack on his own. How is he going to make it in kindergarten?! What if he doesn’t eat the lunch I pack for him and he becomes weak, and is eaten by rabid, mutant raccoons on the playground? What if his teacher isn’t the sweet, maternal, sing-songy, A-line skirt-wearing, bubbly lovely (Master degree holding, obvi) woman I envision?

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Have you been through the kindergarten ropes? Leave your best piece of advice in the comments section below and help a mama out. Would love to know how you get through these emotional days!

xo

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MEET KATHLEEN: NY ESCAPEE

This is the first of a new series I am introducing to my readers, in which I will occasionally share an interview with a NY-to-NC escapee who has lived to tell the tale…This first interview is with Kathleen Thomas; lawyer, professor, kick-ass mom and wife, and friend of yours truly. Kathleen and I moved here around the same time; our husbands both accepted positions at the same company, which is how our families came to be friends. I asked Kathleen to be my inaugural interview, and she obliged, because I promised her cocktails. (Only half kidding. Thanks gurl.)

Name: Kathleen DeLaney Thomas

Day job: Law Professor

Fam stats: Hubs Courtney, son CJ who is 4, and a daughter, Evan,  who is 15 months
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How many years did you live in NY, and where did you live?  I lived in NYC for 12 years, and covered 3 boroughs in that time!  The first year, right out of college, I lived with a friend in Sunnyside, Queens.  Then I moved to the Village for law school at NYU, and stayed there for a couple of years afterwards.   When I moved in with Courtney, we got our first place in Chelsea, which we lived in for 3 years.  Last, we bought an apartment in Downtown Brooklyn that we lived in for 5 years before we moved to Chapel Hill!

So how long have you been in the Triangle, and where do you live now? We’ve been here for just over two years.  We live in Chapel Hill.

Why did you move here? The short answer is that we moved here because I took a job as a professor at the law school at UNC.   The long answer is that we were ready to leave NYC and the Triangle seemed like the best fit for our family.   After having our son, life in NYC started to wear on us.  It’s obviously expensive, and even in an apartment that was big by “New York standards”, we were feeling cramped.  I felt like my son was not getting the space and fresh air that he needed, and we had plans to expand our family.  Additionally, with a child, we were no longer taking advantage of many of the things we’d loved about NYC in our 20s.  Both of us grew up in the suburbs and we ultimately decided raising kids in the city wasn’t ideal for us.  That meant either moving to the NYC ‘burbs and commuting, or moving out of the city altogether.  I didn’t like the former option: housing outside the city is still expensive and, more importantly, I really wanted to avoid a long commute because I felt it would cut down on the time I was able to spend with my kids before and after work.  Courtney attended Duke for college, so applying for jobs in the Triangle was actually his idea.  I was applying for professor positions all over the country, and he pointed out that the Triangle would be a great place to raise a family.  He has fond memories from his time here.  I was extremely lucky because after he made that suggestion, I found out that UNC Law School was actually hiring in my field! (tax law)   We considered a few other locations but ultimately the Triangle had the most to offer for us.  First and foremost, we needed to be close enough to a city that Courtney could find a job (he is a corporate lawyer), and there were good options for him down here between Research Triangle Park and Raleigh.  It’s also a short flight or easy drive to both of our families (his in NJ, mine in VA).   We also liked that the winters are mild but there are still seasons.   Plus, there’s a big foodie scene down here!  Particularly in Durham.  In terms of “hobbies”, Courtney and I like to eat and drink, so good restaurants are pretty much all we require.   Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and some of the surrounding towns (e.g., Pittsboro, Hillsborough) definitely fit that bill!   We also like that it’s a fairly open-minded and diverse part of North Carolina.  We are a mixed-race family so we were conscious of choosing somewhere that wouldn’t make life difficult for our kids in that respect. Lastly, the public schools are fantastic in Chapel Hill, which really excited us.

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How long did it take you to adjust to living in the south?  I was shocked by how little time it took to adjust after so many years in New York.  I think it may be because living here is not unlike where I grew up, in Fairfax, VA.   I haven’t lived there since I was 18, but it was surprising how quickly life in the ‘burbs came back to me and felt normal.  Like riding a bike, I guess.  I think we were just so ready to leave New York that it all felt like a big vacation for us that first summer.  Courtney and I would sit out on our screened in porch, grill for dinner and sip wine and think “this was a great decision!”   It also helped that I really loved my job right off the bat.  A few things took some getting used to, though.   I basically had to relearn to drive after not driving for 12 years, which I found stressful. And the pace of everything felt so slow compared to NY, which took some getting used to.  (Although now that seems totally normal to me.)   Courtney and I also couldn’t get over how friendly everyone is here!   People smile and say hi all over our neighborhood!  People were dropping off cookies and welcome gifts!   We had never been welcomed so warmly in any of our multiple moves around New York.  But, believe it or not, the biggest cultural shock was moving to a big college sports town!   I never went to a “sports school,” and I knew people took things seriously down here, but I had no idea how seriously.  Like, our fire trucks are Tar Heel blue in Chapel Hill.  These people are not messing around. If Courtney goes out in a Duke t-shirt (which he insists on doing all of the time), we’ll get a friendly comment about it every single time (like, “oh sorry, we can’t serve coffee to Duke fans!”)  I find it all very amusing and it’s fun to see the whole town rally around the University.

What do you miss most about New York? My friends.  We left a lot of close friends behind.  We basically knew no one down here, and while I really do love meeting new people, it’s harder to start over with close friendships as you get older.   Here’s the only other thing I truly miss:  walking to lunch!  I hate that I have to get in my car, give up my parking spot, and drive to get lunch at work nowadays! (Which means I mostly bring my lunch to work.)  Walking out the door to a dozen options in NYC was the best!

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What do you NOT miss? I LOVED my time in New York. But I don’t miss smelly streets in the summer, crowded subway commutes, rude people, rude service, rats, roaches, walking to daycare/pediatrician/store in the pouring rain, snow, or slush, hearing people through the walls or on your ceiling in your apartment, expensive everything, waiting lists for every children’s class, lines for every children’s activity, sitting in traffic in cabs.   Living in NYC is amazing, but it’s a little insane.  Once you’re “out”, you look back and think, I did that?  I lived in that crappy little apartment?  I did that commute?  I spent that much money on [X]?  And you think, man, that was insane!

So what do you love most about living in the south now? I love so many things about it.   I guess my favorite things are the food and the people!   (Have I mentioned that I love food yet?)   There are so many farms around here and “farm to table” is a big thing.   I love that we can go to any number of restaurants and get fresh and delicious farm food!   When we want to grill a really good burger, Courtney gets in the car and literally drives 10 minutes to a farm nearby where they sell it as fresh as you can get it.   And the people here are wonderful.   And I don’t even really mean “southerners”, because the Triangle is FULL of people who are not from here.  But that’s part of it’s charm.  The culture is friendly and welcoming, but there’s no club you need to join.  Most of the friends I’ve met have been here less than 5 years, and many are northeast transplants.  Others are born and raised in the Triangle.  So many are brilliant professionals, but people are completely unpretentious.

What’s your favorite local “spot?” Elaine’s on Franklin for dinner; the Crunkleton for drinks; Maple View Farms for ice cream!

What’s the biggest misconception about the south? The Triangle has got to be one of the least “southern” places in the south.   Part of that is because so many people are not from here.  There’s not much of a southern accent down in this part of North Carolina!    Also, contrary to popular belief, my living in North Carolina does not mean I am near the Outer Banks.  In fact, it’s a longer drive from here (4-5 hours) than it was when I lived in VA!

Any advice for someone considering leaving New York? Spend 20 minutes on the Trulia app looking at housing down here (or anywhere else besides NYC and San Francisco) and tell me you don’t want to move out of NYC.

This photo lovingly stolen (ahem, borrowed) from The Triangle Explorer... another great blogger you must follow if you live in NC!

Things I (heart) right now about NC.

The peaches. For the love of God and all that is holy. The peaches are reason enough to move to the south.

The corn. We used to love NJ “sweet corn” season, but honestly, that corn tasted like straight up potatoes compared to the southern sweet corn. This corn is perfect raw – it’s like sugar on a stick. (And sorry, potatoes, no diss to your starchy goodness, but I don’t want my corn tasting like you.) 

This photo lovingly stolen (ahem, borrowed) from The Triangle Explorer... another great blogger you must follow if you live in NC!

This photo lovingly stolen (ahem, borrowed) from The Triangle Explorer… another great blogger you must follow if you live in NC!

The wildflowers. There are flowers growing EVERYWHERE here. Medians on highways are like botanical gardens. Running paths are swathed in sunflowers that seem to stretch for miles. It’s breathtaking.

The restaurant policies. I have never – NEVER – experienced the kind of accommodation made to diners like here in the south. Dining with 6 couples, and want the check split six ways? Not so much as a disapproving blink from your wait staff. They ASSUME you’ll be splitting the check, have no problem doing it, and will go as far here as to ensure your lush friend’s 4 extra cocktails end up on his tab – not yours.

 

 

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The prevalence of Starbucks drive-thrus. This should just be a god given first world right. We work hard, we have shitty maternity leave policies, we have to deal with Donald Trump on a regular… as a nation, we should have the convenience of getting our grandes without having to shlep the kids inside. ‘Nuff said.

 

Life... slow brewed.

There’s Just Not Enough Time.

Life... slow brewed.

Life… slow brewed.

Truth: the value of time is all relative, right? Like when you’re not so busy, but you “feel” really busy, and then you actually become really busy, and realize how great you had it before when you just “thought” you were busy.

What I’m driving at is, THERE’S JUST NOT ENOUGH TIME ANYMORE.

After years of freelancing, I decided to jump the fence back into corporate life. I know what you’re thinking. WHUT, LADY O’GRADY? Well here’s the truth: freelancing is feast or famine, and well, I’m just not as good in famine. I’m always hungry. I get moody and irritable when I’m not earning dough and making moves and being creative. AND, after moving to North Carolina, I just didn’t have the professional buzz I had going in NY, so it was time for a reassessment. And then I was faced with an opportunity I really couldn’t pass up, so here we are, a year later. And all is well.

But it has not been without its share of complications. Having two full-time, go-into-the-office, overachiever working parents is bonkers. BONKERS! The mornings are a blur – who needs to be fed? Jack needs socks. Jack, where are your shoes?! Gemma just spilled milk all over me – F*%K, now I have to change. UGH, there’s no coffee?? I can’t carry all this crap out to the car myself. Did I leave the damp laundry in the washer again? SHIT, shit, shit. Well, mildew. But also, AGGHHHHH!

Every day I’m like a damn bag lady, lugging two kids, changes of clothes, laptop, purse, lunch, coffee, keys, and god knows what else makes its way onto the Working Mom Train.  I teeter into work like a woman hunkering down for the apocalypse. Organic kettle corn? Check. Luna bars? Check. Extra chargers for two phones/tablet/laptop? Check check check check check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.

The day is a blur. There’s so much leaning in, I’ve developed a hunchback. I barely have time to pee, let alone take care of anything personal like run out at lunch time or grab a mani. (Seriously, all you ladies who lunch, I hope you appreciate every bite of your kale and quinoa salads.) So ALL of my “life’ things have to occur between non-working hours. And man, those hours get squeezed.

Evening comes, and after picking up the two kids from daycare/school, it’s home to realize I a) don’t have a god-forsaken thing to eat in the house, b) don’t have any toilet paper left, and c) the Advil bottle is empty. By the time we sort out a) – PopChips and carrot sticks are more nutritious than NOT eating, b) there are always paper towels and c) – that’s what emergency Bloody Mary’s are for –  it’s time to get these dragons bathed and jammied and off to bed.

Oh bedtime, the ritual that I both love and love to hate. It can take days getting two little people tucked into bed for the night. There has to be a better way, right? Like straitjackets and soundproofed rooms? No? So here we are, negotiating stories and trying to wrestle a 15-month old on a changing table, and reminding Jack to brush his teeth and discussing the reason why we brush our teeth, and looking over to notice that there is only one diaper left so having the panicked thought that what if the baby poops in the middle of the night, you’ll have to use your last diaper… it’s all so stressful. But then they kiss you like they mean it, and ask you to snuggle a little longer, and well, who can argue with all of that?

By the time I return downstairs and notice that I forgot to clean the kitchen up after our foraged dinner of dried apricots/ice pops so I get to that, because clearly I’m not the kind of slovenly woman who’s going to be able to fall asleep with all that mess.

And as I finally flop onto the sofa and breathe, I realize that all that talk about “it getting easier” when I moved out of New York was just a big f-ing lie I told myself to escape the city chains. It’s never really easier anywhere else. You don’t leave the big city and all of a sudden get 6 hours added to your daily allotment. We all get the same day. And there’s too much to do for 99% of us. And that’s just life. And I probably wouldn’t have it any other way. (Not like there’s a chance in hell I’d have that option anyway.)

Here’s to life, and all the crazy it throws at us.

 

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16 Hours… in Durham

Parents of small dragons, or little people, or monsters… you know those moments when you hopelessly look at your spouse, your eyes glistening with the salty tears of exhaustion, knowing: a) there is no more tequila left in the house, b) there aren’t enough hours left in today to tackle the 16 loads of laundry these little people require, and c) you can’t – for the life of you – remember when the last time you went to sleep without a baby monitor up in your mug?

Yeah. Those struggles are real.

And for that, I wholeheartedly suggest a concept foreign to many and beloved by any who have ever partaken: the OVERNIGHT GETAWAY.

Overnight getaways are a genius little recharge. The perfect dose of relaxation, convenience, and comfort. All within close enough proximity to home that you won’t feel badly for having left the children unattended for 16 hours. I KID, PEOPLE. But really, this is where having family nearby is a godsend. Pack those dragons up and send them for a sleepover, while you do the same. Everybody plays, everybody wins.

This weekend, hubby surprised me with such a getaway to celebrate my NON-birthday. (That’s what I’m calling it now because I’m no longer in celebration of aging. It’s nonsense. It’s overrated. I don’t want to look “lived in” anymore.)

I digress. He swept me away to Durham. Yup, right down the I-40. Which might sound questionable to some, given Durham’s historically been a bit of a bare scene, but NOT LATELY, people. Nope. Durham is undergoing one hell of a renaissance. And man, if it’s not a fun little city to spend a night in.

So here’s my reco on 16(ish) hours away from life as you know it. You’re welcome.

Stop what you’re doing right now and go to this website. (And then, come back here and finish reading, obvi.) This, my friends, is a brand-spanking new, FABULOUS BOUTIQUE HOTEL, in the middle of downtown Durham. FINALLY, my prayers have been answered. If there’s one thing the Triangle has been sorely lacking, it’s chic accommodations (and the accompanying bar/resto scenes that often come with them.) We are a buzzing playground for foodies and boozophiles. But jetsetting visitors? You pretty much have the Umstead. Which is beautiful, but a touch… stuffy.

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But 21c Durham is the bomb dot com. It’s housed in a stunning 1930’s historic Art Deco building that shares the same architect as the Empire State Building. 21c kept all important nods to the original building styling and modernized it. Clever touches are everywhere, from the signature hot pink penguins that surprise you at every turn to the Malin and Goetz bath products.

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After you check in and drop your overnight bag, head to the second floor and stroll through the museum. The modern art will knock your socks off. It’s very thoughtfully curated and colorful.

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Next, walk down the street to Alley 26 and grab a seat at the bar. The drinks are served here over those extra-large square ice cubes, you know, the ones that make your DIY home cocktails seem completely dated and inadequate in comparison. This is a bar where ‘tenders wear bow ties, and you can bet there’s some muddling taking place. So in other words, hipster, but in a very charming “south” kind of way. Trust.

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Now, it’s clearly time for FOOD. Because, what on earth else would you do on a getaway? And damn if there’s not one HELL of a food scene in Durham. Head back to 21c’s restaurant, Counting House, for a quirky yet wholly sophisticated modern dining experience. You’d be foolish not to order the beets tartare… they seriously melt in your mouth. And the mushroom bolognese will knock your socks off. (Yes, I just recommended beets and mushrooms, two totally polarizing food choices. Deal with it.)

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Skip dessert at Counting House (except for the pink cotton candy they bring you with the check… go ahead and indulge in a bite or twelve of that), and head outside and around the corner to The Parlour, the best ice cream this side of the Mason Dixon. They have a rosemary olive oil ice cream that will give you a new perspective on sweet and savory. Don’t be scurred… there’s plenty for the ice cream purist too.

After you’ve stuffed yourself full of all things your kids would be jealous of (hello, cotton candy and ice cream), waddle back to 21c to your incredibly comfy, Mad Men-esque room, and cozy up.*

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That cute little curved bar in the corner is shellac orange inside. PERFECTION.

In the morning, hop in the car and head to Guglhopf. It’s about a 10-minute drive from the hotel, but worth it. This German bakery and cafe is full of personality, inside and out. That and their coffee totally cures hangovers. Truth.

After all this lovey dovey, childless, food orgasmic, cozy bed, sleeping-in madness, head home to your dragons, pick up where life left off, and smile… you’ve been DUR’Med!

*I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we spent a portion of the late-night with new friends we met at dinner, at a total dive bar, The Pinhook. It ain’t for everyone, but man if it didn’t bring me back to my 20s on the lower east side of Manhattan (and yes, I was un-celebrating my un-birthday so it was totally appropriate). Be warned, the drink of choice here is PBR Tall Boys (I know, right?!) and the bathroom is unisex. 

CarolinaMind

Q&A :: The Triangle

Me, just hanging out on my southern front porch, on a beautiful spring day, answering fan mail.* (Everything is true except that last part. I don't have fans. Yet.)

Me, just hanging out on my southern front porch, on a beautiful spring day, answering fan mail.* (Everything is true except that last part. I don’t have fans. Yet.)

If there’s one thing this here blog’s taught me, it’s that y’all are CURIOUS about the south. You’re curious about Mint Juleps. And rockers on porches. You’re curious about BBQ. And bugs. And schools. And summer heat (which I’m not gonna lie, is real. The struggle for a/c is real.)

Your questions and emails come in like Bieber fan mail. And I get it. I’m with you. I feel you. And I’m glad I can be a beacon of hope for some of you who are hoping to one day also escape the chains of NYC. And by chains I mean $4,000 1 bedroom rentals and bed-bug-infested subways.

But mama’s been busy, putting creams on toddler tushies and trying to get a 4 1/2 year old to eat vegetables and keeping the social media wheels churnin’ for Lenovo. So I’m going to try to kill a few birds with one stone, Q&A style.

Here are just a handful of questions I’ve been asked by people curious about what life here is like. Here are my answers, for better or worse.

Do you feel like you’re in the “South”? Are people really “Southern”? Well it’s an evolution, really. My first week here, I might as well have been dropped in rural Alabama. The south bitch-slapped me and called me Sally. By week two I was starting to be “okay” with checkout ladies smiling at me. By week three, I was confident they didn’t want something from me from the way they were throwing me warm smiles. By month two I was starting to find a southern accent “charming.” And now, I actually sit on my front porch with a gin and tonic in a mason jar, just hanging out. Like, not running a million miles a minute. Or meeting so and so somewhere. Or sitting in traffic, cursing the SUV gods. Amazing the difference two years makes. Oh, and did I mention that EVERYONE THAT LIVES HERE IS FROM NEW YORK ANYWAY?

Don’t you miss the New York culture? Sure. I miss how it’s just everywhere.  It’s prevalent in everything you do, everywhere you go. Diversity and culture is just in your blood as a New Yorker; you don’t even think twice about it. In the south, you do have to try a little harder. BUT, that said, there’s plenty of it here. Amazing museums. Insane food. Awesome festivals and shows and music. Done, done and done.

That's Jack, hanging out at the North Carolina Museum of Art, drawing a picture. And not getting trampled by swarms of people, because, well, NOT New York.

That’s Jack, hanging out at the North Carolina Museum of Art, drawing a picture. And not getting trampled by swarms of people, because, well, NOT New York.

Don’t you miss the New York food scene? Welllll, this one’s tough. I miss certain things about the New York food scene, but they’re not what you’d think. I miss the bagels. And the pizza. And Mermaid Inn’s lobster rolls. Oh man, I miss those. But there’s actually an incredible foodie scene here in the Triangle. I’ve had some of the best food of my life here. Whether it’s at Lantern in Chapel Hill, Bida Manda in Raleigh, or Mateo in Durham… there are incredible, inspired flavors from all around the world, and legit chefs who are ready to knock your socks off. (And also, Cousins Main Lobster just officially rolled their food truck into town, so…)

What would I do for a job? How would my career translate to something outside of New York? Ok, let’s just get beyond this right now: there’s commerce and career opportunities outside of New York. GASP. I know. I almost didn’t believe it myself until I left, but there are jobs in every industry here in the Triangle. Tech? Check. Pharma? Check. Design? Check. Agency? Check, check. Just read this. Or this. Or this.

Isn’t Cary boring? I mean, boring is subjective. And I’m in my mid-thirties… ahem, cough, cough. Cary is a suburb. It’s not the bumpin’ LES. Bars don’t stay open till 4am. I get in my SUV and drive to the grocery store. But it’s practically dead center between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, which is great for our lifestyle. We love to go out and explore and enjoy all of the Triangle on the weekends. Our work commutes are both under ten minutes. We have great shops and restaurants, huge grocery stores and Tarjay’s, and our neighborhoods have pools, where you go and – wait for it – meet and hang out with your neighbors. (I lived for years in an UWS apartment without ever even SEEING a neighbor, let alone hanging out with them. New York is at once the most social and most un-social place on the planet.)

I hear it’s really clean there. Isn’t that weird? When I first moved here, I actually had the audacity to call this place “antiseptic.” Yup. I was actually more comfortable surrounded by grime. And potholes. And litter. Trust me, all that’s changed. I’ve seen the light. And guess what? It’s really, freaking, awesome living in a place with no potholes. A place where medians on highways are landscaped. You guys. It’s niiiice.

My shorty, just making these ugly flowers look decent.

My shorty, just making these ugly flowers look decent.

More questions? More answers! Just ask. I’m like John Legend… All of (the Southern) me… loves all of (the jaded New Yorker) you! xo

Gemma1

The meaning of a “mom minute.”

 

When it’s way too early in the morning and your four-year-old is in your bed, in your ear, asking if he can watch Chuggington: “In one minute, honey.” (Which you pray you can stretch into 5 minutes, or ten if you’re lucky. Morning comes waaay too soon.)

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When you’re in the car, and your kiddo is screaming that s/he has to go potty, and you know you’re 10 minutes from home: “We’ll be home in ONE MINUTE honey, just hold it for ONE MORE MINUTE!!!”

When you’re standing in the kitchen, slaving over dinner after a long day, and the kids are tugging at your jeggings, whining, “I’m hungry!!! When is dinner??”: (As you gulp your pretend martini you wish you had in your hand, because no one was around to make you one and you were too busy to make your own because you were chopping every goddamn vegetable in the fridge to provide your family a healthy meal… queue the violin) “Aw, my little munchkins, bless your hearts… dinner will be ready in one freaking minute!”

When you text your friend who you’re TOTALLY late to meet for GNO because said children had meltdowns/poop explosions/got a boo-boo/decided to do an impromtu dance to “Single Ladies” for you: B there in 1 min, I swear… kids are making me work for this cocktail!! #momlife the struggle is real.

Gemma1

When it’s bedtime, and it’s already past bedtime, and your kiddo says, “will you lay with me for a minute?”: “For one minute, okay?” (Which you pray you can extend to longer because bedtime is the “honest” time when your kiddo opens up about his day, and you cherish it.)

When your kid asks you how long a minute is: (Answer to this question depends on scenario, refer to above for answer between 45 and 720 seconds)

How long was your last mom minute?

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Things 4-year-olds say

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Did you know that if the globe started moving really fast, we’d go “ahhhhhhh!” (As he shakes and spins)

My side hurts from having so much fun at the museum.

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Daddy, if you don’t do what mommy says, she’s going to get hangry.

My favorite band is Red Hot Pearl Jam.

If water came out of water, we’d have water.

How do you know if it’s cold outside if you haven’t been outside yet? Do you run the sky?

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Me: That’s where mommy works (points to building).

Jack: Do you eat bacon there?

We have to go back to Florida so we can feed the ducks. Or else they will die.

Jack to daddy: Daddy, do you know everything?

Daddy: Yes.

Jack, after about a minute pause: What’s for dinner?

Daddy: I don’t know.

Jack: See!? You don’t know everything!!!