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Nothing says you’re getting older more than the phone calls. Last year, it seemed that every time I picked up the phone it was either someone telling me they were getting divorced, or that they had cancer. I don’t mean to sound flip. The first is the end of life as you know it, and the second the potential end of life all together. But if you can’t find humor in it all, you can’t survive it. There are even websites devoted to “Cancer Jokes.” Gotta love the internet.
Still, it’s hard to find anything to smile about when you’re watching someone suffer. Still, I try. Humor is how I cope with everything from whining kids, to leaky roofs, to sagging bustlines. So when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma this summer, we joked about how chemo would be the best diet ever. When my college boyfriend found out that his thyroid cancer had metastasized into his lungs, he quipped “Bet now you’re really glad you didn’t marry me!” And when my own mother went in for her second mastectomy, after already having lost her large intestine to colitis twenty years earlier, we joked that it was “another year, another body part.”
Not truly funny, maybe. But when you’re terrified, or sad, or desperate, sometimes you’ll laugh, just to make it seem like it’s not that bad. Sometimes you’ll laugh just so you won’t cry. (more…)
Not too long ago, I wrote about how this summer, my kids both gave up their blankies. In a flash of — well, either genius or idiocy, depending on your point of view — hubby and I decided to give the twins security blankets, rather than pacifiers. No teeth problems, no plastic sucking, no need to take them away until, as my pediatrician said, they turned forty.
It didn’t take quite that long. This summer, the twins both gave up their blankies…and I got one.
Well, Jeanelle Troncone, the founder of Comfort Silkie (our chosen blankie brand) read my blog and sent me a Mommy blankie of my own. It’s an all silkie home-throw. And it’s mine. mine. mine. It’s big (54×50) and it even has my name embroidered on it. And since I’m past forty (ouch!) I never, ever have to give it up.
My kids are jealous. But yours don’t have to be. Jeanelle has kindly given me an original baby-sized comfort silkie bonding security blanket to give away. It’s a lovely, sophisticated chocolate brown and cream combo — perfect for the hip baby.
Make comment below, and you’ll automatically be entered to win
My kids loved these forever. They saved us on countless plane and car rides. And let’s fact it, a kid with a blankie is way cuter than a kid with a hunk o’ plastic sticking out of his/her mouth.
Contest open to US Residents only. Entries taken until midnight on Friday, October 2nd. One winner will be chosen at random by random.org.
This summer was wonderful….and LONG.
In the great tradition of “the more you pay the less you go” my kids’ private school had a full three month break over the summer. Three months of no school. Yikes.
So now, I’m the one who needs a vacation, with the husband and without the kids. This poses a problem. Between camp, renovating, and the economy, we are not exactly swimming in petty cash for a weekend escape. True, we could go back out to the country without the kids, but that would mean making my own bed, straightening up after myself, and dealing with closing up the house again. Plus, there would be the inevitable leaky roof issue, or raccoons in the attic problem, or even acknowledgment that it isn’t our house, but my parents’ house, with all of its attendant Freudian bagage.
What to d0?
How about a night in a hotel in NY? No travel costs, lots of deals if we stay on a weekend night, and proximity should there be an emergency at home. Plus, I’ve always wondered what tourists do when they’re here. What do they go see? (aside from the M&M store - something I will never, ever, understand. Don’t they have M&M’s in Missouri?) Where do they stay? How does it feel to see NY for the first time?
Enter Oyster.com, a new(ish) website that offers unbiased (read: not sponsored by the hotels themselves) travel website staffed by actual reporters instead of regular people writing about their personal experience. Unlike TripAdvisor (not to say anything bad about them. I happen to like that site, too.) they only use real, undoctored photos — not the ones from the publicity packet. so you really see the size of the beach, the cleanliness of the pool, the crowds on the lounge chairs. Honestly,- do people really buy those PR photos? The ones that show perfectly coiffed, hard-bodied guests COMPLETELY ALONE ON THE BEACH during the holiday rush at a Caribbean resort?? Yeah, right.)
At the moment, Oyster is a bit limited in it’s scope: a few islands in the Caribbean, and lucky for me: New York City.
Oyster has some pretty fun but useless categories like “celebrity sighting hotels,” “famous affair hotels” that probably make for better reading than research – unless you’re a stalker or a cheater, that is. But I opted for the eminently practical “Best Value Hotels” category. Two of their picks On the Ave and The Beacon were out. I might be into the no-travel get away, but less than 20 blocks isn’t a getaway, it’s home, only more expensive.
The other budget hotels were likewise G.U. (Geographically undesirable.) as for me, a getaway does not include hoardes of tourists at Times Square,or hoards of businessmen in Midtown.
Still I soldiered on. Kid Friendly Hotels was a category I was happy to find…so I could avoid those places at all costs. But Most Romantic Hotels seemed promising. Again, though, no neighborhoods I wanted to explore were represented. And that’s where I get to problem number one.
I’d like for my husband and I to stay in a cool neighborhood — say near the High Line, or in the East Village. I’d like our hotel to be within walking distance of new, cool, restaurants, and a downtown vibe. But doing so would only highlight how incredibly OLD we have become. The last time hubby and I went downtown to dinner were not years older than everyone else —- but DECADES. You know you’re old when you look at the other patrons and think “I could be his mother.” or worse yet “get a blanket to cover that girl! She looks practically naked!” I think Oyster should add a “Best Hotels that are cool but won’t make you feel like you’re 100 years old.” category.
And that brings me to problem number two. If I really want to get away — I have to be able to get away from myself. I need to be more positive about my looks, my age, my hipness quotient. So maybe I should just stay home — because there’s no way that’s gonna happen.
Still, a girl can dream, can’t she? I can click around Oyster and imagine myself luxuriating in a gorgeous hotel while some studly masseur takes care of the kinks in my neck. Because on the web, the world is my oyster…and I am its pearl.
This is a Traveling Mom sponsored post.
Sure vacation is over, but it isn’t all bad. After all, the kids are back in school, I am back at the gym, and Zabars is right around the corner.
Read what else is OK about being back from vacation by clicking over to my weekly post on TravelingMom.com.
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I love being out of the city. The flowers, the sea, the incessant barking of the dog of the people renting the house next door. Sunshine, fresh air. Picking the herbs I need to cook instead of spending $1.50 a bunch for them, using only a few tablespoons worth, and waiting until the rest gets moldy or dried out before tossing it out.
What I don’t like, is all the driving.
Aside from the fact that all the time I spend in the car is one of the primary reasons I end each summer flabbier and fatter than I began it, is the endless tedium of sitting in the car. How many times do I need to hear that the Black Eyed Peas think “tonights gonna be a good night”? Or that Cobie Caillat is so in love that it’s wrinkling her nose? I’m wrinkling mine, too, honey, in disgust at the amount of gas I’m using and time I’m spending SITTING SITTING SITTING. (Does pushing the gas pedal burn calories? I hope so.)
Notice I haven’t mentioned the kids? Generally speaking, the bickering begins just as we reach the end of the driveway. Lovely.
Imagine, then, how happy I was to get a distraction in the mail: Rand McNally’s Car Karaoke, part of their Boredom Breakers ™ series of car games for families. (Full disclosure: they sent it to me for free. Asked me to review it, but IN NOW WAY direct what I am going to say)