Trains, Planes and Boats, Oh My! Solving the Travel Puzzle

It started in 2013 on our first trip to Italy.  From the minute we made it out of Rome and into Tuscany, I was completely hooked on all things Italy. The gorgeous rolling hills, scenic tiny towns, delicious food and wine, and friendly people were so amazing on our first trip that I immediately wanted to return. But big trips like that take saving and planning, so it wasn’t until this year that we were able to start booking flights. One of my favorite things about travel is the process of putting together a trip itinerary and figuring out the puzzle pieces of transportation, which cities to visit, and where to stay. Here is the basic outline of how I like to plan an international trip:

  1. Pick the places you want to visit
  2. Using that list of places, figure out the best airport to use for arrival and departure
  3. Using the start and ending airport, fill in the number of days you would like to spend in each location
  4. Grab a Rick Steve’s guide or visit TripAdvisor.com and learn about the best ways to get to and from each city. Once you know the right form of transportation, you can look up schedules and determine the best days for travel between locations.
  5. Start booking on AirBnB!

It’s like a nerdy travel puzzle, and I love it!

The first decision we made was to stick to the southern portion of the country. Since our first trip took us to Rome, Tuscany and Milan, we wanted to head south and see what else we could discover. We did want to avoid Naples if possible, so that eliminated that as a possible airport choice. After going back and forth, we finally decided on the Amalfi Coast and Sicily, eliminating Lecce from our short list due to the amount of travel time it would take to get to Lecce and then back across the country to Sicily. I’m still a bit sad about that, but I guess it just means we will have to go again another time. 🙂

With a list of cities selected, I decided to book flights in and out of Rome. Since our flight landed pretty early in the morning, we decided to book a train from Rome to Salerno the same day, getting us closer to the Amalfi Coast without spending a night in Rome. As it turned out, we had enough time between our flight’s arrival and when our train departed that we were able to wander over to the Trevi Fountain. It has recently been cleaned and was absolutely stunning in the sunlight.

trevi

After arriving in Salerno, I wanted to catch to ferry directly to Amalfi, but my husband is smart and figured that after more than 24 hours of travel, we should probably stay the night in Salerno. As it turns out, we had one of our best meals that night, so I’m glad he talked some sense into me while we were scheduling apartments on AirBnB.

The next morning we headed to Amalfi on a ferry, which is a pretty typical way of transit around the Amalfi Coast. We made Amalfi our homebase and made day trips to Positano, Ravello, and Capri. Of all the places we visited, Amalfi and Ravello were our favorites by far. Our apartment in Amalfi was right next to the Duomo.

That is our laundry hanging outside our window. And duomo just above!
That is our laundry hanging outside our window. And duomo just above!

Our next stop on this tour of Italy was Catania, which is a major city on the island of Sicily. We debated about renting a car and driving, but a coworker from Italy advised against this, due to construction along that road. We booked a train instead, avoiding the hassle of the airport. The best part about this train is that it actually rolls onto a ferry to make the crossing to Sicily. I find this freaking AWESOME. Unfortunately, when I booked the train, I failed to check the ferry schedule as well. There was not a ferry early enough to get us to Salerno to catch our train. So we ended up on a very crowded one hour bus ride from Amalfi to Salerno. One lady even used my shoulder as an armrest for part of the trip. So take a lesson from me – check the ferry schedule. 🙂

This is our train. On a boat. On the ocean!
This is our train. On a boat. On the ocean!

After arriving in Catania, we had a lazy day where we slept in, had a late lunch, and wandered the city before heading back to our apartment for a nap. If you are on a longer trip, I highly recommend you take a day to really do nothing. No museums, no churches. Just eating, laying around, and maybe some people watching with your wine. I’m glad we took a day to relax, because our next three days were jam packed with sightseeing.

We started by picking up our rental car and heading to Valley of the Temples.  It is just over 2 hours from Sicily to Agrigento, but when you aren’t familiar with the signage, and possibly can’t figure out the map your husband downloaded, you make quite a few u-turns and it adds to the trip time. Oops! Fortunately we didn’t have a tight schedule.

 

 

Driving in Italy - a whole new world
Driving in Italy – a whole new world
Valley of the Temples
Valley of the Temples

After Valley of the Temples, we drove about fifteen minutes to the southern coast of Sicily to find the Scala dei Turchi, also known as the Turkish Steps. This amazing seaside rock formation literally looks like white steps on the side of the sea. Even with the haze, the views were beautiful and well worth the side trip.

turchi

The next morning we enjoyed an interesting experience with a parking garage attendant while trying to find a place for our rental car for the day. Fortunately the tiny bit of Italian we knew, plus a very nice stranger helped us limp through that transaction. Pro tip – parking in big cities in any country is a pain. Ask your host or hotel for advice on parking locations and costs.

After storing the car for the day, we met up with a local guide for a food and wine tour in the Mount Etna region. It was wonderful to escape the city and the heat, try some wonderful food and wine from the region, and learn about Italy from a local. Check TripAdvisor and Rick Steve’s guides for reviews and recommendations of local tour guides.

We found the wine!
We found the wine!

On our last full day in Sicily, we headed out in the rental car again for a trip to Ortigia. Fortunately, it was a much easier drive this time and we made it there easily. We spent the day wandering the city, revisiting places the husband remembered from a month he spent there for school, and having a lazy lunch of delicious seafood. In the late afternoon we went a bit further south and spent an hour on the beach, just relaxing and enjoying the sea. Having a car gave us great flexibility, but I think I still prefer using public transportation and walking.

ortigia

After our time in Sicily, we caught a flight back to Rome for one last night before our return trip. We wandered the city, visited the Spanish Steps, and had one last gelato. The last puzzle piece of the trip was complete when we boarded our flight back to the States.

Last gelato
Last gelato

Now, which travel puzzle should we solve next?

Kendra Sig

Anniversary Date Surprise!

The husband and I are celebrating our nine year anniversary this year with another epic trip to Italy. However, because of timing and my need to hoard vacation days for another vacation later this year, our flight schedule has us landing in Rome on our actual anniversary with massive jet lag and still a full day of travel before we get to our first destination. Since sleeping on planes and trains and dragging our luggage through cities doesn’t scream anniversary, I decided to plan a small surprise before we left town.

I struggled with ideas for the surprise. A fancy dinner didn’t seem appropriate, since we are about to eat our way through all of the delicious Italian food and wine. A movie date didn’t seem right either. Instead, I booked us a time slot at iFLY Dallas. If you haven’t been before, it is basically indoor skydiving. They opened in Frisco about two years ago and we hadn’t tried it out yet. It seemed like a fun way to celebrate nine years of marriage – by doing something completely different!

I booked our appointment online and decided to add on some additional minutes to the package so that we got a bit more flight time in. We had to trek all the way to the suburbs for this, so I wanted to make the trip worth it! On the way there, I played a custom playlist to give him hints to where we were headed.

Blake guessed on the first song. Perhaps I should be a bit more obscure with the lyrics next time.
Blake guessed on the first song. Perhaps I should be a bit more obscure with the lyrics next time.

After we checked in, we had about 15 minutes to watch one of the groups before our safety class. Although I had seen some video online, watching in person was way better. By the time our safety class started, we were both pretty excited.

ifly

Before getting geared up.
Before getting geared up.

After a safety video and some important information from our instructor, we geared up with suits, goggles, earplugs, and helmets. A few pro tips:

  • Don’t wear any jewelry. There are lockers to secure your valuables, so put them there or leave them at home. This includes wedding rings.
  • Wear shoes that lace up tight. Slip on shoes can fly off and no one wants to be in a wind tunnel with your shoe.
  • Go casual – jeans or shorts and a t-shirt is just fine.
  • Your hair will be a disaster after you are done. Just own it. Bring a wide-tooth comb or just plan to rock a crazy style until you get home.

Once we were geared up it was time to start our group’s turn. I have to say it was a pretty awesome experience. You can’t hear anything in there, so it is all hand signals and maybe some lip reading as your instructor sees you are ready to try a few tricks. Blake and I learned how to move forward and back in the tunnel, as well as up and down vertically. We also learned to spin a bit, although mine needs a bit of work. I made good friends with one side of the tunnel wall.  Oops!  For the last 30 seconds of the second round the instructor grabs your suit and takes you for a fun spin up and down vertically. I loved every second of it.

After you are done, the instructor will give you a certificate and go over with you how you did and give you some pointers for the next time. Blake and I happily signed up for another package, then went out for margaritas to celebrate.

 

After! Big smiles.
After! Big smiles.

It was definitely a good choice for our anniversary and I’m glad we did something other than the usual nice dinner and drinks. What are your anniversary traditions? Share with us in the comments – I’m going to need some new ideas for the 10th anniversary next year!

Kendra Sig

Epic Mom Guilt and Embracing A Little Selfishness

#threenager

There’s no such thing as a perfect child and therefore the fairytale that is a perfect Mom does not exist either.  Motherhood is different for everyone and survival is the goal for everyday – not Pinterest perfect, gluten-free muffins for breakfast and not homemade outfits from recycled curtains – let’s just say that Babyzilla is known to have a bag of Cheetos puffs for breakfast.  As a mom, I try to set lofty goals for myself but not too high in order to avoid disappointment later.  After all, my everyday goal is to not lose my temper too badly and avoid causing permanent damage to the kids, and that I’ll make it home with all kids in tow so I can put those little dictators angels to bed and have a bottle glass of wine and possibly catch some Netflix with Michael.

In all Mommy honesty, we have all those days where we hide in the bathroom to get an extra 2 minutes of Facebook viewing while risking a toddler going out the front door.  Just kidding…the seven year-old was watching her.  Oh, I mean, my unicorn was….

Shame Lady GOT

I want to share with you my top not-so-perfect-Mommy practices in order to (hopefully) let you have the honest conversations with fellow mommies.  The point is, the idea that a mommy has to be everything and do everything is not realistic (even with a badass partner like my husband!) and I refuse to emotionally beat myself up based on what some Pinterest mommy board tells me.  If you drop by on any given day, you will find that my house is probably messy, we are eating sandwiches for dinner, and someone may be skipping bath night because I want to relax and maybe run to the gym.  Mommy tip…dry shampoo works on kids too!

I could try harder to “do it all” but that would mean that I would have to be more selfless, and I refuse to give up myself.  Yep, I would rather have an hour at the gym and live with a messy playroom.  I can walk away from that playroom and not look at it all day.  I have to look at myself in the mirror and it will be a constant reminder that I didn’t take care of myself and hit the gym.  As a mom, I have to constantly weigh decisions based on everyone’s needs and sometimes, I am more important.  And, that’s ok.

Behold, my top three shameful Mommy behaviors that I’d like to say I’m going to change but I probably won’t because I accept that I am allowed to be a little bit selfish:

#3.  Daycare Hair.  I’m not capable of mastering simple hair styles.

Isabella Hair copy

I was blessed with a full head of thick, wavy hair that I can straighten, curl, or do anything with.  Unfortunately, I only really learned to do my hair two ways…down, or up in a ponytail.  I used to think that having a daughter would motivate me to learn how to braid and do all of the cool, girly hair styles you see on Pinterest.  Um no.  That did not happen and I struggle with doing anything with Isabella’s long locks besides plopping a bow in it or pulling it up in a ponytail.  Her daycare must see my struggle too because ever since Babyzilla began going there, she comes home with beautiful braids and hairstyles that I could never learn to do on my own.  One morning, she even told me not to mess with her hair because she was going to get it done at school.  Oh my.

#2.  Co-sleeping.  Sometimes, it’s just easier to coral them in one room.

Clones sleeping

Babyzilla and Antonio are both lucky to have their own bedrooms with queen sized beds.  But, they usually end up together in Antonio’s room.  Bedtime is tricky because on a good day, it only takes twenty minutes for people to settle down while on a bad day, this could take hours.  We let the kids sleep in the same room because Antonio is obedient about turning off the lights and following the routine we ask him to do.  Then lately, it never fails that Babyzilla comes crawling into our master bedroom at 5 AM and snuggles in between us.  I’m not getting up at 5 AM to do anything much less fight a threenager on going back to her own room.  I value my precious sleep moments that early in the morning and so I often have a tiny person wrapped around my head like a cat.

#1.  Mommy Doesn’t Cook…My Daddy Only Cooks.  When my son was in Kindergarten, he proudly presented me with an “All About Mom” booklet that he had worked on for Mother’s Day.  The results of the first page sent me through a roller coaster of emotions and made me realize the way my child sees me through his eyes is so much more simpler than how I see myself.  The page read:

Antonio Kindergarten Mothers Day

So, my immediate reaction to the cooking comment was that it is true (kudos to Michael) and then I proceeded to laugh at the squash comment because i don’t even remember the last time I ate squash.  I am a chocolate and bacon type of girl.  Almost three years later and my son will now say that cooking is done 50% by Daddy and 50% by Mommy.  Yay for Blue Apron!

DSC_2007

Healthy eating and an active life style are important things I am trying to teach my kids, but I won’t ban McDonald’s from our diets…only the “chicken” nuggets.  I have slowly in the past couple of years embraced this whole cooking concept and we do cook for about half of the week.  Kitchen is closed on weekends unless someone wants to get fancy and make pancakes.

Guilt, shame and feelings of insecurity are things every mom struggles with on a daily basis.  Instead of focusing on the things I can’t do, I try to accept my faults and focus on the Wins of the Day as Kendra has so eloquently suggested to all of us.  Sometimes, those wins include reading bedtime stories and goodnight hugs and kisses.  Other times, it means celebrating that I squeezed in twenty minutes to workout.  A good litmus test on getting perspective is always hearing my son pray at night.  No matter how much I discipline him or nag him about everyday “stuff”, he always thanks God that I am his mother.  That and the fact that he says I’m sweet as pop tarts.

Antonio Mothers Day K

 

Delicious Things Lou Told Me About

Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I am not a fan of cooking. If a recipe has more than 5 ingredients, the chances are high that I won’t give it a second look. I have a cookbook specifically for 20 minutes or less recipes, and it is probably the only cookbook that has seen any love in our house.

cooking-in-real-life-21873

However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy delicious food. I just prefer when other people prepare it.  🙂  On the occasion that I do want to try a new recipe and spice up our usual kitchen rotation, I turn to my good friend Lou. She always has great ideas for both dinners and lunches.  Below are a few examples of the delicious things Lou has convinced me to make.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

This chicken recipe sees quite a few rotations in our house. The husband likes it, and I like how fast it is to prepare and cook. Easy clean up too as long as you cover the oven pan in foil before you start. One of the best things about this recipe is that most of the ingredients are staples in your pantry, so just pick up some chicken and a vegetable for a side and you have one weekly meal ready to go.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spicy-honey-brushed-chicken-thighs-0

Solutions for the Larabar Addict

I love Larabars. The ingredients are all things that you have heard of, such as dates, almonds, peanuts, etc. The downside is that I can only find them at Whole Foods. If I want to save any money on the rest of my groceries, that means two grocery stores each weekend, which is not high on my list of fun weekend activities. Enter Lou, who sends me a recipe for how to make my own. She’s a smart woman.

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup raw almonds or cashews
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Directions:

1. Combine the dates, almonds, peanut butter and water in a food processor and puree until mixture starts to stick together. Add a little more water if necessary to help mixture come together.

2. Pick up the mixture and use your hands to squeeze it together into a big clump. Mash the mixture into a container to form into one even rectangle.

3. Slice into 12 squares. Store in the fridge.

Brussel Sprouts and Kale – get those veggies in!

Lou is also more adventurous with her veggies. I love brussel sprouts, but do not feel the same about kale. Lou introduced me to this recipe and it has been a great make-ahead salad to have as a side or for lunches during the week. I’ll let her blog do the explaining on how to make it.

Easy Autumn Salad Recipe with Kale & Brussels Sprouts

Mason Jar Salads for the Weekday Win

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This picture doesn’t do the salad justice, but I made three of these for lunches last week and did not run into the usual salad burnout. While the recipe calls for putting everything in the mason jar, I prefer warm chicken in the salad, so I kept that and the cooked veggies in a separate container and reheated them before adding to the salad. I cooked and prepped everything on Sunday and when I ate the last one on Friday it was still delicious. Great choice for anyone trying to eat more veggies and save some money on eating out for lunch.

http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/salads/paleo-mason-jar-chicken-taco-salads/

Now, I did skip the roasted cumin seeds business and just used some cumin powder on the chicken. I’m quite sure I’m not missing anything with this substitute.

What are some of your go-to recipes for the family, or for your weekday lunches? Anyone else avoid the kitchen like I do?

Kendra Sig

My Favorite Things: Dallas Edition Part 1

I often get this question from family or friends who want to show visitors around town – What is there to do in Dallas? It is a pretty loaded question. With so much going on in a small area, it can be hard to narrow down. Here is Part 1 of my favorite things in Dallas.

Espresso at Cafe Strada

espresso

Cafe Strada is on a great little pedestrian side street in downtown Dallas. After ordering your coffee (or gelato!), grab a seat at one of their small tables and do some people watching. With the Joule hotel across the street and a 30-foot giant sculpture of an eyeball, there is plenty to see while you enjoy your coffee.

Catch a ride in an e-frog

Getting around the different neighborhoods of downtown can be difficult if you have a large group. While many areas are walkable, it can be overwhelming to get around if you are new to town. So when you need to go from downtown to Deep Ellum, Uptown, the Arts district, Fair Park, the Cedars, or anywhere in between, text an e-frog! These electric motor, open-air carts can hold 5 adults comfortably and are easily reached via text. Just let them know your name and how many in your group and they will send someone over. We recently coordinated 2 carts to take a group of friends from our house to Klyde Warren Park for a few hours of fun. No one had to find parking and we had a great time.  Note – these guys do not charge a fee for the ride, so tip your driver well!

See the sloths at Dallas World Aquarium

sloths
Sloths!!

While I would argue the DWA is more tropical forest and less aquarium, it is still a great place to see some animals and other creatures when it is too hot or too rainy for the zoo. Also, my attention span for museums and zoos is pretty short, so the smaller footprint of the aquarium suits me just fine. After you enter, you will wind through 2 levels of rain forest with all kinds of monkeys and birds. Because you start at the tops of the trees, you have lots of opportunities to spot different animals. Moving further down, the exhibits with lizards and snakes start, and at the very bottom of the building are all the tanks. There are also sloths, penguins, and a panther. While the small footprint of the building makes for 1-2 hours of fun, it also means it can be crowded. Aim to be there when it first opens to avoid the crowds, or go during the week.

kids
My adorable nephews had fun too!

Take a stroll on the Santa Fe Trestle Trail

nature

I’ve posted about the Santa Fe Trestle Trail before, but you truly can’t miss this bit of nature in the middle of the city. Whether you have 20 minutes or 2 hours, experiencing how quiet it can be inside the levees while you are right next to the city is something you shouldn’t miss.

Klyde Warren Park – See what happens when you build a park over a highway

happy
We returned soggy kids to their parents after this trip. Pro tip – bring a towel!

This 5 acre park is built over a highway and connect the Arts District with Uptown. On a nice day, every bit of this park will be packed with people lounging in the sun, playing in the fountains, enjoying some free yoga, or grabbing a snack at the many food trucks. My favorite thing to do is find a seat and do some people watching while enjoying a beer. While the park offers plenty of space for people, there is very little parking. Grab a trolley or an e-frog and leave the car at home.

Meet new friends at Full Circle Tavern

This patio is Tucker approved.
This patio is Tucker approved.

After all this exploring, you will be starving. Make your way to the Cedars and grab a drink and a meal at Full Circle Tavern. They have a great shaded patio and are dog friendly, so bring along your four-legged friends too. The owners at FCT are super friendly and take extra care to be sure you enjoy your food and your time in their tavern. The servers and bartenders complete the experience by making you feel right at home. The husband says order the grilled cheese with bacon and an egg – you won’t regret it.

End your day with a drink and some music at Lee Harvey’s

Lee Harvey’s was a neighborhood staple long before we moved here. Considered a dive bar, it has evolved over the years into a great place for a burger and a beer. Seating is mostly outdoors and long picnic tables give you space to hang out and chat with friends, or enjoy some live music. Bands are booked on most Friday and Saturday evenings. It is a great place to wind down your day before heading back home.

My list could go on forever, but I’ll stop Part 1 here. What are some of your favorite places in Dallas?

Kendra Sig

Urban Living, Dallas Style

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Everything is bigger in…Dallas

In a few short months, my fellow NonBlonde Amanda will be moving to the suburbs permanently. I recently visited her part of town and I was surprised by how out of my element I’ve felt! I’ve lived in the city for almost nine years and I’m no longer used to the daily life of suburbia. Although I would say Amanda’s new part of town is still just a little bit country too. 🙂

I love living in the city. We can walk to our neighborhood bars and restaurants, there is a great local coffee shop, and we even have a movie theater now. A short bike ride puts us in Deep Ellum or the Arts District, and a 5 minute ride on the #2 DART bus puts us right in the heart of the Main Street District.

Surprisingly, even land-locked Dallas County has some great natural beauty. The Trinity River runs nearby and the Santa Fe Trestle Trail runs in between the levies and is a great place for biking or walking. The city noise fades away and you can enjoy some time in a natural space, with the downtown skyline just behind you.

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nature

I’ve spent the majority of my life living in suburbs or smaller towns. Moving into a more urban area was a whole new adventure. Our part of town is under a renovation of sorts, so many of the residents were new as well. Within two weeks, my husband and I had met more neighbors than the two years we lived in North Dallas. Everyone had an interest in knowing their neighbors, for various reasons. First of all, the neighborhood still had some rough parts, so knowing who should and shouldn’t be on the property is important information. Second, many of our friends and family didn’t live close enough for regular gatherings, so meeting neighbors led to new social circles. Once we learned a nearby restaurant had half-price food on Wednesday’s, a group of neighbors regularly met there for delicious food and good company. Our new home had a true community feel, something I didn’t even know we had been missing.

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View from the neighborhood

Will we live in the city forever? Who knows! Every now and then we drive through other neighborhoods farther away from the city center, but it always comes back to how much we love our community, and we aren’t quite ready to leave that.

Kendra Sig

What Kind of Parent Will I Be

**Disclaimer, I am not pregnant and this is not me announcing that I am**

The hubby and I are ‘practicing’ making babies monthly now, hopefully soon one will stick and we will get a lil peanut but until then I want to share with you what kind of parent I will be.

What are my qualifications you ask?? Listen, I know everything there is to know about having a kid. I nannied starting as young as 15. I couldn’t even drive myself to my first gig however I was apparently responsible enough (or cheaper than good help) to take care of a 9 month old and a 1st grader every day after school from 4:00 until 6:30pm. I took care of kids in day care settings, babysat through college, and even post college on some occasions for friends with their own actual kids. I pride myself in being very knowledgeable as I have read a few books and ask my actual parent friends a ton of questions and pick their brains, so clearly I have this whole thing figured out. Plus there are the dogs, I think that in and of itself is great training, right?!?!

dogs bath
I hear my friends say you can never pee alone after having kids, clearly these two are warming me up for the big show.

Here is what kind of parent I will be and what my kids will and will not do.

I will not be the crazy new mom who calls her doctor for everything strange that happens to her body. I got this! Millions of women have gone before without the help of having their doc on speed dial. Who are we kidding, I call my doctor, my doctor friends, and nurse friends for anything and everything because being in the medical sales has caused me to become a hypochondriac. I have a feeling my doctor will fire me before 5 months.

I will not change my life for a kid, this kid will fit into our life. We will still brunch and travel and host great gatherings at our home as usual. Ha, I will be lucky if we get out of the house the first 6 months. I will have forgotten what a mimosa tastes like and forget having people over, I won’t even want a housekeeper to see what state of disrepair my house has fallen into.

I will have my kids sleep trained by 3 months at the absolute latest. Yeah, just like I have my dogs sleep trained. They never wake me when they need to pee, or when there is a thunderstorm, or when they decide it would be nice to play with their ball at 3am or when there is a full moon…I could go on.

I will not allow my kids iPads/iPhones at the table, in the car, or out in public as a distraction. I was raised in a time when we had to self entertain with stupid toys at the doctors office or play the ABC/123/License Plate game on road trips. If I can do it, so can my kids. Except when they can’t and I haven’t had a mimosa in 21 months and I want to snap and give in to their every whine just so I can sip on a damn OJ and Champs mommy drink.

office toy
Keeping kids distracted at the doctor since 1970’s.

I will not allow my children whatever they want for dinner, I am their mother, not a short order cook. And then I will be because after working all day and dealing with the craziness that is a 9-5 I won’t give a rats ass if you want hummus and Fruit Loops for dinner, if it will keep you from throwing a fit and get something decent in your stomach, I will pull up a chair and have the same.

I will keep my house and car clean. I can have nice things and kids too. I actually don’t think this one will be hard to accomplish. My girlfriend has discovered the perfect way to keep her adorable daughter entertained and her house clean at the same time. I mean, look at the genius mom invention!

No children were harmed in the making of this picture, actually she did this to herself.
No children were harmed in the making of this picture, actually she did this to herself.

I will not lose my cool and spank my child or raise my voice. When I was naughty I got a belt or a spoon or a hand or anything close enough to grab. Then there were the looks and the groundings. I don’t think those shaped me as a person at all! I don’t think learning to respect authority and what my limits were did any good for my development as a child or adult. Oh and being a strong willed child who pushed the boundaries never led to said spankings. Who are we kidding, I deserved everyone and probably more. And before I get all the emails saying spankings aren’t good for children, my husband and I  will make that call with our clones, you do you and we will do us.

I will not allow them to dictate what they wear or where we go. My kids will wear what I say and their very rare poor behavior will not cause me to change our plans and leave a grocery store buggy full of groceries. I think I have a decent sense of fashion and my children will appreciate that and agree with all my wardrobe choices for them. I will never let them leave the house in a Disney dress, a super hero cape, and their cowboy boots. Unless I am trying to get to a HH with a girlfriend and then I will care less what they wear as long as I can have one sip of a glass of wine, then they can wear what they want as long as they let me drop them off with a sitter, or a stranger. I will need the wine.

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His daddy loved the furry leg warmers!

I will not teach them bad habits or bad language. But if they do shout “Fu@&ing Move Dude” at random drivers then they surely picked that up from the nanny/day care/church pre-school because we all know I would never say anything like that, ever. Oh and I definitely wouldn’t wet my pants laughing when they do. And when my daughter reaches an age to start imitating me she wouldn’t do this.

belle
“Mommy, I want some fancy juice for NYE too!” *It was sparkling grape juice, don’t email me please.

Lastly, I will not stick to a single one of these because like every mom I know, you do the best you can to keep them happy and alive and not lose your sanity some days. But I know they will be worth it and I can’t wait!

What did you think you would or wouldn’t do as a first time mom?

If you are about to be a first time mom, this was actually a great article, http://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/motherhood/what-i-know/

Amanda Sig