I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Honeymoon in Retrospect (Because It's Cold Outside)

 This unending winter weather (more like just getting serious) has pushed my thoughts into happier places. Warmer places. Ocean places. Relaxing places. Need your sunglasses places.

  Most specifically, cruise ships.

 It is a cruel trick to sit and endure cruise line commercials January through March, knowing that you are still years away from enjoying their majesty. The marketing offices are filled with geniuses: because it's just at that moment when you wake up to frost (again) and looking in the mirror confirms that you have lost every hint of a tan from last summer; that you are quite close to picking up the phone and booking a cruise regardless of finances and real life demands.

 See, I know that it's not practical, or remotely affordable, to bring three small children on a cruise. We have plans/dreams of going on a Disney cruise in the next couple of years. I keep saying "next year", but that may jinx us more than anything else, so I will stick with "in the near future". Our Disney card is racking up points with every grocery store purchase and someday we will book the vacation.

What else do people do when wearing lifevests?

The good ol' Panama Canal

 Our last cruise was our honeymoon in 2004. We sailed on the Carnival Paradise, perhaps the second most infamous boat in their line, after the sewage disaster Carnival Triumph was stranded at sea. Gregory recently discovered that our cruise was eventful enough to be described on Wikipedia. It was their last sailing as their only non-smoking ship, precisely because non-smoking ships generate less money. You can read about it here. Or I can just tell you about it.

 Exactly where do I begin? We left a day late because of hurricanes in Miami. Therefore we could not stop in Aruba. Carnival rewarded our misfortune with onboard credit. We weren't phased by the "bad" news (because, really, I acknowledge these are first world problems) because it was our honeymoon and YES! we were going on a cruise! So we sailed for about a week straight - through the Panama Canal and stopped in Acapulco. Then we hit rough waters in the Pacific and couldn't disembark at Cabo San Lucas. More onboard credit. Our last couple of days were extremely windy with warnings posted to stay indoors. And finally, upon arriving in Los Angeles - we get the voicemails telling us that storms and flooding in Pittsburgh had totalled both of our cars.
In Costa Rica

Still, the best tan of my life. 

Did someone says drinks?

 A trifecta of bad weather all around the western hemisphere. 

 So, our weather and luck could have been better - and in retrospect, our luck WAS better than some because our boat never caught fire and we never had to pee in buckets. We saw beautiful coasts in Mexico, went kayaking, hiked through the rainforest, read books in the sunshine, drank with the bartender at the pool, laughed at the onboard entertainment and cruised the world for two weeks. We were on our Honeymoon, for God's sake!

 You might think I am a nut job for speaking wistfully of this vacation: we missed half the places we wanted to see and learned our lesson about cruising in the off-season. But it was fun. I was cruising with the love of my life. It was exciting AND our fateful ship was notable enough to mention in the Carnival logbooks.

 Therefore: we can't wait to risk the open seas again! This time with three kids in tow. :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


This guy has been "posing" all over the country. 

 I know I have been unforgivingly inconsistent. Just give me a few years and I will have all the time I need to devote to thoughtful writing and insight about life.

 Our man Jackson has been UP to a lot of antics lately. I can't blame him for being a complete weirdo, because, well, we encourage it. A lot. The stranger the comments, the harder we laugh. This post is dedicated to some of the more *interesting* moments we have had in the past few weeks. (Disclaimer: the use of the word "pito" will be frequent here. Please don't google it because I don't want to be responsible for what you find. Pito simply means... well, somebody's privates.)

 Here are some choice moments that deserve to be shared:

 During a routine drive back from the grocery store, Jackson started singing, "My little Pi-to, my little Pi-to, ahhh, ahhh, ahh ah" to the theme song from My Little Ponies. Perhaps I should not have laughed so hard because I think I have encouraged him to change many a songs' lyrics.

 While changing at the Y after swimming, Gregory caught Jackson looking at himself in the mirror and saying "My, what a beautiful pito." He then went on to say that about many of his other attributes. What I would do for that self confidence!

 And, finally, an embarrassing incident at good ol' Tim Horton's. We were walking back to our car, past the windows when Elliot stopped to wave goodbye to a little girl sitting inside. Aww, how cute, right? Elliot waves. The toddler waves back. I smile. Then Jackson sticks out his tongue and swipes his finger across his throat in that way that says, "You're dead" or "I am going to kill you." YEAH, I wasn't smiling anymore and I didn't wait to see if the little girl and her mother were smiling either. What the heck he was thinking, I don't know - maybe he thought it would be ironic? It's unexplainable and oddly predictable.

 That's the story of our 4 year old!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Do you ever wonder what your kids remember from their early years? I recall trips to the grocery store, chasing the reflections of light on the floor. I remember meal time and playing with my Barbies and Jesus figurine. (You read that right!)

But when it comes to important moments: birthdays parties, vacations, "bonding activities", all of the events that make or break a childhood, what exactly do kids remember? Do you yourself remember random nuggets of vacations you took in your elementary years?

I loved our first trip to Disney World at six years old. But what sticks in my mind? Waiting in line for the Dumbo ride and taking an overnight train from Florida back to Pennsylvania.

Our roadtrip over winter break was certainly not Disney world caliber, but I thought it would at least be exciting to visit the sights of Washington D.C. Hearing Jackson talk about his recent ventures gives me some insight into what really is memorable to a 4 year old.

Me: Whose house did we visit on our trip:
J: Evie's?
Me: And?
J: Mimi's
Me: And?
J: Nano's.
Me: AND?
J: President Obama!

So yes, seeing the White House might be cool... but not as exciting as spending time with family. How's that for priorities?