Tag Archives: Kids

I Left My Heart in Utopia, TX…


Approximately 29 hours ago, I dropped my sweet, outgoing, and overly independent daughter off at her first “away-from-home” camp in Utopia Texas, about 90 minutes from home and far away in the beautiful Texas hill country and  from any state-of-the art medical facility.

Utopia, TXI swear, for the first time in my life, I did not cry at a cry-worthy moment when we left Olivia with her friend Claire and several strangers in her cabin. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and would give my life to save theirs, but I don’t consider myself overly affectionate. I certainly underestimated how much I would miss her as we pulled out of the camp parking lot and headed home.

IMG_3944It started almost immediately, when Evan casually blurted out, “I already miss Olivia.” We humored him, but the truth is, I already missed Olivia too. And I almost lost it when my mind started wandering on our ride home and somehow fast forwarded to eight years, when I fully expect we will be dropping her off for her first semester at NYU (fortunately for her, it probably won’t be 96 degrees like it was in Utopia yesterday). As we arrived back home, I felt an uncontrollable urge to hang out in her room and assemble a doll armoire that has been sitting on her floor since Christmas 2013. Finished it tonight!

And, all day, whenever I had a spare moment, I thought of her… On my drive to work, I was wondering if she had a good night sleep – or any sleep for that matter. I thought about her as I read the paper and FullSizeRenderthe graphic reminded me of Doctor Who…

As I went to get water at work, I hoped she was staying well hydrated and that she changed her underwear. On my way home, I thought of her when I sang Uptown Funk at the top of my lungs. Now, I’m sitting  here hoping she is not thinking about us at all and that she is having the time of her life. And, I’m thinking a how amazing, courageous, grown-up, smart, confident, and beautiful she is.


Conversations in the Car


I’m not sure why some of the most interesting conversations I have with my kids happen in the car. Maybe it’s because we are confined. Maybe it’s because they are excited to go to school or to come home. Maybe there is something about riding in a 5,800 piece of metal that pulls the interesting thoughts,  humor, and cleverness out of them.

Not sure, but here’s the conversation we had yesterday on the way home:

Background: The kids always want to play on my ipad. In fact, I’m not even sure I can call it my ipad anymore, since I almost never get to use it. Every so often, I will let Olivia play on my husband’s ipad while Evan plays on “mine” in order to accommodate the kids, avoid meltdowns, and keep peace in the house.

Olivia: Mom, can I play on the ipad after we eat dinner?

Evan: Mom, can I play on the ipad after we eat dinner?

Olivia: Evvvaaannnn. I asked first.

Evan: But, Olivia, I had a good day today. (Evan doesn’t get to play on the ipad if he gets his name on the board.)

Olivia: I did too.

Me: Olivia, if  you’re lucky, I’ll let you use Daddy’s ipad.

Evan: Olivia is lucky. Olivia is lucky. Olivia is lucky.

Well, Olivia wasn’t so lucky, because Marvin took his ipad to Phoenix with him, so we had to take turns playing with “my” ipad. Again, I never got a turn!

A conversation with Olivia


During the school year, I drive Olivia to school each day. Our less than five-minute drive doesn’t allow much time for conversation, besides a review of her after school schedule or a short spelling word quiz.

For the past week, Olivia has been attending Camp Showbiz at the Magik Theatre, which is about 19 miles from home. The 30 minute drive into downtown San Antonio gives me time to have a full on conversation with my sweet, sensitive, and innocent seven year old. One day last week, when I hadn’t had enough coffee  and Olivia may have had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, I finally had to tell her that we had already covered a variety of tricky, inappropriate, and complex topics and that we just needed to listen to the radio for the rest of the drive. So here’s what we talked about…

  • Becoming a billionaire. She confessed that she wants to be a billionaire when she grows up. (Which I think is fine as long as she takes good care of her parents. I worry about how she thinks she is going to become a billionaire , though I’m pretty sure it has something to do with acting on the Disney Channel. Or, marrying Daniel Radcliffe – see below…)
  • Her conversion to Methodism. As we passed the Methodist Heart Hospital, Olivia asked me if that was where she was born. I told her that she was born at Methodist hospital, but not that one. She insisted that since she was born at Methodist hospital, it would be okay for her to become a Methodist when she turned 18. (She has wanted to convert since early this summer when she spent a week at vacation bible school at the Methodist church.)
  • Daniel Radcliffe. She thinks he is totally hot and wants to know if he has a younger brother.
  • Radio Disney censorship rules. When the incredibly catchy song Price Tag played on the radio, Olivia wanted to know why they censored the word damn but not the word ho… (Good question! At least she didn’t ask me what “ho” means…)
  • Competing in beauty pageants. She announced that she wanted compete in  beauty pageants, and I was completely caught off guard. (I told her that  Toddlers and Tiaras is creepy and there is no way I am going to be on that show!)

And who says kids grow up too soon?

5 Funny Things I Heard on the Way Home From Vacation


So, after six days of being on vacation, we were all anxious to get home. But as usual, in a car for five hours with two little ones, there were some interesting things said during our trip back to home sweet home…Clearly, since these are not nearly as creative as the funny things I heard on our way TO our vacation destination, we were really tired on our way home!

1. “Can we stay at the  Sheraton again? I didn’t cry when we left the Great Wolf Lodge, but I’m crying when we leave the Sheraton.” – Olivia, who cries after she leaves EVERY hotel. I’m sure she is going to work for Fodor’s one day!

2. “Can we listen to Maroon 5?” – Olivia and me. Are you seeing a pattern here?

3. “How do you take the dog a bath?” – Evan. What?

4.  “More candy. More candy. More candy.” – Evan and Olivia. Oh, more sugar. Just what two kids trapped in a car for five hours need!

5. “I win, you lose. You have poop in your pants.” – Evan to Olivia (or, Evan’s Mickey Mouse stuffed animal to Olivia’s American Girl doll). Wow!

Candy rattle snake

Marvin joins the sugar high with a yummy gummy rattlesnake

Ahhh. The sound of silence!

Why do I over think everything…


I think part of a mother’s responsibility is to over think everything. Is it because with every decision, we’re afraid we are letting our children down? Is it because we want to provide what’s best for them?Is it because our children are so darn demanding?

I fully admit I over think too much, and I have the story to prove it…

We are getting ready to go on a family vacation to lovely and exotic Dallas, TX. Part of the time, we will be in a hotel where the little ones will have a “room” all to themselves, and part of the time, we’ll be in a room where I thought the kids would have fun sleeping in sleeping bags. Problem – my kids didn’t have sleeping bags yet. So, one day last week, I took a trip to Target to buy a sleeping bag for Olivia and one for Evan. The selection was overwhelming, and I realized I had to choose between regular sleeping bags and the “Princess” and “Cars” versions. After a little thought, I bought Olivia a blue bag and Evan a red bag, since those are their favorite colors.

As soon as I got back to my office, buyer’s remorse set in. Did I get the right ones? Are they going to like them? Where else can I find better sleeping bags? After virtual visits to Academy, Dicks Sporting Goods, and even Walmart, I decided to try out the options I bought.

So, did I over think the sleeping bags? You bet I did. Check out these photos…