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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bucarest- The Beginning


      I will start with the plane rides since I detest flying. Flying Delta to Amsterdam was like being stuffed into a plane built in 1982 that now was held together with duck tape and a prayer. Some how we made it over the ocean with only one announcement that began with "Ladies and Gentleman we have a small problem. Our entertainment system is not working properly. Please be patient while we fix it." FIRST do NOT start a sentence in a plane that's 30,000 feet in the air with "We have a problem." I would think that's flight attendant/barbie boot camp 101. Second if the entertainment is the only thing that is a problem on that plane I would be shocked.

    Now jump to my two hour Amsterdam lay over. I only got to see the airport, but I know I would adore Amsterdam. First the people are gorgeous and so friendly. Second the majority of them have blond hair blue eyes, therefore it's one of the few European countries where I actually don't scream "AMERICAN" I know this because I was spoken to several times in their native tongue...LOVE THAT.

    I DID however stick out on the plane from Amsterdam to Bucarest. First off I was the best dressed one by miles and I was just in my travel outfit, so that's saying something. Second the Romanian's have a rough look about them, I can't really put it into words, but I would guess it's from years of struggling. Oh and I was blond. That usually is a good give away that one of these things does not belong. LOL.

    My wonderful Romanian was waiting with flowers when I finally emerged from customs. OH WAIT, I have NEVER EVER entered a country where the customs officers don't say welcome to so and so or have a good trip. This man basically threw my passport back at me. FYI Romania this is not how you promote tourism. 
   So a friend of the Romanians picked me up so as we all chatted about my trip I got to begin my initial thoughts about Bucarest.

      It looked poor and very run down. I could see attempts at modernization and revitalizing, but it was being done in such a backwards way. It seemed like there was little structure, cars parked on sidewalks, people walking across major roads without looking. Beautification in the districts I saw was minimal if at all. All the buildings that the communists had built and continued to house a majority of the population, were so run down I was shocked that they were even habitable.

    There were modern apartment buildings going up, but as The Romanian explained they were cheap and not well built. Okay this is I think the only way to explain what I saw: I had a Romanian friend who lives in the US say this to me once, "They are happy to have what they have, they don't get the need to have more therefore they don't try." Where as in American we are never happy with just getting by, we always want more, work harder, faster, try to be the best or top dog. Now is saying this, both things are in extremes, of course some Romanians want more and of course some American are happy just getting by. However that is not the mentality that each country teaches. Romanian teaches "be happy just to get by" in American we teach "be better, make more, have more." Are we greedy because of this? I'm not sure,maybe but I am happy I was taught this because I would never want to have the "I will just settle for what I was dealt" life. 


     Anyway, we arrived at the building my husband grew up in and where is Grandma and Mom still live. It's a typical communist building that has been ignored forever, but both his Mom and Grandmother have taken great pride in making their apartments beautiful and full of memories. I felt at home with both of them instantly, this was our first meeting. I was greeted with long hugs, many kisses and lots of food. In each of their apartments I was given a tour and Cris translated our converstations back and forth to each other. I brought items over for them and they had bought beautiful things for me.. I loved my new family instantly.

    The Romanian and I decided to go for a walk,  before heading to bed, in the park across from his building. It's a gorgeous run down park. With a huge lake in the middle that acts as place for paddle boats and a few cafes sit along the outskirts getting ready for the summer season. From our side of the lake I could see all the lights from the old city and it was lovely.

    I should also say there is a HUGE HUGE HUGE stray dogs population here. I mean they are all over the place. The city has collected the ones they can to nurture or spay them, tag them and let them go back to begging on the streets. Again this does not help with the tourism they desperately need, but don't seem to care to have. HELLO this is how cities make money. Anyway, I of course feel terrible that these animals don't have enough food and are running after people for scrapes. However, none of them seemed under weight so they must be somewhat good at their jobs. 
    As soon as we reached the apartment I was down. Jet lag had taken it's toll. Night Night


Monday, March 12, 2012

My Final Day!!!


         Christmas morning could rival how I feel this early am. The kids are all desperate for food, but I just keep telling them their parents are returning tonight. They don't care, they need food. So it's sunday and that means breakfast at my favorite little diner. I get all the kids dressed and deal with a sock mismatch issue with Griff that I think bothers me more than the little one, but I get it fixed quickly. 

     It's a brisk morning but the weather God's have promised me a warm day so we take coats (which is an ordeal in itself) but have on layers underneath in preperation for fun in the sun. 

    The husband meets us there and as I pile out of the van with three kids and dog (who waits for us in the car) I notice a lot of other Mom's and Dad's doing the same. However, they have 10 years on my young face and I think I'm looking pretty good in my day old leggings and hair that at this point is all over the place. I borrow a little lip gloss from Rowan and I'm feelin good. 

    We get our table and I always find I am so grateful for the places that offer paper and crayons. These are things I would NEVER think about let alone give a crap about, but now? It's a gift from God. They color while the adults discuss house stuff and our trip to Europe which is quickly approching. Pancakes seems to be the concensus and then donuts for dessert...of course. It's Sunday so I don't protest. We go through several cups of oj, a surprising number of pancakes, lots of toast with cinnamon and for course donuts. Now when my husband and I come here on Sundays we leave with a $15. dollar tab at most. Keep in mind I usually hungover and food isn't that appealing. Today we leave with a $55. tab and kids who I promise in 30 minutes will be hungry AGAIN. However we have a nice carry home container of food for our chickens, which the kids love to feed. ACTIVITY POINTS! 

    So back at my house we all go for our daily scooter ride. I should explain how these usually go. Since Chloe is in school first I normally have only 2 kids and 2 dogs with me, although I have done it with all of them twice and it's stressful. Today was that day, 3 kids, 2 dogs and 2 adults. Our house intersects a dead end road, which is perfect for walking dogs and scootering, BUT there is a blind curve in the road that has become the fear to my most recent nightmares. Since the kids are at all different levels, one goes far ahead, the other struggles to keep up and our littlest goes really fast then looks back to see us, causing his bike to veer left or right and me to gasp. 

   So, because of the pressure on my heart from these daily rides I have empleminted the mailbox rule. They can go from this mailbox to that but then need to wait for us. This works most of the time except with the littlest one wants to go farther and does. He is not a huge fan of listening to his oldest sister so today when she told him to stop he answer was, "NO." He IS however a huge fan of Rowan (the middle child) and she was able to reach him and indeed he did stop. I was so mad because he was hitting the curve and would not listen when I told him to stop. I wanted to scream, "You could get hit by a car!!!" However that means nothing to a 3 year old. Once I reached him I explained HE MUST STAY WITH ROWAN, I gave him a kiss and sent him on his way.

   This is part of parenting which I have found the hardest. You don't want your kid to get hurt, but you also want them to grow and develope on their own. This line is very fuzzy and I can see how Mom's are always struggling with guilt and fear. My husband wants him to speed down the hill, I want him to go slow. He thinks I my sister is over safety concious with helmets, I think they should be in full armor. I think there has to be a good partnership between parents so that one doesn't soffucate and other doesn't let them run wild. I see now that my husband and I have that. He is on one extream and I am on the other and we meet in the middle. When we walk alone with our dogs, he always holds my hand. Today he holds my arm so I don't go running down the street screaming, "PLEASE SLOW DOWN." 
    After we returned to the house the kids went to feed chickens and my husband goes to turn on the Gyspy (his fast car) to go do errands. So this car has been modified A LOT. It's fast, too fast for me to even drive, becuase the shifting is for racing and then the car takes off. The other thing that makes it so fun (not) is it's LOUD. 
    Well we have a few acres so the kids explore and do their thing, but when this car turned on Griffin came out of no where. I should explain that he, like many boys his age, have become slaves to the movie CARS.  
     SIDE NOTE: I have this friend who use to write for Disney many years ago. She penned several books and learning tools for them until she left them in the late 70's. One of the books she wrote and never got published was about a race car who gets trapped in a town while on his way somewhere. Sound familair? This book was shelfed for being too boring. She swears this is her book. Maybe yes, maybe no.
     Okay back to the story, so Griffin hears this car and goes nuts. He wants in and he wants to go fast and he wants to go NOW. Here's the thing, I have to go on an errand too and although I am now use to three kids in tow, 2 would be a lot easier. Here's the other thing, my husband worships this car and the car is spotless inside and out. A 3 year old who requires snacks? It's not going to happen. Also my sister would KILL ME. 

    Well the flood gates open when he tells him "No" and for the first time my husband was faced with a walling little boy in front of him. This is where I know I have become a real Mom....I walk away leaving  my husband to deal with this crying boy. HA HA HA. The husband looks at me like what do I do and I just smile and say I have to find the other kids. 
    Ten minutes later he is carrying Griff to me and saying "I can't get him to stop." Not so easy is it??? Since I DO know how to get him to stop I take a moment to decided...continue to let boy and man suffer or take boy and make man feel guilty for leaving me with a crying child. I go for the latter and add an exhusted look just for effect. He says he's sorry and then runs off to his fast car. 

    I let him huff and puff a little longer and then decide it's a great day to go to the playground and BANG, I got him! Smiles and excietment from all and we are off. 

    I have to say the playground is my favorite place when there are no other kids. We decided to go to Chloe's school since it was close and big. Not a soul was there and as they ran around I sat in the sun reading blogs I had missed all week. So, relaxing. I realized this would be our final outing together for awhile and decided to join in the fun. I love hearing them laugh and come up with imaginary scenarios. These kids are bright and sweet and I love how active they are. I love that they check in with me and they don't mind giving me a hug or kiss before they run off. When Griff asks for water it's on hand and when they all want a snack I dole out strawberries and then it's back to play time. I will miss them I know.  

    As I am thinking of my week ahead without the kids and how my real life is so much different then this, Griff comes over to say he has to go to the bathroom. Hummm we are on the play ground at a closed school next to woods. I have few options. I tell him he can go next to the woods, but of course that must not translate because as I turn around he is peeing next to my bench. Okay, so maybe getting back to my life won't be so hard to do.

    By 3 we were home and I was cleaning and getting the house ready for Mom and Dad to return. Dinner had been made, the girls had cleaned their rooms and now all were outside playing.

       I got to think about how different my sister and I were from each other. She began having babies at 22 and now just 29 she is this amazing Mom to 3 wonderful children. Her path has not always been easy and she will be the first to admit she missed out on those 20 something years where you're partying, living with lots of girls, dating and complaining about the working world. However, look what she got instead! 

   I don't think my life is any better or worse then hers or vise versa, they are just different. I cannot image not having built a career for  myself and having started several businesses and forming partnerships, those are my babies and I love them very much. I am grateful everyday for the life I have and continue to carve out for myself. 

   I was talking to my Mom today and she said how proud she was of me for taking care of these kids and doing so well. I remember her telling my sister, not to long ago, how proud she was of her for having and raising such wonderful children. It got me thinking about how I never really remember my Mom saying those words when we were growing up. It didn't mean she didn't, but I don't think parents really get to see all their hard work until their babies are adults. We are now and my Mom has these 3 adult children who are so different, but who have accomplished and over come a great many things. As a  Mom for only a week I think all this hard work, fear, guilt, running around, all of it is for these moments when their adults and you can say "I taught them how to do that. I don't know how, but something I did was right and I am proud." 

     My week was done. I came into with fear, but left with great accomplishment. I will miss my alone time with my kids, our hugs, picking out outfits for the morning and singing Katy Perry in the car.  My week of The Hunger Games is completed. I had a million ways. 

Thank you to all the readers who have been following this. I have gotten at least 20 emails a day from people I don't know!! Cool. Thanks to all my sisters friends who were so nice and helpful to me. For my husband who lived without me for a week and whom I hung up on like 100 times with a "OH crap I gotta go." To my Mom and Ellie (the other fabulous Grandmother) for all their support. Mostly to Chloe, Rowan and Griffin for teaching me what I could not teach myself. I love you! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"You Have Reached Your Final Destiny." Day 5

             EXHUASTED!!  I can only describe today as hitting a Pause button and then going back to Play.

       Waking up at 6am doesn't even faze me anymore. I'm not tired or grouchy, just ready. Griff came in first and snuggled in bed with me while we waited to hear pitter patter of the other munchkins waking up. Like every morning I put them in my bed and they watch cartoons while I get myself together.
      So lets recap what MY normal day looks like when I'm not Nanny: wake up, eat breakfast, walk dogs, workout, shower, blow dry my hair, make-up, pick out a nice outfit, work, errands, work, make dinner, relax with my husband.

    Ok and NOW: Wake up to a little creature crawling in my bed, get up, go to the bathroom, have someone come in while I'm going to the bathroom, dress in yoga pants and whatever is black, most likely I wore it yesterday, brush my teeth (quickly), put my hair in a pony tail (because I no longer take regular showers), and I'm done. Yep that's it.

    So I got all the kids dressed and we headed downstairs. Yes it's a Saturday, but I don't like pj's around the house. I made eggs and toast as the kids (FOR THE FIRST DAMN TIME) played and waited patiently...why they can't do this during the week I have no clue. When breakfast was ready (it was fast) they had fresh eggs from my chickens and Cinnamon toast.

      I am explaining this so that my readers understand why I got a lecture from the 6yr old this morning. I ACCIDENTALLY only SLIGHTLY over browned the toast. I am sure this is punishable by dismissal at Downton Abbey, but in this household it's far worse! First I got a look like I had committed a war crime, then I am not sure if she's going to have a crying fit or just refuse to eat it...I prefer the latter. However, I ask her to take a moment to realize it's just toast, before she doles out my punishment. She takes a breath and says,
"I don't like to eat burnt toast, and really I don't know anyone who does."
Well she does have a point, I don't either, but it was an accident I explain.
"OKAY, then it's okay you can just make me another one."
I think that means I get to keep my job!

     After that fun filled meal I try hard to finish my blog as kids run around me only to have Rowan come up to me with her bag of kids makeup and suggest I try some. I politely say I have to finish, but she is adamant.

    Now this girl is, oh how can I explain, the kindest little girl I have ever met..EVER! If you needed the shirt off her back she would gladly hand it over and with a smile no less. So I have to stop and say, there must be a need if she has asked twice. I look in her tiny makeup mirror and indeed there isn't much to be desired. So we get to work. In one week I have gone from a small makeup bag of Chanel and other fine products to Toys R Us crap. Not only are my color choices less than stellar, everything is for doll size people. However, Rowan and I work some magic and I look much better by the end!

   Once done I realize the littlest one has gone rogue. I head upstairs where he quickly meets me in the hallway with a hand full of Skittles and says, " I'm done." Ummmm YEAH YA ARE! Seems Mommy has a candy drawer.

       I took the kids to their Grandparents for 3 hours so I could have a little R&R with my husband. (Lets put aside that we spent most of that time at Home Depot.) But I was a free woman for 3 hours, but then when I went to pick them up they were all tired and crabby, one crying, the other hungry and the little one trying to kill me with his motor car thingy. Anyway, it was harder getting them back then if I had just had them the whole time. I spent the next 15 minutes in the car listening to crying from 2 out of the 3 kids. I threw back some snacks, OH my aim has totally improved. I can throw backwards without looking, while DRIVING and have it land next to the right kids. I always tape myself on the shoulder when I do this because I think it's so cool.

      Next it was off to Target. The real purpose of this trip was to look for something for my sisters house. So I might be the nanny this week, but I am always the interior designer. I had decided to give their very large foyer a bit of a face lift while they were away and was still looking for bits and pieces. Anyway that was why Target was on the agenda. Of course I did have to bribe them with a little something in return to get them to shop with me and not get all tired and hungry on me.


     As we headed home my sisters car began to speak to me! It was a sign I was talking to myself too much. So yes I am one of those people who talks to themselves...a lot. You know when your at a stop light and see someone talking but you don't see them holding a phone and then you realize they have one of those ear piece things and you think "Ok normal." Yeah, that's NOT me. I am ACTUALLY talking to myself. What do I talk about you ask?? Well things I need to do and how best to do them, how I want a conversation with a client to go, what I would say if I met Kate Middleton (yes I have had the conversation with myself.) Don't judge.

    So when the car started talking to me I thought, well it was just tired of me talking and not one of my 3 passengers responding. I actually didn't hear what is said because it took me by surprise. However Chloe said it did that all the time. I asked what did it say? Her response word for word,
"It Said, "You have reached your final Destiny."
Yep, that sounds about right.

      The evening went along smoothly and I even had my husband for a few hours to help with dinner and entertaining the kids...they all sat glued in front of the TV watching Scooby Doo. Once the kids were put to bed and I said goodnight and goodbye to the husband, I decided a shower was in order. 

       Keep in mind I have only bathed TWICE this week, but always at my house. My sister and her husbands house have a plumbing issue. Their huge bathroom has a shower that is to say the least...fickle. I tried every which way and that stupid thing did NOT go on. I know it's a knob and you turn it, how hard can it be? But it didn't work. I text her, not realizing she was at some concert in Mexico listen to an 80's cover band and drinking...A LOT. Anyway, the text I got back was,
"Don't F up my shower."

      Lovely Right??  Okay, plan B. The huge tub that takes days to fill. It was late and I was desperate so I decided to channel my inner British girl and add a little water (enough to clean the important parts) and run my hair under the faucet. Next thing I know I have two kittens sitting on the side staring at me and trying to catch the water. Good Lord I have not a moment to myself in this house. I hurry along and finally feel at least a little more alive when I am done and ready to climb into bed and it seems so are the kittens. They prance around me, pounce on my stomach (I have cramps FYI), attack my hand when I use the remote for the TV and my favorite burrow next to my head and pure as loud as a race car next to my ear. I'm exhausted, can't hear the damn TV anyway and decides it's lights off.
        BUT I go and check on the little ones first, because I'm cold and I want to make sure they aren't too. :)




Saturday, March 10, 2012

"CRAP, this darn skirt isn't going on." DAY 4

        I am still here and alive. Actually if it's possible I am actually getting better and better at this everyday.  (That is not an invitation for Mom and Dad to stay in Mexico drinking tequila) but I have carved out a schedule that works! We pick out clothes the night before and lay them out. In the morning they are dressed, teeth brushed, hair done all before we head downstairs! My Romanian husband has these "superstitions" shall we call them? Anyway, one of them is to never go backwards during your day, propel forward. Anyway, the kids love it and morning time is really smooth! I am still trying to figure out how to feed them proper cooked breakfasts while they wait patiently...that ones hard. They are like starving tigers at feeding time pacing the fences and I have to throw something at them to munch on so that I'm not attacked alive.

    I have also learned never to leave the house without my survival kit. This includes an extra sandwich, snacks, water and band aids. I once had this Mormon client who had 2 years of food in his basement, oh and like 5 years worth of light bulbs because he didn't like the new energy ones (I agree with that one).  Anyway he always said when you need food the most you must have it available, it's life or death. I'm not sure he was talking about a growing 3yr old boy, but he was right. That kid eats A LOT! He's not over weight, just growing at like super human speed. So I have food....lots of it.

      The 6yr old did have another morning issue, this one over a book she wanted to read that her sister got to first. Again zero to 60 in seconds! Crying, whining, stomping. What is this craziness?? We all made our way out of the house, but Chloe was so mad at the world and her sister about this silly book. In return she dragged her backpack on the ground, like she had been lost in the desert weak and thirty for weeks, she pushed her brother out of the way when he got to the car before her and of course the seat belt didn't fasten fast enough causing more tears. My favorite is that both the 4yr old ("I'm almost 5") and the little boy go about there thoughts without missing a beat or even caring that there is a major meltdown happening next to them. These two are who want to sit next to if your on a plane and you have major turbulence. This is how I image a conversation would go if I was on a plane seated next to them and the plane is all over the place.

4-5YR OLD "Do they have snacks on this plane?"
3 yr old "YEAH, I want snacks."
   Total calmness. Luckily, by the time I arrive at her school I have said enough funny things that she leaves  smiling and waving goodbye.

     The rest of us head to my house to walk dogs and bike down the street. I have decided it's best to not go into my house very often as it's clean, but extremely dusty since the maid had to take a more lucrative job as a nanny, However I am confident that she will return.
           Back to the car Griff is hungry (big surprise) as we drive to the next school he eats a sandwich, handing me half chewed crusts, strawberries and a small water. After we drop of his other sister, he has Friday's off, he wants MORE food. He then eats a bagel, again handing me half chewed pieces, and finishes off another water. This is the point where I realize I haven't eaten...IN DAYS!!! I keep trying to think about when my last meal was and it doesn't come to me. I'm too busy making breakfast and doing morning stuff to eat then, I'm driving around like a crazy person most of the day so I don't eat and when dinner comes around I am so tired I just sit and watch them eat. THIS IS THE BEST DIET EVA!!!

      I do pop a half eaten cracker in month when the kids don't want it or snag a strawberry when I'm cutting their fruit, OH and yesterday I remember being so tired after spinning and finding 1 M&M on the seat and eating it. I have no idea how long it have been there, but it was good. Look people this is a marathon, not a sprint and I need all the energy I can get OR find.

     So I had my first Mommy conversation today at the playground as I picked up Rowan from school. As my two youngest played, all the other Mom's came to ask how I was holding up. OKAY, so my sister must have prepared most of our area for her departure because I get asked this by someone, somewhere everyday. Schools, doctors office, a woman at spinning, our little market...alllll over. It's actually very nice. I told them I was doing well, but I was tired yada yada. We discussed if I liked leaving behind my pretty new Mercedes for a big messy mini van (I LOVE IT) that car isn't cool, but it's efficient and with three kids I adore it. We talked about girls vs boys and how different they are. I find the girls very dramatic, calculated and aware. Griff is more mellow and easy to please. There are major differences between them so early in their life that it's pretty easy to see how our environment at an early age shapes us for adulthood. 

    I have friends who only want boys because they think they are easier, more energy, but just easier to understand. They are, but look at men. There is no big mystery there, they are fairly uncomplicated creatures. However, I think girls shouldn't be over looked because they are....well high maintenance. We are multi tasking animals and our brains take in not just the plate of food in front of use, but how was it prepared, what's in it, where did it come from. Lot's of thoughts and questions. When my husband gets off the phone with his Mom in Romania I ask him questions like, "Has she been out with friends?" "Is she feeling okay?" "What did she do today?" and his answer is ALWAYS the same. "I didn't ask." WHAT?? What the hell do you talk about. This is a man thing. His response is always, "If she wants to tell me something she will." What kind of logic is that?? 

       By 1:30 I took the two kids back home to rest. They haven't been home during the day all week and it's beginning to show...they are tired. As I did some work (and I use that word loosely) they played quietly. By 2pm I got my first nurses call that my oldest was not feeling well. We headed out ASAP and found her in the nurses office hysterically crying. She immediately crawled into my lap and snuggled. This was not illness, this was missing Mom and Dad. Oh this is the WORST feeling and I remember this  so well from when I was little. It's one of those homesick like emotions that you never forget. I felt terrible for her. I promised we could call them and reassured her they would be home in just 3 short days...but that sounded long even to me. The other sibling pet her hair and rubbed her back, the love of sisters and brothers is priceless. 

      So it's Friday night baby!! No I'm not going to a cool bar or out with friends. Instead we are picking up my hubby and all going to Shake Shack at 5:30!! Okay, so when you have kids you have to eat like your 80 years old living in Boca. However so does our entire area, so it was filled with kids. I JUST got off the phone with their Mom, my sister when we walked into the shack. So how can I describe how quickly this happened...LIKE LIGHTENING.

     Griff takes off to find a table, but runs into a little boy having what looks like a birthday dinner. Before I can grab him he sees a toy car on their table. This is like seeing gold for him, he grabs it. But wait, as that is happening, Rowan is standing by the food pick up kind of looking around and backs up into a kid with a tray of food. Yeah that didn't last long. The kids drink goes over and Rowan kind of ricochets off the tray and into Chloe, who pushes her away. My husband catches them before more damage is done and I grab Griff and return a toy he is NOT so happy to give up. Luckily I have some in my purse. We order and I seat us in the farthest corner. All good. STRESSSSSS

   Bath night went well and I decided to pile them into my bed to watch cartoons as I head downstairs to work on this blog. I go up every 30 minutes to find one of them asleep and pluck them from the under the covers to put them in their bed. They are so calm and sweet like this. 


     So I have been trying VERY hard to curb my dirty mouth, so instead of my normal "shits and son of bitches" I have been saying dirty darn and poola (that's Romanian and I won't translate) but sometimes a Crap will slip out. 
    Jump to this morning when Chloe was dressing and her skirt was not cooperating, this is what I hear. 
"CRAP, this darn skirt isn't going on." LOL
I ask her not to say Crap because it's not a nice word.

 Enter Rowan "My Katy Perry songs have bad words in them I'm not allowed to say, sooooooo I just whisper them." Giggle giggle and runs off.

These kids crack me up. 

Friday, March 9, 2012


           Last night was bath night and although I feel my strengths are in that area, because they are confined to one place, this time was...ummmm harder. Instead of writing a long story about who said what when and and where yada yada yada, I will just say by bedtime I took a swig of their Dymatap because I was too tired to go get wine. I will however include several of the more memorable quotes during last evening.

 1. "Hey, Ty? (me) Griff said he would pee in the tub if I didn't move my leg." My response "Then I would move your leg."

 2. "TY!!! Lily (my dog) is in the tube!!! Help!" laughing and screaming follows. No she's not technically IN the tube, but she's a retriever water is her thing.

 3. Me: "Hey Chloe (6yrs) why don't you get in the tube with Griff and Ro?" (5yr sis). Chloe: "I'm too old to get in a tube with them. I need privacy." Me: "But your running around naked now?" No response. lol

 4. While Chloe was having her bath (I say this with an English accent) Ro got scratched by the cat for taking her to the dog (My dog could care less) anyway crying ensued. I take Ro into the bathroom where Chloe says with a sigh "Um, I'm playing here can she please not cry, it's annoying."  My response "Ro do you feel like you would like to stop crying so Chloe my have her bath in peace?" Ro: A very clear No through tears. You win some you lose some.

 5. Chloe "This isn't how Mom rinses my hair." Me: "Okay, how would you like me to do it?" She tells me and I oblige. Chloe "When it's bedtime you can scratch my back while I read!" WHAT I CAN??? YIPPEE. LOL What I really say "Yeah, that's not going to happen babe."
My sweet babies

    So that was last night. Today began with the 6 year old having a break down over shoes before school, which in return made us almost late. Then the 3 year old taking a spill on his bike before his school, which lead to another attempt from one of the kids at making me deaf in my ear from the screaming. 

     However, it was gorgeous out so I promised the kids I would spring them from school at lunch so we could picnic at the beach. Keep in mind they are all under 6 so I didn't feel I was going to harm their Harvard potential to badly.

    The beach was fabulous and the kids relaxed, played, complained about sand and then made sand know the normal stuff. Next it was on to this enormous maze of a playground that look out on to the water. It's really lovely except that it's huge and add 50 other kids to the mix plus parents and nannies and you get what I can only assume is "Kidnap Panic." I had it instantly! 3 kids all in different directions. I know it's Westport and safe and all that crap, but I don't really think that matters much when kids are on the line. Luckily, my oldest found her school friend and her Mom said she would watch them while I shadowed the other two, who I told very strictly to "STICK TOGETHER." 

    So yesterday was crawling on the floor of the Gap, so it only seems natural that today is climbing all over a jungle gym chasing kids. If I lost site of them for a minute my heart began to race and awful things would pop into my head. I would see them and calm down, but a minute later they were gone again. So I have heard my sister talk about this before. Not in this situation, but about getting up in the middle of the night to check on the kids to make sure they're breathing. It sounds morbid, but I can see it now and it's EXHAUSTING

     Is this women or just Mothers that have this worry gene?? When my husband skateboards ( I know lol) he never wears a helmet. I image him falling and cracking his head open and me holding him screaming for help. He hates it when I think like this, but I'm just being safe. When I travel my house is spotless encase "something" should happen and my family needs to come in and go through me things I want them to say, "Wow, at least she was organized and clean." I KNOW...I'm nuts. By the way Mom I have four different ways you and Cameron can escape your house if a fire was to start in the middle of the night. 

      So I made it 2.5 hours and we all packed into the car safe and sound. I was able to finally breath normally. 

      Jump to 7pm. I have a SITTER. Husband and I had an event in Greenwich that I wanted to attend for networking and PR stuff, plus I love seeing friends and industry people I don't often see. Anyway, this is where I usually shine. I can make my way around a room and have 15 new contacts in no time. I get my picture taken, tell a few jokes and discuss what's going on in design, who's doing what project etc etc.

       Hummm how can I put this....Yeah I had nothing. I sat in one place the entire time, actually I was leaning against this piece of stone so I wouldn't fall down, but then sleep seemed like a possibilityPrada's) see I'm not well. To bed with me. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mrs. Mom DAY 2!!! "Where did he go?"

I am not yet rounding the half way point as day two of playing Mrs. Mom is in full swing. I can honestly say that this is one of the most exhausting things I have ever had to do and it's true when people say it's a thankless job. Being someone who thrives in the spotlight and gets mad at myself when either my work or me isn't getting published somewhere, this is the one job where I feel like a PR agent is needed to say "HEY LOOK AT WHAT SHE'S DOING TODAY." SHE CAN BE IN 3 PLACES AT ONCE." I know it sounds vein, but hell I was an actress for my early twenties...I like the lights pointed in my direction.

     So the days have being going well, keeping in mind I have to run back to my own house to help with the chickens, cleaning, dogs and of course to see my husband who I miss desperately. Although it's kinda fun to be sleeping in different houses and talking to each other late into the night.

        The kids are very scheduled and as long as I stick to my syllabus for the most part I am fine. There are however "extra point double dares" that are thrown into my days to make them a bit more challenging, but I'm sure it's a good plot twist for the audience in my mind that is grading me. Like the 3 year old who I took to the doctor when his cough seemed to get worse. I only had 20 minutes to get in and out before the next kid needed to be dropped at school. Mission accomplished! Granted the whole "Here you get a lollipop" from a doctor at 9 in the morning had me a bit baffled, but whateva it's not my kid.


           Then there was a trip to the Gap to replace a pair of ripped tights that caused, how can I explain it..., well you know that scene in Terms of Endearment when the Mom is screaming "Give My Daughter the Shot." and she's jumping up and down?? Well that was the 6 year old when her tights got a run after school yesterday. I still have hearing damage in the right ear. Anyway, after the doctor and after dropping the 5 year old off, the little one and I decided to get his sister a new pair. I SWEAR I asked the woman where the tights for kids were and she pointed, I turned and boy was gone. CRAP!

        So, MacGyver is like my hero...he makes a car start with gum and can break out of a bank vault with a bobby pin and never panics. So he kinda taught me that panicking is overrated. Plus I was on the 3rd floor of a Gap, he was close I knew. As the lady showed me the tights I heard a small cry. After circling this display table and not seeing him, BUT knowing he was in there, I got onto my hands and knees. OKAY, this is a good time to picture ME a person who doesn't have kids, often sits at gorgeous tables for meetings, sips champagne, and has a pretty darn nice wardrobe, crawling on a dirty floor, under piles of folded clothes in yoga pants (3rd day wearing them) looking for this darn kid. Well he found the smallest cubby hole crawled in, hit his head and lay there curled up half crying. Somehow I pulled him out, rocked him for the minute it took him to stop crying before he was off to find the next thing to get into. TIGHTS, PAID, LEAVING.

     The days although tiring are nothing to that 5 o'clock witching hour. I have no idea what happens to these kids, but it goes down hill at a rapid pace. Fighting ensues over play dough color and who sat where days ago and how it makes a difference now. One wants dinner NOW, one wants dessert, the other doesn't want dessert, but does want dinner but not the potato's or the meat part. I have to make sure everything goes on the right plates or I get a lecture about cars vs flowers on plates. I remember having a conversation with my husband just a few days ago (although it seems like a life time) about the future earning potential of Apple stock and now I am in a mental debate with the the 6 year old (type A like me :) ) over why she is allowed to be on the computer more than the other kids (this isn't true) but her argument makes sense and I spend time thinking about what to say so I sound right. Hummm.

     When bedtime arrives I am unable to put full sentences together. I think about whether working your way up from one to three kids is easier and I am sure it is, but the results will be the same. I have GREAT fears of these results; being tired all the time, having no time for my life, work and goals, watching my relationship become only about the children and slowly losing why we were together in the first place and being finacial strained are only some of my worries. I am not alone in these thoughts I know, but they are very real to me. I love my life as it is. Do I feel like I missing out not having kids? I admit I do sometimes. I'm still young and..... oh wait the littlest one just climbed into my lap and wants me to stop typing. lol


      When I travel I love to stay at boutique hotels, lets face it they are made for the interior designer. Each room carefully thought out, every necessary item, but no more, that is needed for the traveler. Everything has a place, a purpose and there is no clutter.

   Then it's time to leave and if you're like me I always end up saying I wish our bedroom was like this. But I always want my guests to feel when they stay with us that they have that kind of room. Jump to me 4 years ago, age 29 buying a house by myself along with 2.5 acres, having two businesses, one dog and going in and out of the city on weekly basis. Decorating my house to my standard was both economically impossible and time not allowable.
     However now I am married, one business sold and actually living in the house I love so much. So it was decided by my husband (also a contractor) that he would rip apart our second floor of two guest rooms and make three. That means I have SO much decorating to do for myself I can't see straight. Today I spent the day in meetings, but made time to stop at the rug store, buy 2 lamps and get a great deal on some vintage fabric. I'm off and running. However every designer needs inspiration so I pulled so fun pictures of guest rooms to get some more ideas. ENJOY!!

This is what I am aiming for as we tackle our master bedroom once we return from Europe. However with 2 dogs I think the white carpet and chairs might be a pipe dream. lol

 some picture sources from house of turquoise blog, restoration hardware, decor pad

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


      Okay, for those who know me you are aware I don't have kids. For those who don't know me, I think kids are sticky, and they touch my expensive things and I can't always understand what their saying. They're short and I'm tall...well taller than they are. They pick their nose...I don't do that. They have to go to the bathroom at the most inconvenient times, okay I am like that. I get along with some of them and others I feel indifferent. When I see a baby I don't really care to hold it unless it's popped out of someone who means a lot to me. All my friends say "When it''s yours its different." I agree I'm sure it is and I will get there, but at this point I like silk and mohair to stay in it's original form.

   This brings me to my blog for the day. My sister and her husband are heading to MEXICO for a week of vacation. They have tree kids ages 3, almost 5 and 6. Two girls and 1 boy, I adore them all. Since I no longer own a store (which got me out of nearly everything for the last 6 years) I have, as my sister puts it, "time on my hands" That's half true half not, I still have two other businesses.
    But basically my card is up, my name has been plucked from the jar like in Hunger Games and I am being sent into the wild.
   Day one: dropping off 3 kids off at 2 different schools at 3 different times, same thing at pick-up. Oh wait scratch that I only pick-up 2 and meet the other at choir practice which, as it reads, "YOU CAN'T BE LATE." I have a total of 3 hours of free time all day today, which gives me enough time to run to a kitchen design meeting and  the fabric store. Exercise is out for today.
     Pictures!! As I am sure I will be in an "adjustment period" today I have thrown up some great ways to decorate your kids playrooms. ENJOY!!

Mabley Handler interiors


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dashing Dogs

Vogue-Lee Radziwill 1960 sister of Jackie Kennedy

There are some people who believe a dog is the best accessory. Between my husband and myself we each have his and her dogs. His is a bouncing baby boy yellow lab named Roni and mine is a proper (sometimes) lovely lady named Lily who's a Golden Retriever.  For the last 8 years she has been with me literally everywhere; Sotheby's, traveling, moving out of NYC, starting my store, going to clients, Bergdorf  sales...Everywhere! She has been in numerous articles and ads and has never let fame get to her.
        However she has one vice that almost killed her yesterday and that is eating rocks. After 8 hours at Cornell Animal Hospital in Stamford, CT my little Lily ended her day with emergency surgery to extract 6 rocks!! She is recovering well with them, I'm thrilled to report.  I thought I would dedicate todays blog to all the fabulous dogs in the world. Woof Woof. Also many many thank you's to all the doctors and nurses at Cornell Animal, especially the nurse who said she READS THIS BLOG. Wahooo!! 

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Bill Blass first AD in Vogue

Dransfield & Ross

Dransfield & Ross

Elsie-de-Wolf- Author of The House in Good Taste..among other things

Italian Vogue


Millicent Rogers

Dransfield & Ross

M. Constanda- Roni and Lily 

Reed Krakoff

Italian Vogue


Isaac Mizrahi

Vogue 1956

Square One Interiors

J. Adler

J. Adler

Tyler Taylor- Lily after a swim at a clients