Posted in Two Cents Worth of...

Traveling Tales

We recently took a trip out west to Colorado to enjoy skiing the beautiful Rocky Mountains. They’re a favorite place of mine to visit and stare at since it looks like a postcard every way you turn. I was so excited to take our son because well, it’s Colorado and a vacation with the family!

Our travels bring a list of things I can share with you. This is not a blog about “travel tips” per say, but more of a relation to not sweating the small stuff. At the time, they weren’t small, but looking back on them as I write this, they were.

I plan. We’ve determined that in other blogs I have written. This past year I have become much more lax in that regard and simply am learning to go with the flow of things the best I can without being hypersensitive to planning every single detail because realistically, it was messing with my anxiety and I could not continue to live like that.

Well, that caused some turmoil for our tip. Whoops.

Let’s start at the beginning. My best friend met us to take us to the airport and drop us off with all of our luggage. I stuffed my rear end in the back seat with my kid and all our crap while we drove out. I was so confident we had all that we needed for this trip and we were ready to go.

Meanwhile, I was panicking inside since the night before because of all these mask rules still and my son is 2 years old, meaning he’s legally required to wear one in airports. This was also a 4-hour flight for us and I was concerned about how well he would do.

We had practiced wearing a mask at home the week before and talked about how we would wear it. He is a great kid when we give him prep time for anything. If we don’t spring anything on him, he’s game for it!

We hop out of the car at the curbside check in and begin to gather out stuff. That’s when my husband and I realize we forgot my son’s winter jacket. In the middle of January, on our way to Colorado for a ski trip. I forgot his winter coat.

We had both assumed the other had grabbed it on our way out of the house. He was dressed in a t shirt and a warm zip up sweatshirt for the flight as we did for ourselves too. He wasn’t naked.

It gets better.

As I begin to check us in curbside, the employee asks, “how old is he?” I tell him he is two. Panic comes over his face for us. My dumbass failed to understand he rules of the “magic of 2” for flights. He was required to have a seat and my understanding was that he could still be a lap kid on the flight.

That whole “go with the flow” attitude just bit me in the ass. I booked these tickets months ago assuming it was all ready to go!

My poor husband was already stressed about the coat, and I see his face shift from calm to “oh, shit” as I watched him peel his layers off from sweating. I was now sweating and panicking even more inside, hiding it from him and my son trying to keep things calm like I have control of the situation.

Fast forward a touch and we had the kindest employee inside at the ticket counter help us. He was able to book him a ticket and match our price, so we were not gauged for an honest mistake. I am so very thankful for his patience and kindness in that moment! He was a dad himself and was so understanding with us. I’ll be forever thankful for his calmness and helping us out at that moment!

Now we get into line for the security checkpoint. My son is rocking his cute dinosaur mask like a champ. As we get closer my husband and I pull out our boarding passes and our IDs. My husband freaks out looking for his driver’s license. *face palm*

Here is where some of my overprepared-ness did come into play! I always pack our passports for travel in fear of needing them. I looked at him and told him calmy, “I have the passports, it’s fine.”

He continues to freak out on where his ID is. Finally, he finds it. Somehow, he tucked it in behind another card that he has never put it behind before. Either way, it was all good.

We are three for three on issues and not even to our terminal. However, that was the end of them!

A refreshing moment while all of this was happening was when a mom and her young son were ahead of us. My son and hers became quick friends over what he was watching on the tablet. It was a cute and quick friendship that helped them both go through security easily. They were also on our flight when we had passed her and she offered me a kind, “good luck!” for the flight.

We survived the airport and flight with no major issues at all. In fact, he did amazing on the flight! The best part of the day was when we arrived at my friend’s home and enjoyed a beer after that anxiety driven day, celebrating that we made it.

Now I have no real fun stories during the week in Colorado to offer. The trip was great. We all enjoyed our time out there making memories and skiing the beautiful mountains. We had even purchased a new coat my son absolutely loves at Walmart that he’ll probably fit into next winter.

The next story again comes during the travel part!

We had packed up with my parents in their rental car and stuffed all of us into it to begin our excursion back to Denver for our flight. My son had his chocolate milk and asked to watch his tablet. It was a 2 hour drive, so no problem!

Well, we have a tablet holder in our car at home that holds it to the headrest, so he is looking up at it and not down. Apparently, he gets car sick looking down. We never knew until this drive.

Picture this, the back seat was me, my mom and my son in that order in the car. As I’m talking to her, looking at her in the direction of my kid, I see everything unfold in slow motion.

Vomit projects from him and goes everywhere. He has not spit up since he was an infant. Honest.

He begins to freak out because it scared him. My husband was driving and he is trying to find a safe place to pull over on the highway. My mom and I begin looking all over the tightly packed car for anything to help us begin cleaning up. I’m hopping out of the car as he is still coming to a stop to get to the other side to begin consoling my kid.

Here is where I wish we had video surveillance of the situation unfold.

My dad was not sure what to do or where to go as we all began to scramble. I had only asked him to open all the windows because I started gagging from the smell of rotten milk puke. My husband quickly finds new clothes in the trunk for my son. My mom is pulling out wet wipes to begin cleaning up. I am unclipping my son and getting him out of the car. We stripped him as quickly as we could and put new clothes on him.

We must have gone through a half pack of wet wipes cleaning the car. To boot, this was a rental. It was everywhere!

In a matter of less than 10 minutes, we had this whole situation under control. I had placed my son in the front passenger seat for a few minutes too while my mom and I had finished finding what we could to clean up the rest. Realistically, there is only so much you can do on the side of a highway, in a rental car, with wet wipes to clean a car.

I had to sit next to him the rest of our drive so he would remain calm because he was pretty scared from what had happened. I mean, I dislike puking more than anything and it hasn’t happened to him in a long while! But we made it without any other issues. We found a great restaurant in Denver to enjoy lunch at and all settle again.

Our flight home was uneventful but perfect for our little guy. We made it home safely and all in one piece!

The moral to this entire blog is simply that, shit happens. Planning or not, you have to roll with the punches thrown at you as a parent. I’m not even telling you to remain calm because well, I didn’t for that last event on our trip and yet we made it out fine!

They’re all memories in our minds that we can finally laugh about. Every moment is not the best but, they’re moments we make it through!

If they didn’t happen, our vacation wouldn’t have been nearly as eventful! I wouldn’t have anything to tell you other that was worth of being told in this blog. It would have sounded like an Instagram post of perfect pictures not showing the reality of traveling on a family vacation!

What fun is that?!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Snow Day!

Mother nature dropped about 8 inches of snow in an awesome snow storm yesterday for us and I have absolutely loved it!

I know I’m one of those weirdos that love snow. I was raised to love it. My parents took me sledding and skiing growing up and I have always enjoyed the cold weather while we played in it.

The neighborhood kids and I would always be sled riding down the hill that ran us right into jagger bushes (Pittsburghese showing in my slang here) so you would have to bail just before the bottom.

I was the kid with the glasses growing up who walked into the house and had them fog up like a total dork when we were going to get some hot chocolate and soup. But we did all the snow things every chance we got, over, and over again!

Here’s one of my favorite things right now. My mom, who pitches lots of things, actually saved my sled from 30+ years ago so we can now use it for my son. Below are photos of me on a snow day with my parents and my sled.

I personally love the fact that I had to mimic my dad and kneel like he did next to the snowman. HA!


Now that I have a son to enjoy this with, I get to be a kid again with him. Yesterday was our first chance at it and he is now starting to realize he can love it since last year he was only a baby potato.

He is only in daycare but they had reached out yesterday to close early and I deemed it a snow day for him.

We took the time to dress him like a marshmallow and threw his boots on and he toddled outside, slowly, to watch the snow fall on him. We drug him around the snow-covered street, and he may have tipped over a couple of times, but we enjoyed that the snow plow drivers didn’t come down our street right away.

We did a few rides down our tiny hill in the front yard, when he finally showed a smile with his squished chubby cheeks. And he even took his sled down the street to find his dad helping a neighbor and met our neighbors’ dog who loved the snow as much as him.

The day was a true snow day for him.

In our state, we even saw a few schools on the news state they were cancelling the school day so children could have a true snow day to go play. They didn’t have to do that because almost all schools have figured out how to teach remotely, but the principals realized this year has been so abnormal that some normalcy was due to the kids to let loose. Maybe even the teachers and parents were in mind when that decision was made.

I say that because though my son enjoyed yesterday as a child, I know I enjoyed it as much, if not more than he did, while I sweat in my coat and hat running down our street. It made us laugh. We saw neighbors out who we got to chat with who we haven’t seen in a while. They smiled seeing him enjoy the snow. And then we came inside and made hot chocolate and had cookies.

The point of this blog is to not only let your kids have a snow day, you should too! Don’t be so uptight to only bundle them up and ship them outside.

Get yourself ready and join them as well. Wave to the plow truck drivers as they come by. Say “Hi” to your neighbors while shoveling, since we haven’t been able to. Make hot chocolate. Bake cookies. HAVE FUN! We hope wherever you are, you can enjoy the season, even if you don’t love the snow as much as I do!

30+ year difference in these photos. I can’t quit smiling looking at it.

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

There is good in 2020. Just look.

I’ve skipped a few weeks. I’m sorry about that. I tend to only write when something is heavy on my mind or heart about topics and I don’t want to just BS my way through a blog post for you if you’re going to take the time to read it.

I had to go into work this week and I work in the city of Pittsburgh. My company has been very understanding through this pandemic. My husband was off work and I didn’t have to rush our little guy to get ready and drop him off at daycare, so that was a huge bonus to the morning already.

Since I went in on Wednesday traffic was even lighter than it typically is right now so I took the time to jam out to some of my favorite songs from this year and enjoy my coffee. One of the songs that came on was, “Thank you Lord” by Thomas Rhett and friends. It really hit home for me on how I feel during this entire year. Give it a listen. Plus it’s a good song to dance to. 😊

I’ve had days I really struggle to wrap my head around what is going on. I’m sure most everyone has had days like this. Then there are days like Wednesday that really let me put it all into perspective.

What 2020 has made me more thankful & grateful for:

  • Our health. We have been very fortunate to remain healthy among everything going on and hope to continue to do so. All 3 of us.
  • All of our time with our son. Sure, he goes to daycare 3 days a week. But we aren’t rushing him in the mornings and he is not waiting on us in the evenings to pick him up. We have another 2-3 hours with him daily and that adds up to filling our hearts.
  • All of the home cooking we do together. My husband and I love to cook and we have taken the time to enjoy that together as well as have our son in the kitchen watching us.
  • My parents and in-laws still being healthy through this so we can share memories with them.
  • Black Friday shopping online with my Dad to keep tradition. While it may look different this year, we can still shop online and have a day to enjoy together just like we have done in years past.
  • The small things.
    • Christmas lights being up in our neighborhood early.
    • Smiles from strangers under their masks.
    • Hot coffee each morning.
    • My furry animals that love us unconditionally and still wondering why we are home so much interfering with their daily sleep schedules.
    • Movie nights with our son on the couch snuggling.

Making a list can be easy but keeping your heart open during this super difficult year is what we should continue to do. I’m sure you’ve seen everyone list something over the past few days on social media about what they’re thankful for because of the season.

My son doesn’t understand what is going on this year and assumes this all to be normal. Thankfully children are super adaptive to change but having all of this extra time with him in these early years make this mama’s heart so happy and full, even on the extremely difficult days.

I hope on your hard days during this year, you’re able to see the benefits of what it gave us. There is good in this horrible 2020 that a lot of you may have experienced.

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Friends. Don’t Forget Them.

Going back to a similar point about friends that I touched on last week about mom friends, but this time, friends you had before you had kids.

We are all on different timelines and plans. That is life. Don’t let it interfere with your friendships.

Don’t ever forget the ones that don’t have the minions.
They’re critical in your life too!

It’s their life whether they have them or not, but since you chose to have them doesn’t mean you should forget the ones you were friends with before them. They helped create and mold you to who you are so why would you want to exclude them from the future?

Make sure you call them. Make sure you include them. Make sure you still love them and know they want to be a part of things just as much as you do too.

A very close friend of mine said to me the other week, “I really appreciate that you and *other said friend* still include me all the time now that you both have kids. It means a lot. I’ve had friends in the past who have had kids and they have left me out since.”

I had not realized that from her perspective before even though I was the friend who was kid-less while others had children a few years back. I always thought about it from my parent side, that those without kids don’t want to be around others with kids because we have someone to take care of. We have been left out or not invited to things because of having a child. While I don’t believe people do it intentionally they don’t realize we would love to come, if we’re able and the invite is always nice.

Her comment opened my eyes that it happens both ways. But in the end, we were friends before I had my son and still remain friends now and to be honest, we’re better friends even.

Truth be told, the friends in my life are those that love my child as much as we do so I want nothing more than for every one of them to be a part of his life and make an impact on him as they have done for us.

Our friends are family. That’s just how my husband and I roll. I’m sure many of you can relate to those that you keep in your inner circle.

Just keep in mind, friends should remain your friends whether you have minions or not. Make the call and ask them over. They might enjoy and be surprised to hear from you and be just what you both need, a night to catch up!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Slow down, Mama

As I write this, it is 9:22 pm. My son’s typical bed time is around 8 pm. I just put him down to sleep 10 minutes ago.

Our play room looks like this.

I didn’t get to the workout I had planned to do when I put him to bed. I didn’t pack our stuff for this weekend. I didn’t do the dishes. I didn’t do the 10 other things running through my mind.

What I did do is sat with my son and watched Despicable Me the whole way through and put my phone down to enjoy the slow down and relaxed with him.

The intention was to put it on before his bedtime to wind down a little but we both got sucked in.

I had to and am still reminding myself it is okay to slow down.

I’m not good at it. My anxiety is high and mind are racing knowing I put things off BUT I slowed down and truly relaxed with my little man.

We sat and forgot all those worries for a little. I even watched this nugget hop off my lap and show me his best dance moves with the last scenes. THAT made my night and the entire time slowing down truly worth it.

Forgive me for the super dark video. If you can make ot hus silhouette, it’s worth watching!

Remember, it is okay to slow down, mama. It will all be there tomorrow.