Credit Where Credit is Due

My mother likes to take credit…for pretty much everything.

I’m not kidding. Whether you scored a great deal on a pair of shoes, or won the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s somehow linked to her.

And she’s serious.

100%.

Not only does she like credit, but she will change the details of stories around to make it so that she is fully responsible for whatever awesomeness you have just achieved. She will also do the reverse and claim she had nothing to do with it if your luck goes south.

Need some examples?

  1. My wedding. The second one to be clear. Because she casually mentioned that we should consider Bourbon Steak in the Turnberry resort in the infancy stages of wedding planning, she loves to point it out every chance she gets that we DID in fact get married there and that the wedding was perfect. Every. Chance. She. Gets. It could be as subtle as someone commenting on a wedding pic and her saying, “Yes the kids got married there. It was my idea.” Or more bravado, like pointing it out while we are on her balcony, you might hear her say something along the lines of, “Ava, see that building over there? That’s where mommy and Jason got married! Isn’t it beautiful? It was all gram’s idea. They wanted to get married in some ugly room at a restaurant in Boca that doesn’t even compare to anything in Aventura. Because Aventura is awesome.”
  2. My house. To be fair, my parents were very involved in the house hunting. It was the first time I was ever purchasing a home and I value their opinion. Plus, Bob is a pro with a contractor background so I needed him to point out any red flags before we pulled the trigger. However, my mom seems to remember it very differently and claims to have actually found the house we currently live in (not the case). And when I point out how that’s not at all what went down, she changes her story a little saying things like…”you were looking at dumps on the other side of town until I convinced you to look in this area.”
  3. My stroller. I have like 32 strollers so I didn’t want another one. My mom was trying to convince me (read: nag me) to get a snap & go while Sienna is still in an infant car seat. I did and it’s definitely a huge help. But, every time I take the thing out of the trunk and my mom is around, she circles it like a shark wearing a shit-eating grin and says, “That’s a nice looking stroller.  I mean really. Who told you to get it?”
  4. Diagnosing any medical condition. Jason calls her Dr. Westfall because she thinks she can diagnose any ailment in anyone. Just tell her your symptoms and she will spit out a disease just like WebMD. If she happens to be right you’ll never hear the end of it and if she’s wrong, she’ll find a way to spin it. Either way, she’s right.
  5. Stellar negotiation skills. She goes on and on about what a good negotiatior she is. Specifically with car leases. Because she has a CRAZY low monthly payment for a luxury car…..because she probably put like $15K down. But that’s neither here nor there. She also uses said negotiation skills at Target where she pretends she’s at a folding table on any corner of NYC haggling over a fake Prada. She gives zero fucks. And 99% of the time they listen to her!

That’s just a small sampling of her credit-mongering, but make so mistake that it’s pretty much part of daily conversation and there is no statute of limitations. She’s still talking about things dating back to when I was 14. And it happens with little things too, like telling me how amazing my hair looks and then swiftly reminding me that she’s the one who always tells me to keep it long. Or complimenting a pair of shoes and reminding me that she was the one who told me to look in Bloomingdale’s to find them. Or commenting on how much better Sienna’s fussiness is ever since I bought new bottles like she told me to. It goes on and on and on.

As much as I tease her and bust her balls, I do have to give credit where credit is due. You see, Arlyne is not just a main character in my blogs. She’s not just accidentally hilarious and totally gangster. She is, undoubtedly, the best fucking mother on the planet. She also happens to be the best mother-in-law and grandmother. And, I fully giver her credit for the following, which is by no means an exhaustive list.

I think one of the most important lessons she’s bestowed on me is to not take shit from anyone and not to let anyone bully you or knock you down. Along this same lines, she is the epitome of a mama bear. She taught me to fiercely protect my young and to destroy anyone who tries to mess with them. This woman will hold a grudge against you for the rest of your life if you even look at either of her children sideways.

She’s also the best cheerleader. She celebrates my successes and kvells, no matter how small. She loves me so hard and I feel it in every fiber of my body. I want my girls to feel that same way about me. She has always gone above and beyond for her kids and spoils the shit out of mine. Ava lives for her and to see the bond they have makes me burst with pride. I know Sienna will feel the same. She’s the fun grandma. The one who teaches you how to make prank phone calls and will use the word “fart” in a game of hangman.

She taught me all the “mensch” things like never showing up to someone’s home for an event/dinner/whatever, without something for them. To always write thank you notes when someone gives a gift. She’s not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. She’d never be caught dead in a sweater set from Chicco’s or Ann Taylor and rocks a black beater and skinny jeans pretty much every day. She’s probably the reason I don black nail polish and skull & cross bone tanks in the carpool line.

She’s hilarious and doesn’t even understand why we are laughing half the time. The things that come out of her mouth are sometimes hard to mentally prepare for, but also the best. Watching her go through an ugly divorce and surviving breast cancer showed me by example what a fighter looks like. She’ll hug me and let me cry if I’m at a low but in the same breath tell me to get my ass up and remember who I am – the little girl who pushed her way to the front of the group in a dance recital when I was like 4, because I wanted to be front and center.

One of the things I admire most about her is the fact that nobody keeps it realer than her. She tells it like it is and owns who SHE is, no matter what. You can’t rattle her and if she feels under attack she will defend herself, strike back and take you down.

There is nobody on the planet like her and I’m so glad she’s ours. Happy Mother’s Day Mom. We love the shit out of you!

 

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me and mom

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How Moms Are Like Superheroes – New for HuffPo

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Did you  know that as a mom, you totally hone superhero-like skills that you probably never knew you even had?!

It’s true.

Read all about it in my latest article for the Huffington Post.

CLICK HERE TO READ >> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58caaf07e4b0e0d348b340ea

 

Bedrest and Birthmarks

Pregnancy is no easy feat. Even despite that, I will never take it for granted. My first pregnancy was a walk in the park and as uneventful as they come. This one – 8 years later – is an entirely different ball of wax. There are a ton of details and stories around it that provide enough for a series of blog posts and will likely come later when I have a chance to breathe (in 18 years).

In addition to the raging obligatory nausea that can often accompany the first trimester, I have the unbearable heartburn that makes me feel like my esophagus might just fall out or burst and that at any moment I may even breathe fire like a fucking dragon. I’ve also experienced more “major” stuff this time around.

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First, was my stay in the hospital with kidney stones almost two months ago. Just FYI this was the WORST pain I have ever experienced in my life (and I say that having pushed a baby out of my vagina). And guess what they can do for kidney stones in a preggo…NADA!

Because the options are basically blasting with radiation and surgery, all they could really do for me was offer pain meds to keep me comfortable, IV fluids, and wait for them to pass. Annnnddddd, that’s the first time my baby in utero and I did drugs together – specifically dilaudid and demerol. It was a real rager.

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On the heels of that shitshow, I ended up back in the hospital this past weekend with another issue that now has me on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. At this point I feel like SLS and I should have a wing named after us, or at least be giving tours to expectant parents. On the bright side, my mom was there and that ALWAYS provides the levity I need to help me momentarily forget that I am hooked up to an IV, a fetal monitor and being pricked more times than a porn star on a busy day.

First, when my OBGYN came in the room, my mom thought she was just one of my friends she’d never met because she was sans lab coat and didn’t look all doctory. Instead she came in on call, dressed normally, wearing makeup, with her LV messenger on her hip. They were instant besties and hugging 60 seconds later. Then my high risk doctor happened to be there and my mom could NOT get over his shoes – which were those horrible shoes that look like gloves for your feet that nobody should ever wear, especially if you want to have sex ever again.

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She was like the cat who swallowed the canary, or that SNL Kristen Wiig character who can’t handle surprises, waiting for him to leave so she could discuss.

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But really, the best part of the whole day came when the conversation turned to sex. My husband, best friend/sister-wife and I were talking about sex during pregnancy, to which my mom chimes in…

“Please, NOBODY should be having sex during pregnancy. It’s not good for the baby. The baby doesn’t need to be poked around.”

“Mom, you know that’s not really humanly possible, right?”

“Rachel, it’s not good for the baby. Plus, all that poking?!? How do you think babies get birthmarks?”

Drops mic. Exits stage.

It was at that point that my husband was laughing so hard in the corner he literally couldn’t breath. I was laugh/crying real tears. And my mom was dead serious and not understanding why we found it so funny.

She continued with, “Well, it hasn’t been disproven!”

Sidebar – I feel it’s important for context to also point out that my mother has a master’s degree in education and taught (wait for it…wait for it) health and sex education. Boom!

My husband then pointed to a birthmark I have had on the top of my chest my whole life and said to her, “Sooooo….is that where this came from?” She just looked at it, squinted a little and pretended she’s never seen it, shrugged and changed the subject.

No matter what, this woman can ALWAYS take the tension out of a situation and make you pee from laughing. I almost think there’s a viable business idea somewhere in here where we can rent her out to people in grim or serious situations who need a distraction in the form of a stand-up comedienne who doesn’t even know she’s performing.

Here we come Shark Tank…

Girl’s Weekend 2016

Every year around this time, we take a girl’s trip. But this one isn’t filled with shots, debauchery and hangovers. It’s much more wholesome. It involves my main squad, a couple of mice, dogs, and ducks.

It’s the annual Disney trip with my mom and daughter and it’s ALWAYS filled with blog content – mostly because my mother is there. This was a big one because it’s the last one with just the three of us, before I evict another daughter from my uterus and add her to the wolfpack.

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The trip always starts the same way – with my mother shoving her selfie-sticked iphone in our faces trying to capture our “road trip” song. We film a few different melodies and then never post any of them because she thinks she’s ugly in all of them and stares at her phone with squinty eyes asking, “Is that what I really effing look like?!?”

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Rather than go into a whole narrative of the trip (because that would take DAYS), I’m going to bless you with the highlight reel.

  • Within 5 minutes of entry to the hotel, my mom was already besties with a young, unsuspecting lad at the front desk (Dominic), who had no idea the stuff he’d be comping in 2 days. She already managed to get the $30/day valet fee comped because I’m 7 months pregnant and there was no self-parking (which was true, btdubs).
  • We didn’t wait more than 8 minutes to get keys to our room from Dom, because I’m 7 months pregnant and my mom has “sugar diabetes” (pronounced Wilford Brimley style aka diabeetus).
  • On venturing out to the Boardwalk on night one, a lovely family stopped to offer their photography help when they saw our selfie struggles. When the woman opened her mouth and said “Do y’all need some help?”, my mother, the super sleuth said, “Oh! You’re from Texas?!” (because y’all = Texas). The woman politely responded, complete with the “bless your heart” tone, “Um, no, that would be Mississippi.” Dammit mom, so close!
  • We got ice cream on the way back and after grilling the 16-yr-old serving us about the great no sugar vs. no sugar added debate, my mom got her cone. Only to lose a scoop right there on the counter as she was paying. They felt bad and gave her a redo, however, when my mom was dancing, at the request of my daughter, she did a fancy triple axel move and lost a scoop mid-twirl. I tried not to pee my pants, but it’s hard because I am pregnant. Then her and my daughter did the next logical thing when you drop a scoop – waited patiently for someone to step in it. Oh the life lessons my child gains from these trips.
  • Finally, it was time to retire to our hotel room, but the fun is not over until the fart-noise fiesta. That’s right! It’s become tradition (my daughter’s favorite actually) for her and my mom to make fart noises with their mouths and try to out do each other. I always imagine the people sharing a wall with us, wishing they were overhearing loud hotel sex instead.
  • Because my mom is the poster child for Type A people across the globe, she literally could not take the hotel clock being set to the wrong time and had to right this atrocity before going to sleep. Cut to around 1am when the alarm clock was going off every 20 mins or so (because she’s super tech savvy). And not just going off, but at the loudest volume possible with only static to hear for miles. Every. 20. Minutes. I literally almost ripped it out of the wall, but it was tangled with about 50 other cords behind the nightstand and I had to turn the lights on to figure out how to undo whatever she did.
  • Then it’s on to the character breakfast, where all my kid wants is to see my mom pull Pluto’s tail. This is tricky though because the characters walk around with handlers to thwart these very things, so she has to be sly.
  • We spent the first part of the day at Magic Kingdom where I read on my ipad as they went on rides and were beyond exhausted for part two of the day, at Animal Kingdom. When we got to AK, my mom was not satisfied with our parking spot and made me drive up to the guardhouse to tell the man…yup you guessed it, that I’m 7 months pregnant and she has a broken toe (also true) and can we park any closer? We got waved to the “med lot” which ended up backfiring because it’s too close to the entrance for the tram to pick you up but still a little bit of a walk. Karma, mom. Karma.
  • As soon as we entered the park, my mom marched right over to the first kiosk selling mouse ears and overpriced water to ask if there was any way “someone could drive us to the entrance of the first ride we had a fast pass for because her daughter is 7-months pregnant, she has a broken toe AND sugar diabeetus”. They looked at her with a loss of words expression, “um, no ma’am, we don’t do that”.
  • Back at the hotel, we had already fed my child kid food and went to sit in a steakhouse to have a real meal. My daughter was so fried she fell asleep, in my lap as we were waiting for dessert, so they gave it to us to go and comped it. My mom did the jig – she wasn’t even expecting perks until checkout when she met with Dom again.
  • Repeat paragraph about fart noises.
  • We had our last character breakfast before hitting the road, but not before my mom gave Goofy a piece of her mind for not having a tail she could pull to delight my daughter.

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Look how defeated he looks.

It was a trip filled with laughter that could (and will) make you pee your pants and I love the memories my daughter gains from these girl’s trips. Colored memories, but memories nonetheless.

Next year, we’ll roll four deep and begin to corrupt another precious little girl showing her our version of the happiest place on earth.

 

 

Go That Extra(Curricular) Mile – NEW from Lifestyle Magazine

As if back-to-school is not stress-inducing enough, you also have the added pressure of signing your kid(s) up for extracurricular activities – you know, to keep them well-rounded…and out of your hair for an hour so you can do laundry, or cook a meal, or pee alone.

Read all about it in my latest article for Lifestyle Magazine!

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xx

Rachel

 

 

Mother of all Mothers

If you are a regular reader, you know that my mom has a leading role on the blog. She’s like the main character. Whether it’s screenshots of text messages with her, or her ridiculous Facebook posts, or a recap of a typical outing with her, there is NO shortage of material. Most of the time, she doesn’t even think she’s being funny and that’s what makes it hilarious.

You might remember my post about her around Mother’s Day a couple of years ago.

This woman is my rock. We differ in many ways but have striking similarities too. And as I get older, I feel myself turning more into her with each passing day. All of my friends love her and she pretty much puts herself in charge wherever she goes and everybody listens. There might be some eye rolling, but they listen. Mostly because it’s easier. They know she’s not going to give in.

Growing up (and now) she was always super hands-on. She was the quintessential SAHM, but didn’t cook or clean. She ordered in, had a housekeeper, and basically spent all of her energy on us. Schlepping my brother to play basketball in the hood instead of in the confines of a homogeneous all white/jewish boys team. She would saunter in with her long acrylic nails entering 5 minutes before her and give dirty glares to other parents who would yell stuff about my brother. Schlepping me to dance classes and spending ridiculous amounts of money on recital costumes and dance gear. And then years later to cheerleading practice.

She was the mom who would stop at two places for breakfast or lunch because my brother and I wanted different things. If we forgot something at school, she would show up with it…along with a bag from Burger King or McDonalds, which was way better than whatever we brought (we started to “forget” stuff a lot).

She was the mom who would scour stores while we were at school to find the exact shirt or pair of jeans we were pining over.

Our beds were made before the bathroom door closed in the morning.

She served grilled cheese sandwiches (my bad, I guess she did cook) in little baskets with decorative doilies.

If we were sick, there was a tray set up on front of our bed faster than you could blink with tea, toast cut into perfect bite-sized pieces and the remote.

When I lived in Boston, she would bring up a bunch of frozen orders of Chicken and Cheese from Here Comes the Sun, to hold me over until the next time I was down in FL.

And she taught my brother and I the most important life lesson. To ALWAYS have each other’s backs because there is nothing more important than family. And she has always had ours. She still holds grudges to people who wronged either of us, dating back to kindergarten.

As if she wasn’t the most incredible mother, she is also the best and most coolest grandmother on the planet. She does all of the above for my child and more…including teaching her about the lost art of prank phone calls. I’m not joking. She will call (my family only) and pretend to be a Chinese restaurant or pizza delivery. Her and my daughter take turns and she thinks it’s the greatest. She giggles so hard she can barely get the words out and thinks my mother is a creative genius. She also buys her things I would never buy – like fart guns and giant pallets of eye shadow.

This woman would cut her arms off for her children…no really she says that all the time. Like if we ask her to do something she looks at us with that look and then pretends to saw her own arm off with her other hand – insinuating “duh! I would do anything for you”.

If you are on her good side you are golden, and if you’re not, you are effed.

She’s a natural-born fighter who couldn’t even be knocked out with normal doses of anesthesia when she had breast cancer 4 years ago and needed a lumpectomy. The doctor literally came out and said “The amount of drugs I had to give her was ridiculous…she wouldn’t shut up.”

And she taught us to be fighters. Whether it was me pushing my way to the front of the stage at 4 years old because I was behind too many dancers (yup…that happened), or battling bullies and other bullshit in my adult life.

She can’t pronounce any celebrity names correctly, but she can spit lyrics from Tupac and Biggie.

She is simply the best and we are all madly in love with her. Mom, you are the best there is, the OG, my best friend and my ride or die chick. I love you more.

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Happy (early) Mother’s Day

xx

Rachel

 

Give It Up For Girlpower – NEW from Lifestyle Magazine

May is all about girlpower. I mean really every day is. But in May we celebrate Mother’s Day, which I love to celebrate as a mother AND a daughter to the mother of all mothers.

One of the biggest lessons my mom taught me growing up was to be strong and not take shit from anyone. I had many moments in my life where I did NOT take that advice – personally and professionally – and it only reinforced how truly important it is to develop and maintain a strong sense of self and not let people knock you down. Because they will try.

Now, with a daughter of my own, I realize that it’s on me to help her become a strong woman one day. It’s so important, especially with the abundance of mean girls and bullies out there. I want her to always be confident and stand by what she says and does. And that’s what my May article for Lifestyle Magazine is all about.

So, let’s raise awesome little girls who turn into even more awesome, strong, confident badass women. Who’s with me?

xx

Rachel

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My Daughter Said the F Word…and I Laughed – NEW on Suburban Misfit Mom

 

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I will be the first to admit that I curse like a sailor. Sometimes because I’m pissed off, sometimes for emphasis and sometimes just because. And my husband thinks it’s hot, FYI. Fucking sue me.

Actually, most of my family has major potty mouth. We are a mishmash of loud mouth South Floridians/New Yorkers and it’s just the way it is. But somehow, we have all managed to pull it together, turn into nuns around my child, and keep that explicit language away from her, and she has the mouth of a saint. It’s really a miracle that she wasn’t born sounding like a mini Andrew Dice Clay.

So you can imagine my surprise as we headed to Disney World, the happiest place on earth, and as I was getting visibly frustrated with the stupid navigation, I hear a little voice from the backseat say, with pigtails and perfect annunciation – “Fuck!”

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At first I pretended not to hear it and calmly said “What did you just say?”

She looked like I just told her Mickey Mouse died and I could tell she was scared to engage in this line of questioning. She turned mute and deflected all of my questions with sheepish looks and welled-up eyes, only giving me a thumbs-up when I asked if she said a bad word. I told her she cannot say bad words and I didn’t want to hear it ever again.

Meanwhile, in the front seat, with my mother sitting next to me, it was taking everything in me/us not to laugh out loud. Because you know what? It was funny and caught me off guard. I’m human and while I’m sure there are some mothers who are getting riled up just reading this, I’m not sorry. It’s the same kind of inappropriate laughter you may have when someone takes a really bad spill.

I was doing the silent laugh thing where you turn purple and tears pour out of your eyes and you snort, while you try and get your shit together. I couldn’t catch my breath. I was also stunned that she used it in the perfect setting and context. Had she NOT been in the car, it would have been exactly what I said to the annoying bitch who constantly screws up my voice-activated navigation efforts.

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Seven years of a pure-as-the-driven-snow vernacular destroyed in 2 seconds, and she didn’t hear it from us, so what happened?

After a few hours, when we were alone and my mom was in the hotel room, my little angel asked me what “it” meant. How the fuck do you really explain “fuck” to a 7-year-old? I took a breath, looked at her and told her that it’s what lots of people use instead of saying something like, “oh no!” or “oh shoot!” when they get super frustrated or angry. No need to delve into the “other” meanings right now. I asked her where she learned it and she said, a friend at school. (I’d also like to say that I’d much rather be the one whose kid is on the learning end than the one getting the phone calls for being on the teaching end.)

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The way I saw it, I had two choices here. I could shame her for saying it. Make her feel really sorry and scared and never say it again. Or, I could engage in open dialogue to put an end to it. While I do not condone my child cursing, I’m not the “wash your mouth with soap” kind of mom. I’ve never used words like “hoo ha” and “pee pee” to describe body parts. I’m a straight shooter so I decided to stay true to that. I told her that she was probably going to hear A LOT of other words and weird things at school and that I always wanted her to feel comfortable asking me what they mean or if they are okay to say. That’s when she said, “You mean, like the word ‘Fuck’”.

OY!

Yes, just like that word I said, and you will never get in trouble if you are asking me about a word like that. I realized I needed to be more clear though because she “mouthed” it once more, as if the lack of audible noise made it okay. And I could tell she wasn’t trying to necessarily push boundaries. The kid was curious.

Curiosity is fine, I told her, but you will be in big trouble if I hear you using it after I’ve explained that it’s wrong. Capiche?

It wasn’t uttered again and we went on to enjoy our weekend. But I kept replaying it in my head. Did I answer correctly? Did I get the point across? And for the love of god, if she already knows the F word, where do we go from here? It’s like she skipped the remedial cursing. What happened to “shit”?

I know this isn’t the last of the cursing convos but I’m pretty proud of how I handled it. As a parent – strict or laid back – I don’t know if you can ever prepare yourself for that first dirty word leaving their innocent little lips. I feel like it’s a weird rite of passage and can only imagine the words currently swirling around 1st grade recess. I supposed I should feel thankful it took this long!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Paradise Island

This weekend, we took a quick (and much needed) mini vacation to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas. While my husband has been there a couple of times, it was my first. I don’t know if we have a black cloud following us when it comes to expensive hotel stays, but we are now 2 for 2 with some ridiculous shit. More about that in a minute.

I did the usual rigmarole of packing and mental prep to get on a plane. That’s right folks…I am THAT passenger. And let me be clear that the flight to Nassau is like 25 minutes from Ft. Lauderdale. But that does not matter. To me a flight is a flight and I need to be medicated.

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At the airport, and with my pre-flight regimen kicking in, an announcement is made that the whole airport is now “closed” due to weather. We have now been in the airport more than 3 times the duration of our actual flight with no indication of when we are leaving.

As if I am not already annoyed, I have an abnormally loud woman asking her baby over and over and OVER, “Are you my baby?” in that stupid babytalk voice. It was never-ending. I was waiting for the infant to yell, “Obviously, I’m your effing baby, have you lost your everloving mind, woman?”

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I was going to need another Xanax if she was on my flight and anywhere near me.

The weather started to clear and when Jason pointed out a rainbow, I was hoping it was a sign.

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Finally we board, have a bumpy flight, arrive safely and the flight attendant says, “If you look out the left side of the plane, you’ll see a Jet Blue flight (also from Ft. Laud allegedly, which is NOT what an already nervous flyer needed to know) that made a crash landing just  a few hours ago.” She said it like we were at Disney on a guided tour. (Everyone on that flight was fine FYI.) The plane’s front landing gear apparently crapped out and the nose of the plane was directly on the ground and all I wanted was to nosedive into a glass of malbec at our hotel. We arranged for transportation through Atlantis, found our shuttle and got in. The driver tells us he needs to wait for the entire airport to “clear out” to make sure there are no other people waiting for him. WHAT THE WHAT?!?!

And he proceeded to get out of the van and shut the door, but not before LOCKING us inside with gospel music about needing a little more Jesus, blasting at full volume. No sir, I do not in fact need a little more Jesus…I need you to kindly get your ass back in the van and get me to my hotel. For the love of god (pun intended).

This was right before the lock in.

When we realized we were locked in, Jason was literally banging on the doors, having a valid meltdown and nobody heard (prob because of the stupid music), until he started blowing the horn a million times. Some other guy let us out and put us in another van. He was super nice and apologetic, but after a 20ish minute ride, I know WAAAAAAAY too much about his life.

  • He was allegedly one of Anna Nicole’s drivers and gives the official Anna Nicole Smith tour in Nassau.
  • He has 6 kids from 3 baby mamas
  • He was headed to a date with a “real exciting lady” after dropping us off. I told him to be careful or he’d have 4 baby mamas, but he assured me he uses “prophylactics” because he’s just “making ends meet with the ones he has”.
  • His grandfather was deformed in a moonshine explosion and he’d never seen him in person but spoke to him on the phone. (This is my fave fun fact of the evening)

When we arrived and got to our room, the craziness continued as we were greeted with a bathtub filled with water, a non-working TV and the piece de resistance…what appeared to be bullet holes in the wall. Two to be exact. I know what you’re thinking…Rachel, cmon, they probably tried to hang something and it went awry. But I’m familiar with that look…I have a husband who likes to try to hang TVs and other large objects and puts a handful of holes in our walls before he’s willing to admit defeat and call in a professional. These were NOT that. And here’s the thing…when Jason called to talk about these issues, nobody was phased by the sentence, “there are what looks like bullet holes in our wall”. Not only were they unphased, they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything to any part of the situation.

This guy wasn’t happy about it either…

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Thankfully, we woke up to this…

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The next morning, before breakfast, we went down to talk to the front desk and they offered to switch our room but we would need to hang out for an hour or so and then go inspect the room, etc. Listen, we are pretty reasonable, but we have ONE full day here and you are insane if you think I’m going to spend a couple of those hours inspecting rooms to meet our approval. So on we went to try and enjoy our limited time.

After carb loading at breakfast, I was ready to flaunt my post-breakfast buffet bod (thank god one-pieces are in right now) at the pool. The minute we headed down the (not so) lazy river, we were giddy and finally in vacation mode. Maybe from here it’s smooth sailing.

Nope.

Because when we got out to get a drink for 5, some tiger mom told security we were hoarding tubes and her kids wanted them. For the record, Jason and I got down there at 9am and the tubes were plentiful. But when the kids invaded around lunchtime, it was like vultures circling every time you passed lounge chair areas, asking if you were done with your tube. And some of them were aggressive…did I need a shiv? OMG…is this where the bullet holes came from??? Was there a falling out over the tubes that took a turn? Moral of the story – Atlantis, you desperately need more tubes if you are going to fill your hotel to capacity and then make people crazy searching for them.

Anyway, the security guard starts harassing us, telling us we need to give the tubes to these kids, and he’s sure we understand. Let me tell you what I understand…we got out here early to enjoy the pool, lazy river, slides – all that require tubes. If you think we are turning them over after we just spent $25 dollars on pina coladas/rum runners while we step out of the water for literally 10 minutes to reapply sunscreen and knock back our drinks…you are crazier than the driver who held us hostage with gospel music. An onlooker (there with 5 kids of his own btw) was hearing the whole thing and gave us a brilliant idea – go sit at the edge of the pool, IN your tubes..finish your drinks and that’s that.

We did exactly that while we got glares from the pissed off tiger mom. And when we were done, decided to give the tubes to some really sweet and non-abrasive kids waiting patiently, instead of going back in ourselves. Right in front of her. When you tattle on me to security instead of maybe asking nicely if you can have our tubes…you lose sweetheart. Honey = More bees.

From there we went to Dolphin Cay to hang with some dolphins, and I was literally jumping out of my skin with excitement. Only two downsides – 1) a wetsuit is not really a flattering look…for anyone. 2) There was a crazy 20something, obnoxiously loud girl in front of us asking the group of tweens she befriended if they knew how to dab and trying to connect with all of them on every social network possible. I just kept saying, please god don’t let us get grouped with her. Please…haven’t we been through enough?

We weren’t and could breathe easy and enjoy one of the most magical experiences I have ever had. We got to interact with the dolphin, touch her, KISS HER. It. Was. Everything.

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I know it’s not cheap, but if you EVER have the opportunity to do this, save your shekels and make it happen.

I was elated, but so ready to get out of the wetsuit. I was already thinking about how many people wore it before me and wondering if any of them peed in it while in the water – yes that’s where my head goes and yes I’m aware I’m turning into my mother.

It was such a great ending to the day after such a rocky start with hotel staff. Please let the TV be working or my husband is (rightfully) going to lose his shit. So, the good news is that the bullet holes were patched (my only regret is that I didn’t get a picture before, because that shit probably would have gone viral, accompanied by some crazy title dripping with alliteration like, “Blogger Goes Bananas Over Bullet Holes at Bahamas Resort”.)

But, the TV was a no-go. And I could see Jason’s forehead vein pulsing. At this point it wasn’t about the lack of TV intake, it was totally about principle. How hard is it to swap out a TV when we have been gone for HOURS. Do you have the same problem with TVs that you do with inner tubes? He calls downstairs again..they tell him they can fix it Monday (guys, it’s Saturday and we leave Sunday). Finally they tell us they are switching our room and will call in 10 mins to arrange. At 30 mins and counting (with a dinner reservation rapidly approaching), still no call so he calls back. They tell him that a bellman came up and knocked but we weren’t there…he’s barely holding it together at this point and I can see he’s about to foam at the mouth. They say they are sending someone up. Just FYI, it’s now 740 and we have an 8pm res.

Bellman knocks. We are ready to move and he says 8 words that I thought might give my husband a coronary.

“You have the keys for your new room?”

Are. You. KIDDING??!?!?! Do you effing think if we had the keys to our “new” room, we would still be here?!? Jason called the front desk…again…they woman gets nasty with him and says, “We sent someone up and you weren’t there the first time!” To which he replied, “That’s bullshit! We have been here the whole time!!”

She hung up on him.

I’m no customer service expert, but I’m pretty sure that is NOT what you do. He wasn’t being abusive toward her. He didn’t call her any names or act in a disrespectful way. At all. This is the kindest, most docile man I have ever met. I mean he deals with my special kind of crazy on the daily and loves the shit out of me, so if he’s fired up, there’s a reason. All he did was say this was “bullshit” because it was exactly that…BULLSHIT.

We all took a field trip together to the front desk, bellman and bags included, Jason politely told a different Atlantis manager what happened. He handled it the right way, took our stuff and we went off to dinner to get really drunk and eat overpriced (but yummy) Sushi. Yolo.

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On the way, I basically destroyed the skin on my heel on my loubs (I mean it’s my fault, they really are curb to car shoes and not run around Atlantis shoes). Lesson learned (not really though – I’m still gonna wear them all the time). I scored Band-Aids from our waiter (I’m sure people have asked for weirder shit) and rectified the situation.

Our new room was bullet hole free, with an empty tub and working TV, PLUS a cool view of the sting rays.

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And we did Sunday morning pretty much the same way. Starting with bingeing at the breakfast buffet like it was our last meal before a trip to the electric chair. We did not get into any fights over tubes and I even chuckled as we walked by families with literally PILES of tubes hoarded on their lounge chairs. No doubt prepping for tubepacolypse.

After getting our stuff together, we made the decision NOT to take the transportation we booked from the earlier company, asked for a cab instead, and up rolled the most ghetto fabulous stretch white limo with leopard floor mats and all I could do was smile. Dreams do come true.

Was Atlantis amazing? Absolutely. The grounds are beautiful. There is so much to do and I already want to go back. And in the interest of full disclosure, after nonstop annoyances for 2 days, a manager did review everything and give us a nice credit, which was the right thing to do. The problem is, we shouldn’t have had that level of aggravation at all and it should have been addressed when we first brought it to their attention , especially during a two night stay. If I wanted that level of customer service, I’d stay at a Motel 6.

So please Atlantis…I want a do-over. Because we want to come back and be superfans. We really do. All I want is NOT to be held hostage with gospel music in a van booked through you, a clean room sans bullet holes or bathtubs filled with water, a working television, to be left alone about how/when we choose to use our tubes at the pool/lazy river and not guilted into giving them to children (adults like to have fun too and FYI as a mom myself, I would have handled it totally differently), bellmen who have the right keys and front desk staff with a little bit of empathy that we have spent A LOT of hard earned paychecks to visit your amazing resort and would like to enjoy it instead of dealing with ridiculousness.

Let’s try this again real soon because it was almost paradise.

xo

Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day in the Life of a Momblogger, Told in GIFs

(As seen on Suburban Misfit Mom)

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Some people have a hard time understanding exactly what I do. They can’t wrap their head around the life of a momblogger. Particularly people who spend their time chained to a cubicle, drinking subpar coffee and eating pastries left over from the 9am sales meeting (Been there, done that).

So, I decided to paint a little picture of a day in the life. My life, specifically.

While there was a dramatic shift in my professional life as I abandoned a full-time “real” job (and a steady paycheck) to write/blog full-time, contrary to what some think…I DO actually work. And even amidst the regular interruptions of life, including picking up a sick (or faking sick to be home with mama) child, or dropping off the toy she forgot for fun friday, or picking up drycleaning my husband couldn’t get to, or doing 13 loads of laundry…I manage to churn out A LOT of writing.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s totally true. But you know what gets a point across even more than a picture??? A GIF (Mom, that’s basically a moving picture…because I know she’s going to ask). Those little animated gems pop up everywhere and spread through social media quicker than Paris Hilton’s entire music career.

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Truth be told, the life of a momblogger is not very glamorous. At least mine isn’t (am I doing something wrong?!) From getting a child dressed, fed and out to door to getting some form of dinner on the table in the evening, it can be a downright shitshow. But it’s my shitshow.

I can’t be alone, right? Mombloggers, holler if ya hear me!

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Who needs an alarm clock when you can have your eyes manually pried open at 6am by your spawn as she simultaneously asks if you’re up?

alarm clock

Then, before I start getting bossed around, I need caffeine or I will lose my shit.

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Once I feel human it’s time to get my child, who has a VERY strong mind of her own, dressed for school. P.S. She wears a uniform and still manages to put me through the ringer!

dressed

I haven’t even brushed my teeth and I think I might only have one contact lens in, but I need to make lunch, and fast. My daughter is also a picky eater, so if I want her to actually consume her lunch, it needs to be perfect to meet her standards.

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While she’s contained at the breakfast table, I have 30 seconds to throw something on my body so that the school administrators don’t think I am homeless when I walk her in.

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Make it out the door, holding everything, including her backpack. It’s like I somehow sprout extra arms in an instant. And we’re off.

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Get back home in time to hop on the treadmill so that the bags of cheezits I had for breakfast, as I’m trying to get everyone else ready, don’t catch up with me.

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And now it’s time for me to actually get some writing in.

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Oh, but wait…don’t get too comfortable because school just called and my kid is sick and needs to come home.

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Get her back. Get refocused. Bang out some blogs. Talk to some advertisers/partners. RSVP to some events. And now we’re finally in a groove.

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Until I realize, it’s time to think about dinner. Shit. Can’t we order pizza like we did the last 14 times?

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Finally, everyone is fed and I can have a glass of wine

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And then folks, we end the day almost exactly as it started, but replace getting out the door with getting a kid into bed and replace the school uniform with PJs.

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Then I shove dinner in my mouth. I don’t even fucking care what I’m eating. I just need sustenance.

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Finally, it’s bedtime for ME. Which won’t last long because it’s only a matter of time until my child wakes up for the 1st of 5 times throughout the night.

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And then, just like clockwork, it’s a new day…but it’s the same shit. It’s like Groundhog Day up in here.

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Stay strong fellow mamas…we can do this…I think…

stay strong