I have read somewhere that the first week of the year is a good snapshot of what the rest of your year will look like. Or I am totally bullshitting this one because I needed to find a smartass way to frame my first blog post of the year. I could talk about my resolutions except that I haven’t made any resolutions…OK; I am lying. There are still two things on my ‘I swear to god this year I will’ and these are:
– I will lose the extra 15lbs I still carry around. One of my mates overheard me talking about these 15lbs and thought I had actually gained them in the last month or so…It was the wake-up call I sorely needed.
AND most importantly,
– I will stop saying ‘No, this does not make any sense…’ to every single suggestion DH makes about…basically anything. More recently, he was talking about living in the mountains breeding sheep or something like that (what does a city girl like me know about life in the mountains anyway?) and I started to say ‘It is impossible because a)…b)…c)…blablabla and z)…‘To which DH retorted:’Can you not put my ideas down like this? I haven’t even finished talking yet…It’s not a big deal; I know you, you’ve ALWAYS been like this but it is annoying.’ OOPS. He was not even angry, just resigned. That’s not good enough. It is actually terrible. So yes, I decided to bite my tongue before talking for the rest of the year. Even when DH starts talking about our crew of 5 spending a 2 weeks vacation in a RV in Middle America…See, biting my tongue.
Besides these 2 pledges, I have no resolutions worth detailing. I thus thought about the past week trying to decipher what this could seriously (and not seriously) tell me about what 2014 has in store for my family and I. Drum roll!!!! In no so specific order:
– Better ‘me time’ for everyone
The cold weather in NYC has proven really challenging. Cabin fever and the sober realization that this year we are slowly but surely going to outgrow our current living space led me to accept the plain truth that the 5 of us needed to sever our umbilical cords to each other. For years now, we have been doing everything together (including taking a family shower to save time sic) per choice as well as per sheer necessity. ‘Me time’ was for me something like doing the laundry and for DH, going to the bathroom.
Note: he does go 4-5 times a day equipped with his mini IPad while I almost NEVER go because I am just a mutant freak. Nature is seriously unfair! On bad days, I would nudge him to get out by tagging him on a Facebook update such as ‘DH, get out from your hiding spot right now!!’ (Worked every time by the way) or I would time him to count how much alone time I was owed. I am a petty, petty wife.
Anyway, I can see that things are changing – slowly. P has started to voice some preferences when it comes to seeing ‘her’ friends (the girls) as opposed to her twin brother’s friends (the boys). Meanwhile, G has been timing himself out in his own room quite often just so he can be on his own, I guess. L now plays on his own for a considerate amount of time without hanging onto my butt or tit. DH started a biweekly guitar/singing jamming session with some neighbors in the building. As for me, being stranded home because of snow, icy rain, or kids’ colds made me realize that I wanted to create, cut, pleat etc. MORE. But unfortunately this week-end, I stared at some chiffon fabric for about 2 hours and then tried to make a cape which actually made me look like a freaking black giant cocktail umbrella pick. Not a good omen for my creativity.
– Wilder parties
Most our friends with kids are now, like us, at a stage where screen time is no longer felt like guilt but perceived as a socially acceptable survival tactics. Besides, PBS kids on the Ipad is kind of awesome right? What this means is that everybody is now ready to catch up on the last 2 years of no hard partying because of pregnancies, breastfeeding, fear of hangovers (TV in the morning makes those way more bearable) etc. And if our NYE party is a snapshot of what lies ahead of us, the year will be fucking wild:lots of Champagne, kids dancing surrounded by drunken parents, masquerade masks, split legs on the dance floor, choreographed Karaoke and so on. Yeah!!!
– Bolder decisions
Since we found out we were pregnant with L, we have been living in a temporary mindset: staying in the same not entirely furnished apartment because we did not have any energy to look for something else, DH staying in the same job because we could not afford for him to work 15 hours a day to impress a new boss while I have been sporadically freelancing because I was unsure about whether our fragile family equilibrium would sustain a potential return to a full-time job etc. But this can no longer last: no more savings, no more space, too much stress. We need to make our life easier NOW. And I started to commit to my life as as a New York mom to 3 kids by…going onto containerstore.com to buy: pegs rack to hold the kids’ scooters so I stop sliding on them and a shower basket for my shower products (3 years in the apartment and I am still hurting my stiff back by bending down to get my fucking Burt’s and Bees shower gel…). 2014 is looking productive, people.
On this note, I wish you all a Happy New Year and if you live on the US East Coast: STAY WARM!!!
Below some fun moments of our first week in 2014 including a video of how to let your kid crash (almost) into a pole while trying to figure out how to take a video with you IPhone…
The holiday season in the US is insanely long. It starts the week before Thanksgiving and ends on 2nd January. It is like a freaking marathon. A marathon where there is no winner because we all finish the race, fat, sick and shameful. Here is the summary of my festivities and the lessons I have learned:
– a Thanksgiving with so much foie gras I cannot bear the sight of ducks anymore see Holiday season: part One
– a kids pre-Christmas party with 14 kids…I guess it is self-explanatory but in case there are any doubts, let me make this clear:
14 kids under 4 + their overtired parents + excited nannies + fake snow + Santa + booze = apocalypse NOW!
Why the heck did I self-inflict such pain? Well, I had a hidden agenda. I wanted to recruit some new friends among the parents who are also neighbors and thus are a potential extra pair of hands to help us with our 3 brats. At the end of the party, I asked Thor: ‘Do you think I impressed them with the party? Did I look so cool that they are dying to befriend me?’
After a pause, he said:‘you looked absolutely deranged. Don’t you remember whacking someone else’s kid on the floor while swirling your glass of Champagne? Deranged, absolutely deranged’.
– a Christmas eve dinner followed by a one nighter to wrap up he kids presents. It was a little bittersweet because we put our families pics on the gifts. It just makes you realize how far we are and that none of them could be there. It was funny because afterwards many of my unrooted friends wished they had the same idea. Different generations. Christmas with pictures and Skype. Oh well…Anyway, it was totally worth it and so interesting to see each kid’s reaction: G was wide-eyed and was quiet for ages trying to figure out how all those gifts got there, P went straight for the biggest package (that’s my girl!) and L…well, he ate all the wrapping paper and pooped in excitement. Notes to self for next year: lobster is wasted on people under 20 years old, do not assemble presents on Christmas’ eve (you think you can do it but you barely made it this year and let’s face the facts: you will be older meaning you will be likely more depressed during the holiday season meaning you will drink more. Plus your eye sight will be worse so mark my words, DO NOT DO IT).
– and the grown ups New Year’s eve party themed Hat and Italian food. I had all this very Venise Carnival look figured out in my head. It never happened because I gained 6 pounds over the holiday and the only thing I could fit in is a black tank top and a men’s black jacket!!! Depressing. Anyway, it was supposed to be a time for DH and I to be THE child free party couple again. Grown-ups only. But somehow the kids managed to crash our party (or did the guests purposely wake them up to have some dancing props?). I did see Archibald pulling P’s legs when the poor girl tried to escape from his rendition of “Wicked: the musical’.
After that party, I understood why wise parents do not let kids join their holiday parties until 4am. See, kids don’t have hangovers and don’t have stupid New Year’s resolutions about detox or going to bed early. So when DH and I were ready to start 2013 by chilling out, our kids rebelled. They were like ‘Fuck that’ and woke up in he middle of the night screaming and asking to go and party in the freaking living room for about a week. We have ruined a whole year of sleep training and tough discipline in one month during the holiday season. Stupid, stupid morons.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!