Thursday, October 29, 2015

Friendly Encounters

When I was pregnant with my first child, I read an article that outlined the different types of friends a mom should have. It listed building relationships with a variety of friends that range from being single or married, to young, same age, and older. I remember reading it and thought, easy enough. I need a single friend for when I want to party downtown. I need a stay-at-home mom for when my kids get sick, she'll be my backup babysitter. I need a working mom for aspiration or someone to relate to if I am working. I need a younger person to teach me of the new gadgets. I need an older person to teach me about life. Then, I had children. I thought, boy, was the article out of contact with reality or what? Or maybe, it was describing the ideal life of a mom. Either way, mines is an odd mixture of crazy people, but exactly what I need for this moment in my life.

For me and mine, I am content with the amount of social relationships I do have. I rarely go out with friends nor do I spend hours on end talking to or about them. I rarely talk about my friends, actually. Except for now, because I feel like I owe an ode to those who I can call or text late at night about random things that eventually end up being free counseling sessions for hours. I feel lucky to have people I can truly call my soul-humans.

Looking back, I have always kept my circle tight. I think there's a special type of people to not just get or accept me, but truly love me. As I got older, I realized that friendship does not take work at all. I noticed that relationships that I had to put a lot of effort on, were not the relationships I ended up keeping for long term.To me, relationships are like mirrors. I say friendship is effortless because when I bend over backwards for a friend, it's not forced nor rehearsed. It's an automatic reaction. When I sense a resentment or jealousy coming from the person I am genuinely happy for, I can feel it throughout my 4'11" body and I go on defense mode. I let the relationship go and I move forward. I don't believe in dragging relationships along for the ride if they don't want to be there.

I realized that some people come into your life only for a moment to slap you silly and show you different paths that are ahead. I've had the best and worst people come in and out of my life so quick, I feel like a revolving door. Some, I was excited to never see again, some, I shed tears for. I've had people who loosely used the word "friend", but talked behind my back for fun or pity. I have friends who will be frank with me out of love and not turn to the next person and replay the event. I've had people who stole my ideas and used it to compete with me unknowingly. I don't use the word "frienemy" because if you are in my life, it is either you are a friend or you are an acquaintance. I don't keep my enemies on my soul-train. So it's either you support me from the sideline as an acquaintance or you are on this crazy ride with me holding the barf bag. 

To say friends are not important is a lie. Friends are important. Whether or not they are young, old, single, or with children, my soul-humans are important to me. They come as innocent as the uninvited person to your party or as awkward as meeting them at a playgroup you didn't really want to take your child to. Some of the best humans I know actually came to my life this way. Many years ago, an older lady approached me while I was changing in the locker room after swimming with my family. She wanted to introduce me to her daughter. This daughter of hers remains as one of the best humans I have in my life now. So these friendly encounters should not be strictly followed according to quotas: oh I already have enough married friends or I need a stay-at-home friend who can babysit. Your soul will connect and attach itself to those who are meant to stay for the long haul, past the babysitting stage. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pock It Stroller

The new Pockit Stroller from GB Child USA. The smallest stroller fold in the world. #abckids15
Posted by TheBabyGuyNYC on Sunday, October 18, 2015

I know I am supposed to just strictly be researching for a Child Carrier at the moment, but look what Jamie Grayson aka TheBabyGuyNYC posted fresh off ABC Kids 15 expo. I am almost at the end of the stroller phase, but this is super exciting to me. I won't be salty and ask where it's been the past 8 years, but I will celebrate all of you who would be able to have this for their lil' ones. Cheers to their R&D. I wonder if the seat reclines all the way down. If you don't follow Jamie and Angry Baby in social media, I suggest you do. He is a hoot and is a baby gear guru.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

These Days Exist

I know how you feel. I have had days when the 3rd cup of coffee was not enough. I've had those moments where I would put my earphones on when my kids would argue about toys. So, when this day happened, I was in shock of how I didn't even yell at him.

My eldest came to me speechless. She took me by the hand and told me she couldn't find the words to explain it, but I had to come quick. I took one glance at him, let go of her, and walked the other way. I sat where I was sitting just seconds prior and just stared at the wall. I wasn't frustrated, or maybe I was too frustrated that it numbed itself out. Whatever it was, I was emotionless about it. She followed me back and asked if I was angry and all I could mutter back was that I quit. She looked at me so confused and asked, quit what? Again, I muttered in a monotone voice, I quit and reached out to hug her. Then we just started laughing like two crazy souls who understood each other. My son came running with a handful of Styrofoam pieces and asked what was funny? I took the pieces and pretended it was cold and the snow fight begun. We threw them up in the air and lay down and made Styrofoam angels. And once it was over, I looked at him and said, it was time to clean up. All, but four was left and he pretended they were a family of snow. He even put them to nap.

So, yes these days exist. Most days, I let my tired self get the best of me. But some days, we play snow in the field of Styrofoam singing Frozen songs.

Disclaimer: Do not use your Dyson to clean up these bad boys. Use a wet vac. Hide all the Styrofoam away from your mischievous children.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Travel Memorabilia Overload

We just recently got back from the North Georgia mountains. It was the first time in months that we took our beloved Hello Kitty along with us on a trip. We took her to our hike so we can snap her picture in front of the waterfalls. I have to admit that I miss taking her to our trips. When my daughter was just a baby, I had this crazy idea that this brown stuffed toy will travel everywhere with us so I started taking snapshots of her. She's become my daughter's companion through the busy subway stations of Rome, croissant-filled-air of Paris, and fireworks-lit-skies of Disney World. She even has her own album of adventures. And this is the first idea I will throw out there if you are wondering of a tradition you can do while on the go. Aside from taking family pictures and selfies while traveling, here are some tips to preserve your memories.

 1. Take pictures of your kids lovey or toy at every place you visit. Hello Kitty is almost a ruler length, but super light. Think of luggage space when deciding which toy to take. If only my then-baby would not swallow a Lego, it would have been my choice of toy to photograph. You can also take pictures of your own baby up close. In my experience, this is a much harder option because babies tend to look horrified when bright lights flash at them and you will go to jail for holding your baby out onto the bridge with one arm.

2. Write a postcard to your child. When I started doing this, I used to opt to have a collectible stamp affixed to it before sending it off to my home. By the time we got home, the postcard would be waiting in the mailbox with the post office stamp making it official. I would write to them telling them of the places we visited and how it was. I then put them in a shadow box type frame with the rest of them near the front door. I imagine my kids reading through the experiences they had growing up someday.

3. Journal/Agenda. If you already keep a planner, write a quick entry as to how your travels are going on each day. If you journal, write away. I also like to sketch different pictures.

4. Buy some cool Magnets. One side of our fridge faces an entrance, so it's where we stick all of our magnets. We move so much that I try to only buy the ones with non-breakable materials. If I only had the front facing door available, I would opt to buy a frame like my postcard shadow box to make it more uniformed.

5. Shot glasses and Mugs. We did this for ourselves. I have tons of mugs while the husband has tons of shot glasses. There is only one mug I really want to add to my collection and I told myself, I won't buy another one after it. It is the Starbucks Disneyland Anniversary mug. These are not just for decor, I like using them from time to time for the purposes they are for - coffee and shots :).

You probably wondered in the beginning why I titled this overload. These are literally the things I do every single time we go somewhere. It's a bit of a stretch, but I've gotten used to it that now it's become a habit - sans mugs. In addition to pictures to sort through, I reserve time and money for these, especially the postcards, every single time, because I want to pass them down to my children one day. What about you? How do you keep the memories of your travels?