Category Archives: Life with 2 kids

With young kids, is it a “vacation” or is it a job-relocation?

The Wired Momma family is moving next week….just a few miles down the road…but I still have to pack up my entire house and well, get us organized….so please bear with me these next few weeks and know that I’d rather be blogging than say – packing… until I have more time…I am bringing you my post from last year after we returned from our family “vacation” in August. In case you  haven’t taken your “vacation” yet this summer…I bring you this…and ask you a deep question: Is it vacation or is it job re-location? You tell me….


“Mommeeeee…..Mommmmeeeeeeeeeee….I can’t find lion!” whines the voice in my ear. I am dazed. I am confused. I slowly pry each eye open. They are glued shut.

3:54AM reads the time on the clock.

“Mommeeee…..Mommeeeee…..I can’t find the lion” whines the voice again, this time shaking my shoulders.

My mind is starting to wake up. Is this really vacation? I wonder. Who decided that we should have 3 time zones in this country? And did they ever have children when they decided that would be a good idea? Can I meet with them? I could convince them real fast in my exhausted, enraged, mommy maniacal moment that we’re all good with just one time zone, farmers, that includes you.

In my daughter’s defense, she technically slept 24 minutes later than she normally does, if we were still on the east coast. But we’re in California and 3:54AM as a wake-up time for the day is cruel and unusual punishment.

And then, before I have a chance to intercept the inevitable, her whining for the dumb lion awakens her little 2-year-old sister and then all bets are off.

Our vacation day #2 begins at 3:54AM.

The day before it at least didn’t start until 4AM. Why are we regressing?

I threaten and coax and beg and plead but they will not go back to sleep….and I can’t get coffee anywhere for another 2 miserable hours.


Just in case you thought that absurd start to the day was the lowest point of our day, think again, that arguably happened when my husband started projectile vomiting down the hall of our nice hotel because he couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough.


One wonders….when children are involved….is there such thing as vacation? Does it skew our expectations and set us up for disappointment and further frustration when we even label it vacation? Is it fair to actually call it vacation? My friend says it’s not vacation, it’s just job re-location.

I can work with that. I went on a 10 day job re-location and shoved a good time down my kid’s throat while we bled money, what did you do this summer? Surely someone somewhere makes a t-shirt and postcard with that slogan.

Exhibit whining, one feeling sick, one just headed in another direction

Is it worth it? The almost 6 hour plane ride solo with 2 kids should have given me some foresight into the rest of my time relocating my job.

As I lounged by the pool while sick husband and incredibly exhausted jet lagged children napped, I did soak in the beauty of the mountains around me and breathed out my anger at time changes, early wake ups, puking husbands (who constantly fail to use hand sanitizer and then wonder why they get sick) and thought of George Castanza.

Remember SERENITY NOW (I insist that you watch that clip)?

Ahh…yes…..SERENITY NOW suddenly became my vacation, oh sorry, job-relocation mantra. In those dark moments when I am threatening to call Santa if they don’t just stand for one second and smile and fake like they are having a good time so I can capture that special moment on camera for the rest of time, SERENITY NOW is what I am thinking…..

In those moments, I would look around, and swear I was trapped behind some sort of looking-glass because it seemed that all around me were sweet young children lapping up the good times with their parents, behaving perfectly, and enjoying their time away from home. While mine were grumpy and whining and wanting to just go back to the hotel and color and pout. Who were these families with such perfectly behaved children? What was I doing wrong?

So next year, as I naively and gleefully start planning next summer’s job re-location, I’ll need to think back on the reality of what traveling with young children really is….and then I guarantee I’ll convince myself that they are each a full year older and they are better suited for travel, and more adaptable, and better prepared for long plane rides and days touring around new cities because how could I not have birthed children who crave adventure and excitement?

Uh huh.


On Losing Power & Losing It

When the power goes out, I lose my shit. And as a Washington Post journalist once joked, if a squirrel drops a nut, the power goes out in Montgomery County. Look, I’ve even started anti-Pepco Facebook pages, submitted written testimony to public hearings on Pepco’s inadequacies, written and called my Maryland state legislators about Pepco and attended neighborhood meetings with our legislators to discuss solely…you got it….Pepco. So in honor of what misery so many people are living in right now, I bring you a post of mine from July 2010 when our power went out. And noteworthy, days after our power came back on (you know, after I’d dropped $300 on replenishing groceries, it went out AGAIN for another 4 days. Do you remember those consecutive summer storms? Can anyone ever forget it).


This is what I look like the second my power goes out

I went back in time and didn’t find love, happiness or world peace. I found the dark ages and it made me crazy. You got it, one week ago Sunday our power went out.

There I was happily napping on our sofa when I was rudely awoken by a loud BOOM. And then dead silence. I jolted up…being the only thing left in our house with enough energy to jolt….and stared at my husband. He remained calm.

I, however, immediately turned into a raving lunatic. I cannot STAND IT when our power goes out. I cannot stand it for even 5 minutes. Let alone when it’s 110 degrees outside. As does anyone who has the unfortunate experience of losing power more often than they’d like, I have our power company’s worthless outage line on speed dial and immediately began calling them. Their first estimate was 9pm.

It was 2pm.

I tried to calm myself. Lick my wounds. Assess how I could survive the next few hours in the scorching heat. I calculated how much longer I thought the kids would sleep, assessed where we could go eat dinner, then we could play til closer to night fall, put them to bed and boom – it would be 9pm.   But seriously – night fall? It’s 2010. Who the hell even considers night fall any more? Who are those people who like power outages and sit around candle light and sing Koombayah, I wondered, because I hated them.  Are they for real?

I could survive this, I told myself, as I continued to pace like a dog foaming at the mouth, and frantically unraveled the lanterns I scored from Target in the event of a power outage.

Oh yes I did, in case you are wondering. I really did drop like $100 on lanterns for serious campers (of which I am not, unless you consider renting large homes in the woods with several fire places and a hot tub on the deck, camping. Which I do, for the record).  But see- as my dad says – the 6Ps: Prior planning prevents piss poor performance. I planned (having survived much of the summer of 2005 without power and being like 7 months pregnant, I am still recovering from that) and purchased my lanterns before Memorial Day but, as it turns out, I forgot the lanterns need batteries (again, not a camper). And guess what – of course we didn’t have the proper batteries in the house. My husband mocked me as I yelled at him about how he is the battery keeper and why doesn’t he have a proper stash in the event of national emergencies of epic proportions. Such as this one.

I continued to pace. And foam at the mouth.

Then guess what. The storm happened. Yep – our power went out an hour before the freaking storm even rolled through.  As it turned out, it ended up being one of the worst thunderstorms in the history of the area, complete with like 90mph winds and of Pepco’s 778,000 customers, 300,00o lost power.

But see, I don’t care so much about the other 299,999 customers without power when I don’t have power.  I care a lot more about those people when I have power and air conditioning and can listen to the news and feel sorry for them, comfortably, in my cool house with lights on. It’s a dog eat dog world and I like electricity. A lot. Maybe more than  my husband. And almost as much as my kids.

So, as the wind was whipping and the rain was coming down in sheets and the lightning and thunder wear roaring, and I was wondering if we were going to land in Oz, I actually asked my husband if he thought Pepco was deploying a crew in this weather – could they be out working on power lines in this storm – I demanded to know? BECAUSE I NEED POWER.  Was it really TOO dangerous to be up on a ladder on a power line?

He ignored me.

Then, as any raving, power loving lunatic would do, I called Pepco again. After the storm. And they said it would be AUGUST SECOND before the power came back on. This was like July 25th.

So what is a gal to do?

But immediately start throwing tank tops, shorts, diapers and baby tylenol into bags and just leave. I left town. Like one friend said, what asshole sits around without AC?

We’ve established that I cannot handle it.

And so four more days passed and our power came back on Wednesday afternoon. This was not how my week was supposed to have played out but I found a silver lining.

As it turns out, friends, when your power goes out for 4 days in oppressive heat – you have to throw out everything in your fridge and freezer. And because I was on the lam with my kids, my husband was the only one left here to not only toss all the contents but clean it out.

AH HA! Maybe losing power isn’t all bad because that, friends, that is a job that I avoid at all costs. I’m pretty sure I had a head start on DD1’s first science fair project in 2018 growing in my fridge. God only knows what was found inside my freezer.

And so, we returned home yesterday. I opened the fridge to see this:

Is that not a beautiful sight? Especially because I didn’t have to do it?

I then headed off to the grocery store, dropped $300, and my fridge and freezer look paltry and like we are all on a serious, calorie conscious diet. It seems to me that when I receive my next Pepco bill, what should I do but enclose my grocery bills until my fridge is stacked, as a form of payment.

Reasonable, right?

Later this week, I’ll post another piece about when our power went out in the winter – something I used to wonder -which is worse – power outages in summer or winter? My conclusion then was this: me and my then 2-year-old had a common enemy, that common enemy was Pepco. For electric fun and frolic, “Like” Wired Momma on Facebook.

Godzilla meets the Lion Tamer…an epic tale of surviving summer break

In prep for schools letting out in the next two weeks….I offer you a retro WM post….my piece to mark the beginning of summer break last year and a retrospective on surviving previous summers….it covers kids of a variety ages so you probably will find something for yourself in here and I also get to my fav summer accessories:


This week marks the end of school. The beginning of summer. What better way to kick it off than with a walk down memory lane?

First Summer Home with 2 kids: Sink or Swim?

My baby morphed into Godzilla that first summer....

Spoiler Alert! I sank. I didn’t even have a chance. I was drowning, I was gasping for air, I hated that summer. DD1 was 3.5 and horrible. DD2 was 6 months old and suddenly gained her mobility and morphed from sweet drooling baby into Godzilla, a super human creature who’s only purpose in life was to mercilessly terrorize every Little People village her sister had carefully arranged, chew on each book her sister wanted to read and destroy any block tower that might have just been assembled. It was war. I lost every battle.  And to boot, one of life’s great unsolved mysteries emerged: exactly how does a 6 month old crawl so quickly and why are they magnets for elder sibling’s toys? So I headed into the next summer with a whole new plan, armed with tactics, prepared to win and enjoy the summer. This battle worn soldier couldn’t lose again.


Summer 2 home with the kids: Life vest

Spoiler Alert: my life vest mocked me. All summer long.

This time I boarded the ship prepared. My life jacket purchased in the form of 4 beautiful words: CAMP. Lots and lots of CAMP. But see, what I failed to anticipate was that much changes in one year of the lives of these little people. My wounds were still open and fresh but the children had moved on. How could I fail to realize that Godzilla can’t really survive for one year with an older sibling? Think of the eldest like a lion tamer: breaking the beast, taming the savage soul and maybe assaulting them a few times. Godzilla morphs into a different kind of species when she is 18 months old. True, a child

Can anyone else relate?

headed straight for the 2s is still part-human, part-beast but at least they have more control over their motor skills when lingering around block towers. And the eldest is more adept at handling younger sibling assault on their world. Another lesson for me:  3.5 year olds don’t stay that miserable argumentative nasty way forever and as it turns out, at least chez moi, 4.5 year olds are fun and fabulous companions. So there I had shipped her off to various weekly camps only for me and DD2 to look at each other, and wonder where our playmate was, especially DD2. I had naively shipped off the companion who kept the 18 month old entertained, busy and tired her out for naps. I PAID to send away our buddy. What the? My life vest deflated. I was beat again. When will I not suck at anticipating how to manage for a great summer home?


Summer 3 home with the kids: Lifeguard

And so begins summer 3 home with the kids. We’re off to a good start, we are miraculously diaper free chez moi, they are now 2.5 and 5.5 (have you seen the new spring in my step as I bypass the diaper aisle at Target with an extra $20 to blow on something dumb?) and after my steep learning curves the past two summers, dare I say I am heading into this summer with an all new plan: the pool. We are super camp light and planning on lots of pool time. But will I fail to anticipate again? So far, I have a huge ding against me because DH is headed off to a new job that puts him in San Fran 4 days of every week through the summer. I wasn’t counting on that when I signed them up for basically no camps this summer . . .Will I sink or swim this year? Stay tuned, you know you’ll be hearing about it.


Until then, let’s cover what accessories  a gal needs to survive the summer.

The first is the appropriate pool or beach bag and that bag is the Scout bag. This bag changed my pool/beach experience because it’s stylish and has 6 pockets around the outside of the bag. Never has it been so easy to store sunglasses, iPhone, camera, sun block, kid’s trash,  snacks, water bottles and actually FIND these things with ease. Naturally the bag was created by a local DC mother who has 4 kids, so it’s no wonder it’s a miracle worker.

Speaking of miracle workers, what I need is the right swimsuit. I tend to go for halters but is this really a good idea when children are climbing all over you and creating multiple chances for a wardrobe malfunction on any given day? My youngest likes to shove her pool toys down the suit as if it’s her own personal pocket.  Does style need to be compromised in favor of practicality? Have you found the perfect swimsuit that is stylish but functional? I’m desperate here, friends. Speak up. Links encouraged.

And my final summer survival necessity for those of you who are beach bound but don’t live steps from the beach: the Wonder Wheeler Deluxe (WWD). The minivan of beach carts, this thing screams dork, flashes parenthood in bright lights, earns you mockery from teens for being  lame, but when a beach trip heads south (and really, how often do they not), you can toss all your gear and chairs and umbrellas into this thing (and sometimes I think a few kids) and clear the beach in record time.

So with that, what are your plans for summer survival? And did you find a great suit? Let me know.

For more fun, survival tips and accessories gossip…..”Like” the WM community FB page.

Parenting Hierarchy…it’s there….don’t deny it

“Whatever, you’re not a real parent until you have more than one kid,” shamelessly dead-panned a good friend of mine a few weeks ago over happy hour.

Familiar to you? Especially coming off spring break.....

A few other moms totally laughed and agreed.

This particular friend was relaying a stressful drive with her two girls and a co-worker, who has one kid, while her two girls fought mercilessly in the back seat. And the single child quietly read a book. She eventually had to pull over and lay into her kids…right around K Street…during rush hour.

We’ve all been there. And little can raise your blood pressure like two siblings unleashing on each other over absolutely nothing. In this particular instance, one girl was holding her face inches from her sister’s face yet stating, factually, that she wasn’t touching her.


But what do parents of just one kid say about the  statement that they aren’t “real parents” – probably “F you, I’ve got my hands full” – right?

Lord knows when I had my first, I thought my whole world was caving in and I could barely get a meal on the table with one little 6 week old. By the time I had my second, I wondered what in the world was the big effing deal the first time around, a newborn has nothing on a 3-year-old. Right?

So then there are parents with 3 kids or 4 kids…..I’m sure they’re all looking at people with two kids thinking it’s a joke because we’re luxuriously handling man-on-man defense while they’re in the Zone.  Let’s cut to the chase, however, once you get beyond 4 kids, we’re all pretty  much judging you and wondering what in the world you were thinking or smoking to compel you to have that many kids.


Or how about the people who have the kids super close together – they know they’re being gossiped about and people are wondering what they were on when they made that decision. A good friend of mine with 3 kids, all under the age of 5, basically accepted that she was Slutty Mom at her girls’ preschool for the duration of her pregnancy with the third because the youngest two would be 15 months apart when baby was born. She probably was right.


Right now, over in Wired Momma Land, I see a woman with a 3-year-old at preschool and she is always carrying  a baby, presumably her own, who I guess to be about 9 months, yet she also looks to be about 9 months pregnant.

I stare. I judge. I struggle (with great difficulty) to do the math in my head. Could she have a 9 month old and be 9 months pregnant? Could it be a small 11 month old? What if she’s just really big because it’s her third kid and so she’s really only 6 months along?  

Any way you slice it, I actually don’t think of her as Slutty Mom, I just wonder: did gazing into the sweet eyes of a two-week-old (who never sleeps) tempt her so?


Or is she one of those unlucky people who thought she was safe because she was nursing and got pregnant the first time she had sex after the baby was born?


To say that I am fascinated would be an understatement.

But why do we care? What difference does it make?

Who knows but whether it’s spoken or unspoken – there is a parenting hierarchy and we size each other up.

On really bad days, I see people leisurely out with one kid and I am probably part jealous and part thinking they really aren’t real parents. Even though I had never processed it that way until my friend said it. I’ve already admitted to judging someone who has a bunch of kids, especially super close together in age, and don’t tell me you parents of three kids or four kids – that you don’t look at the rest of us, especially in our non-Minivan sweet rides (ha ha – kidding) – and think we’ve got it easy.

Judgy Judge Judge Judge.

We LOVE to do it.

Jolie Pitt children...the most discussed celebrity large family

How about parents of twins? Where do they fit in here? You know they’re looking at new moms with one baby and thinking their life is a joke. Personally I get annoyed when parents of twins complain to me – because last count – I still have two kids who also make demands and run in different directions and wake up at night.

Think about the Jolie Pitt clan….they have the one-two punch of a ton of kids and twins….even with more money than God to fund nannies and staff, we still talk about it. Recall there was a time when people speculated that Angie was addicted to motherhood.


Don’t tell me I am alone here.

There is absolutely a parenting hierarchy but my guess is, we each fancy ourselves, on top.

Thoughts as you’re pulling out of the preschool parking lot?

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