The mom taxi life is real!

Mommy taxi

Mommy taxi

My mother would always get mad at myself and my sisters and say that she is not our taxi. I got it, but I didn’t really get it.  I thought as a mom it was her job and she should just quit mooing and gleefully be our chariot.  Fast forward about 13 years and I was a mom of one.  I was always happy to take my kid wherever he needed to go.  I loved being a mom and this was part of my mom duties.  This further made me think my mother was horrible and I wished I could trade her in for Diana Ross.  Not that Diana Ross was an awesome taxi (to my knowledge) but at least I would have an amazing closet inheritance.

My fairy wish mother

My fairy wish mother

Six more years go by and I’m now the mom of two. It gets real when you have more than one.  Today was one of those days where I was like you have got to be kidding me!  My son didn’t want to go to camp this morning until I informed him that he would not sit and home and watch tv/ipad all day.  An hour later when he realized I was serious he decided he wanted to go to camp.  By the time I dropped him off at camp it was time for his sister to go to Gymboree.  After Gymboree I wanted to go sit down and have lunch but I realized I needed to get home work, prep dinner, and then leave out to go pick up the kid from camp.  I then realized once we get home I would have to change his clothes and take him to karate.  In my mind I’m thinking this is torture and my mother is behind this. She has prayed that I get what is coming to me.  She is devious like that.  She loves a good payback!

I barely got anything done today because I was being mommy taxi and I think my kid with have PB&J for dinner.

C’est la vie.  I get it mom, sorry.

The importace of waiting in line.

waiting in line for sneakers in Shanghai

waiting in line for sneakers in Shanghai

The kid and I were driving down the street and there was a long line wrapped around the Barnes & Noble building.  The kid asked me what those people were standing in line for, I told him a book and was excited to tell him so!  I have always felt that this generation is one of immediate gratification and would ever appreciate having to wait for stuff.  My son is like that now, every thing must be instant. If it takes more than 2 minutes he’s complaining that it takes to long. “900 years” to be exact.

black Friday line

black Friday line

Every time I see a line it excites me.  I remember one year I needed a new computer and my mother convinced me to stand in line with her at Best Buy for Black Friday. I believed the store opened at midnight or something crazy like that.  I just remember being in line for like 3 hours and it was such a strange feeling.  I actually talked to people in line.  We laughed, shared snacks, and best of all we bonded!  Best Buy gave out tickets for the items you wanted.  There was a lady in front of me who got the last ticket for the computer I wanted and the one she originally wanted was no longer available.  She overheard me say I wanted that one and offered to switch tickets with me when we got inside if she could get the one she initially wanted. I got my computer and passed 3 hours of time talking to real live people without keyboards.  Our kids might not ever know this feeling.

Harry Potter line

Harry Potter line

You can buy everything online now.  It’s no wonder the dating world is challenging, folks have no people skills!  What happened to meeting the love of your life while you were both standing in line waiting for tickets to go see Red Hot Chili Peppers or Above the Rim?  Yep, remember when you had to stand in line for movie tickets too?  Video games, music, books, all required a wait if you wanted it first or in some cases wanted it at all!  Part of the fun in getting want you wanted was the bonding in line or bragging that you actually stood in line and got while others had to do without because they didn’t make it to the line party. Who knows maybe the DMV line will be the new hook up spot, Lord knows that line isn’t going anywhere!

Lines are annoying but they are necessary for balance. Sometimes I just make my kid wait for the hell of it.  Patience is a virtue and in this microwave age and think the virtuous are disappearing into the vortex.

waiting in line for LeBrons

waiting in line for LeBrons

Prayers for Charlston

equal

equal

I didn’t blog about this yesterday and I won’t say much today.  It’s still very, very, hurtful and upsetting.  What I will say is that the color of your skin should never be a death wish.  Yet, It many countries it is.  In the United States unspeakable injustices happen to those of color.  Why?  I would really love to know the source of such hate.  I don’t believe it started with slavery.  The caste system in India, the colorism in Korea, it happens all over the globe.  The violent acts against those of color seem to happen most and most consistently here.  It must stop.  It must.  The amount of melanin doesn’t make you superior or inferior, your character does.  Right now a lot of character is to be questioned.

Birthing Stories – Happy Father’s Day Edition: The story of Emmy Kuti!

In celebration of Father’s day I decided to share a birthing story from a dad.  Often times we focus on the moms during the birth and dad are just as invested.  The funny thing is some of their experiences are completely different from the experience of the mom but just as intense and amazing.  Here is one man’s story of welcoming his beautiful baby girl into the world.

Kuti and Emmy!

Kuti and Emmy!

When I met my Wife at the Kentucky Derby, kids were the last thing on my mind. This was because I was a mentor or Uncle to at least 20 folks, I didn’t want to even attempt fatherhood without first being a husband, and more significantly I was pretty sold on (and very ok with) the notion that I likely wasn’t getting married. I had just recently gotten out of a committed but toxic relationship and figured that It would take a very special person with a laser specific set of qualities for me to even contemplate even trying it again…not because I was such a catch, but because I was a lot to deal with…I needed to work on ME.

However, God & circumstances conspired and wouldn’t allow my life to go a step further without El being a part of it. Judging from the way I dealt with her from Day 2, my subconscious agreed before my head or heart even knew what was happening. Every byproduct of her inclusion in my life has been superlative, but even that word doesn’t describe how amazing her gift to me of Fatherhood has been.

By most standards, especially my Mum’s, I started down this road late: I was 41 when El got pregnant, and even that was at least 6 months ahead of plans (guess I was “healthier” than I knew). Was our pregnancy planned or a surprise? Both. Sort of…Our plan was to conceive in Greece during our vacation six months later in the year, but as SOON as we got off birth control…man, blame it on the kale… We make plans, God laughs.

Our plan was also to go all natural with our birthing approach, and we chose hypnobirthing. Again, we make plans, God laughs because much of the hypnobirthing we practiced didn’t come in to play due to the fact that many natural techniques were thrown out of the window given some circumstances that started El’s labor process. However, hypnobirthing eased our collective minds about the birthing process and taught us BOTH how to physically and mentally relax on demand during times that we formerly perceived as duress; it also freed us to let our bodies do what they were naturally created to do. Hey, it brought my 8k time down, so that was an unexpected bonus!

A few days ahead of our planned due date, my Wife (El) was feeling uncharacteristically miserable; a precautionary late night visit to the doctor transformed into our delivery date, though WE were the last to know. We make plans, God…well, (you get it, now)… Doctors, we quickly discovered, refer to their patients’ birth plans as “birth preferences.” So while our PREFERENCE was to go all natural, none of us (our wonderful doctors included) knew that we had nearly a 10 pounder cooking…and contrary to popular belief & her prototypical God-blessed physique, El wasn’t built for all THAT action! So, some 24 long hours later, we agreed to the c-section that I’m now sure the doctors wanted us to have half a day prior. Plans, shmamms…

Even though I’m sure my Wife wouldn’t want to relive 24 hours of labor, I don’t think we would change a thing about that pregnancy. For the vast majority of it, she was relatively symptom free, and the uncertainty of the entire process taught us a ton about each other. Most notably:

El Kuti is the most POWERFUL woman I’ve ever witnessed, and we made an AWESOME baby.

I had to take care of BOTH of my women in the hospital day and night for the five days that followed & never felt more like a grown man, Husband and Father. I couldn’t have picked a better time nor a better person with which to take this journey. I’m loving EVERY minute of it! So glad God laughed at my plans…

Travel Tuesdays – Disneyworld edition

Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Our family just got back from Disney world and boy was it a lot!!! As a Disney World first timer, there was a lot to take in.  We had a blast and certainly look forward to going back.  Armed with what I know now, the next trip will be a bit more cohesive.

Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

We stayed at the Disney Vacation club resort Saratoga Springs and Spa.  This hotel was an excellent choice for families.  It has a kitchenette and two pools that serve the yummiest virgin pina coladas.  That is pretty much all I need for comfort!  The kids can swim and I can have a tasty drink that makes me look cool too.  The rooms were spacious enough, my only issue would be the bed.  For a family of four we got a Queen bed and a pull out couch bed.  That meant the kid and his dad were on the couch and the baby and I were in the bed.  A king bed or two double beds would have been awesome.  We weren’t actually in the room that much so it wasn’t a deal breaker, nor a point of complaint. The Saratoga Springs resort is the closest resort to Disney, that made for very short trips to and from Downtown Disney.  For those who can, I would strongly suggest looking into the Disney vacation club.  I don’t know that we have ever been treated so well at a hotel or resort from customer service to the amenities.  These folks were awesome!

After our day in Downtown Disney

After our day in Downtown Disney

The Details:

Airfare: roundtrip ticket on Southwest from Atlanta to Orlando will run you about $120.00 per person.

Transportation: you don’t need transportation because the resorts have shuttles to and from downtown Disney and the theme parks

Currency: The mighty dollar

Language: English is the main language but there are many other languages spoken in the Magic Kingdom and at a few of the different hotels.  The Animal Kingdom resort had 9 different languages represented that I saw on the one day I was there.

Free transportation

Free transportation

Hotel: Check out the Disney Vacation Club if you will be going often. With Orbitz, hotels.com or the likes you can check several different hotels at once.

To Do:

The theme parks!!!!!!!  There are several options to choose from as far as packaging.  I definitely recommend getting a park hopper pass if you are going to be around more than one day.

Downtown Disney.  To get in is free but you will definitely spend money shopping and eating.

Outlet malls.  There are two.  You will once again be spending money:)  They are the Vineland and Premium Outlets.

after the pool party at the Animal Kingdom

after the pool party at the Animal Kingdom

Going to Disney is a super fun experience but if you are not properly prepared it can be a stressful one.  In the three days we were there we never made it to the magic Kingdom, we had a mix up with our Star Wars Jedi training camp and none of the kids got to participate, we never made it to Epcot, our magic bands were messed up, and we got caught in a thunderstorm.  If it was not for the sheer magic of Disney, the excellent customer service at every single Disney owned place we went to, and my kids being young enough to just go with the flow this trip could have been disastrous.  My advice to anyone going is be flexible, try to plan out your days as best as you can (that does not mean have an itinerary), and just enjoy being there!

Disney World

Disney World

Do you know how to save a life?

CPR saves lives!

CPR saves lives!

Last night I took a CPR class because I am a mom of two and the last thing I remember about CPR is being grossed out about having to put my mouth on someone in high school.

A wonderful mom network that I am a part of sent out an email offering a free training class.  I jumped at the opportunity to snag a seat.

The class was full of parents, some with kids in and some with kids out.  All were there for the same reason.  To learn how to save a life should we ever be called upon to do so.

The teacher who taught the class was nothing short of amazing.  He understood that we were all parents and his first rule was that we visualize another child or situation while we are learning.  Never think about your own children.  He was stern without being scary.  I learned so much during that class that I now feel like should I ever have to help someone in need, I am perfectly capable of doing so.  Knowing what I now know about CPR I’m also confident in what I’m doing.

Most people are scared to hurt someone, or to not do it correctly.  What we were told is if CPR is needed you are basically dead so it only gets better from dead.  As harsh as that sounded, it’s a reality and we learned why.  We learned what the act of CPR actually does and how it affects the heart, lungs, and the brain.  It was he most insightful thing I think I have done on a Tuesday night lol.

After the CPR lesson, he taught a segment on choking and how to help a person in need.  We learned how to help short people, kids, babies, obese people, ourselves, and pregnant women.  All I can say is YES, and Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am including a few videos so that hopefully this will encourage you to take a class, especially if you are a parent.  Choking and drowning are the two of the top killers of children.  Imagine knowing that you could help anyone in that situation until help arrives.

If you live in Atlanta I would totally recommend having Ben do your training.  He is wonderful!

Ben

Georgia CPR, LLC
office:     678-267-1378
toll free: 866-374-3872
www.gacpr.com

Travel Tuesdays – Free things to do in Atlanta edition!

Welcome to Atlanta!

Welcome to Atlanta!

Whether you are visiting Atlanta or you live here, when you have kids FREE is always better!  Ashley over at www.mommyweek.com put this wonderful list together that should be on everyone’s refrigerator!

Massive list of Free Things to Do in Atlanta This Summer:

I know for most Atlanta area children, this is the final week of school. Parents are getting their summer calendars planned out and looking for low cost things to do. I’m always looking for fun for the kids to have for FREE. That’s why I decided to share this list! Summer fun with children doesn’t have to break your pockets!

Here we go!

MOVIES

  • Movies in Central Park at Atlantic Station. Every Thursday at sundown. More info here: atlanticstation.com/events
  • Mall of Georgia Movies Under the Stars runs from 5/23/2015 to 7/25/2015 http://bit.ly/1Fp5RTT
  • Ride In Theater by Dynacraft at Piedmont Park Promenade May 30, 2015. Registration Requiredhttp://bit.ly/1Lnc58X
  • Movies at Newton Park for Alpharetta & Johns Creek one Saturday out of the month http://bit.ly/1AfW9Er
  • B at the Movies sponsored by B98.5 at various parks around the city on Saturday nights. Movies and details here: http://bit.ly/1c5VKso
  • Town Brookhaven Movies on the Town every Thursday evening from 5/28/2015 to 7/30/2015 (no movie on July 4th) Details here: http://bit.ly/1AfWQxF
  • Candler Park Movie Night runs through September. Movies & details here: http://bit.ly/1PXzAWQ
  • Georgia Movies in the Park presented by Northside Hospital. Playing in Alpharetta, Cumming, Canton, Woodstock, & Dawsonville. on.fb.me/1GqAMBc
  • Clayton County Movies Under the Stars. For full details and park listings head here: http://bit.ly/1HupDOz
  • Flicks on Bricks in the city of Duluth every 1st & 3rd Friday of the month: http://bit.ly/1Ln1ESP
  • Hapeville Movie Night Under the Stars. Info & details here: http://bit.ly/1egLgIF
  • Milton, GA Flicks & Food Trucks. Movies & Times here: http://bit.ly/1Amvu8E
  • Snellville Popcorn in the Park. Movies & details here: http://bit.ly/1dlI66j

FESTIVALS

SUMMER READING

SPRAYGROUNDS & SPLASH PADS 

EVENTS 

  • City of Atlanta Play Mobile – Recreation on Wheels. Various parks around the city each week. (See details below)

Massive List of Free Things to Do in Atlanta this Summer

  • 2015 Open House Good Neighbor Day Air Show at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport May 30th, 2015 www.pdkairshow.com/
  • Arabia Mountain Adventures Kickoff – Games, prizes, & free bike rentals. June 6th, 2015 http://bit.ly/1R54yid
  • Georgia State Astronomy at Hard Labor Creek State Park – Observatory Open House http://bit.ly/1JBvWC5
  • National Trails Day Events – June 6, 2015 http://bit.ly/1Bd7AYo
  • The Fox Theatre Rock the Block Party, Sunday June 7th, 2015 from 12pm-6pm

 

MUSEUMS