Saturday, May 23, 2009

Post Disney

We did it!

We have friends who have done it. Family who love it. Have heard much about it, but resisted....until now.

We took Seth to Disney.

Marc had a conference in Orlando for three days, so we left three days early so we could vacation as a family at Disney before his meetings.

We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge. A very cool place. You get to see exotic animals 24/7 from your hotel window, etc. Seth loved it. And to enhance the experience, he brought his spy night vision goggles, so he could scope out the zebras and giraffes among others before bedtime.

The first day we hit both Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Surprisingly, our favorite attraction overall proved to be the safari. It was so much fun and adventurous.

Seth wasn't into seeing shows, so we skipped Lion King, though I would have liked to see it. We did have a character breakfast at Tusker House with Daisy, Donald, Mickey and Goofy. Great photo opps. and good food.

Magic Kingdom was particularly beautiful at night...all lit up. Seth isn't keen on fireworks....too dark and we didn't stay for that. But, we all enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear ride. That was a particular standout.

The next day we did Ecpot. that place massive. I was there years ago, but had forgotten. The Nemo ride was fun...and Soarin, though a bit scary if heights aren't your things, was truly AWESOME. Seth had a mixed feeling about it, but was a trooper.

I enjoyed the foreign side of Epcot. Reminded me of my single days when I enjoyed traveling to Europe, the Orient, etc. Feels like another lifetime when I vacationed that way.

Our third day was Hollywood Studios. It was particularly muggy that day, and we were all sweating up a storm. Thankfully friends had advised us to bring the stroller so Seth wouldn't have to walk everywhere. Here we particularly enjoyed the car stunt show and Toy Story ride. Seth got to meet Buzz and Woody, and he loved that. And, he connected with two Power Rangers for photo opps, so that made him smile as he did his action poses with them.

The next three days, it rained torrentially in Orlando. Fortunately, I have two friends there, so we got to get together and did some indoor stuff like mall shopping and visiting playspaces and Downtown Disney. Seth had a blast at the huge Lego store. We managed to squeeze in a couple of quick hours by the hotel pool before the heavens opened up our last day there. So glad I had packed a rain coat for Seth!

Now I feel like I need a vacation from the vacation.

As good as it is to get away...coming home...though overwhelming with the unpacking and catching up....feels good too. And, who would have thought that the weather would be better right now in NY than Orlando.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Our community pool opens up, and I hope to do some chilling there while Seth plays lifeguard. He's been waiting all year to assist at the pool. Time goes fast!

PS -- If you're been to Disney, would love to hear your experiences. Do tell.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mellow on Mother's Day

I'm under the weather today and am at home chilling. My husband took Seth to his brother's house for a mother's day brunch, and he's now at the park with Seth.

I feel like a lazy thing being at home...not even wanting to get dressed.

But, aren't I entitled? Why is it so hard for me to relax?

Yesterday I gave a talk (had to) at the Long Beach Public Library re: my book HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH. Despite being sick, I was committed, and didn't want to let them down. So, I popped my cold pills and antibiotic and promised not to breath on anyone in the audience. And, I swore I didn't have the swine flu, when someone asked.

Today, I'm just hangin' around the house. I'm trying hard to give myself permission to do nothing and to practice self care...but you can see that I'm not so great at doing that...since I'm sitting at my computer blogging about it. But, I actually thought it might help to get it out.

Do you ever feel that way as mom?! I guess we often do. Like supermom or woman. That we need to always be on the go...doing something for our family.

But, what's more important than feeling good ourselves?! You've probably heard that expression about if you're on a plane and it's going down, put your seat belt on first or grab your flotation cushion first. You won't be any good at helping someone else if you don't save yourself.

So, can I just get in the groove of being mellow today? Ha! I feel like I'm working hard at relaxing.

It's after 2pm, and I don't know how long they'll be at the park. I should enjoy the quiet in the house. It's weird because back in my single days, I relished my alone time. And, now while I often yearn for it, I don't always know what to do with it if/once I get it. sure can be complicated being a mom!

Hope you're having a good one!


Monday, May 04, 2009

Loving My Dad, as Mother's Day Approaches

I lost my mom 10 years ago (before I became a mom), and my dad is 90.

I've written before about sandwich generation challenges as a "later" mom, and as Mother's Day approaches, I find myself all the more grateful for my dad.

I miss my mom and think of her often. And, I admit, I get pangs of jealousy when I hear of others making plans to spend the day with their moms in a special, celebratory fashion. I so wish I could do that....even just to hear my moms voice a bit and to see her react to my son.

My senior dad stayed with us this past weekend...his live-in aide went home. Both he and Seth had bad colds, so we mostly laid low in the house, popping Vitamin C, Cold Calm Tea, etc. and lots of napping for both of them.

My dad has had multiple abdominal surgeries in the last few years, and from each, has come complications leading to yet another surgery. He's now in a place where he has daily discomfort and is seeking relief, perhaps in the form of yet another surgery (elective). I can't fathom it and am not convinced it will cure his symptoms. And, I fear for his life.

I realize at 90, he can't live forever. None of us do. But, the notion of one day being parentless is hard for me to grasp. It always has been. I've thought about it for years, particularly since I became a parent. Being a motherlesss mother has been bittersweet enough at times.

I do empathize with my dad's pain, and wish I could rid him of it. Why does the scalpel have to be an option? Can't he just pop a pill? (He's tried, and has seen countless doctors.)

In a way I feel like it's selfish of me not to support him if his choice is to have a surgery. Yet, I can't help but question it. He actually made a comment to the effect that if he were to pass away during the surgery, he wouldn't know the difference anyway since he'd be asleep. Not that he wants to die, but he doesn't fear it.

How different we are. I fear it for him and anyone I love, including myself.

Maybe my dad has the right attitude. To forge ahead....and do what it takes to try to lead a better quality of life... ideally painfree. But, at what risk?! Surgery is not the solution for all, and you never can be sure how your particular body will respond. What about the recovery which can be rough at this age!?

I guess for now I have to try to stay strong and not get all stressed about the surgical prospect.

Mother's Day is approaching, and I do want to enjoy the occasion. Both my beloved mom and dad would want that for me. Not to mention my husband, Marc, and Seth. I'm grateful to have them both. Their unconditional love and support mean the world to me.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Guest Post -- By Elizabeth Gregory

Ready When You Are

Reading Terry Starr’s blog post rang bells for me, because it sounded like so many of the women I interviewed for my book Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood (Basic Books, 2008).

The four reasons mentioned most often for women’s delay were education, establishing at work, finding the right partner, and self-development. Many, like Terry, mentioned several, or all four.

The benefits later moms pointed to over and over included:
•making more money (one study finds there’s a 3% overall wage gain per year of delay);
•having the clout to negotiate a more family-friendly schedule than they would have earlier (their employers both trusted them and needed to retain their experience);
•feeling more ready to focus on family than they felt earlier;
•feeling self-confident, based on their work experience (and that spread to their parenting);
•their husbands were peers and partners in parenting.

In addition, though they couldn’t know this based on their own experience, it turns out that the older you are when you start your family, the longer you’re likely to live (because higher income and education link to better health care access) – so that’s pretty handy, since you’re going to need to be around for a while.

From the big picture perspective, women’s investment in education and work before kids has been a key factor in raising our status in society generally. That is, there’s a direct connection between the fact that so many women have delayed kids (the average age at first birth for college grads is 30 and the average age for all US women is 25, up from 21 in 1970) and, for instance, the fact that we now hold 50.6% of professional and management positions. This means our concerns and insights get a hearing in the worlds of business and government in ways they did not in the past.

So the new later motherhood has big social benefits as well as the personal kind.

Of course there are drawbacks to waiting too. As Terry mentioned, infertility becomes more of an issue with time, and delay. Other drawbacks some later moms pointed to were caring for elders and toddlers at once; having fewer kids than they would have liked; and feeling a bit tired! But the overall sentiment was that the benefits much outweighed the drawbacks. In 2007, 612,000 babies were born to later moms (that’s one in every seven babies), and the birthrate for women 35-45 is at a 40-year high (the difference is that so many moms are starting their families later now whereas back in the sixties they tended to be continuing families begun earlier).

Every woman’s story is her own, and only she knows what makes sense for her at what point. My effort in Ready was to convey a sense of how the trend to starting families later has affected individual women’s lives, those of their partners and kids, and society in general. If you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think, here or on my blog at Look for my postings also on Happy Mother’s Day everybody!

Labels: , , ,