Author: Ashley G.
The Dreaded Minivan
I didn’t think I’d have to do it. With all of the SUV options out there why would I need to get a minivan and lose the few cool points I have left driving around a living room on wheels? Well, we looked at the SUVS…despite being huge mom tanks, nearly all of them had the ability for a back bench OR a trunk…you couldn’t get both at the same time. If you were using your bench maybe you would fit a soccer ball in the poor excuse for a trunk. If you wanted any space for even a stroller you would have to put your back bench down. This is a huge car, where is all the space??? In the front, for the engine, useless for anyone. And I wasn’t going to buy one of the SUVs that are the size of a bus and eat more gas then I want to eat cake on a daily basis. Also I’m a small person, I don’t need to scale half dome every time I need to get into my car.
So despite my poor, poor aching ego, we test drove the mini vans. I felt like I had mom jeans on as soon as I sat inside it, BUT it had tons of room, good technology, drove like a sedan sized car, you have the ability to use your bag bench for say a giant 90 lb. black goldendoodle or grandparents and also have trunk space, and the kicker was safety. While mini vans are not cool they are helpful and safe. I LOVE that I can put my kids in their car seats in their bucket seats and then push them into the middle of the car, so if someone t bones us they are less likely to take a bumper to the dome. I cannot put my ego before my kid’s safety. It’s also nice that I can open the sliding doors with a fob or button and since they just slide back I don’t have to worry about smacking into someone else’s car. Opening or closing my trunk with a button is nice too. Probably my favorite thing, since my last car was a 2010, is I can just keep my keys in my purse and my doors will unlock based on proximity. I know, I know, for anyone that bought a car anytime soon that is a standard but I have been holding a kid and digging in my purse for my keys way too many times. That is over! So while it pains me that blasting Four Year Strong or giving someone the stink eye out of a minivan doesn’t really seem cool or menacing…at least my life is easier and my kids are safer. I have no cool points, but as my friend John said, “being cool is a pain in the ass.”
I Was Just Closing My Eyes
Too exhausted to spell as well. Who types “clothes” instead of “close?!”
As mentioned previously, my son fears little to no consequences. He is good most of the time, but when he’s not it’s challenging to figure out what to do. This past weekend he did not have his listening ears on. I am VERY guilty of making empty threats, which all great parenting guides tell you not to do. If you are going to say, we are not going HERE if you do THAT again, you are supposed to not go there if they do it again. I find myself just saying if you don’t listen we aren’t going HERE over and over. I got so tired of hearing myself say that this past Saturday that I finally stuck to my guns and we didn’t go to the kid’s play place we planned on going to. (Another parenting guide tip is not to take things away that YOU want to do…so I failed there. This would have been fun and a good way to tire out a boy who fights his nap these days. And my husband was out of town so I was just trying to survive this weekend, with my parents helping out where they could taking one kid while I had the other.) I was happy I finally put my foot down. Instead of going to the play place we went to the hippie grocery store (love/hate relationship) before we went home.
My son was still being a bit of a goofball and not listening all too well in the hipper grocery store. That’s fair, he’s 3. The cashier took one look at him, he is so damn cute (ask anyone), and pulled out a lollipop. She kinda asked me if she could give it to him and I said, “No thank you. Normally I would say yes but he isn’t listening too well today so he can’t have that lollipop.” His back was turned and he didn’t see it. After she rang up all my groceries she pulled it out AGAIN and by this time the cart was past her so he could see it. She was walking towards him with it, holding it out in front of her, saying promise your mommy you will be good and then gives it to him.
OH. NO. YOU. DIDN’T.
So then I had to take it away and he obviously wasn’t happy about that. Usually during these kind of things I’m so shocked I don’t say anything because I can’t get past the shock fast enough to get my words out. But since this B started with these shenanigans before she rung up my groceries I was ready now. It went something like this…
“I understand you are just trying to be nice and he’s a cute little boy, but when you asked me I said no. It is not your call if you can give him a lollipop or not, it’s mine. He cannot behave badly and get what he wants so you shouldn’t have done that. It is not your call to make.”
Oh gurl, you are lucky that is all I said to you.
Your Worst Self
Like any 3 year old boy, my son does things he shouldn’t do. My challenge is, my son seems to fear no consequences. He thinks time out is funny, he doesn’t care what you take away from him…we are at a loss. Sometimes this lack of ability to get through to him when he does something wrong brings out my worst self. I yell and I say things I later regret, trying to get through to him, trying to get my point across. Then I hate who I turned into and I apologize and use a more calm demeanor and nicer words. I wish I could get in front of myself to skip out the middle part I don’t like. I just don’t know how to get through to him that this is wrong if he doesn’t care about consequences and he’s laughing in my face. Maybe explaining it is all I need to do? He is good most of the time…I would like to be good all the time. Parenting is hard. How do you get your point across to your children without turning into a Neverbeast?
I better pee before I leave the office because it’ll be hard to pee when I get home and I’m alone with both kids.
Irrational Mom Fears or Just Good Planning?
I was out to dinner with another mom friend of mine the other night and we got to talking about our irrational mom fears. It was nice to hear that I’m not the only one that has these crazy thoughts.
What our plan was if someone broke into the house? Do I try to leave? Do I fight? Do I comply? I have decided that I grab my older son and then go to the baby’s room and push the screen out of his window and go through the window, kids in hand, and call the dog and have my heart break if he didn’t come.
What we do would do if there was a fire? Should we practice this with our 3 year old boys?
I also have this fear about something happening to me between the trunk of my car and the driver seat. You see, I put the boys in the car, close the doors, and then put the stroller in the trunk. If something happened to me in the 5 steps between the trunk of my car and the driver seat my boys would die from the heat, stuck in the car, the worst thing ever. These are thoughts I have…and I will now not close the doors of the car until I’m in it.
I have also imagined what I would do if I were at my kid’s school during a school shooting (sad I even have this thought) and what I would do if someone hijacked a plane I was on…so my mind wanders.
Do Dads have these thoughts too? What are some of your scary thoughts?
Overheard at Target
Kid: *asking incessant questions*
Mom: I don’t know. Stop asking me.
Mom: …And that’s why we leave things in the car, because you’ve lost it and now it’s gone forever.
Carli Lloyd in the NFL
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a possibility that was entirely out of my control. Last week, US Soccer’s Carli Lloyd went to Eagles training camp to kick some field goals for fun. She has done this before, with the Patriots and probably others. It does not surprise me that she can kick a 55 yard field goal. She scored one of her 3 goals in the World Cup final in 2015 from half field. There is probably a girl or two on every pro soccer team that can kick a 55 yard field goal. Soccer players are natural kickers. Granted she didn’t have a bunch of dudes running at her and a much shorter run up due to those dudes, but I feel she can definitely learn what she needs to do and do it well. Having a woman in the NFL would be SO AMAZING. I would be elated.
There is no better woman to do this than Carli Lloyd. She has the leg, she can hang with the boys as far as team bonding and locker room stuff (they will have to figure out when and where she showers), she works harder than anyone (read her book “When Nobody Was Watching”), she loves being under pressure, and if there is any USWNT member than can take a hit it’s probably her. Kickers rarely get hit and rarely even go for a tackle on the return, but it can happen and it will be brutal make no mistake. I wonder what her hubs thinks of the possibility of a giant man running her over. I am sure there will be guys in the NFL that say they aren’t comfortable hitting a woman…and then let’s think of all the men in that league that have NO PROBLEM doing just that..not on a field. Disgusting, we will save that for another day.
I can’t even imagine the records she would break on jersey sales. I’m so ready to buy one I thought about making my own…but I don’t even know if it’s the Bears she would end up on. I think she would easily outsell any kicker ever in the history of football for jersey sales. And can you imagine the sponsors that would come running? Nike and Gatorade, obvi, and then Secret and on and on and on and on. Who wouldn’t want a part of the first female in the NFL? Teams will want to take her on that alone. There are A LOT of women watching football these days. I actually think the NFL was the first to FINALLY make apparel in women’s sizes and styles. Thank you! We finally don’t have to wear oversized squares you call shirts!
They do have to make sure she is set up for success. That she does not jump on the field too early. That is she is ready and confident. And I don’t think she would want to step on the field before that. But you also have to strike while the iron is hot and teams are calling her now. So she needs to learn how to properly kick a game time field goal and extra point ASAP. She will have so much added pressure on her. If she misses it’s because she’s a girl, not for any other reason, although men miss all the time. And if she doesn’t do well, the team signed her for the publicity and not because she’s good. She doesn’t want any of this and neither do we. We want her to be on equal footing.
I have joked for some time now I don’t want my boys anywhere near a football field, except for the kicker position. I don’t want them to end up with CTE or any other injuries, but I’m a soccer girl who loves football and kicker is an awesome position that rarely gets hit and has a long career. I am excited for every field goal even if the kicker making it would hurt my team. I am continually amazed how little emphasis goes into this position as far as training, recruiting and drafting. There have been SO MANY times a kicker has decided a game. When are people going to look into this position as much as others?
Anyway, the most important thing out of all of this, is being the first woman in the NFL and what that means. Women are continually making strides in every area. It’s complete and total BS we have to at all, but we are doing it nonetheless. When I was a little girl I played sports with my older brother and my best friend. I pretended to be Cobi Jones and Tony Meola, Chipper Jones and Ken Griffrey Jr., Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille, Joe Montana and Bo Jackson, Spud Webb and Mugsy Bogues (I’m short so let’s be honest about my fantasy NBA career). I looked up to men. And then the USWNT came into my view, right before the famous 1999 World Cup. All of my posters of my wall of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Elijah Wood, Andrew Keegan, Vinne Kartheiser, Jonathan Brandis, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Mike Vitar, and more Jonathan Taylor Thomas came off my walls and up went Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Kristine Lilly, Briana Scurry, Tiffany Milbrett, Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, etc. I knew every players first and last name, number and position. I was obsessed. I bought my ticket to the Women’s World Cup final a year before it took place and I told my mom the WWC was gonna be HUGE. She wanted to temper my expectations and said something like, “I know this seems like a huge thing to you, but this is women’s sports. I don’t think it will be a big thing.” She had every reason to think that too. The WWC was a record breaking phenomenon around the country and the world and I remember when it came time for the final my mom said, “You were right. This is huge.” There were awesome commercials, oversized men sized t shirts I bought, wheaties boxes, interviews on tv, and a record breaking 90,000 at the Rose Bowl. Lucky for me I was one of those 90,000 and thanks to being very intuitive, I realized after the game that this tent in the middle of the concourse where NO ONE was, was the press tent and the players would have to walk out from the stadium and into this tent at some point. So I stood there by myself on the barricade waiting. And then more people joined me and then they came out. Inches from me. I got high fives, and photos and I even touched the World Cup trophy. I was on cloud nine for weeks. The USWNT has lead so much of the charge for little girls and women everywhere. They are good role models, they are fighting for equality again and again, and they are damn good, the best in the world in fact.
I am seeing things around the internet that little boys are asking their parents for Megan Rapinoe jerseys. How great is that?! Even boys are looking up to these women. They will pretend to be Megan and Alex and Carli. That is a beautiful thing. I can’t even imagine the power it will have if Carli Lloyd takes the field in an NFL game. This will be a glorious moment for little girls and little boys everywhere. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for this to unfold.
She has won an Olympic Gold Medal, she has won 2 World Cups, she has even won the Ballon d’Or. She has won every major trophy there is to win in soccer. It’s a good time to move on. Her coach the last few years, Jill Ellis, is the only person on this planet that knows why she didn’t play the full 90 minutes of every World Cup game this year…and maybe she doesn’t even know. Carli was wronged for that and struggled with it publicly and that is a crappy way to retire. So even though they have a new coach, which may change that, maybe this is a good time to hang it up…she could always figure out a way to still play in the NWSL perhaps. I know she still wants to play in the 2020 olympics but this opp could be bigger than her. Maybe she can play after the 2020 olympics and be more prepared. She will certainly make more money in a week than she did her whole soccer career sadly.
I am for whatever she wants to do and I can’t wait to see it. LFG.
I truly believe that everyone should travel solo at least once in your life. It’s a great experience. I actually prefer it; right behind traveling with my hubs.
When I tell people I’m going on a solo vacation I usually get some funny looks and reactions. “Don’t you have anyone to go with?” “Aren’t you scared?” “Will you be safe?” And then there’s some things they don’t say, but you know they are thinking like, “Are you and your husband ok?” and “Clearly you don’t have any friends.” Yes probably I didn’t ask, no, yes, absolutely and I have plenty. You may be projecting your shiz onto me…please stop.
You see, people travel very differently. My first solo trip I just went for it to one of my bucket list places: Japan. I have always wanted to go to Japan and experience the culture of appreciation and respect and see some amazing cities like Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. I didn’t want to spend my precious time off (thanks American vacation policies) doing what someone else wanted to do or even compromising. I’m going to a place I may never ever get back to in my life. I don’t want to worry about who can get the time off and when, if they want to spend the same amount of money as me, if they want to pound the pavement as hard as I do to see everything I can possibly see, if they are going to put any time and energy to researching the trip etc etc. When I go solo I get to do what I want when I want. Spend as much as I want. Go where I want to go. Eat what I want to eat. I’m not scared, I love the challenge of getting around, I’m safer in a lot of other countries than I am in a country where active shooter drills are normal in preschool, and I enjoy my own company. If you don’t, you may want to ask yourself why. If you have kids…think about how glorious being alone is. GLORIOUS.
So since Japan I have taken trips to Scandinavia (all four countries), Belgium and the Netherlands, Maui and most recently France and Switzerland. Hawaii was a bit weird, since it’s such a newlywed spot, but I was so stressed from work at the time I needed some aloha and I found a $257 flight to Maui from LA. Yeah you read that right. How can you pass up a ticket price like that?! All I wanted was peace and quiet and fruity drinks. And I got that.
This past May my hubs went to Bhutan for work. He could have opted out and someone else could go (others have done that), but as soon as I heard he got the chance to go to a country hardly anyone gets to go to I was all about him going. We love international travel and being able to go to Bhutan is such a privilege. It would have been nice if it wasn’t when school was closed and over Mother’s Day but that’s how it goes sometimes. He wasn’t sure if he should go but I had no doubts and my parents would help me and were supportive of the trip too.
When they first announced the (Women’s) World Cup would be in France in 2019 in July, I thought that would be a great reason to go and have a victory lap. I’m done making humans and I’m done feeding humans with my body. I’m freeeee!!! Also I love soccer and our USWNT and have I seen us win the cup in the famous 1999 game and in 2015 so I’m basically good luck for the team. From there I thought I’d hit another bucket list location and go to Switzerland. If I’m going to go all the way over there and we hardly take vacations anymore (because kids) then what the heck?!
So my hubs went on his trip, although for work, and he encouraged me to go on mine. It was one of the best trips ever. Another World Cup victory and seeing sights in Switzerland you would think only exist in movies. If you ever get the chance to go to Switzerland go. It’s pricey but it is jaw dropping. Get yourself to the alps. Drink beer, eat cheese, hike, jump in a river, pet a cow. (Some photos from this heavenly land are in this post.)
I would FaceTime my hubs and the boys everyday and my hubs said he could see the happiness and life back in me. Parenting is hard. You gotta take a break now and again. We have all earned it. So my hubs and I decided we will continue to support and encourage each other to make time for ourselves. Take a night for yourself every week if you want it. Go to dinner with friends, see a movie, play soccer, get a drink. And we will take solo vacations until the boys are old enough to either come with or we could leave them with the grandparents and go together. It would be nice to go together now, but one of us has to hold down the fort, so solo trip or adventures with friends it is.
Go get it.
Where will you go?