Category Archives: packing

My New Packing List

When the boys were little, I began packing weeks in advance of trips. Whether we were traveling for two days or a week and whether our mode of transportation was by airplane or car (and especially when it was by car), my packing lists were extensive. They weren’t lists as much as they were evidence logs of my insanity.

Besides the obvious six billion necessities one needs to travel with babies and toddlers, my packing lists used to include oddities like a kneeler for the bath tub, a safety gate, waterproof mattress covers, and a step stool. Without these essential items, travel with my young, persnickety children simply would’ve been a nightmare.

I once packed a cooler with eight quarts of blueberry Kefir for a trip to Captiva Island because I was afraid the local grocery store wouldn’t sell it, and I didn’t want to be on the same island as Riley if there was no Kefir to be had.

There was also a very real period of time when we traveled with a tent. To be clear, we never went camping. We also traveled with a lamp. You heard me right. Not a night-light (although we packed that, too), but an actual lamp. Dylan’s sleeping arrangements when we were away from home were a wee bit complicated. At least we were entertaining to the TSA officers who inspected our luggage.

Needless to say, a few years make a big difference. Now that the boys are older, my packing lists are much shorter and vastly different. I don’t have to prepare months in advance and my anxiety is way slightly more manageable.

In fact, we’re getting ready for a spring break getaway, and I’ve made a new packing list of the essentials without which our family would not survive:

  • 2 laptop computers
  • 2 smartphones
  • 2 iPads
  • 2 iPods
  • 2 Kindle Fires
  • 1 GoPro
  • 1 Fitbit
  • the hot spot thingy that gives us WiFi when there is none
  • chargers for all aforementioned items
  • the plug tower thingy for the above-mentioned chargers

technology2Now that trips finally feel like vacations (sort of), the whole family can relax, rejuvenate, and unplug. Ha!

I’m as addicted to screens as the rest of my brood, but I’m also desperate to read something besides my Facebook news feed, so I’m also bringing:

  • “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • “The Nest” by Cynthia Sweeney

My packing lists then and now speak volumes about the long and winding journey of raising kids, not to mention the fast pace of technology innovation. Case in point, another one of our indispensable travel items used to be a portable DVD player and DVD storage case. (That was so 2010).

The bulky and peculiar supplies of early motherhood are no longer a weight we have to carry – literally and figuratively – when we travel. God help us if the WiFi is too slow to stream YouTube videos, but at least we don’t need dry ice to transport Kefir.

The one travel item that will always cause me insomnia, anxiety, and heartache when I pack – no matter the age of my kids or the size of the cloud – is shoes. So many shoes, so little space.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever packed for a trip with your kids?


Filed under packing, technology, travel, vacation

Bad Words (A List!)

I’m having a thyroid biopsy in about three hours.  It’s my second one.  The first one came back non-diagnostic, or in other words, result-less, which makes me want to say a bunch of bad words one after the other.

I’m driving to the appointment myself this time.  Mike drove last time, because I said “Hell, YES!” to a small dose of Xanax to ease my anxiety over having several small needles inserted in my neck.  This time, though, I’m fine.  I got this.  I know what to expect.  No big deal.  No drugs necessary.   That is, unless you count the glass of wine – or two – last night and the glass of wine – or two – I’m fantasizing about right now.

Any-who, I’ve found that making lists help keep me calm during times of elevated stress, like before my last colonoscopy when I made a list of all the reasons colonoscopies are so awesome and a list of all the ways I’ve turned into my mother.  (FYI, I’m wearing an apron…and not cooking…right now as I write this.)

Today, I could make a list of all the reasons thyroid biopsies suck or about the bazillion things I need to pack for my three-night trip to #Boston with Riley this weekend to go to a wedding with my folks.  (Yes, Crazy Packing Mama has reared her ugly head.)

In 36 hours, I’m taking Riley on an airplane.  To #Boston.  Where it’s cold (for Floridians, anyway).  Where he’ll have to wear long sleeves and long pants, some of which will have zippers, buttons, and collars, all of which he abhors.  Yes, that’s a strong word.  Yes, I meant it.   Oh, and a belt.  He’ll have to wear a belt. And a jacket.  Dear God.  It’s quite possible that I’m more anxious about dressing Riley this weekend than I am about the imminent attack on my neck.  And, p.s., there’s a separate truckload of anxiety that I haven’t even spoke of regarding my packing.  What the hell am I going to bring to Boston?

Deep breath.

I’ve been struck lately about how my boys are crazy sensitive about some “bad” words, yet they could give a rat’s ass about others, which inspired today’s anxiety-induced list.  I mean, seriously, if I say “stupid” or if God forbid I shush someone (I’ve totally done this, by the way), I’m in deep shit.

Words and Phrases My Kids Think Are Bad

  1. Stupid
  2. Dumb
  3. Idiot
  4. Hate
  5. Baby (variations include Stupid Baby, Princess Baby, and Pink Princess Baby)
  6. I don’t care.
  7. Shut up.
  8. Shush
  9. Suck (on its own and/or preceded and/or followed by any other word)
  10. Tattletale

Mostly, I agree that these are all bad words, especially Pink Princess Baby.  That one’s just plain horrific.  It’s just funny to me that my kids don’t flinch, giggle, or care to repeat when I (accidentally, of course) say something like, “oh shit,” “crap balls,” or worse.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two bad word exceptions we have in our family: (1) We can say stupid in reference to traffic lights.  I don’t know why, it just is.  For instance,  “Turn green, you stupid red light!” is sanctioned and encouraged, especially if we’re running late (and I hate to be late).  Any and all other references to stupid, however, are effed up and totally unacceptable, and (2) At Zoo Miami, we can say ass as long as we’re within twenty feet of the Somali Wild Ass.

There really is a wild ass at the zoo.

Are there bad words your kids go ape shit about?


Filed under anxiety, list, packing, thyroid, Uncategorized