“What’s the plan?”
Accumulate enough frequent flier miles for
- In Sept. this goal was met with the caveat that two of us would be flying on American Airlines and two of us would be on Delta Airlines.
- As of Feb. 2013, we have enough American Airlines/partner miles for ALL FOUR of us to fly for free round trip. Originally, we wanted to fly Cathay Pacific, but it looks like we’ll be aiming for Japan Airlines though Tokyo.
- We continue to accumulate points, almost exclusively through Starwood. Our goal was to use our American Airlines Visa card until our airlines miles goals were met, then to switch over to our Starwood AmEx card so we could keep working on the hotel points.
- As of Feb. 2013, we have enough Starwood points for a 2 week vacation here over Christmas and New Year holidays.
- Or we could divvy up the points for different stays along the way. For instance, they also have some nice properties in Vietnam. We plan to spend one month in Vietnam, so staying somewhere like this along the way would be a welcome change from guesthouses.
- Regardless, we still have 8 months of spending to accumulate points plus Chicken is doing loads of travel for her job presently, so those miles and points are going to keep adding up.
Save enough money to travel for one year without working — 100%
- In September, this was 65%, but the goal has now been met!
Develop a location independent income stream — 0% – 100%
- This is something I’ve really dropped the ball on getting started. There have been some good changes lately that is going to make it possible for ME to start getting more ‘work’ done. I’m looking forward to doing something for ME!
- Kate has leads from past employers for project work she can do remotely. So, for her, perhaps this goal is 100%.
Potty Train the boys (except for nights) — 100%
- Fully daytime trained for the past 6 months.
- If we still have to use diapers at night while we travel I am totally fine with this, especially since we’ll be sleeping on mattresses and linens other than our own…
- Many times Grunter wakes up dry, so we could get there in 8 months time, right?
Switch boys to ‘real’ beds — 100%
- This was a disaster at last update. But we made it and they can now sleep anywhere. We’ve even had different people put them to bed (family members, baby sitters) and all is well in the kingdom of sleep. Yeah!
Go Stroller-Free — 100%
- They are good little walkers and can go quite far before getting truly tired. As long as I keep pushing us to not use the stroller here at home, I’m confident they can build up their stamina to keep up while traveling. Especially since we’re not going to be doing long walks/hikes, etc.
- Plus there will always be a bus / motorbike / tuk tuk / songtaew / taxi / boat / skytrain / back of a pick up truck / ferry / donkey cart / elephant / subway — just around the corner to rescue us! Did I miss any forms of transport?!
- I was set on ditching the stroller on their 3rd birthday (2 weeks ago), but I’m not going to until summertime/warmer weather. In NYC, your stroller is your car and right now, until it’s scooter weather, I need my ‘car’ more than they do. Half the time, they end up walking while I push an empty stroller.
- Instead of ditching the stroller, I emptied it, folded it up and and am storing it down in our bike room. This way, if we need it that day, we go get it, but if not, we walk, etc. This also means that for the first time in THREE years, I don’t have a massive double stroller sitting in my dining room area! That, is lovely.
No Naps Needed — 100%
- In September this was 40%, but shortly after the move to ‘big boy’ beds, they dropped the nap completely. They have never napped in their open bed. Never. They can fall asleep on the bus, the subway, the stroller, the car, etc. but the bed, at home? Never.
There’s a lot going on over here in Pufferville (there always is) and I’m going to try to play catch up in 20 minutes.
First of all, for those of you who have participated in my poll, thank you. At the time of the poll it certainly did look as if we might jump the gun and leave in February.
However, life in the Big Apple changes quickly and new opportunities–hardly punches–have come our way. Chicken got herself
a big fat promotion plus she was awarded a juicy project she’s had her eye on for a long time.
By the way, while I was writing that, I felt my upper arm and damn, it’s scrawny. I have really let myself go. I keep reading everyone’s FB status of the 5K they ran or a freaking marathon or all the weights they are lifting or how they are practically running their own ashram with their divine yoga skills and let me tell you, I am out.of.shape.
My hair looks like shit, I rarely bother with makeup, I’m flabby (but thin) and my clothes are in need of an overhaul. Also, Chicken claims I wear the ugliest shoes in NYC (they are comfy!). I seriously am thinking of BEGGING “What Not to Wear” to come rescue me. They could title it “Lesbian Twin Mom Stuck in Yoga Pants But Never Does Yoga”. Actually that’s not very catchy, they will have to come up with something better but that’s there job, not mine.
If they came to my house right at this moment, they would find me in the clothes I slept in last night right down to the no bra, hair in a clip and a fresh face (haha) and the boys are still in their pj’s as well. And Chicken. We are a family seriously embracing our right to wear comfy clothes 24 hours/day.
In addition, I seemed to have developed a bit of a beer habit which is really helping the flab that has decided to take up residence in my belly regions. OK, so one beer a night isn’t exactly a bad habit, but considering I haven’t even bought beer in years and years this is pretty big. This ‘desire’ to have a drink say around
noon, 5pm happened to coincide right at the time the boys truly stopped napping. We do OK getting through our day, but come 3pm they are really starting to lose it and there are still 4 hours to go in the day. By 3:30 5pm, I am starting to lose it and often crack open a beer. It sure does make bath time a whole lot more fun, let me tell you.
We can’t leave in February and there’s a possibility we might not leave in September. More than likely we will, but it might be pushed back a bit.
The original planning session did not take into consideration that Chicken might be in her dream job 9 months later. How many of us can say:
- We love our work
- We love our team
- We have flexible hours
- We work from home
- We travel for work once a month and enjoy that break from ‘life’
- We have great benefits, including a pension plan
- And, well, the money ain’t bad either
- Taking a sabbatical (6 months unpaid)
- Finding a way to become an independent contractor with her company for X amount of time (50% work for 50% of pay–probably only 6 months)
- Working out of the Singapore office (full pay)
- Working in India (full pay)
I know everyone thinks their kids say the darndest things and I agree.
Kids DO say some amazing things.
I’m sharing these more so I don’t forget how wonderful and imaginative they are at this age, but I hope they provide you a smile or laugh as well.
- On observing the letter ‘C’: “They busted this letter O open so it’s a rainbow.”
- On me looking at a red spot on Max’s face and asking him if it was a mosquito bite: “That mossie is going to get time out. He is not supposed to bite.”
- While suggesting animals while singing ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’: “Jellyfish!” What does a jellyfish sound like? “Sting Sting Here!” and “Lobster!” What does a lobster sound like? “Pinch Pinch Here!”
- On dinosaurs: “I do not like the dinosaurs with the big teeth, but I like the duck billed plat-puss dinosaur. He does not have teeth and will not bite me.”
- On returning home to NYC after a visit upstate to Nana’s where the house the cold, it rained and he was forced to wear clothing (Nana’s rule, not mine): “I like to be home where I am not cold and I can be naked.”
- On meeting my friend Sid who lives in Hong Kong: “That is a place not in America. We live in America.”
- On being asked, by another mother, where the train was going while playing on the playground: “Cambodia!” (She then looked at me and said, “For real? My kid doesn’t even know the word Cambodia.”)
- On looking at some motorcycles parked on the curb, “Here, we cannot ride these. But in some other places maybe we can.” Me, “Really, like what other places?” Max, “Um, I think Thailand. The place with the spirit houses.”
- On admiring my necklace: “You always wear this mommy?” Yes. “You think it’s pretty mommy?” I do. “I do, too. Maybe I can have a necklace with a Buddha, huh Mommy? Maybe you can find one for me to wear like you?”
Everything comes full circle. When they were babies they would only nap in the stroller and so I walked and walked and walked. Rain or shine. Snow or sweat. And now, here we are again.
A stroller walk was the only thing that got them to sleep today. Too bad it’s 5pm.
The stroller is heavy, it hurts my wrists and it’s the lovely wet, cold, dark time of year–but I think stroller walks are back on. Ah well, I need more exercise.
to come up and tell me Max couldn’t breathe like that. I snapped at her that I’d managed to keep them alive for almost 3 years thank you very much. Which was, you know, a ‘more’ polite way of saying “Shut the Fuck Up Thank You Very Much”.
Upper Deck of the Boat and the 3-year-old is asleep on the deck, so close to the edge. Blew my mind.
Do your kids each spinach? Mine do…sort of.
I never thought I’d be ‘that’ mom who hid vegetables in food, but I do what have to do. The twins are the pickiest eaters, but they also are pretty normal toddlers who are resistant to trying things that are green.
Luckily there are loads of ways to incorporate healthy green into tasty dishes that will not only have your kids eating vegetables, but asking for more.
These are a favorite with my wife and kids. I hope you’ll love them, too.
Spinach Ricotta Bites – adapted from Weelicious
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (low or full fat ricotta will work)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well (i use my hands to squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook the onions for 4 minutes until tender.
- 3. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute then set aside to cool.
- 4. Whisk eggs in a bowl and stir in ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
- 5. Once combined, stir in spinach, salt and cooled onion and garlic mixture.
- 6. Pour the mixture into lightly greased mini muffin cups.
- 7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set and golden on top.
- 8. Serve.
It’s back to school time. Almost everyone I know has posted a photo of their little adorables all ready for their first day of school.
They are not going to school.
My boys are 2.6 years old. Do they need to go to school?
The state of New York says that legally, I don’t have to put them into school until Kindergarten.
Of course, there are ways around that with homeschooling, but legally I
have a few years until they have to go to a ‘school’ of some kind. And Kate and I have to agree what that is going to be. Right now, we are not in agreement and are choosing to respect each other’s opinions.
It’s a tricky tightrope.
I knew that by choosing not to do a “2’s” program or some full time preschool, I was going to have to answer a lot of questions, but I didn’t realize quite how many and from so many different people.
Friends, family, strangers, nannies on the playground. Everyone wants to know if my kids are going to school this Fall.
And every time someone asks I feel like I have to explain myself.
I shouldn’t–really. I should just be able to say, “No. They are staying home with me.”
But I go on with the justifications, “It costs so much money. I still couldn’t go back to work because of the hours. If I did go back to work I’d have to get a nanny to fill in the gaps. The preschool + the nanny would probably cost more than I’d be making.”
I don’t think keeping them out of preschool is going to do any great harm and I do have them signed up for a couple of outside classes so it’s not like we don’t get out and do other things.
In fact, we get out and do more than most other moms I know. We have new adventures every single week and New York City has an endless supply of more amazing things to discover.
If you want to homeschool and you want the world at your fingertips–this is the city to be doing it.
Sebastian aka Whoop Whoop thinking about all of the animals he just saw at the Bronx Zoo….