The past week has been, for lack of a better word, crazy. It was also a very big step for me in my chosen “career” path (more of a dream than a career, but I digress.) My very first “business” trip as an author, complete with two live TV interviews and a reading/signing at an actual bookstore. Bookstores are hard to get into, I have found, as a self-published author.
Admittedly, I am still a “helicopter” mom of sorts; I don’t like to leave the kids for prolonged periods of time, and this trip would be 4 days- NO WAY could I leave them for almost a week! The best solution to this issue was to make it a family vacation of sorts- but with the kids along, how would I do interviews? I know them. They cannot be quiet. I needed an assistant. But I’m not “famous”- and I’m also not rich. Basically what I needed was a friend who would pretend I was important enough to need an assistant to come along for the trip. In came Brandi.
Every trip I take with the family is always full of insanity that I never manage to find the time to blog about- but are stories worth telling and remembering
and using as blackmail later on. It’s tradition!
This blog is a collection of the stories from my very first “business” trip, with my family and a friend who had never had the pleasure of spending prolonged periods of time with my two insane kids.
Of course Brandi had heard many stories about the weird shit my kids say, but she’s never experienced it first hand. Her first real exchange with Holden went a little something like this:
Brandi: Are you a rockstar?
Holden: No, but I AM good at singing lullabies to dogs.
I don’t even know why, but we laughed so hard at that we both had tears.
When I found out I was pregnant with Parker, I traded in my sedan for a crossover SUV. Well, m registration says it’s a “wagon” but I refuse to accept that. It’s a CROSSOVER, DAMNIT! Anyway- it’s bigger, but with two clunky car seats, it can only comfortably fit 4 people. This would not work on a 5 person trip. Being that I am the smallest, it was only fair that I squeeze in the back between the boys.
I now understand why some species eat their young.
And before anyone gets themselves into a tizzy- yes, I know Parker is not restrained properly and you can rest-assured that I fixed it before we were on our way.
Our sleeping arrangements… well, they weren’t exactly ideal. The hotel room only had two beds (what? I’m a starving artist! I can’t afford two!) and the only way we could split it up without being weird, freaky, uncomfortable, or downright inappropriate was to put Thomas and the boys in one bed, and Brandi and myself in the other.
If you know anything about kids, you know that they aren’t exactly generous with bed space. This may not have been amusing for Thomas, but it sure was for me and Brandi. I think she may have some blackmail worthy pictures hidden away for a rainy day.
Richmond is a pretty crowded place. People and cars everywhere, like you’d expect with any “big” city. Holden has always been obsessed with Cars (thank you Disney) but lately he has gone to an all new level of annoying with this shit. If I have to hear about Mustangs one more time….
He’s pretty good at naming cars by logos alone, but I guess he hasn’t seen them all- because this happened during a leisurely stroll:
Holden- Look! It’s one of those cars you rarely see! *reading logo* What’s a…. Vulva?
All adults- ….. Haaaaaaaahahahahahahaha!!!
It was a Volvo. I bet the folks who named that car brand didn’t see that one coming. Or maybe they did. Pervs.
Our first night we went out to dinner to a neat little diner. Brandi is a vegetarian, the rest of us are not. You would think after over 6 years of marriage, Thomas would know to watch what he says around me. Nope.
Thomas: We’re total opposites- you with a grilled cheese and me (lifting meatloaf sub) like PUT ALL THIS MEAT IN MY MOUTH!!!
Me: ….. That’s what she said.
Me: 1, Thomas: -300
After my first live interview went off without a hitch (well.. except poison ivy. Yes, I broke out in POISON IVY. ON MY FACE. BEFORE TWO LIVE TV INTERVIEWS. Wtf?) we decided to go shopping. First up was this AMAZING chocolate shop. Every kind of chocolate covered something you can imagine. Yes, even bugs. We couldn’t get out of there without getting the kids a little something, so we got the Holden a Fun Dip. He’d never had one before. Me: do you know how to do that? Holden: Yeah! You lick it then you stick it then you get some! *awkward silence* I literally laughed so hard I choked. The little area of Richmond we were in is full of eclectic shops and vintage clothing stores. When shopping in vintage stores, one must try at LEAST one thing on… or dress their child up as a 1970s pimp. Same diff. You can see here which one I chose: Interview #2 was bright and early Friday morning on a live Richmond talk show. They had lots of guests that morning, but chose me and some old baseball pro to do these “coming up next” shots- you know, like the ones they have on Jay Leno where they show the guest in the green room and either they pretend not to notice the camera is on them or they smile and wave awkwardly? That. I had no idea what I was doing. I think I may have danced with my book. There is no video of this that I have found. I am grateful. Interview #2: Click here
This picture is pure gold:
On our way out of the studio, Brandi and I were standing on the curb waiting for the hotel shuttle to come back and pick us up (why drive in a confusing city if we don’t have to??) when out of the corner of my eye, I see a strange woman approaching us. I motion to Brandi that I’m starting to freak out because I’m pretty sure she’s going to talk to us. I didn’t know if she was a panhandler or what, but I was right in that she was coming over to talk to us, and by talk I mean yell. Angrily. I don’t even know about what. I just heard the words “kill” and saw her hands in the shape of a gun and Brandi and I stood there absolutely frozen, unsure of what to do; not making eye contact or responding to this woman who was obviously not of sound mind. It felt like years- but she FINALLY walked away without harming us. We ran back into the studio and hid in the lobby until the shuttle arrived, both agreeing that we had never been so scared in our lives, and that we thought she was going to hurt us. During our frightened wait, we were both still shaken up about the whole thing when the reporter who interviewed me walks in. We told her what had happened. Her response? “Just another Friday!”
I’m not one to ever say “I need a drink!”- but damnit, I needed a drink after that! 10am? It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
Taking pictures of them sleeping (and actually getting along! GASP!) never gets old. Good luck fitting in there, Thomas!
After a lot of kid tantrums, good food and friends, shopping, a few scary moments, a buttload of rain and some adult beverages- it was FINALLY time for the reading/signing
I read a few of my favorite parts of “Musings of a 20-something Mom,” met some great people, and signed some books- and then it was time to go home.
All in all, we had a great time and I hope to be able to do it again soon! Who knows, maybe even with a different book. My work in progress already has 150 pages typed and my goal for the book is 200! Almost there!
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