The Guilty Mama

I’m on the road.  Again.  Writing today from the very glamorous Newark Liberty Airport.  I’m on a week long, two-city trip.  Its day 1 and I’m feeling some relief as the guilt shopping is complete… already!  Wahoo.

You see, the business traveling mama must relieve her guilt in being away from her brood by returning with a vast array of gifts.  The gifts are used as rewards for good behaviour with Dad, to help soften the blow for the next inevitable journey and/ or because they have become expected.

It sucks that this Mama needs to be away from home for stretches of time, so its become a habit that I bring home souvenirs from my travels.  Sometimes its Legos, sometimes its books, sometimes a Barbie (I actually found Flight Attendant Barbie in an airport somewhere, which was great because of my rule that Barbies should always have a job.)  Since the great purge and move, I’ve been reluctant to buy the Shorties more STUFF, but I do like to surprise them with something.

Enter the NBC Experience Store.  Lately my trips have taken me to NYC with meetings clustered in and around Rockefeller Centre.  With 5 minutes to spare on a crazy day, the candy department at the NBC Experience Store saved my ass!  GIANT CANDY NECKLACES were the saving grace.  The Shorties loved them and they were cheap.  I think I need to invest in this company and order these by the case load.  They are a great novelty, sort of consumable and keep everyone happy.  Until of course, my trip is to anywhere but NYC and I come home empty handed.

I submit the aforementioned Giant Candy Necklaces as evidence of my guilt.

I submit the aforementioned Giant Candy Necklaces as evidence of my guilt.

Its tough.  I would like the Shorties to feel connected to my travel in that they know where I am going and where I have been.  We could load up on those “My Mom Went to (INSERT RANDOM CITY NAME) and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” things.  Or maybe they could start collecting spoons?  WTF, are they 80?  No, they’re kids and they don’t want crappy t-shirts and I’m not wasting money on lame souvenirs from the airport gift shop.

So Giant Candy Necklaces it is.

Eat to the Beat

I’m getting ready to head back on the road again this weekend and all I can think about is the great food I get to eat along the way.  Not the kind on the airplane or in the airport – but that I get to go back to some of the cities where I experienced some of the greatest meals of MY LIFE.  By now, you know I’m super bossy and know-it-all-y so it’s 100% in my nature to tell you that you should eat there too.

Geezus I love to eat!

Geezus I love to eat!

10. Bogner’s – Penticton, BC – BC wine country is slowly coming into its own and the foodies are following.  Chef Darin Paterson takes the concept of the 100 mile diet to a whole new level.  In addition to his kitchen garden surrounding the restaurant’s patio, Paterson pulls local produce from his own farm just 5 minutes out of town.  The fact that my kid had a “little accident” on the patio may sway me from returning next time, but fresh garden salsa might drag me back regardless.

9.  Patria – Toronto – True Spanish tapas in the heart of Toronto.  Loud, boisterous and super sexy.  Start with the Iberico ham.  A tough find on this side of the pond.  The paella is amazing.

8. Guy Savoy – Paris – Michelin mania.  Guy Savoy is a dining experience.  I’m usually not a fan of the pretentious Michelin presentation but man is his food good.  I’ve raved about Guy Savoy before.  Dessert comes on a cart – a motherf&*king cart FULL of desserts.  The first time I went there I ate 13 different desserts (lavender marshmallows, earl grey ice cream, macarons, strawberry tart, rice pudding – UNREAL).

7. Milos – New York – Fresh seafood in midtown Manhattan.  Big energy, delicious fresh food – great combo.  Don’t miss the Milos Special – lightly battered and fried zucchini and eggplant.  Yum.  That dish always tastes like MORE.

6. Alex Sushi – Oslo – Coming from Vancouver, the Sushi capitol of the world (outside Japan of course), I am always hesitant to eat sushi in other cities.  But Alex Sushi in Oslo nailed it.  The Tempura Salad was a revelation.  Plus the minimalist Scandinavian decor is very hip and happening.

5. A Travessa – Lisbon – Set down a narrow cobbled street with families grilling sardines and lanterns and streamers crisscrossing overhead, you enter an arched doorway to a sliding glass door that is about as odd as monkey’s wedding.  Down the stairs to a cavernous, candlelit room and into the rustic (is this the Portuguese version of Shabby Chic?) courtyard to dine under the stars.  The building was a former convent founded in the 17th century!  The complimentary appetizers (scrambled eggs with mushrooms, olives) and country style bread whet the palette along with cold white port served as an apperitif.  I had the Toro steak – the owner belittled me for ordering it medium.  “Its organic blood” he said!  It was magical!

4. Osteria Morini – New York – I’m not sure if this meal was so memorable because it was at the end of a super crazy press day or it was close enough to Christmas that it felt extra festive, but I loved this restaurant.  Its small and cozy by NYC standards and the fare is rustic Italian which is hands down my fave.  New York has arguably the best Italian food outside of Italy to be sure, but there was something extra special and authentic about the experience at Osteria Morini.  The weathered wood tables overflowing with mouthwatering cured meats and cheeses, the meatballs, the light and airy Lambrusco wine.  Call way ahead to make a reservation and if you can get a table TAKE IT!

3. Hutong – Hong Kong – Another great meal at the end of a super long, crazy press day.  I am pretty sure the food was as good as I remember.  Located on the 28th floor of One Peking Place in Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood of Kowloon, overlooking Victoria Harbour.  The decor a sort of Disney-ified version of old Hong Kong about as authentic as you can get in a brand new skyscraper.  The Szechuan cuisine was just spicy enough!  Delish.

2. La Petite Maison – London, UK – On a recent stay in London we were there for just two nights and had dinner here both evenings.  ITS THAT GOOD!  Incredible South of France inspired food in the heart of Mayfair.  The only problem is deciding what to eat.  The menu has so many great and delicious options.  The grilled veal chop (sorry, I know) was amazing and they serve the best french fries I have ever eaten.  (French fries are my kryptonite, so trust me on this one).

1. Tavola – Vancouver, BC – I know, I know, it seems a little contrived to pick a place in my own home town as #1, but I seriously love Tavola so much.  Back to rustic Italian, done really well.  A super simple menu and fresh sheet keeps the experience familiar but never stale.  The service is amazing with casual waitstaff often sitting at the table to explain the intricacies of the menu and winelist.  The Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe is the simplest pasta dish (fresh handmade noodles cooked in a delicate sauce comprised of just olive oil, parmesan and pepper) is worth every calorie.  The brick chicken is light and lemony and if you’re lucky to be there when Meyer Lemons are in season, you must try the Lemon Positano for dessert.  The menu is set up for sharing so this place is best visited with a crowd so you can taste a little of everything.

Road Wardrobe

Overpacking... again.

Overpacking… again.

I spend a lot of time on the road.  Airplanes, hotels.  I am admittedly an overpacker but I am also a pro at laundering clothes in hotel sinks.  Clothes on the road can be tough – how to look presentable and be comfortable is always the challenge.  I thought I might share some of my favorite tips on what to pack.

Disclaimer:  all of these items I either bought myself or covet.  No one has paid me to tell you that I like/ love them.

1. JEANS – In my opinion, THE best jeans for traveling are AG‘s Jegging.  They are real jeans with a button and a fly and pockets that work (read: they have structure) but they are SUPER stretchy and feel like pj’s when you’re wearing them.  I have 3 pairs and always travel with at least 2 of them.  On long trips, these are the only clothing items I send to the hotel laundry.  I’m not the kind of girl that will wear yoga pants in public, so these are a great alternative on the long haul (and even short haul) flights.

2. BLAZER – I love a good blazer and have a few that travel with me a lot.  They give you a polished look and with a pair of jeans offer an ideal blend of casual chic.  On a recent trip to London, I picked up a little black blazer with a faux leather collar at Zara.  (why are Zara’s in Europe SO much better than here in North America?)  This jacket has literally traveled around the world with me.  I’ve definitely recouped the £100 odd it cost me and I love it!  I am also a mega fan of the super luxe Smythe jackets (as you’ve heard me lust for these before).  The cut and fit mixed with some incredibly fun fabrics makes Smythe a great investment and a unique wardrobe piece.  PS – Buy Canadian.

3. SCARVES – LOVE a good scarf.  Have a pile of them and always travel with at least 2 or 3.  They give some variation on outfits, cover up spilled soup and keep you warm on the plane.

4. SWEATER – I have a black v-neck cashmere sweater that I love to travel in.  Its cozy and comfortable and usually looks pretty good.  I picked it up at a very exclusive boutique called Costco.  Seriously.  I am also partial to a good, drapey cardigan because why wouldn’t I be.

5. BOOTIES – Ankle boots are good for the road.  They pack small (hello Frye Motorcycle Boots, I’m looking at you and your 5lbs per boot), go with everything and can roll in warm or cold climates.  Mine are from Steve Madden, relatively cheap and cheerful and get the job done.  The ones I really would love are these from Rag & Bone.

6. SNEAKERS – Of course you need sneakers.  Non-white, super-comfy.  Preferably they are stylish enough for the tooling around, but sensible enough for the gym.  Or they’re Converse Chuck Taylors because they are just freaking awesome.

7. BLACK DRESS – Every girl on the road needs a great black dress.  Mine is called Black Magic.  You may recall my love letter to this favorite and perennial wardrobe item.  A great black dress can work for dinner out or as a pool cover-up.  Just make sure its in an easy to travel fabric.

8. BLACK ANYTHING – Working in the entertainment business, black is standard issue.  When following an artist on the red carpet or standing in the wings on stage, black is a must.  My job is to blend into the background and black does the trick.  PLUS, it goes with everything (except maybe brown) and it doesn’t show the dirt.  Black is ALWAYS the new black.

9. TOTE BAG – When on airplanes a lot, you need a big purse.  The Longchamp Shopper is a perfect example of the ideal travel bag that holds everything – iPad, ziploc, spare t-shirt and a laptop.  Plus it folds up small, so you can pack it away if you don’t need it.

And here’s what not to bring on the road:

1. ANYTHING THAT WRINKLES – as if you’ll have time to iron with 18 hr days.

2. EXPENSIVE SUITCASE – go mid-range on the suitcase.  Spend enough that it won’t fall apart on the first use but not so much that the nicks and dents will make you cry.

3. HATS – because, why would you unless you’re Johnny Depp.

So there you have it.  Another bossy R&R Mom post, telling you what to do.

 

 

 

I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane

The Empty Gate.

The Empty Gate.

What is it with people when they travel.  Its like a switch goes off the minute they hit the security line-up.  They freak out and lose all sense of decorum and civility.  The guy who just rationally stood behind me in the Starbucks line-up is now at security pushing me through.  As I unpack every liquid, gel, electronic, shoe, jacket, sweater, piece of metal on my person – he’s filling the bins before I can finish.  Its no different all the way until we’re out of baggage claim on the other side.  What is it about air travel that causes people to completely lose their manners?

Maybe I’m a little grumpy but as I am just waking up with my first coffee following a completely packed red-eye on a 777, I think I have identified some of the main characters you encounter on when flying these days.  Here’s who to look out for:

1. The Premature Boarder – This is the lady who has camped out at the door to the gate in the hopes of being first on the plane.  Does she think there is a prize for being the first?  Like a nice chocolate waiting at her seat?  A bravo from the flight attendant perhaps?  Complimentary upgrade?  Um, no.  The Premature Boarder is flying economy, has no airline status, is not flying with small children nor is handicapped.  The Premature Boarder seems to be deluded into thinking that where you position yourself at the boarding gate matters.  First off – get out of the way.  Secondly, you are checked in and at the gate – the plane is NOT going to leave without you.  Find some patience and relax.

2. The Overpacker – Ok.  This Overpacker is not to be confused with my overpacking tendency.  This is not the person checking several large pieces.  This is the person with the oversized rollerboard, the massive duffelbag and some crazy souvenir piece of shit wrapped in bubble wrap.  The other variation on the Overpacker is the business traveller with the massive rollerboard and garment bag who refuses to pay checked bag fees and stows their luggage in the first overhead bins even though they are sitting in row 38.  Both of these people suck.  A lot.

3. The Seat-Grabber – This is the guy sitting in the row behind you that seems to forget that the seat back he insists on violently grabbing contains an actual human being that is nearly whiplashed every time he needs to check the overhead or take a pee.

Headed to 37,000 feet with some of your new best friends.

Headed to 37,000 feet with some of your new best friends.

4. The Recliner – The Recliner is just a dick.  You know what I’m talking about.  They’re the ones that push the seat all the way back the minute the landing gear comes up.  Thanks pal.  I love that your seat back is now in my face and that I need to contort my 5’5″ frame just to get to my bag under your seat.  Don’t even get me started about when the meal service starts.  Put it up you idiot.

5. The Under-Seat Stower – Dude.  Don’t try and shove stuff under your own seat. It goes under the seat in front of you.  Enough said.

6. The Anxious De-Planer – This is the guy from Row 38, on his feet and in the aisle as soon as you hear that little bing when the seat belt sign goes off.  He doesn’t have a tight connection but what ever he’s up to upon arrival is way more important than whatever you’re doing.

7. The Jetway Sloth – The Jetway Sloth is usually traveling with the Anxious De-Planer.  As they enter the Jetway, the apparent compulsion to GET OFF THAT PLANE ceases and they are now in no hurry at all.  Along with their friends they walk abreast and the minute you try to make a break for it and go around them they veer straight into your path oblivious to everyone else around them.  This happens several times in the span of 10 metres.

The Beloved Baggage Belt

The Beloved Baggage Belt

8. Baggage Claim Blocker – The BCB as I like to call them are often also traveling with the Anxious De-Planer.  Using trolleys and carry-ons, they take up valuable real estate at the baggage belt, usually located right at the junction where the bags come out.  They pick up every bag, inspecting carefully to see if its theirs.  They don’t discriminate, even though their bag is green they check the black and navy and floral printed ones too JUST IN CASE they packed a bag they forgot.  When their bag does finally come out, it has several colourful pieces of ribbon and yarn tied to the handle to help distinguish it in situations just as this.

Beware of these traveling characters and the havoc they wreak on your already taxing travel day.  When you do encounter them, know you are not alone in the pain of managing their abhorrent behaviour.  Keep your fingers crossed for an upgrade!

 

 

A Free (Wo)Man in Paris

Me and J beneath Charlamagne by Shorty #1

Me and J beneath Charlamagne by Shorty #1

We went to Paris last week.  Me, J and the Shorties.  I was excited by the prospect of showing them the City of Light and for a chance to be in Paris with plenty of free time to explore. It was an adventure.

We had been warned that perhaps a European sojourn was not exactly THE holiday for a young family, but an opportunity arose and the airmiles were cashed in and we decided to take a chance, win a prize (in the words of my poetic husband).   You know what, we totally won.  It wasn’t awful, it wasn’t boring and we were not in the least bit disappointed.  But we did learn a few things along the way…

1. International Air Travel in the days of personal screens, iPads etc can actually be pretty manageable.  Just don’t expect Les Petites to like the airplane food, even if it is the children’s meal.

2. Jetlag is a nightmare.  No way around that.  So just accept that for the first few days you may be sleeping the day away, so embrace the night.

3. Sort out your local transportation.  Paris is best explored on foot, except when you’re rolling with a 2 and 7 year old.  Various transport devices for the Shorties was the only way to go.  Stroller, carrier and scooter gave us options for them to move around and still be able to walk for miles.

4. Bribery is awesome.  Nothing like a macaron at the end of a long trip to convince La Petite to carry on.

Shorty #2 enjoys a proper chocolate eclair and wonders if she's found poo inside... Tres charmant!

Shorty #2 enjoys a proper chocolate eclair and wonders if she’s found poo inside… Tres charmant!

5. Don’t expect them to be fascinated by all the incredible art and history around you.  Rather let them be fascinated by the things that they find amazing.  Case in point, we took a trip to Versailles.  Shorty #2 was fast asleep on my back (NOTE: they do NOT allow strollers in the Palace – that was an AWESOME discovery as we reached the front of the line) and #1 was walking along the tour with us.  I gave her the task of counting all the suns she could see (good on Louis XIV for picking an emblem that’s easy to spot and placing it everywhere in the palace, thanks for that dude) but by the time we reached the Hall of Mirrors she was done.  “I’m bored” followed quickly by “I’m tired”  and then followed by “Can we GOOOOOO”.  It was the moment we had been waiting for on the tour and she decided now was the time to fall to pieces.  Luckily the Hall is filled with statues in various states of undress.  The Sun count very quickly became the Weiner count.  She laughed through the whole thing counting penises on the statues and every little naked cherub in the room.  I was pretty grateful for that revelation!

So the moral of this story – be brave, go with the flow and enjoy the moment.  By embracing the simple things on our trip we were able to experience Paris and actually have a great time as a family.

The Shorties at Place des Voges

The Shorties at Place des Voges

Its Beginning to Look a lot Like…

The Christmas decorations in the hotel on my last trip kept reminding me of my shortcomings as a gift giver...

The Christmas decorations in the hotel on my last trip kept reminding me of my shortcomings as a gift giver…

Yes, yes it is.  The most wonderful time of the year.  Unless you’re someone’s mom.  Then its a little less wonderful and whole lot more manic.

I was organized this year.  With all the time on the road, I buckled down one free Saturday and did all the Christmas shopping in one shot.  Ordered the out of town gifts online so they shipped directly.  Sorted out the Shorties.  Organized.  Awesome.  Now we’re a week away from the big day and I’m starting to second guess.  Its like when you make a record and it takes 6 months for the label to release it, you start to worry.  Will it be ok?  Will they like it?  Is it enough?  So now I’m in that manic panic of running around from store to store coming out empty handed.  I know I shouldn’t worry.  Three weeks ago I was on top of the world, doing the Rocky run around the house, fists pumping; “I’m done!!!”  What happened between then and now that I am second guessing every gift I bought.  Seriously?  What’s my problem?

Aside from my own psychotic need to please people and make everyone’s holiday perfect, I’m also now deep in the throes of the hostess gift.  Stocking the right amount of gifts to give to those kind enough to invite all 4 of us over for some holiday cheer.  When you have toddlers, the hostess gift better be good to make up for the pomegranate juice spilled on the white carpet or Shorty #1 single handedly tearing off the fireplace door (this actually happened…).  Maybe a gift certificate for a maid service?  Or a free post-holiday/ visit by us carpet cleaning?  These are good ideas for next year.

I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and to be honest, this year I’ve taken a bit of a chill pill.  There’s no lights on the outside of the house and save for the stockings being hung by the chimney with care, the inside Christmas decor is kept to a minimum.  Maybe I’ll even live up to my annual vow to “not go overboard this year.”  So if you’re on my list, I apologize in advance if you hate it or if you think I cheaped out.  Its all about the presence, not the presents – right?

Happy holidays.  xoxo

Blurred Lines

I’m home!  I’m home, I’m home, I’m home.  I am so f#%@ing happy to be home, I can’t even tell you.  This last trip was 10 days, not too bad.  But the break between trips was just a week, so it felt waaaay longer than normal.

Its strange to come home after such a long and intense roadtrip.  Life on the road is a little manic.  You spend all your time with a bunch of people that become your family in a way.  This little unit of people traversing across the country (or the world!) experiencing all kinds of madness and chaos along the way in the hyper microcosm that is entertainment business.  People catering to your every need.  Successes earned.   Surreal moments experienced.  Calls home are tough, brief and don’t cover the half of the stuff that’s gone on…

Shorty #2 is happy I'm home...

Shorty #2 is happy I’m home…

The next thing you know you’re walking in your front door, to the family waiting within.  All smiles and kisses and hugs. This is where you experience The Blurred Lines of your life – the reality of life on the road and life at home.  The difference between room service and the empty fridge, feather beds and snotty sheets, car service and the gas station.  Life on the road can be plush.  Life at home can be tough.  Maybe the lines aren’t so blurred after all.  What time is our dinner reservation becomes do we have any cans of soup in the cupboard?  Can housekeeping collect the laundry becomes holy sh&%, how can two kids create so much laundry?  Oh, there’s George Clooney at the bar becomes there’s my neighbor taking up 2 parking spots again.

If you’ve been following the R&R Mom, you’ve heard me prattle on about this before.  I love coming back to the reality that is home.  But it always takes a couple of days to get back into the swing and not expect the maid to make my bed.  Some other road warriors I know call it their grumpy time.  It really is a readjustment.  For me, its trying to slow down to the pace of everyday life rather than the protracted 18 hour work day that the road can be.  The first day I’m home, people expect me to be tired; “You don’t want to meet for lunch when you’re just getting home!”  Quite the contrary, just try and stop me.  Poor J – I’m like ” Lets go here and here and here and HERE and then when we get home lets do this and this and THIS.”  Day 2 on the other hand and I’m crashing.  Can’t stay up past 8pm.  That is NOT a very rock and roll bedtime.

So here I am back in the land of poopy diapers and grocery lists, happy for a little reality check.  Counting the days until the next trip (5) but this time for vacation with the shorties!

Heartbreak Hotel

I stay in hotels a lot.  All kinds of hotels running the spectrum of number of stars.  In my opinion that makes me kind of an expert on what makes a hotel awesome (or more likely, not so awesome).  The real question is – when is anyone going to ask me my opinion?  Probably never.  But, guess what?  That’s why God invented Blogs, so people like me can blab away with their opinion, especially on the bad things hotels offer to cause the travel heartbreak.  Right?

#2 - Hotel Guest

#2 – Hotel Guest

So here goes, my top ten tips to hoteliers on what they need to do to make their hotel awesome….

1. Hooks – I hate hanging my clothes in a hotel closet.  Especially when I’m only there for like 12 hours total.  A hook or two by the door would be awesome!

2. WiFi – hotel wifi has come a long way from the days of the dreaded firewall that blocked email and other such shenanigans.  But man, why does it still cost $35 a day.  The sound of the words Free WiFi is like a choir of angels singing…

3. Counter Space in the Bathroom – What’s with this?  People travelling – especially girls – are carrying toiletries and cosmetics.  Why is counter space always an issue in a hotel?  Big sinks, fancy tissue holders, soap dishes.  I need space for my stuff so if you’re not going to give me drawers in the bathroom, then how about a little counter space.  Same applies for shelf space in the shower.

… and speaking of showers….

4. Rain Showers – I HATE these shower heads.  They are a pain in the ass especially when you’re having a non-hairwashing day.  HATE.  Its true.

5. Mini Bars – Ok, I kinda like mini-bars sometimes but lately I keep encountering an empty fridge in lieu of the stocked mini-bar.  I rarely dip in and sometimes like to self cater a little, so finding middle ground here would be awesome.  A little bottled water (still and sparkling if you don’t mind), coconut water and maybe some booze, but leave a little space for some of my own snacks.  How about that?

6. Slippers.  Barefeet in a hotel room = EUW.  Slippers = Yes please!

7. Amenities – I’m all for the boutique brands for the bathroom amenities.  Love them.  But FORGET it if they contain anything rose scented.  Seriously, the perfumey products are a bad idea.  PLUS, I haven’t met a dude yet that wants to use gardenia scented shampoo.  Keep it simple.  Clean, mild scents are a much better way to go.

8. The Hotel Car – Who gets to use it?  What’s the point?  Yes, I see your Bentley parked out front, but if the chances of me using it are nil, then get it out of my face.

9. Breakfast – Make it available.  Make it good.  Make it quick.  Doesn’t have to be free but highway robbery would be frowned upon.

10. Music – Don’t forget, I work in the music business so I appreciate the ambiance that comes with music.  However, I am not down with an elevator that could double as a disco (I’m looking at you W Hotel in Hong Kong) or walking into the room to a full frontal assault of horrible smooth jazz courtesy of the turn down service.  Neither are probably necessary, like at all.

So there it is.  I won’t charge for my consulting services on such matters.  Just upgrade me next time I’m through.

XO

Life on the Road

I’m writing to you today from Kowloon, overlooking Victoria Harbour with the Hong Kong skyline as the perfect backdrop.  I’ve been on the road for over a week now on an around the world tour it seems.  Started in Vancouver, stopped in London for 4 days and am now in Hong Kong before I head home in just two more sleeps!

Life on the road is a very interesting parallel universe.  You can get used to the cushy treatment and rockstar amenities.  But its certainly a little weird.  Sure, its definitely glamorous jetting into a world class city and being whisked into fantastic hotels with local hosts striving to keep you happy.  The truth is that running around this alternate reality has its downside – especially as the traveling Mom.  I hear all your eyes rolling all the way over here in Asia.  “wahhhh poor you, R&R Mom.”  I recognize that this is a very ass-y thing to say.  I GET it!!!  Believe me, I am exceedingly grateful for all these incredible chances to see this amazing world and work withs some fantastic people along the way.  But being away from the Shorties and J is gut wrenching.

Thank Steve Jobs for FaceTime.  It makes it so much easier to be able to lay eyes on my loves.  Its no substitute for cuddles but being able to see each other is a godsend no matter how long the trip.  But time zones are a killer.  Inevitably, the moment I’m free for a chat its bath/ bed/ meal time at home so my call only adds to the chaos.  Not to mention the great fun of FaceTiming with little shorties who are far more interested in how they look in the picture.  They are like miniature Paris Hilton’s only rather than preening at their own image are zooming in on their eyeballs, sharing the half-chewed pizza in their mouths or shaking their butts at the camera (well, I guess this last one Paris Hilton would do too).

And forget about actually catching up with your partner on the call.  These little narcissists hold a tight grip on the technology, monopolizing the conversation with silly noises, singing and quite often burps.  Mom & Dad are NOT getting a word in edgewise.  You’re lucky to have a quiet second to get through the necessary day to day business of the household (did you remember that today is garbage day?) let alone actually sharing an intimate moment or at the VERY least “how are you doing”.

Miss this guy!

Miss this guy!

These are hard moments.  When hearts ache to connect with the loves and it just can’t happen.  So back we go into the isolation of the dark, too cold (or too hot) hotel room to bury yourself in emails and work mode.  Whether its a 2 day trip or 2 week trip this happens and it just is what it is.

The good news is that I can start counting the hours when I’ll see those bright little faces (and a bright bigger face) at the arrivals area in the airport and can go back to the real world.  Changing diapers, wiping noses and cozy snuggles.  I would take that over a 5 star hotel any day!

... and these two too.

… and these two too.

I’m Baaaaack!

Um, no thanks...

Um, no thanks…

Oh, hi.  Yeah, its been a while.  With heartfelt apologies, the past 6 weeks have been something of a blur.  In no particular order I have traveled to LA, London, Oslo, Lisbon, Amsterdam (well just a layover), NY (twice) and Toronto.  I have also moved house and juggled a two week span in which our poor Nanny was off sick.  I have successfully navigated the past six weeks WITHOUT suffering a nervous breakdown.  Almost, but not quite.  WINNING!!!!

The craziness is set to continue for a while longer but you’ll get no complaints here.  Sure, I am leaving my toiletry bag packed and my lipstick lives in a ziploc bag in my purse these days – but how can I complain?  Its been great fun following the Foxes around the world (PS – if you know what they say then mission accomplished).  The biggest downside is being away from my own little Foxes (and Mr. Fox of course), but they seem to be enjoying the Daddy time and steady stream of guilt driven toys brought home as souvenirs.

Sure, I feel the judgmental glares from the Supermoms.  I am conspicuous in my absence.  But I keep reminding myself that this much hectic business travel is (a) temporary, (b) fun and (c) ultimately good for everyone in our house.  Luckily, they are all Fox fans so they don’t seem to mind me going off to fight for the cause.

These days we are most grateful for our Moms, Sisters, grocery delivery and the deep freeze.  After a recent whirlwind promo trip with 18 hour press days, I came home with so much adrenaline pumping I couldn’t stop.  In addition to the several loads of laundry, we cooked pots of stew and pasta sauce to freeze for J to easily whip up for les petites for the next time I would be on the road.  Why won’t anyone in this house eat a casserole?  The perfect meal in one pan… if only they weren’t so gross!

The thing when you’re on the road this much is you start to forget where you are.  Beyond just the middle of the night wake-up – this happened in the airport the other day.  For a fleeting moment, I couldn’t remember where I was going!  I need an app that will remind me of my hotel room number.  Never mind jetlag – no time for that!  That’s why I invested in the YSL Touche Eclat to make me look much less sleep deprived than I actually am.

The next few months promise a continually hectic schedule, so I hope to be able to post as much as I can.  But in the meantime, its freezer filling, touche eclat wearing, ziploc bag toting time!  Who can complain about that?