Frozen Raleigh: Parents Work to Survive Another Day Home with Kids

The younger your children are hen the worse off you have it when it snows and ices.  I sympathize with you. I remember.

Trust me, my children are no picnic on snow days either, but younger kids have to be entertained and it's so tiring. It's beyond draining.

Preschool moms, I really feel for you.You can't get anything done. It now takes you an hour to do what would normally take you ten minutes if you were alone.

And it's so cold outside. Mother Nature is not your friend. You have to spend a half hour bundling those kids up and then you take them outside for just ten minutes.  Yes, ten minutes, if that.  I think I remember my child wanting to come in after five minutes. It's not worth all that prep. Nope, it's not.

I remember those days. I really tried to limit my children's electronic and TV use when they were in those crucial preschool years. I was a better mom back then. Now, I'm more like Elsa, and just let it go. They can go at those electronics all they want.  It's not going to hurt them for a few days. They're happy. I'm happy. I'm giving us all a break. During our normal routines, we are never home enough to use electronics and if we are, it's usually less than an hour at most in use.

I think back to all the junk I watched on snow days in my youth. TV was different back then. We had soap operas. I watched people in bed one minute and arguing the next. I lived through ten of Erica Kane's marriages.

My kids, in contrast, watch a silly dog on their snow days barking songs. But, that's not enough. They want to show me the silly dog barking a song.

The tiny, fluffy dog barked the "can-can" yesterday. It is one of his better numbers. Unfortunately, I can't get that "can-can" barking song out of my head now. The dog has a name. It's Gabe. I think I know way too much about that Pomeranian-American Eskimo mix. In reality, I'm trying to figure out how that mix happened at all.

Watching Gabe bark doesn't tire them out, though. I noticed that Jack was running in place last night. It sounded like something was coming through the ceiling.

And sibling bickering picked up a little today. Well, it has been four days of togetherness.

Tomorrow has to be last day. We have just one more day now to be lazy, wear mismatched clothes and act as if we have nothing to do in the world.

I kind of cherish these times now at their age until it is way past their bedtime then I just don't want to see them anymore.

Truthfully, we are no longer iced in at our home near Downtown Raleigh, but when schools are out, I still pretend like we are snowed in, too.

Here's a photo I snapped of my street and of our new house on the day the storm came through. It's our first winter event here. How do you pass the time during snow days when there is no school?

Raleigh Snow

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Personal: Cheers to 2017 and a Little Daily Inspiration

We all feel a little recharged on the first day of January. Don't we?  I even made a new "keep me on task" printable download. You can use it, too if you like. I felt as if it got to the core of what I need to remember as this new year goes on.

The first day of January is like a brand new beautiful baby to us.  It's so fresh and new.

I love it because it's a brand new start. Yes, we can wipe that "old 2016 slate" clean.

When January comes, we all have great ideas to boom our businesses, lose weight around the middle, and have more fun. We have good intentions to laugh more, fuss less, and get enough shut eye so that coffee is not a necessity, but rather a luxury perk.

Then after a couple of weeks, this little new little new year baby even though still fresh and fun starts to aggravate you a little just like past years. There are meetings. Housework to work.  PTA meetings to attend. Children continue to have homework and projects due. Bills need to be paid. And there is no telling what Trump will tweet. You almost dread to see your Facebook page to see what your friends are selling, who is on a glamorous vacation or who has died. (Y'all know I have a sense of humor I sell things just like the rest of them.)

Oh yes, it may be a new year, but over time, the scenarios repeat itself.

How many of you have had this little drama unfold?

It's Sunday night at 7 pm and your child just so happens to remember the following important information, "Hey, Mom. I am supposed to bring cupcakes to school tomorrow."

"Now you tell me. You could not think to tell me when we passed the cupcake aisle at Harris Teeter five hours ago.?"

Or this one?

I ask a 5th grader at 3:50 pm on a Thursday. "What type of homework do you have tonight?"

Response. "Just a quick worksheet."

Wonderful. He plays on the computer because the silence is golden.

Fast-forward to 10 pm at night. "You need to go to bed now. It's really late."

Panic sets in.  It escalates. "I have a test tomorrow. I forgot. "

Yep, that's called Parenthood.

Our word for every year is usually chaos.

But, we wouldn't have it any other way. Chaos is pure joy to parents even in the weirdest way. Just when you feel like you want to drop them off at the fire department or maybe it would be less hard to send them to a really good boarding school, they do something that makes your heart melt.

As chaotic as our life is, our children make our lives worth living.

We just all wish for a child-free escape every now and then.

Happy New Year!!! If you can, tell me your funny child scenario that will ring in your chaos in 2017 and where you would like to escape to on any given week.

As you daydream, don't forget that you can book your stays with Marriot.com off my site as well as Hotels. com, Living Social and Expedia. 


#OutaboutNC: Mermaids Exist and they're all Coming to North Carolina!

A media story like this one I'm sharing got me out of blog hibernation today. Why you say? From a journalism standpoint, this story is kind of like "Man Bites Dog"....a textbook journalism classic. It's a story that makes you giggle because we all want Mermaids to be real. When you believe in magic, life is just better.  Don't you agree?  And having a seven-year-old daughter, she would love the kid's portion of this conference.

For the second year in a row, merfolk from around the world will converge on the Greensboro Aquatic Center for a 3 day celebration of swimming, workshops and fellowship from January 20-22, 2017. Last year's event hosted approximately 300 mermaids from places as far away as France, England and Canada. It drew a large amount of media, including special segments on CNN and USA Today. This year's attendance number is projected to be even higher.
The convention utilizes the deep well pool at the GAC for leisure swimming as well as underwater photography and videography. Workshops are scheduled to be held both in the meeting facilities of the GAC which will include subjects such as underwater posing, merwrangling, aqua yoga and more. One of the most popular segments of last year's convention that returns this year is the children's programming; "Swimming and Storytime with a Mermaid." This is a ticketed event open to the public in which children can spend time learning about the ocean and learning to swim like merfolk. Trained professionals will read stories of the ocean with a special focus on conservation.

Merfolk, men and women who don swimmable fish tails, are a highly popular sub-segment of the cosplay community. "Mermaiding" as the hobby is called, has been around for decades but has recently been trending in popularity due to increased media coverage and viral articles on social media. Combining athletic swimming skills, creativity and a passion for conservation to inspire people through fantasy, hundreds of men and women now work as "professional mermaids" around the world. Typical work includes entertaining children, teaching mermaid swim schools and fitness classes, and educating the next generation on the ocean and its creatures. It is a lucrative and competitive field that has attracted a very diverse following. Merfolk come in all shapes, sizes, races and fin colors. The convention's aim is to bring people together who are interested in this unique hobby to share knowledge, resources and friendship. Open to both professional merfolk as well as those just starting out, there is something for everyone, including vendors of mermaid related gear and accessories.
"NC MerMania was born of a simple concept, a gathering of merfolk to swim together in friendship. A place where anyone with a tail would gather to feel welcome and that is the spirit that guides our efforts. It has grown beyond my wildest expectations into an event that garnered international media attention and an explosion of interest in this hobby. I am thrilled that Greensboro North Carolina can be the hub of this event," explained Daniel Craig, NC MerMania founder.

Visit my affiliate partner, Marriott.com for direct rate hotel savings to plan your trip to Greensboro, N.C. 


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