Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's elementary, my dear.

Both of my kids started kindergarten last week - real "big kid" elementary school! With teachers that make you call them "Mrs. Something" (Yes even the moms have to use the Mrs. It's as awkward as you'd think.),  gym class ("No hoop earrings!"), school supplies (You can have 'em delivered - thank you, Jesus!) and ol' fashioned lunch room drama.

Wait.  How many field trips??  8000?
How is that mathematically possible??
Of course I want to pull my hair out.  I especially can't believe the number of emails the PTO sends out...all filled with things to do and pay for and sign up for and register for and volunteer for and enroll in and be at and go to and GOOD LORD who ARE these women? Surely they do not sleep. (And surely we'd be really lost with out them!)

I think it is actually impossible for someone without kids to imagine the kind of stress a mom goes through during that first week of elementary school.   Go ahead and just try.  I'll wait.

All done?

Is it hot in here?
Now take whatever you've come up with and multiply it by your heart on your sleeve and add 5000 if you have twins.   Now bang your head on the desk - twice.  Then think a little bit about that first time in econometrics when you tried to do a multivariate regression and you broke into a cold sweat in the computer lab.  Add on top of that the uncomfortable feeling of being on a date and suddenly realizing you forgot to shave your legs.  Multiply it by your fear of heights (or spiders, your choice) And add 2.

I know.  It's surprising.  It surprised me too.

I mean I am kind of a cool mom and I don't fluster that easily [total lie] but this really got me.

And I am too tired to go into long dramatic details.  And I so desperately want to share with you the Marx Brothers-style antics of trying to attend "back to school" night for two kids by yourself when your husband traveling [love you!] and you literally run around like an idiot and miss all the sign-ups for EVERYTHING and you are left with having your parent-teacher conference on the moon [might as well be] but you almost cry when you see their little hand prints and you just love them so much your heart wants to explode.  Yeah, I wish I had the energy to write that.

Instead I'm going to go to bed.

Because in 8 hours I have to get up and pack lunches and snacks and dress my kids and walk them to school and kiss them goodbye and then drive to work...

But once I'm in the car [with coffee] and all is quiet, I'll smile from ear to ear.

Because my kids are truly amazing.  And this journey is worth every single ounce of stress.

For Emily... If you survived Stats you can survive anything :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Driving Miss Crazy

I still have Bruce Springsteen stuck in my head.  And I'm still on a total high from yesterday.   Oh you wanna know why?  Sure, I'll share.

I googled image "road rage" and
found 800 pictures of cats driving.
Cat people are weird.
Though this cat does look pissed.
You see, I hate driving.   I hate everything about it.  I hate cars.  I hate emissions.  I hate climate change.   I hate butt cramps. I hate traffic.  I hate the obesity epidemic.  I hate sun glare.  I hate how I tend to hit things. I hate road rage.  I hate the geopolitics of oil. And I hate that I always get lost (FYI the talking GPS thingy only works if you actually listen and don't zone out then find yourself thinking "shit, what did she say? where do I go?" and then cut across 3 lanes of traffic to exit in a panic.)

So I decided long ago to dedicate my professional life to building a world that minimizes all these things.  I go to work every day to pour my efforts into shaping better communities - ones that don't only rely on cars - ones that provide fair access to public transportation - a cleaner, healthier, more "livable" lifestyle (can you hear me being all judgy?  yeah, me too). 

Yet I go to work...every day... by car.  And not only that, I drive all over the friggin place going to meetings to discuss transit-oriented development and other jargony words (shout out to you planning peeps - hi Sara!) in my big, dirty, slightly-banged-up-on-the-front-end-where-I-hit-stuff car. 

(That's what she said)
My carbon footprint wears a size 12.  She has to order her shoes on the internet because Nordstrom never has her size in stock.

But I try to make the best of it. Like a good East Coast Liberal Elitist, I force myself to listen to NPR in the car.  I get my news, feed my need for external validation, and am guilt-tripped into calling every time they ask for money (mission accomplished, WNYC).  

But yesterday...oh yesterday.  It was my greatest car moment since I decided I hated cars. 

The day started out pretty average.  I worked from home in the morning because I had afternoon meetings in Trenton. Which sounds relaxing but I had so much to do and I was frustrated because, of course, there were things I wanted to get done that didn't get done.  Plus, I was really not looking forward to driving 3 hours round-trip to sit in a two hour meeting, especially version 8000 of "Let's all sit around and discuss a problem using powerpoint and then no one actually decide to do anything about it."  Trenton and Washington have a lot in common.

But I went because I had to...and I left the meeting feeling frustrated that I had wasted my afternoon, especially on such a beautiful day.  So I get in my car to drive home - determined not to get lost again -- and since my brain was already full of information, instead of NPR I put my iphone on shuffle (I needed someone something else to make a decision, for once). 

I start driving. 

And I'm on route 29 and I get a little Dolly, a little Norah, a little Man of La Mancha... I start to relax, maybe even sing along.

Then I hit the turnpike and I'm cruising.  No traffic (a miracle).  Sun is shining.  Windows are open... just enough to feel the fresh air, but not so much that I'll need my daughter's detangler.

And then Thunder Road comes on.  And I smile..and maybe sneak out a little "oh..nice" to myself.  It was as if my iPhone could see into my soul (Siri, are you in there?).  The song starts out slow, and I can't help but sing... then it builds and builds and Bruce says

"Roll down your windows and let the wind throw back your hair."

Awesome idea.
I get now why Courtney
kept her hair short.

So I roll down all my windows, open my sun roof, take my hair down and proceed to drive 80 miles an hour up the Turnpike on a  perfectly gorgeous, gorgeous day belting Thunder Road at the top of my lungs.  My hair is in my face, I'm drumming on my steering wheel. and I am sure that I look (and sound) insane.

But oh my goodness did it feel good.

It was exhilarating.  Enlivening.  It was better than... ummm... better know...better than one of those dove chocolates, ladies :)

So I turn off the shuffle and belt my way through Bruce's Greatest Hits volume one.  By the time I got home I was relaxed, refreshed and renewed...smiling from ear to ear.  Like a new woman. 

And now I think I'm in lust with my car. 

Don't tell anyone. Okay?

PS:  I totally needed that detangling spray.

For Jean and Kevin and the stage dive heard 'round the world.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Rocks

So I woke up this morning with every intention of actually doing some "real" work before my kids and husband woke up.  I have this paper  nagging in the back of my head that I need to write and haven't had time and I thought that perhaps 6am on a Saturday morning would be the perfect time to do it.  I made some coffee, turned on my laptop, plopped a stack of dense files on the table next to me, and let out a long, long. long, looooooooooooooooong sigh.


Then I stopped myself.  And I perked up.  Hey wait, it's Mother's Day weekend.  Screw it.  I don't need to meet any deadlines.  It is MY weekend.  I am queen.  Preparing for next week's meetings will just have to wait...

at least until Monday. 

Because for now I'm going to milk this baby for all it's worth (wait. that came out wrong. perhaps not the best idiom to use on this occasion.).  And I starting thinking about all the ways that Mother's Day is way way better than my birthday.   So, before everyone else wakes up and I am thrown back into the I'm-not-really-queen-and-the-universe-is-not-at-my-command reality, I will take 5 minutes to share my top five reasons why Mother's Day is better than my birthday: 

Ready?  I'll do it Late Night style.

5.  I get presents and cards without being forced to face my own mortality.  I have not gotten any older this weekend.  That is a huge relief.  Though I did wake up with a pimple.  Am I actually getting younger?

4. The songs are way better.  "Happy Birthday" sounds the same every year and aren't we all a little tired of it?  I had the pleasure of being serenaded all week long with a variety of tunes and ditties my kids learned at school about the wonderfulness of moms.  And so what if they only remembered half the words and fought over which ones to sing?  It was a huge improvement, even if it did end in bloodshed and tears.

3.  No candles = No fire hazards.

2.  Mother's Day is always on a Sunday.  Birthdays come on whatever day they come.  It could be a Saturday if you're lucky... or it could be a Friday which is also not so bad.  But, it could also be a random Tuesday on which you have to wake up at 6am to get yourself dressed and get your kids to school and get to work and get to a meeting and get screamed at by the parking attendant for driving down the wrong lane and then get stuck in loads of traffic on the way home.  On a Sunday I am less likely to encounter those things.  (Though substitute "school/work/meeting" for "brunch" and "parking attendant" for "other parking attendant" and it could also be a Sunday.)

And the number ONE reason Mother's Day is better than my birthday....(drum roll)

1. My own mom.  She is awesome.  I get to celebrate me and celebrate her at the same time.  In fact, I get to celebrate ALL the other awesome moms out there (and hell, even the crappy moms deserve a shout out this weekend). 

And none of us have to get any older.  You're welcome.


This post if for you, Mom.  I love you. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Working hard or working harder?

So about two months ago I started working full-time again.  A real 9-5ish full-time job in an office, with colleagues, a conference room, and actual water cooler.  It's a big transition for this mom of twins. But it's one that has been, truthfully,  just amazing.  Not only is it possibly the best job I've ever had (so far!) working with incredibly smart and dedicated people on a worthwhile project that will make everyone's life better (for realz!), I got to buy some super sharp dresses AND a new mascara. Yeah, I look hot with a briefcase.

The only problem is that I was worried all this working would take away from my good quality hobby time.  My days are now full and my evenings are now packed with all the crap that I didn't get done during the day (and that I used to do while "on conference calls" from home).  Not that my husband isn't helpful.  He is.  He is fantastic.  But the sheer number of things there are to do in a day is just mind-blowing sometimes.  I will guarantee that in any given day a working mom has accomplished more by 8:30 am than most single men do in an entire week.  I hate to spoil the mystique (or terrify my under-30 audience), but I'll just say it includes, but is not limited to, making breakfast, feeding breakfast, cleaning up breakfast, cleaning kids, dressing kids, packing lunches, packing backpacks, wiping butts, drying tears, drying spills, the get-your-shoes-on-already-get-your-SHOES-ON rant, two loads of laundry and roasting a chicken.  Every day that I get to work on time (without looking homeless) is nothing short of a caffeine-induced miracle.

Totally. Me.
But look at me.  Here I am sitting outside on a quiet evening alone...just me and my laptop...back together again.  My kids are asleep, my husband is traveling for work and I'm writing.  And so what if I ate pretzels for dinner.   I found time to write.  I did it.  I proved everyone wrong.  I can work full time and be a mom and a wife and a friend and go to the gym at 5:45 am and ALSO write my blog.   I am super woman. I CAN DO ANYTHING!!!!

Well, almost anything... except maybe (long pause)...ummm...(sigh)

- Pay my phone bill on time
- Go to the dentist
- Call you on your birthday
- Call you on your not birthday
- Obey traffic laws (turning on red saves so much time)
- Keep houseplants alive
- Find my keys
- Return anything I borrowed from anyone. Ever.
- Get to the post office
- Find time for a haircut
- Shop anywhere besides Target (they sell spanx and string cheese - in one place!)
- Change that battery in the smoke detector
- Read the Economist
- Read anything for more than 5 minutes
- Remember when it's "sharing day"

And I also might...

- Have coffee for lunch
- Forget we had plans
- Leave my keys in the door (blimey hell!)
- Run out of food
- Run out of patience
This girl's mom had a turtle in her purse.
Lucky her...
- Run out in my slippers (those ugg ones trick me. they feel so much like shoes)
- Shampoo twice in the shower  (please tell me it's exhaustion not early onset dementia)
- Frantically dig through my purse at drop-off  (No? You don't want to "show and tell" my vintage Banana Republic credit card from 1998?  Really?  How about this super cool lip liner?!  It's a crayon for your face!)

And perhaps once and a while I might actually briefly consider...

- Polygamy... if she'd do the laundry and pack lunches

(This post is dedicated to the hardest working mom in radio news-makin'.  Thank you, my friend.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting back in the saddle...with saddlebags.

No, Yegor. That's NOT why 
she's smiling. Perv.
Let's do this people.  Let's shake off the dust or the rust or whatever the expression is.  I've been totally lazy lately and I have got to get my blogger butt back into shape. It's starting to sag.  

I am not going to spend a lot of time making excuses for myself or telling you how busy life has been and why I just can't seem to get to the computer these days. We've all heard that story and y'all don't really care.  It's not like you've been refreshing my website every day waiting with bated breath for a new post.  Don't lie.  I checked the stats.  No one's been looking for me... except for that strange guy in Russia who thinks Bordeaux at Bedtime means something very different.  He needs to stop emailing me. (You hear me, Yegor. остановите это!)

But I am here now and I am determined to take control, shake if off, and reclaim my place as your favorite blogger.  Okay that may be aiming a bit high on the outset. I know.  After all, the blogosphere is enormous and we've really only just met.

One-stop shopping for all life's big questions.
But I learn a lot from TV and one thing learned (from the Today's Show) is that when you are getting into shape you should start small.  Set targets.  Take baby steps. Switch to whole grain pasta. So my first baby step on the road to blogical fitness will be to reclaim my place as your favorite blogger...named Mimi.  Because, let's face it, the competition there isn't so steep.  And I love low-hanging fruit.

So as a warm up exercise I did a light jog around the internet...a wee bit of survey my competition.  And I did find some fierce competitors out there who are lookin' pretty tight and fit.  But I think I can knock them out one by one.  Let's give it a try, shall we? 

First up we have Mimi in NY.  Upon initial glance she is in great shape - she claims to be a "real" writer and she writes for "real" magazines and she even writes on "real" topics.  But then you actually read a little and she talks way too much about her feelings and just seems angry at the world.  If I wanted all that angst I'd hang out with my teenage babysitter.

Then there is sweet, adorable Filipino Mimi who blogs about crocheting.  So cute, right? She even offers downloads of laundry detergent coupons.  A huge plus that could make her a top contender, especially if you're going to make your own sweaters.  But I know you won't.

Next we have Mimi the "beauty goddess." It's tempting to like her best because she is all perky and blond and she dresses real nice.  But I know my audience...and that’s exactly why you won't.  Besides, anyone who calls themselves a goddess needs a reality check and a lesson in classical mythology.  Right? Next!

I know...I know..
the bow is creepier than the balloons.
Mimi in Fashionland.  Oh boy. Let’s start with the name Fashionland. Sounds like either the worst theme park or the worst board game I could imagine.  And while I can appreciate her exuberant obsession with platform shoes, there are just way too many creepy photos of her holding balloons and making sexy faces. We get it.  You love yourself.  Congratulations.  Hey wait. I totally have a friend in Russia you should meet.

Oh and let’s not forget Mimi Berlin whose blog is "on everything nice in life."  Zzzzzzz... I'm sorry. What happened? I must have fallen asleep while typing.

Finally, we have Mimi and Meg which is actually quite an enjoyable read.  But it’s written only by a woman named Meg.  No Mimi!  Mimi is her dead grandmother.  Cheater.
So that leaves me, Mimi of Bordeaux at Bedtime.  And even though I might disappear for months at a time, you know I'll always be back and I'll always make you laugh...or maybe giggle.... or at least smirk?  And you know I won't talk about my feelings and I won't post endless photos of platform shoes and I won't put you to sleep.

But maybe if you're lucky I'll learn to make you a sweater.  Thanks, Mimi!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Modernly Classic Princessy Fairy Tale for the Ages

oh, baby baby baby!

Seems there is something of a baby boom going on among my friends.  Every time I answer the phone or log into facebook there is another big announcement - either someone born, someone just knocked up or a daddy-to-be anxiously counting down to the due date.  I might was well send my paycheck to Buy Buy Baby. 

And I have to admit, sometimes all this baby stuff makes me a little nostalgic for my own baby-filled days.  It's hard to believe that almost five years have passed since I found out I was having twins...maybe that's because it sometimes feels like five hundred years.  Mom years are like dog years.  One regular year = 100 mom years.  (So I guess I look pretty good for 529? I would have expected more grey). honor of all my friends who are getting pregnant, having babies and awkwardly walking around with a boppy around their waist, I thought I'd share with you this little known fairy tale called...

The Italian-Jewish-American Princess and the Two Little Peas.


The bustling Village marketplace
(where merchants sell goods
for way too much money).
Once upon a time, in the quiet little Village of Friendship Heights, in the kingdom of Queen Mary, there lived a clever young girl and her charming husband.   This clever young girl and her husband lived a simple life in this simple little village.   The had a beautifully redone one-bedroom condo modest abode and a horse and carriage just big enough for the two of them. They worked hard at their fancy downtown jobs small village tailor shop, earning just enough money to eat at the Capital Grill.

And then one day it all changed.

One afternoon this clever young girl was home alone when she started to feel a little queasy heard a noise from the kitchen.  She got up to maybe throw up in the bathroom see what it was.  But it passed was nothing.   A few minutes later she became slightly suspicisous and decided to take a pregnancy test went back to the kitchen.  And there it was.

"Oh my f*cking god!" "Who are you?" the girl said. 

Fairy Clearblue.  She's kinda Easy.
"Pregnant," said the test. "I'm a fairy," said the tiny little fairy. "I'm here to tell you that you are actually a princess."   

"I'm pregnant a princess?!?!?" said the girl.  And before she could get an answer, the fairy flew away.

The girl picked up her cellphone ran down to the tailor shop to tell her charming husband the news.

"We better go to see the old village wise man right away," said her husband.  "Perhaps he can confirm what the fairy said."

So they went together to see the village wise man.

The Village Wise man
Head of Maternal Wisemanness 
at Shady Grove Adventist

The wise man said there is only one way to accurately date the pregnancy know if someone is truly a princess.  A sonogram test.  He told the clever young girl to lay on the ultrasound table a stack of mattresses.  If he sees a heartbeat she can feel a pea under all those mattresses, he explains, we'll know for sure that she is pregnant a princess.   Nervously the girl climbed onto the mattresses to see if she really was a princess.

And then the unexpected happened.

There wasn't just one heartbeat pea.  She felt TWO!!

"Two heartbeats peas!" exclaimed the wise man.  This means that you aren't just pregnant any princess.  You are having twins  heir to the Royal Throne!!

"TWINS???  Heir to the throne???" said her charming husband in complete shock. "How did that happen do you know??"

The wise man looked at them and said, "Hyper-ovulation Royal blood line. On the mother's side."

The Grand Stagecoach
(servingmen not included)
So the clever girl and her charming husband went back to their simple life feeling overwhelmed overjoyed and elated!  Life would certainly never be the same for them.  Their beautifully redone condo modest abode was no longer fit for a family of four the Heir to the Throne and their small buggy would soon be up-graded to a grand stage coach with servingmen.

The clever young girl swapped out her slim fit jeans old rags for maternity clothes ball gowns and tiaras.   The charming husband bought and read every book on child-rearing royal etiquette.  And nine months later, after lots of protein shakes of prenatal yoga royalty training and extreme make-overs, the girl and her husband had two precious peas of their own ascended the Throne.

The End

And it was just the beginning.

(For Betsy, Aitor and the little LunaBerry to come. Besos!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Where you at, Mimi?

Hey circus lady, do you
get your OWN trailer?
We interrupt your regularly scheduled posting to bring you this Public Service Announcement from Bordeaux at Bedtime.

I’m here!  I’m here!  You can all take a deep breath.  Call off the search. Stand down. I have not drowned or gone crazy(er) or sold myself to the circus...yet.  

As much as I am flattered by the emails and postings about my whereabouts, I have to say that you guys are stressing me out!  I mean, isn’t a girl allowed to have a little time to herself?  Can’t a girl take a mental health day or two or three or fifteen? 
Oh I’m just kidding.  I love the attention!  Why don’t you tell me again how much you love me?
(insert compliments here)
So, you are probably wondering what I've been up to.  And if you are not wondering, I'll tell you anyway because, well...I'm in the mood to share. 
  • I'd take a bullet taxi for you,
    Mr. Handsomest Mayor.
    After fifteen months of working from home in my pajama jeans, I decided it was time to get to know my surroundings a bit.  I spent a few days networking in New York City.  And you know what?  I didn’t hate it.  
  • I also spent a day in Newark.  And you know what?  I was hit by a taxi.  Just a little. I'm fine.
  • Then it snowed in October.  No power. No school. No shovels (they washed away with Irene).  And I'm pretty sure I now suffer from weather-related PTSD.  What else explains the cold sweat when I see Al Roker and the recurring nightmare of school closures?
  • You'd never guess she
    makes a mean brisket.
    Oh and how could I forget Halloween. Candy! Pumpkins! Costumes! And a monster-sized tantrum from my kid when I REFUSED to buy the "sexy firefighter lady" costume for myself.    He had no idea how inappropriate the choice was.  He also had no idea how much I secretly wanted to wear it.   Damn suburbs.
  • Then in my quest for inner peace I went to a new yoga class.  It went well.  Until the instructor said "lift your anus."  Then I found my inner 10 year-old.  Damn giggles.
  • And in my quest for ageless beauty I went for a facial.  She put honey on my face. It was pretty damn sweet.  (Hollah!  How's that for a pun?!?)
  • And in my quest for more affordable ageless beauty, I attempted to recreate the experience at home.  Bad idea.  Sticky.  Next time I'll buy a Groupon.
So the next time I disappear for a few weeks, don't panic.  Remain calm and follow these few simple steps:
  1. Check local hospital for head-strong brunette with a weakness for handsome political figures who may have been hit by a taxi and who may be suffering from amnesia.
  2. Check your nearest ashram for a grown woman who may have been put in giggle-induced a "time out."
  3. Call my local police department and inquire about power outages.  If there is one, I'm likely at a local Holiday Inn eating corn nuts in a slutty Halloween costume.
  4. Check my bathroom.  I may still be trying to get the honey out of my hair.
  5. Call the circus. 
Now stay tuned for your regularly scheduled Bordeaux posts.

- Mimi

For Coco.  Thank you.  (Read it.  She's awesome)