Author Archives: Jenny from the blog

Dear Readers – Day 16 at Camp – I Forgot How to Be a Kid

Dear Readers — (Day 16 at Camp Lenox)

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One of the things I’m constantly questioning at camp is my coolness. No, I don’t mean that in a popularity way, I mean it in a, ‘Can I hang with people who are younger?’ specifically those who haven’t had the ability to do stupid things sucked out of them and replaced by worrying about your kids doing stupid things. Have I lost my ability to have fun? Do I currently have a stick up my arse? As a neurotic mom, I often think that I’ve lost my spontaneity, my energy, my spark.

When you’re young you like to tell yourself to never grow up. You say things like, remember, never to be like that parent, that teacher, that authority figure. Remember never to punish your kids for blank. Remember what it feels like to be yelled at to be talked down to … to be made to feel guilty and swear you won’t do that to your own children. Pinky swear. It’s like a note-to-self to never grow up.

The truth is, we all grow up, whether we want to or not. We realize why certain actions need punishing, we lay guilt from time to time, we get frustrated with our children and yes we use phrases we swore we would never say like, “because I said so” and “Don’t make me turn this car around.”

Yesterday, at camp I saw a reflection of myself that was not pretty. It looked like this. Continue reading

Dear Readers – Days 14 and 15 at Sleepover Camp – I’m Not The High Maintenance One!

Dear Readers – Days 14 – 16 at Sleepover Camp Lenox,

Day 14 at camp - I'm Not the One Who's High Maintenance

Please, make yourself comfortable… I’ll find a corner.

I came back from my time at home, ready to go at camp full force, except for the part where Mark came back with me and I had to both entertain and work. Yes, I know my job is to enjoy camp, but it’s hard to do that, while making sure someone else is happy.

Also, I had to help him get my son J, prepared to leave early and go home to practice for his big baseball tournament in Cooperstown.  Mark insisted I write a list for and that I follow up on it, and perhaps I could shadow the counselor during the packing of the listed items? and maybe I could catalog said items to ensure everything necessary would make its way home?

After confirming all pertinent items were logged, color-coded and organized, I showed Mark the camp, which he thought was stunning — and campy and rustic and pretty incredible… it is. Continue reading

Who Says Barbie Needs All Her Limbs?

Who Says Barbie Needs All Her Limbs and Other Brilliant Thoughts From KidsAs many of you know, I’ve been selected as one of the 8 moms who participate in  The Barbie project, which is insanely awesome. This is one of my absolute favorite stories about Barbie, as it takes the idea of her being a role model and influencing a child to be a better person to a whole new level. About two years ago, one of my daughter’s friends, Ella came over for their first playdate and brought over a bag of Barbies, as Ry had requested.

At my house, Ry usually chooses to be the Barbies that have the most coiffed hair, the cutest outfits and matching shoes or at least two shoes.  So, this was a great way to avoid arguing over who gets to be whom. The first doll Ry grabbed was a soccer player which a pink ball and high socks, “I’m her.” she said. “You know she’s missing a shoe?” Ella questioned.

Ry: “Yeah, I know, but she has both socks and a ball and a trophy.”

Ella: “Cool” (then she pulled out a doll from her back which was donning a bathing suit and surfer shorts) “I’m her. She’s my favorite,” she said, staking her claim.

Ry: “You know she’s missing an arm?” (asked in the same tone as the missing shoe comment, but as if it was clearly a bigger deal.)

Ella: “Duh! She’s Bethany Hamilton from Soul Surfer.”

Ry: “Who?”

Ry hadn’t seen or heard of the movie… but I had. “I didn’t even know they made a Barbie of her. That’s really cool.” I replied, holding my hand out to see her doll.

Ella: “They didn’t, I made her.”

She had just handed me the doll as I noticed an empty socket.

Ella:  “I pulled her arm off.”

Ry: “You can do that?” (Asked, as if it may be a punishable crime. I handed it back and walked away to let them play, as I really didn’t know how to process the creepy armless doll I’d just been handed.)

Part of me was wondering if this was some odd equivalent to pulling wings of a butterfly or burning ants with a magnifying glass or shooting at squirrels with a BB gun — all things I’d seen kids do when I was young and I abhorred. Should I let this playdate continue? Will Ry start decapitating teddy bears when Ella goes home?

I stood behind the door and listened in, which by the way is totally OK if you’re a parent and also if you’re worried your child is playing with a psychopath. Over the next few minutes I heard Ella explain how amazing Bethany is and why she’s her idol. How she overcame this awful accident and learned a new way to rise to the top of her sport. I heard how she almost gave up, but didn’t and how she pulled the arm of a Barbie. She explained that no one should ever tell you that you CAN’T do anything and if they do… you shouldn’t believe them.

It was as if she’d been hired to give a peer lecture. It was amazing and upon hearing it, I was pretty sure she’d never slice a worm in half.  Then I overheard Ry asking if her soccer player could play with one arm. “Duh!” Ella said, which I’m pretty sure from the tone could be translated as, “Did you not hear what I was telling you? Of course she can!”

Then they decided to ask me if they could pull off her arm. I scooted away from the door in a flurry and made it to the edge of the kitchen where I pretended to be looking in a junk drawer for … junk. “I found it,” I declared to throw off any suspicion.

“Mom, mom, you’re probably gonna say no because she’s new and all, and you’re gonna think this is a really weird question, but can I take the arm off the soccer player?” Ry asked and then elaborated as to why it wouldn’t be ruining a doll it would just be giving her more character (I’m paraphrasing as it was a long explanation). I considered expounding on why that was such a great idea, but sometimes nothing needs to be added to a perfect conversation, so I simply went with, “Yep, let me know if you need any help.”

If you enjoyed the piece, be awesome and give it a like or a share! And Find Me On Facebook! XO- Jenny From the Blog

This post is a part of the The Barbie Project with the hashtag #BarbieProject  — stories thoughts and opinion are mine all mine. Thanks Barbie for choosing me to be a part of something I feel like I’ve always been a part of!  

Camp Phone Calls Could End My Marriage

Who knew the highly anticipated camp phone calls could be such a blow to a relationship? Oh well, when my baby is 1500 miles away from home, and I get a few minutes to talk — It’s every man, ahem mom, for herself!

Camp Phone Calls Could Ruin My Marriage #camp #sleepaway #humor

It’s sleepaway camp time and everyone is getting their calls from the kiddos. I’ve found a pattern, in that I desperately want to strangle my husband after each call. Luckily for me (and not so much my husband), I’m apparently not alone.

Look, us moms are ready. We’ve stayed up until the wee hours waiting for the pictures to download — sometimes hitting “refresh” every minute, (and by minute I mean second) as they download one at a time. We’ve studied them like highly trained CIA agents, analyzing their smiles, their friends, their body language. Continue reading

The First Installment of – Things That Happen in the Middle of Nowhere with Jenny From the Bunk

So, I left camp today to trek out into the Berkshires to pick up a prescription. The Berkshires are absolutely stunning, but everyone drives really slow.

I mean slower than the speed limit, slow… like they aren’t actually driving to a destination. Even Siri was giving me lazy directions, alerting me milliseconds before my turn, one time she was like, “Ooops, you were supposed to turn about a mile back but I was too enamored with the scenery to mention it, my bad.”

“Whatever Siri!”… Continue reading

21 Things We Did as Kids in the 70s and 80s That Would Horrify Us Now

21 Things Kids Did in the 70s and 80s That Would Horrify Us Now #humor, funny, gen x, listicle, top 10As a Gen Xer, I so enjoy reminiscing about the freedoms we had growing up in the 70s and 80s. Our parents take on safety and acceptable ways to spend one’s time was different from the get go.  Starting with baby-proofing, which in no way resembled what it is today.

In fact, I recall being given green Mr. Yuk stickers (which were basically like yellow happy face stickers that had just thrown up) to put on anything that was toxic: chemicals, cleaning supplies, etc. I remember showing my mom the stickers we’d been given at preschool and her telling me to “go for it” (yes, I was to baby-proof my own house).

So, I actively searched my house for toxins. I checked cabinets that I’d never even thought to open before, climbed on the sinks to get to all the medicines. It was like anti-baby proofing. I slapped the stickers on all my new found poisons and added one to the vegetable crisper, for good measure. Now, as a parent myself, my own parents like to tell me I’m too overprotective.

“Really?”

“Well, you survived,” they say.

“Yep, but it seems like the odds were against me.”

Here are a few things many of us did growing up that make me wonder how our generation survived …

1. Thinking the middle seat in the front was the best seat because you could get crushed into the dashboard … I mean, because you got to control the five radio stations.

2. Being totally inaccessible — from after school or camp until dinner. Now, we would call that being lost.

3. Having an equal intake of air: 50% oxygen, 50% secondhand smoke. Continue reading

One of the Funniest Camp Letters – Kids Write the Darndest Things

When I sent J, my son, to camp a couple years ago (you know, when I didn’t actually follow him there, though I wanted to), his letters were seriously depressing. I had hoped for these heartwarming letters about how he tried something for the first time and loved it or how cool his counselors were, or at the very least, he could have filled in those lazy letters, where you literally have to do nothing more than put a word in the blank. Camp is ________! Today, I went to _________ and it was _________. No such luck, his letters weren’t so much heartwarming as they were heart wrenching, though I’m not sure if they were that way on purpose or not… Let’s analyze, shall we?camp letter10I read that and wanted to cry. Holy crap, we need to go save that kid, we could bring him home and buy him a vending machine. How much could it cost? I bet it costs less than my sanity! Continue reading