Parenting: Are We Getting a Raw Deal?

Yessssss..she is so right, “[w]e just don’t have the cajones our parents had.”

rhondastephens

Summer 1974. I’m 9 years old. By 7:30 am, I’m up and out of the house, or if it’s Saturday I’m up and doing exactly what my father, Big Jerry, has told me to do. Might be raking, mowing, digging holes, or washing cars.

Summer 2016. I’m tiptoeing out of the house, on my way to work, in an effort not to wake my children who will undoubtedly sleep until 11 am. They may complete a couple of the chores I’ve left in a list on the kitchen counter for them, or they may eat stale Cheez-its that were left in their rooms 3 days ago, in order to avoid the kitchen at all costs and “not see” the list.

If you haven’t noticed, we’re getting a raw deal where this parenting gig is concerned. When did adults start caring whether or not their kids were safe, happy, or popular?…

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Restaurant Review (No Kids Edition) – Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar Tysons Corner, VA

This post is LOOONG overdue.  The hubs and I went out to dinner sans our army of children a few months back, and had such a pleasant dining experience that I HAD to write a post about it (eventually).  Unfortunately, between managing my life as a wife, mom of 4, and attorney, as well as blogging on my sister site Petite Girls Need Clothes Too!, I have been truly neglecting this blog.

Anywho, we went to Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in Tysons Corner, Virginia.  Paladar means taste or palate in Spanish, and boy did we taste a lot of yummy stuff! The food (and drinks) were to DIE for!  Check out their menu here.

The hubs started off the night with a traditional mojito and I enjoyed a rum punch.  Both drinks were delicious and really got our night out on the town to a great start.  We had probably 3 rounds of drinks.

Next up were the appetizers. Since we weren’t out to dinner with the kids, we wanted to enjoy our meal at a nice leisurely (slow) pace, where we could savor every bite.  And savor we did all night. We enjoyed 3 appetizers. Pictured here is the mojo pork tostones appetizer, which is fried green plantains covered with mojo pork (pork marinated in mojo seasoning and shredded) with a corn salsa and green salsa to top it off.  OMG.  This was, the single most delicious bite of food I have enjoyed in all my years.  They managed to pack an overwhelming amount of flavor into this appetizer and I was absolutely floored.  We also ordered the braised beef ropa vieja (shredded beef), which was very good and the Brazilian empanadas (which were, which we also ver good, but the mojo pork tostones appetizer was so BOMB that it really overshadowed everything else we ate that night.

We were already getting really full from 3 rounds of drinks and appetizers by the time we decided to order entrees, so we ended up sharing the slow roasted mojo pork, which was accompanied by cilantro rice, black beans, and topped off with a corn salsa. This was absolutely delicious.

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What a great meal!  Like I said, we were really full after the drinks and 3 appetizers, and only ate about half of the entree, so I was able to bring home leftovers so that my kids could try!  They LOVED it and begged for us to take them!  I cannot wait to go back to this restaurant with or without the kids. Of course, I would only bring my kids here for lunch – the restaurant definitely seemed like it would be family during the day, but at night, it definitely seemed more adults-only!

If you’re ever in the DMV area, you should RUN to Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar. In addition to the Virginia location that we went to, there are 3 other locations in Maryland.  You will be sooo glad you tried it!

~Mo

I’ll Always Be Lambie Pie!

My daughter’s first grade teacher, Mrs. C., is such a sweetheart. She is the most loving lady, and she’s direct and firm, but fair. She doesn’t just tell you how much the children in her classroom mean to her, she’s shows them every day, in every way, by making them feel cherished, respected, and valued.  She is quick to praise a child when they make good choices, and equally quick to guide children to make better choices when they stumble. I simply cannot say enough good things about Mrs. C.  

My oldest son also had her for first grade, too, and I’ve made it very clear to Mrs. C. that she needs to stick around the school  for 5 more years to ensure that my younger two children get to benefit from having such an amazing woman give them such a wonderful start in their education. I simply cannot imagine my children having a better teacher than Mrs. C. 

Well, not unless they somehow were able to coax my first grade teacher, also a Mrs. C, out of retirement. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Cambridge, was (and still is) a remarkable, remarkable woman. I mean, how many teachers would send you a card for Valentine’s Day, 32 years after you sat in her classroom? 

Could she be any sweeter? I mean, the card is the best. Totally made my day when it came in the mail. 

As I get older, although my elementary school days have begun to fade, I’ll never forget being in Mrs. Cambridge’s first grade class.  She called all of her students, even the ones that misbehaved, “Lambie Pie”  “Honey,” and “Sugar Lump.”  If you did well on a test, it was commonplace to see “Great Job Sweetie!” Or “nice work, Lambie Pie!” on your paper. She loved us and we totally felt that love every day.  She encouraged us to always try our best. And we did. For her. She was tough on us, and expected us to be the best we could be, but she was always, always fair. And always packaged her toughness and high expectations with tenderness and affection. 

When I look back on my education, I know that Mrs. Cambridge played a big role in my loving school. How could I do anything but love school when I was in the classroom with someone who cared for me the way she did?  I remember how eager I was to get to school every day and how I sad I felt to leave her when the final bell rang. I remember how much she taught me to value myself and to believe that I could do well if I worked hard.

I carried my love for Mrs. Cambridge everywhere I went. My parents took my sister and I to UK when I was in first grade, and I begged my parents to buy me a pink Cambridge University sweatshirt. Just being able to wear her name on a sweatshirt made me feel special and loved. I wore the hell out of this sweatshirt. Until it looked like I was wearing a baby doll’s clothes 2 years later. That was a sad day, giving away my Cambridge University sweatshirt. 

And I remember after finishing first grade, wanting to do well in each subsequent grade to make Mrs. Cambridge proud. Every time I would visit her to say hello before she transferred to a different school, it was as if nothing had changed.  I was still her Lambie Pie! 

I lost touch with Mrs. Cambridge during my middle and high school years, but she was never far from my thoughts. I strove for excellence because she taught me that I could attain it. I didn’t waste my time doubting myself or believing anything negative that people said about me during those awkward middle school years, because under her watch, I learned self-reliance and self-worth. I was enough and everything was possible. It’s amazing how a good teacher affects everything so profoundly. 

And Mrs. Cambridge was truly the benchmark by which every teacher that followed was compared. No one held a candle to Mrs. Cambridge. Not even close.  At least not for me.  She will always go down as the all time greatest teacher.  

When I got back in touch with her a few years ago, it was as if nothing had changed. Even her handwriting with the little hearts was exactly as I remembered. She was as sweet as ever. It has so nice to share with her what has been going on with me since I left her classroom 32 years ago; to share the birth of my children with her and important milestones. And to thank her for everything. Because I truly my believe that my children’s success in school is in part because of the solid foundation she laid for me. No matter how old I get, call me a Teacher’s Pet, but I’ll always be Mrs. Cambridge’s Lambie Pie!

And I’ll tell you what – my children’s first grade teacher is giving Mrs. Cambridge a run for her money. And that’s a good thing. Having a great teacher, especially this early on, means everything. And I feel like my kids are so lucky to have their version of Mrs. Cambridge. 

 

A Lesson in Bravery – Asking My Kids What They Think of Me

A few weeks ago, there was a post going around Facebook asking your kids to, without warning or explanation, answer a series of questions about you.  Truthfully, I was absolutely, beyond-a-doubt, terrified of the answers I would hear from them. I obviously love my children fiercely and tell them as much everyday, but in trying to raise them to be kind, compassionate, polite, and productive human beings, I find myself often doing and saying crazy things.  I was pretty sure that they think heir mom is a nut job.  But I took a chance, and asked them anyway.

R, age 9

What is something I always say to you? Be quiet
What makes me happy? Me doing a good job
What makes me sad? Us fighting
How do I make you laugh? Saying funny things like, “how do you like that, huh? huh?”
What was I like as a child? Um, really, really smart
How old am I? Mommy is 38
How tall am I? 5 feet
What is my favorite thing to do? Have family time
What do I do when you’re not around? Mommy works hard
What am I really good at? Working hard and helping out with the family
What is something I’m not good at? Taking breaks
What do I do for a job? She’s a lawyer
What is my favorite food? I’m not sure
What do you enjoy doing with me? I enjoy having fun with you, like shoveling with you

J, age 6

 

What is something I always say to you? Don’t play ball in the house
What makes me happy? When we don’t fight and are quiet
What makes me sad? When we aren’t listening
How do I make you laugh? When you tickle me
What was I like as a child? You were a good listener
How old am I? 38
How tall am I? Medium size
What is my favorite thing to do? Have fun with kids
What do I do when you’re not around? Work
What am I really good at? Helping us learn
What is something I’m not good at? That’s a tough one, oh I got one, you’re not good with hanging out with boys because you’re not used to it
What do I do for a job? Be a lawyer
What is my favorite food? Salad
What do you enjoy doing with me? I like going to the nail salon with you

M, age 4

 

What is something I always say to you? Be a good boy

What makes me happy? Um, giving hugs

What makes me sad? Punching

How do I make you laugh? Tickling me

What was I like as a child? Um, she used to play with me

How old am I? (Counting on fingers) 4 years old

How tall am I? (Holding fingers up about an inch) this tall

What is my favorite thing to do? Play with your toys

What do I do when you’re not around? read a book by yourself with Daddy.

What am I really good at? Practicing foot steps.

What is something I’m not good at? Kicking

What do I do for a job? Work. You do work.

What is my favorite food? Chicken and rice and beans

What do you enjoy doing with me? Driving

Takeaways – my kids know that I work hard.  And that I Iove spending time with them, even when things feels hectic and crazy to me!  I must be doing some thing right. 

NOTE: I asked my husband to answer these questions, too, but I will save that for another day!

Overdue Props to the Hubs!

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am not the easiest wife to love – I am stubborn, opinionated, loud, and think I’m always right (because I am, haha). The hubs has to put up with a lot of nonsense and has been for years and years, and I recognize that can’t be easy. That said, call me a selfish a-hole, but when it’s gift-giving time, and the hubs is giving the gift, I like to be surprised. If I’m going to get a gift, and truthfully, I’d be fine with just a quiet dinner where I don’t have to yell at everyone five hundred times to close their mouths when they chew and to stop talking whilst wasting, I don’t want to go to the store and pick it out myself. Is it too much to ask to expect that my hubs, who has known me since 1999, would be able to figure out what I like (and don’t like)? Can’t a girl get a gift that isn’t a gift card, even if it’s to her favorite store(s)?
Well, the answer is why yes, yes she can. The hubs has been really putting forth maximum effort the last few years in the gifting department, and in honor of Valentine’s Day, and the fact that I love and appreciate him dearly (even if I don’t always show how much I depend on him and his level-headed, responsible, tough loving approach to our life together) he deserves some props today for the awesome gifts I received this Valentine’s Day. Perhaps I “trained” him up good, or he doesn’t want to hear my mouth, but he did good this year!  

We actually started celebrating Valentine’s Day two days early, as I was super excited to give him his gift this year (cigars, which I HATE that he smokes, but it’s his only real vice and he keeps it to a minimum, and a “torch” lighter, which is actually super cool). And then, I was surprised the day before Valentine’s Day with these beautiful roses.  But he didn’t stop there. He knew I needed more perfume, and I received this Bvlgari Omnia Indian Garnet 2.2 oz. Eau de Toilette gift set. I have a few othe Bvlgari fragrances, all of which my husband has bought for me, but I think this is by far my favorite. The scent is really very nice – a subtle, crisp floral fragrance with a hint of oak, kind of like a good red wine, so it’s not overly feminine. When you like a fragrance, it’s nice to have the soap, shower gel, and lotion to go with it, as they make great products for your carry-on luggage when you travel, so he was right on the mark with this one.  

As much as I love the fragrance, I think my favorite part is the bag that the gift set comes in.  This is perfect to use as a small handbag for going out. It is large enough to fit my wallet, phone, and lip gloss, but small enough to make it easy to carry on a night out on the town. Although the strap isn’t quite wide enough to serve as a wristlet, I can slip a few fingers through it and it works just as well. 

Well done, hubs, well done!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

Well That Lasted Like 2 Seconds

So, a few nights ago, after getting the 4 kids to bed, I decided I needed a nice long shower. It was a long and busy day and I badly needed 15 minutes of solitude to get my head right. As is typical as I get older and get more wrinkles and grey hair, the first thing I do when I walk into the bathroom is take a quick look for new grey hairs and/or wrinkles.  Pretty vain, I know, but whatevs. So you can imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw this in my sink.  Now, I am known to snip off split ends during my daily and/or nightly inspection of self, but I knew this wasn’t my hair in the sink for a number of reasons. A) I hadn’t recently snipped any split ends because I hadn’t even really brushed my hair that day (bun city, sweetheart!); B) this was too dark to be my hair; and C) the hair was the wrong texture – I had flat ironed my hair recently, so it wouldn’t have been curly hair in the sink, and even if I hadn’t flat ironed my hair, my hair is way curlier than the hair in the sink. 

Detective that I am, I went through the possible suspects. It wasn’t the hubs’ hair, because he was out of town and had just literally walked through the door (and he shaves his head over his sink); it wasn’t my daughter’s hair because I had just washed her hair and braided it in her room; it wasn’t my 21 month old’s hair because he had been asleep for 2 hours at that point (well also, he doesn’t know how to use scissors, and can’t reach the sink); and it wasn’t my 4 year old because he has blond hair. That leaves my 9 year old – you know, the one that I just decided a few days ago was responsible and could be trusted to stay home alone for 15 minutes. 

Sure enough, when confronted with the hair in the sink, he sung like a bird in a cage, confessing his sins and giving me some lame-o excuse about how he thought he needed to trim the front so that it would look more even.  

His being responsible in my eyes lasted less than 12 hours.  Not leaving his butt home alone any time soon. 

Sigh. 

Is He Ready?

My 9-year old had to stay home from school today because even though he seems totally fine, he’s had a stomach ache for a few days and I wanted to make sure he’s not in danger of infecting the whole school!  Kind of me, I know!  But his being home presented a new problem for me (well not really a problem, but more of a decision) – when I go walk the dog, do I leave him at home for no more than 15 minutes by himself?  Is he ready?  Am I ready?  I really struggled over what to do.  I know I could have brought him with me and leave this decision for another day, but as he is 9 and pretty responsible as far as 9 year olds go, I figured now was as good a time as any to figure this out.

Now, when I was his age, I had already been left home alone more times than I can count.  I can clearly remember being home alone for an hour or two when I was 6 years old.  By the time I was in 4th grade (so only slightly older than my son), I had my own house key and walked the .7 miles home from school on most days.  Having a sister 5 years older than me, I guess she was doing her own things in middle school, so she wasn’t home when I got home.  I spent a lot of time home alone until my mom got home to take us to swim practice.

I even remember how, when I would forget my house key, I knew how to break into my house so that my mom never found out I was being irresponsible with my key (if you’re reading this now, mom, sorry!).  After letting myself into the house through the front door, or the kitchen window in the back of my house, I would make myself a snack, sometimes even using the (gasp!) oven or stove.  My mom and dad had created a signal for my sister and I to use to know when they were calling us (ring once, hang up, and then ring again – we always knew it was then), and if the caller didn’t use the signal, then we wouldn’t answer the phone.  We knew everyone’s emergency contact number, and we knew which neighbors we could call on in case of emergency.

Of course, these were the 80’s and I think it probably was a lot safer than it is today.  Even though we had moved to South Florida right around the time Adam Walsh was abducted and murdered, I have to imagine my parents weren’t overly terrified of child predators lurking in our very nice suburban neighborhood.  Or maybe they were terrified and didn’t let on, I don’t know.  Maybe it was the fact that parents of my parents’ generation weren’t inclined to helicopter parent – they knew that to raise a responsible kid, you had to give them the chance to be responsible at an early age.

Whatever it was that made it a no-brainer to leave me home alone with such great responsibility, times are very different now.  As much as I want to let my son walk to and from school by himself (and believe me, he asks ALL THE TIME), I’m not ready yet.  Which is crazy, because A) our neighborhood is right across the street from the school and it’s not very far to walk (if he hops over the fence behind the next door neighbors house, he’d be at the school in less than 5 minutes; if he walks the legit way, he’d be there in 11 minutes); B) if he rode his bike, he’d get home even quicker; C) he wouldn’t be alone, my 6.5 year old daughter would be with him and a number of other kids his age walk home by themselves (strength in numbers); and D) our au pair would be at home waiting for him to arrive at home, so he wouldn’t even be home alone.

But knowing all of this, it still makes me nervous to let go even a little bit.  The closest I have come to leaving him (and his siblings) home alone is taking the dog across the street to toilet where I could see them the entire time.  I made them stand by the windows in front of the house and I didn’t turn my back for one second.  And I guess I am letting go a little more because I let him and my daughter ride their bikes alone (gasp!) around the block (gasp!).  It was hard and I was practically in a hyperventilating panic the entire time.  It took everything I had to sit in the front stoop and not jump into my car and go follow behind them.

Maybe I am overly paranoid, but I’m just terrified of child predators, especially since I know they live in every single community in America.  I get alerts when there is a new registered sex offender in my zip code and I memorize their faces.  I am scared that he (and all of my children) are too trusting because they live in such a sheltered, affluent, gated little existence. My kids just don’t understand the first thing about real danger because they haven’t really needed to.  I’ve spoken them about bad people who try to snatch kids, but I don’t know if they fully grasp my fear.  So, I continue to keep them sheltered and have a hard time letting go.

So, today.  My au pair had taken the little guy for a walk and the dog was wailing because she really needed to go to the bathroom.  I asked my son to get on his coat so we could go walk the dog, but he wanted to stay at home to finish his homework so that he could relax and enjoy the rest of his sick day.  He promised he wouldn’t burn down the house (“Mom, I won’t put socks in the oven like Colton did“) and said he wasn’t going to do anything but work on fractions on the computer.  He told me he knows my phone number and would call me if there were any problems (“which obviously there won’t be, Mom“).  He assured me that our au pair would be home with the little guy before I even got back home, so he wouldn’t even be home alone for very long (“It’s only 10 minutes, Mommmmm“. And of course he threw in a little guilt (“why don’t you trust me, Mom?“).  As I was struggling (in my head) over whether or not it would be okay for me to leave him alone for 15 minutes while I walk the dog, it hit me that, at 9, maybe it’s time to loosen my grip just a tad.  I know him to be responsible, as he has never tried to turn on the stove or flood the house by closing all the bathroom sink drains and turning on the water like his younger brothers have already done several times, and he never tried to leave the house to come look for me at the dentist when daddy wasn’t paying good attention like my daughter did when she was only 2.  And I knew that our au pair would be back before I did, so I would be leaving him at home for maybe 10-15 minutes at most.

As scared as I was, I pulled the trigger.  I went out, and he stayed in.  YIKES!

I ended up cutting the dog’s walk really short because I was obviously very nervous and distracted (which probably was perfectly fine with the dog – she is getting on in age and doesn’t enjoy long walks like she used to).  As I approached my house and didn’t see an ambulance or a police car, and no one had called or texted me saying anything was wrong, I breathed a little sigh of relief.  And when I opened the door, my son was there to greet me and he gave me a big hug and kiss.  “Thank you for trusting me, Mom.”

I guess he’s ready (in small doses).  I’m not sure if I am, though.

(Of course, now that I have trusted him a little, he thinks he’s ready to make his own lunch (under supervision). Give them an inch…)

FOR MORE RESOURCES ON ASSESSING READINESS FOR HOME ALONE SITUATIONS, CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST PAGE:

 

I AM BREAKING UP WITH YOU, SNOW!

Growing up in Miami, I really missed out on enjoying the 4 seasons, especially winter and snow.  While most people I know would have killed to be able to swim in a backyard pool or frolic in the beach practically year-round (we did get “cold” weather for about 2 weeks every December), from the time we moved to Miami from New York when I was 3, I HATED the boring, hot, swampy weather of South Florida.   I hated feeling like I needed a shower within a minute of stepping outside.  I hated not being able to have a wardrobe for each season.  I hated hot ass Christmas.  All I wanted was to see snow, let the snowflakes fall onto my tongue, to build a snowman, to make snow angels, have a snowball fight, the whole nine yards!

Unfortunately, the trips we made every Thanksgiving to New York to visit both sets of grandparents and cousins were always so disappointing because it NEVER snowed when we were there – it usually waited until the day we were leaving to start snowing, and that always made me want to cry.

Looking back, I think I was only really able to enjoy snow a handful of times between the ages of 3 and 18 – two ski trips to Colorado and that one other time, when I had a broken collar bone on a trip to New York and I couldn’t even play in the snow.  I felt so cheated!

My unrequited love of snow fueled my college application decisions for sure. I knew I wanted to go someplace where I could finally enjoy some snow.  Much to my parents’ chagrin, I only applied to 2 schools – Syracuse and Michigan – thinking that I would be guaranteed 4 seasons (more clothes, yay!) and a great deal of exposure to snow if I went to either.  I decided on Michigan bevause my dad took me too a football game on a beautiful fall day and I knew that was the place I was meant to be. Of course, once I got to Ann Arbor, I quickly learned that while the fall and spring were absolutely stunning, the winter not so much snow and was mostly just frigid.  In my 4 years there, I only recall a few blizzards, and mostly only light snow.  But I loved every second of my winters there, and even didn’t mind not being able to feel my fingers and toes or getting stuck in parking lots and parking spaces all over campus because my Ford Mustang wasn’t 4-wheel drive.

As I moved on to living in NYC for law school, I was able to enjoy snow even more.  For some reason, I saw a lot more snow in the 5 years I lived in NYC than I saw in college. I remember having snowball fights with cousins and just generally acting like a kid again.  It was so much fun and I really felt like I was home.  Back then, there was just something about snow that made me feel so calm, so peaceful, and so young and carefree.  I couldn’t get enough of snow and I was one of the few people I know who couldn’t wait for January snow to roll round.

But all good things come to and end, right? After a 5-year stint in Arizona, where I only saw snow once, on a trip to the Grand Canyon in November, we relocated to Virginia. And To my excitement, the day after we moved here, there was a blizzard. About a foot and a half of snow. I was so excited to share my love of snow with my then 2 year old son and 4 month old daughter. I was in hog heaven even after #snowmageddon a month later where we had over 2 feet of snow and we’re stuck inside the house with 2 young kids for 10 days.

It all started to change when I had school-aged kids and I quickly learned how wimpy this area is when it’s snowing. Once it was clear that a 1/2 inch of snow is cause for a state of emergency in this area, and after experiencing (suffering) cancellation after cancellation after cancellation of school due to cold weather and snow, I’m sad to say that my 38-year love affair with snow is OVER!  We officially broke up on January 27, 2016, after being snowed in for 5 days with my 4 kids a few weeks back during #blizzard2016.

I thought that my feelings were very clear and that our relationship, although longstanding and a source of great happiness over the years, was DONE.  So, you can imagine how I felt the other day when I heard the forecast for today would be anywhere from 1-6 inches of snow.  Ugh.  Snow clearly did not take the hint, and of course, there were shenanigans with my kids’ school because of that dreadful ex rearing his ugly head.  Thankfully, there was just a two-hour delay and I have just dropped everyone off to school…but the damage is done…Screw you, snow!

Excuses, excuses

I started this blog thinking that, as a working mom of 4, I certainly had a lot to share, both good and bad, about what it means to be a wife/attorney/mom, and how to navigate the world when there are cranky, loud, hungry, tired, thirsty, bored, opinionated kids in tow. My family has been going out to eat and traveling a lot more, rolling 6-person deep, and I’m always on the lookout for family-friendly vacation spots or eateries. Through a lot of trial and error, I have a good handle and where to go and where to avoid, and I figured I would be doing my part by sharing what I have learned along the way. As often as we brave the world with our kids (or rather, force the world to brave my kids), I figured I really could help other parents decide where to avoid and where to run, not walk to. Or even help people who want to avoid kids by avoiding any place that I recommend. LOL! I also set out thinking I would share interesting facts, tips, or basically anything I have picked up along the way that would make working moms like me breathe easier. I really wanted to be a resource for women who, like me, are trying to have it all, but are feeling not quite there yet. And maybe (truthfully) just to vent when I was tired of carting everyone to soccer/swim/dance.

But after a few months, I just haven’t really put my time or energy into this blog. I could come up with a million reasons (read: excuses) why – I’ve been really busy mothering my 4 kids; I work full-time as an attorney and I am drained by the time I get those few hours of down time before starting the madness all over again; I am trying to be a halfway decent wife and not nag my husband to death; I only sleep 5 hours a night and can barely keep my eyes open; and, I’m trying really to hold it all together while still looking stylish and trendy. And while this is all true, I haven’t really shared the way I wanted to on this blog because I just haven’t really figured out where to go with this blog. Should I focus on restaurant and destination reviews? Should I review products that might make life a little easier? Include home organization tips (probably not, I am still working on organizing my house)?  The possibilities are endless, but I don’t want this to be a rambling mess of a blog!

Hopefully, as I progress through 2016, I will make this the blog I wanted it to be. I actually really want to reach as many people as I can, because I firmly believe that women need to support each other and share what we have lived and learned with each other. Starting now, no more excuses – I am going to get back to what I started when I first envisioned this blog. But right now, I have to get back to the third most important job I have…lawyering. 

 ~Mo

Family Friendly Restaurant in North Myrtle Beach: 21 Main at North Beach

21 Main at North Beach.

We were in town with our 4 kids and wanted to find a seafood restaurant that takes reservations, and we were glad to find this gem.  Hands down the best meal we had in Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach.

First – the overall setting.  It’s located in a mixed use residential/shopping area in North Myrtle Beach, so it’s possibly hard to miss, but it’s a must-visit if you like seafood.This is an upscale, but not at all stuffy.  And although the restaurant has an upscale feel, it is definite family friendly. There were several other families there with young children. I imagine that is because we were there at 5:30. There were several fmailies with young children dining at the same time as our small army, and that was definieitly a good sign.  21 Main is large  (and had excellent acoustics) with ample space in between tables for the smaller, less-good-on-their-feet kiddos to walk.  So, we didn’t ever really feel embarrassed that we roll deep and are somewhat lively (LOUD).  21 Main does place glasses on the table as part of their table settings, so that is a recipe for disaster for little fingers.The service was impeccable. Debbie was fantastic, super knowledgable, her recommendations were-spot on, and she even helped us find the restaurant we went to the following night. 

 Second – the food!  Everything we had was excellent.  One of the best meals I have had the pleasure to eat. The kids started with the ribs, and they devoured them. My husband and I started with oysters on the half shell. I didn’t catch where the oysters are from, but they were the best I’ve ever had. I’m assuming from the northern east coast because they were mild and briny, and the texture was so silky. Sooooo delicious. We also had the lobster bisque. Savory, creamy, and fantastic! The chunks of lobster were large and plentiful. My 8 year old ordered the scallops (sophisticated pallet he has!), over a bed of mushroom risotto and fried spinach, which quite possibly are the best we’ve tried. My husband and I had sushi. It was so fresh and tasty. I think we had the Beverly Hills roll (I think that’s what is was called), the spicy tuna roll, white tuna nigiri, and one other roll that I cannot remember. All were great. The younger kids had fried shrimp. Very good. 

Third – the price.  EXPENSIVE.  I’m not gonna lie.  It was the most expensive meal we have taken our children to.  But hoenstly, the food was beyond compare.  Totally worth it if your kids like seafood. 

 

Bottom Line: RUN, don’t walk, to 21 Main at North Beach unless your kids hate seafood. You’ll be glad you did.