By now, you should be familiar with my level of craziness. As my coworker loves to say when I do something crazy, “That poor baby…”

Pffft.

Want to see crazy? Spend some time with my family. Together, we’re always crazy. A few years ago, I remember Kris joked with my brothers and said something like, “who’s going to want to marry us and our crazy family?”

Crazy doesn’t even scrape the surface sometimes. It’s the craziness that colors our life; it makes us whole. And as always, it gives me yet, even more stories to tell!

Luggage!

A week ago, with our calvacade of overweight luggage, oversized carry ons, car seat and gigantic stroller in tow, a teething Jack and I left NJ/NY to visit my cousin Kris in California. It was a long overdue visit to go see my newly engaged cousin, who’s Jack’s GodmoJack, me and Kris at Disneyther and like a sister to me. Actually, we call Kris and my younger brother “twins” because they are one in the same: they share the same birthday (May 30), are both allergic to the world, are both extremely outgoing and yes, they’re both crazy, just like the rest of us.

Mickey earsFirst things first– flying cross country alone and vacationing without Jeff were, without a doubt, equally hellacious. I’ll get to the actual flying part later, but leaving Jeff here at home completely sucked.

I’m so glad we got to spend so much time with Kris and her fiance Jason, but at times, I felt almost guilty for having fun. Nevertheless, I did get to spend an endless amount of time with the babe, which was worth every single gray hair I’ve sprouted over the past 8 months. All the extra Jack time made all the working mom guilt disappear the minute we hit the tarmac.

As the Chili Peppers say,

The sun may rise in the East, At least it settles in the final location.

After many hours of traveling, we finally arrived in California! I thought for sure that the time difference would rattle our succinct routine, but it didn’t mess things up too much. Jack and I arrived close to midnight local time. We went to bed as soon as we got to Kris’ house and magically, our internal clocks reset. Jack was up by 6:30 a.m. like clock work.
I’ve visited California before, but this was my first time experiencing southern California. The landscape, it goes without saying, is much different than the NJ/NY scenery. It was warm, sunny and dry. When we left, NJ was a rainy mess, so it was a welcome change.

Jack and AuntieJack quickly got acclimated with Jason and auntie Kris. They were both so great with him! They were undoubtedly the most gracious hosts!
On Friday, we visited Disneyland amidst the 100 degree temps. This was the most intense heat Jack has experienced yet. Like his father, he sweats doing nothing, so needless to say, the heat was a bit of a struggle at times. I LOVE Disneyworld, so Disneyland had a lot to live up to. Disneyland was so cool and it wasn’t too crowded yet. A lot of the rides were the similar to Disneyworld’s, but it was nice to re-ride some of my favorite rides. Jack was able to ride a lot of theDisneyland family-type rides, including Storybook Land Canal Boats, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Cruise and The Haunted Mansion. He was a big hit every where we went since he’s so bubbly and giggly around the ladies. We also went into California Adventure, where the adults rode a few rides. Since it was right around Jack’s bedtime, he ended up crashing in his stroller at about 8. As I envisioned, we weren’t able to tackle as much with a stroller and toddler, but we ended up having a great time on the “happiest place on earth”– even if it was almost 100 degrees!

at the pool

On Saturday, we drove to Huntington Beach to check out the sites and to do a little shopping. After a nice lunch and some shopping, our nice day instantly turned into a shitty afternoon after I tripped and accidentally broke a ceramic at Huntington Beachdog dish while carrying Jack. I’m not going to waste brain power by re-telling the “incident,” but let’s just say, a very inarticulate girl told me things like, “I should watch where I’m going” and “what if I went to your house with my sister’s kid and broke YOUR stuff.” Right. I ended up paying for the broken dog dish that was obstructing the doorway. If I wasn’t holding Jack, believe me, things would’ve ended much differently.


The events on Sunday and Monday completely overshadowed Saturday’s mess. On Sunday, we had a lazy day and hung out at the pool and lunched. We also went and looked at Kris’ bridesmaid dresses. Jack helped out and modeled for us.

Jack modeling dressesJack modeling some tiaras

On Monday, we drove out to LA, Bev. Hills to do some shopping. We saw Rodeo Drive and Robertson and all the other popular streets with the cute shops. While we were on Beverly, we passed a Jamba Juice and saw a crazy crowd.
My cousin screamed to Jason, “STOP THE CAR!!! Jen, let’s go and see who it is!” hahaha. So, in mid-bottle, I left Jack with Jason while Kris and I went into Jamba Juice to investigate– as if WE were part of the paparazzi. We go in and who did we see? None other than the paparazzi queen herself!
Yup, Paris. It was Paris in all of her big-sunglass, pink-wearing, big bag-toting glory. She is much thinner in person. And she is really cute, besides being a paparazzi whore. I shouldn’t say that. She was nice when Kris yelled, “Paris we love you.” hahaha.
Paris in JambaParis in Jamba Juice
We followed the throngs of paparazzi and met Jason outside who had Jack in tow. We totally shouldn’t have, but we did. Jack Anyway, as Paris was going back to her car, my crazy cousin screamed, “PARIS, can you take a pic with my nephew?” And she turned around and was like, “awwww… what a beautiful baby.” We ended up on some of the pictures, for sure. We ended up on TMZ (we’re at the top right at about 1:23 and 1:40ish), x-17 and here. (you can watch Jack diss Paris at about 2:48) hahahaha.

I kept telling Kris that there’d be NO WAY we’d ever pull crap like this if it were anybody else, much less if we were in NY. Crazies flock together.
When in Rome, right?

After that, we were so star struck. We hit Little Seed (Soleil Moon Frye’s store) Kitson, Lisa Klein and some other stores. Soleil was in her store working and talking to her employees, so that was fun! She’s so cute and very nice! I love how she’s such a regular person and has real curves. At Kitson, Jason and Jack made friends with the Paps that were out front waiting for celebs, including a guy from TMZ. It was toooo funny!
Jason and JackJack and the papsJack and the PapsTMZ guy

**

The traveling alone part was, in itself, an adventure. I opted to fly with a layover bc I knew the long nonstop flight would be too much for him. I hope to never do that again OR fly with him on my lap. What was I thinking??? He’s way too big! I chose the aisle seat, you know, for easy access to escape to nowhere. I was extremely nervous on the way to California. I lucked out and sat next to a pregnant woman from Texas who not in so many words, felt so bad that I was traveling alone with Jack. She’d try to distract Jack every time he got restless. And after I read the Barnyard Dance for the 75th time to entertain Jack, the woman went on and on about how her kid loved that book. For the second leg of our flight, Jack slept the entire way to CA. The guy next to me was like, “wow, what a quite kid!” Um, Sir? You got lucky!
On the way home, Jack bit me twice while I was feeding him, I’m assuming bc he was pissed and overstimulated. I had to scold him, which didn’t go over well. He cried SO hard and wouldn’t stop. Thankfully, the people around us weren’t as nasty as I’d anticipated about the crying. The crying and stressing sucked. I learned that teething babies, breastfeeding on planes AND biting does not mix. After those meltdowns bc of lost naps and the time changes on the plane, Jack was, in the end, a really good boy, all things considered. Kids that were much bigger than him were WAY louder and brattier.

Auntie Kris, Jack and Jason Overall, Jack and I had such a wonderful time with my cousin and Jason. Kris used to come visit us in Va. Beach practically every summer, so I hope to reinstate that tradition with our own kids. With Kris and I living so far from our immediate family, as I often tell her, we’re at the phase in our lives where we can hopefully visit each other, despite being on opposite coasts. But like good friends, regardless of how much time will pass between visits, we will always pick up where we left off. Kris is such a great auntie and the best cousin ever!
As nice as it was to get away from the stress of work and life itself, we’re so glad to be back. We both desperately missed Jeff and the east coast!

Now, on to the next excursion!

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