Father’s Day 2015: Inside Out and Reed Park!

We had a great first day of summer celebrating the GreenE male of the household on Sunday.  This year, we decided to celebrate Father’s Day by going to see “Inside Out” in 3D, per the suggestion of Lady C. She has been stalking this movie since the first preview and we promised we would go during opening weekend. MV5BOTgxMDQwMDk0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU5OTg2NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_“Inside Out” was such a cute movie and it was made by the creators of “Up” so you know it was an emotional roller coaster. Disney Pixar just can’t seem to make a bad movie – and they kept on their streak with this one. As always, it was fun for all members of the family. Grandma Brenda joined us and Lady H paid attention the ENTIRE time. The animation and colors were beautiful and the story line was such a unique and interesting one. The main character is an 11 year old girl going through a life change which we get to experience with her by seeing the roles that her emotions all play.

And as an upgrade – for the first time in a long time, Disney did not kill a parent in the movie – SCORE!

The only creepy part of the experience was the short film that previewed before the movie started… that volcano thing was weird!

wpid-20150621_121105.jpg

Lady C and dad pose after the movie.

After the movie we had lunch at Brooklyn Crab, a seafood restaurant in Red Hook that we’ve been meaning to visit. This place has been on our radar because it has been noted over and over in blogs as a great “family friendly” space where adults can have a great time too. We are all about that… make the kids happy and make the grown ups happy.

SO GLAD WE WENT THERE!!!! Brooklyn Crab has a sit down service area but also offers “Reed Park” which is picnic style eating with easy and FREE access to games like shuffle board, bean bag toss and mini golf. The kids played their hearts out and we were able to enjoy our meals.

wpid-20150621_142004.jpg

Lady C plays mini golf with dad

wpid-20150621_142307.jpg

Lady H swinging from a jungle gym… oh, she’s excited LOL

wpid-20150621_132510.jpg

Lady H playing in sand box

wpid-20150621_132604.jpgSo – how was the food??? Please see exhibits A and B below:

We ordered the seafood platter which had crab legs, mussels, sKrimps, potatoes, sausages and corn on the cob.

Now you see it —

wpid-20150621_134032.jpg

Now you don’t — We killed it… even the rabbit in the background was fullwpid-20150621_140301.jpg

We are definitely going BACK to Brooklyn Crab and Reed Park and if you haven’t been… you should go too.

We hope you all had a great Father’s Day and first day of the summer!!

cbe45eb1329a0403b836ea54fa3092f3

Date Night MEETS Supporting Black Business MEETS Greedies

While scrolling through our FB Timelines one day we came across an article from IDon’tDoClubs.com entitled 60 Black Owned Restaurants and Bars In New York City and Brooklyn.

As we read the list we noticed a few places that we already know and love (shout out to the homies/owners of Amarachi Prime and Rustik)! But, there were a bunch of places that we did not know existed and others that we did not know were black owned. Some of those places are in our own neighborhood! (Flatbush is on the come up y’all… get ready). 

As we looked at the list and placed mental *stars* around the restaurants that we probably would not go to because there wasn’t enough time, we fondly remembered that we actually used to do date nights, during the week when Lady C was younger. We realized that we needed to TAKE BACK OUR DATE NIGHTS!! And now we also had a road map with places to try!

Date night.

Supporting Local Black Businesses.

Eating and Drinking.

So, the big GreenEs are going to try to visit as many of these places as we can and then tell you about it.

First place we visited: SUEDE, a Caribbean restaurant in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, owned by a St. Lucian woman. 

wpid-20150519_193550.jpg

So how did we feel about Suede? 

In sum, what they lacked in professional service (the waiter forgot we were there, admitted that he forgot us and apologized) was made up for in yummy and filling Caribbean eats. Hayden is Caribbean and thought the food was pretty tasty. Yes, you can probably get the same food on Church Avenue for $7.50 but it’s actually nice to eat on a plate instead of aluminum pans or Styrofoam from time to time and the prices were reasonable. It was definitely a family friendly spot with tons of kids and strollers around the place. It looked like families stopped in for dinner. This may be a plus or minus for some. We would go again, but mostly because it is pretty close for us. Suede was ok – and we were happy to support by being quintessential Hayden and Aisha – Hayden with a Shandy, Aisha with Pinot. ShandyandWine… so GreenE.

wpid-2015-05-20-13.01.30.jpg.jpeg

Now we just need to decide where to go for our next date night! If you’ve been to any place on the list, preferably in Brooklyn, please give us your referrals! 

cbe45eb1329a0403b836ea54fa3092f3

Way Too Married To….

Marriage has a lot of benefits…

Love and stuff.

Lifetime partnership and all that jazz.

Even some financial benefits!

Yeah… marriage is kinda cool.

When I earned my Mrs. nearly 9 years ago it dawned on me that another benefit is that I would never have to do certain things again. Not because I can’t… but because I really don’t want to and I have a great guy *pats hubby on the back* who will do certain of those things for me. One of those things is SHOVELING SHOW. I haven’t shoveled snow in years! I’ve sprinkled some salt here and there and I’ve even “managed” the shoveling process – (me: “Hey baby, you should shovel”) but I don’t do it no mo’. That was until this weekend when dear sweet Hayden was out of town – in Florida warmth no less.

I posted about it on Facebook:

2015-03-03 11 10 18 (3)

Folks thought the term “way too married” was hysterical and immediately people started inboxing me saying that should be on a shirt… so well, I did that. I created a “Way Too Married” tee and I think I may do more because there are a lot of other things I (and other wives) are #waytoomarried to do.

Capture

If you like the shirt, hope you will buy it. It will only be printed and you will only be charged if 50 shirts are sold. Who knows, maybe this could be something *shrug*… Anyway, let’s give it a shot! Shirts are available at http://teespring.com/waytoomarriedtees!

So – I’m #waytoomarried to shovel snow… what are some of the things you are #waytoomarried to do?

cbe45eb1329a0403b836ea54fa3092f3

Oops…my bad!

We teach our kids a lot of lessons:

  • How to tie your shoes laces.
  • How to eat properly at the table.
  • The value of play and exercise.
  • What is the proper way to be a Jets fan.

One of the most important lessons that we teach our children is taking responsibility for your actions. In our house, Lady C ALWAYS has a reason why the thing that just happened “wasn’t her fault”:

 “You stopped me before I could do the right thing.”

“I didn’t mean to but Grandma made me do it.”

“I thought you said to do it.”

“So-and-so did it so I can’t be blamed for my actions.”

Just a few weeks ago, I stopped her from spouting one of her many excuses and said,

Just own up to it and say I’m sorry. Don’t blame someone else for your actions!

Good advice…so I thought.

Until recently, when I realized that I wasn’t following myself!

I had done something wrong (as we husbands are prone to do) and immediately I started spewing a bunch of excuses (you know: the tools of the weak and incompetent, used to build monuments of nothingness? Yeah…those!). All of a sudden I heard the words that I had told my daughter coming from my wife’s mouth… to me. Jarring. In that moment, I realized a few things:

Sometimes we need to listen to our own advice/lessons. Children can make you revisit the basics of human behavior because they’re at the starting blocks of their life. The lessons they’re learning should still be important to us but we forget sometimes.

Watch your actions: you’re kids are watching. I know we hear that all the time but most of the time we’re talking about really bad stuff like drinking, smoking, or domestic violence. It applies to bad habits like making excuses too. Now, I don’t know that Lady C sees that from me and copies it, but now I will be conscious of it.

Be easy on your kids: they’re still learning. Sometimes I get frustrated that I have to say the same thing over and over again. After a while you should get this, right? Well clearly, some things stay with us all of our life and we have to keep working on it. If I’m still hammering away at it, it stands to reason that it’s an even more difficult concept for a kid to grasp!

Have you ever had to take a step back and take your own advice? What did that look like for you?

cbe45eb1329a0403b836ea54fa3092f3

The Marriage Journal: Free Therapy

Almost minutes after our feature in Ebony magazine, we had folks inboxing us and commenting about the article and in particular, there were questions about the reference to our marriage journal. It was a very quick mention in the article but people want to know more about it.

CaptureSo here is the scoop on the marriage journal. First, it was an idea that was 10000000% stolen from another couple. Can’t remember who it was but pretty sure it was stolen from a member of Chocolate Brides, an online network of women of color started by radio personality, Kesha Monk.  The women on Chocolate Brides share experiences and advice in marriage, love, family and parenting. Anyway – someone mentioned doing a marriage journal and we jumped on the idea because it’s cheaper than therapy. (Side note: if you aren’t part of a network of people that support love and marriage, well, get you some, whether online or in life, marriage is a flower that needs plenty of sunshine. End Side Note).

At the beginning of each new year we post our marriage resolutions. All of the things we would like to change or do differently and acknowledging the things that work. Putting it on paper, having it serve as a consistent reminder of the growth we desire. After that, there are no rules to the marriage journal other than to write when we want to write. We write anything from short notes to long complaints to thank yous. When someone writes in the journal they need to leave it on the pillow for the other person to see. It actually makes you giddy, like you are getting a love note passed down in high school *butterflies*. We look forward to seeing that journal on the pillow unless it is following an argument…

wpid-20150203_070133.jpgThe truth is – the journal is not as filled as it could be – wish we took the time to write in it more and that’s actually one of our resolutions for the year because we like doing it when we do it but sometimes… LIFE.

So – that’s it – marriage journal. Stolen idea and now shared with you. If you have other ideas about free and quick marriage therapy please do share, and be prepared for us to steal that idea too!

cbe45eb1329a0403b836ea54fa3092f3

Top 5 Reasons Parents Should Travel Without Their Kids

jamaica vacation 2014-14

Refreshed and happy parents!

The grown up Greenes just got back from vacation… like real vacation, not a trip (which is what you do when you travel with your children) and boy are we recharged and feeling goooooooot (that’s good, with a cherry on top). Before we had kidlets, the Greenes were traveling fools! The traveling did not stop once we had children – both of them have passports and have traveled abroad already – but now our travel is more dominated with separate travel for conferences or travel with the children. We love traveling with our children – it’s fun and it’s a great way to show children different parts of the globe but… it’s no vacation. Even with all the babysitting amenities available… it’s not the same. We decided, after a two year hiatus to travel for more than one day, together, without kids… and it was a VACATION. We earned it – we deserved it – our relationship deserved it.

We understand that not everyone can travel without their kids because of childcare issues but if you are one of those parents that don’t want to travel for emotional or attachment issues, let us help you out with the top 5 reasons parents should travel without their kids sometimes.

No. 5 “Travel lite”

We can’t remember packing so light and so easily. When you are traveling with children, particularly an infant you tend to pack a LOT. And you have to check luggage… and pay for that checked luggage. And you have to drag that luggage around. First World Problem but annoying. When you travel WITHOUT kids … You can pack one tiny itty bitty bag! It was so freeing! Don’t need diapers or wipes or sippy cups or their favorite snack in case they reject the other food… bathing suit, check… uh, yea – done packing!!!

No. 4 “Kiddie Confidence”

It is actually a good thing for children to feel safe and secure with AND without their parents around. It can give them the sound mind that other trustworthy grown ups in their lives can be a source of fun for them. When we went away we had the awesome experience of having multiple caregivers who all chipped in to help. Both grandmothers, a god mother and a family friend who happened to be having a sleepover that weekend all helped us to have a great experience and make our children comfortable too. Give it a try!

No. 3 “Sleep When You Want”

We are pretty strict parents about sleeping and have sleep trained both of our children. When on trips with the kids, one of the toughest parts is that one or both of us needs to call it an early night so that we can get the kids to bed. Lady C (currently 5 years old) can adapt to staying up late for special occasions but Lady H (the toddler) is a grump when she’s not in bed by 7pm… it’s put a cramp on when we eat and when we retire to the bed and who stays behind. And we also wake up too early. Kids don’t understand sleeping in for vacation. When the kids are not with you – you can stay out and got to bed when you want and wake up when you want!! Granted, on this vacation, we probably still went to bed earlier than most but dammit – that was OUR CHOICE. We also slept *gasp* on the beach… in a hammock… This hammock…

imageimage

Doesn’t that look relaxing??? Reading a book… in a hammock…

No. 2 “Romance Rekindled”

The strain kids put on romance cannot be overshadowed. Once you have children it is very easy to forget about you and your mate and what makes you go vavavoom. It’s not just the physical – it’s the long walks, the candle light dinners, standing in the rain or swimming in the water and just kissing for no reason other than that you can pay attention to each other. When you travel with the kids, at times it can be exhausting so it ends up being more like you are traveling with your co-parent as opposed to your hot and sexy spouse. On this particular vacation… well, we rekindled!!! *Dancing*

And… the number 1 reason to travel without the kids…. I think we said it before and will say it again… IT’S A VACATION!

You can do what you want, when you want, how you want… or do NOTHING AT ALL. You can lay on a beach and not get buried in the sand, unless you are into that. You can drink grown up drinks and it does not matter if you have a headache in the morning. You can sleep in late. You can read a 900 page historical fiction epic trilogy that you’ve been meaning to start (shout out to Ken Follett)… and you can miss your kids just a little and go back home and snuggle them and plan for your next adventure with them. You will miss them, they will miss you but it’s worth it for you, for them, for your marriage and for your sanity.

SO – sound off any parents out there traveling without their kids? Anyone hesitant to do so and still not convinced… Discuss in the comments below!

cbe45eb1329a0403b836ea54fa3092f3