Bucket List? Become a Musher!

Mushing Nungessers

Okay.  So, technically, I had to look up the word Musher.  And really figure out what it meant.  I mean, we went dog sledding.  That one is obvious.  Musher.  I mean, I am a mommy, I am a “Professional Musher” of mashed potatoes, right?  That sounds like a musher.  You know, like smashing a lot of potatoes so they are mushy and buttery and delicious.

Or I love my children so much my daughter sighs, rolls her eyes, and proclaims, “Oh, Mommy, you are SO MUSHY!”  Making me a Musher Mommy, right?

Well, according to the real dictionaries my Mommy-ition of Mushers is all wrong.  Apparently a Musher is a driver of a dog sled.

So, I am happy to report that as of nearly 1 week ago, I have become officially (for an hour) a real-live Musher.

Also joining the “Musher Nungesser Crew” are:  Richard (the dad), Adelyne (the decade plus two eye roller), Maxwell (the Half-Musher as he helped the Main Musher French Fred), and Me (Brookie—the Mommy Musher).  Josephine was not a Musher.  She was a Musher’s company—meaning that she was plopped into her daddy’s front part of his sled and got to enjoy the VERY bumpy ride.  Good thing Daddy Musher did not tip, eh?!

Anyhow, dog sledding was an absolute and lovely blast that I highly recommend for all!

You first have to arrive where all of the dogs are chained up (just like in Iron Will) and then prepare with the instructions of driving your sled.  Let me tell you, I nearly wanted to be a passenger after the mini-Mushing-class (kid you not timid smile and nervous laugh inserted here).

Our instructor, Elizabeth got out a sled and said, “OKAY!  Here is your brake.  It is VERY important.”

Yes, Elizabeth—you were SO right!  Holy COW!!!!  Know how to use your brake!

Then she said, “ALWAYS hold onto your sled.  IF YOU LET GO, THEY WILL LEAVE YOU AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO RUN AFTER THEM…In the mountains.  In the snow. ”

BRRRRR.  And, NO THANK YOU.  I don’t even run after my own children, much less DOGS!

Finally she said, “BE THE BOSS!”

Yeah, right!

Easy for a lady that WAS the boss of the dogs.

But, in the end.  She was right.  You had to be the boss or those crazy huskies would roll around on the snow and want to go whichever way the butterfly traveled.

Okay—so there weren’t really butterflies considering it was like 19F, but, whatever.  Those dogs were hilarious.

Therefore, not only did you have to be “The Boss” (Sorry, Springsteen) of the dogs, you HAD to…Like a MUST…know the lead dog’s name.  Without that name, the dogs following were like, “La-di-da-da-da!”

With the lead dog’s name and a rowdy, “Let’s go, Chaussettes (Socks),” the others would pop up and follow your Socks (literally, the name of my dog in French was Socks). Which would then give you an opportunity to “Woo-hoo” while holding on tight—at times, bending the knees for the little “pop” over the crazy hill so you could feel like you were a true Musher and sway with the sled (lest you fall off and then are dragged while HANGING on so your dogs don’t run away for like…ever).

And there you have it.  You have officially become a Musher. For an hour.

And the hour goes FAR TOO QUICKLY.  And you wish you had the whole day. And you loved every minute although you and your family laughingly recall the moments you almost went over the railing of the bridge or smashed into the tree or tilted to the extreme sideways as your dogs did not stay on the path but crossed the icy hill ahead of you to take a shortcut.  Those lazy dogs (smile and wink for the feistiness of the husky).

Yes.  All things that pretty much happened in your hour as a professional Musher.  Or your professional Bucket List kicker!

Which is, after all, what you just did!  Filled and kicked that Bucket List right up with an awesome experience that your GoPro actually recorded so you have evidence of every “Woo Hoo” and “WATCH OUT FOR THE BRIDGE” moment.

Life with children can sometimes be mundane.  Messy. Tiring. And well…a million other things.

But life with a Bucket List and littles keeps life #fresh and #exciting and #exhilarating.

And Mushing.  Yes, I recommend putting that one on your list.

As long as you #hangontight!

Don’t travel with toddlers. Ever.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a new mother.  Or perhaps it’s because I never travel—especially long distances.  But I learned my lesson.  And I learned it good.

It’s 2am and I am up.  And my toddler is up.  And I don’t foresee sleep in either of our futures.  At least sleep at night.

This is why I write this warning.

Don’t travel with toddlers.  Ever!



Now, on the facetious side of it all—

I am not a new mother.  I have 3 kids, and my oldest (now 9 years of age) was lugged on an airplane crossing state lines at 3 weeks and crossing an entire continent and ocean and half another continent at 6 weeks.  She has since then been on 4 continents (which is 1 more than I have been to as her 39-year-old mother).

My middle—the current toddler that is wide eyed and not so cute at 2am (smile and wink) has been in 4 countries in his 3 years and 2 months of life.  3 of those countries he has traveled to via plane.  Only one via car—and that was to be whisked to an emergency room in Germany.

My youngest—my baby—she’s traveled a couple cross-Atlantic flights with me since 5 months of age.

And my recommendation stands:  Don’t travel with toddlers.  Ever.


Sleeping solutions used to pour down his throat?

Nope.  No good.

Keeping the devil (I mean angel) up all day so he’ll sleep all night?





Nothing puts the kid to sleep.

Not even mommy’s weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And so I lug on—sleepless.  Wild-eyed.  Crying.

Worse than the toddler.

Leaving my husband to pick up all pieces of the house—and the three kids.  And the three dogs.  And the water turtle.  And the chameleon.

And the dishes.  And the laundry.  And the mess the little toddler tornados make every other second.


Perhaps this isn’t so bad after all—for me?

A little late night TV to myself.  A little late-night snacking.  A little mid-morning nap.  A little no-cleaning????

And a hubby that runs ragged after everything appreciating me more and more with each passing moment.

I was wrong.  I take it back.

Travel with toddlers.

And then use them as your excuse to stay up late.  Sleep in.  And do nothing!

It’s like living the Mother’s Day Every Day dream, my friends!

Bon voyage!  And don’t forget the baby!