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Accidental Parenting
Accidental Parenting

Episode · 1 year ago

S02E13: The Awesome Factory

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Aubrey and Col interview Erik and Emily Orton of The Awesome Factory. They discuss living in NYC with five kids, their family band, sailing adventures as described in the book Seven at Sea, and the double return parenting philosophy. Learn more about Erik, Emily, and The Awesome Factory at http://theawesomefactory.nyc 

Welcome back to another episode of accidental parenting. Today, Aubrey and I are very thrilled and honor to have a special set of guests. We'd like to introduce you to the awesome factory. This is Eric and Emily Orton. Now, before you guys, say anything, we are going to make some assumptions about you and you tell us if we're right, if we're wrong, if we're we're close, hot, cold, anywhere in between. So I'm going to guess where you both grew up. Eric, I'm going to assume that you grew up in North Carolina, and Emily, I'm going to assume Reno, Nevada. That was my guests were no, Nevada. No surprise that. You're wrong on both counts, and I'm not a most people. Most most of the time they're wrong. We both moved to northern Virginia and we were about ten and kind of consider that are growing up space. So we had dads in the military. So just both of us. Yeah, DC area, the DC area. I lived in Germany before then and she lived in Utah. So okay, to many after then. Exactly. Nice. And with that leasas to our next question, is where you first met. I and Aubrey helped me come up with this, and we think that you both met as you were volunteering at a soup kitchen. This is I like that. that. Yeah, that's nice. Ten that's true. Were they're was a long running debate about the answer to this question. So we must have run into each other when we were about ten years old, but we didn't speak for the first time until a freshman year of college at an ice cream social. And okay, we were not impressed with each other, but we got over that and we still love ice cream and each other. But it wasn't an ice cream social for the homeless, because if so, then we have so we we get then it would have been really, really close. All right, very good. Oh, last question. High School mascots. Did you you did not go to the same high school? No, I went to rival high schools, rival high schools. Okay, this might make me change my my guesses here. Eric, I'm going to say your mascot was the Wolverine and emily the Falcon. Who I like that. Those would have been way cooler. I went to I went to to high schools and one of mine was a hawk. So I think I might okay, give you that one. People can tell the difference? Count it? Yeah, I know. I saw a bird of prey this morning and I couldn't tell you the difference actually either. And our other my other mascot for my first high school was the Spartan Warrior and I was my high school man's mascot was the Lancer, a Lee Lancer. I guess that the Medieval night or something. Yeah, basically like a little dude on a horse with a a long guy ride in the horse. Yeah, vial times. I think it's high school got renamed this year. So yes, that's then exist anymore history. That the way? That the WHO High School? Or just the mascot, just the whole high school, Whole High School? Okay, I don't know what the new mascot is interesting. Okay, yeah, so far off, but we were. We had a good right. We get half of yeah, I was we were that. I wish it was wolverine, the whole coolver. I Hate Field Talk. The partial credit is relevant in this. Yeah, you guys definitely earned points. Nice. Nice. So the ORTONS. We first met the organs when Aubrey and I lived in New York City. They lived in pretty much the same community as us. We got to know them a little bit here and there in the two years that we were there, and with that I will let you both give a formal introduction to yourselves. Awesome. Well, yeah, we've been in New York now for twenty one years, so feel like lifers for them both a part. We came because Eric was pursuing a career in the Broadway industry and did that for about ten years, and I was a school teacher, but I turned to a stay at home mom then turned to a stay at home school teacher as we started homeschooling our kids after you know, they've been in school for a while. Do you want to pick up for for you from there? Well, no, just that. I mean we have we have five kids and we live. We lived in the same apartment the whole time, the same place where you met us. So we're in a two bedroom apartment. Yep, and I guess a little bit about us, and we'll probably get into this a little bit more is hand before you go on. The Kid. The five kids are four girls and a boy. Yeah, that's right. Now, a right, Elis the boy, Kane. Now he just turned fifteen. So you should I remember he's out. Yeah, that's yeah, good memory. And then so our youngest is thirteen and she has down...

...syndrome and our oldest is twenty three and for Covid in celebration of the pandemic, everybody's home. So in celebration of the very good way to look at it. What a great party. And not to spoil anything that may come up later in the interview, but you guys recently had an event streaming from your home this last Friday night the living room. Yeah, which wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without everybody there, because we're we have a family band and it's those older kids are the ones who really pull their weight in the instrument category. That's really that, really yeah, we had a good time. We've good memories of playing music with you. Yeah, that's right. We came over and we played I think one of our couple, maybe a couple, but yeah, I know we was at our first one. We Still Sing your thankful for your thankfulness. I thankful for your thing. I'm thankful that you have text messaging so I can heard mess it's yeah, I know, yeah, I love I can stock news a week. That's the hey, I remember you guys what? I think one of your daughters had just written a song about Joan of arc which was great. Yes, that was a good line's right. Yes, and they performed it that night. It was great. So your your kids play a lot of instruments. You both are very musical. You've got a family band. How many instruments collectively as a family do you play? Wow, it's easy for me because I'm usually just on anncilary. Emily kills question, kills it on the tambourine. I cannot even play on the offbeat, you know. Yeah, I usually am a backup vocalist and an egg shaker over here. Okay, me and little me and lily keep each other in line, and then the rest of them. Honestly, the most embarrassing thing of two thousand and twenty is that I was supposed to make something with a Kazoo and I forgot how to play the Kazoo. It took me like ten minutes and it was like I was okay because I'm humble about that, but my kids were really embarrassed her. They play all the oster man. Yeah, all I do. You have could do hum into this. I forgot to hum. I was like trying to. It's at work. It doesn't work when I whistle. Yeah, exactly, so that's that's how well I play. But they let me join in. But you guys like I feel like our apartment is overrun with instagram. It's a little bit of a mess right now. We've got a full sized drum kid in the living room. We've got I want to say six guitars, three or four Ukuleles, a Mandolin, a violin, a piano, cordion. Accordion is going to say no, I've heard that. Yeah, the according didn't show up in the in the live stream. Unfortunately. That was like a bait and switch. And then we've got, you know, all like a couple of tambourines and egg shakers and other you know, penny whistle fun stuff like that. But you know so, so and yeah, so I think the kids play. Yeah, we have people who play all of those instruments. Yeah, more than one person plays in a two bedroom apartment in New York City. How do your neighbors feel about all the instruments? They love it, of course, say did. Constantly send US thank you notes and leave us treats at the door. Thank you know, broomstick on the feeling. Yeah, roomstick actually does happen, and it comes at the oddest times, like I'll set down a handwait gently and then I'll hear, are you swarry? Like jamming, you know, and nothing. Not hear anything. So we, I actually pride us on being very respectful. We never play past ten o'clock. Yeah, that don't we ever start before ten o'clock and so and if we do, we say ten am, yeah and so, and we never go really loud for too long. So and I think our next door neighbor is going deaf because she keeps saying, like I'm not Oh, you guys are home. I didn't hear you. So I don't think you've just USK because we are being loud. So I think I need to tell her it's time for it to the time to get that hearing chapter. Yeah, now do you do you know you're downstairs neighbors? Yeah, yeah, okay, yeah, that helps. I mean maybe, yeah, we've been here long enough the we know all of our neighbors. I guess that's a good point. That's a good end. So, yeah, we have a good relationship with everybody in every direction. Across the hall next door upstairs, downstairs. So yeah, yeah, and even if we're calling the police on them, and the night when we see each other in the elevator, it's all smiles. And how are you so sure? Yeah, it's good. That's good. Okay, so it's time for an awkward personal question. I have selected one question for you both to answer. I would love to hear your guilty pleasure food. Okay, mine is weird now because I gave up sugar like here and a half ago, and so now it's like sour cream with frozen berries and a little Stevia. It's kind of like a cheesecake, almost like a yell. I know it's weird. That's why it's kind of yeah, I love to eat this. I just hootally do with it like cream, but the sour cream makes it more like cheesecake. Okay, I know that's an interesting choice. It's just nerdy.

It looks really good. I have yet to try it. So you like it. I have tried it. Okay, yeah, I have not given up sugar. Okay, but I would say that my guilty pleasure food is honestly Dorito's, just because I know that there's Super Junky. Yeah, I could eat a whole bag of any size, if any size, in one sitting, if I if I just let myself go, and every now and then I do. What's your flavor of choice? It's a pretty good toss up between ranch and I guess what's the regular that just not Joe Red Ranch better. I think just cheddars not Cho. It's like no, it's like we'll rancher notch, thinking it called Notcho. Yeah, I think between notch basically red and yellow. Yeah, right, because they're not really flavors here and just like spray. Yeah, yeah, just powder. I remember my chemistry class in high school. Our Chemistry teacher lit a Dorito on fire to show us how much boil it was. Another whatever really up so fast? Yeah, but that changed my mind. A mean doritos, yea, literally. All right. Let's get into some more questions about you and your family. You have been in New York City for twenty one years. You've got five kids that you've raised in New York City. This is quite the feet Aubrey and I. When we were there we had two kids, by the way. We have four kids now. It's been a while since we've connected some. We've got fourteen year old addy. We've got twelve year old penelope and the twins will and Georgia are six and a half. We after two years of being in New York City. I couldn't handle it with kids in the city. What what's your puccier secret? How have you been able to successively successfully survive the city for so long with all the kids? We leave a lot, that's true, what we have done in the last five years. But when they're all little and all at home all the time, having the park, like going to the park often. A lot of times the kitchen became kind of like our indoor playground. Because we live in New York City, I could not say two small children, go out aside and play by yourself or meet up with your friends. So they would always need my supervision. And, odd as it sounds, you know, I don't really think it's good for kids to have constant supervision, you know. So there a place where they could be less supervised would be in in our kitchen. At first that meant a lot of like, quote unquote, wasted ingredients and motions and like weird things like that, but the end result is that all of them can cook. Now they and now they all take a take a turn. You know, every night of the week someone else has embrace the MES. Yeah, it really is an exercising futility. They yeah, it's going to be on the floor. It's yeah, there was a tough but around between ten and twelve for each of them, somewhere in that zone they would turn a corner and become really independent and actually really helpful. But those first ten years are just a lot of like rolling your eyes and just trying to be polite, I guess. Yeah, there was definitely some groaning that I've been like, oh my gosh, just with that you can salient on the floor. A lot of people might be thinking, Oh, yeah, they you know, the kids go to the park, they play in the kitchen, but they're also going to school every day. So you guys are getting a break from your kids. At least when we knew you, you were home schooling, so there was no school breaks and the kids off for you guys to get peace and quiet or do whatever you need to do. Are you still home schooling the the younger kids? Yeah, we started in two thousand and seven and we have kept on so strong. It is like that. And and so for that to work. We just had to embrace it as a lifestyle of learning, and so it can fit in different nooks and crannies in the beginning or the ends of the day. But you're right there. It was not like a hey, now, I doubt there's a family that spends more hours in the day together than us. Well, maybe now. Just stopped yourself. You stopped yourself from saying quality time just our it's all quality call. It's all there, we go there, we get here, because, I mean I think the average family that has five children listening to this who doesn't live in New York will be shocked that you live in a two bedroom apartment, because they're like, I'm okay with my five kids because I couldn't have them in a different part of the house and I don't see them if if they are all home right, but to be in a bedroom, that's a whole other animal. Yeah, yeah, it actually has I don't know if you there's like cute little quotes about the tiny house and how love grows best in the tiny house. I don't know if that's totally true. We just embrace it because that's our situation. Yeah, but you start to develop a real sensitivity and a tolerance for like when you...

...see that a family member is becoming tense or needs a little space or a little encouragement, and also just you have to build up that tolerance for you know, we're sharing the hallway. There's one bathroom, there's just one bathroom. And Yeah, and you just have to wear like make that work. You know, it's the opaque shower curtain and that's the secret right there. But everybody, everybody has a set of headphones. You know, it used to be that you could say like well, I'm going to the library or, you know, somewhere else, but it's in Covid it's been just there. It's been a real challenge to be kind of like everyone always hmm. But on the flip side of that, I will say that also because of Covid a lot of people have left the city for a short time or decided to then maybe leave permanently. And we had someone offer to have our adult kids stay at their two bedroom apartment the building next door. That's they were gone for for four months and said, like we don't we needed an extra bed for one of our kids and they like, we don't have a bed. But you could take our whole apartment and they could stay there for no charge, if you want. Beautiful. And none of our kids did it. Oh, that's amazing, I thought. I did not see that coming out. Is I did not see that coming either. They just said like well, you know, it's bedtime, when we're all they want to be all in the same room and we're all in our little bunk and that's when we talk and that's when we connect and if I'm going to stay at some other apartment then I'm going to miss the best phone park. And so yeah, so they might go over there again, go over there during the day, make a little movie or do a project. I would go over there to to write and but like only once or twice did anybody sleep over there the whole time. So yeah, they must, they must like it, joy it, they're happy. Yeah, that's amazing. So I recall to when we live there. You were just getting into every I think you were taking sailing lessons right and maybe you would always been fascinated with sailing or doing it for a while, but I do remember they were weekends that you would go out and just practice sailing and that started what would then become a big piece of your life a few years ago when you took the family on a sailing trip. Tell us a little bit about sailing and what that turned into for you. Yeah, sure, I mean we started sailing in two thousand and eight. Does that Jibo heard your time was that's the right timeline. Yea. Yeah, we took sailing lessons downtown in New York harbor around the Statue of Liberty, and I really I was the one that was really most interested in it. I was I just needed a little something to help get myself out of a funk and had always been excited about sailing and emily encouraged me to take this class. I mean you'd I don't. You've been excited about sailing, but you've never I never, but I knew nothing about it. I mean I was in my mid S, I guess, and had never been on a sailboat. I just thought it was beautiful, and so when I finally realized there was a sailing school downstairs from where I worked, because I would watch all these boats on the Hudson and I didn't know where they came from and I actually realized, Oh, they came from right downstairs, Emily said you should check it out, and so I did, and I wanted to do a class, but I couldn't get anybody to do it with me, and so I recruited emily and our two oldest girls, who were nine and eleven at the time. Yeah, and you know, that's how we started sailing and then from there we it was a rough start. We did not we all got seasick. We all when we started sailing on our own, it was we were a hot mess, dropping things in the water and running into stuff and I just wanted it to end. I just kept like, at what point is he going to say, like well, this is enough? I'd get it like little descratch that Itch, you know, like because because I was scared of deep water and I had been like for my whole life, since I was four, and I I just wanted it to be over so that we could stay out of the water. And it didn't end. It did not end the kids. The kids loved it and we did. After that first sailing as a family, we did take kind of a two year break where Eric would just kind of go out with friends on weekends because that was how we could afford it. Yeah, frankly, yeah, and no, yeah, I would have. Friends would chip in for the cost of the boat and I would drive and sail. Yeah, you go, yeah, come and after the boat. Wow. Yeah, after a couple years he got he felt more experienced as a captain. He was able to kind of know an advance. So this is what I'm going to ask for and give good instruction, because when we went out at a family it was like yeah, you know, I was like, no, that other thing, now he's mad, pull that rope. Yeah,...

...it was, it was really it was. It was a hard time for us. We and I didn't always use my inside voice. No, you yeah, we're so, you don't sell them exactly. I use my sailing voice. Yeah, and so after that he kind of said would be nice if we could do this spending time as a family, and we found this place in new Rochelle where we could join first like it was just over, I think, a hundred bucks a month and we could sail as much as we wanted on these little boats. So we started taking the kids out three or four times a month. Eric worked during the day, I mean he worked from home during the day, he worked away from home at night and that since we were home schooling, we're like, well, this will be our pe, you know, saying like yeah, and and we just loved that time. Like none of our cell phones worked out there and we just kind of tack back and forth for a couple of hours and then, every now and again, enough to keep it interesting to the kids, we would stop at Costco for a hot dog on the way home. So they just never knew, like a roll, they could be the day for them. Yeah, that's like the world's greatest kids surprise lunch. Costco hot dogs, a buck fifty. That's all it takes and you got it. Yeah, my favorite surprise. It's so nice. Yeah, it's perfect. And we figured out this thing for for Lily. She's always like to run away, but should we? Eric would have her put. This is just a pro tip for parents. He would have her put, sit at that little picnic table and put one leg on one side of a pole and one leg on the other side and then tie her shoelaces together so that she could not leave that table while we're sitting there and then when we were ready to go and untie her shoes. And that's amazing. got about that parting. How. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there you go. There's a parenting hause was good one. So anyway, what it led to is we started watching these youtube videos of families that lived on sailboats and it was kind of like our reality TV. He pretty harmless, you would think, until one day Eric said, I think the seven of us on a sailboat would be enough universe for me. And I try to have a rule of thumb, although I don't always stick to it, as you will attest, but I try not to just immediately jump to all of the reasons that's a bad idea. Sure, I tried to like okay, and and idea to table. You're excited. If it's a bad idea, it'll run its course, you know, let but I can be the good guy by just drawing out more questions. So I said, well, when would you want to go? And are kind of said, you know, before our kids start leaving for college, which for us at that point meant in the next four years. We would need to get on a sail boat if that was going to happen. That's that's the big moment, right. I see all these families and I had a cousin who was taught. I was talking to one summer and every summer they would go rent a big, huge, Expensive Beach House in Newport Beach, which is way too much money that I could ever afford. And I was talking to about it. He says, look, my kids, my oldest is sixteen, seventeen. I've only got three years of this at Max like. I've got to take advantage of this time make these memories. So I think it's really cool that you guys saw that you had the foresight to say, look, we've only got four years to do this, let's just get it done now and create these memories that will last a lifetime. We never, while this dreams, imagine that they would all be back home in their twigs and then hold they choose to stay at your place, where our dreams have come true. Yeah, well, honestly, I think you're really right about that perspective. And when we had just toddlers and babies, I saw my sister in law had done this thing or she had put up on her fridge like a bunch of squares that each represented a year of her life, and I don't know, hers went up to like ninety or something, and and then she had highlighted the years in which her kids would be home with her full time and when they would probably be in school part time and when they would be leaving. And it was so genius to me because you see how it's not going to last forever. You can like breathe through this day, but you also see like, oh my gosh, this is precious and every year I have one year less with my child right and so we had always been keeping a card like that and periodically would say like Oh, in in five years, these are the ages that will all be, and we just kind of like project forward. And so we were very much in that mindset of being like our kids were at the stair step ages at that time. Each one was a head shorter than, you know, the next end. Yeah, we saw the time moving so fast and we felt that that was part of how we decided to go as we're supposed to tell a story about how miserable we were. And so then we made this transformation. But I was actually pretty content with our co community and our family and our...

...rhythm and we were coming from a place for me was a place of strength. But we felt like there might be something deeper that we could do, maybe something. I had this idea that if the memories would be unique. Then they would stand out from each other and that would be kind of the way that we could stretch time. And if we did this, then the kids would get to have their dad around a hundred percent of the time and I felt like only good things would come from having his influence around them constantly. And I mean I was the worst sailor in our family, but there were seven of us. So so this not this experience ended up with you on us, on a sailboat for a year. You lived an entire year. Was it entire calendar year? Eleven months? Most of it was closer to ten months. And actually were coming up on our anniversary. In fact, February eighth is when we celebrate what we call Fezziwig Day, because that's doesn't it was the name of our boat, and so we're only what like two weeks out. Yeah, and yeah, that was the day that we moved aboard and then we sailed through. It wasn't until October of that year that we were we sailed from St Martin and the Caribbean back to Manhattan and we actually docked the boat at the end of Dyke when street, which you guys know. Yep, it's just a few blocks from here and we were able to walk home and that, that moment and just everything that came. I don't mean to gloss over at all, but sure to just to kind of like walk out your door at the beginning of the year, find your way to the Caribbean and then to come back at five miles per hour, to minute, come home all the way at five miles an hour, and then to tie the boat off at the dock, which didn't even exist when we left. The dock was built while we were away, the marina just for you empty. We knew it was coming. We were hoping we could end there. Yeah, yeah, and then just a walk home and unlock your door and come back in and it was just pretty it was pretty magical. That's that's pretty amazing. And you've written a book, book about the experience. Not to spoil anything that happens in the book or at the end that we I mean we survived. That's you survived seeing because, yeah, there was storms and there was seeking and there was some like privacy issues and I even seen relationships. But I remember following along on your blog as you were as you were going through this, right, I remember, like the Wi fi issues that you had, like, yeah, to my place. I remember all that stuff right now, just coming to my mind right now. But we lived it by Carrie's living like cauriously. It's a really cool thing and and every time I wi fi router, one of my great moments. Yeah, yeah, that was supposed to be like our primary school connection, right, we were going to like get these things off the Internet for a math and whatever. And at a certain point I just had to say to the kids, because it was Koreeina's junior year, that's like test year, that's like cram here, and I just said, look, you are going to learn a lot of things on this sailing trip that are not going to be on the essay tea. Yeah, yeah, but I think they'll help you in life. And she did have a really good essay. Nice. Yeah, so you mentioned something earlier in our conversation about how you survived the city. You leaving a lot this this adventure sailing on a boat for a year wasn't the only adventure you guys have, and that's what I love about the stories. It's ongoing. Right, you take the kids and I think, if I'm if I'm doing the math right, was the last know, it was either Europe or New Zealand. You know land. H Yeah, how long did you spend in New Zealand? Tell us about that. We were there a hundred days. And but it was supposed to be shorter, right. I feel like it was supposed to be a short trip and then it extended and can well, well, we did get a one way ticket and there Max case ninety days. Okay, yeah, we will, I think. What I mean. Just backtracking too the book for a second. When we we lived on the boat for a year and then we wrote our book seven at sea, and that, in writing that book, seven at see, it really helped us realize, oh wait, there's kind of a system that we've developed for ourselves, that we that we've followed to make this happen. And once we realized, Oh, there's a system or a framework, and then we started to use it over and over and over again in our own lives. And that meant that led us to big multimonth road trips around the US, in Canada and House in Hawaii twice, and we then went to Europe and vand around and sailed around for five the better part of five months, I think, and and so just applying this system it. I think are skipping the part where he liked loses forty pounds and climbs out kept, but that was parts that to the system. Yeah, I mean this the system that we kind of like, applies to a lot of...

...different things. And yes, yeah, getting in shape and climbing out happy time was was part of it. But I think going back to Yosemite, we we ended up we were in Hawaii House sitting and some of our dear friends live in New Zealand and been wanting us to go for ages and we just been talking with some people that had lived there and they're talking about how wonderful it was and how easy it was and we just on a whim, literally, I just like, I just checked the price of flights and I was stunned. They were so dang cheap, so cheap, and so we just bought one way flights and got there and we're going to stay with friends and then we said maybe we can find some house sitting gigs there, because we were house sitting in Hawaii. Yep, and we ended up finding three kind of farm yes, they were ended up being farm sits where we looked after people's farm animals. And then we also found a guy who was a whole other experienced. Right, you go from mater tacking in vans, sailing New York City to all right, we're on a farm. Yeah, that last five. Yeah, the first farm was like, I mean, I guess they were all sort of hobby farms instead of like hey, we're trying to earn our living off this farm. But the first farm had like a dozen animals, you know, a gold kisent dog, horses and e like eight sheep and five chickens. That's and then the last one, we we don't even own a dog or a cat. That's more any even you have in New York City. Yeah, and your apartment. And we've never owned a pet. But we just said, you know, we'll take care of kids and then if they want pets, they can take care of other people's tests. Yeah, that's that's anyway. Like you, we lived by as well. So by the last farm, by the last farm, I think we were taking care of like over a hundred animals. We had like twelve dogs and thirty head of cattle and ten horses and just like donkeys and cats and a pig and like we we had to get around on it, a TV, which was so great because our kids learned to drive ATV's, the youngest kids that I was like, I don't know if lily with down synder will ever get a driver's license, but she can't drive. And a TV. Yeah, that's awesome. And we had, you know, we had some really unique experiences there where we had like six cows born while we were there and we had one cow that needed to be shot. Yeah, put down, I guess. You know, we had a real farmer next door who is kind of guiding those decisions. Yeah, but we learned a ton. We learned a ton and we experience are in so much in our kids. Did Imagine, you know. So we did post a video, I think on my youtube channel, one of them just of like live cow being points here. Not that everybody wants to see that, but it was incredible to watch them. Right, those are learning experiences and it's great to see that you're providing your kids with this opportunity and not just but to bond together, but to grow and learn and develop a whole new set of skills that they may or may not use in the future, but they've got experience with it. That's pretty great. Yeah, so many great conversations. I mean with the cow. We we had a some song, some like fortnight conversations about what happens with, you know, shooting on fortnight and what was this experience like shooting a cow and not he didn't shoot it, but like he was there. He was there, not our son. Yeah, yeah, he was offered the opportunity to be the one who shot the cow and he was like no, thank you. Yeah, pretty amazing. So when you were in New Zealand, I'm maybe I feel like a psychic right now. I feel like that there's a there's something going on with the strong M word. No music in New Zealand. Did you guys perform in New Zealand as well? Yeah, actually, some of our good friends, you guys know the words, right? You know the words? Yeah, okay. So, yeah, when we were we landed and stayed with them and we have always kind of played music with them, I guess as well. And so they knew we're coming and there was going to be a fundraiser at it was a fundraiser for the library. was like a twenty four hour book sales, like, okay, nerd heaven. It was perfect for US yeah, and so they were doing basically it's like you could book a slot, and so I think it was the day after we arrived they booked us into a slot where we would play a thirty minute set and and so we just showed up and I think we werehearsed like one night. Anyway, we went, we played a thirty minute set with, you know, some other friend like we all just piled in and we played at this big, huge theater in the metropolis of Dunedin, New Zealand. That's and we I think we did like a live music night and and our daughter, Sarah Jane, who was seventeen at the time, actually went. She formed a little band with some other teenagers and they went into Queenstown and busked from Ford like ice cream money. So amazing. The confidence that that that's got to give your kids to be...

...able to do that and just have fun with it is is pretty epic. Yeah, I think we set the tone for that because when we were in Italy staying with some of our sailing friends, the parents of those of that family had to come back to the US and so we watched their kids for two weeks in our like okay, we're in a band practice every night. Who wants to be in the band, and when we get to Rome, we're going to go busking in Rome and whatever money we wake, whatever money we make, we're going to spend it on Gelato. Yeah, and that's motivation. Saturs a mission. Yeah, garage band is a really good baby it her and a really good way to get ice cream or GELATA. Yes, yeah, yeah, now, it turned out great just because, instead of just like Gawking at everything, we got to like become part of the giving of what was happening in yeah, in those places. So that was cool. But I actually think you don't know this yet because we haven't told anybody, but we've been talking about a parenting philosophy that we have and Eric recently gave it a name. So I think it speaks to this like the confidence that it does give our kids. I'm seeing you up turning it over to me. Yeah, okay. So, yeah, we call it double return parenting. Okay. And and the idea is that I think every parent wants to give their kids the the best life they can. You know, we all want the best for our kids, and what we've learned is that when as a parent, rather than trying to always kind of like cue them up and tee them up for success. If we just go for the things that we want in life and if we strive for our own dreams, we get a double return. The first return is that we as parents get to live our best life. We get to live we you know, pursuing the things that really matter to us, the things that we enjoy, because I think a lot of times as parents, we think it's just a grind, like we don't you know, I'm just going to go to work and earn money and, yeah, make sure that the house gets vacuum and in the toilet gets cleaned, you know, things like that. And so the idea is that we true you know, we as adults, get to set the example of what adulthood looks like and if we're out there pursuing our dreams, trying to make the things happen that we really care about, we actually are modeling and showing our kids what it looks like for them to do the same, and it actually is the best thing for them, so that they feel the confidence and they see the process of what it means to go after something, that there will be failures, that there will be setbacks that you have to have grit and mentors and you know. And so watching your I think watching your parents go through that process helps you. And that becomes the double return is that your kids, I think, get to step into things that they might not have chosen for themselves. Otherwise they instead of what we call the conveyor belt life or sort of the path of greatest security, they're actually going for the things. It's going to the things that are going to mean the most to them, and then it can just cascade generation after generation. So it can be double parents or double double return parenting, but it yeah, but it can just ripple on down. I can say so many, so many benefits to that, because then you never get stuck in that situation where you feel like you're giving up something for your kids and your kids sense that and they feel that resentment. That which I think is the worst case scenario. So yeah, yeah, they feel guilty. Yeah, and I think on the you know, on the on the less sunny side of the situation, I think it's not doing this what we refer to as double return parenting. I think is where it it turns into resentment and anxiety and stress and spouses resent each other, they resent their kids, their kids don't like their parents, you know, and it can really it can corrode marriages and families, and so we see this as the antidote to that. So do I sense another potential book, or at least a speaking to her on this concept of double return parenting and the thought? We were just fighting about this yesterday. Yeah, so that would use a different adject verb, but yeah, we think. But I have a whiteboard and we filled it up with all the different ideas of how we implement this. And you know, one of the great things to me it's very different than the way that I was raised or the way that I thought we would raise our kids, and it was really hard for me to come on board at first when we were newly parents and Eric was talking to me about this idea of like, well, we gotta like show our kids how to live instead of tell them how to live, and and like it takes away that martyr model that is so popular, especially, like, at least from my experience among women, and I'm sure it happens with with men to but it takes your excuses away, am sure. And I think. What was I going to say? Oh,...

...just because we then have to have the integrity to tell our kids that, yeah, you get to be the one who drives the bus in your life. You know, we anticipate that you will be calling the shots, that you will be making the decisions, and I feel like that alleviated a lot of angst between us, because between us and between us and the kids, because whenever they would want to do something, we would be saying, yeah, well, you should go for that. Do you want to do? You want to drop out of school and record an album, like, is that what you want to do? And they be like, actually, I want to stay in school. Okay, okay, but it like there comes that that how much? How far are you willing to take it? And in the end all of our kids have stayed in school and gone to college, but we're always there. Don't you want to drop out of college and join us on the road? NOPE, okay, well, since you're choosing to be there, then we know you're happy. And they would always say that like I'm choosing to be in class. You know, I want to go to college, which makes a prior that at a priority, and they're going to succeed, you know, if they're choosing it, like yeah, Yeah, plus we let them pay for it, so they appreciated all them, which they thank us for. What you guys? That's a trick deal. That is a trick parting. How can I to make it? At least pay for number two from this episode. I paid for my own and I worked harder. Huh, yeah, that's what they say. Like, man, I'm so glad you don't tell me what classes to take or they're you're not pulling any dreams and you always encourage me and because you let me pay for myself, I'm I take it seriously, and it's like you respect us and you think we're capable. Really, yeah, Huh, awesome. So this all is incorporated into your next project? What is, I assume, what is your next project, the awesome factory. Tell us a bit about the awesome factory and how that started. What are your plans? What's your vision for it? We started the awesome factor this year with this idea that most people want more than a conveyor about life. Yep, and what we hope to do is to equip, equip and encourage parents especially, but adults in general, to live creative adventures, deliberate lives, because we really believe that if you live a life that you love, everybody wins. You Win, the people around you win, your kids win, and so, you know, we we create. We've started creating courses where we share ideas that have worked well for us. We share. I was talking about the system that we used, that that we learned writing our book. That kind of accelerated all of the other adventures that we did after that. My idea to reality, figuring out what you want and then how to bring it into your life. We teach that in a course called love your life, and then we've got a couple of others that are, you know, really about just some of the building blocks that lead up to that. Yeah, I want to say or one of the things that we realize is that your dreams are are in proportion to how much you trust yourself. And so when you keep commitments to yourself, then that builds your trust in yourself. That expands like exponentially the size your dreams will be. So for us it really starts with something as small and basic as like one morning routine thing that you do. Like for us, we started out by just putting our tennis shoes out, so in the morning. We had a goal of put on our ten is shoes and walk out the front door of the building and then from there it grew into this like whole elaborate, like walk and exercise and fitness thing, but it just started with that one thing and then build our confidence. So that's like, that's we have one free course called rock solid morning routines, and it starts there, you know, and and then it seems like a really small thing. But yeah, as you build that confidence and you do the things you say you'll do, then the stuff that you think you're capable of just gets more and more exciting. Yeah, so share with our listeners where they can find you. Your book is called seven at sea. And then where could they find that, that free course, and where can they are you on Youtube? But where could you be? I've go to the awesome factory dot ny see. Okay, some factory DOT NYC. You can find our courses, you can find our book and we are on social media, I. Instagram and facebook and Youtube as the awesome factory. And you know, we we love connecting with people, hearing from them if they watch something or see a post, and we love getting notes and building relationships with people and and encouraging them, because we really do believe that people have great ideas and they're usually going to be different adventures or goals than ours, and that's totally cool. We just love cheering people on and what doing what they really care about. Nice fantastic, a platform for sharing. Yeah, I'm so excited you guys joined us. To know, this has been fun. You know, I have a couple of Trivia questions as like a little game. Are you guys up for that allow? Oh Yeah, yeah, for sure. Yea. Auvrey loves games, so we always have to. We always in some kind of game. What is so good for you?...

Good? Yeah, okay, so these are hold on. First of all, she was telling me that these are New York City Trivia questions. I'm like that, so we don't know them. It's we're really now. Yeah, exactly. tensionally chose some that Cole will be as likely to know or not not to know as you guys. So they're a little bit random. All Right, okay. So first question is the Statue of Liberty, right. What is its full name? Just shouted out. If you know, it's Not Lady Liberty, is it? No, I have no idea. All I know is that it was modeled after the artist mother because she was so supportive of his craft that he gave the Statue of Liberty his mother's pace, but I do not know the whole they gave him what. I don't realize. There wasn't it. So the name of the statue is liberty and lightening the world. Liberty and lightning the world. So there you go. All right, but I can also understand why they shortened it, because I belong to say every time her points awarded, not for that's for anyone. Okay, here's one you might actually know. All right. So two questions about the Empire State Building. First of all, does anyone know what year it was built? Oh, I know, they've built it doing Annie. Were they working on doing this? But I was the Chrysler building. I also don't. I'm gonna guess like one thousand nine hundred and thirty five. That's again really close, which is tipping you guys off. We're just going to get er. One thousand nine hundred and thirty I was very close. Okay, yes, okay, it's a point for Eric. There we go. How many flowending does it have? How many floors. It's over two hundred. Like Don know, it's like a hundred and five, hundred, two hundred and single digits. Wow, eric, we're getting give that to you too. A hundred, two, hundred, five, hundred two. Okay, I mean, I've been there, so it's one of helps. Yeah, I was like, all I know is if you have a friend who works there, you can get a VIP pass and skip the line. Yeah, there you. So we always anyway. I've also been there and I did not know how many floors and I did not have a friend to skip the last we red like you didn't, ever, that's because you didn't walk up to the stop, to the top. That's why you didn't know them floors. Maybe that's what I know. We took. We too. Yeah, yeah, it's one hundred and two. Yeah, yeah, that raises this is all kind of random trivia of things that I'm surprised to it new. Okay, how about this? Right, New Yorkers love to abbreviate names. So, like, Soho is short for south of Houston. What is Tribeca, Short for triangle below canal? Impressive. What wow bow stand for? Oh, I had no idea. Dumbo, I know that it's something. The last part is Brooklyn. Brooklyn. I'm Nope, no, well, I know, I know it's. I know that it's when you cross the Brooklyn Bridge Into Brooklyn, it's like right under the bridge. So that's where the be is, bridge, where Bridge Bridge? This is the down under the bridge, very close down under Patton Bridge, Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Good job, under will. Yeah, we get a couple of things for that. Was a team figured it out. Okay, let's go. One more question, one more all right, let's see. Hmm, I have a have a I have a tribute question for you after we're done here. Okay, let's do this on first, how many commuter bridges cross the East River? How many commuter bridge and Bridges Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Tryborough, Washington to then there's the one up in our neighborhood which I forget the name of. The two a seven bridge. So I want to say that is that? Well, there's the whatever Williamsburg. Okay, so Williamsburg Queen, but there are some smaller ones up in our neighborhood. Throgs, that white stone. throgs like in white stone. Actually are they? Cry, they crossed the East River, but they don't cross into Manhattan. Yeah, well, that wasn't a question. Okay, cross the East River. That did try to make you care. Right question. All right, I'm in. Said so seven. Yeah, tribe or Queensborough, which is also called the fifty night street bridge, Manhattan, Williamsburg, thrug's neck, white stone and Brooklyn cross the East right. Yeah, I think by the time it's up to our neighborhood that then it's not called the east. That could be. So those that Bob that's why. Okay, yes, the Harlem River, once you come up when it splits and there's the Harlem River and then the East River goes out to Long Island. Sound. Yeah, okay, that's right. Okay, higher one that you guys will actually know that I'm going to ask, because all these I'm like, okay, so the for or I'm going to say four out of the five New York City boroughs, and whoever's the first person to say the one that's missing wins game. Staten Island, oh my guess. Yes, I was. I was going to jump in, but I was like, oh no, no, I'll play at the rules speed. Right, okay, Kay, all right, Staten Island, Brooklyn Manhattan, Bronx Queens, Queens, yeah, called. Oh, yeah, right, hole. All right, let's do let's hear you did have satin island be the one you had there, so I understand. would. Yeah, let's hear your tribe. Okay. So, since...

...you've lived here, they've they've abbreviated the name of our neighborhood, and I'm curious if you know what it is. Oh, in wood they've a abbreviated as it did wood or Washington. Wah Hi. Yeah, I like Wah Hi. Yeah, so we live in Wahi. Right. It's an island in Manhattan. Sounds like a Hawaiian island, Wa hi. Every time we listen to the Washington in the heights soundtrack, I'm like yeah, man, it's just all the memories of Washington Heights. It's like going up that escalator right back around. Oh, yes, it's waiting for the movie to come out. It's going to be. So that will be awesome. Yeah, like then then, when we tell people where we live, everybody will know. I'll get it, because say Washington rights and they're like, Oh, is that Manhattan? Still? Yes, and they'll know why we look so Dominican. It'll be like you must stick out like a sort of yeah, we will. I will say that traveling through the Caribbean had an added bonus of helping us to really get our neighbors. I was like, I understand why they're all sitting on park benches facing Broadway, like with their sleeves pushed up, you know, trying to get more sun, or like the our grocery stores, the little quirky things you have to do, like leave your bag at the front, stuff like that's all in the Caribbean and it's so yeah, I came back and I was like, I get it, I appreciate it. That's so awesome. Well, it's good. Roots been so fun to catch up with both of you. Thanks for taking the time to meet with us. That's the awesome factory seven at sea. Everyone go check it out, and thanks for listening. Yeah, my guys, the boy, I thank you.

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