Beach bummin’

June 24, 2013

Sister suggested we take our little ones to Rockport for day 1 of the scorching heat wave settling upon the Boston area.  Now, I love summer, I love hot weather, and more importantly, I love the beach, but when she suggested this idea Sunday evening, I talked her out of it.

Two toddlers, two babies and only two adults on a hot, humid day, plus beach toys, chairs, coolers, and everything else that you need to lug to and from your car – Are you kidding me? It sounded just about as bad as being stuck in traffic with a screaming infant.

“Let’s wait to do this for a day mom isn’t working,” I suggested. “I really think it will be easier with at least one person who doesn’t have a baby with them. And I know she’ll want to come with us.”

You see, we both have two kids: a toddler girl and a baby boy. (Freaky deaky to be twins and have our children even be the same order and ages).

She agreed with me, until 7 the next morning, when she called me with a new twist to convince me her beach excursion was the way to beat the heat.

“How about we head to Rockport, put the kids in the double strollers and just let Gianna and Ella splash in the water for a little bit and then we’ll walk to get an ice cream?”

She called it “not a full-out beach day” (whatever that is!) and I was convinced. Just a little splashing and a trip to the ice cream parlor sounded manageable. Now, keep in mind she did spend her pre-mommy years in advertising, so it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that she’s able to spin her ideas into something that sounds enticing.

I hung up the phone and proceeded to round up the troops. But even “not a full-out beach day” required work. I still packed a cooler with waters, my beach chair, beach umbrella, and sand toys. And ya know what? It wasn’t that difficult! In less than an hour’s time, we were out the door and on our way.

We arrived in Rockport and I said my little prayer to St. Anthony that I learned from my elementary school music teacher (I attended parochial school): “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please look around, for two parking spots to be found (and make them next to each other too).”

St. Anthony came to the rescue, as he always does, and we scored two spots side by side, right in front of the beach.

And then fumbles began: Between the two of us, we each had enough quarters to give us about 30 minutes of beach time.  And aside from those quarters, I had no cash. Sister had about $3 in cash.

OK, we’ll secure a spot on the beach then head to a store for change.

By the time we got to the water, Vinny was in full-out panic mode. I set up the umbrella and chair to nurse, but umbrellas and wind just don’t go together. So the umbrella was put away, lest the end of it poke someone out as it tumbles down the shoreline.

Once settled, Vinny was placed in the double stroller with Nathan and Sister took the two boys to find more change for the meters.

I watched the girls splash and play in the water, while continuously moving our beach paraphernalia away from the incoming tide. Next time, I will check the tides and if it’s on its way to high tide, we’ll park most of our belongings farther up the beach.

What seemed like eons passed before Sister came back with the quarters for the meters. She settled in and I was able to capture these two gems before Vinny entered panic mode once again:

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Now, maybe it’s because I’m nursing or maybe it’s because he’s only 2-months-old, but when my son enters panic mode, the hormones in my body do so as well. Wouldn’t it make sense, though, if the opposite happened? If, when your infant is really upset, rather than causing the mother fear and anxiety, she was able to relax and approach the situation calmly? Well, that’s not how I felt.  Once this happened, I had a one track mind – get Vinny to the car and turn on the AC. Thank God I wasn’t at the beach alone.

With a screaming baby in my arms and my toddler trailing after me, I hightailed it to the car. I know I must have looked panic-stricken, because a nice mom with two older kids asked me if I needed help. Fortunately, my car was close.  With the cold air blowing on his face, Vinny relaxed and my nerves also subsided.

Sister arrived with most of the beach stuff, and with the kids safely in the car and my sister standing next to it, I retrieved my double stroller from its spot in the sand.

When it feels like you spent most of your time at the beach unloading your car and then packing it back up, you might think the day’s trip was an epic failure. But I am going to suggest otherwise. I’d actually do it again. But next time, we’ll bring lots of quarters, I’ll check the tide schedule, and maybe go on a day when it’s not quite so humid!

 


The Glory Days

June 22, 2013

I grew teary-eyed as we drove home from our morning beach trip today – teary-eyed for a good reason. I couldn’t help but think these are the best days of my life. These are my Glory Days. These are the days that will appear on the timelines of my kids’ Facebook pages when they post pictures on Throwback Thursdays.

Moments like this morning make me wish I could put them in a box to revisit later. Oh how I wish Dumbledore’s Pensieve was real: To place a wand on my head, extract a memory, put it inside a magic bowl and fall inside to relive that moment… if only magic really did exist. Oh to relive every dimply smile, baby coo, imaginative play experience, and kiss and hug!

It is in the ordinary experiences of everyday life where fulfillment exists. It is in my daughter’s happiness as we drove to the beach – she LOVES to sing, especially when excited about something. This morning’s soundtrack did not disappoint.  She sang every little kid song she could pull from her amazing almost 3-year-old memory: ABCs, London Bridge, Itsy Bitsy Spider (the list goes on and on); It is even in my 2-month-old son’s fussy moments, when I pause to sit in a chair and nurse him in a shady spot on a sandy beach as I listen to the waves crest and fall along the shore line. These are the days. The Glory Days.

I’ve thought a lot about how happy I feel to be able to have these moments with my children. I’m putting my teaching career on hold for a year at least to be able to become (a self-described) professional lake walker, playground hopper, supermom to my beautiful children. To be sure, not every moment is one I want to remember, but the good outweighs the bad (even those feisty, temper tantrum, stubborn toddler moments).

These are the days.

In some ways, it’s almost like reliving the Glory Days of my own childhood. My favorite memories live in the summer moments with family – trips to the beach, heading north for a weekend in North Conway, swimming in my cousin’s in-ground swimming pool, staying up late to read books, heat waves, barbeques, fireworks, road trips and being crammed in the backseat of my parents’ Sable (there were three of us kids!).

Now my Glory Days include stolen smiles from my toddler and the balancing act of eating an ice cream cone while holding a baby.

These are the days. The Glory Days. The ordinary, pack up the car, head to the beach with mommy and daddy, eat fried seafood, and end the day slurping melting ice cream while gazing at cows.

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Cleaning is overrated

June 14, 2013

Well I did my Thing and now it’s time to continue doing it.  So here goes: (Oh, and Huffington Post, feel free to help me go viral!)

Vinny’s christening is this weekend, Sunday to be exact – Sorry, family. Didn’t realize this coincides with Father’s Day until after that fact then figured, hey, we’d probably be doing something together anyway— therefore, I must go into full-fledged cleaning mode. As I’ve blogged about before, I LOATHE cleaning. I love a clean house; just don’t make me be the one to produce it! In fact, I think a good housecleaner is probably more important that good childcare (I kid, I kid), but really, the housecleaner helps me keep my sanity. Well, unfortunately, my housecleaner is on maternity leave (what nerve!), so I’ve been forced to clean my house myself.

OK, now that I just typed those words, I realize what a lie that is. My house is not clean. And if and when I do attempt a thorough cleaning, it’s a mess about an hour later, so why bother? Instead, I pick up what I have to and pray my housecleaner decides to cut her maternity leave short.

But the Christening is this weekend. Thank God the Lord doesn’t judge us by the cleanliness of our house (or does He?).  Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be nice, so my husband’s going prep our yard (think less real cleaning for me). And I get to decorate. Woo hoo! I love decorating. Really, I do!

So the moral of this story: The bathrooms may be yucky, but our yard will be pretty. Maybe I should rent a port-a-potty.

*Editor’s note: The house will be spick and span for my guests (heck I bought Spick & Span at the Dollar Tree today just for this purpose), so you don’t have to fear the bathrooms!  


My Thing

June 12, 2013

I should probably be sleeping. I have an 8-week-old who still isn’t sleeping through the night, after all. But the Bruins’ are playing and my husband is watching while playing his guitar, so even if I do go to bed, I’ll probably be awoken by his screams when something good (or bad) happens during the game.

So tonight’s the night I’m going to share my blog on Facebook. I haven’t done so yet and I’ve been writing this blog off and on (mostly off) since my daughter was born (she turns 3 in August). I haven’t shared this blog out of fear of what others will think of my writing and I haven’t been consistent in writing due mostly to lame excuses. Yes, my days are full and busy, but I have time. We make time for the things that are important to us.

But tonight it’s time to share. Glennon Melton over at Momastery wrote a post recently and she said to do your Thing. I’m a writer (not a great writer, but not a bad one either) and if I put off really sharing my blog then I’m never going to do my Thing. So here it is in all its glory. Now that I’ve done this, I feel compelled to write more. It’s time. It’s time. The thoughts that run through my head to write about on a daily basis is… well… overwhelming!

So enjoy this blog in all its 31 posts glory! And if you like, force me to write more. Thank you!