Category Archives: summer

Cecilia vs Daycare

Five years ago we dropped 14 week old Cecilia off at day care for the first time. That initial drop off was a bit rough. I was in full robot mode with feelings set to low. Michelle had trouble finding the door through the tears. Cecilia probably handled it the best.

In the end it all worked out fine, as most things do, but in the beginning there was stress, doubt and worry. Five days before we were both scheduled to go back to work after our leaves, our original, home-based day care flaked out on us. Despite filling out the application and providing a deposit before Cece was even born, they suddenly couldn’t accommodate us until September. Here’s a tip day care professionals of the world: fragile new parents do not like surprises of any kind. I continue to harbor a grudge against the whole street and mentally put a pox on it each time I drive by for the emotional cocktail shaker they put us through.

Call it fate, synchronicity, luck or just an improving economy, but a new daycare was being built just up the street from our house. They weren’t open yet, but were close, there was a roof and staff and they were happy to take a new infant a few days early to help out some obviously frazzled new parents.

The parents are still frazzled most days, but that infant will start kindergarten next Thursday and yesterday was her last day at the Goddard School. There were definitely some ups and downs, but ultimately we made the right choice (or the right choice was made for us!).

And who knows, maybe even robots had a twinge of emotion driving away last night.

cece_and_lisa

Sisters vs. Manual Labor

Remember my dream? The one where I can sit undisturbed for five minutes and maybe finish an adult beverage before it goes warm and flat? I caught another glimpse of the dream recently. It’s now tantalizingly close.

One recent weekday, feeling lumpy and lazy and bereft of creative and instructionally educational  ideas to distract the kids, but not yet desperate enough to resort to Netflix, we Tom Sawyered the girls into thinking that using big sponges and soapy buckets would be a fun activity. We managed to get a solid quarter panel and one tire washed before a swarming pile of ants caught their attention.

The parental nirvana of chores and free child labor is in sight!

Sisters vs. Arthur

[Note: Web gremlins threw a raging party on the servers where I host my little corner of the web and left things quite a mess. Now ask anyone with little kids, or just look at my lawn, squeaky screen door or busted bathroom ran, things don’t get fixed quickly with kids around. Just making it to 8 pm with your sanity is an accomplishment. So it took a month, but I’m back. Be prepared for a flood of hyperbole, sarcasm and cuteness in the next week until I catch up. On this blog it’s just a week or so after July 4th. Let’s say the 10th.]

The girls (and Dash) spent a solid five days around the fourth of July tiring out and terrorizing the grandparents at the beach house. Despite the amount of obsessive aftermath sweeping by Pop Pop (and obsessive pre-storm weather channel watching by GG), I don’t think many of the adults minded the forced respite that the dear old tropical storm (I did feel like an old friend by the time it arrived) forced on us. We actually made it through most of the day dry, but nightfall brought rain, a loss of power and lots of wind, but it was mostly sunny again by noon the following day and I’m not sure the girls even noticed. Sometimes I envy Ally’s three-second attention span.

For better and worse, Ally is much more independent this year. On the plus side: she sleeps through the night, she’s almost potty trained, she doesn’t think sand is a delicacy, she plays with her sister. On the negative side: she’ll wade into the water up to her neck without a care, she has an irrational fear of dark colored sand, she believes obsessively getting in and out of the pool is a delightful game. Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives. One afternoon, sitting in a beach chair, I watched the girls play together making a sand castle near the water’s

edge and had two sips of a beer. But soon, maybe next summer, I can envision having an entire beer before having to get out my chair to mitigate a dire shovel dispute or pull a hermit crab out of Allison’s mouth. The dream is so close.

Sisters vs. the Blueberry Patch

Blood will tell.

A late, triple H (hazy/hot/humid for the uninitiated) Sunday afternoon after a long triple H weekend, what better time to take the kids (one with a serious bee phobia) to the pick-your-own-berry farm?

I was on eggshells pretty much from the moment we pulled into the parking lot and the sweat started prickling my back. But proving that that Mendel fellow might have known what he was talking about, the kids channeled their mother’s Sicilian farmer blood and had a blast.

I’m pretty sure Ally was annoyed we’d been holding out this all you can eat blueberry buffet for so long.

Blood will tell. Pictures will, too.

Cecilia vs. the Slip’N Slide

Cecilia is currently very interested in what Mommy and Daddy were like as little kids. Did you go to kindergarten when you were a little boy? Did you have chicken pox when you were a little girl? Did you get in trouble? Did you always eat your dinner? Did you have air conditioning? Did you watch a lot of Murder, She Wrote? Did you take a nap? Did you spend a lot of your youth on the Jersey Turnpike? Did you drive your parents to drink?

So today at lunch (when we were able to get a word in) she was thrilled to learn that we were going to show her a toy that both Mommy and Daddy had played with as a child. After spending the morning making our yard less of an embarrassment and lacking much more ambition on a hot day, but with an entire sunny afternoon still in front of us we needed to do something. So we did what a lot of people in more landlocked states probably do: went to Wal-Mart, came home, unrolled some plastic and turned on the hose. I’ll neither confirm nor deny that a cooler may also have been involved.

After some initial concern where Ce was really struggling with the entire concept, she eventually worked out a knee slide technique that worked for her. And after a few hours sprinting around the yard in the sun, both kids are in bed by 7 and I’m a very happy Slip’N Slide owner.