Monthly Archives: January 2012

Lost in Translation

If you’ve ever spent any time what-so-ever on Cape Cod, you very quickly learn that left hand turns are a luxury, and that inconvenience VERY quickly marries with marathon traffic jams.

Stuck in just such a long line of traffic in the middle of July, was where Daughter #1 decided to let out a shriek, “Fried chicken! Fried chicken!” and began to gesture wildly in the direction of Burger King in Hyannis. She was about 18 months old at the time and I realized then that she had already been brainwashed by the TV I was letting her watch. Somehow, Clifford the Big Red Dog was drilling “eat at Burger King” to my little princess. Nevertheless, the line of cars we were stuck in was not even crawling, and being almost nine months pregnant with the bladder the size of a thimble, I did the only sensible thing to do. I swung my car into the fast food parking lot (thankfully a right hand turn!) and waddled inside, all the while, my daughter skipping next to me screaming, “Fried chicken! Fried chicken! Fried chicken!”

I emerged about half an hour later, bag of nuggets and fries in one arm and bored little girl in the other. In the car, she nibbled on a couple of fries and threw the nuggets into nooks and crannies that were not meant to be reached by human hands. From that point forward, she had us trained.

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“Daddy said we should move back to Cape Cod”…It’s About to Hit the Fan

“Daddy said we should move back to Cape Cod,” my eight year old announced as I got home from shopping on Monday night. Apparently my exasperated sigh was a lot louder than I thought it would be, and I could feel ten eyes on me as I concentrated on lugging in the bags. They all knew what was about to hit the fan.

For years now, this man begged, pleaded, cajoled and tried to guilt me into moving someplace warm – “for the good of the family”. I resisted…after all, I moved back to upstate New York from my beloved Cape Cod to be with my parents. Being an only child, I depended on them to guide and support me.  I was not going to abandon them now! However, my conscience started to eat away at me, and after years of soul-searching – and my mother’s blessing – I was FINALLY able to make peace with my decision and move forward and move all those hours away to where everyone was begging me to move to. And NOW, out of the blue – I get hit with Cape Cod.

I have no problems with moving back to the Cape, in fact, I have the most incredible memories of living there and I truly would be happy to return to my sleepy little Chatham. But, we have decided on moving somewhere warm and at this point the girls and I have our hearts set on “tropical” Myrtle Beach.

In the meantime, I have been beginning to pack.

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Attention!! Visitors to the Boardwalk! Please Take Notice…Show Us Those Muscles!!

“It’s kinda gloomy out on the boardwalk, I don’t see anyone out there,” I mentioned to Randi this morning as we did our Skype ritual. Bob has been acting up on me lately, not really seeming to give me all he really could, flavor-wise, so I had to do my “vinegar-cleansing” on him to set him straight. Now I was just waiting for him to complete his first pot for me.

“I admit, it’s about 42 out this morning,” she agreed with me as she tried to wrestle one of the new pink slippers I bought her away from her dog, Cliff. I could tell she was trying to hide how hard she actually had to pull. “But really? No-one on the beach?” Continue reading

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“Mommy? When We Move to Myrtle Beach, Can We Get Guinea Pigs Again?”

I am not a neat freak. I am not even organized in the slightest. And truth be told, most days operate like a living “I-Spy” game here, with most objects weighing under 10 pounds located four-feet off the ground because of my two-year old. One of the best pieces of advice my Mom gave me was to stop stressing over every particle of dust. There was a point in my life where everything in my house had to be perfect before I’d even open the door to pizza delivery people.

“If people come to look at your house and judge you by what your house looks like instead of spending quality time with you, why have those people in your life?” she asked once when we were getting ready for our annual Christmas Eve party, and I was upset my house went from “pristine” to “post two-year-old-daughter tornado” in a matter of minutes right before people started to arrive. “The people who truly care about you would rather see a little clutter and you spending time with your children than a house that makes people afraid to walk or sit down or feel comfortable. A home should be a home, not a museum. Now pass me the pirogue platter.” Continue reading

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Officially Arm-Twisting Vicky (As If You Really Need to Talk Anyone into Moving to Myrtle Beach)

I must admit, when my best friend Vicky told me that she and her girls were starting to warm to the idea of moving south, I absolutely jumped for joy! We have had discussions about it in the past, but I could tell her heart was simply not totally into the idea. And now, here we are just a short time later and she is on the verge of moving to Myrtle Beach!

Vicky and I have known each other since our early twenties (no, you don’t need to know how old we are now…just assume 29). And although there was a period of time where we lost touch, we have always been very, very close. Back then we used to do ALL KINDS of travelling together, albeit mostly in the northeast. Seems like we were ALWAYS in the red Toyota pickup that I used to own back then out looking for adventure (you have to ask Vicky sometime about the Northern Lights we saw from the back of said pickup….was one of the coolest things I have seen to this day!). Continue reading

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I Confess…I Frequently Jump Off the Stairs

Woohoo!! Happy Friday (the Thirteenth), Everyone!! CHEERS!!

It occurred to me that I haven’t mentioned my two-year old very much – and, there’s a very good reason for that. Once I start, I’ll have a hard time stopping. She looks like Shirley Temple but acts like Dennis the Menace. There’s not an ounce of fear in that child. Not of bugs or reptilian things. Not of storms or the zombies her sisters threaten her with if she tries to invade their rooms. Heights? Hahahaha….we have one of those GIGANTIC Corda-Roy beanbag sofas. If you’ve never seen one before, it’s two foam filled (king-sized in our case) mattresses which fit into a bean-bag like shell. When you pull out the mattresses and fluff them out, they’re HUGE…about three feet tall!! And feels JUST LIKE a feather bed. Continue reading

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Woody and Harry Talk Behind My Back!

Woody and Harry Ranidae

Woody and Harry. My buffers between the chilly floor and my feet. Without them the countless trips up and down all the stairs in my house would be boring. The little frogs’ arms waving wildly as I run up and down the stairs to check temperatures, administer medicine, clean up the vomit in my six and eight year olds’ room (that my two year old stepped in), and remind me not to take life too seriously. This too shall pass.

It’s snowing out – nothing massive, just messy and annoying. In the backyard, our pool stands lonely, abandoned, a bit of the covered still visible through the white stuff. Ghost laughter from the memories of the summers we spent around that pool seem to echo in my ears. Barbecues, parties, hiking trips through the “enchanted forest” behind our house – so many fantastic memories. Woody and Harry and Bob and I had another private grown-up moment while the girls continue to recuperate and there’s a lull in their insistent demands…er polite requests. Time for another pep talk from Randi on skype. Continue reading

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C’Mon Baby, Light My Fire!

As Bob helped me do the laundry this morning, a plastic tub caught my eye, labeled in my daughter’s pretty handwriting, “Summer Clothes”. Inside I could see my black and white paisley bathing suit and sundresses waiting patiently for June. Or maybe even July – depending on how warm it got out. The heavy clothes I was shoving into my washer was putting me in a bad mood.

“Mommy!!! I’m in the baff!” screamed my 6 year old as I filled up the machine with hot water, “the watew’s fweezing!” She was trying to warm up after playing outside. Sign number two in as many minutes that Myrtle Beach is where I should be. Continue reading

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“Mommy? Will We Ever See Fairies or White Spiders Again?”

Ice cold freezing water running over my hands, ice cold weather on the other side of my kitchen window. Skeletons of the massive trees around our house look freaky, like they’re trying violently to grab us from our cozy house into the glacial wasteland outside (again…please note my dislike of the cold…lol).

The ice cold water on my hands is from the blue washcloth I am soaking for my 8 year old’s burning forehead. Her glassy eyes and bright pink cheeks are like neon lights advertising her misery. As she listlessly took the pink goo that’s supposed to pass for medicine (I think a few teaspoons of pure honey would certainly help, too, but she won’t hear of it) she giggled and pointed to a spot next to the giant blueberry-colored bean bag chair near her, “Look at the fairies dancing!” Clearly I administered the pink goo in just a nick of time. Thankfully she is blessed with a rich imagination, otherwise I’d be worried out of my mind!

A few year ago, Daughter #2 had a VERY high fever, and she was screaming that there were white spiders crawling all over her. The look of complete terror on her eyes as she clawed at the imaginary crawling icky things (although I’ll take spiders over centipedes ANYDAY) made me throw her into a cool bath without a second thought. The scariest part is how they can be perfectly fine one second, running around the house, playing dress-up and within a short amount of time they are sad heart-breaking little munchkins.

Three of my girls are sick and thankfully Bob (my coffee maker, for those new to my site) has been by my side faithfully, warming me and keeping me on my toes, helping me remain vigilant over the sniffling, hacking, moaning little bodies. As Bob and I have our 3rd private moment of the morning, I listen to 99.5 in Myrtle Meach on my computer. I think one of the best ways to learn about a place is to listen to locals discuss the issues relevant to their area on talk radio. And as I swallow the dark umber liquid spiked with a peppermint candy cane left over from Christmas (maybe today I’ll get around to taking down the tree…), the weather in Myrtle Beach comes on. Chance of rain today (maybe I won’t feel so bad still being here today). Sixty-seven for a high (nope, gonna still daydream about South Carolina). And as Bob reminds me to get another pot going, a scratchy little voice from the couch asks, “Mommy? Will we ever see fairies or white spiders again? Will I ever have to have another cold again?”

Sadly, as much as I wish a move to Myrtle Beach could mean exactly that, I know that is one thing that is probably not going to change.

 

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“Mommy, How Long After We Get to Myrtle Beach Before We Start Talking Funny?”

OK, perhaps googling “Myrtle Beach” and then watching an eyewitness account of the 2001 tornado there, this morning, was NOT the best way to introduce my five children – ages 12 and under – to the idea of moving to South Carolina. Needless to say, I think I ended up being scared gobs more than they were.

“How AWESOME was THAT, Mommy?” “Do you think fish got SUCKED out of the sea and DUMPED all over the place?” (picture, if you will, a two year old, a six year old and an eight year old, dancing around my kitchen…pretend sprinkling “fish parts” all over) “What about sharks? Did any of THEM get sucked out of the sea and dumped into any lakes?” The questions came fast and furious, and my mind was a tornado all it’s own wondering if I was making the correct executive decision here…uprooting our family – five daughters – from ice-encrusted upstate New York to balmy South Carolina.

I am so absolutely thrilled the girls are on board with this plan. Life is short. New York is cold. Myrtle Beach is not. By lunchtime, my little scholars had all sorts of facts they had taken upon themselves to google. Between mouthfuls of warming tomato soup and rice (the temp outside is low 30’s), they excitedly threw things at me like, “Did you know South Carolina ranks number 9 in the world for shark attacks?” (um…no, I did not), and, “Did you know that 40 DIFFERENT kinds of sharks live in the waters there?” (freakin’ great…first tornadoes, now sharks), “And Ma!!!! What about the HURRICANES?”. Slowly all THOSE ‘delightful’ facts morphed into, “I wonder if they have malls there?” and “Do you think I’m old enough for a two-piece yet?”

I am happy to report, that tonight, as I tucked all my babies into their beds, they are walking on air. We all are. We are ready to explore this beautiful world around us – to make a new start and spread our wings. I can hear them whispering and giggling – planning “stuff” in their rooms. Not having access to their computer for answers after bedtime, I find myself being summoned a ridiculous number of times to answer their questions.

“We’re gonna drive, right?” Yep.

“How many hours will it take for us to get there?”

“About 14,” I answered, and then remembering 5 girls and bathroom stops, quickly changed my answer to, “more like 16.”

“Is it true they call grocery carts “buggies” there?” Hmmm….gonna have to google that one and get back to you.

“Mommy, How Long After We Get to Myrtle Beach Before We Start Talking Funny?”

 

You may also keep up with our exploits in our move to Myrtle Beach by visiting VickytheNorthernChicky.com.

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