Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day Tripper

My Mother-in-law lives, year round, down the shore. Her home is but a short drive to the beach, and now that we've moved, it's only a little over an hour from our new home. YIPPEE! I've mentioned this before in my entry Shore to Please. For the past two weeks, she has been out of the country visiting my brother in law and his new wife in Taiwan. Thus, her home has been empty and waiting for Bry, Mo, & I to visit.
Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. Apparently she has it out for us and just doesn't want Bry to see Mo on the beach this season.
Bry had initially planned to take last Monday off so we could go, but nope! Weather was horrible here- raining and stormy. So we postponed the trip to this weekend. He planned to take Friday and then we'd spend the night and come back Saturday. Giving us enough time to get unpacked and ready to pick my mother-in-law up from the airport on Sunday.
Mother Nature again laughed.
As I looked at the forecast on Wednesday and then Thursday and I just couldn't believe it. Yet again, RAIN.
We changed plans and instead of a weekend trip, we made it a day trip. The sky was a nice shade of grey on Friday as we made the trek down. Not ten minutes from her house, the heavens opened up and the rain fell. We tiptoed through the raindrops into my Mother-in-law's house, where Mo watched Yo Gabba Gabba and we sat and laughed because, seriously, what else could we do?
After about an hour and half, the sky cleared just enough for us to spend an hour on the boardwalk.
Mo enjoyed the- ahem- colorful people that dot the Wildwood boardwalk and we shared a slice of pizza at Mack's. After noticing the sky changing yet again, we hightailed it out- but not without first stopping to get some Curley's Fries- a Wildwood Institiution.
We made it back again, just in time for the heavens to pour again. After another epsiode of Yo Gabba Gabba, we got back in the car and headed home.
For a long time, we have made the trek from the shore to our various homes in teh great state of NJ. Along the way there are some really nifty stores, outposts, bakeries, and fruit stands. Since we now have an empty front porch, we took the long way home with the intention of checking out a great little wood shop who sells homemade Adirondack chairs for cheap. As we headed down the road we noticed that one of our favorite little hole in the wall bakeries- Frog Hollow Donuts was still open. We turned around, stopped by a WAWA to get some cash and a drink and then, yes, on a Friday night at 5:30 we stopped for donuts.
BUT, in our defense we were not the only ones. Amidst the raindrops there were at least five other cars that stopped at that this little slice of heaven on earth to also delve into the yummy donuts!
Nothing like a dinner of french fries and donuts!
In the end, Bry still has not seen Mo in all her glory running amok on the beach. We never did find out how much they charge for those Adirondack chairs, and I realized that while donuts and french fries are yummy going down, they are no match for a pregnant ladies digestive system. My dessert was Tums.
Hopefully we can make it down before the fall arrives, but the way the weather is looking for this coming week, we may have missed the opportunity at least for this summer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I consider myself a very confident parent. While I am new to this whole thing, I think I'm doing a pretty good job. My kid seems happy, laughs a lot and generally has a good disposition. She eats well and healthy, better then her parents! She sleeps through the night (I hope I didn't jinx myself) and loves to be around new people. All this is good.
Last week my mom made a comment in passing. I don't think she even realized how much it got me or for that matter, that I found it worrying at all. When we were down at the beach for a day trip visiting my parents, my mom was talking to another grandmother who also had a grandchild Mo's age.
Mo was her usual crazy self. Jumping in the waves, running down the shoreline, and laughing at her grandpops. They were talking about toddlers and communication.
My mom said, "Yeah, Mo has a lot of signs and can communicate a lot through them. She just doesn't talk too much".
I can't tell you what the rest of the conversation was about because that sentence hung in my brain.
"She doesn't talk too much".
What almost 17 month old talks well? What's much? What's too much?
I never thought my kid had a problem with communicating. She signs- more, help, thanks- she says a few words- hi, dad, no, dog (or duck)- but I never thought she had an issue.
I have spent the past few days scouring the Internet. I picked my sister, Dr. Jeanna's brain this past Sunday about it. Should I worry that my almost 17 month old doesn't really speak too much? Of course, she gave me the "every child develops differently" line, which really didn't answer my question.
So here I am, worrying that something COULD be wrong with my kid, all because my mom made a comment in passing to a stranger!
I'm on the fence about contacting Early Intervention at this point. I think I'm going to wait two weeks and really observe her language. We're also going to meet with a new pediatrician in a month, so maybe he can offer some new insight.
I love Moira and want the best for her. She is happy and I don't want that to change.
Sometimes being a parent can be so stressful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This town might just be Mayberry.

I had posted a while ago when we first moved here that the town itself reminded me of the movie Pleasantville as most of the houses seemed well maintained and the downtown was adorable. As we have moved in, I realized Pleasantville may have been right, or maybe even Mayberry. For all you too young to remember or who never watched Nick at Night, Mayberry was the town in The Andy Griffith's Show. Everyone got along and lived happily ever after, including a young Ron(nie) Howard, the same Ron Howard who was Richie Cunningham in Happy Days and then turned into "it" Hollywood director.
As usual, I digress. Our new hometown seems like it could be the setting for a new WB show or backdrop for a Disney movie. The houses are beautiful, the downtown includes a little mom & pop store that sells lunch meat, produce, and other necessities and has been around for 80 years. People actually say hello to each other and the mailman welcomed me to the neighborhood today. When we lived in our past places, we barely knew our neighbors. The townhouse community we formerly lived in, I "knew" my next door neighbor well enough to say hello but didn't know her name, or anything else about her for that matter. I only "knew" one other neighbor mainly because Mo LOVED her dog and so we would exchange pleasantries in passing, but that was it.
We have been here less then a month and already, I know at least half the block. The neighbor to the right introduced himself and he showed us his converted first floor office. The neighbor to the left is moving the end of the month, but made a point to introduce himself and tell us (on more then one occasion) that he and his wife moved into their home when their daughter was the same age as Mo. As he was packing up, he gave Bry a wooden sled which he thought Mo could use this winter. I've already claimed the sled. (Just imagine a huge red bow and it leaning next to the front door! Perfect winter decoration, if I do say so myself!) Two neighbors have come by with baked goods- banana bread and blueberry crumb squares- as they introduced themselves. Finally, the neighbors across the street came by with their two school aged kids, a bottle of wine and a huge Minnie Mouse for Mo. After showing them our place and seeing theirs, we hung out in their nicely manicured backyard as Mo and their kiddies played. They discussed throwing a Labor Day picnic so that we can meet more of the neighborhood. Who does that?
Another neighbor even suggested that when the new neighbors move in next door the street should get together and have a block party, again for everyone to meet.
I think I love this place, though I'm a bit worried that people might be too much into each other's business. We shall see though, or at least I need to make friends with someone who is in the know.
As for the House, Bry continues to put lots of blood, sweat, and a few tears into the front yard. He is sacrificing his legs too as the mosquitoes are eating him alive. The yard has definitely been downgraded from horror status to just messy now.
Bry removed the scary storm door. The glass insert had been taped to the door frame and the screen was MIA. We now just have a lovely front door.

The dirt spots previously were covered with huge amounts of thick brush and ivy. Bry has spent at least 20 hours getting the debris cleared and finding just dirt.

Gone from the front of the house was a huge overgrown bush and leftover leaves and sticks.

The new view from the front porch. Now there's no branches blocking your view. Keep up the good work Bry!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Had to beat the heat

My husband was right.
There, I said it. Bryan was right. The thing that sucks about this new house more then anything is that there is no air conditioning and he knew I would bitch about it. The heat really hasn't been much of a problem between ceiling fans and the open windows and I've actually slept relatively good. However the recent heatwave caused me to jump ship and head to the safe and cool respite of my parents' townhouse. Mo and I left on Monday and returned the following afternoon. We were able to have a good, cool night sleep while Bry remained at the house. He claims it wasn't too bad. HAH! I think he's bluffing, plus he had the bed to himself so no extra body heat to worry about.
We enjoyed the spoiling of my parents. My brother made lunch, my dad made me dinner and breakfast and everyone kept Mo entertained, or rather, she kept everyone entertained. We stopped at my aunt & uncle's house to see my cousins and go swimming. We also saw my best friend Ash and her husband and son, and being the good granddaughter, we saw my grandmother too. All in all, it was a good trip and the heat finally broke...with rain.
Now I'm trying to figure out what to do in this yucky weather!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shore to Please

I know there are many women out there who have rocky, at best, relationships with their mother-in-laws. I know quite a few would cringe at the thought of an afternoon spent alone with their MIL and child without their husband present. I guess I'm in the minority here. I actually LIKE my mother-in-law, and from what I hear, she likes me too. She even jokes that I'm her favorite child. (Suck on that Bry & Casey!)
She lives year round down the shore and up until last week, making the trek from our house to hers was just about 2 hours. Not really the type of drive one would make in a day, alone with a toddler. However, now in the new house, it's been shortened to just over an hour and fifteen minutes.
This past Wednesday our calendar was free, the weather forecast was clear, and so Mo and I may the little trek to Grandmom's house. It was such a nice time. The three of us went to lunch at a bar/restaurant that had a deck overlooking a parking lot and beach. We dined on crab cake sandwiches and french fries, and drank pina coladas. Mine was virgin of course, and so I let Mo have a few sips. Okay, in the end she probably drank about a fifth of it. Hopefully I'm not setting her up for a lifetime of reliance on fruity drinks.
We then headed to the beach for the first time this season. Last year, Mo was only five months old and just sitting up when we went on vacation. If you sat her on the blanket, she stayed there. She would reach out for a rattle or the sunscreen, and that was about it. A relatively relaxing time for both Bry and I.
It's amazing how different things can change in a year. Seriously, my kid is a nut! My MIL and I needed to tag team her as she did not stay still for the entire 90 minutes we were at the beach. From the moment I put her down onto the sand to the moment we carried her away, she was a total beach bunny. She has no fear of the ocean and ran right into the water. Her daddy was so proud, as it took him a good 4 years to get me into the ocean beyond my knees. (Yes, I was a division one swimmer, but I didn't swim in the ocean. I love chlorine!) She even fell face first into the water, and didn't even cry. After I lifted her up, she wiped off her hands and face, and then continued running down the shoreline.

We ended the day at Grandmom's house taking a bath and playing with some rubber duckies before we made the trek home.
I feel so lucky to have a mother-in-law that likes me and enjoys spending time with Mo and I. Plus, it doesn't hurt that she lives down the shore! We're hoping to go and visit next week for beach day #2.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home SWEAT Home

We are moved in.
In a nutshell, it was hell.
Besides the fact the relationships between my brother and husband and my sister and husband may be forever skewed, we did most of the moving on two of the hottest days of the year so far in our new home without air conditioning.
I do have to give hundreds of thanks to my Uncle Jim and his two teen sons- Tim & Sam who gave up a leisurely summer day to help us move. This was on Thursday, when we rented the huge UHaul to take care of the big pieces. The day after the blow-out between my brother and Bry. My father complete with hernia, called my uncle and the boys on Thursday morning and they came. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Quick recap of the past few days:
Thursday: Big Things Moving day - As mentioned above Uncle Jim & the boys ROCK! They also make sure my dad doesn't rupture the hernia further.
Friday: We survive our first night without air conditioning however when Bry attempts to let me sleep in a bit, painters show up at 7:30 to re-touch the dining, thus ending my chance to sleep in. I watch Mo in the heat without air conditioning, and attempt to prevent her from causing bodily injury with the many boxes and bags and other items she wants to play. Bryan does the last load of miscellaneous material from the rental (in the air conditioning).
Saturday: Being the good wife, I let Bry sleep in. He returns the favor on Sunday. We slowly unpack and make a trip finally to the grocery store. Mo begins to eat a more balanced diet. No more cheese and crackers for a while. We go on our first wagon ride around the block. We walk past D.A.S. (Dumb-Ass Seller's) new place and notice a bunch of cars out front. From the sounds and looks of it, we deduce that she got remarried in the backyard. By the way, her front yard is already going to shit.
Sunday: Bry lets me sleep. Unpack some more before heading to Lowe's. Purchase new washer and dryer at 10% discount- Thank you realtor. Also since they didn't have the one we wanted available for a while they upgrade us to a better version with an additional 10% off. It's my new baby, that is until the actual new baby does come.

We ended Sunday in Collingswood. One of the cutest little towns around. We dined at a great kid-friendly resturant called the Pop Shop. Besides the fact it was on Bobby Flay's show Throwdown for grilled cheese battle, it has a awesome brunch menu and both an under 12 and an under 5 menu for kids. We definitely will be frequenting this joint.
So now it's Tuesday. We're back to the normal routine where Bry goes to work and I stay here and work. Moira seems to love the new house. All the extra space is great for her to run and she loves climbing all the stairs. Once we tame the yard, it will be a great place for her to expel all that excess energy.
Now that's it's done I can safely say....
We are never moving again!