Tag Archives: vacation

Ah! I feel weefweshed!

(Quote: Lilly Von Shtupp, “Blazing Saddles.” I’m generally of the opinion that the late great Madeleine Kahn really had a speech impediment and any role where she didn’t speak with one was her acting.)

We recently returned from our annual beach vacation. Some people might say a week with the in-laws doesn’t sound like much of a vacation, but that’s never been the issue. For me, it’s been a week in a different house with my children. As a Stay-At-Home-Mom, that is Not. A. Vacation. That’s just… relocation. In the past, I’ve honestly not been all that psyched about going. But the kids love it, so I never said anything.

That’s when I remembered my New Year’s Resolution– speak up more, be more honest. I can pretty much peg one occasion a month where I’ve heeded my own advice and it has yet to lead me astray. It’s as they say: Honesty is a positive course of action that yields satisfying results. (Ok, “they” say it in a more slant rhyme fashion, but where’s the fun in that?)

So I spoke to the Hubs about why I wasn’t all that excited to go to the beach house. That he spends the whole week with his nose in his Kindle. That I have to encourage the kids to get away from the TV and hit the beach. That I’m the one to feed, diaper, escort, and discipline the kids. And I can do all that for a lot less money by staying home.

Well! Miracle of miracles, my honesty paid off. By the time we’d settled in that first day, we’d eaten at two restaurants already so we agreed on sandwiches and chips for dinner. I got Pint Size Genius his sandwich and took it to the table for him to start eating. When I turned around, there it was: the Hubs, making Toughie his dinner.

Now you should know– and if you don’t, let me put it on the record here– the Hubs is not derelict in Daddy duties. He often feeds, clothes, escorts, medicates, diapers, and disciplines. He just treated our vacation as his vacation… from all that. And that don’t work for me.

The rest of the week continued in that same vein. Too many requests from the kids used to get the response, “Ask [parent that I am not]” from both of us. Not this time.

So the vacation went better than usual. Although I’m still considering a “girl’s day out” to a beach… where day drinking is acceptable and I don’t have to change a diaper.

Here’s to speaking up and being rewarded with a good time.

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Win the battle, the war might follow

This is effectively the first real day of Summer Vacation. So far, books and magazines have been read, laundry has been prepared, tables have been cleaned, and a bed has been made.

I made a list of little chores that can be done almost every day and put them in a bowl. In order to get computer time, five of those chores must be finished. The boys finished all 5 each in about 2 hours. But the best part was that no one minded doing the chores and earning the time. At our current rate, all the boys will use their computer time by lunch. If they want more computer time, or some time on the Wii, they can do more chores after lunch. I also love that I don’t feel as guilty about letting them play games since they did something productive first.

Here’s to keeping up the good work.

All I ever wanted…

(Yup– the Go-Gos. I’m impressed you keep catching the references that I keep throwing!)

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Call me old-fashioned, but I avoid telling social media that I’m leaving my home for an extended period of time. It just kinda says, “hey! I left my valuables unattended!” So I’m more likely to talk about it.

My in-laws, who are probably more “Joisey” than my family, have rented a beach house for one week for the past 5 years. This makes the family vacation for the hubs and our kids extremely attainable. (NOTE: I will never use the word ‘vacay’ by personal conviction.)

This year, they went all-out, renting the same house as the 2 years previous for TWO weeks. Since the hubs gets one week of vacation, we weren’t about to supersize our time at the Shore. And it’s just as well, since the Legal Lawyer* and his wife and kids were interested in joining the family at the beach house.

Sadly, the time did not pass well for them. The beach was windy and cold, and the Legal Lawyer had gotten himself a bit ill. Then it rained.. and rained. And the overnight traffic was too loud to get a good night’s sleep. They ended up leaving the same day the two youngest brothers-in-law arrived.

The aforementioned bros have hourly jobs that wouldn’t love having them take off work for a solid week, so they went from the last half of the first week to the first half of the second week.

We joined them on the Saturday. It started with the traditional visit to the Embassy… the International House of Pancakes. And since we didn’t have to wait until standard check-in time, we were able to get to the house and unpack immediately. We even decided to hit up the church in the evening so that we wouldn’t have to wake up early on Sunday. That’s a vacation, I’m thinking!

There was a little time spent on the beach, but the cold and windy from the week before still hadn’t subsided. (Buttercup was the sleeping-est baby on the beach! She went out all of twice, but she fell asleep within minutes of settling in after the beach tent was set up.) We tried other things… mini-golf, ice-cream, and fun in the game room. I was even a good girl and went jogging a couple mornings.

There was also the obligatory visit to Sleaze-side Seaside and the Water Park. It was so sad to see the post-Sandy boardwalk. Usually we don’t play those carnival games, but rides weren’t an option. Besides, we couldn’t afford much, but it seemed appropriate to try and put some money back into the boardwalk’s economy. Hope springs eternal, and we’ll keep going back to see what the Jersey Shore has to offer in years to come.

There is a sunset cruise available every evening up near the lighthouse in a location called Viking Village, and my father-in-law is known for taking amazing pictures. So one night we all went in order to get some nice sunset shots and maybe even some of a pod of dolphins. It was very cool– until it wasn’t… Apparently I get seasick (the things that manifest after multiple pregnancies!). And in case you didn’t know, windy beach= choppy ocean. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Regulator is apparently also prone to seasickness. We sat in the cabin and tried to enjoy the ride. And we made it!…. Buttercup, however, lost her dinner in my lap.

And then that turned out to be the last sunny day of the week. So we spent way too much time watching TV. By Friday, we had to get back out, even if there was drizzling involved. But we were in luck! We usually take some time at the NJ Maritime Museum just to look around the pictures and artifacts. But they were offering a morning full of kid-friendly activities! Demonstrations, puppet shows, and a scavenger hunt. The kids ended up winning free ice cream at a shop around the corner. But the hubs and I didn’t totally lose our minds just because it was vacation– we went back to the house to have lunch. Then we found the family billiard hall and tried to play pool…. badly. On the bright side, I felt that we really earned our ice cream (Pint-Size Genius doesn’t do ice cream, so the hubs used the coupon and we bought him a bag of Doritos).

Was it the best beach vacation? Definitely in the top 5 (see what I did there?). But we’re optimistic for next year. And it might be a little tough to pay for that vacation while I am, incidentally, a SAHM, it always seems to be worth it. The boys might not have spent a ton of time on the beach, but you’ll never hear them complain. And that makes me proud; being happy with the opportunities they receive makes me feel that I’ve done something right.

(Right now, you might be saying, “But you were away over two weeks!” And I would say, “Slow your roll, stalker!” I needed to get everything back in order when we got home, and that took longer than expected– especially that hot weather that would have made the beach so awesome was here at home and crippling my air conditioners! But I think I’ll get back into the swing of things.)

*Legal Lawyer: My best friend in college– he went to Hah-vahd Law after graduation. When I asked him what he was going to do with the JD, he replied “lawyering.” And when I said “what kind?” he answered, “the legal kind.” He’s nothing if not specific.

For how long, exactly?

(Oh, Mr. Cooper, such a tease….but school really is only out for summer.)

So the grammar school year is done. There’s a year-end party in Pre-K, so Pint-Size Genius has one more day. (NOTE: I’m going to try out these nicknames for now. Maybe they’ll stick.)

I am mentally prepared for the boys to be awake and bored at 5 am tomorrow. I’m also in possession of the mental fortitude to prevent the TV being their babysitter this summer. We’re joining the Summer Book Club at the Library, and the supply of extra bathing suits is already at the pool. All of them have workbooks and notebooks to practice school skills, and the chore charts are ready to go.

In September, all three boys will be spending their days in school. There might be more than coffee in my mug that day…but probably not, since there will be an almost one-year-old with me. Or I might be heading to work myself. I don’t really know until it happens. 

On a barely related note… I can’t stand the word ‘vacay.’ Maybe because it’s not a word. I don’t usually say anything, but it just might come up. I’m going to do my damndest to make sure this blog doesn’t become a running list of “things that bug me.” So thanks for your consideration.