You've Got Mail

I shared baby at the beach pictures with my family and friends today. Kodakgallery informed me that my grandmother's email address is no longer active. She passed away last winter, but I didn't think to delete her from my address book. I don't think I will. Perhaps there's an automatic mail forward that Kodakgallery doesn't know about.

The Stroller Smackdown

The first Monday after vacation was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Every task I tried to accomplish somehow spawned 10 more things to do. Frustrated, I headed out of my Sisyphean house of horrors to go to the library, get an oil change, and assuage my frustration with an iced latte.

The library book I wanted (Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees) was checked out. In the parking lot, I strapped Baby C into her car seat and tried to collapse her stroller to put in the trunk. The button that folds the stroller had fallen off. For fifteen minutes, the Peg Perago Aria MT and I wrestled in the library parking lot, with bemused patrons looking on and Baby C wailing from the car. We were evenly matched - I have opposable thumbs, but the stroller is bigger, stronger and more cunning. I finally won the throwdown. Exhausted, I detoured home to trade strollers before the oil change.

I loaded our newish all terraine stroller in the trunk and headed off for an oil change. I pried the now-sleeping baby out of her car seat, only to discover that stroller no. 2 had a flat tire. A lesser mommy would have despaired, but I laughed triumphantly. Was I not at Jiffy Lube, staring directly at an air hose?

My triumph was short-lived. The tire was not only flat, but had a severe leak. It has to be replaced. Still on a mission to get my latte, I lurched down the block with the bum wheel to the coffee shop.

At home, I couldn't get through to stroller no. 2's customer service, although the Peg Perago people offered to sell me the missing part for $5.00. "Didn't you try to get it for free?" Greg innocently asked when I told him my woes. I stared off into space and wondered about my life. Felt like sobbing, but couldn't muster the energy. I didn't make dinner. According to Web MD, I was depressed. I figured I'd have to go talk to someone, maybe get some meds. Whatever.

From the nursery, I heard Greg reading Baby C her night-time story. He selected Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and personalized it just for me. Soon, both the baby and I were laughing. Some days are like that. Even in Australia.

*post script* I got some sleep. All is well. Turns out that stroller no. 2 just needed a new tire tube. The people got back to me Tuesday.

Vacation Inventory

Pink cheeks (all)
Sunburnt shoulders (Greg)
Sand (car)
Sand (suitcase)
More sand (purse?!)
Cheerios (car)
Cheerios (stroller)
Cheerios (in my shoe?!)
Sand (it's freakin' everywhere)
Great pictures (still need to be downloaded)
Wonderful memories (all)
Sand (I give up)


Greg's family spent summers at the Cape when he was a kid. July and August were tan and sandy days at the beach with lunch out of the cooler and, if the four kids deserved a special treat and Nan was buying, fries from the concession stand. The Atlantic was his playground. He learned to swim and sail and dive, and he can still hold his breath under water longer than anyone I know. The Cape is Greg's favorite place, Fenway included.

Last Saturday, we packed the car to bursting and headed to the beach. With Baby C so small, we didn't drive eight hours up to the Cape but are hanging out in Delaware for a week in a rented beach house with some friends. (They're brave enough to vacation with a nine month old because they have two sweet-hearted and impish girls, ages six and two.)

Greg couldn't wait to show Baby C the beach. He took his baby, sticky with sunscreen, up to the wild Atlantic waves. "See, baby." He held her out, let her feet get wet. She screamed at the surf and clung to him. "It's okay, baby. This is the ocean." Later, under the shade tent, she slept covered in sand. I pulled out sandwiches from the cooler. Greg swam past the breakers. It's summer.

Going Fishin'

We're headed to the beach tomorrow. If Baby C stops eating sand long enough for me to post, I'll let you know how it's going. We're not off to the best start, considering that I haven't started packing yet. But, I have a list. That counts for something, right?

New Beginning

Uh, hello? Is this blog on?

My long silence here is Baby C's fault. After nearly nine months of playing fast and loose with the kid's soul, we finally had her baptized last week. Her grandmothers are much relieved. The renouncing of Satan turned out to be the least of our worries. We had to clean the house for all the family who would be in town, so we also decided to throw a big party, sort of a baby-house-warming. Which meant that we finally had to unpack those boxes from our move last August. And hang curtains. And get pictures framed. And figure out what to feed all the houseguests. And repair the hole in the deck, weed the garden, buy a grill, rent a tent, discuss our ambivalence towards organized religion in hissed whispers to avoid alerting the more devout members of our family that our views may not be exactly orthodox, and, well, you get the idea.

Greg had emailed people to say “no gifts, please", but I got one anyway. We spend a lot of time as guests in our parents’ houses in our original hometowns (his: Boston, hers: Chicago), where it sometimes feels that real life unfolds without us. Baby C’s christening brought our families together for the first time since our wedding five years ago. Most of our local friends (and even a couple of long-distance ones, too) joined us. Having everyone together in our freshly-curtained house made me feel more established, somehow. I realized for the first time that our life in DC has a weight and substance of its own.