Monthly Archives: June 2010

to hold your nose or not hold your nose….that is the question.


While on vacation in Florida, the doll discovered something that we’ve known for a long time.  You can jump into a pool, holding your breath, not your nose, and not get water in your nose.  Proud she was to show me.  What began as her going under water without the hand on her nose, spread to her jump.  I was so proud.

Except, the next time she jumped in, she held her nose.  When I asked why, she said, “Well probably cause it’s a habit and easier to do mom”.   “But, isn’t the point to jump in, without holding your nose?”  Giving me a cynical look, she said, “Well, I can jump whatever way I want Mom.  Just because I now know how to do it, doesn’t mean I have to every time!”

Uh, yeah…


the end around


Every day after school, once the homework is completed, the doll gets to play with her cousins, Mary and Edie.  Her cousins attend the same school and I watch them until their parents finish work.  This works out to be a win-win for all of us.  During the summer, however, a problem arises: Withdrawal.

Saturday, as we travelled home from Florida, the doll missed Edie’s 6th birthday party.  This was quite distressing for her as he thought of missing out on a party with her cousins was just unbearable.  All day Sunday she tried to get in touch with them to set up time when they could get together.  See she had a present for Edie burning a hole in her proverbial pocket.  Unfortunately, Sunday just didn’t work out either.

You can imagine how happy I was to get “rid” of my kids Monday morning, after the week’s vacation; to the park program.  The doll however had other plans, claiming to be ill. “Mom, I don’t think I want to go.  I still have a cough and the park program is boring.”  “Boring?  Since when?” I wondered aloud.  The boy looked at his sister and said, “She’s nuts, I’m going” and proceeded to head for the door.  “Well, if you’re going to stay here doll, then you have to know the ground rules.  No TV.  If you’re too sick to go to the park program, then no swimming today.  I’m planning on cleaning up the house, so I suppose you can help me with that, okay?”  Much to my surprise she agreed.

After a little time had passed, she looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m bored.  I was thinking, since I can’t go swimming, maybe you could take me over Mary and Edie’s.  Oh, now I get what’s going on here.  “Doll, if you are too sick to go to the park program, you’re too sick to go over to your cousin’s.  “Well, I forgot to tell you that when I talked with Uncle Danny last night, he said, maybe we could work something out with Jessica (their nanny for the summer) so I could hang out with them today.”  “I see, but, you are claiming to be sick.”  “Well, actually Mom, I feel fine, and I just didn’t want to be bored at the park program.”  “Sorry doll, you chose poorly”, I said.  “I don’t appreciate your end around game.”  “What’s an end around game?” she inquired.  “It’s when you tell me one thing in the hopes of tricking me into taking you over to your cousin’s.  Perhaps if you had asked me last night, we could have made plans, however, you chose to play this game instead, and guess what?  You’ve lost.”

Still trying to salvage a play date, she said “Well, I’m still bored and you could ‘get rid’ of me for a few hours if you just took me over there”.  Smiling, I replied, “Doll, if you’re bored that’s not my problem.  I can give you things to do, like read, dusting, sweeping, you name it.  You chose to not go to the park program; you chose to try and trick me.  Frankly, I should ground you. I know you miss your cousins, but you’re going about seeing them all wrong.”  Unhappy with my answers, she grabbed her library book and set on reading…something she thought was punishment enough.

Mr. Schmooze


The boy determined, if he continued to compliment people (mostly women), he could somehow improve his position, whatever that may be.  As we stood in one long line after another at the airport, he kept trying to get the Home Land Security personnel’s attention, just so he could say “Hi, you look very nice today”.    The women however, were too busy to hear what he was saying.

When we boarded our plane for home, the boy gave it one more try.  Seeing the head flight attendant, he said, “Hi, has anyone told you today you look very nice?”  Taken back by his manners, said “Why thank you”.  Then the attendant looked at his father and asked, “Where does all this charm come from?  Smiling and a bit embarrassed, his father said, “Well, he takes after his Grandfather”.  “Well”, she said, “It’s refreshing to have such a nice young man on the plane”.

We made our way to the seats and began to settle in for the plane ride home.  Just before takeoff, the head flight attendant stopped by our seats, leaned over and said, “You know it’s not very often that anyone stops and tries to cheer up our days, be it a man or a kid.  You’ve got quite a boy here.  Keep up the fine manners; they will take you far in life”.  As she said this, she handed the boy a bag of Sun Chips, a Reece’s Peanut butter cup and a Twix candy bar.  He accepted his reward, smiled and said thank you.

His manners ended there however, as he would not share any of his bounty with the doll.

wild life


When you travel to one of the Florida coasts, the hope is you’ll see manatees, dolphins or any number of  animals, not normally found in Ohio.  However the one animal we didn’t intend on seeing, but saw plenty of, were catfish.  While eating lunch Friday, our waitress told us about the “French fry” eating catfish, off the deck of the restaurant.  Curious, following lunch, the kids saved enough of their fries so they could  feed the catfish.   True to the waitress words, the catfish enjoyed all the kids gave them.

As our time in Florida came to an end, we enjoyed one more day to “bake” in the sun; swim in the pool; body surf in the ocean and walk the shoreline looking for “ghosty” crabs.  Why,  we even made the time to see a movie (Karate Kid 10 thumbs up!).  You can certainly say, we enjoyed all we could during the week.   Saturday morning, just before sunrise, the hubby and I woke up the boy so we could watch  daybreak together (the doll opted not to get up) before we left for our morning hike.  In typical boy fashion, he watched the sunrise, agreed it was beautiful then rolled over and was back asleep before we could close the curtain to the deck.

As we walked the upon the shifting sand along the beach, we inhaled deep breaths of ocean air while finding delight in the stillness of the waves as they lapped upon the shore;  trying to complete a mental image that will keep us for the next year until we meet again.   Saying goodbye to such beauty is hard, but necessary, so we’ll appreciate our time there again.

mixmaster supreme


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an article of clothing inside a washing machine?  I can tell you, as the ocean was the washing machine yesterday, and I the clothing:  not fun!  Yesterday the ocean gave the boy an me, the rides of our life, with much different outcomes. 

“I really don’t want to be out here dad” the boy said, as the waves crashed down around the sand bar.  “I know, but I promise you’ll enjoy yourself”.”  Note to self, never tell the boy that, because from then on out he was determined NOT to have a good time.  As a wave crashed down, he lost his diving mask.  Fortunate for him, his father retreived it scolding him saying, “You have to hold this with more than two fingers boy, or you’ll lose it again.”  Handing the mask back to him, the boy gripped it tighter, until the next big wave picked us up and took him for a ride.  This time the mask was gone. 

Feeling sorry for himself, he waddled back to shore, hoping the mask would eventually float toward him.  Unfortunately, that would not be the case.  After a spell, we spotted his grandmother up at the pool, waving for him and the doll to come join her.  Looking at me he said, “How am I going to explain what happened to my mask?”  “Geeze boy, why not say the truth?”  “Truth is boring Mom.” 

By the time we met up with his sister, the lost mask tale began to take shape…”Doll, you’ll never believe what happened!  We were out catching the waves when a dolphin swam near, caught my swim mask on his nose and swam off with my mask!”  He said in convincing fashion.  “Ohhh, boy, that’s so cool!” she said in reply.  They both agreed it was time to find Grammy at the pool and off they went.

Meanwhile, I wandered back into the ocean, hoping to body surf and clear out my clogged sinuses.  I caught one wave and travelled about 30 feet toward the shore line.  As I stood up, trying to prepare for the next wave, my feet were pulled out from underneath me and I was slammed hard into the sandy floor of the sandbar.  As I stood up, I was accutely aware of the throbbling left thigh and scraped knee.  Honestly I thought my left thigh was scraped up too, but thankfully, just the knee.  When I finally got my baring’s, the husband, laughing yelled, “Hey how was that mix master ride?” 

Later, after exhausting our bodies out in the surf, we joined our children and Grammy at the pool.  I did a running cannonball into the pool–hoping the water would be refreshing, alas, 82 degree water temp is anything but.   “Can we have a tea party underwater? ” the doll asked.  Sure, and underwater we went.  Problem is, as an overweight female, I float instead of sink.  Can’t quite explain why, I just do.  When we both came up to the surface, I apologized for not being able to sustain the tea party. “Sorry doll, I forgot, I’m too bouyant”.  Not missing a beat she said in return, “It’s like you have your own personal floaty”, while pointing at my belly.  I guess there are worst ways you could describe it…

humpty hump day


Remember the old kiddie rhyme, “humpty dumpty sat on a wall”, well this humpty dumpty hit a wall yesterday.  In actuality, we all did.  Hard to have a good time in paradise, when you all feel like crap.  This cold has taken it’s toll on all of us in different ways.  The boy and doll have deep throaty continuous coughs.  The hubby has a sore throat and minor nasal congestion.  I have a sinus headache, along with nasal congestion and am fighting to keep the cold out of my chest.  Grammy, poor Grammy, came down with a chest cold and a bladder infection.  She was out for the entire day.

I suppose vacations can mean anything.  Sun, beach, waves, pools, beds, pillows, sleeping.  You get the drift. We spent the majority of yesterday asleep.  However, by dinner time, we began to rally.  After a fabulous spaghetti dinner (made my me), the hubby no longer able to stay away from the ocean, got the children motivated and together, headed to the beach.  I followed a few minutes later, however, choosing to take my evening “mile” walk.   

The next hour and a half was spent frolicking in the surf, digging for shells and other life that lives along the waters edge; walking is soft wet sand until the calfs were burning; surfing the waves; avoiding jelly fish tentrals; sweating profusely; swimming in the pool; laughing and downing large quantities of cold water. 

All in all, if we were at home, we’d be miserable in Ohio.  Instead we’re unhappy with our health in Florida.  I think being unhappy in Florida wins.  With luck, we’ll get the kids motivated and out the door earlier than yesterday.  Here’s to hopeful thinking!!

On a side note, the hubby and I forced ourselves out of bed this morning to continue our morning walks–though sleeping sounded so much better.  Tomorrow we plan on rising at 5:30 am instead of 6:30 am so we can watch the sun rise while we walk.  Can’t think of a more romantic way to spend time with my man.



I suppose it was bound to happen.  One kid gets sick and the rest of the household comes down with the bug, just as he’s making a full recovery.  I guess the good news in all of this, it’s simply a 24-48 hour bug.  Not very comforting when you are having trouble swallowing though.

The bug didn’t let us know he was hanging around for an extended stay until midway through the afternoon.  We had gone to the ocean to swim and catch some waves, dig a hole to china, then to cool off (if possible in an 80 degee water temperature) in the main pool.  Morning as usual. 

The boy accompanied his father into the ocean, in hopes of letting salt water run through his sinus cavities;  clearning them out.  Hard to do though  through a swim mask.  I could not convince him to take the mask off for nothing.  Meanwhile, the doll, simply was not interested in experimenting with salt water in her sinuses.  Too bad too!

By nightfall, the kids were disappointed we wouldn’t allow them to go swimming in the pool.  Somehow, I think we would have been kicked out, with all the hacking, snorting and spitting they were doing.  Best to leave well enough alone.  There is always tomorrow….  So we’ll see. 

On a side note, hubby and I have continued our trend of getting up around 6:30 am and walking to the pier and back.  3.5 miles or so on the sometimes hard, sometimes soft sand.  I hope this means I’m getting back into shape…or at least sweating off the pounds I’ve gained while on vacation.  One can only hope…..