Thursday, September 2, 2010

The walk to the beach

You start out by walking down my grandparents' driveway.

A little ways down, you turn to the right and step over a broken piece of fence into the woods. There is a small winding path among the foliage.

You go down a little hill into “Mosquito valley” (generally we ran through this – the name of it scared us more that was probably necessary),

After Mosquito Valley, you go up another bigger hill, and the dirt begins to turn sandy. Then you break out of the woods, and the smell hits you. It is the smell of the ocean breeze mixed with bayberry bushes that grown along the path. This is when you start to get excited.

You take off your shoes here, because the ground has turned officially to sand. A few more steps...

and you peak at the top of the hill!

Here we usually were forced to stop and take a picture by my mom or grandpa. Jennie and I kept up the tradition with our kids.

The very best part, however, is the final hill. You run down and back up and then it's into the ocean! I remember screaming, running as fast as I can, with cousins and siblings, leaving the grownups to walk the rest of the way. Grownups...

And that's it. That's our walk to the beach.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Suspenders v. Belt

A text conversation Jennie and I had one day...

Em - Have you ever thought about how impractical suspenders are? Why would you wear pants that were so big the only way to keep them up would be to literally suspend them from your shoulders by straps? I mean, I think they look cool and wouldn't mind if they came back in style, but you would just think people would have worn pants that fit them better or stuck with the ol' belt.

Jen - Haha. I don't know. Pants without beltloops maybe? I feel like the ol' suspenders rig up is older than the belt. Am I wrong?

Em - I always imagine Moses in a dress with a belt, not suspenders.

Jen - Oh shut up. Whatever. Here's what happened. Women said "we're in charge of making clothes, everyone wears dresses and if you need more support wear a belt." and then men said "we are in charge and we make pants!" and then second man said " what if we need extra support?" and first man furrowed his brow and them said "here attach this piece of elastic to your pants, then drape it over your shoulder and attach it to the other side of pant". And women laughed and laughed and said "belts will work for pants, but that looks funny so just leave them."
Em - Ha ha ha ha! "you're right dear, that looks MUCH better. Why don't you wear that to the fire council tonight?"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Manginelli Cape Cod

This trip was my first one to Cape Cod in about ten years. As a family, growing up, we would go to the Cape for a few weeks almost every summer. My memories are filled with picking blueberries, “2 minute showers!” warning, my little cousins Chrissy, Cassie and Beth, and of course, the walk to the beach.

The memory of this walk is one of the strongest memories I have from childhood. I recounted it to Phil numerous times throughout our marriage. It’s such a part of my family, in a way. My grandmother walked the very same path when she was a little girl, then my mother, then me, and now Jacob (he was carried most of it). I was so thrilled to show it to Phil, although the walk to the beach seemed much shorter this trip! It always seemed like such a big ordeal! I suppose we were smaller, and burdened down with shovels, pails, boogie boards, blankets, and umbrellas. But this time it probably took about 7 minutes to do, although I remember it being 20 minutes, easy.

Besides the beach, and now being the mom who forces her child to take pictures he doesn’t want to be in, we visited the lighthouse, made a trip to the famous Atlantic Spice Company, went to a pottery shop, Phil and the boys went to Provincetown, and had many many family dinners. Phil even got to play the classic Demming Cape Cod game called Wahoo. Apparently you are supposed to yell wahoo! when you win. It is a marble and board game we play on a board that my grandmother’s father made when she was a little girl. I really feel so blessed that many of my favorite memories of the Cape we reenacted with Phil and Jacob. They have been initiated.

Not so good things this trip – I got sick all day Saturday and threw up a lot. It was one of the only sunny days so that was a bummer, but my parents were there to help with Jacob.

Jacob threw up Monday.

Phil threw up Wednesday.

Jacob hates dirt and the sand. Whose kid is this? If he falls, he doesn’t cry UNLESS he gets dirt on his hand. Then he cries and walks over to me, holding his hand out for me to brush off. The beach was a little bit of hell for him, but he’s going to have to suck it up. He did like the ocean though, and amazed us with a huge “WOOOOW!” when we walked over the last dune and he saw it for the first time.

It rained four days in a row. Even though the Cape is beautiful in the rain, I get enough rain at home!

Good things this trip – I got to see my parents! Even throwing up, being on the Cape with them and just spending time may have been the most fulfilling part of the trip. It is so nice to see my mom back in her native habitat! And I was able to take a nice long walk on the beach with my dad. He and I seem to get very little time together lately so I cherished that walk.

I got to see lots of relatives! Grandma and Grandpa, David, Debbie, Bruce, Sam, Brenda, Susan…and of course my little cousin Cassie (who is not little at all, but my exact same age)! We had so much fun on the bus and she took us around Boston on Friday! I love her.

I got to see my siblings! Andrew and Buddie and their children were there for a few days. Jacob seems to idolize Taran, which I’m fine with. I mean, I would love it if he ever had taran’s hair! Jennie and Chris came in a little later in the week with my darling niece Haven! She is just the best – so cute, so happy, and so adventurous. She put Jacob to shame at the beach, loving the sand so much she was basically eating it. I have to brag about Jacob in some respects though. When he first saw Haven, he could not stop kissing her. He would walk tentatively up to where she was sititng and lean in for kiss after kiss. And if she started to crawl away, he would grab her head with both hands and try for more kisses. A clean freak he may be, but he is a very, very sweet one.

And finally, Sarah flew in to surprise us!!!!! Apparently she and Sam had tickets but he had to stay home from law firm interviews….lousy lawyers. So on Thursday, she just shows up! It was amazing to see her. I MISS YOU SO MUCH SAM!!


On Friday, we drove into Boston to spend time with my cousin Cassie! She showed us around the Public Gardens, we saw statues and ducks and ponds and it was amazing. Our friend Adam joined us, and we walked a little bit of the Liberty Trail and got to see some great historic sites. Boston was Phil's favorite part, and he has been talking about it ever since we got home. My skirt did fly up completely over my head, causing me to drop my brand new ice latte (I don't know what made me more upset - flashing Boston or losing my coffee), but it was funny either way. I'm sure some people got a real kick out of it.

All in all it was a great trip, very relaxing (although mixed with a lot of stress, I think family vacations, ESPECIALLY when you have a baby, will always have it’s fair share of stress). I could not imagine a better place to spend time with my family. I loved seeing my grandparents and showing it to Phil and Jake. And I write this as I fly home without Jacob on my lap! Phil offered to take him on his flight. It might be the first time Phil has flown with Jacob alone. I am a veteran, having flown four times alone with Jacob, so of course I am probably just as stressed here alone, hoping Phil is ok, as I would be if Jake was there with me. But I’m going to try to let it go, enjoy the rest of my flight, and keep thinking about my new memories from the Cape.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Year!

Welcome 2010!

Phil, Jacob and I had a fantastic holiday season. We went to Handel's Messiah, hosted a great party, went to a wonderful Christmas Eve service, and spent Christmas Day and the following week in Idaho doing n o t h i n g. Then we went with the entire Manginelli family to Leavenworth for New Years. It was so fun to watch all of the cousins together. Jacob loved being in the middle of the action. He adores his older cousins, and he can't understand why his younger one, Luke, won't play with him. By which I mean, Jacob hits him in the face and doesn't know why Luke won't hit him back. Here are some of the things Jacob is doing right now:

-He loves dogs. The Arnolds have a very sweet, but very big dog, so Jacob is used to the tail wagging and licking. I would not be surprised if his first word is "doggy"! Anytime he sees a dog, he grins and lunges toward it.

-He is crawling so fast I have to run sometimes to keep up with him. Sometimes his legs go faster than his arms and he faceplants. He also loves stairs and can get up them before I even notice he is gone!

- He says dada all the time, and we are trying to help him associate that word with Phil. I think he's getting it - he seems to have two different reactions to people depending on gender. To daddy, and most boys, he laughs and "gets" them (tickling and slapping at their face). To mommy, and most girls, he snuggles up and kisses. Already he has made a little 8 month old girl cry by kissing her. That's my boy.

- He has become very electronically saavy. He can turn on the XBOX and knows that remote controls do something if you point them at the TV. I don't think he would be any happier than to sit on the couch with mommy and daddy and play on the laptop.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

The whole family on a winter sleigh ride!

Jacob trying to play with Luke's toy. Luke stood his ground!

Can I come in?

Christmas morning!

Jacob's favorite thing - bathtime! He waits so eagerly for the tub to fill up.