Archive for June, 2012


Day 4: More Sun & Swimming

June 27, 2012

Today’s real photos will come along after I get the underwater camera’s film developed.  For now, here’s a taste:


The end of a good, good, day.

Mouse and David – Happy people.

With a sourpuss like this, you wonder where she gets her nickname?

He’s carrying both umbrellas, because my back is f’ing killing me. 

Moving on ….

Mouse got a new hat today; after a good bit of drama involving sunscreen in the eyeballs.*  Ouch.

Leaving the beach at 6:15 p.m.  We love our beach.

Do we have to go home in 2 days?  Really?

So, the other day, we SUCKED at sunscreen.  We tried to apply it to one another, and we tried to be sure to reapply as necessary.  But at the end of the day, we were all in pain.  Mouse’s pain was primarily on her face; Lemon’s on her shoulders, mine in a weird spot on my leg, plus odd patches on my chest.  David had it on his back and arms, in stripes (my fault?).

We took yesterday off from the beach, partly because it was the coolest day of the week (and therefore the most comfortable to be wandering around), and partly so we could let our sunburns heal.

Today, we were more determined.  We coated & coated.  We allowed for extra dry time before going in the water.  We got out of the water to the shade, and went to reapply before getting back in the water when it was time.  Mouse closed her eyes, and I put the sunscreen on.  All seemed fine, but then – it got in her eyes. She cried and yelled.  I grabbed my water bottle and dumped the contents on her eyes.  She cried and yelled more, and said, “oh my god, i can’t seeeeeee!”  We all kind of freaked (on the inside).  More water, towel, water.  She could see, but still hurt.  Now it was her eyelids, her face.  So she and I head back to the house, and I’m feeling terrible, because I’m the one who put the sunscreen on her. She takes a shower, and still cries that it hurts.  I feel worse.  Then she says, “well, I think it might be my sunburn?”  and a switch flips in her head, and …. no more pain.  She gets dressed, we go to the store to get special FACE sunscreen.  We go back home, put it on a tiny spot to make sure it doesn’t sting – it’s fine.  We put it on our faces, and we had back to the amazing, fantastic, uncrowded, beautiful, 78 degree beach.

God, we love this vacation.

Stay tuned – tomorrow, we explore to the north.



Day 3: A break from the sun.

June 27, 2012

Slathered with aloe, we headed out for a day of exploring:

Well, after a lazy morning on the deck.  The storms cleared out the humidity, and it was breezy enough that we needed sweatshirts.

In my souvenir.  

Then, Lighthouse No. 1:

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  

We didn’t climb to the top, because there was a 1-hour wait time.  But we got plenty o’ pictures.

The tippy top.

The Hipstamatic Version

You can see Lemon’s sunburn a bit.  


My camera was full of these after I asked Lemon to hold it.

A rarity.  Thanks to Mouse for taking a decent one.

What most of our day looked like.  

Then we took a ferry to Ocracoke Island (and we all had fun saying “Ocracoke” all day):

Reminiscent of the ferries to the Vineyard.

But with much warmer water.

And with non-Massachusetts names and stuff.

While in Ocracoke, we saw another lighthouse, and some ducks:

Ocracoke Lighthouse:  The oldest operating lighthouse on the East Coast.

The family, in front of the Ocracoke Lighthouse. (Mouse was in a bit of snit here, surprised I got a decent smile out of her.)

The Hipstamatic versions:

The Lighthouse.

The Lovely Lemon. 

And again.  (Blows me away how old she is looking.)

Only one of Mouse.  She was in a Mood.  

And the ducks I promised.

We saw all we really felt we needed to see on Ocracoke earlier than anticipated, and so decided to head back to our home base on Hatteras Island for dinner.  But first, I needed a couple of beach shots from the more-southern vantage point.  David stayed in the car because it was after 4:30, and therefore mosquito feeding time, and Mouse stayed in the car because her snit wasn’t over (“I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m bored.”)  Lemon and I went and peeked:

Such a pretty, cooperative girl.

Or not.  🙂  (Like her sunburn???  Her other grandmother chastised her on Facebook for it.)

Ocracoke Beach.

More beach.

The Grassy Dunes.

We got onto the ferry pretty quick (there was an hour or so wait on the way TO Ocracoke, but no wait on the way home), and had some burgers for dinner (tuna sandwich for Mouse, because she’s a veggie, and a veggie burger for David because …. he was in the mood?).  After dinner, we found this outside:

Sunset in Waves, NC

The Hipstamatic version (required, in my opinion).

Day 4 is another beach day.  I bought myself an underwater camera so I can take pics from the waves.  Sadly, though, I can’t develop them until I get home.  But I’m very excited!

In other news, I woke up on Day 3 with a very painful back.  The same back pain I experienced about a year ago, when I first started running.  Hopefully, this will go away soon.


Day 2: More Beach & A Storm

June 27, 2012

Little did we know that while these photos were being snapped, skin was turning crispy.  The ocean tends to melt sunscreen right off the body.  This we have learned.

Mouse warming up before jumping back into the ocean.

David hiding from the sun.

Lemon is too cool to swim.  

David and I enjoyed tracking clouds from under our shady umbrellas.  When do we have time for that?

The girls also took refuge from the sun.  I wish I could say the combination of shade and sun screen kept us all from burning.

Book + Chips = 15yo’s idea of the beach.

The storms rolled in at around 8, and gave us a good show through 1 a.m.

We have this “crow’s nest” deck on the house we’re renting.  A little scary because it moves in the wind, but I wasn’t able to leave it when the storm was approaching.  Very cool view.  

(I climbed down well before I saw lightning, at my family’s urging.)


Day 1*, Part 2

June 24, 2012

Lemon and Mouse

Lemon in the waves.

Poorly framed Mouse

(But helps to ensure a modest photo)

Frolicking (Lemon)


before we realized that I did a shitty job on his sunscreen application . . . 

(I think he’s cute!)

This picture disorients me (and the rest of the fam) – People tell me my girls look

alike, and I scoff at them.  They do not know what they are talking about!

But here, Mousey looks like Lemon. We were all confused when the picture came out.

Me.  And I not only didn’t delete it – I’m posting it.  Huh.

Purchasing these took 2 hours out of our beach day.  

I can’t imagine how red we’d be without them.

Cool clouds over her head.

Another Selfie that I didn’t delete.  I even made it my FB Profile Pic.

End-of-day.  David and I wanted to stay until closer to sunset, but the girls were beat & craving air conditioning.

Go figure.

* Not the first day of vacation; we left home on Friday morning.  But Day 1 of the beach, and that, really, was the whole point.



June 24, 2012

Morning walk to the beach.

David & Mouse in the OceanNo hurricane this year.

The path to the beach.

Private beach.

Staking out a spot. (Lemon’s in bed – it’s only 9:30, after all.)

Even crabs need shades.


Today, I live in a city.

June 6, 2012

Before Mouse got on my nerves, as I sat and struggled with my brief (the certified questions don’t actually match the real issues; it’s a bummer), I heard sirens.  I always do.  Sometimes they persist, and I might even turn around and look out the window to look for smoke or some other sign of What’s Going On.  Today, I didn’t.  I just heard them.  And I struggled with my brief.

Later, someone send an email to ~Everyone.  “If you are going to Superior Court this afternoon, allow extra time.  Someone was found guilty, and their “posse” started a fight in front of the courthouse, 4 people were stabbed, and one was killed.  The streets are closed.”

The courthouse is kind of across the street from my office.  “Kind of” because before you get to the street, you have to cross a big brick plaza.

Up until a couple weeks ago, there was a circus on that plaza.  This week, it’s the Scooper Bowl.  Honestly, the Scooper Bowl has been annoying me.  They keep playing really loud music, especially around 4:30, 5:00 – likely when most people get out of school and work, but also when I am under the gun to finish my work and GO HOME.  The music is hard to block out. It’s annoying.

Yet, despite the annoyance, there are the memories. I, personally, have never been to the Scooper Bowl.  But when I was in law school, and in my early days at the BigFirm when the girls were still young, their after school program used to go  – every year.  As they got older, and were no longer in after school programs, they’d still go.  Lemon would just go with her friends, and Mouse would go with a friend and a mom.

So today, when I was on the phone with a client, looking out the window (because if my back isn’t turned to my computer, I get distracted by incoming emails, whether they relate to other cases or to graduation, or to Mad Men), I took note of the obvious field trips lined up outside the Scooper Bowl.  Hundreds of people, ready for their $10 worth of unlimited ice cream.  And I had warm feelings.

It was only an hour later that 4 people were stabbed across the street from that crowd of charity-contributing-gluttons.  Because someone was found guilty of murder, and other people got angry.

I found it disturbing. usually we love how close our firm is to the courthouse.  Today?  Not so much.

Later, David and I were chatting about the fact that Mouse was no longer being a brat, and he said, “there are multiple helicopters hovering overhead, they’re really close.”  Then he sent me a link, once he figured out what was going on.  The train station referred to in that article means that the helicopters were really and truly RIGHT OVER OUR HOUSE.  That’s how close.



Speaking of bratty — (or is it neglected?)

June 6, 2012

Next week, Mouse “graduates” from 8th grade.  I know, I know, “that’s not a real graduation” [please, read that phrase with a nasty, nasaly, grouchy, crotchety tone of voice].  But you know what?  Who cares. This has been her school, her class, our community, since she was in 1st grade.  No, she’s not done with school, but we are all closing a huge chapter of our lives.  I’m calling it graduation, and I’m celebrating.

Maybe 6 weeks ago, she and I went shopping with one of her closest friends and her mom, who I’m relatively close with.  Mouse found the requisite two dresses — one for her school “dinner/dance,” and one for the graduation ceremony itself.  Both were way cute.  The dinner/dance dress, however, which is strapless, is a little loose in the bust.  Even though it has some rubberized stuff at the top of it, it still runs the risk of falling right down her pole-thin body and onto the floor.

About 2 weeks ago, she said, “Mom, we have to get this taken in.”  I said, “okay, I will call.  But you have to remind me – I get busy at work and I forget until it’s 5:30 and everywhere is closed.  When you get home, text me or call me, and I’ll take care of it.”

Well, she got busy.  With friends or with homework or with other 8th-grade sorts of things, and I never got a text or a call.

I was talking with a friend today about the graduation plans (because we are organizing decorations and a grade-wide party), and all of a sudden, like a punch in the gut, I remembered that we need to get Mouse’s dress altered.  I thought I also remembered her saying that sure, she can go into the seamstress shop by herself ….

So I was chatting with David while eating lunch and mentioned to him that I texted Mouse with instructions to go by the boutique that we used last time at 3:30.  I explained to him where exactly it was (basically across the street from her school), and things seemed fine.

But then she got home, and upon realizing I was sending there by herself, went into all-out meltdown mode.

I don’t know – when Lemon was her age, she’d do anything and go anywhere by herself.  I had called ahead, she was expected, arrangements were made – what’s the problem?  “I don’t feel comfortable, and I don’t know what to do!” So I’m texting Lemon, and I’m chatting with David, and they’re both in the house with a bit of a tantrum-y Mouse, and everyone is annoyed.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to draft a brief for the Third Circuit … and feeling very frustrated.

It really came down to the fact that Mouse didn’t want to go with anyone but me.  But she wanted her dress altered.  And I couldn’t be there (hello, Third Circuit).  And if we didn’t go today, we couldn’t get a guarantee it would be ready in time for the dance.

So she gnashed her terrible teeth and roared her terrible roar, and then said, “fine.”  (well, the “fine” didn’t come until after I lectured her about her inflexibility, and explaining that I could not come home to go with her, and that I’m taking off tons of time next week for her graduation and all of the surrounding events, and that she had offers from both David AND Lemon to go with her, and she needed to knock it the F off.  Only I didn’t say F or Fuck.  I just said, “you need to be more flexible.”  I also apologized for not having the chance to talk to her about it/ prep her in advance, but that’s just the way it went, and now she needs to Fing Deal.  Only I didn’t say “Fing.”  Or Fucking.  But I was thinking it!!)

And David took her.  He reported that she was a total grouch the entire time, but it was all over with inside of 3 minutes, and they were back home.  When she walked back in the door and found multiple 10th graders in the kitchen eating all our food, she completely forgot about the trauma of Seamstress Without Mom, and got lost in hanging out with the older girls.





June 6, 2012

The other day, I was commuting into work.  Happily, I ended up with a seat pretty early in my ride, near to the front of the train.  The train driver and another MBTA worker were chatting.  (I was on the second of 2 cars, and in that situation, my “train driver” is really nothing more than a glorified fare collector and announcement-maker; the chatting was not a safety issue).

I found myself eavesdropping.

Me, one of many people in suits or other business dress.  iPad or iPhone in hand (for many, like me, it’s both).  Well-regarded literature or magazine in hand, to read when the mindless games on said devices become tiresome.  Checking our email every moment that we get reception in the tunnels, because work may need me, they may have Important Questions.

But the eavesdropping:

Male MBTA Worker-Dude:  I just want to travel, you know?  I want to go all kinds of places and see all kinds of things.

Female MBTA Driver-Lady:  I want to go on vacation, but I don’t really care where I go.  I can’t really afford to go anywhere far away anyway.

Male MBTA Worker-Dude:  You know what would be so cool?  To go to D.C.  And you can drive there.  They say that in D.C., there’s a lot of museums.  Like tons of museums! Man, I would love that shit!  I would love to go and see all the ancient Egypt shit.  That would be cool.

Female MBTA Driver- Lady:  I don’t wanna go to no museums.  If I go on vacation, I just want to rest on my hotel bed and go to the hotel pool.

Male MBTA Worker-Dude:  Man! Are you kidding me?  What’s the point in that, you might as well stay home!  Don’t you want to see stuff?

Female MBTA Driver-Lady: [some quiet mumbling about having three babies]

Male MBTA Worker-Dude:  yeah, that’s hard when you gotta deal with all of that.  But then they’ll grow up and move out, and then you can do other shit.

And that stuck with me.  All day.  The privilege, which I don’t always see, every now and then becomes overwhelming.