Monday, December 28, 2009

Should Have Asked for a Canoe!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas this year!
Did you get everything you wanted?

I should have asked for a boat of some kind.

I can understand that my house sits a mere 10 feet above sea level. I can understand that a short drive to the west from my house brings me to major bodies of water. I really can.

The day after Christmas, Santa brought me a moat for my house. My very own moat! It completely surrounded the house and connected to my very own backyard lake, also a gift from the big red man.

It also started to seep a little bit into the basement.

My very own Venice, right here in Maryland. I am so lucky.

Who would have thought that two feet of holiday snow would melt so fast in 40 degree weather? And who would have thought that the two feet of snow, melting into already saturated ground a mere 10 feet from the water table, would have no where to go?

I should look on the bright side. I have always wanted to live waterfront, now I do.

I'm just saying, I should've asked for a canoe.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I am trapped in my house. Okay, on a normal day I am trapped in my house anyway, as we only own one car. But now I am really REALLY trapped in my house. This is day three after the record breaking Blizzard of '09. I just came in from once again unearthing the outside heating unit from the 2 foot snow drifts so the motor won't burn itself out. If the temperature would just get above 40 degrees, maybe some of this snow would go away and I could escape into the sunshine that I see outside my office window. But no, the temp is stubbornly hovering around 35 degrees Fahrenheit. I realize, though, if the snow melts quickly, I will more than likely develop a flooding problem so maybe I should count my blessing.

My husband is lucky. He went to work today. He got into our little car and drove to a place where intelligent people are congregating in their pursuit of freedom and democracy. But not me, I am sitting in the bright glow of the computer screen listening to the melodious tones of vomiting from the other room.

Oh yeah, the real reason I am trapped. I suppose if I really wanted to, I could bundle up the kids and take a walk down Main Street in the pursuit of a diversion. We could walk to our local craft studio, we could walk to various antique and secondhand shops, we could even visit some friends, but sadly none of that has a chance of happening today. The adorable daughter is sick.

She actually picked the perfect time to be sick. Schools are closed, and she did not have any plans today anyway. The snow is too deep to be fun, and too powdery for making snowmen. It is a perfect day for laying in bed all day watching cartoons and sleeping. I just feel so bad for her. It is three days to Christmas, so I hope she gets this out of her system by then.

Until then, I am using this time to get ready for Christmas. With Alli out of the way, I can feel free to wrap gifts and decorate the house while she sleeps in the master bedroom. With a very large bucket by her head.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Santa Problem

It is getting harder and harder to keep the Santa myth going in my house. My daughter is almost 6 and smart as a whip. I am not sure what age is the correct age to begin addressing who Santa really is, but I know I am not ready yet to let it go. I like being Santa. I like seeing the look of wonder in my children's eyes when they see what Santa has left them. I especially enjoy telling them "Santa is watching you, you better behave" I am not sure I am ready to let go of that very effective behavior modification tool. Hey, I got to have some fun in life!

It doesn't help that my husband, in an effort to be helpful, started wrapping gifts while the the kids were still home. I managed to keep both kids in the basement while he wrapped at the dining room table, but then he took the smaller gifts and put them in the stockings already. I told him that he was asking for trouble because you could see the tops of the gifts sticking out. He insisted that they wouldn't notice and our secret was safe.

Well, sure enough, our daughter noticed. Her question to me was, "Why did Santa come early to put presents in the stockings?" As I recovered from choking on my diet coke, I frantically tried to come up with a reasonable story she would believe that wasn't something like "well, your dad didn't quite think this through and thought you were somehow both blind and deaf." This is what I came up with: "Well dear, while most of your gifts come from Santa, some of them come from your father and I" Problem solved for now, but I am not sure how long I am going to be able to keep this up. The parental gift story already has me backtracking on things I have previously told her.

Then, to make things more complicated, my mom's group started collecting present donations for a needy family. My daughter wanted to know why we were bringing a present to a meeting, and in my holiday addled brain, I decided to make it a lesson on charity and giving. I explained that we were giving gifts to a family who wasn't able to buy gifts for their children. Unfortunately, that let to the eventual question, "But won't they just get gifts from Santa?"


Wow, I still do not know how to answer that one. I think I may have mumbled something about how we were running late and needed to go, but I think I may have backed myself into a corner.

I remember finding out as a child that Santa wasn't real, and being devastated. I think I might be in trouble this year. How do you find the line between keeping a lovely secret that will enhance your child's holiday experience, and outright lying. Will my daughter be lying on a couch someday asking an overpriced shrink, "So what else in my childhood was a lie?" It's a slippery slope that I hope we survive. I think I may have one more year left, if I am lucky. Now if I can just keep her out of the crawl space, where Santa has hidden her gifts, we might just make it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why a Chicken Necker?

The title of my blog is Confessions of a Chicken Necker Mom. Seems weird, I know. Before I introduce myself I should probably explain what the heck a chicken necker is. The short definition is someone who was not born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but insists on living here anyway. The term is also used to describe tourists to said area. Nobody has explained to me yet how long you need to live here before you aren't a tourist anymore. I am still waiting for clairification on that one.

To introduce myself, I am a 37 year old mother of two. I have a 5 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. My husband works in computers and I am a stay at home mom. Basically I sit in front of my computer all day and try to figure out ways for it to make me some money. In my pajamas. While I change my son's diapers and plead with him to use the potty.

I was raised in the Baltimore, Maryland area, and my husband and I made the decision two years ago to move our little family to Maryland's Eastern Shore. To the uninitiated, I live in that little sliver of land located across the Chesapeake Bay from things that most people would consider "civilization". I plan on sharing my perspective as a parent raising children in a land that sometimes seems as foreign as Neptune. I anticipate some of the subjects I will be writing about include my frustration over the lack of street lights, theatre, and the presence of the school fog delay. I may also start complaining about the sheer amount of time it takes my husband to get home across the Bay Bridge on summer Friday nights.

It's isn't all bad, living here, though. There are many good reasons to live here. When people ask why we moved our entire lives away from our families and everything we knew, I can recite a variety of reasons. The school system here is one of the best in the state. The crime rate is so low it is almost a crime that we have to pay police to work here at all. (Although I think perhaps that the low crime rate is BECAUSE of the police here, now that I think about it). Located on the eastern sliver of a state that has made taxing things a recreational sport, we enjoy very low property taxeds. Oddly enough, these reasons, while good and worthwhile, are incidental to our real reason for moving here. Plain and simple, we just like living near water.

So stick with me and hopefully I will entertain you as I negotiate the waters here. (Look, I made a pun!) I already have an entire notebook full of things to complain about, as well as my marvel at the wonder of nature. So stay tuned.