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Baby Hold On: Truro, Part 1.

Baby, hold on. This is going to be a photo-heavy post about my Cape Cod trip, and it’s only the half of it!

The strange thing about traveling with your kids, other than the fact that you never rest or turn off your brain about their needs and desires, is that the ending isn’t very neat and tidy. You don’t just run through your beach house or hotel room, throwing all of your stuff into a suitcase and calling it a day. Rather you have sippy cups and stuffed animals and swim diapers scattered under beds and kitchen tables. You have kid swimsuits drying on the deck. You have your own luggage and baggage too.

You have emotions scattered in hidden places. Maybe under beds and kitchen tables, and in closets.

When you leave, it’s like a tornado being picked up, and you don’t have time, you can’t have time, to notice how you feel. That only happens when you get into the car to find Eddie Money’s “Baby Hold On” is on the radio and the baby who was up hourly through the night with a newly popped tooth is asleep before the end of the street. The four-year-old is asleep before the start of the highway. And you find yourself abandoned with your thoughts, and a half-eaten package of Pretzel Goldfish, of course.

And so I kept my thoughts locked safely in my mind, until I got to a place in which I could write them down while not driving.

So here I am. It begins.

First, I remember jumping into shared life with my second mother-in-law (yes, I have two) quite flawlessly:


Cassidy had to miss the trip because of work upheavals, and my father-in-law had an important conflict, so it was just four of us.

For four relaxing days of libraries, playgrounds, lighthouses, beach towns, and beaches. And pretzel Goldfish.

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This is the view from the swings at the Truro Public Library playground:

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Scarlet and Peggy (Mother-in-law II) enjoyed the ship, lighthouse, slides, and gigantic swings, while Des discovered sand throwing. It took me a really long time to get it out of his scalp and ears. I’d rather not think about that right now..

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Scarlet – ever-dressed for any occasion.

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Split lip. Fake tattoo. Princess dress. Sandbox? Check. Check. Check. Check. Soon after the fun really started, Des discovered he could climb out of the sandbox and teeter dangerously on the edge, so that was the end of that. Aren’t these two just the cutest?

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The next day we got our only ten minutes of warm sun of the whole trip – in Provincetown.

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Scarlet had a lot of fun running around and dipping her hands into a fountain – very lightly. Only once or twice! Other kids walking by smiled at her and wanted to join in, but their parents all reeled them in and said, “Don’t! That’s dirty water!” Then they all looked suspiciously at me, but I think I’m so happy-go-lucky, and so are my kids, and we’re very healthy people, so these parents walk away from us and think, “Well hey – whatever works for them, clearly seems to be working.” (at least that’s what I tell myself when my daughter plays with dirty fountain water)

Just look at her, though! That’s happy. Dirty, happy.

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(Pretty much, Scarlet. Pretty much, how I feel sometimes.)

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And as for Des? Unamused.

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And that was only the first two days! Up next – lighthouses, beaches, tiaras, (fake) turtles, (real) crabs and more! Discovery and adventure!

…To be continued.

“Baby hold on to me
Whatever will be, will be
The future is ours to see
When you hold on to me”
— Eddie Money

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87 Comments

  1. I have nearly bathed myself in dirty fountain water. We had a very hot day at the Biltmore Estate and I was wilting. I grabbed a stick from the grounds and used it, along with dirty fountain water, to put up my hair. Tres chic!

  2. Love all the pictures!!! And, I feel your pain on the sand and scalp and ears and…..but so worth it!!!

    Can't wait for more pictures and fun vacation stories!!

  3. Seriously Scarlett, Emma and Lily would be the best of friends with playing the dirt. My motto, what's a little dirt if they are happy. And sorry, but I got some hives when I heard two MIL's. Don't get me wrong, I love Kevin's mom, but one is enough for a lifetime for me!! But seriously so far it looked wonderful and keep the photos coming!! πŸ™‚

    1. haha, sorry about the hives! She is actually so cool with understanding that our kids have six grandparents between my parents and Cassidy's divorced/remarried parents that it's a lot to juggle. She makes an extra effort, she says, not to overwhelm. It all works well, surprisingly. Sure I'm sure the ones farther away would love to see the kids more, and I would love more babysitting, but it works.

  4. I'm glad you had 10 minutes of sun! It is about 10 more minutes than we had this past weekend in Brewster. I adore Scarlet's dress in the playground picture. Kudos for you for letting her wear it even though it is so pretty it might get wrecked by life.

    1. ha! Wrecked by life. Good point. It’s actually a very old dress that she revamped and now calls “my Rapunzel dress.” Well hey, whatever makes her happy.

  5. Seriously love all of those pictures. And the sand. Oh the sand. I completely feel your pain there. Sand gets into places you don't even WANT to think about.

  6. Um, dirty fountain water? Whatevs? Apparently those folks, ain't (haven't but changed it for my comment:-)) ever been down here in the South, she took a bath before you put her to bed, so, I say, WAY TO GO for letting the youngin' be a kid and play! I love this post, looks like you guys had a great start to your trip & I cannot wait to see more fabulous photographs. xoxo. πŸ™‚

    1. I still haven’t had rest! Still! A holiday weekend and my husband was sick. Now it’s the week and my daughter got up at 6:00 am and climbed into bed with me and spent two hours poking me.
      I want a jacuzzi suite!

  7. It's water. It'll come off. I love how at that age the girls think a super frilly dress is appropriate for all occasions. Don't you wish we could wear fancy dresses whenever we wanted and no one would say anything? Perhaps we haven't really experienced McDonald's until we've done it in a ball gown.

  8. Des in the sand is my favorite!! I was thinking about the dirty fountain water…i’d probably let my kid play but honestly in a blink of an eye he’d be swimming and drinking it. So it may be easier to just say no. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to more from your trip!!

  9. What is it with fountain fear? I'm usually apprehensive about germs but I'm not sure about that one.

    Those vacation pictures are gorgeous.

    1. I think you're right. And the look I gave their mother probably made her re-evaluate her fear-mongering. Those poor kids just wanted to jump in the fountain! She marched them right past us to let them swim in the dirty ocean!

  10. Right – you have to draw the line! I was sorta wondering about the water's origin and whatnot and her touching it, but then I realized we're all always touching dirty things. Drinking is another story.

  11. Love Scarlett playing in the fountain pics! Looks like she had the time of her life. I suggest enjoy the hectic family travels because pretty soon they won't even want to be seen with us!

  12. I know all too well the perils of getting sand out of scalps and ears! It's the worst!! As for the fountain? I don't sweat stuff like that. If they're happy…what else matters? The pic of Des in the stroller is my favorite! Can't wait for part 2!

  13. Sometimes, we just gotta play in dirty fountains. lol. I think it takes exactly a year to get all sand out of kid's body parts. I want all of those rainbow spinner things-lol!

  14. I've heard baby powder helps get sand out, but I guess you don't want to sprinkle that in an ear. Love your pics, and the song. Can't wait to see part two – will there be a new song for that? πŸ™‚

  15. These are too cute! I honestly can't imagine the Mommy Brain that you must have had. I'm looking at Des and I'm thinking he and J.R. (my son) might be similar in age. J.R. is 16 months and I thought of him when I saw Des in that sand. That probably would have made me crazy! πŸ™‚

    1. Oh I'm so happy you know Truro! It's such a magical place. One of the reasons that the end of summer is so hard for me is because of how desolate Truro gets in fall/winter.

  16. Would you believe we go through a little sand throwing phase every summer? At least once, someone gets carried away and sand goes flying. It is hard to get out of their hair, is't it? πŸ™‚

    1. I never knew, Kim! I just never knew. His poor little white scalp. I had never seen anything like that. You'd have thought I put glue on his scalp first.

  17. I remember those days of sand throwing. It took forever to get it all off of them. I discovered the wonders of baby powder too late. That stuff is magic for getting rid of sand! Loved all your pictures as usual. And we would let our kids play in fountain water too. Let them be kids, for goodness sake!

  18. Looks like a fantastic trip so far! I thought I had a pretty decent relationship with my MIL – but I'm not sure I could handle a vacation with just her and the kids! On another note, I think that Scarlet looks pretty bada$$ with her split lip, fake tatoo and princess gown. It reminds me of a shirt my SIL has "Self Rescuing Princess"!

    1. Ha! Love all of what you said. Well it's my step-mother-in-law. I just hate the word "step" so I call her Mother-in-Law 2. I assure you she's very cool.

  19. My kids STILL throw sand. It's become a game (and a fight often too.) And don't sweat the fountains! They can survive some "dirty water"! I love that you call your MIL 2 , "MIL 2"— I know I will be that one day, so I love to hear that you spent time with her and not just with MIL 1! I love the first few shots of MIL 2 with Scarlet. So beautiful!

    1. Yes, you totally get it! Such is the life of blended families. I was actually worried that people would read this and think that I've had two marriages! I should have elaborated but I think enough people know the fairly common backstory of divorce and remarriage!

  20. Sounds like a full 2 days! What is about a vacation that makes us want to cram as much in as we can. Whatever happened to relaxing? πŸ™‚ Love your photos, as always. Looking forward to Part 2.

    1. ha! It was so relaxing, though. We knew we had to entertain kids and we found things like libraries and parks and bridges and quiet beaches. So much better to me than crazy, crowded, loud places.

  21. Your photos are breathtaking. Like for-real, I want you to take photos of my son (have I said this before? I think not. Or I think so. Whichever will make you drive your TamaraCameraTotin' self down here and do it).

    God. Vacations, huh? Amazingly wonderfully wonderful except the not wonderful parts, which are mostly until later. Ya know? Glad you had such a great time. And sand in kid's hair and ears? It lasts for like 5 days. Just saying because we went to the beach in July. worth it though. So worth it. Also? My current MIL 1 is Kathy. My current MIL 2 is Cathy. Bless them for making it easy on me.

    1. I read this last night and laughed out loud and woke up my light-sleeping husband. If you ever said something negative about Kathy or Cathy and the one you were speaking about heard you, you could just pretend you were talking about the other Kathy or Cathy.

      I want to take photos of your son too. You have to bribe me with wonderful food.

  22. Beautiful photos, looks like a great trip so far from what you've shown us! Your photos made me proclaim to my husband that we most definitely need to go to the New England states, it's so beautiful over there. I can't wait to see the rest of the photos!

    1. Yes, it is! And this time of year coming up is the best if you ever make the trip. September – October is fall foliage. It's famous here. We call our tourists "leaf peepers."

  23. Your kids are so adorable! I had to laugh at the dirty fountain water. My mother-in-law is a bit of a germaphobe, and I’m really not. So the whole time my kids were growing up, I would remind her, “If it was as easy to get sick from touching things as some people make it out to be, we’d all be sick all of the time.” She’s still a germaphobe. And I’m still not. Unless someone is coughing in my space. Which is way different than touching something you can wash off your hands. Eww.

  24. Oh the sand! It takes DAYS to get out doesn't it? Such beautiful, vivid photos Tamara. What a nice getaway for your and your kids (and your 2nd MIL). You captured it beautifully! P.S. I love Eddie Money too!

  25. Ah, looks like a very relaxing trip. (And I always let my Julia play in the "dirty" fountain water too. She was obsessed with fountains for a while. It's just too fun.) I always enjoy the sweet faces of your kids so much.

  26. I would totally let me kids play in that fountain! I can’t imagine anyone giving you the stink eye for that! To each, his own, I guess…Looks like you had a great trip despite the weather. Can’t wait for part 2.

  27. Dirty water or not….you have to let them have fun! That's what soap and clean water are for! New concept to some maybe?

    The pictures are beautiful as always!!

  28. How did I possibly miss this post? πŸ™ I love all the photos and you know Des is my absolute favorite! We love Scarlet but Des' face is just sooo expressive you think you know what he's thinking. btw Madison has played in the "dirty fountain water" at the mall and we've gotten those crazy looks as well. She even tried jumping in for the coins. I can't wait to see more photos. πŸ™‚

    1. Isn’t it kinda satisfying getting those crazy looks? I always think that’s because we’re making good memories.
      Glad you didn’t miss this post!

  29. Oh, I admit, I had a headache but with lots of love for my son when we go for trips because of dirt. The sand box is my suffering, I had to let my husband clean him before going in the house. Your children's faces are so divine….glad you had a memorable vacation.

  30. I totally played in the dirty fountain water at the Short Hills Mall as a child, and I’d like to think I turned out just fine πŸ™‚

    Beautiful pictures as always, Tamara! And I love Scarlet’s sense of fashion.

  31. I'm LOL'ing at Des (unamused) in the stroller! I also love Scarlet's dress! I also sooo agree with you about never really being able to "enjoy" the vacation when you have kids with you, until some time later because there is always a hustle and bustle!

  32. Des' expressions mirrors the expression my youngest has on his face most of the time. Looks like you had a fabulous time. And isn't it so true about vacations with kids? You don't have the time to process and tie up loose ends (and thoughts). It's just forward motion.

  33. Your words vividly capture the beauty and wonder of Truro. I love how you describe the iconic lighthouses and tranquil beaches. The photos transport me right to this charming coastal town. Such a beautiful tribute to a special place.

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