The Real World: Wilmington

This is the true story … of four family members … who chose to move to the south … live together and have their lives blogged … to find out what happens … when people stop being polite … and start having babies … The Real World: Wilmington.

More Balloon Trauma July 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 9:34 pm

No, I did not let another balloon from Harris Teeter fly away (Elly will still tell you the story, complete with reminder that Mommy did it). I’m pretty sure that will never happen again due to the wrapping and re-wrapping I do with the ribbon around my hand and wrist before we even set foot out of the grocery store ever since the incident.

Elly discovered that balloons can pop. I can only imagine how scary that is for a child the first time their balloon makes that loud, surprising, unmistakable popping noise. Something that she thought only brought happiness (unless Mommy lets it fly away that is) brought her the opposite.

We were driving home from the grocery store with a pink balloon that we had to request someone blow up for us after Elly asked for the 8 millionth time for a balloon. I had a mini celebration in my head as I do every time I successfully get a balloon in the car from Harris Teeter. Jamie happened to be with us and as I was driving we suddenly hear the loud pop followed by Elly’s sobs. The girl isn’t known to have all that many crying fits, but this did her in.

I immediately thought, oh no, another balloon trauma, if I hadn’t scarred her before, this will certainly send her over the edge! But, after she calmed down she accepted our explanation that sometimes balloons pop and break. And I have heard minimal retellings of this event, unlike the balloon flying away event. Maybe it’s because she got out all her sadness right away whereas when the balloon flew away she took it like a champ. Who knows, toddlers are mysterious (and wonderful) creatures.


The Keatings July 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 5:40 pm

We spent 4th of July weekend at the Keating family reunion which included my Grandma, who we call Mama, my Aunts and Uncles, many of my cousins and spouses and their children, my siblings, and Jamie, who was brave enough to join me. We stayed at Uncle Tom and Aunt Lori’s home which is surrounded by lots of beautiful wide open spaces complete with a garden, chickens, and pig pen. Elly enjoyed the country life. What kid wouldn’t? The possibilities are endless with all that space to roam and imagine. 

collecting chicken eggs

We played corn hole, ate lots of good food, heard many a story, had a sing along, fed chickens, visited a country store with the best pies on Earth, watched fireworks (which we discovered terrify Elly), and celebrated being Keatings. The men, including my blogging husband, shot rifles one day (this also scared Elly, she must have inherited my liberal genes) to show us how manly they are. 

Here’s Jamie being manly again by helping cousin James move the smoker. 


When I was young my Grandparents lived in a similar place and we spent a lot of time there. I was allowed to wander the land along with my cousins, virtually adult free, although we later found out they always had an eye on us, the nerve. Along with family trips to the Outer Banks, this was the place where most of my favorite childhood memories occurred. Camping, fishing, following creeks as far as we could, playing games around a fallen tree, using our imaginations constantly as we explored the nature around us. I am so grateful for all of those experiences and the family that surrounded me on each visit to what we called ‘The Farm’. 


At the reunion I tried to soak in as much as I could, listening to stories and enjoying each individual there. I have a lot of love, respect and admiration for my relatives.  They each have talents and qualities that I admire. Aunt Lori is my new entertaining idol, the way she was able to flawlessly prepare delicious meal after delicious meal for that large a group boggles my mind! But, boy did my pregnant self enjoy all that food. I’m a little scared for my ob appointment weigh-in later this week. My cousins make raising multiple kids look like a breeze, I definitely took some mental notes. 

most of the kids

As a kid I loved being around Mama, my aunts, uncles and cousins and that hasn’t changed now that I’m an adult. My only wish would be that I saw them more often and that those who weren’t able to be there, come to the next reunion. I am already looking forward to it, especially since I will have another (Keating) Mottram to introduce to the happy group. 


For all the elementary school teachers and parents with young kids out there, my reunion weekend made me think of this book; The Relatives Came. It’s a great one to read to your little ones as they will surely be able to relate to the family in the story who visits their relatives out in the country one summer.