Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Week in the Life

Monday is our down day. We have no formal activities, so we usually take our time eating breakfast, lounge around, and then head out for some errands. Always, after the dry cleaners, we walk down to the pet store. After 30 minutes of looking for a green fish and "high 5-ing" the kittens, I was eager to get home for lunch. I had something new planned. A few homeschooling sites I frequent had inspired me to try Muffin Tin Monday. Here's how it looked:
Tuesday, our regular library, had a sign language instructor come. The Salad sat and signed their way through Old MacDonald. It was a little cold outside, but they wanted to have a picnic. So I opened the back of the car and we ate right on the floor of our minivan.

Wednesday, our usual playgroup planned a field trip to Smith Playhouse. It's an awesome old mansion, filled with toys and exciting finds. Except it was rainy, so it was crowded. And loud. My kids aren't big fans of crowded. Or loud. After M melted down 3 times and A once during lunch, another mom took pity on me and suggested burning off some steam on one of the many playgrounds or the giant wooden slide. "Yes," I thought, "they just need some fresh air." Boy, was I wrong. These pictures are misleading because it looks like we are all having fun. Except A wasn't. Having any fun. Instead of fun, she had 47 random meltdowns, stating her toes hurt her and she missed her friends Peter and Billy. So on Wednesday, after 2 hours of crying, I was that mom, who leaves a place, flushed, sweating, near tears herself. Holding the hand of one crying kid, with a second crying kid clinging to her neck like a monkey, with the third crying kid pulling up the rear, wailing she's "Frustrated! She doesn't want to leave. A! Please stop crying so we can stay! You are making me very sad! Very mad!"
Once I got back to the car, I remembered that I had followed our friend Amy there, and now was stranded in West Philly. After a few stretches and deep breathes, I pulled myself together, said a silent prayer and drove off in search of anything that looked familiar. A few right turns later, we stumbled past the Zoo, so I was able to make it home safely.

Thursday, we hung out at home in the morning. But I got antsy being in the house on such a beautiful day. So while the Salad took quiet time, I packed our afternoon snack for an outing. I piled everyone in the car and drove into downtown Media. After a quick Trader Joe's stop, we headed down to the tiny square in the middle of town. There's a small fountain, murals on the buildings, lots of dogs to gawk at, and a foot pedal that when pressed shoots water into your face. A perfect setting for eating grapes and throwing pennies. Friday, we went to our second gymnastics class of an 8 week course. Halfway through class, M got distracted when a UPS truck pulled up alongside the window. S kept checking to make sure I was still there, then played it off as a wave. A pays close attention to the teacher and makes sure to do everything just right. She's going to be an excellent student when she's introduced to formal education.
Saturday, was Peter's 3rd birthday party at the park. Despite swings and cupcakes, the highlight of the day was throwing soft pretzels off a bridge to the fish waiting below. Although the highlight for me was watching 15 preschoolers tear into a pinata. That poor, decorative baseball didn't stand a chance.We took advantage of a member morning stroll at the Zoo on Sunday morning. At noon, after 3 hours of horseback riding, carousel riding, swan boat riding, train riding, tractor climbing, goat feeding and face painting, M had a massive break down. It went something like this "I want mommy! I want daddy! I don't have to pee-pee! I don't want lunch! I want to eat lunch by the polar bears! I want my snack! No! I want the peanuts! I don't like these peanuts!" There was just no pleasing him. So we left. In retrospect, perhaps we over did it?
He regrouped after quiet time and we spent a peaceful afternoon planting our tomatoes. And playing with our beach balls. And squirting each other with the hose. And painting our bathtub with shaving cream.

Dude, maybe we do too much.

Monday, May 24, 2010


We love to picnic. And now that the weather is nice, we can do it outside again! But it hasn't always been that way. We did quite a bit of picnicing on our living room floor this winter. See?
But once April arrived, I was eager to get the Salad and myself as much fresh air as possible. So we went to a local airfield a while ago and had a picnic right next to the runway. I love a good theme, so we watched the small planes take off and land, built and "flew" the model planes the Easter Bunny left in our baskets,
and pretended to fly.
Two weeks ago, we had plans to go to Giggle Gang, but when we got there, we realized I had the wrong date. After a quick regroup, I seized the opportunity to spend the time outside. We went home, packed a picnic lunch and off we went to the park, with Grammy in tow. After eating chicken/cheese stick/grapes/banana chip lunch, we had We ran down hills. We played football, catch, parachute. We went exploring. We laid in the sun. We put lipstick on each other. We saw one of these. We watched a steady stream of dogs prance by. We drank iced tea. We tackled each other for no good reason.
It was one of those days that I often struggle to have. I struggle to forget about the dishes, the dust, the wash, the crumbs. But on that day, I forgot it all. And life was simple, perfect.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Memory: Goose busters

This post was originally written on March 6, 2010

To soak up as much vitamin D as possible we took advantage of Saturday's 53 degree weather and headed down to the zoo. At the children's petting zoo, a goose flew from a ledge, directly in front of M. On his flight down, a goose wing grazed M's head and threw him into a tizzy. I tried not to let him see me laughing while I comforted him.

We stopped at Potbellies on the way home where the Salad had huge peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Oreo cookie milk shakes. Yummo.
After "quiet time" (I am using that term quite loosely) S asked me to do a little face painting. I pulled out left over Halloween makeup and gladly obliged. A wanted Pinklicious' face. S wanted a green butterfly and M wanted Thomas. All 3, so true to form.

Before bed, we played an Olympic inspired game called skeeting. I believe that is a Saladized combination of skiing and skating. It has something to do with poles anyway. It's quite dangerous to witness.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Quiet" Time

I hear a lot of raucous laughter and yelling during "quiet time". I've started keeping the door to the Salad's room open with a gate across it from 1:30 to 3, so that I can do wash, dishes, clean up from the morning mayhem, prepare our afternoon project, make beds, wipe down the table, sweep the floor, pay bills, blah, blah, blah. As I go about my business, I hear gems like these waft from the mouths of babes.

"That's Spanish for brick."

"Please take this to the tax man."

"No. I have my big toe in your pocket!"

"Here, I have batteries and quarters in my duffle bag."

"Dear God, thank you for the things we are thankful for."

"My belly feels a little foody from lunch."

Oh, and stuff like this happens . . .

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One fish, Two fish

Recently, we took a trip to a local carnival that S has been begging to go to since we passed it on the way home from the library. The Salad rode some small rides and I took them all on a roller coaster. We went through the fun house as a family and laughed out loud at the silliness. We fished for sharks and walked away with 2 toy trumpets and a purple dog. R threw a ping pong ball in a vase of colored water and we left the "fun-i-bal" with 3 gold fish.

The Salad was thrilled with their new pets. S named hers Tinkerbell, A named hers Princess and M's was dubbed Track, as in Track Excavator. Anywho, when R and I looked at them the next afternoon, they weren't looking so, um, healthy. We figured the best route was to pre-empt their imminent end. We didn't want to talk about death and heaven, so we said the fish were sad without their mommies. All 8 of us (fish included) piled into the minivan and drove to the reservoir close to our house. We took a picture of each child with their new fish and as quickly as we won them, we set them free. M and A said they were very sad, and their little lips quivered just enough to break my heart. S said she was happy that her fish was happy now and showed me how it swam away, wiggling her little bottom.

Before we drove away, the Salad played Taps on their newly won trumpets.

Fine. It wasn't Taps. But it was trumpet "music" in honor of loved ones lost, so I said Taps. There. Happy now?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fish and Fountain

Our great friends Stacey, Maeve and Maura invited us to the Aquarium yesterday. And while we had fun inside the building, looking at the fish, watching the hippos swim and petting the sharks, it paled in comparison to the fun we had outside the building.

Does this count as a bath for the day?