Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Martin Luther Kings birthday found us with nothing to do and great company to do it with. Ian had off from school and Aunt Jen called to see if we wanted to go to lunch. I've had a little place in mind for almost a year that I've wanted to try, so I strong-armed them into crossing the bridge into Jersey. My poor, poor family.

The ride only took about 40 minutes, which would not have been bad, except when we entered the restaurant, we were told we'd have to wait another 40 minutes. OK, apparently everyone else in the tristate area had the same idea that I had. But the place is So. Freaking. Cute. It's called the Pop Shop and is an old fashioned soda fountain/ice cream shop. But here's the thing, the menu is proportioned and priced perfectly. It has a section called Little Squirts for kids under 5, with nothing over $3.99. The best part of the day was Sophia's "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" sundae that she didn't finish. Wink, wink.

That's not really true, the best part of the day was that with Aunt Jen, Ian and Gram along for the adventure, there were plenty of arms for snuggling. My wonderful, wonderful family.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's get our sport on.

I troll the Internet looking for inexpensive ways to spend these long cold days. So when a brand spanking new sports arena started offering morning open play for preschoolers, I called to see what kind of group discount we could get for playgroup. We headed there on Wednesday, uncertain what our morning would look like, but when the doors opened we knew it was gonna be good fun. It was a huge warehouse, with 3 astroturf soccer fields. Spread out on the fields were huge balls, hula hoops, cones, wiffle balls and bats and at least 50 soccer balls. Just for us. But the piece de resistance was a huge moon bounce set up in the corner. Just for us. It was the perfect way to burn off some pent up energy that comes from spending too many 20 degree days in the house.
At snack time, I let everyone know that it was National Popcorn Day and broke open a bag of kettle corn to share. The man in charge of the site gave us juices boxes and turned on Handy Manny. Just for us. I think I mentioned that.

But let's go over the priorities of moms of preschoolers again:

1. The place is not crowded. Check.
2. The place has clean bathrooms. And check.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Welcoming in the New Year

We had a low key New Year's Eve with the Salad this year. I let them drink their morning milk out of plastic champagne flutes. That would have been celebration enough for these guys, but R had bigger plans up his sleeve. Around 3:30, he asked me to get warm clothes on the kids, pack a picnic type dinner and make hot chocolate in our thermos. And so I did. An hour later, we were on our way to the city to get a good parking spot for the 6:00 firework show. We spread out a blanket in the back of the van and ate peanut and jelly sandwiches and apple slices for dinner. At 5:55, we opened the hatch of the van and had heated, front row seats when they set off fireworks over the Walt Whitman bridge. When the show was over, we hightailed it outta there before we got stuck in traffic, sucking down hot chocolate to warm our bones.
After the Salad was safely tucked into bed, Ron and I cracked open a bottle of champagne, watched Rocky 17 and willed Dick Clark not to do the countdown to midnight. Please Mr. Clark, it's just sad now. I love you. I will always be loyal to you. But I give you permission to hand over the reigns to Ryan Seacrest.

Happy 2011!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And so the Salad says . . .

Riding in the car with a boy . . .

M: "Mommy, do birds have birthdays?"

Me: "Sure they do, every living thing has a day that it was born."

M: "Do they get presents?"

Me: "Maybe their mommy brings them a big juicy worm."


M: "That's not a very good present. Do they at least get cake? Or do they only get seeds to eat?"

Later in the tub . . .

A (playing doctor with S): "Take a deep breath. Now another one. And now one more."

Me: "A! You sounded just like a doctor. Do you want to be a doctor when you grow up?"

A: "No, I think I'll be a princess."

Me: "Well, OK, I guess. How about you, S? What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I offered her a few more ambitious options than princess. Although, if Grace Kelly could do it, why couldn't A?

Me: "Maybe you could be a soccer player or a teacher or the President of the United States?"

S: "Mommy? I think I just want to stay with you."
At least a million times a day I want to scoop that kid up and put her in my pocket and then whenever I needed a healthy dose of feel-good, I'd pull her out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Poo

M: "Hey girls, where do monkeys poop?"

S: "Monkeys poop in jungles, M."

A: "Not if they're made of Legos."

I'm thinking A is remembering the exhibit we saw at the Philadelphia Zoo this summer of golden lion tamarins made entirely from Legos.

At least, I hope she is. She couldn't possibly think monkeys could be made from Legos, could she? Gosh, maybe she could.
Hmmm . . . I may have to reconsider this homeschooling thing.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Little things

I have said many times, if you have the energy, this age of 3 is so easy to please. On the flip side, if you are feeling tired one day, 3 year olds pounce like hungry jungle animals. I am constantly thinking that this age that I have such a love/hate relationship with will pass all too quickly. Every time a Salad ingredient brings me a book to read, I realize this time is short lived, soon they will be able to read on their own. When they ask me to carry them up to bed, even though A is almost as long as I am, I muster up all my energy, thinking, "Someday soon, they may not ask." Just last week, when I leaned down to tuck her into bed S said, "That's OK, Mommy. Look! I can pull up my own blanket!" My heart shattered into 3000 pieces.

Along the easy-to-please vein, playgroup decided to venture into the city in early December. We were a force to be reckoned with, taking over a train car, armed with puffy coats and sippie cups. We were also armed with Grammy and Poppy, ensuring we made it safely to our destination, Reading Terminal Market. When the doors opened, the smell of flowers and coffee and fish and fry oil hit us. Our eyes were greeted by giant wild shrimp and live lobsters. We listened to strangers play Christmas music on the piano. We put coins in Philbert the Pig's mouth. We ate fried chicken and macaroni & cheese from Delihah's. We pushed buttons on the holiday train display. We took a side trip to the American Institute of Architects. I know you are probably wondering, what kind of killjoys bring preschoolers there? But we heard there was a construction toys display and play area set up. We spent the next hour in a room full of blocks and tinker toys and various and sundry other building supplies. It was a blessing hidden in an unsuspecting looking building. We were the only people there and the bathrooms were immaculate. And to a mother of 3 year olds, those 2 things are of utmost importance. At dinner, I asked the Salad what part of the trip they liked best. M said the trains. He added "You too, Mommy" as an after thought. A said "That Lucy was my best friend today." S said "All of her boys and her girls."

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault