On Friday night, we took a picnic dinner to Chanticleer, which is an old house with extensive gardens. On Friday nights in the summer, you can take dinner and eat on the lawn and walk the grounds. We always set our blankets at the top of the hill, and the kids run up and down the hill all evening. At the bottom of the hill is a koi pond, which they love to visit and look at the fish. Asher is very independent and will explore as much as we let him; Benjamin is more conservative and sticks by my side. Benjamin also gets worried if we don't see Asher for an extended period of time, and was grabbing my arm and saying, "I don't see Asher! ASHER! ASHER!" It's endearing and sweet- they are so aware of each other.
Saturday I took the 3 kids to Sesame Place while Eric went on a very long bike ride. As I got on the highway, I noticed that the van was on E and was telling me it had 7 miles to empty- not even close to getting us to Sesame Place! I had to pull of the highway in North Philadelphia, and on the exit ramp, a homeless man was asking for money. His sign said he needed a meal, so when I told the kids he was hungry, they wanted to give him food. I bought him a granola bar at the gas station while I filled up, and then we drove back to give it to him- our mitzvah for the day. I have to say that he didn't seem overly excited at my choice of food vs money, but, as the saying goes, beggars can't be choosers!
|Acting like rock stars|
|With Ernie, and their friends Noah and Maddie|
|Watching a show|
Saturday night, after naps (although only Charlotte slept, oh my goodness), we met friends at a playground for another picnic dinner. We ordered pizza and sat outside eating while the kids ran around and played. There was actually some time for the grown ups to have conversation! Then we went and got ice cream for dessert. Charlotte and Asher insist on getting rainbow ice cream, which looks to me like play-doh and has a ton of food coloring in it. But they love it. Benjamin will vary his choices a little- he had birthday cake this time. Again the kids were pleasant to be around and I was very proud of their choices and behavior.
On Sunday we had plans to drive to the Jersey Shore as a family, but Benjamin woke up with a stomach ache and threw up. So it was decided that I would go with Charlotte and Asher while Daddy stayed home with Benjamin. The long ride to the beach (2 hours) included Charlotte asking question after question, and when Asher would answer her, she would say, "I'm not talkin' a you, Asher!" or "Asher! No talkin'! Only Mommy talk!" Asher asked constantly how many minutes until we were there. Then he said, "I have to go pee NOW!" and I had to pull over so he could pee in some trees. Thank goodness for boys! Then, Charlotte changed her mind about going to the beach (we were about 1.5 hours in at this point) and told me, "I don't want to go to the beach! I don't want to see Papa Nick and Meema!" Of course as soon as we parked and she saw them she was happy as can be.
Asher and Charlotte played for hours on the beach. They played together, they played alone, they played with Papa Nick and Uncle Ed. Asher walked and looked for sea shells, and Charlotte dug in the sand. It was a chilly day with a lot of wind, so they kept coming to me for snuggles and to warm up, but they were so low-needs that I even got to read some of my book!
|Buckets of water|
|Charlotte with Uncle Ed|
Today, I went on a long run- 11 miles. I have a few weeks until my half-marathon, which I am now dreading. 13 miles, really? It felt hard enough to finish the 11 I did today. Although, what is 2 more miles after 11, right? I have just a few more weeks to sell myself on the idea.
After my run, we packed up yet another picnic (Thank you, Pat, for the insulated picnic cooler, I am definitely getting your money's worth!) and went to the outdoor pool at the kids' school. We were the first people there and got the seats in the shade, but the kids spent the whole time in and out of the kiddie pool. Around 11:30, classmates of Charlotte's started to show up, so she was excited to see them and play with them a little. Then we found out there were free ice cream sundaes at 1 o'clock! After hours in the sun and a little ice cream, we went home for naps.
|Charlotte with her classmate enjoying their sundaes|