Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cape Cod 2015

I skipped our vacation post in lieu of back-to-school- but here are a few photos from our week at the Cape.  I can't believe we were there less than 2 weeks ago; it feels like it never happened! I love the pace of those lazy vacation days, and all that time with my sweet-faced babies.

We drove up on Saturday, and I finally got Eric to agree to stop for lunch in Providence- we have managed to skip Providence for the past 3 years, and Charlotte's never been!  We went to my favorite falafel place and the guy working there asked if I used to go to Brown.  Eric was very impressed! I swear I didn't eat that much falafel... I must just have a memorable face.

Asher and Charlotte with my freshman dorm in the far background
On Sunday my cousins' cousin and his wife came to visit with their 4 year-old.  The kids had a great time playing together (except Asher, who couldn't hold it together and had to go home and nap while Benjamin and Charlotte stayed up and played). After dinner, we went out for ice cream on the bay and the kids were total goofballs.
Goofballs on the pier
The rest of the week blurs together- we spent most mornings at Great Pond where the kids swam and played in the sand. They made friends with a girl from New York named Iris, and everything was more fun with her there.  Last year, the kids just stayed at the edge of the water and played in the sand and shallow water... This year, the boys knew how to swim and kept going out in the water. It was a little more scary for me. And Charlotte thinks she knows how to swim even though she doesn't! She is more brave than her abilities warrant.
This was funny- I commented on this headline in the Globe (to say, "Is it really such a surprise that foster children are mistreated?):
And Asher's comment was, "I am going to call the police on you, Mommy. You only gave me HALF a donut this morning."  Yes, Asher, call the police about that one.

We had another bonfire on the beach and made smores.
Goofing around before the fire got started
My footsteps next to Benjamin's. His baby feet are getting so big!
Our roaring fire
Sunny beach morning
Stripe selfie
We had our lobster dinner by the water and got 4 lobsters instead of 3!  Then we went out for dessert at Ben & Jerry's- we hadn't been in YEARS and my sister and I wanted to share a sundae. We reminisced about our many late nights there as teenagers trying to flirt with the employees.  I am pretty sure that Eric was embarrassed on my behalf.

Sweet boys and a beautiful sunset
I convinced Benjamin to get the phish food ice cream- another teenage favorite of mine.

My girl posing in one of my favorite flavors
We came home on the Sunday of labor day weekend, and had one day before school started.  I took the kids to the pool (it was hot!).  This is how the boys handle Aqua Zumba- Asher lay out his towel to get a close up of the woman "dancing," and Benjamin stood back and followed along.  Such different boys, but both so funny.

I hate how quickly vacation flies by when I spend all year looking forward to it.  I love the pine trees, the sandy streets, and coffee on the balcony each morning.  I hate that it's another 12 months until we get back there, to everyone's favorite place.  It was only 2 weeks ago that we were there, but already it feels like forever!  Now I am hoping for a happy and healthy year of school for the kids and work for Eric and me.

Friday, September 11, 2015

First Days of School

This week all 3 kids had their first days of school- Charlotte went back to the JCC and is in the "younger 3's" class with some of her old classmates, and the boys started KINDERGARTEN!  It has been very disjointed- orientations for the boys on Tuesday, then nothing til a full day Thursday; regular school hours for Charlotte Tuesday through Thursday... Plus we are inundated with paperwork from the various schools and programs, so that I am sure I have missed something of the utmost importance and just hope that someone catches my error before there are any serious consequences...

Here are the kids on Tuesday before orientation and school:

Asher and Charles Broccoli

Benjamin and Pandy

Charlotte Eve in the dress her Memere bought her
 I took the boys first to their "Explorers" orientation- this is a half-day enrichment program since kindergarten only goes until 11:50. The Enrichment teacher is very friendly and energetic. She had a bowl full of snack- cheerios, raisins, and marshmallows- that Asher couldn't keep his eyes off of.
Coloring self-portraits
Asher's portrait and getting-to-know-you. He drew himself "as a mailbox"
Then we had another 45 minute orientation at the elementary school. The boys went into their classrooms and the parents to the "cafetorium" where we learned no new or helpful information.
Benjamin on the way to orientation
Wednesday the boys were home with their babysitter while I worked and Charlotte went to school and her first dance class.  Meema took her to dance but said she had a great time there and was cooperative and enthusiastic.
In her special tutu
Thursday was finally the boys' first day.  I thought I would cry, but we were so busy getting bags packed and 3 kids to 2 different places plus me to work, that next thing I knew, the boys were at school and I was alone in the car headed to the office.
Asher & Benjamin headed to their first real day of school
The boys seem to be doing ok- Asher is more quiet and reserved in his opinions. He says he can't remember anyone from his class's name, and is hazy on what he did during the day- I know he knows all of this, because he knows everything about everyone, so I assume he just doesn't want to talk about it yet.  Benjamin said he already has a new friend, Charlie, who he invited over to play after school some day.  Their teachers both seem friendly and we have heard good things about them from other families.  I am hoping that we are soon in the swing of things and I don't feel so disoriented around what I am supposed to be doing as a parent, too. It isn't made easier by the fact that after 2 days of school, the kids only have school a maximum of 3 days a week until October.  I guess we're starting slow!

Monday, September 7, 2015

The End of the Summer

It's the final washing of the swimsuits and towels, faded from their many hours in the sun.  Placing them in the bag with the forgotten sunscreen and beach sand still in the bottom.  Knowing how many months it will be until they're needed again.

It's picking out back-to-school clothes- clean, no holes.  Thinking of sweaters and corduroys but needing shorts and t-shirts.

It's the surprise of the Jewish holidays and the traditions so familiar and so intertwined with all of fall.  Apples and honey; sweet, round challahs; dressy clothes, and days off from school just as the routines begin.

It's tucking my loves into bed when the sun has already gone down, instead of arguing about why it's time to sleep while the sun is still out.

It's the crickets singing us to sleep at night and the soft, yellow slant of light in the morning.  Cool evenings and even cooler mornings broken by hot summer heat at midday.

It's the end of crowds at the pool, the beach, the ice cream store.  

It's the last meal eaten outside while the kids play on their swingset.

It's the first night with the heavy quilt; the first morning with a sweatshirt.

It's watching the leaves start to fall; noticing that bit of brown at the edges. 

It's the return to the routine and structure of school and work; the end of our freedom of unscheduled days and car trip adventures.

It's no more late nights with faces sticky from ice cream and hair stiff from the pool.

Another summer gone by.