Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016

The benefit to Halloween on a Monday- the whole weekend is Halloween events, and then you have an extra day after that!

All month, between Eric's bike riding, my training for the half marathon, the kids' Hebrew school, bad weather, we hadn't managed to do any Halloween events.  My feelings of guilt overtook me, and I attempted to make up for everything at once by cramming a full day of fun into Saturday.

I began by taking the three kids to the zoo, by myself, for Boo at the Zoo.  It was a perfectly beautiful day, and the place was mobbed.  It's a testament to how well my children are growing up that they were on perfect behavior, stuck by my side, and said "thank you" for all their treats. We lasted two good hours, and then left as the crowds continued to flow in.

Queen Elsa and the polar bear

Queen Elsa is upset because Asher touched her
Notice the kids' costumes. Only Benjamin is wearing the costume he chose the month before- Asher was supposed to be a SWAT team member, and Charlotte was going to be Tinkerbell. But that morning, Asher said he wouldn't wear his SWAT costume because he'd misplaced all the weapons when he had taken the costume out to play with it when the babysitter was here (because we'd told them no costumes until Halloween).  Charlotte decided her costume was too small. I had no energy or time to argue.

We had lunch at the zoo, then came home. Asher had a date with his friend, Leila. We'd tried a play date with 6 kids, but the mob mentality took over and it ended in disaster, so I took Asher and his friend out for one-on-one time. We went into Narberth for a witch scavenger hunt, and I treated them to rainbow ice cream cones.

 After our time in Narberth, the kids played together some more, and then we had a Halloween party at our friends' house. We ate pizza and played mummies.
Benjamin and Asher mummies

All the kid mummies
Then the spouses wrapped each other up.  I am not posting pictures of our friends, but I have one friend who I would describe as Type A+++ and she wrapped her husband quite neatly!
Sent this picture to my mom and said, "How much for orthodontia for this girl?"
Sunday we took it easy- the boys went to Hebrew school and I ran 11 miles, and then Eric and I went to a grown-up party in the evening.

Today, Halloween, I went to the school as room parent for Benjamin's class. I had planned a small craft, and brought 36 cupcakes. Other parents contributed other snacks, and the other room mom and I helped the kids put on their costumes and get ready for the parade.  Eric and Charlotte met us outside- I had asked Eric to bring our big camera, and he did, but I took a bunch of pictures before I realized it said, "NO CARD." Argh! None of the pictures were actually captured. So frustrating, and on top of it, now we can't find the card. I hope there wasn't anything on there I really wanted. Fortunately our friends had a working camera (the Type A+++ friends, in case you were wondering. That Type A+++ thing definitely pays off, too bad I can't achieve it myself) and got some good pictures for us.

I popped in to visit Asher during his party
We hosted an early dinner at our house before trick or treating around our neighborhood. In just over an hour, the kids entirely filled their candy buckets!  
At our neighbors'. They had no candy.
Our group of friends
The most beautiful girls in Wynnewood. Charlotte finally wore Tinkerbell, but the wings fell off.

My handiwork this year. The pumpkin on the right was Asher's design

Our group on our porch
We met up with many neighborhood friends as we wandered the streets. Now that the kids are in the elementary school, we know many more neighbors and kids.  It is fun to run into friends- I have almost as much fun as a grown up as I did as a kid. The kids are all independent now, and I can hang back on the sidewalk while they walk up and get their candy.

Notes for next year- No costumes from Target. Charlotte's costume fell apart, Benjamin's costume split at the seam despite being too big, and Charlotte's bucket broke, dumping her candy all over the ground. I have to up my game. No homemade costumes, because that is pushing it, but better than the polyester crap we had this year!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Catching up

I commented to Eric that I haven't posted in a while. He asked why.  I said, because there isn't anything to write about.  He suggested that I write about a little trip that we took last weekend. I know I used to write about our everyday activities all the time, and now I don't. I'm really not sure why, because I love to look back in my blog and remember what our lives were like at different points in time.

Here is what I have been doing in lieu of blogging:

  • Watching all 3 presidential debates
  • Watching episodes of Shameless on Netflix
  • Looking at Facebook
A constructive use of my time, if I do say so myself!  I have also been working some more hours- after a very sluggish summer, my private practice has continued to grow, so I am working two different jobs and running between the two of them, plus home. Plus I am a room parent in Benjamin's class this year.  And I am again preparing to run the Philly Half Marathon, at my usual "tortoise" pace.

Last weekend we took a trip to Virginia to see our friends and go to Cox Farms, which we did last year while the Pope was in Philadelphia.  This year, though, the boys had a full day of school, and we didn't get on the road until almost 4 pm on Friday.  Is anything worse than rush hour on a Friday? No.  the drive took us 3.5 hours!  Eric was glowering the whole way. 

Our friends had a hot and delicious dinner waiting for us, which was a warm welcome. We ate, put the kids in bed, and my friend Alissa and I sat and caught up while the husbands played video games and drank beer (their past time together since we all started dating our now-spouses back in 2004).  

In the morning we made pancakes (chocolate chip!) and packed up again in order to get to Cox Farms as soon as they opened.  Surprisingly, even with 5 kids between us, we did it! The day before, Charlotte had started to get hoarse and get a cough.  She said she felt fine and wanted to go, but once we were at the farm, she seemed to go downhill.  This definitely tempered our enjoyment, but we made the most of it.

Here is what we did in our time there before we fled with a lethargic Charlotte:
Family selfie on the hayride. Benjamin refused to look at the camera
  • Hayride through various randomly-themed (UFOs and former presidents, witches, Wild West Town, cartoon characters) areas
  • Big slides with burlap sacks

    Eric with Charlotte. She was fading fast.
    • Drank apple cider
    • Ate kettle corn
    • Corn maze
    • Various photo ops
    Possibly going on our holiday card!
    Asher flying on the rope swing
    We stopped for lunch and Charlotte refused to eat and just lay down with her head in Eric's lap.  We left pretty quickly and drove home. Charlotte napped and seemed a little better, but had started a low fever, so we didn't go to the birthday party she had been invited to, and then Eric and the boys went out to dinner while I stayed home with my sad girl.

    Sunday she wasn't much better, but she and Asher had their running series race that night, and I doped her up with Advil and took her.  She had a great race- she has finished 1st for 3 weeks in a row!  Then she fell apart and went to bed without dinner.
    The leader of the pack
    She STILL wasn't better on Monday, but her fever broke Monday night and she has improved every day since.  She's still a little hoarse, but is eating more and has more energy.

    And finally, a picture of Asher doing his homework while I cooked dinner on Monday night.  I fondly remember doing my homework at the kitchen table while my mom cooked, and now my own children are keeping me company while they do theirs.  Asher got his first homework assignment- a packet that he has all week to do- and sat down and did all of it immediately.  He and his teacher are two peas in a pod and I think he is in heaven this year!