Memorial Day Weekend

Jeff has been busy at work, so a four day weekend was very welcome. Julian had school on Friday, but we took Arthur for a long bike ride on his red cruiser to Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoyed the good weather.

The other day I took both boys and promised them a lemonade at the little beer/hot dog place at Pier 1.

IMG_1801

The closest thing to a lemonade was a Mexican Orange Crush – and oh wow, did I create a monster. This was the first soda the kids have ever tasted, and their minds were blown. Naturally, Arthur was begging for more when we were down there again on Friday.

We obliged, along with some hot dogs. Arthur experienced an Orange Crush sugar high – it was pretty funny.

I had friends in town visiting from Germany. Andy is one of my oldest friends in life and one of the few people I still connect with from my high school days. He and his wife Alex met us in Dumbo, and we strolled around. Arthur got to ride the carousel, and we all had whoopie pies from One Girl.

On Saturday, we met Andy and Alex for a day of bike riding in Brooklyn. We had a picnic in Prospect Park, played soccer and baseball and just hung out. It was so fun. The boys loved every minute of all the attention they were getting.

It was so lovely to have one of my best friends here and to see him play with my kids and get to know them. It was really special.

IMG_2176

Despite a flat tire, we found our way to Brooklyn Crab for beers, crab legs, and ice cream.

IMG_2177

Our friends gave the boys some new Legos. Have I mentioned that they are Star Wars and Lego obsessed? I probably have.

On Sunday we tried (again) to check out the big boats for Fleet Week in Red Hook, but the lines were ridiculously long. So we had brunch at one of our favorite spots, Alma, instead.

IMG_2207

We rode around Red Hook, explored, played, ate cookies.

IMG_2311IMG_2312IMG_2310

Sunday night I met Andy for dinner in the West Village. Dinner turned into many drinks, and somehow we stayed out until 3am. Which is so fun because I got to spend such a good chunk of time with my old friend and very not fun because I was obviously dead the next day.

We spent Monday being lazy at home. Julian was bummed that he didn’t have science that day (because no school), so we made a volcano and cleaned some pennies with vinegar. Success.

IMG_2321

Later that night we met some of our friends at Dinosaur BBQ. We ate pounds of meat, and a good time was had by all. Especially by these little firecrackers.

IMG_2422

P.S. Memorial Day 2014, 2015, and 2016.

West Virginia

On Tuesday the boys and I went on a little trip to West Virginia. We visited one of my best friends in life of all time and her lovely family. Our kids met when they were up in NYC in March, and became fast friends. So we wanted to reunite them and also meet Baby Cole who was born about a month ago.

It was my first time traveling with the boys solo. This lady was terrified because I let the boys walk up the stairs by themselves.

IMG_6131

They were such good kids. Traveling with Julian especially was super easy. He was helpful and patient and all around good. Arthur was Arthur, but a very good Arthur. It helped that he fell asleep 10 minutes into the flight.

IMG_6308

Once we arrived, everything was good. Great, in fact. The kids were so happy to be together again.

IMG_6307IMG_6300

Here are some of the highlights:

Julian had his first experience with sparklers!

IMG_6306

There were bugs everywhere. (no pictures, thankyouverymuch.)

We went to a lake! The countryside in West Virginia is so beautiful. We played in the lake all day. It was lovely.

We played at different playgrounds…

IMG_6415IMG_6338

And then, one of our favorite things, we went on a hike. Nature! Amazing.

IMG_6410

We ended up walking in this amazing river. None of the kids busted any teeth, and all of them got wet.

IMG_6412IMG_6414

We found a crayfish. (“Look! A lobster!”) It was so amazing. I know the boys will remember this for a long time, and I will surely never forget. Such beauty with such wonderful people. And all happy hearts.

IMG_6413

After the hike the kids got to sit in a firetruck and police car. Clearly Arthur’s expression shows that he knows he kind of belongs in the back…

IMG_6480

We went to a great pool. It was almost empty, although I don’t know why. It was so nice. The kids played and played, and Julian is getting braver and better at swimming. Arthur is just completely fearless. And he’s great to have around in case you’re wondering what is not allowed at the pool: “No hanging on the rope, no climbing on the lifeguard chair, no hanging on the rail, no climbing up the slide.”

IMG_6477IMG_6483IMG_6481

Other highlights included hanging out on our friends’ deck with cold beers, South African accents, sitting in the kitchen after the kids had gone to bed, cuddling the baby, and delicious meals cooked by Carryn’s husband John. And last but not least, sharing a room with my boys. They had comfy air mattresses, and I had a big bed. They went to bed easily and slept well. At night I would hear them both laughing in their sleep. Sooner or later one of them would snuggle up next to me, and it was wonderful. And best of all, everyone slept in in the mornings. I mean…why can’t this happen at home?IMG_6510

Low points were the fact that I was sick as a dog all week which was particularly depressing because I didn’t get to smooch all over Baby Cole as I had intended to do. I was really, really sick with the worst cold in ages.

Also depressing beyond comprehension, the news. Ugh.

And last but not lest, driving. I know most people do it, in fact every day, but we are so not used to it. The kids get impatient immediately, and Arthur chimes from the back, “I hate riding in cars.”

But oh man, what a wonderful week it was. I loved seeing the kids together, to hear them play and be friends and argue. I loved seeing my friend and catching up and meeting her new babe. There is just something about these tiny, new, helpless humans. It’s so special.

How crazy and beautiful our lives have been…South Africa, Germany, South Carolina, New York, West Virginia. I can’t wait for the next chapter in this series.

(I can’t believe I did not get one picture of Carryn and me. So here we are, 10 years ago on July 15, 2006, in Coney Island. We kind of look the same now. Except with more wrinkles.)

2.4

 

Epic Friends…

…make for epic times.

This week we’ve had one of my dearest, bestest friends come to visit. She brought her husband, 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter along with her – and another son in her belly. We hadn’t seen each other since Julian and Jack were infants. But with certain friends you pick up right where you left off. Except with less partying and more kids.

This week has truly been one of the best. Our kids hit it off right away and have become inseparable. So much hand-holding and hugging and playing. Side note: my children are such bad posers.

IMG_9597IMG_9678

On Monday night we hung out at our house, ate risotto and pie and shocked Kate when we sprayed whipped cream into her mouth for the first time ever. That face!

IMG_9464IMG_9466IMG_9465

On Tuesday Julian got to stay home from school, we cancelled Arthur’s speech therapy and played hooky all day. We took our friends to the Promenade with bikes and scooters, to the playground where we spent hours, to the diner.

IMG_9596

At night, the kids all got to make their own pizzas.

IMG_9679IMG_9680

Then we stuffed them in the tub…

IMG_9681

…and let them watch TV until way late while the grown-ups ate Thai take-out.

IMG_9682IMG_9683

On Thursday Julian got to play hooky again (his teacher was concerned that he was sick, but no, the kid is just out having fun). My friend Carryn was in meetings all day, so her husband John and I took the kids into Manhattan, where I had a doctor’s appointment on the UES in the morning. It was our friends’ first time on the subway!
IMG_9760IMG_9761

Then this brave guy took four kids to the playground while I went to my appointment.

IMG_9762

We spent a couple of hours at the playground next to the Met. It was sunny and lovely, and the kids had fun.

IMG_9948IMG_9947

Next up: ice cream. The first of the season!

IMG_994612826298_209587382733322_1654553718_n

Then we got on the train to Brooklyn. A random lady was chatting to us on the subway and asked, “What is it like raising kids in the city?” And I said, “It’s great!” That’s when my 40 pound babe fell asleep in my arms. On a crowded subway car. It was sweet and at the same time totally torturous.

IMG_9945

I’ve seen my boys make friends with many kids. Julian especially has become so outgoing over the last few months – but the sort of love I saw between these kids I don’t recall having seen before. They were friends immediately, but the kind of friends who won’t stop talking about each other when they are a moment apart. They held hands and hugged and laughed at each other’s jokes constantly. In all the time we spent together this week, with two 3 year olds and two 5 year olds (rounding up and down a bit), there has not been one single fight between them. Not one. They must have felt how much their mamas mean to each other. Or they really really liked each other.

Tonight, after our friends had left, Julian and I both cried for a moment. It was sweet and sad, and very hard to say goodbye. There are some friends, few and far between, but you know they are for life. These ones we will keep. For life.

There was so much love in our house this week. Even more than usual.

In other news, Arthur has been having plenty of daytime adventures lately and a much easier bedtime. Also, he’s been falling asleep like this:

Our week(end)

Upon our return from Mexico, Julian had a week off from school, and it was lovely to have him home. I used to consider school a break for us from each other, but lately I’ve really enjoyed spending time with this kid, even more than usual. Perhaps it’s the anticipation of him starting kindergarten later this year?

We spent the week playing with a bunch of Julian’s and Arthur’s friends – almost all of them girls. It was fun. And it’s nice for me to hang out with my friends as well. Especially the ones who bring Prosecco and let my children go on and on about Star Wars.

IMG_8674

Other than that we’ve been singing our hearts out to “HellobyAdele” – as Arthur thinks this is the proper song title – and Come What May by Obi-Wan Kenobi/Ewan McGregor. Both boys love to sing, and Arthur has recently perfected the rock star move (complete with attitude) to swipe the hair out of his eyes. Unfortunately I think Jeff is right and both boys have the voice of a drummer.

IMG_8675

Julian has started picking up a daily chore: emptying the dishwasher.

IMG_8596

He always does his job very well and takes much pride in it. He gets a quarter for his piggy bank, and I get a moment of peace.

This weekend was busy and lovely. On Saturday I stayed in bed and read while the kids played.

IMG_8720

I also cuddled with these people:

IMG_8684

Then I went to the gym. For the rest of the day, we spilt up the kids. Jeff took Julian on a date, and I took Arthur to IKEA. Meatballs! Also: some shopping.

IMG_8718

Then we came home and enjoyed the sunshine and took his scooter for a spin. We played at the playground and ate chocolate cookies. It was so good to finally be outside again. I’m getting excited for spring!!

IMG_8717

Jeff and I went on a date Saturday night. Chinese food in Chinatown followed by coffee and dessert in Little Italy. It was one of my favorite dates. The food was so good. Here is Jeff in the middle of telling me a story. Intense!

IMG_8719

On Sunday we grabbed bagels and ate them on the Promenade. The boys rode more scooters. (The bikes both have flat tires…)

IMG_8727

Sunday night we had friends over for dinner. It was good company, and the food turned out well, and everyone was happy.

And now it’s back to business after a two week break with Mexico and school holiday. I know my boys will miss each other today, as they always say they do.

IMG_8631