A Perfect Day

Yesterday was just that. A perfect day.

In the morning we bummed around at home, meaning Arthur had speech, I did five loads of laundry (at the laundromat across the street), scrubbed the tub, changed the sheets. Glamorous.

Then, after lunch, we were Coney Island bound. We started our day with ice cream and a cold brew on the boardwalk.

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Then the boys and I spent the afternoon at the beach. We dug in the sand and splashed in the waves. The water is now bathwater warm. Julian read his new prized possession, the latest Narwhal book.

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Then I became sleepy and thought, “What are the odds these kids would nap now?” And I just said, “Boys, let’s just cuddle for a minute.” And boom! It was divine. A nap by the ocean has always been my favorite.

 

Then we bummed around on the boardwalk with a big order of funnel cake, waiting for Papa to arrive. Also, the boys got to pick out new t-shirts. Once Jeff got there, we had dinner.

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Here they are, in front of Nathan’s, with Nathan’s both in and on their bellies.

Next up, Go Karts. Totally my favorite.

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Also, look at this face. The boys were pumped!

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Then we hit more rides.

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At 9:30pm it was time for fireworks. I think this was Arthur’s first time seeing fireworks (other than one time when he was a baby), and he was pretty impressed.

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It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

What made this day even sweeter was watching my boys together. They are just each other’s best. So many times when I looked over at them, I saw random moments of kindness. Arthur would put his arm around Julian’s shoulders while they waited for me on the boardwalk. Julian always made sure Arthur was buckled into all the rides and helped him get in and out. The way they always look out for each other is second nature, and it makes me so happy.

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Avalon, Round 3

We spent the past week at the Jersey Shore at our annual family “beach retreat” in Avalon. This was our third year (year 1 and year 2) there; it’s so lovely to have this little beach town to return to each year. It’s familiar but yet such a change from our every day lives that it feels new and refreshing.

This year we rented a house with a pool – and we can probably never not rent a house without a pool again. We loved it so much.

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Here is Julian on the morning of day three at the beach house. He can swim!

Most days were very laid back. Lazy mornings, lots of rounds of Spot it! among the cousins, fresh donuts, and lots of coffee.

Then we would either dip in the pool or head straight for the beach. My brother-in-law and sis-in-law are beach pros and have all the equipment that made for a very comfortable beach camp for all of us. We were 9 adults and 5 kids!

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Arthur loved playing sports at the beach. We would set up a goal, and all he wanted to do was play soccer, catch or football all day long. We may have someone who likes sports on our hands…unfamiliar territory.

The rest of us were happy to be lazy, jump in the waves, and dig holes in the sand.

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Also: beach naps.

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One morning we drove into the neighboring town of Stone Harbor, had giant stacks of pancakes and waffles and let the boys ride their scooters around town. Another morning we borrowed our family’s bikes and went for a bike ride around Avalon. Julian got to ride on the street! He felt like such a big shot.

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And then of course there is Wildwood. We went twice, because Arthur wasn’t feeling well the first time around and was just miserable.

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That first day/night there, Julian got to ride his first proper roller coaster! He is hooked. He wanted to go again. And again. He has no fear.

We went on some rides…

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…and had dinner. Arthur fell asleep right after this photo was taken. His ability to sleep anywhere is both a blessing and a curse.

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So Jeff and I took him home and left Julian to roam around Wildwood with his cousins (and a couple of responsible-ish adults) way past bedtime.

But we felt like we needed a do-over, so we went again.

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This time around everyone was happy. We played games, went on rides, and ate our weight in corn dogs and fries.

We rode the ferris wheel (again)…

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…and drank lemonades overlooking the beach.

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Both Julian and Arthur went on proper roller coasters this time around, several times, and as I was screaming “Oh no! Oh no!” they both screamed “YEEEEEEES!” and wanted more.

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It was such a fun day.

Most nights the kids went to bed super late. We went for walks around Avalon, had ice cream…

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…and ended our nights drinking wine on the patio. We also got our family hooked on our latest obsession, “Stranger Things.”

After a week away, I am happy to sleep in my own bed again and to be in a house with no squeaky doors. Also, not having sand on every surface of the house is nice.

Just kidding. I don’t mind the sand. Being at the beach was awesome. Having family together was wonderful. But I think we were all a bit tired from late nights and early mornings and lots and lots of play. Right, kid?

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Thanks, fam, for another great vacation!

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Summer in the City

This weekend was a hot one in the city. So far we’ve had a very mild summer, but this weekend we finally had some higher temps and abundant sunshine. So naturally, we went to our favorite place on earth: Coney Island.

The boys were stoked to take the subway for a change, rather than the bikes.

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Jeff’s parents drove up from Delaware and met us on the boardwalk. We ate Nathan’s…

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Then we walked around and went on rides.

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Ice cream was next.

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Once we got home, we met up with Uncle Brian. The kids adore him times a million.

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Because we hadn’t eaten enough, we went out for some BBQ. After that everyone was sufficiently stuffed and tired.

Today we rode our bikes into Manhattan. We took the boys to Hamilton Fish Park Pool on the Lower East Side. After the drama at Red Hook Pool last week, we were cautiously optimistic. At Red Hook, the boys deemed the water, and hence the entire experience, too cold and simply unacceptable. Today, however, was a good, hot day, and the water was lovely. The boys loved every minute of it. I got even more excited for the rest of our summer.

The pool is great, and huge. It has a very large area that is awesome for kids because the water is only 3 feet deep. Julian can stand in it. But it’s deep enough that parents aren’t freezing or wondering if they are standing in a puddle of chlorine flavored pee. So anyway, it was really fun.

Afterwards we rode our bikes to Washington Square Park, where some of us did this:

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I swear, we are either raising some really easy-going, flexible kids – or homeless people. I just don’t know.

While Arthur napped, the rest of us ate sandwiches and drank lemonade.

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Then we hit a playground. Julian thought he was hot stuff and discovered he could do this:

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Afterwards we let the boys splash around in the fountain. Which I think has clean-ish water? Either way, they loved it. Until Julian said, “Mama, look! A nut!” And he started picking out walnuts out of the water and from the side of the fountain. Walnuts are the most dangerous nuts for Arthur. I threw them aside and wiped him off, as he had touched them, too. My heart started beating a little bit fast, but our guy was fine.

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We had beers and ice cream near the Hudson next and then headed home. It was a lovely, sunny day.

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