Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Last Days of Summer 2014

We are all trying to settle into our new routine now, although it will be hard to solidify the boys' and mine until next week when the Milton kids are back.  This week was like a dress rehearsal, which I am grateful for, but it's hard to know the exact timing of my commute before all the area schools are back in session.  

Anyway, so far so good.  The boys seem to be loving school.  They came home today saying "disaweek."  It took a few times of them yelling it to realize they were saying "days of the week."  Then Sebastian started saying, "Sixteen.  Eighteen.  Thirteen.  Fifteen."  He was using "big" numbers but not in order.  Still, I am impressed with the learning going on in just a few days.  This is going to be great for them!

Before these are too distant a memory, here are my last photos from summer.  It feel like they were taken an eternity ago...

Once again this is really just a collection of playground photos it seems...boring for others, but helpful for me to remember all the playgrounds we checked out this summer so that we can revisit the best ones next summer! :-)

This was the Norton Community Playground on rte. 123.  The boys liked it a lot.  They spent all the time playing with the vehicles (which were in better shape than at most public playgrounds) and riding the "roller coaster."

The roller coaster is that gray track in the background.  They figured out that if they went down backwards, they'd fall over backwards when the car hit the mulch.  They thought that was great!

 We checked out the playground at one of Mansfield's elementary schools.  This one was really too old for them.  Plus they were having a meltdown when we got there...

 And the meltdown was because we hit a yard sale on the way there and found this child's guitar for the boys.  They were so thrilled about it that they screamed the entire way to and from that playground because they wanted to play guitar.  We ended up taking it away because it was causing too many problems.  Here's Sebastian before the guitar went bye bye.

Another picture taken on a gorgeous Sunday.  This was at "our" playground in Easton.  There is never anyone else there!  We ran around on the grass, looked for stray baseballs, and the boys perfected their somersaults and played with Papa.

After the playground we took a trip to Casserta Pizza in Providence to end up the summer right.  The boys were great and enjoyed the "wheels" on their pizza (black olives).

This is Adrian on day one of preschool...the first trial-run day I should say.  I didn't get a picture of Sebastian because he was already out the door.  But Adrian was thrilled with his Thomas lunch box.

The boys only went to school Monday and Wednesday last week; they adjusted so well they didn't need more time.  And I had to pay for the adjustment period, so I was happy not to have to send them more days since I was still off and able to spend time with them.  One day my car needed to get worked on.  So we dropped off the van at the garage in Bridgewater and walked to the massive new playground.  But, one of the benefits of slowing down and not driving, I spotted another playground on the premises...over by the softball fields.  You'd never know about this one if your kid didn't play softball on the fields (or unless you were walking by staring at the facility like I was).  We were the only ones here while the main playground was PACKED.   Also, turns out it's one of the Torie's Place playgrounds in honor of Victoria Snellgrove.  We've visited two others (the one in Easton described in the last post) and another one to come in a minute.

 Kind of hard to believe she was killed 10 years ago after the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the American League Championship.

This is the other Torie's Place that is local, at the Gordon Mitchell School in East Bridgewater.  The boys loved this one, too.  Was good for climbing and there are horses next door that you can see through the playground fence!  Added bonus!

The boys like to "hang like a monkey" off anything they can!

One day Mini, Tio Jim, and Baby James came over to play.

Before Baby James left, we took a walk around the neighborhood.  James kept up quite nicely!

 The boys finally enjoy running around the back yard.  They like to take sticks and chase each other with them.  Another favorite is running around with frisbees in their teeth.  I think it's disgusting, but the first day when I was in disbelief of what they found to be fun, I got a few pics before I put an end to it.

I looked at this tree in our backyard the other day and realized this is our fox's tree.  The fox used to leave surprises for Jim and me when we were kids.  He left notes and other things (including the clue that was the start to a treasure hunt) in a special tree (that looked like this one) for us to find.  It obviously made an impression because I am still talking about it!  I'll have to see what the fox can come up for the boys...

Last Sunday we went into the North End with Anne, Brad, Baby Patrick, Christina, Nick, and Lorna.  Anne and Christina had planned a food tour where we hit a bunch of different places and all had a small sample at each place.  We had Ernesto's and Regina Pizza, green leaf cookies, an Italian Sub, Cannoli's....yum!  When we were done, we went to let the boys run around in the Greenway.  They had no bathing suits, but I had a change of clothes for them.  So they ran in the water and loved it.

The funniest part of the day was that as we were arriving at the parking lot to leave the car, I said to Carlos that I should text my friend Ani, who lives in the North End, to see if she was around to come meet us.  About 2 minutes later Carlos said, "I think I see Ani!"  I thought he was kidding, but sure enough, there was Ani!!!  We yelled out the window at her, parked the car, and she came over.  It was great to see her!  We did our food tour and she did her errands and then she met us later at the Greenway for a little while.  It was so nice to see her!!

I miss summer already, but am also looking forward to fall events.  I know it's crazy, but we put up the Halloween decorations inside already!!!  Nothing outside yet...I'm not that weird!  ;-)  But the boys LOVE ghosts, pumpkins, etc.  They kept asking for "the Halloweens" (meaning the decorations) so I figured, why not?  Every morning after they get dressed and before breakfast, they ask to go in the living room, which is where the bulk of the decorations are, and see the pumpkins.  We've even read some of my favorite Halloween books!  Boy is it fun to relive your own childhood through the eyes of your kids!  I'm enjoying it more than they are at this point!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Adios, Summer Vacation

It's supposed to be hot and humid this week, but summer is over for me.  Starting tomorrow, the boys go full-time to pre-school, and I return to work.

In many ways, going back to work will mean my days are easier.  But during the fall, the days are long and exhausting just the same because of the tightness of my schedule during the school day and all the work I bring home with me at night.  This year it will be compounded by the fact that I have added teaching one section of 6th grade Spanish to the mix.  Not sure how this will all play out for my sanity.

My boys have been trying and have pushed my buttons over and over again this summer.  But I will miss our mornings at a different playground every day and our afternoon "adventures" which may or may not have involved getting the occasional order of McDonald's fries or just driving around so I could maintain some of my sanity.  They have become so verbal this summer, and they play WITH each other and talk to each other and ask each other things now.  It's delightful to see.  I will miss our morning snuggle sessions in my bed while Carlos gets ready for work.  Now I'll be getting ready for work, too, and those precious mornings with Sebastian warming his feet on me and Adi giggling in my face will be possible only on weekends.

I feel a huge let down after the holidays are over in January, and I feel an equally large disappointment when summer vacation is through; there is always so much anticipation and build up, then I'm in the midst of summer and it's busy and time flies, and then it's done and I feel like the carpet's been pulled out from under me.  Pretty soon I'll be too busy with work to dwell on the highlights of the summer and life will return to "normal."  But deep down, I'll continue to wish "normal" meant something else and that I had more time at home with my boys, because as they have figured out at only 2.5 years, "Mama's happy because she's with her boys."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Playgrounds and the Meditech Picnic

Same old, same old...more trips to the playground.  Thank God for playgrounds to break up the monotony and give them a chance to climb and explore.  

We have spent a lot of time at our tiny, almost private playground.  There is never anyone there, which I love.  The boys were cute one morning having their snacks.

The Meditech picnic was this past Saturday.  This was the first year that the boys actually really got into it.  They wanted to go on all the rides.

First, we rode the choo choo.

Then the fire trucks about 10 times.  Thank goodness there aren't any lines for the rides.  The boys were able to just stay in their seats for 3 rides in a row.  We'd get them off to do another ride and they'd keep asking to go back to the fire trucks!

They ate french fries, chicken fingers, and lobster for them!

Back on the fire trucks!

And on the genie ride.

And the flying elephants.

Then we had ice cream.  Adrian was in his glory.

We met Sponge Bob.

They were exhausted at around 1:30 s we left so they could nap in the car.  It was a nice day.

We mostly hung around at home this week to swim in our pool.  Adi likes to fill it up because he loves to play with the hose.

Sunday we took the boys to the playground/splash pad in Plymouth to check it out.  I'd heard great things about it.  It's no big deal.  The playground is not great: it's dirty and not very interesting.  The splash bad is also pretty boring.  Overall, I was disappointed.  I wouldn't drive there again for it.  The best part was the ocean views.

We found a "snow blower" (Adi calls leaf blowers "snow blowers" and is IN LOVE with them) at Saver's for $1.99 and had to buy it.  Actually, Adi found it!  He kept yelling "SNOWBLOWER!" at Carlos as he walked by the toy aisle.  Finally Carlos found what he was talking about, and sure enough, it was a snowblower!  What a lucky find...He loves it!  It makes noise and blows little balls around in that clear plastic spot.

We tried yet another playground on Ames St. in Sharon this week.  Another disappointment.  It's a HUGE space, but it's old, and you notice.  All the toys are beat up, the pirate ship that I was so excited to see first-hand is all splintered wood, and the playground is dirty.  I also can't stand sand playgrounds.  It makes such a mess.  (I like wood or rubber chips!)

We went to the brand new playground near my mom's in Bridgewater the day after the disappointing old ones.  That one never fails.

And today, we discovered a hidden gem right here in Easton.  It's hidden behind some buildings way away from the road, near a baseball field.  The structure was in good shape and very interesting; the boys found lots of stuff to climb and do.  And, it was in full-shade in the morning.  Perfect.