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Spring Break, proper

So, in some kind of delusional or possibly fugue state, I decided to take the kiddos to Baltimore for a couple of days during spring break, without Jeff. I had a lot of anxiety about how spring break would go if I didn’t have activities planned and it was just the three of us trying to amuse ourselves for a week at home. It went mostly okay, however. There was that short period on I-495 when Maria’s iPad died and she decided the only thing that could save her from the despair of boredom was to annoy the hell out of her brother by staring at him (right out of the classic sibling playbook), but really, on the whole, it could have gone a lot worse.

Two things saved us on this break. One, the boy is seriously into mazes right now and I found a game where you can make you own mazes. It’s always hit or miss with this crap but he actually loved it.

A sample. He made many, many mazes. The little pieces are magnetic.

The second thing was that Maria and I found a (free!) app where kids can make their own animations, and she made at least a dozen. You don’t even need wifi for it, so she could do it in the car.

She’s still working on the whole “content “thing.

On the way to Baltimore we stopped at Clemyjontri playground. I knew it was supposed to be a super inclusive playground, but I didn’t fully grasp what that meant until I saw that it has a series of pretend roads for kids in wheel chairs.

However, the signs are clear that the pretend road is definitely intended for kids in wheelchairs, NOT kids on scooters. Fortunately, we were the only kids there for a good forty five minutes, so we broke the rules, super hard.

Did I mention there was also a maze (for wheelchairs NOT scooters)?

I mean, it’s the best illegal scootering playground ever.

Eventually we got back on the non-pretend road and made it to Baltimore and the kids swam and ate pizza.

Maria made a new friend every time she went swimming. It’s kind of becoming her thing these days.

The next day we went to the B&O Railroad Museum, which was a most excellent train museum. You know how lots of museums have trains that you’re not allowed to go on or touch? This was NOT one of those.

The caboose was their favorite. They spent a good twenty minutes locking each other in a caboose closet and pretending it was jail.
It’s a model train set in a train car! Mind blown!

After the museum it was touch and go, but there was a another playground, some ice cream, more swimming, and eventually all three of us falling into unconsciousness at nine pm.

The next day we went to the Climbzone, which was practically empty, because, woohoo, it wasn’t spring break in Maryland!

We headed home after and got back Thursday evening. By Friday evening the natives were restless. Here was Maria’s face on Saturday:

On Sunday we went to the Kroc center in Norfolk, which we have a bunch of free passes for because something horrible has gone wrong with the pool nearly every time we’ve been there. Fun was had, but the bickering about who got to go down the waterslide began about 35 minutes in. At this point it was pretty obvious everyone needed to be back in school.

That was it! Did I survive a trip without Jeff? Yes I did! Would I make it a regular occurrence? Eh. I think he should feel pretty secure in his husband/dad job.

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In Which We Traverse the James River, For Yetis and Whatnot

The kids’ spring break is upon us, although Jeff’s spring break has already passed, which means I now have to find random ways to fill about nine days, except it turned into ten days because the boy missed Friday due to stuffiness.

Yesterday, we tried to go to Belle Isle in Richmond, because it was nice out and we’ve never been. Reader, we got Belle Isle adjacent, and we were lucky to have even made that happen, but we had a nice day in spite of everything.

Maria was suspiciously cooperative with the plan to try something new, although it’s possible that all along she was secretly hoping to take the opportunity to indulge in her new hobby: searching for yetis. Here is her official yeti detective outfit:

Shoes happened later.

There were parking shenanigans, and Jeff got separated from us. Belle Isle is in the middle of the James River, and there are numerous bridges that cross over it. I wanted Jeff to meet us on the bridge that a kid could ride a scooter over, so I texted him to meet us on the “FLAT” bridge. In Jayne’s brain, this meant not the train bridge, nor the curvy pedestrian bridge. You know, the flat one. The “FLAT” one. Jeff read “FLAT” and wondered if it was an acronym, perhaps. He looked around and saw many bridges that have flat elements. The minutes ticked by. If Jeff had decided this was the day to escape his family and start a new life somewhere, he probably could have done so and I would have assumed he just got lost. It’s totally plausible. (He did eventually find us.)

Meanwhile, the beautiful blossoms in Richmond!

The boy scootered over the bridge again and again. The flat bridge (er, not its actual name), is made of metal slats so you can hear and see the rushing water underneath. Tom loved it. Subaru thought it was bullshit. He made his feelings clear by lying down in protest repeatedly.

He’s the best dog ever and he could not figure out why we were being so mean to him.

Maria found no Virginian Yetis (they’re a very elusive species), but she found some clues, which she wrote down in one of her super secret spy/clue/HQ/top secret notebooks (that she can’t stop showing us).

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Boy and Co.

Tom has been busy being his little Tom self. He’s now had three play dates with his buddy from school. The best part of it all is I like Little Buddy’s mom, who is funny and easy going. Here they are at skating.

The best part of skating is that they sell LED rave pacifiers, so he can chew to his heart’s content without it looking weird.
Spring in Virginia is the best season.
He just wants to DRIVE.
With Subaru’s love comes pain. Those paws, man. They hurt.

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Adventures, and Attempts at Adventures

The boy was so chatty today, and seemed up for anything, so we went to Kiptopeke for the first time in almost a year. It was a beautiful day, and not too cold. We walked forever.

The dog went insane, actually running in circles for a while.
Sliding down the bluffs, which I’m sure is frowned upon, but I could not bring myself to care.

Earlier this week I went on a field trip to the Dominion Power nuclear station with Maria’ s class. It was kind of a bust. I was so looking forward to it, because Tom and I went there (just the two of us) last year and wandered around the exhibits and had fun. But on the field trip, they tried to make it super educational by talking at the kids for an hour, and lo, there was wiggling.

Maria had a 24 hour bug at the beginning of the week. I cleaned the living hell out of everything and so far no one else has been sick. I know those germs can hang out for a while though.

The thing with Maria is that she’s so dramatic when she’s well, her lack of drama when she’s sick is just sad.

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Pied Piper, Sorta

So, the second and third grades had a choral performance tonight, and Maria had a special part, which she was super excited about. They did a series of songs telling the story of the Pied Piper, but with significantly less death (these snowflake kids today…). The kids get turned to stone temporarily instead of drowning, or disappearing, or whatever gruesome fate the fairy tale insists on.

I feel like I should probably go ahead and tell her the real fairy tale, because the pied piper metaphor gets thrown around a lot and I don’t want her thinking it just means somebody can play groovy music on a flute and you might merely get a slightly less optimum outcome if you try to cheat an exterminator out of a contracted price

Afterwards, basking in the post-show glow with Aleena and Joy.