School’s Back

Summer is officially over.  I know, not because school is back, but because we have already been struck with the flu.  Reece went back to school a few weeks ago, and Kat moved up to Toddler 2 in daycare.  Then, the next week Kat had a 103 fever for four days.  All her activities and daycare had to be suspended for most of the week.

I had been really excited for September so I could have two full days of both kids in daycare for work and errands.  It was a little bit of a setback having Kat homebound, but I got a ton of cuddles and we watched movies all day.  Watching movies and TV with the kids is usually my husbands domain.  It was nice to have a (almost) guilt free excuse to hang on the couch and Netflix for days.  Sick baby Kat

Everyone, for now, is healthy and back into the normal school year routines.  We even got a few cute back to school pictures, including a couple with Mom, Dad and Kat thanks to miniphotographer, Reece.

Reece and Kat 1st day school

Back to school
Reece’s photography skills, taking a family picture

Back in the Routine

It always take a week or two to get back in the swing of things.  School starting up again is no exception.  It’s been about a month now and we are back into a groove with our new routine.  Reece and Kat are gone all day Mondays and Fridays giving me an opportunity to get productive with my clients, blog, and house projects.  I even picked up a new client since school started!

The kid’s schedule during the week is pretty packed with only one “free” day.  We hardly ever stay at home all day.  During summer our schedule is more relaxed.  We can avoid going stir crazy by turning on the sprinkler and frolicking in the backyard.  Once winter hits it’s tough to be active without obligations.  This means I’m, probably, one of those over-scheduling moms, but, for our family, this is what works best.

Dance Class

I’ve been working on making a better effort on classes just for Kat.  Reece has other plans when we go to dance class.  The result is either big brother crashing the class of tiny ballerinas like a giant beast or both of them sulking on my lap when I try to keep Reece from participating.  Not the desired outcome.

Kat at Dance
Kat having a solitary moment at dance class.
Panda dance
Reece joining while the class does a teddybear dance

Gymnastics

When Kat has gymnastics, Reece is a preschool and is forced to be “on her own” even though it’s a mommy and me class.  Most of the time she does not want to do what the class is doing.  I never know what the “right” thing to do is.  Let her wonder around to explore?  Or, stay with the class, follow instructions and wait turns?  Half the time I’m reigning her in, the other half I let her do as she pleases.  This means she’s at the balance beam, unless that’s what the class is doing.  She’s a woman who knows what she wants.  Sort of.

Art Class

After dance is art class.  We have a time gap too small to stop at home but makes us crazy early for class.  Try as I might to delay our arrival we always end up a half hour early.  Sorry Miss Emily!

We have been going to this studio for two years, the teacher knows us well and doesn’t (seem) to mind our early arrival.  She even made an exception for Kat to be in the drop-off class even though she isn’t 3.  Since Reece and Kat are so happy to be together Miss Emily knew she could handle adding Kat in.

Other Ways We Kept Busy

When we aren’t rushing to our classes and school (or napping, whew!) we have still been able to keep busy.  It’s been an unseasonably warm fall, hitting 80F some days in October!  We’ve had stroller walks, scooter walks, fun in the backyard, and trips to the playground and apple picking.

Reece big smiles apple picking
I asked Reece if I could get a picture of him, this is what he gave me.

Kat and Reece apple picking

We even managed to have fun indoor activities with art and sensory projects, baking, and laundry.  Yes, my kids help with the laundry!  It’s not always perfect, sometimes the kids rush to do it excitedly, “Yayyyy time to put the washer clothes in the dryer! Woohoo!!” Other times there’s fighting, yelling, tears and frustration – on both sides.  After a little distraction they calm down, I ask again, and happily help out.  Ohhhh, to be a tiny human.  I’ll miss my little helpers!  Please stop growing!!

Reeces person draweing
Love seeing the evolution of Reece’s people pictures!
Sensory play organizing poms.
Kat and Reece organizing poms for some sensory play. It’s not Pinterest, but they work hard doing this for 20 minutes!

Goodbye September

Before we knew it, September ended.  Not that we can tell, with the 80 degrees weather, which I’m not complaining about!  I think I’m the only one who isn’t.  I love the heat.  I suspect New Englanders have reoccurring winter-amnesia.

September closed out with Dad going away for a week on a work trip and we finally found a lunch Reece would eat while at school (jelly and jelly sandwich).  When Dad got back, leaves were starting to turn and it was time to start thinking about Halloween.  Now, if we can just find our Halloween stuff that we moved during the renovation….

Mom and Son Date In The City

The entire summer there has been no overlap in daycare for Kat and Reece.  As a result, Mondays and Fridays, Reece has been getting 100% mom time while Kat’s in daycare, and Tuesday through Thursday the mornings are all about Kat, while Reece is at camp.  Once school starts in September, Reece’s mom only days will be few and far between.  This will be great for my productivity, but will be a little sad.  We will still have plenty of time together, but the dynamic is just a little different with little sister or dad around.  Since our Reece and Mom only days are numbered once school starts, I took advantage and planned a special day for both of us.  A Mommy/Reece date!!

I got an invitation to go to the Trunk Club Boston’s Clubhouse and decided it was the perfect excuse to make the drive into Boston.  I don’t venture into Boston often because I don’t like risking a car nap happening at the wrong time.  But, caution to the wind, it’s our special day!  My Trunk Club appointment motivated me to follow through.  I kept the plan flexible, with just an itinerary of my Trunk Club appointment, swan boats, ice cream, and explore the Back Bay and Beacon Hill neighborhoods.

Mom and son sitting by fountain
Reece and I sitting by the fountain, taking in the city.

We arrived a little early and sat by the fountain outside Trinity Church.  I pointed out the John Hancock Building, Boston Public Library, and Copley Place Mall to him.  I also pointed out a Wendy’s that used to be Poppy’s pizza shop.  Reece was only interested in the Hancock Building.  Now I have some homework to do finding toddler facts about Boston’s tallest building.  Our Trunk club appointment took about an  hour, I got two cute shirts.  The focus for the rest of the day was whatever Reece wanted to do!  We drove down to the Boston Public Garden and only had to circle once for a spot.  I was so relieved, there are parking lots nearby but street parking is so much cheaper!  We would have walked, but I forgot the stroller and the parking meter time was a factor.

 

Reece really wanted to explore and inspect every acorn.  He’s a dawdler, I rushed a little bit to make our way to the swan boats.  I didn’t want to risk lots of aimless wandering, then scratching the main event to haul it home ASAP for a nap.  Don’t worry, I didn’t rush too much.  It still took us about 20 minutes from the car to the docks – it’s about a 3 minute walk for a normal person.

Reece exploring Boston Public Garden
Reece exploring The Boston Public Garden

We spent about 10 minutes on the footbridge talking about how we were going to go on the swan boats.  I have to mention, Reece dressed himself, which explains the backwards shirt.  I asked him several times if he wanted to fix his shirt to no avail.  Nope, very proud, he did it himself, doesn’t need help.  At least his shorts were on right.  I think it’s 50/50 that any article of clothing is on the right way.

Reece on Boston Garden footbridge
Reece on the footbridge checking out the Swan Boats

Once we had soaked up the idea of what the swan boats were, we made our way into the line, applied more sunscreen, and hopped onboard.  If you don’t know the history of the swan boats, you should read about it here.  It’s not a long read, and the sweetest story.

 

Back at the dock we decided it was ice cream time, so off Reece and I ventured to some of the pushcarts nearby.  I did not have any cash so that was a fail.  We explored the Commons and Gardens a little more and headed down to Charles Street to find lunch.  A few of the places I wanted to check out had crazy, long lines and weren’t the most toddler friendly, and most importantly, NO ice cream.  After three or four restaurant fails we decided on Caffe Bella Vita.  I told my father later, and his response was, “That place is still open?”  Apparently, he used to go as a kid for gelato.  We ordered gelati for lunch with a PBJ dessert.

Reece eating strawberry ice cream
Reece nomming on some strawberry ice cream. Yum Yum!

We still had time left in the meter for one more thing.  It would be tight, but just enough time to go to the Boston Common Carousel.  I found $3 after rummaging through my diaper bag, hurrah!  Reece picked a bench instead of a horse and was in toddler heaven.  I even let him have a slush on the walk back to the car.  Which was sort of a bad idea because at this point we were pushing the limit of our parking meter time.  I tried to carry the slush to pick up the pace but no dice.  We got to the car and while I was buckling him in our time expired.  Whew!

Mom and Reece on carousel
Best picture we could get on the carousel. Just too exciting for selfies!

Boston Common Carousel

When we saw Dada that night, he asked Reece, “What did you do today?”  Reece told him, “I went shopping with Mama.”  Glad the swan boats, ice cream, carousel, and exploring the city and BPG made an impression!  When pressed he did also mention he had ice cream for lunch, haha.