Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Break: The Breakening

Last week the kids were on Spring Break. Being a good mom, I took off work to spend the time with them, assuming that their break would align with their cousins' break giving ME a break during their break (I may be a good mom but I'm also a lazy mom) but because the universe thinks my planning anything is funny, the overlap was one measly day. So now I was on the hook for two kids for the week. There was only one thing left to do: plan the hell out of the week and DO ALL THE THINGS.

Technically their break started on Good Friday but since Dyl was already off, that was one day I didn't have to worry about. Saturday I worked for a few hours then took them shoe shopping and then we dyed Easter Eggs. PSA: year-old cheap-ass egg coloring kits work just about as well as you'd expect. The more you know. Sunday was Easter and with the distraction of family and egg hunts, so pfft, this was a piece of cake. Then Monday rolled around.


Looking at the weather, Monday was going to be the only really decent day to be outside so I rejiggered plans for the zoo. Someone was extremely excited to be on spring break as I was woken before 7 by a snuggly, talkative Noah. Someone needs to learn what 'vacation' means. Luckily though, my sister and her boys belong to the zoo too so we met up with them and the bonus addition of Grandmom Yvonne and Granddad!

It was hella crowded (see: only nice day of the week) but it really didn't feel that way until we got to Africa. The lion cubs were all grown up but the lemurs weren't out. Bummer. As part of my 'good mom' persona, I even remembered the sunscreen which was a victory in and of itself. Then I worked that night.

Tuesday was still warm, but definitely gray so a trip to the National Aquarium was on tap for us. But first, needed my pre-7 am snuggles, this time from Noelle. Yawn. At least we'd make our ticket time. I hadn't been to the aquarium in years so watching the kids run from exhibit to exhibit was so much fun! The whole concept of an 'open rainforest' freaked them out until they saw the maned tamarinds and nothing was ever so much fun. We saw everything: rays, sharks, Nemo, jellies, dolphins...but the highlight was eating lunch in the cafeteria where Noelle had a slice of pizza bigger than her head. Miraculously we escaped without exiting through the gift shop so I'm counting that as a win. Then that night, I worked.

Wednesday was cooler and rainy and our first stop was to get Noelle's new glasses. They are adorable on her and she couldn't get over how much clearer everything was.

Then it was home to finish folding laundry, pack for our overnight with my parents and eat lunch before heading to see the movie "Home." It's super-cute and a truly 'kids' movie. There are no underlying jokes for parents but that didn't matter, I liked it as it was and the kids laughed and giggled through the entire thing. Then we drove to my folks' for our DC extravaganza the next day. I didn't work but had way too much wine. Um, ouch.

Thursday I woke early after sporadic sleep and a pounding headache (see: wine) and knew I was in for a long-ass day. But after chugging a gallon of water and an equivalent amount of coffee (okay, and a few Advil), we were on our way. First stop: the White House.

Paparazzi in training
After that we headed over to the Museum of Natural History. The dinosaur exhibit was closed but we saw the hall of mammals, the gems and the ocean life.

The girl's got style
Number 1 on the threatdown: bears

Noah got really scared by one of the fossil films and was ready to call it a day at that point (code for: go back to Nana's house and play "Transformers" on her iPad) but I was mean and said 'No.' Onward, Ferb! Next stop was my favorite museum, Air and Space. The kids weren't quite as enthralled with it as I was and we narrowly avoided a major meltdown with Noah wanting to climb on the 'rover' and me not knowing what in the hell he was talking about.

This apparently is a 'rover.'
Finally we found it and after that he consented to take a picture.

Tis true! I was there!
All was quite good when we hit the gift shop and he got a space shuttle toy. Noelle vacillated between a cherry blossom snow globe (SNOW GLOBE!!), a t-shirt, and a magnet, ultimately choosing a magnet. Okay then. The final stop on our whirlwind DC tour was the National Geographic Museum to see the Monsters of the River and Spinosaurus exhibits.

Not a Spinosaurus.

Noelle found other kids to play with so I shielded Noah from yet another scary movie. We met up with Nana after her meeting to head back home and crash. Okay, and to play "Transformers."

Proof! Nana was there too.
Friday we left my folks' house early and as a surprise I took them to Ultimate Playzone, a local indoor bounce-house place. Unfortunately, it was mostly little kids there at that time but I had a conference call I couldn't miss at 2 pm so the early slot it was.

Actually Mom, we don't really care.
We finished by visiting their preschool which was just next door and holy crow, Noah was a full head taller than the kids he was in class with just last August. They swarmed him, three deep when we entered KR-B, all screaming "Noah!" I might have teared up. Just a little. And then I worked.

So today I'm back at work, the kids are at school and life slowly returns to its normal rhythms. I've caught a cold which is in no small part due to running myself into the ground last week but you know what, it was all worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Spending that time with my kids, doing things, watching the delight on their faces, and yes, spoiling them rotten, brought me so much joy, maybe moreso than them. I'm the luckiest mom ever.

And I can't wait for spring break next year.

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