Spring Adventures

We’ve had a busy Spring this year.  So busy, that I’ve neglected to post about some of our fun activities.  The weather has been pretty beautiful for the most part.  The kind of Spring that doesn’t always come to the DC area.  You know, the ones where you can wear shorts or at least short sleeves comfortably without weeks of rain or 90 degree weather and ridiculous humidity.  The only bummer is the dread you feel knowing that a Spring this nice will surely bring misery when the summer heat does arrive.

We have a core group of friends that got together regularly when our oldest kids were little.  Once our kids started pre-school, it got harder to get together.  Then we started having our second kids (and some of us have 3 kids now or on the way) and it got more and more difficult to get together.  We still make a point of seeing each other often, but not usually as one big group.  Honestly, we have so many kids between us that it is hard to organize us all together and find a place that we can all fit comfortably.  We have managed some fun playdates with our group though.  We have also attempted to expand our horizons and have some playdates with friends from school.  Jack has a great class and really gets along well with kids in his class.  We have gotten together with a couple boys in his class and it has been great!

We’ve had a few playdates at River Farm.  This is always one of our favorite places to go.  At the beginning of Spring we met Jack’s friend JP, from school, there with his Mom.  We packed a picnic lunch and played and snacked all morning long.  The great thing about River Farm is that there is a children’s garden where the kids can run, play, climb and dig in the dirt.  As a parent it is great because you can keep an eye on the kids without having to follow them around or be concerned about what they are doing.  A bonus is that G can play with the big boys or on his own, so it is totally age appropriate for both kids.  G loves to be with the big boys but he also marches to the beat of his own drum, so he happily plays there whether the big kids include him or not.  It was so nice for me to have time to get to know JP’s Mom better too.  We had a great visit and I’m so excited to get to know her better.  JP has an older brother, so it always nice to get the perspective and advice of someone who is going through the toddler years for the second time!  We had another playdate at River Farm last week with our usual Mommy group.  As always the kids had fun and us Mama’s got to catch up and pick each other’s brains on whatever toddler problem we are currently working through.  It was great to see everyone, but especially my friend Maggie who I haven’t actually seen in months.  She hs been busy with the addition of kiddo #4 (she has an elementary aged stepson and 3 little ones age 4 and under…that is one busy Mama!).   The kids were super cute playing together.

Last week we met Jack’s friend Hayes, his Mom & his new baby brother and sister at Grist Mill Park to play and have a picnic lunch.  Grist Mill Park is a favorite of ours too.  There is a good-sized playground with two different play structures.  We go there often, so the kids are comfortable on the play equipment and tend to stay on the playground.  Hayes and Jack had a great time.  They are good friends at school and play well together.  They are both all boy!  We met at 10:30am and I figured we’d probably be there until around Noon.  We had so much fun it was after 1:30pm before we left!   Hayes’ Mom and I had a great visit.  She is busy with 3 month old twins.  I was able to get a little fix on my baby fever by holding each of the twins and Anna and I had a great visit.  I’ve known Anna through church for a while, but this was the first time we’ve been able to just sit down and visit for several hours.  It was great!  We can’t wait to get together again…in fact, we are trying to get Hayes & JP together this week for a playdate.  Now that should be fun!!

We also made a trip to the zoo a few weeks ago with Elizabeth, Charlotte & AJ.  We had a great time…once we finally got there!  UGH!  It was the worst drive to the zoo I’ve ever had.  Traffic was horrible for after 9:30am.  We had traffic the whole way.  Elizabeth had called while we were in route to say that things were backed up and to go a different way that we normally would.  I took her advice and actually got through DC pretty quickly once I was out of Virginia construction.  Our good fortune with E’s advice all went South once we actually got near the zoo.  There was construction in front of the zoo entrance that slowed us down by a good 15 minutes.  We were literally a block a way and couldn’t get there.  Then there was a 2 hour street parking spot right in front of the entrance, but I decided to pass because A)it was going to be a pain to park since traffic was bumper to bumper B)I didn’t know if we would want to be longer than 2 hours and I really didn’t think I need another DC parking ticket and C)We were likely meeting Elizabeth at the other side of the zoo and I figured it would just be more convenient to park in the lots near where we would meet.  I WAS WRONG!  The construction filled, long drive was nothing compared to the disaster of entering zoo parking.  It took me nearly 40 minutes to get to an open parking lot and get parked.  It was disastrous.  There was no one patrolling the lots, so people were getting pushed into full lots.  I got in a huge backup and then to avoid what looked like a bad lot, I kept going down to the lower lot.  Of course once  got down there I realized that it was either full or they couldn’t get people parked quickly because of construction on the road.  I ended up turning around to go back to the lot I had just passed.  I waited forever to actually get in and parked, only to figure out that we were in the only lot at the zoo without handicap access.  This is only a problem if you are either handicapped or a Mom with a stroller.  I had to walk all the way to the next lot to enter the zoo, only to walk all the way back and meet our friends *right* next to the entrance we could have used if we didn’t have a stroller.  All in all, it took us over 2 hours to get to the zoo which in the worst traffic would never take more than 45 minutes.  Ridiculous!  Once we got there we had a great time with our friends.  We did have to navigate a very busy zoo filled with tourists, but we had fun. 

The rest of our Spring has been filled with as much time as possible spent outside.  We’ve spent lots of time playing in our driveway riding bikes, playing with bubbles, sidewalk chalk and enjoying our yard.  We hang out with the neighbor kids as much as we can.  We hit our favorite parks as often as possible.  Spring has been great and I know I don’t want to see it go.  Soon it will be Summer and we will be sweltering.  Until then, you can find us playing outside!

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