Fall colors are at their peak here, and we had gorgeous weather this weekend. I’m also realizing that Halloween is no longer a day but a season. Fortunately, I don’t think a few extra mini-Twix bars are going to hurt anyone.
Friday was a fairly chill day. I had the little kids during the day, and we spent some time crawling around on the grass in the backyard, admiring the trees. I had a babysitter come at 4:30 and I took my 8-year-old with me to pick up the 6-year-old from Lego Club. Then we rode bikes around the playground, which is also just fantastically colorful. Having a few extra sitting hours is really helping me feel like life with 4 kids is doable. If I’d had the baby, I couldn’t have let the 6-year-old pedal around on his bike as long as he did. I actually had a lot of moments this weekend of feeling like it was doable, partly because the baby is sleeping, finally.
Friday evening my husband and I succeeded in doing a date night. We ate at Kensington Quarters in the Fishtown area of Philly — mostly because it was written up in the Wall Street Journal and sounded cool. You walk through a butcher shop to get to the tables, which removes some of the mystery of eating, but it was good. We were home at 10, and I went to bed before too long, but the boys (including my husband) elected to build a fire outside and sit around that.
Saturday featured not one, not two, but three Halloween-themed events. I took the 6- and 4-year-old to a local church’s fall fest for an hour while the 8-year-old had swimming and the baby napped. Then we got costumes on the kids and went to my husband’s office Halloween party. It was mostly good except for…the face paint.
I will digress here and say that I hate face paint. This, to me, is the downside of various fall festivals, all of which seem to feature face painting. I spent much time Saturday night scrubbing paint off the kids. I wish I’d been quicker at it, because the 8-year-old had already removed half his paint by the time I found him. “Oh,” I said. “That’s good but…” Pause. “What did you use?”
Him: “Those towels in the bathroom.” Me: “Not those!” Yes, he used the new white decorative towels with gold embroidery that perfectly match the new bathroom. Fortunately, it seemed to come off in the wash. Coupled with some massive diaper blowouts I wound up doing a lot of laundry this weekend.
Anyway… work party, then some downtime, then I took the 6- and 4-year-old to the Please Touch Museum’s Monster Mash. I think the highlight for me was the Shake Shack booth with marshmallow/vanilla custard and brownie bites. The kids hated it, so I was forced to eat theirs. Forced.
My husband made wings and nachos after, and I started watching the Texas A&M game, but I lost intensity at halftime. I was asleep by about 10:15, which made it all the more crazy that I woke up with my alarm at 6:50. The sleep! It is amazing! I got ready and drove to a nearby trail to do a brisk 7-mile run with blog reader Jane. The colors were utterly amazing against the gray sky, and it was 60 degrees, so the slight drizzle wasn’t bad at all.
After that, I managed to get 3 of 4 kids to church (the 4-year-old had soccer — she scored 4 goals!) We had downtime until we left for the zoo’s Halloween fest at 2:30ish. The zoo was crowded, but the animal watching was about the best it’s ever been — I think it’s the twilight element, but all the big cats were out and active. Indeed, the male lion was apparently too active for one of lionesses, who kept shaking him off. None of the kids asked what was going on. A mother next to me explained to her son that “they’re kissing.” Yeah, something like that.
Then it was off to Linvilla Orchards to go for a hayride with our church’s young families group. The kids had a blast bouncing around in the wagon and then cooking hot dogs and s’mores over the bonfire. We were probably dancing with meltdown mode by the time we left, and the baby screamed for big chunks of the drive home, but he got into bed soon enough. Now I just need to track down all the miniature candy bars in people’s coat pockets…