Finally settled in to Rumson NJ

Spring Break!

This was our first official “spring break” as a parents, and boy was it a busy one! Evan had the week off from school, so JP decided to take the week off from work and we kept Erin out of pre-school as well. These plans were made sort of last minute…so we did not go on a big trip to Jamaica or anywhere else like many of Evan’s schoolmates. Fortunately, being so close to NYC has decided advantages.

Saturday, 4/12:

The weather was absolutely beautiful, so we invited cousin Julia to come over to ride bikes with us that morning. It had been several months since Evan had ridden a two-wheeler and it was obvious his little 12-inch bike was much too small for him now (his knees nearly hit the handle bars as he peddles!). Unfortunately, Evan was not as confident on his little bike as he had been before the cold weather set in, and he needs a bit more practice starting by himself, turning and stopping before we can get a bigger bike for him.

This day was also Evan’s first day of tee-ball! I was a bit nervous because Evan doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to trying new stuff (especially when athletic skill and coordination are involved). Further complicating matters is the fact that Evan has yet to decide which hand he prefers. Half the time he throws a ball with his right hand, the other half of the time he throws with his left. Sometimes he prefers to bat right-handed, other times he prefers to bat left. While this may sound like a coach’s dream, in reality it just means that Evan is especially bad with both hands. Sigh. The good news is that Evan really enjoyed tee-ball. There were no melt-downs like there had been in soccer. JP and I dug out our gloves from the basement and we have both agreed to practice with him whenever we can.

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After a successful game, we took the kids to Crazees for ice cream. I’m pretty sure this was the highlight of their day. We ended the day at Julia’s house, eating spicy Thai food. Much to my amazement, Evan cleaned his plate! This boy is one adventuresome eater!

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Sunday, 4/13:

It was another gorgeous day — a perfect day for a birthday party in the park. Erin’s best friend from school, Brennan, celebrated his 4th birthday at a park in Colts Neck. They chilled out on a picnic blanket for a little bit, but for the most part the kids were busy running around on the playground and blowing bubbles.

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Afterwards, we went to the annual Rumson Easter egg hunt with cousin Julia. In previous years, Evan and Erin hunted for candy in the same field. This year, Evan and Julia had to look for candy in field for 5-7 year olds. We ran into our other cousins Anna and Henry at the same field. Silly me neglected to get a photo of the group, but JP managed to get a few good shots of Erin filling her basket. In each field, there are a few coveted plastic eggs. Finding such an egg guarantees you a special prize. Somehow, Evan ended up with a plastic egg. We think that another kid who may have collected more than one plastic egg might have given it to him. In any case, he came home with a cool chocolate fire truck.

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Monday, 4/14:

This was a big day. We made a rookie mistake of trying to do TOO much, but it worked out in the end. After dropping the dogs off at puppy day care, we boarded the ferry to NYC. The kids loved being on the boat and seeing the statue of liberty.
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We started at the MET first. The kids enjoyed the Egyptian exhibit and looking at various art from around the world, but the visit was admittedly more rushed than I would have liked given their short attention spans. Evan was excited to find some Monet paintings, apparently he’s been doing some “Monet art” of his own at school :)

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When the kids started to run out of steam, we quickly made our way to a restaurant (The Shake Shack) for some much needed nourishment. This is where we discovered Erin’s LOVE for milkshakes (she is definitely related to Geeda). Refreshed, we then headed to The Museum of Natural History. At first the kids excitedly ran from room to room (look at those dinosaur bones!)…but after an hour it became clear that we had taken on too much.

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They needed sunlight and fresh air. It was time to head outside and find a playground. We ended up at a large playground in Central Park. As playgrounds go, it was pretty basic (just some slides and swings) — but it also had something most playgrounds do not — a large boulder formation that they were eager to climb. JP and I scrambled after them on the treacherous rocks, helping them to navigate easier paths. Fortunately, we managed to escape without any injury, and they played happily on the slides for the remainder of the time.

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Tuesday, 4/15 (Erin’s Birthday!):

The fickle spring weather roared its ugly head on Tuesday. Fortunately, we were planning to stay put in Rumson and celebrate Erin’s 4th birthday with her cousins. It was a perfect day to be indoors and have lots of fun at Chuck-E-Cheese. Afterwards, I spent five hours baking a cake for Erin. She had really wanted a Disney Frozen bedding set for her birthday, but we couldn’t find one the right size (or within our budget). As a compromise, I decided to make her a “Frozen” cake. I found an edible decor on Amazon, but it required that I make a white cake. It was a new recipe for me, and it ended up being entirely too sweet. Sigh. At least we had a back-up ice cream cake that was a big hit. The most important thing was that Erin had a great day.

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Wednesday, 4/16:

We woke up to snow (yes snow) on Wednesday morning. We were all pretty exhausted so we took it easy in the morning, but that afternoon we headed back into NYC to see a show. A production of Cinderella was playing on Broadway — and if there is anything Erin loves — it is princesses and shows. It was a win win. Erin was a bit disappointed that this particular theater didn’t have popcorn, but she seemed to enjoy the show. We forgot to take pictures, but a good time was had by all.

Thursday, 4/17:

By this day we were ALL positively exhausted. The puppies had spent two full days in puppy daycare and they pretty much just crashed on the couch. I took Evan for a much-needed haircut and we all headed to the YMCA that afternoon for swim lessons. It was the first time JP had seen them swim since January. The kids definitely impressed him (and me!). Both are getting really good at swimming across the pool all by themselves. Evan is getting better at free style and Erin is awesome at floating on her back. Once again, I neglected to get any good video of their impressive feats…but I will remember one of these days.
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Friday, 4/18:

This was mostly a lazy day spent recuperating from our busy week. Evan went to karate in the afternoon and we frequented a new sushi/hibachi restaurant that evening. Evan was amazed by all the “magic” the chef did in front of us. He loved all the food and can’t wait to go back. Erin, meanwhile, specifically requested that we NOT go back to that restaurant ever again. Heh.

Saturday 4/19:

This was another busy day, starting with Evan’s karate test in the morning. He did awesome and is now a junior orange belt. We are very proud of our little guy :)
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Afterwards, we headed to the ball field for Evan’s second tee-ball practice/game. He has caught the baseball bug (for now) and looks forward to each Saturday. We were all pretty tired though…Erin didn’t even make it home before falling asleep.
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Sunday, 4/20 (Easter!):

The Easter bunny was very good to Evan and Erin this year. They had a very good time going through their Easter baskets and hunting for eggs in our basement. They were even happier to go over to their cousin’s house for a second egg hunt and a little time in the bouncy house. Maybe it was all the chocolate they ate — or perhaps it is the age — but I could not for the life of me get a good shot of them. Oh well.

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It was a long, but good, Spring Break…though I’m looking forward to getting back to our usual routine :)

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