Monday, June 30, 2014

It's past my bedtime.

I spent the month of July working with just one client so I've had a lot of time to hang with the kids and Dave. It's been great! Summer is the best time to have a light workload. I thought about tagging along for part of Neeracha's annual trip to Thailand but decided not to after learning that her sister came this year, too. It's one thing to crash your friend's exotic beach vacation, it's another to elbow your way in on a multi-generational family trip, one I'm sure her parents were really looking forward to.

One day we went to Cowell Beach with Paige and her tribe. There were more than 30 of us. They had extra wetsuits which enabled Thing 2 to boogie board for four hours straight. It was a good thing she ate pizza before getting in. The day was overcast and it even rained for a bit but that didn't stop the kids from going in and out of the water, trying to catch sea gulls and building sand castles. One of her twins drove down in our car and we sang show tunes.

Paige's family has beach days down to a well-oiled machine. They caravan. One picks up pizzas on the way in. Once the kids are fed and playing, someone else walks to The Picnic Basket and buys gourmet sandwiches for everyone else. Chairs are set up. Umbrellas are erected. Trashy magazines come out of beach bags. The laughter begins.

After the afternoon at the beach we hosed the kids off and went to the Boardwalk to take advantage of $1 Monday night rides and eat trash for dinner. We can't wait to go back!

Thing 1 spent most of July in dancing. Ballet. Technique. Team rehearsal. One of the moms brilliantly suggested that we take turns entertaining them between classes. On my day, pictured above, I took them to breakfast at Country Waffles. Another mom took them to the pool. Another day was Bagel Street Cafe. All around town you would see girls in buns traveling in packs. One day Thing 1 and I met a friend and her mom for breakfast at Chow.

Thing 2 wrapped up July in a lacrosse tournament. She even scored two goals while her grandparents were watching. We have a lot to learn about lacrosse but I like what I've seen so far.

I start working with a new client in early August, kicking off the project with a two-day meeting in Boston. Although it's a very quick trip with a packed agenda, I can't wait. I miss business travel.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Are you Smitten?

We tried Smitten on Friday, the first day of summer vacation. Smitten is artisanal ice cream, until recently found only in the city. Each serving is made on demand using liquid nitrogen. It tasted fine but was nothing special. Berthillon is still my favorite. And locally, I really like the obscenity which is Fenton's.

Remind me to take time off work next June. And to not sign up for any volunteer activities. The weekend before school was out Thing 1 and I volunteered at both a Habitat for Humanity community opening and a Special Olympics fundraiser. The year-end academic and recreational activities of three children is a lot to juggle.

Speaking of three children, those of you with older children forgot to mention how fabulous it is when one of those children gets their driver's license. Many of the fears I had of my innocent child getting behind the wheel of a car were greatly reduced when I realized how helpful she could be, not only chauffeuring herself to and from her appointments but running our errands and picking up a sister on occasion!

Preparations continue for the B'Not Mitzvah. Thing 1 and I had coffee with the fabulous Harry Glazier yesterday. Harry is going to photograph the ceremony and festivities for us. I'm excited to work with emerging talent and look forward to his fresh point of view.

The invitations are still in various stages of assembly on the dining room table. The Hebrew intensive begins tomorrow. Panic is beginning to set in as the kids vocalize who they want to invite, based on who they were in or out with during the latter part of the school year. I hate this part. Even my father brought it up while we were riding his horses today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Repetitive Tasks

It's interesting the things you do differently on the second go round of a life cycle event. 

Eldest Daughter spent a lot of time looking for the perfect dress to wear on her Bat Mitzvah. Thing 2 liked the second dress she tried on. We went through many iterations of the guest list for Eldest Daughter. This time it's much easier and frankly, we're a lot more decisive.

We're a lot more lax on learning the material this time around, maybe because the Youngest Pinks have the whole summer? They also want a celebratory party where the guests can dress informally, and we're good with that.

Eldest Daughter had beautiful, custom invitations. This time I ordered something from Etsy and we're DIY. That's where we are today, the mindless creation and assembly of the invites. There is something peaceful, something zen about a simple, repetitive task.