I am still processing this past week. Here's the shorthand version:
Jennyalice and I emerged from a week of our boys' Spring Break and into the alternate reality that was Woolfcamp. at the inimitable Grace D's. Tweeting superseded blogging for the weekend, so check out the tweetstream if you want the more immersive version. Although that still doesn't give you a true sense of Grace's hospitality, nor Gwendomama's (who provided lodgings for the trio pictured below), nor George's music, nor Susie's impish and informative ringleading, nor Sarah's charisma, nor the wonderful food, drink, and mind-melds. All in 24 hours. With so many new and renewed friends. Can you tell that I'm exhausted all over again, just thinking about how much fun we had?
Two Jens and a Cephalopod
The very next morning my brother and his family arrived from the East Coast, to stay with us. I've been trying for years to arrange for my brother, who is a military history buff, to tour the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation. This time the planets finally aligned -- thanks to my friend Liz.
My brother thought he was humoring me. He thought he was going to get to see five tanks in a field. What he encountered instead was an expertly maintained workshop and three-warehouse facility containing almost 200 military vehicles in beautiful condition. He remarked that he doesn't think any existing museums can compete with this collection. And it took *him* all day to process what he'd seen -- he couldn't even really talk about it for a few hours.
A Mythbusters fan with one of the tanks used in a Mythbusters episode
Liz called this "Dr. Strangelove, Preschool Edition."
The next morning my brother and sister-in-law wanted to show their son San Francisco. I agreed, but told them it'd likely be the blast version as we only had three hours to do it, between dropping Leo off at school and picking him back up. So we went ogled the view from Twin Peaks and drove down Lombard and walked around Chinatown and had Dim Sum at Great Eastern on Jackson and then sped back to Leo's school just in time for retrieval.
Atop Twin Peaks
Then my brother's family had to leave, to visit other relatives across the Bay. My kids and I had the entire afternoon to ourselves. I decided that, since we'd been having such a great week with such good luck and since all three of my kids were in such good moods, it was time for me to try taking them to the movies -- by myself.
Huge success! We saw Monsters vs. Aliens (non-3D to my eldest's chagrin) and Leo got to eat M&Ms and stayed in his seat the entire time and told me when he needed to use the bathroom and my optimism meter clicked forward at least five times.
Three kids at the movies. For real.
On Thursday my youngest got five vaccinations at once to meet Kindergarten entrance requirements (which demonstrates how much our attitude towards vaccines has changed, as when she was born I wouldn't even let them give her a vitamin K shot). She then got a purple stuffed pony from the Toys R Us bargain bin as a reward for being a good little pincushion, and immediately christened her new horsie "Annette." Ah, retail therapy.
Early yesterday, Friday morning, I put the girls and my husband on a plane so that they could spend Easter weekend with their grandparents because Leo is just not ready to do that kind of traveling. I know they'll have a great time.
And so will Leo and I. We have three days together with just us two and I'm going to make the most of it, make sure we have fun in each other's company. Like going rock climbing, as we did yesterday at Castle Rock State Park:
A natural and enthusiastic billy goat
Today the two of us will spend the night in a Sonoma county hotel. This is Leo's first overnight trip in a year, and I hope things go well, that the hotel pool and local croissants will be compensation enough for the unfamiliar sleeping arrangements. I hope that the pagan hippies will still have their farmer's market in the morning. I hope that Leo enjoys the local playground as much as he usually does, and enjoys the hiking at Salt Point.
I hope that, tomorrow, my girls have the times of their lives at their Grandparents' golf club's Easter Egg hunt.
I hope this is the last childhood Easter my kids ever spend in two different cities.