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School Is (Finally) In Session!

2017 September 6
by Becky

FirstDayOfSchool-Tunnel

School started! It finally happened!! We have watched every other friend go back to school for weeks while we waited. And waited. I swear the weeks got longer. We must be the last school in the world to start.

Except for the one that starts on September 7th. Really?? So late!

FirstDayOfSchool-FrontDoor

Ethan has been ready since the day we drove past his new school, so excited to make new friends and “do projects.” This school is about four times bigger than our old one, plus they require uniforms, so I was expecting him to be nervous. But, in true Ethan style, he walked right through the front door ready to go. He’s been so incredibly brave this summer, proving his outgoing personality over and over at camps, the playground, anyplace we’ve been around kids he’s never met. We’re very proud of him for being SO willing to try new things.

There’s been so much build up to this day that I wasn’t all that sad dropping him off. It was such a whirlwind of parents and teachers and he seemed so happy, how could I be sad?

There was someone who wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye…

FirstDayOfSchool-BrotherHug

These two have gotten pretty close in the past two months—sometimes a little too close, like when Ethan would act more like a 3 year old than a 6.5 year old. Thank goodness for siblings when you move to a new city! They did a great job entertaining each other and kept the fighting to a manageable level. Especially since we don’t really know anyone here anymore so playdates have been few and far between. That’s the thing about living in DC, people move a lot. We’re all very ready to make some new friends! I love how determined Ethan seems to get to know his classmates.

FirstDayOfSchool-Tree

So how did it go? Great!

I couldn’t help but pump Ethan for information when I picked him up. I hadn’t slept the night before and had thought about him every minute of the day, wondering how he was doing in such a big new environment. He likes his teacher, he had fun at recess, he liked the classroom work, he was invited to a birthday party (along with the whole class of course) and he begged to try buying lunch the next day.

We are so thrilled and hope everything keeps going smoothly. There are some big differences between this public school and the little private one we attended in St. Louis—namely he has to wear shoes all day and there aren’t any chickens on the playground—but we are really happy to be a part of this community and can’t wait to get more involved!

FirstDayOfSchool-Classroom

Now all I need is for my foot to get all healed up so I can walk him the three blocks to school. It’s getting better, I can make it two blocks to the park and grocery store without too much discomfort. Here’s hoping next week I’ll be ready. Walking to school is the dream!

Month One

2017 August 29
by Becky

I may have a busted foot, but I’ve done my very best not to let it bring us down too much.

Sure we just moved to an incredibly walkable city—we’re just a few blocks from everything we need, several parks, a bike trail, and a festival of some sort every single weekend—but I’ve tried to limit my walking as much as I can stand. That said, I save my foot for getting the kids (and my parents who visited for a week) out to as many fun places as possible before school starts next week.

That’s right, it’s August 29th and Ethan is still not in school. I feel like we are the last people in the country to start school. I’m clawing my way to the finish line here.

Anyway, thanks to one of my favorite blogs, KidFriendly DC, I pulled into town with a very long list entitled “Things to Do Immediately”. Here are a few we’ve crossed off:

OneMonthinDC-BuildingMuseum

Day two in town, just hours after we closed on our house, Ethan requested a trip to the Building Museum! It was one of our favorite places to visit last time around and I was thrilled he remembered. The current exhibit is called Hive, which is a collection of huge structures made from paper rolls. Ethan asked “Toilet paper rolls?” Not quite. We love this place because there are two rooms dedicated to kids. There is a fee to get in—a rarity in DC—so we bought a membership because we plan to be back often. After a couple hours of building and exploring, we crossed our fingers for parking spot luck and drove just a couple blocks to Shake Shack for lunch. Would have been easier to walk but…the foot.

OneMonthinDC-MomBoysMonument

We’ve hit the Natural History Museum followed by a ride on the National Mall Carousel. That walk across the Mall was the first time Finn seemed to notice his surroundings. “Look mom, the big thing!!” was his reference to the Washington Monument. He pointed out the Capitol and museums with every swing around the carousel.

OneMonthinDC-GeorgetownWaterfront

My parents visited during our hottest week, so we spent mornings outside—the only time it was bearable—hitting some of our favorite parks. The boys ran through the sprays at the Georgetown Waterfront Park and Potomac Yards, then we fed the chickens and peacocks at Watkins Farm Park.

OneMonthinDC-WatkinsFarmPark

OneMonthinDC-FinnAmericanHistory

On the hottest day we meandered through the American History Museum and checked out their new children’s areas. Finn “cooked” in the mini Julia Child’s kitchen while Ethan created things with tape and cardboard next door in the Spark!Lab.

OneMonthinDC-BeauvoirPlayground

The boys loved going to the most amazing school playground I’ve ever seen, Beauvoir Elementary School. It’s open to the public when school’s out and features incredible climbing and slide structures, plus a crazy-cool zip line that my boys rode like maniacs 734 times. This place is picturesque, the breathtaking National Cathedral looming in the background. Ethan went down that giant slide like a rocket, over and over. He was so proud. On our way home (or out of the way actually) we stopped by Union Market for lunch, a place I haven’t stopped hearing about since we arrived. We walked through the artisan food vendors before trying dumplings, an acai smoothie bowl, and an Indian dish called a dosa…I can’t wait to go back!

 

OneMonthinDC-UnionMarket

Our two rainy days were spent in the ‘burbs at Flight trampoline park and America’s Bowling, places that burn some energy indoors so we’ll for sure be hitting them up this winter.

Every weekend Stu walks to the boys in the wagon to the Old Town Farmers Market, more out of ritual, but also to get amazing watermelons and cantaloups. When I drive the three blocks over to meet them, we come home with tomatoes, burrata, fresh baguettes and spring mix…and anything else I can’t resist. It’s the longest running year-round market in the country, so it will be there waiting for me once my foot is healed.

OneMonthinDC-RedskinsGame

And finally, last weekend Stu got tickets from work for the Redskins Game. My feelings about the team name aside, we were really excited to go—it was the first professional football game for three of us. I may have told Finn a bedtime story the night before that mixed his excitement for the game and his obsession with volcanoes causing him to ask everyone “When is the volcano going to erupt flowers and butterflies?” His dreams were squashed but he still had a great time devouring two hot dogs and giving extremely short-skirted cheerleaders high fives.

It feels like we’ve been here longer than a month. Kind of like we never left. And while it’s been fun exploring, a routine is in our sights and I am so so so ready.

Next up….the Blue Ridge Mountains! We’ll be heading up to Skyline Drive over the holiday weekend to scope it out for a return trip in the fall. I’m saying we should spend the night, Stu’s pushing for a day trip, I’ll report back about which plan works best with two kids under seven in tow. If anyone has opinions about this, please do tell!

Where are your favorite places to explore in DC?