Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Visiting the Ohio Railway Museum

Even Edith said she may have had too much cake after her second birthday party of the day on Sunday -- and that wasn't counting the dessert we had at a Saturday birthday! It was a fun weekend -- two friends were turning three, and we celebrated our nephews turning 18 and 13.

One of those three-year-old birthday parties happened to be at the Ohio Railway Museum in nearby Worthington. For a small admission fee, you can take a 20-minute train ride and explore the old train cars that are on the lot. The kids had a blast, and even I enjoyed checking out a few things from the past. And of course, the afternoon ended with cake.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Weekend Without Paul

Edith walking a slackline at a festival. May 11.

This past weekend it was just me and the kids. Paul was on one of his once-or-twice-a-year hiking trips with the guys -- something I certainly don't begrudge him and, in fact, would rather he do without me. Either way, he left Friday morning for Traverse City, Mich.

That left the kids and me alone for 60 hours (not that anyone was counting). To my delight, the weather turned out to be beautiful, despite a forecast of thunderstorms all weekend long. Edith and Atticus spent two hours playing in our kiddie pool and with the neighbors' water table. We went to a festival at a nearby school the first evening, a playground in a nearby suburb the second evening and a playground at our church the third morning. Each night it seemed we got home just in time for them to go to bed - perfect!

I certainly miss Paul while he is gone, and I certainly look forward to when he comes home from work each weekday -- not least of all because I get a break (or at least an opportunity to split up the kid duties). But now that the kids are 5 and 3, it is much easier to plan things, follow a schedule and get out the door on time. The biggest surprise: I wasn't totally, 100 percent exhausted by the time Paul got home Sunday night. I even -- gasp! -- enjoyed myself.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Our First Crap Swap

Crap swap. I heard the term a month or two ago and was inspired -- a bunch of friends would gather at our house and bring the things we wanted to give away. Everyone would go home with another's junk, and the rest would go to a thrift store.

This past Saturday was the big day. I had been getting donated items from friends for several weeks, and even more stuff the day of. I organized everything all afternoon -- tables full of toys, kid clothes, kitchen stuff and so many odds and ends. Lanterns. A baby gate. A mirror. A mini-fridge. All free for the taking.

Around 50 people showed up, and I think everyone took home something -- at the very least, a full belly. We simultaneously held a cookout/potluck, and the food was so good! And the kids had a blast, not least of all because our neighbors got a new sandbox. I think I saw eight kids in it at some point during the evening.

The leftovers went to the curb that night, and I made postings on several Facebook sites alerting neighbors that everything was free for the taking. By the next afternoon, I think about half of the leftovers were gone.

By chance, VOA was making pick-ups in our neighborhood on Monday, so I loaded everything into bags that morning. They was headed to the thrift store before noon. Success!


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