On Thursday, Fran had to work after all. Surprise! They called him as he was getting ready to go and asked him to go to a different store for the day. Despite the fact that he has been a humongous stress-case about starting the new job, he actually managed to take the change of plans really, really well.
I gathered up random stray children that were wandering around my house (I just happened to have grabbed ones that I gave birth to, what are the odds?), boiled eggs, steamed artichokes, packed a cooler, and headed off to Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island (ok, this park rocks, go there people-who-are-nearby). We spent 6 hours at the park. Only the first hour and a half or so was spent at the playground-kinda-thingy (all 80s looking and cool). The rest we spent exploring - rolling down the hills, walking the trails, checking out the old dairy barn...we even managed to fit in some swimming! As we were leaving, toddlerness gave me a handful of yellow flowers and toddler-ran off, turning to say, "mama, I a happy face!" Everyone was tired and ready to go at the end of that 6 hours, but still happy. Summer-day-at-the-part UTOPIA! I didn't get any pictures because I couldn't find the camera. Until we got home. When I found it in the bag I'd been lugging around all day. Crap.
We came home sunburnt and tired (ok, I was tired - the kids had slept in the car and were ready for round 2, of course) just as Fran was starting in on the dinner project. Awesome.
Today, we had a big fire, and burned a lot of the stuff that was blocking the path to the 'clear play area' thing on the far side of the driveway. Not all, but a lot. When Toddlerness fell asleep for her nap, I grabbed Girliness and we headed off for some us time. Soft pretzels on a picnic bench, Starbucks in Target, way too many purchases on Girliness-discretion...including an inflatable pool with inflatable slide that the kids spent much of the afternoon on. Fran made pizza over a wood fire on his grill, and it is coming out pretty well. I'll have to encourage this him-making-dinner thing, because we'd fallen into a rhythm where I was doing it most of the time and I kinda like this him-doing-it version better.