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gros malin

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The weather cooled down a bit, the leaves are starting to turn, and the pool closed for the season, so it's easier to imagine that fall has finally arrived. I ate something (sausage? kale?) that knocked me out with allergies, and I spent most of the past few days dealing with a cough and a runny nose, and I wanted to rest up for a board retreat on Sunday. Nonetheless we were out and about!

The big event this week was Eid al-Adha. MoBob took Z to a nearby farm and subsequently the house and the car smelled like sheep for several days.

Back to school night!

Over the weekend, we did homework.

We attended Lego Day at one of the Smithsonian museums.

We participated in the Lantern Walk. (DCist published a lovely article on the event.)

While I was at the board retreat, MB took Z to the annual family fest on Capitol Hill.
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As usual, I had a wonderful time at the Exponent retreat. This was our view.

Meanwhile, MoBob and Z attended a Nats game.

They went to the family showcase of the DC Shorts Festival, and then crafting at the Wharf.

Off to a birthday party!

And finally Batman at a festival at one of the neighborhood churches..

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We started ballet classes.

We listened to Mr. Josh during pajama story time.

We sang with Mme Marie for French song circle, and then enjoyed the delightful park adjacent to the library.

Then it was off to the Textile Museum for some crafting and learning about traditional lace-making.

We went to a community event at Blind Whino, the neighborhood arts space.

Then Mommy went to see handsome men fight on stage during an open rehearsal of Romeo + Juliet, and then we all met up again for a potluck after church.

We went to the Kennedy Center for the Page to Stage Festival. The crocodile hat was more exciting than workshopping The Adventures of Mr. Bear, followed by free picnic lunches.

We closed out Labor Day by meeting our friends at the water feature in Yards Park and said goodbye to summer with ice cream.
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I'm impressed with Z's school - we had a home visit from his teacher, he already knew the school and some of the kids from the summer playdates, and we get regular updates throughout the day via the Class Dojo app. The school honored our request to place him in a mixed Pre-K3/Pre-K4 class, and he seems to enjoy it, or at least declare, "I'm tired!" at the end of the day.

A well-deserved ice cream at the monthly night market, and then on to a goodbye party for our friends leaving for Austin, Texas.

Z and MoBob had visited the playground at Wheaton Regional Park last year, but this was first visit to the adorable train station and carousel.

Z and MB got their haircuts and then we walked to Arena Stage for their annual "carnival."

Z still had a lot of wiggles left so he and MB went off to another favorite playground, Clemyjontri. And then we were ready for a new week!
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As always, lots of excitement in Casa de Zacky.
catching upCollapse )
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Despite the 100+ F temperatures, we've managed to sweat through some fun.

We had a mid-week adventure by going to the Strathmore for an outdoor concert. We've been there for classes and for one indoor concert, but this was our first time outside. We saw an all-women mariachi band, Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Luckily we were not assailed by mosquitos like we usually are at venues like Wolf Trap.

We finally took Z to his first Nats game, and the first we've been to since moving to the neighborhood. We actually walked from our home to the stadium. It was a slog but do-able. Sadly, the Nats were not able to overcome the heat or the Braves.

MoBob and Z attended another playdate at his (soon-to-be) school and continued on to a BBQ at the junior high school, while I met up with R to discuss clean energy while sitting on bar stools inside a sweltering restaurant.

After church we explored Ocean Dunes Waterpark. Z didn't want to extract himself and then fell asleep in the car on the way home - always a sign of success!
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MoBob mocked me at first, but now he is fully convinced by the utility of the summer fun kit (which must be sung like a jingle). It is kind of a lot of stuff, but we keep in the car all the time and it has been very convenient since we don't have to skip out on any opportunities to visit a park or return home for a swim suit or snacks before going out again. Here's what works for us in Washington DC, where summer means spray fountains and outdoor concerts and napping under trees.

[We have a separate small cooler/insulated lunch bag for drinks and snacks. We wear hats and sunglasses too. Everything fits into two bags from Whole Foods.]
magnifying glass + binoculars
toys: soccer ball, frisbee, bubbles, kite, inflatable ball, small spray bottle
bug spray + sunscreen
picnic blanket
swim suit + change of clothes + beach towels
bird food (because we like to make friends)
small first aid kit - bug bite cream, antibiotic cream, bandages, hand sanitizer
toilet paper + paper towels + diaper supplies + plastic bags

It was a lot of fun to put together. We use the backpack to cart around whatever we need for a specific activity, and since Z is taking swimming lessons, he has a separate bag with his swim shoes and swim diapers. Some items are new discoveries, like the mini-kites in the form of a fighter jet or a butterfly. For the Rocknocerous concert at the National Arboretum, we had our snack bag, and packed the picnic blanket, binoculars, bug spray, and the frisbee.

Our summer bucket list is almost done (we missed the harvest so the lavender farm will wait til next year):
Nats game (August 12 vs. Atlanta Braves)
Ukelele Festival (August 17)
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Astronomy Festival
Glen Echo Park carousel
Lotus Festival
River Farm
fireworks on the 4th of July
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Kingman Island
pirate cruise
Brookside Gardens
National Arboretum (Rocknocerous concert)
Montrose Park
the glass forest
Green Spring Gardens
SW Night Market
pool time and swim lessons
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We had another mid-week adventure, this time at Canal Park. We played mini-golf and splashed in the water scrim while a live band performed. Then we had cake and pizza.

We spent Saturday on the National Mall. The National Gallery of Art organized a showing of short films by Pixar. They were shown in chronological order and it was clear how much animation had grown more sophisticated, and the accompanying soundtracks were just as striking as the visuals. There were a few pieces related to current franchises (Toy Story, Up, Monsters' Inc.) and the rest were stand-alone. Overall a delight to watch. My personal favorites were La Luna and Partly Cloudy.

Z's class at the Smithsonian was early that afternoon so we had lunch in the underground NGA café and then played on the grass for awhile, and soaked our feet in the sculpture garden fountain. It was getting hot so we entered the National Museum of Natural History and looked at the Ocean exhibit. Z's class was on light and colors, based on Monet's art, so the kids did a little earth/sun craft, used MagnaTiles on a light table, and painted with watercolors. The class ended with a discussion of Monet's paintings of the Cathedral at Rouen back at the NGA.

On Sunday, we decided to re-visit Brookside Gardens, now that everything was in heady, summer bloom. And then some indoor fun at ClimbZone and huge meal topped off with cotton candy ice cream.

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