Last Saturday, we returned to the strawberry fields for the third time (previous trips were made in June 2011 and June 2010) to hand pick the delicious strawberries up at our favorite picking farm. This was, by far, the best experience we’ve had so far. Both Tiny and Buba were eager to pick the berries, and old enough to remember and understand which berries were the best to pick- red ones, the bigger the better, no holes or bite marks, nothing mushy.
Buba and Tiny did a decent job collecting just under half of the berries we took home. I still checked each of their containers to make sure we weren’t going to be taking home any duds, and we definitely tossed back fewer this time than we had last year. Of course, we didn’t waste any time sampling our pickings. They were sweet and juicy and delicious. It was a great way to get our summer vacation off to a good start.
celebrations Family Time field trips preschool Tiny & Buba: Father's Day fire truck wash gymnastics playdate strawberry picking zoo
It’s been a bit of a challenge to sit down and write up all the fun things we’ve been up to. Here are some highlights from the last week…
Last Wednesday: We returned to the zoo for the first time since last summer. We went with some friends, and the kids had a great time running around and reacquainting themselves with all the animals around the park. It was our first visit without the double stroller, and both Tiny and Buba did a great job walking through the zoo like big kids. (I did take a single umbrella stroller in case anyone was unable to handle the privilege of walking, but we didn’t end up needing it.)
Thursday: We went for a playdate with some twin friends who live about 20 minutes north of us. We hadn’t seen them in a while, so it was fun connecting with them again. The kids played mostly in the back yard. There was a water table and a kiddie pool, and Buba and Tiny had the best time playing with both. They stayed outside almost 15 minutes longer than the other kids, because they just didn’t want to stop all the fun. We’ll definitely be needing a kiddie pool of our own in the near future.
Friday: Tiny and Buba had their last mommy and me gymnastics class in the morning and spent the afternoon playing outside and riding their tricycles.
Saturday: We got an early start on our spring/summer tradition of Saturday yard sale shopping to be sure we’d have plenty of time to wash the fire trucks in town.
That night we had a delicious Indian food dinner to celebrate our beloved Daddy (we let him choose a special dinner on Saturday, because we had plans to celebrate with Grandpa on Sunday).
Sunday: Buba, Tiny and I got up and ready and snuck out of the house while T was still sleeping. We went and picked up a dozen donuts and a coffee for Daddy, and then snuck back in as quietly as we could. When T woke up, we presented him with his coffee, the Sunday paper, and the gift the kids had made (a picture frame that they painted and decorated with sparkly jewels). Later that day, we went to Grandpa’s house and give him the same gift. The kids rode bikes around the circle, and then we all had a nice dinner at Macaroni Grill.
Monday: We went back to the zoo with another set of friends. Even though we had just been there a few days ago, the kids were just as excited as the first time we went. After our zoo visit, we headed back to our town for a popsicle party at the playground. It was technically for kids headed to kindergarten in the fall, but since I was in charge of the event (I am now the special events planner for my town’s family organization), my kids got to go and have popsicles too.
Tuesday: Tiny and Buba had their first day of summer gymnastics. They were in a class with kids who were all younger than them, and the level of gymnastics was definitely lower than the class they had just completed. So, we dropped the weekly mommy and me class and signed them up for two days of gymnastics camp (one in July and one in August). In camp, they’ll go for 3.5 hours at a time and ALL BY THEMSELVES. Tiny can’t wait. Hopefully Buba will be okay with this. We also switched their classes for the fall, so Tiny will definitely be going in the more advanced class, and Buba will be in an all boys class. Lots of changes coming up for them.
After gymnastics, we headed to a playground where T’s class was having an end of the year celebration. Buba and Tiny were treated like kings and queens, with all those big kids carrying them around, pushing them on the swings, and just doing whatever it was that they wanted. They were in heaven.
Wednesday (Today): The weather wasn’t great today. It sprinkled on and off all morning, and then poured all afternoon. But that didn’t keep us from getting out and having some fun. We headed out early to go pick Strawberries at a nearby farm. Tiny was all about getting the biggest, red-est berries she could find. Buba spent his time picking all the tiny, white ones and then throwing them across the field (which I may have done once when I told him to only pick the red ones). Either way, they both had a good time.
Then we headed back down to a playdate at the kids’ preschool. Over the summer, regular playdates are scheduled on the school’s playground so the kids (and parents) can get to know each other before the school year begins. And, hopefully, this will lead to a smoother transition when September rolls around. Buba and Tiny had a great time playing on the structures and in the massive sandbox. Even when it started to rain, they didn’t want to leave. We stayed until the very end. They left soaking wet, filthy, and begging to go back.
This morning, Tiny, Buba and I went strawberry picking. We went up to Parlee Farms (where we’d gone apple picking in October) and were supposed to meet up with a bunch of other moms from our town. But when we arrived at the entrance at about 10 minutes past the time we were supposed to get there, I didn’t see a single person from our group*. I asked around the farm stand to see if anyone knew of their whereabouts, but no on seemed to have even heard of our town’s little family organization. We certainly hadn’t driven 30 minutes just to go home empty handed, so I picked up a basket and followed the signs for strawberries.
We ended up in a good sized, but not enormous, field where I felt comfortable letting Buba and Tiny walk around on their own. I gave them a little talk before releasing them from the confines of our double stroller- Stay right by Mommy. Only pick the red ones. The bigger the berry the better. Stay right by Mommy. Put the berries in the basket- no eating until we pay. And stay right by Mommy.
Tiny was great at following my directions. She’d run ahead a little, pick one or two strawberries and then come right back.
Buba had a harder time remembering all of my rules. He ran off frequently, and didn’t come back when I called him (grrrrrrrr). When he went in for his first strawberry, he squeezed so hard that he squashed it completely and came back with a sticky hand and juice running down his arm. He did better when I showed him how to pull them gently, but still needed reminders about not putting the berries directly into his mouth.
Buba was restricted to berry picking while holding my hand for the last 10 minutes or so, but over all, I think our trip was pretty successful. And I’d definitely do it again. Buba and Tiny loved the juicy, delicious strawberries that we picked. They’re sure to be gone in no time.
*We ended up seeing a couple of the moms and kids from our town when we returned to the farm stand to pay. It turns out that our group was in a completely different strawberry field. Oh well. Still fun.