I'll tell you Deonne's story in a moment - but again, Sara and I spent a lovely day together. It's so cool that no matter what we do or where we go - just being together is the real treat. Jack's fever seemed to be coming down - a call to our pediatrician here in Columbia asking if we needed to bring him in resulted in the quintessential 'just watch and see how he does' nonsense - so we decided to go ahead and get out of the house. Get a bit of back-to-school shopping done.
We again dosed Jack up with a big slug of Motrin - loaded up five kids into Sara's van - and ventured out to the most awesomest of awesome outlet malls. Ever. I didn't know such a place existed. Children's Place. Gymboree. Stride Rite. Disney Store. These are just a few of the smattering of stores at this wonderful place. Now, I'm not a big 'mall' shopper. Rather, I head directly to the store I need to go to - get what I need - get out. But this mall. Oh, I could have stayed there for days. And spent loads and loads of money.
Thankfully, I had Sara with me to keep me on track - and all of the kids - so we mainly stuck to the kid stores. I picked up some more uniform clothes for Anna and some Stride Rite shoes for the boys at ridiculously low prices. Like $3 for a Gymboree skirt and $15 for shoes. And, I provided a little help/comic relief for Sara as she worked (and I do mean WORKED) to get new shoes for all of her kids.
Shoe shopping with little ones is no small feat (no pun intended). It can be dicey and difficult depending on the kid and their willingness to try multiple pairs of shoes on. I'm proud to say there were NO meltdowns (Sara's kids are so well behaved they make mine look like monkeys) and she was able to get each of her girls several pairs of shoes. Mission accomplished.
At the same time as we were spending his hard earned money (ha ha) Deonne was seeing the sights of DC. I can't go into a lot of description - because I obviously wasn't there - but the pictures say it all. I do know that Anna was infatuated with the White House - and only slightly disappointed that she didn't get to go inside because she was able to satisfy her history bug by reading everything (and as Deonne says EVERYTHING) available at the White House visitors center.
|Posing as a homage to my home state.|
|No, we have no relation - direct or indirect - to Kansas... other than it's where Dorothy's from|
(of course) and since Anna saw her shoes - she had to pose there.
|The World War II Memorial.|
|Showing their Carolina pride!|
I know that James was beside himself to see the 'big man in the big chair' (a.k.a. the Lincoln Memorial) - the one thing he really REALLY wanted to see.
|Can you tell how happy James is to see this?|
I know that both asked again (several times, really) why they couldn't go up into the Washington Monument. That whole waiting in line at the crack of dawn to get tickets just didn't register with him. In retrospect, I kind of wish that we had figured out how to get them up it - after the big earthquake a few weeks ago and the monument being closed indefinitely.
I know that Deonne had to drag them out of the Air and Space museum. Apparently this museum is the most 'hands on' of the ones the kids visited - and there was a lot for them to do vs. just 'looking with their eyes and not with their hands.'
But I think one of the biggest highlights was the train ride into and out of the City. They both really liked that - and felt very cosmopolitan and grown up. (I totally get that.)
They finally made their way home around five that afternoon. Jack's fever came down throughout the day and he was pretty content. Once again we turned on the sprinklers and let the kids just run and run and run - followed by a bath so they were squeaky clean and ready for their dinner and movie night, while Deonne and I went out. Alone. Can you believe it?