Tag Archives: JP Licks

The Trifecta

Three playdates in one day? Piece of (ice cream) cake. Just kidding, I’ve basically spent the past week recovering.

But who wouldn’t want to do back to back to back playdates with these two angels/best friends?

BEST FRIENDS shirt set
Shouldn’t they say BEST FRIENDS instead of BEST FRIEND? They’re still two people; they don’t combine to make one best friend.

On Tuesday, as you may recall, we were ready to have our date with the Campions. But as the Campions had to fit in all their favorite Boston things (Ice cream! Playgrounds! More ice cream!) in a week’s visit, they had a justifiably jam-packed schedule. So first, we did Baby Pool/Giant Bubble Redux with Dee, Nina & Jack.


While I filled up the pool, Hazy & George filmed a spy movie.

water guns and baby pool
Also, this is the first time George’s torso has seen the sun.

I’m proud to say that Hazy continued her complete baby pool domination.

girl dominates baby pool
I am girl. Hear me roar!

Don’t worry, the giant bubble crockpot was still in action.

front yard baby pool
Maybe this means George has ended his Pantsless Era and entered a shirtless one?

PSA: Don’t leave your real camera unattended with kids around. They all think they’re professional photographers.

kid photography
That being said, great shot, Nina.

We concluded Play Date #1 with a picnic lunch.

picnic in the yard
Spaghetti and quesadillas, you know, regular picnic food
Rosé all day
Ignore our attempted “cool” faces and focus instead on our rosé on the rocks (our serving suggestion for darker rosés).

Then we hosed off the kids and headed to…


Avid OSAH readers (I heart you, Nina and Ashley!) might recall that we did Discovery Backpacks at the arboretum two years ago. Well, we went to meet the Campions at the arboretum (their only instructions, “Bring balls! #BALLS”) and my kids also remembered about the backpacks, so we picked one up from the lady at the main building.

Zoolander school
HOW CAN WE BE EXPECTED TO TEACH CHILDREN TO READ IF THEY CAN’T EVEN FIT INSIDE THE BUILDING? (That’s right, same joke I made two years ago. Still funny.)

I like to think we surprised and delighted the Campions with the Discovery Pack idea, because Kevin also got one and we had a lot of fun exploring nature. The packs include cool things like a set of binoculars for your kids to fight over, a magnifying glass for your kids to lose, and a magnifying box for your kids to play junior sociopath with. We trapped two bugs in ours!

Seriously though, they were fun. They give you a set of little cards with different things to find.We found almost everything except a juice box and a salamander, but not for lack of trying. The kids even spotted a tiny snake, which is what they’re all looking at in the photo above.

kids exploring nature
George magnifying the magnifying box. No juice box in there.
dogs in nature
Rosie helped us score the dog card. Good girl, Rosie.

We also had some fun climbing trees until we got busted by a park ranger. Pshaw. When I was a kid, we’d climb all the trees and break all the arms and no one gave a damn. We didn’t even have those fancy colored casts!

You didn’t think I forgot about the #BALLS, did you? After we’d had our way with nature, we played a game of Spud. (I totally forgot that’s what it’s called and just googled “playground game throw ball in the air and call a number.” But that’s a much less catchy name than Spud.) We didn’t remember all the rules, but we played a modified version of what we could remember from Maryann, Kevin and I’s combined childhoods and it was awesome. Then when we were all sweaty and tired and Rosie was emotionally exhausted from watching her mom run away from her repeatedly, we got – what else? – ice cream. (Cross JP Licks off your list, Campions.)

JP Licks
Believe it or not, this was our best group shot.

In case you needed convincing, here were some of the outtakes (click on them to view them full size):

To make up for traumatizing Rosie during Spud, I treated her to JP Lick’s doggy ice cream.

doggy ice cream
Treat yo self, Ro

She forgave me.

Normal people would call it a day now and go home for a nap, but I think we all know we’re not normal people. We hugged the Campions goodbye and headed to…


We hadn’t actually planned on a third play date, but my friend Rosa happened to text me on our way home and we still had an hour to kill before dinner. People who ask me how I do it don’t understand that getting out of the house is my #1 secret to “doing it” (not that it, pervs); hanging out in the house is the kiss of death. Plus, I love Rosa and we knew we’d have fun with her kids, Mira and Ezra.

One of my favorite things about JP is that all the families have different nicknames for the various playgrounds. We have the Sand Playground (Brewer St), the Brinkler (Sprinkler) Park Playground (Green St), the Tot Lot (Rossmore-Steadman), and the Brown Playground (Williams St by the train tracks). On our way to the Brown Playground, we ran into my nephew, Ryan, who came and joined us. This play date keeps getting better!

At the Brown Playground, the kids played in the giant brown structure (hence the name), on this rickety giant metal seesaw thing which is a total death trap, and then got pushed on a tire swing by some dad that Rosa knows who’s apparently some kind of Super Dad/saint who puts us all to shame. I believe that in addition to being a total hands on dad, he’s also a rocket scientist/genetic researcher/cancer doctor and rescues kids in India or something equally impressive. Rosa and I discussed this while looking at our phones on a bench while Super Dad pushed his kids and ours on the tire swing, and made up fun swinging-related games while doing so.

After play date #3, we were pretty exhausted. Unfortunately, RyRy only had enough room to carry two people, and somehow I got the short end of the stick.

Fine. I guess I’ll just walk? That’s cool.

Thank you to everyone who helped make our day action-packed as fun as it was. We slept well that night/the rest of our lives.

It’s getting to be crunch time. What do we need to make sure we do before the summer’s over?

School’s Out For Summer

School’s out for…70 days, but who’s counting? Yesterday was the kids’ last (half) day of school. I glued on Mac’ the Mac wagon’s new eyes, packed him up with towels, sunblock, assorted swim masks, bathing suits, and a cute little mini wallet with just the essentials (license, $20 snack bar money, Charlie card, JP Licks card), and lugged him out the door. His eyes fell off before I made it out the front gate, so I did what any good surgeon would and left them on the kitchen counter, glue side up. Then I hauled Mac 1.6 miles to the kids’ school and arrived right at 12:30 on the dot.

I found a new trick to make them smile in photos. “The person with the biggest smile gets extra ice cream!” Check out the results:

Between my promptness and my new photo trick, I was feeling pretty proud of myself, especially as we headed towards JP Licks for our Summer Kick Off Sundaes and everyone we passed admired Mac, even without his sparkly eyes.

Then I realized I left the pool passes at home. Let us take this moment to whatever-the-modern-equivalent-of-raising-the-roof is for my nephew, Ryan. He picked up my Bat signal and dropped everything to hand deliver the pool passes and save me from about two miles of whilking (whine-walking) back home and then to the train station. It takes a village, guys.

These smiles sponsored by Ry-Ry (and gummy bears)

Bellies full of ice cream and mini wallet full of pool passes, we headed to the train station, stopping only at our awesome local bookstore with a less than awesome name, Papercuts, per Hazy’s request. George immediately accosted the woman who works there, “WHERE ARE YOUR STAR WARS BOOKS?” like we were robbing a bank.

May the force be with you, lady, because if you can’t find a Star Wars book, I’m pretty sure George will shoot force lightning at you. That’s a thing.

Fortunately, she stayed calm and opened the safe/found the one Star Wars book. I did not buy it, because I’m a Mick Jagger parent. You can’t always get what you want. 

It was a beautiful day for the pool. I love the walk through the North End; it’s pretty and it’s short enough that there’s minimal whining. There are a few narrow sidewalks, where groups of people insist on taking up the whole thing, but luckily I had George acting as my Fezzik, only instead of “EVERYBODY MOVE!”, he’d go, “Excuse me! Wagon coming through!”

Our pool is right on the ocean, because we’re fancy like that. 

We swam, had snacks, played frisbee (read: narrowly avoided whacking various people in the head with the frisbee), and took a brief break at the playground to warm up.

Yes, we just had sundaes and now they’re having Cheetos/Doritos/pizza. They’re so skinny at this point, I’d feed them butter popsicles if they asked for them. 
Our warm up mainly consists of me pushing them on the swing and then playing Zombie. I’m the zombie and I need to chase them but “zombies can’t run.” Also, almost everything is base and I need to make groaning sounds. It’s super fun!

It was a really good day, and it became a great day when we were talking back to the T and passed this golden retriever with a party hat on, BECAUSE IT WAS HIS BIRTHDAY. Happy birthday, buddy!

FullSizeRender (2)
Sorry I didn’t get a better pic, but it took me about 30 seconds to collect myself due to the cuteness. 

I don’t know about you, but I plan on treating the rest of summer like it’s that doggy in the birthday hat and celebrating the crap out of it.