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We spent a weekend at home. No Saturday morning scramble to New Jersey, which I admit was a nice change.

But keeping kids entertained in New York City for the weekend is no small feat. That nice little sliding glass door to the backyard doesn’t exist, making it essential to plan activities with military precision. Comfortable footwear? Snacks packed? Game plan sketched?

With the grandparents in town for a visit, we hit the park at 0500 hours.

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It actually wasn’t that early, but it sounds cool.

Speaking of the military…

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Sergeant Major: not impressed.

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Shall we scrub these walls a second time Sergeant?

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Despite the drills, it was mostly fun and games, with Lauren and Emma showing off their tandem slide trick.

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On the way home, we stopped by a local pet store. I won’t comment on how I feel about pet stores, except to say that the look on my Mum’s face mirrored my own.

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This little one…an animal lover in the making.

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Somehow I was able to remove the kids from the store without assuming ownership of 5 Chihuahuas and a Maltipoo.

On Sunday at 15000 hours we hit a Halloween party downtown. We’d brought the kids’ Halloween costumes to the lake since it’s our planned trick-or-treating venue this year. Which translated into me spending Sunday morning digging through old boxes of knickknacks to find a suitable outfit.

Success! Lauren glammed up in her old Ariel costume, which, having come factory-direct from China, has lost nearly every one of its glued-on sequins.

The rest of us decided to party crash and skip our planned park visit.

We got mummified… 

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Followed bloody footprints…

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Drank cocktails that contained eyeballs…

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Oh, and fingers, don’t forget the fingers.

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That’s right my girl, you should definitely think twice about drinking this kind of beverage. I’m less concerned about the eyeballs, more concerned about the cleanliness of the 8-year old hands were fishing through this brew looking for treasures.

There were spooky decorations…

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And lots of spider webs.

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I even found an adorable troll-like monster hiding behind one of them.

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OK, OK, OK. I apologize. Somehow a well-intentioned friend is going to dig this image out of the Internet archives and insert it into her wedding slideshow.

There was face painting and pumpkin decorating…

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We heard murmurs of a pumpkin patch, so went to check things out…

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There was a brief moment when I thought that my kids might get blown away in our search for the patch.

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…..but at last, we found it.

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A city patch if I’ve ever seen one…

After hunting for more pumpkins (yes, this would be our third patch this season), we found a stone wall and ate candy.

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And…at last…the finale.

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A giant slide.

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I don’t know which was harder – leaving a pet store without 5 Chihuahuas and a Maltipoo or saying goodbye to the slide. Sam’s tears would suggest the slide.

But that’s what happens at 1700 hours. 

Copy that.

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