Never fear -
Friday, July 31, 2009
Never fear -
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Me: a president is someone who is in charge of things.
Claire: What kind of president is Barack Obama?
Me: He's the President of the United States.
Claire: That's what kind of president I want to be when I grow up.
Ben: I want to be president too!
(brief moment of silence while Claire ponders this.)
Claire: Mom, are there presidents of each state?
Me: No, the people in charge of states are called governors.
(Claire turns to her brother)
Claire: Ben, you can be a governor.
Claire: Mom, what does my name mean again?
Me: It means "clear, bright and light."
Claire: What does Ben's name mean?
Me: It means "son of my right hand."
Claire: Well, then I'm the daughter of your left hand.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Anywho, he and I were just discussing the other day that we have lived in the South now for nearly as long as we had in the North. I was shocked by this, but it's true. I moved to Tennessee for college in 1994, and have resided in some Southern location ever since. Despite this fact, I still wholeheartedly consider myself a Northerner, and I'm not sure that will ever change. I list the following as evidence of my Northern "ness" :
- I have yet to fully adopt "y'all," and still prefer the Northern, gender neutral address of "you guys" when addressing more than one person.
- Carbonated beverages are still called "pop," not "coke," not "soft drink," not "soda."
- I do not consider it to be officially winter until the temperatures are BELOW 40 degrees.
- I miss snow, and it makes me sad that my children don't own snow boots or snow pants.
- I still have more sweaters than I ever have need to wear, but I refuse to get rid of them.
- I still think of Ohio as "home."
- I hate okra.
- I hate grits.
- I think wedding receptions should include a full sit-down meal.
- I do not find it necessary to have full-blown, personal-detail-revealing conversations with people I have just met.
I think the evidence speaks for itself.
However, both of my children were born in the South, and though neither of them say "y'all" yet, I am daily presented with more and more evidence that they are more southern than northern.
For example, Claire asked me the other day that if boogers were supposed to be made of snot and dirt, then why weren't her boogers orange since the dirt is orange.
Now, don't even act like you haven't had conversations with your children about boogers. I know this happens to all of us at some point. In fact, I wasn't at all concerned with the topic of our conversation. Indeed, talking about boogers didn't upset me at all. What did upset me was the fact that my child thinks that dirt is ORANGE!
She's right actually. The dirt here is orange, but I grew up seeing dirt the color that it is supposed to be. BROWN!!! She has no idea that dirt is really brown and that what she is seeing is the red/orangey clay-like stuff that passes for dirt here. I am still shocked when my husband brings home a load of orange "dirt" for our landscaping, but my daughter merely views it as normal.
And, as further evidence that both of my children are southerners. I present to you a picture of Ben after a hard day of playing outside:
I rest my case.
Monday, July 20, 2009
- The celebratory removal of the kiddie potty from the bathroom. This happened not because Ben has finally been potty trained (oh that that day would come soon). No, the removal occurred because our hall bathroom started to stink of urine, and even after Shawn attempted to clean everything in sight, the bathroom still had the faint odor of stinky feet. How's that for disgusting?
- The lady across the street repainting her statue of the Virgin Mary. Mary is now sporting a nearly neon coat of electric blue paint. Does this make her more or less Holy? I'm not sure.
See. My future blog posts threaten serious boredom.
But, before that happens, I have Saturday and Sunday of our trip to discuss.
I grew up in a town that went all out for the 4th of July - parade through the center of town, followed by a decent street fair and then some pretty amazing fireworks that night at the high school. I have always wanted to take the kids back so that they could experience this too, as the local 4th celebrations seriously pale in comparison. Don't even get me started on the sorry excuse for fireworks shows that go on around here. It's ridiculous. I was also hoping to put Claire's occupational therapy to the test that weekend too. She has come a long way this year, and it's been quite some time since I've seen her cover her ears in defense, but the parade noises AND the fireworks are enough to make anyone cover her ears.My dad informed me that the parade and street fair have really grown since I saw them last, so we were making some serious logistical plans on arrival times, parking, and the best place to set up for the parade. In fact, if not for some friends, we wouldn't have had a place to sit. The entire parade route was lined with blankets and chairs several DAYS before the parade! That's some serious parade commitment. But, we got it all figured out, and after a YUMMY breakfast of homemade waffles and strawberries (thanks, SueAnne!), we arrived, parked, walked, and walked, and walked to our spot.
All set, and ready to go!
After the parade ended, we made our way back to the cars, dropped off the chairs and then headed out to the street fair. I really wish I had taken a picture of this. It was an enormous sea of moving humanity, crowded on a too narrow street. Thank God it was overcast and cool, or it would have been like a sweaty soup pot out there. Anyway, they had some really great free activities for kids, so both Ben and Claire got several prizes, and Claire walked away looking like this:
The end of the day culminated in a fantastic fireworks show of which I have not a single photo. But I am super proud to report that, with the aid of some ear plugs, Claire watched the entire show with nary a flinch. She really, really enjoyed herself, and so did we.
Sunday was our last day there, and I have only the last two pictures from that day. We went to church at dad's church and then ate lunch at China Cottage - fondly referred to as China Fartage by my family because after you eat there, you . . . well, you know.
The evening was spent with mom and Dave and we finished off our stay in Ohio with a visit to Marion's pizza, the best pizza, ever.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
The weatherman must have been smoking crack.
It was cloudy and cold the whole morning with only brief moments of sun to help highlight the kids' blue lips and chattering teeth. They didn't seem to mind, however, so we spent the morning watching them swim, ate some lunch and then headed back to mom's house for naps.
We also traveled all over southern Ohio to pick up Kayli so that she could enjoy some more time with her cousins. Seriously, the last time I was in Red Lion, Ohio, I was in high school and the father of one of my friends was chasing us off his front yard with a shotgun as we had attempted to TP him in the middle of the night (remember that, Rachel?) Oh, we were such rebels. So, while it was quite a car ride that morning, it was fun to re-live my days as a rebellious teen.
So, anyway, Kayli was with us too, and after a napping attempt for her and Claire, the kids headed outside for one of the kiddie attractions at Nana's house. Thinking back to my own experiences at my grandmother's houses, I fondly remember sliding across the wood floor in my tights and eating shelled sunflower seeds at one grandma's house, and drinking Hi-C fruit punch out of glasses that smelled like cigarette smoke and eating whole black olives off my fingers at the other grandma's house. Fun times.
But, no doubt, my kids' memories of their grandmother's house will be sure to include this:
And really, who can blame them? I used to LOVE those things when I was a kid, not that we ever had one. The kids have yet to visit at Nana's house without asking to ride "the car."
"The car" has always freaked Claire out a bit in years past, and she would usually refuse to drive it herself, opting instead to ride while Kayli drove. This year, however, she actually drove the car herself (though, alas, I have no pictures to prove it), and so did . . .
And, just in case you aren't sure where Claire gets her looks . . .
And, just to make sure we knew that the weatherman wasn't totally wrong, the sun did decide to make its appearance.
Friday, July 17, 2009
So, all that to say - don't hold your breath.
Now, back at the ranch . . .
One of the oddest aspects of our trip to Ohio was how cold it was while we were there. Normal temperatures at that time of year are usually well into the 80's with sweltering humidity (think armpit). This is what we were expecting when packing our shorts and tank tops. I found, however, that I had a hard time finding clothes to wear as the temperatures stayed in the 70's, and some days were even in the 60's. This was lovely when I went running on the trails of the reserve in the morning (can I tell you how much I love trail running - so much more fun than running up and down and up and down the two streets in my neighborhood), but it wasn't so fun when the kids were planning on spending a lot of time swimming at Grandma's and Nana's pools.
I guess my kids were biologically hoping to balance out the cold temperatures because, for the first time in ages, both of them got sick with fevers and colds. Ben was the first to succumb on Monday, and Claire's fever hit on Thursday morning. Thankfully, the fever only seemed to last about 24 hours, but both of them were pretty miserable that first day. Never one to doubt the power of medication to alleviate all ills, I dosed Claire with Tylenol, and she was finally able to pick herself up off the floor to go visit a local horse farm owned by a family who attends dad's church.
This place was pretty amazing; actually, since I have never really gotten over my childhood obsession with all things equine, I was secretly hoping they would ask me to move in.
But, first, we had to see the big tractor.
And, we had to sit on the big tractor.
And pretend to drive the big tractor.
But, the horses? Oh, those beautiful horses were some kind of impressive. Three of them had colts in the stall with them, and three more were pregnant. There were also two stallions, but we were all a bit enthralled with those sweet baby horsies.
Here's a video of part of the ride:
Never one to allow his sister to do something without him, Ben immediately began his, not-so-nice screaming request to "ride the baby horse!" Since the horses can't be ridden until they are 3 (who knew?), he got to sit on Electra too.
The owner, in an attempt to assuage Ben's screaming fit, and to let the kids have some more fun, suggested that they feed each of the horses a treat. Claire was all for it. Ben kept screaming, "the horsie will bite me." Seriously, from where does the drama come?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We decided to take the kids to BounceU, the local indoor bouncing arena. Claire and Kayli took off, and we hardly saw them for the rest of the time, as they raced through the mazes and slid down the slides. Ben, on the other hand, was not very excited about doing much of anything but gently bouncing. To his credit, the poor kid was just getting over his fever, but we knew that after sliding down once, he would want to do it again.
Problem with this philosophy was that one of us had to go with him to help him climb up the slide "steps." If you've even been to one of these places, you know that despite how quickly the little kids seem to shimmy through the obstacles and race up the mountains and down the slides, for adults it is akin to field day for fat people. No matter your size and shape, these things simply aren't made for adults, so squeezing my body through the tunnels, climbing up the walls and sliding down the slides left me sweating like a beast.
But I prevailed.
Here we are at the top of the smallest slide. After he did this a couple times, he was all for trying out the bigger one.
Now, I need to prep you for the next picture. It may be the most embarrassing picture of my life . . . or at least one of the most (if you've seen the one from my wedding when I'm throwing the bouquet, then you know why I hesitate here). I'm not altogether sure why I look as though I'm about to slide into a vat of boiling oil, or why, as my brother was quick to tell me later, that I screamed louder than all the little kids in the place. Let's just say the slide was much faster than I bargained for, and I don't relish "slide burns."
Now, get ready. Here it comes . . .
I finally recovered and managed to go down that slide several more times with no problems and even helped Claire go down one much larger. So there.
Monday, July 13, 2009
These pictures are from our second day in Ohio when my dad (Papa Bill) and SueAnne took us to visit Entertrainment (no, I didn't misspell it), the largest model train display and museum in the country. I know, I know... model trains. You can almost see the nerdiness through the computer screen. But, despite my desire to grab the nearest pocket protector and suspenders, it was actually a pretty interesting exhibit. I've already detailed Ben's train adoration, so this was just perfect for him. The display was pretty amazing, and the museum included a large play area - largely dedicated to Thomas - for the kids. Grandma, Seth, Jesse, Zeke and Kayli also joined us, and I think everyone really had a great time.
This is a pretty sad picture, but it's the only one I took of the trains themselves. The display was enormous, so getting it all in would have been impossible. But, I think you can see how detailed it all was.
Shawn pointing out Thomas "puffing down the track" for Ben. Also, notice Jesse in the background of the picture.
What is he doing?
Talk about a NERD!
What a minute! That's the first time in my life I've been able to call him that.... MUUWAHAHAHAHAAA.
Ok, I'm done laughing. Sorry about that. Just a little sibling issue there.
Thus the note taking. Really, I'm quite proud of him . . . but he's still a nerd. :-)
Claire and Kayli
And now, for your viewing pleasure, a video of my nephew Zeke displaying all his funky moves. This kid can swagga!
This along with a lunch trip to Chik-fil-A made for a very good day. The kids had a blast, and the adults enjoyed it too.