Friday, October 30, 2009

An Apple a Day

I've mentioned before about how much I really miss Claire while she's at school, and I'm not the only one. Ben has had a hard time adjusting to not having his favorite playmate at his beck-and-call all day. I'm generally asked to "play trains" or "play cars and trucks" with him about 52 million times a day. And while this can be a bit annoying, to say the least, I have really enjoyed getting to spend some one-on-one time with him. I fondly remember those few years I had with Claire before Ben arrived, and now I get to have some time with him.

While Ben is, no doubt, benefiting from being the second child in that he doesn't have to deal with the neurotic first-time-parent craziness, he has also missed out on all that the first-time-parent craziness can bring - like, say, having his picture professionally taken on more than one occasion (yes, just once) or being enrolled in fun gym classes or going on trips to the museums and parks.

It's sad, really.

But, every once and awhile, he does get to do something special. And, upon announcing said "special" event to his older sister, weeping and gnashing of teeth ensues because she doesn't get to participate. This dramatic scene only makes said event even more special for Mr. (gloating) second born.

Thus, he was totally psyched about our trip to the Apple Orchard.

Mom and a sun-struck Ben on the tractor ride. Please notice the apple in his hands (and ignore the tacky shot of the port-a-potties in the background!). We were given an apple upon entering onto the trailer. The ride lasted about 5 minutes. Watch that apple disappear.


Crunch, crunch!

Almost gone!

He finished the first apple and was quick to look for apple number 2.

At first, he thought picking them off the ground would be the easiest bet.

But I eventually convinced him to reach up and pick one for himself.
Which he did, and then immediately began to devour it.

"Look at me swing my apple bag around! How cool am I?"

So cool, son, so cool.

As you can see from this picture, this particular section of the orchard contained small trees specially planted for kids. They were planted in a maze and every so often, there were tree archways like this one.

Running the hay bale maze after we were done picking.


It was a fun day with my little guy.

We did miss big sister.

But just a little bit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dixie Classic Fair - 2009

Attending this annual fair in October has become a bit of a tradition for our family - a very expensive tradition. Seriously, before you've been there for an hour, it's no problem to spend upwards of $50 on the admission prices, fair rides and all the fair food. And who can turn away from the yummy fair food? Candy apples, corn on the cob, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and fried butter - yes, I said fried butter, and no we didn't have any, but we could have. Jealous yet?

And so, apart from the walking around and gawking at all the animals, we also:

Went down the HUGE slide, or at least Claire and dad did . . .

Rode in the back of the train while crying the whole time because we (Ben) weren't in the front . .

Bumped the tar out of many an unsuspecting kid . . .

Prepared for takeoff . . .

Touched the clouds - or, almost anyway . . .

Auditioned for a position in the local motorcycle gang . . .

Rode round and round and up and down . . .

and round and round some more . . .

Then Ben had to take a turn at controlling that bike . . .

And totally got into it . . .

Then Mom and Claire had to go down the slide . . .

Some poor ponies had to be ridden

And it was finally time to go home.
To take a nap.
And to bemoan the state of our bank account but to joy in the memories made.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's all about perspective

I know you are asking yourself if this is part of Ben's new Halloween costume. However, while he absolutely adores his pediatrician and probably would go for dressing up as a physician, he is totally set on trick or treating as a "nice pirate" ("nice" because we aren't allowed to dress up as mean or scary things, so as long as the pirate is a "nice" one, he's in the clear).

No, this, my friends, is the new mandatory dress code for attendance at our pediatrician's office. Well, it's only mandatory if your child has experienced any of the following symptoms in the last 48 hours: fever, cough, runny/stuffy nose, chills, aches, diarrhea, or vomiting - in other words, any reason a parent will bring a child to the doctor. But, I have to say that I totally understand the precautions. With all the H1N1 scare going on and the many, many cases of the flu in this area, I too would be donning a face mask to avoid it.

You're probably wondering what exactly we were in the office for this morning. Ben has had a runny nose, congestion, fever, and a seriously scary sounding cough. And while I didn't really think that flu was going to be the diagnosis, I have to admit to being a little anxious nonetheless.

However, "croup" was the word.

While I am not thrilled that Ben is feeling crummy, has been coughing so hard that he has vomited, was up crying and clutching at his sore throat last night, and has to be on steroids for the next three days, do you think I'm thankful that it's "only" croup and not something more serious?

You bet your face mask I am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In the Meantime

Once again, I find that I have fallen behind in my blog posts (sigh). So while I work on uploading several pictures from the last couple of weeks, I thought I would leave you with these two beauties.

This lovely was resting in our backyard just over a week ago. Shawn actually thought that it was a big pile of dog poo at first. We have many large dogs roaming our neighborhood, so it was indeed possible. However, upon further examination (because that would have had to have been a REALLY big dog), he found this slithery guy. By the way, if you ever want to hear Shawn shriek like a little girl, put a snake in his path.

Anyway, Mr. Snake stayed in our yard that night until the next afternoon when the sun finally warmed him back up and he slithered off. For some reason, snakes don't really freak me out (as long as I know they aren't poisonous). I'm thinking this may be due to the fact that I had three younger brothers or maybe because my parents volunteered me to help hold a giant python at The Alligator Farm in Florida when I was like 4. I was inducted early into the snake world.

And for the second photo, we have this:
This my blog friends (shout out to all 3 of you), is the final Bink (and yes, I capitalize it because it truly has status enough to deserve a proper noun identification). Ben was holding on to this masticated thing for dear life, but we were finally able to convince him that the babies of the world needed the binks and the big boys of the world need a new toy. He handed over this prized possession with tears streaming down his face, and after a shopping trip to Target, he is now the proud owner of a remote control Big Cat Excavator. He's totally cool with the trade, and I'm happy (if not a little nostalgic) that he is bink free.