Aug 30, 2010

Fair Days

11 Weeks old

He's as tall as Chloe from head to knees.

I try to shove my way into the picture.

Grandma has given the girls a couple of magazine subscriptions. Hannah gets Ladybug and Your Big Backyard. Chloe gets Baby Animals. Both are really excited when a magazine comes in the mail for them! We read through the first issue of Your Big Backyard and Hannah wanted to do this bear activity. You make a bear out of a tissue box and feed it blueberries.

Here is our version! Haha.

We didn't have anything but real blueberries so the girls threw buttons in his mouth. : )

Our house with 3 kids is a constant rotation of unhappiness and happiness.
Colin is happy.

But Chloe's throwing a tantrum. The third kid is usually either transitioning from happy to unhappy or vice versa at this time.

A sisterly kiss. Colin kind of looks like a businessman negotiating a deal.

He likes to hold this little elephant blanket and chew its nose.

Happy! Time for dress up again.

This week we were able to go to the North Texas State Fair. We had free tickets from Nana. Colin stayed with her so we could enjoy time with just the girls. We packed and planned etc. etc. Got to the fair, parked, got the girls out, who were very excited, and then asked each other for the tickets. Oh no! We had to pack the girls back up and I felt like the worst mom in the universe. They were so excited and now couldn't understand why we pushed the rewind button! We explained it as best we could. Thankfully we didn't have to go all the way back home as were able to do a ticket trade with Nana. Once we were headed back to the fair, Hannah (who had been sobbing the whole time) said, "Yay!! I don't have to cry anymore?" Oh dear. So 2nd time's the charm and we made it. The girls mainly wanted to jump in the bounce houses. Now how many pictures do I have on this blog of a bounce house?? Their shrieks of happiness made it worth it.

We tried the petting zoo. Dax and I really need to brush up on our animals. He was convinced one animal was a llama but I'll guarantee it was a calf. Sorry, Dax. I write the blog! We decided something else could be a llama, but I'm pretty sure it was a baby camel. : )

Neither girl wanted to be let down, but they did do some petting.

Train ride!

There they go!

I have old home movies of myself and Mary Beth on these boats. It's so neat watching my own daughter ride them too! Poor Chloe was nowhere near the height requirement. I don't see her growing 6 inches over the next year either!

So she rode the carousel with Daddy.

Let me go back- this was the North Texas State Fair...and Rodeo! We really wanted to see the Muttin Buston, which is little bitty kids who wrangle lambs and other baby animals. I've heard it's really entertaining. The quarter-finals were at 7:20, but we guessed the wrong arena (rather than reading signs of course). We waited in this place for quite awhile and enjoyed the horses and flags. Then they spent forever announcing bull riders. Wait a minute. Call me overprotective, but I didn't really want the girls watching men getting thrown to the ground by large animals. Hannah has enough nightmares every week as it is. She says last week some chickens attacked her. So we left the arena and headed for the ice cream we promised.

Look at those faces! Everyone in the exhibit area stopped to watch them eat. And pointed and laughed! Now, I used to envision myself as the sophisticated mom who looked cute at the fair or any other event we took the family to. I know. It's a vision.

Here is the reality. Never hold a 1 year old while she eats ice cream. At least she still wanted to be held and that covered the mess. : )

This picture is for future Hannah. I've told you too many times to get your finger out of your nose while I'm taking your picture..and at any other time too! : )

After gawking at the lights and way too tall rides (I used to love those and now I think they are too intimidating) we took another round on the carousel so Hannah could ride too.

The tractor pull was packing up and let the girls have a go.

The cowboy gives her a ribbon.

Chloe's little legs can't push so the cowboy gave her a ride.

She got a ribbon too!

Saturday we went to Barnes and Noble storytime presented by some Girl Scouts. Thom is the guy with the guitar. He goes to our church and works at the bookstore. He provided lots of entertainment. They enjoyed some storytime cake for lunch that day. Hannah also impresses me with her confidence. At the fair and here and most places, she walks up to kids her age and says "hi" right away. She becomes instant friends. She and the girl next to them had a little chat before the activities.

Aug 21, 2010

Fun and Sun

I had so many pictures to post I'm going ahead with the 3rd post in one week. A record!
We finally got out the bigger pool this summer and this time put it on the deck. Much better.
The girls loved it.

We had fun playing shark. Dax taught Hannah to sing the little two-note theme from Jaws and Chloe liked doing it too. We've had a problem with a raccoon visiting our trash cans some nights. He or she was back last night and now I don't know if the animal decided to take a swim or not. Guess I'll empty out all the water and clean it out to start all over!

I like to find new playgrounds for the girls, especially shaded ones, which are harder to come by here in Texas. I remembered one the other day that technically belongs to business, but it's gates are always open and it's closer to the lot than the building. Anyway, the girls liked the tiny rock bedding and mostly played with that.

Colin napped under a tree. That's the life.

"Who, me?"

The disappearing Hannah trick.

When I was growing up, hot-air balloons were frequently over our house in Cordova, TN. We loved watching them from our backyard. There have been several balloon festivals here in Texas but we've never been able to attend one. Then I saw signs for a festival that was just down the street just 5 minutes away! It was still debatable, though, since the take-off time was scheduled for 7 am. To get everyone out the door and to the park by 6:45 was going to be a challenge for us. I was afraid the girls would be cranky...but they weren't! They were excited when I woke them up in the dark and told them we were going to see a surprise.

I've always wondered about set-up and storage of these huge things...and if they really used wicker baskets like you see in the Remax commercials. Well, they do. The balloon is made up something called stop-tear (or is it tear-stop?) nylon. When a tear starts, it automatically hits a stop to limit the damage. It's wrapped up and stored in a large bag which is stored in the basket which rides in the back of a truck or van. Simple, right? Due to the size, though, I didn't realize how many people on a team it actually takes to pull out the balloon, set it up, and control it. It was fun to watch.

Now the girls realize something is going on. Poor Hannah had her hands over her ears convinced they were going to pop. Dax and I just couldn't find the right words to convince her otherwise. Explaining physics to a 3 year old is a no-go.

There was a friendly announcer who kept the commentary going with all sorts of interesting facts. The pilots (and they do have to have a pilot's license) have to check for wind obviously. So they send up a pilot balloon to test. It may seem calm on the ground, but wind speeds pick up as they rise. They were also watching the top of a tall tree nearby and sure enough, even though we felt the slightest breeze, you could tell the wind was really blowing up there. Three out fifteen pilots decided they were going no matter what. They took off right away.

Chloe waves goodbye to the Remax balloon.

The next one takes off. This picture actually makes me teary. It's so great to look at a beautiful sky, a beautiful man-made invention (originally invented and then dismissed for the military!) and everyone smiling and waving. Everything is innocent and good in these moments. And it's what I always like to think of when humanity is portrayed negatively. Look how childlike we can all be, and that's how God created us.

Goodbye! I forgot the name of this one, but they were all named interesting things.

The daybreak shot. Can I become a hot-air balloon photographer? Is that a job? I would love it.

Daddy with his kids. The weather was so nice. It hadn't reached the hot temperatures yet.

The remaining balloons were set up just for us to view because the wind picked up too much for it to be safe. The announcer said at events like these, they never require a pilot to take off if he doesn't feel comfortable. As for the other three, they headed off above the lake and tried to do a "splash and dash." That means getting the balloon low enough to touch the basket to the water for an instant. If it fails, it's called a "dunk and sunk." : ) See? We learned lots of stuff. We also saw several people holding what were called crown ropes, ropes tied to the crown of the balloon. When the balloon was not planning on leaving, these people held it in place and were frequently rushed forward or backward by the balloon shifting in the wind. When it was time to put everything away, they pull and inner part of the nylon out from the top of the balloon, which had been acting as sort of a cork for the air push up by the fire- which was a lot larger flame than I realized. Maybe I'm getting carried away, but I loved all of this as you can tell.

Headed off to find a drink.

Everyone drifted toward the lake nearby before the festival officially started. What a great view.

Finally Hannah got to feel she was on a beach just like Dora is in her beach adventures.

We tried to teach them how to skip rocks. Dax was the only one with success.

I wish we could have stayed longer, but we could feel the heat coming.

I'll definitely have to spend more time at this spot when it cools off.