Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years

So I woke up yesterday morning trying to decide on New Years Eve plans. Mostly, this revolved around, "Do we go to bed at 8 or do we actually try to stay up?"

I asked Mark if he had any plans for the night....but my husband had completely forgotten it was New Year's eve.

The only person in our house who was excited about it was my eight year old, who kept asking me if we were going to stay up for it. I told him I didn't know.

On an aside, I'd like to mention that New Year's Eve doesn't feel like it when it's a beautiful 73 degrees outside all day long. So my kids spent a good portion of it riding their scooters and bikes, then all three of us headed into the backyard. I got to throw the dogs' tennis balls for them, alternating with pitching the wiffle balls for my boys. Even got to wave to the backyard neighbor.

My only plan for the day was when I woke Mark up to keep an eye on my youngest, then headed off to Dothan to get my oldest his new 'work boots'. My boy is growing like a weed, and as a result, only had 2 pair of shoes: the cowboy boots his Grandma Kathy gave him the last time we went up to visit, and the new tennis shoes that he'd gotten for Christmas.

Took him to the mall and a real shoe store (as opposed to just going to Wal-Mart) and we spent half an hour with him trying a couple of different pairs on and walking/running the isle to try them out. If he'd had his druthers, he'd have bought the first pair he picked up. We found his size and looking in the box, he proclaimed, "These'll do." It was at my insistence that he tried them on and tried them out. That's when he discovered they pinched at the heel. Two more pair in different styles later and we'd found his boots!

Since it was well after 2 in the afternoon, we went ahead and went to Popeye's for lunch. Have to admit, I had a lovely mini-day with my boy, just the two of us. Then we headed home. Turns out my guys at home had been playing video games while we were gone, so we all had a good, relaxing time (:

At about 4, Mark got a call from his Mom and finally realized that it was New Year's Eve. She invited us over for Captain D's and movies. The boys were absolutely thrilled! They love getting to go over to their Grandparent's. And we brought Pictureka! and Put-n-Take with us to play.

After dinner, Grandpa Tom had a selection of sparklers and firecrackers for the boys to do. And when those were all gone, we headed in an played the board games with Grandma Judy. Then we all sat down to watch, "Night and Day."

Fun and funny action movie. (: My youngest started to get antsy and was wondering if we were going to be staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house until morning and if we were going to sleep there. During the major action sequence-- he started exercising and zipping around like he was helping Tom Cruise win his fight scenes. At one point, he did 2 push ups on his knuckles. Mark asked him why he was doing them on his knuckles (which we all had to admit was impressive to begin with!) instead of doing it on flat hands, and my 5 year old responded, "Flat hand push ups are girl push ups, Dad." He had all three of us rolling with that one!

By the time the movie was over, it was about 10:30, so we headed to the Red Box (on an aside, who ever thought of that-- Millionaire Genius!) to return the movie and see what else we wanted to borrow. Mom wanted to see 'The Town' but that doesn't come out until January 11th, so we rented, "Eclipse" and "The Expendables". Figure I'll be watching the first with the boys when they wake up this morning.

We headed back to their place and watched the second, and I have to admit, that was all in all a great time! So many actors that we recognized and have always enjoyed watching. So many funny, funny things. I'm thinking we might need to buy that one.

And the New Year's hour? Well, it passed us right by. (lol) At 15 minutes after midnight, I glanced at my watch and said, "Oh! Happy New Year!" And not a minute later, Mark got a New Year text from his sister (: All in all, a great way to start 2011, in my opinion!

So I'll end this blog with my only New Year's related post made of facebook yesterday:

2011 is a prime number, which I am taking to mean that 2011 is going to be a prime year. Happy New Years' Eve, everyone. I hope that love, joy, and prosperity bless all of you!

The Dichotomy of the Wise Pets

or "Everyone needs a Pet Adventure at 7 in the morning on on New Years Day, right?"

In our house, the pets go out in the morning because we have a noisy cat. I =hate= waking up to a series of 'Merows!' coming from the foot of my bed or the threshold of my bedroom door. But that's typically how it happens if my alarm clock doesn't wake me up first. As a result, I tend to claim having a cat alarm clock with no snooze option. So this morning, I gathered him up and let all four of our animals outside then crawled like the living dead back into bed because 7 am on New Years day is just too early to be awake when I didn't get into bed the first time until after 1 am to begin with.

In our house, the pets come in in the morning because we have noisy dogs. Sometimes, it's our brown dog Maggie saying, "Let me in!" Sometimes it's started raining or the temperature dropped. Sometimes it's squirrels. Today, it was a combination of two things. The first caused the second, but I'll share the second first (;

So the dogs are barking like mad-- excited barks. 'Look at this!' barks. 'Momma pay attention!' barks. (I admit it, I've learned that my dogs have different barks for different things.) The second one is what had me flying out of bed instead of just hollering through the window for them to hush. It's usually the bark reserved for "Mom! The cat is in a fight!" ...but I didn't hear any cat fighting. So I zipped around through the kitchen to the back door to look... and none of my dogs are in my yard. My back gate is wide open.

I fly back to the bedroom cussing, getting into real clothes and shoes, waking my husband in the process, who also begins getting into real clothes and shoes, figuring that we're about to have to drive around the neighborhood in search of our animals.

With one shoe on and one shoe mostly on, a thought occurs to me and I dash to the front door, flinging it open. I can see Maggie. Can't see the other two. And Peeve (the cat) is sitting by the door looking at me like, "So can I come in now?"

That's when I take a deep breath, and, as though nothing is out of the ordinary, call, "Inside, inside, critter, critter inside!"

And all three dogs come rushing in through the front door.

Thank goodness! I figure it worked for two reasons: 1. I hadn't fed them yet, so it was still time for breakfast. and 2. As silly as that call might seem, it's the one they're used to hearing when it's time to come in from the yard, so they're used to coming it when they hear it.

After giving my girls treats for being such good doggies and not making me start my New Year searching the neighborhood for them, I headed outside to see how the hell they'd gotten out in the first place.

See, the gate that was wide open is typically locked. So when I got over there, I saw that it was -still- locked. My dog Ruby had pulled the gate so hard that she turned the section that held the lock. As I'm staring at it trying to figure out what would make her want out so desperately, my neighbor calls their dog Peanut, who I watch leave my front yard not 5ft from where I'm standing. It's actually pretty easy not to see him in all the fallen leaves I need to rake up-- he's a chihuahua. And every now and then, they let him loose into the neighborhood. And every single time they do, he comes over to our yard to see my girls. Them on one side of the fence, him on the other. And that right there was the cause-- they wanted to get out to see Peanut. Sniff him. Bark at him. Play with him. Thankfully, 'eat him' wasn't on that list (;

So I twist the fence back in place, use wire to wrap the bottom and put a brick in front of it. Not once thinking, "Yup, this'll stop her." No, the thought accompanying all of this was, "Well, that should slow her down."

So anyway, here I am at almost 9 in the morning, thankful the first thing on New Year's Day that 1. My dogs told on themselves. and 2. They've trained me to come when they call...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bad Storytelling

Okay, so originally, I wasn't going to share the flops...but then it would might like I have a touch of writing genius, and as you can tell when you get to the end, sometimes, you need bad ideas to lead to not quite as bad ideas (;

Every year at this time(end of October, beginning of November), Dothan puts on The Peanut Festival. It’s a week long celebration with a local fair, rides, farm animals, and other entertainments. It’s a lot of fun. The boys and I go for the circus and seeing the animals. We also get funnel cake, corn on a stick, and the boys get to ride the rides….but not this year. There were so many other things going on in our days that there was no time left over to hit the festival.

So to make up for missing the circus, I promised the boys a story.

“Long, long ago, before there were cell phones and televisions, video games or even electricity, people needed ways to entertain themselves. Now some of these ways you could do all by yourself, and some you could do with a friend or three, but the kind of entertainment we’re talking about is for lots of people all at once! We’re talking about the origin of the circus.

The world is full of so many incomprehensible creatures, including people with amazing skill. The man with incredible strength! The woman with astonishing balance! And so they each headed out into the world to seek their fortune.

Now it so happened that their paths crossed during a great town faire to celebrate the successful harvest. They, like many other street performers, were doing their shows for the coins and handouts the passersby could muster.

But it took the genius of a single man to see that all of them –together- would be truly a sight to see! And so he approached each of the street shows: the comedians, the juggler, the musicians, and spoke to them of his vision.

“For a group that travels together in large numbers is safer than a single person traveling alone. And think of it—we could charge more for admission than all the tips gathered in hats combined!”

His enthusiasm and charisma were so great that he soon convinced everyone to join him. They worked on their best performances and he found a space for them to put on their show.

The day of the grand opening arrived and the performers went out into the streets as a parade to entice the public to follow them back—and follow them they did!

And what greeted them was a loud, exciting, friendly man, “Come one, come all to the world’s First Circus! See amazing feats performed right before your very eyes! View the wonders that grace our world. You will be –amazed-!” And though the price he charged was perhaps a bit more than they’d hoped to pay, they could not resist the siren call of their curiosity.

And so they came, they walked, they sat, and they saw—and truly, they were AMAZED! For each new marvel was surpassed by the next. Things they had never imagined in this world came to life before them.

And as they left, all they could speak of was the marvel of the circus—which of course, brought yet more people to the tent. And when all the people of the town had seen the show, the performers packed up their tents and moved on to a new location to bring wonder and delight to new eyes.

And that, my loves, is the origin of the circus—and as you can see, it works very well, for they continue this tradition even to today!”

“Mom,” my oldest said (and you could tell that he was trying to be tactful), “that wasn’t a very interesting story….could you, maybe… tell us another one?” (with hope and a little bit of worry in his eyes.)

...but -that- story will just have to wait until tomorrow (;