Sunday, September 26, 2010

Party till you Puke

Two blogs, one weekend. Two blog worthy activities, one weekend. That's why.
Key Bank hosted its employees today at The Children's Museum. They were serving mac and cheese for lunch and the Barbie exhibit was still there so we just couldn't miss it. Lilly is finally old enough to enjoy more of the Children's Museum than just the toddler playscape (although we still spent a lot of time there). The only problem is that she doesn't transition well from exhibit to exhibit.
For example: Here she is digging in the dinosphere. She got to wear goggles and use a little scraper and brush to help unearth some dinosaur fossils. When Bryan and I decided it was time to move along to the next exhibit...which by the way was only about twenty feet away and still in the dinosphere...Lilly collapsed. As far as she was concerned this was the most fun thing she had ever done in her entire life and nothing, NOTHING, would ever make her happy again. She cried, screamed and kicked. Well, until about 30 seconds later when we got the the dinosaur nest.
Just a close up of the goggles.
Then, at the dinosaur nest, Lilly dressed up like a dinosaur and collected eggs. Leaving this exhibit went a lot smoother. There just happened to be a little boy about her age waiting his turn to try on the dinosaur costume. When we told Lilly it was his turn she gladly took off the gloves and handed them over and then took him her vest. Bryan was shocked to say the least.
Next, we cruised through the train exhibit. Wasn't really Lilly's favorite, but she was sad to leave it none the less. Then we had lunch, the previously mentioned mac and cheese and a few other things, but all she noticed was the mac and cheese.
After that we headed to the Barbie exhibit. Bryan was a trooper, he helped brush Barbie's hair, even doing his best to put in a hair bow. He dressed a Barbie doll and managed to act excited to discuss Barbie fashion with Lilly. Then as we left he gazed longingly towards the G.I.Joe exhibit, looking forward to the day that we bring our son to the Children's Museum, but right now Lilly had no interest. And of course, Lilly left the Barbie exhibit the same way she left the dino-dig area...kicking and screaming.
But, about five minutes later (because that's how long it took me to make it up the ramps to the next level) she recovered from her devastation upon seeing the carousel and she insisted on riding a deer. And...after the carousel she cried and asked "again?". Bryan took her to play in a tree house while I got another ticket for the carousel. Then we learned something that many of you with older children may have already known; instead of distracting her while I got another ticket we should have simply distracted her and moved along. Because by the time I got back with the ticket she wanted no part of the carousel. That's right, she only wanted to play in the tree house, the ice cream shop and the other little play house. Guess what happened when we left the playhouses.
That's right, kicking and screaming. But, only until we got to the next area.
Bryan insisted that Lilly sit in the race car for a picture. Then Lilly and I realized he had an ulterior motive. He just wanted an excuse to get in there himself. They both left this area in tears.
At the end of the day Lilly and Daddy shared some ice cream and then we headed home. Now, I mentioned that Lilly cried and kind of threw a fit whenever we'd leave an exhibit because she was having so much fun, but she quickly recovered when she realized we were going to another fun hands on area. Well, when we left the table and headed to the car we got the fit, complete with kicking, screaming and shaking, but without the joy of another exhibit. This is where the title of the blog comes in...Lilly had herself so upset that while Bryan was buckling her into the car seat she threw up (and I gagged). But, this only caused her to pause in her temper tantrum. As soon as Bryan cleaned her up she continued with her impression of Linda Blair from 'The Exorcist'. About four minutes from home Lilly finally stopped screaming, and I assume swearing at us, and fell asleep. I carried her in a put her down in her bed, but hoped she wouldn't sleep long. She didn't. She woke up about an hour later in a mood that reminded me of a little of pit bull. So, Lilly and I cuddled in my bed and watched a cartoon while Bryan watched the Colts game in the living room. Lilly looked so cute in our big bed that I had to share a picture. She seems to be saying "No more pictures please."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cousins' Day of Fun!

When my cousin Brecquelyn moved here several years ago we lived in the same area for the first time in 24 years so we started a tradition called Cousins' Day of Fun. We would choose a day, plan an activity and spend the day together doing something fun. Even if it was just running errands, watching a movie on the couch or have drinks we've always enjoyed ourselves and each other's company. So, when Lilly was born it seemed natural to just include her in our special days. Our plans have had to change slightly since we started including her, but we still have a great time together. Instead of happy hour drinks we do milkshakes at DQ, instead of trips to the mall we do playdates at the park, and instead of watching movies on the couch we have tea parties. But, yesterday we finally did something that Brecq and I have wanted to do for a long, long time. We took a mini road trip to Centerpoint Indiana to visit the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.
The EFRC is a sanctuary for exotic cats that were owned illegally by individuals, unlicensed zoos or have been taken from their homes for a variety of reasons. It spans one hundred wooded acres and provides a proper home for over 200 exotic cats. Lilly loves kitties so this seemed like an obvious choice for yesterday's day of fun.
All three of us had a great time and loved seeing the 'kitties', but I didn't get many pictures and only one of Lilly because Brecq and I were both a nervous wreck keeping Lilly away from the fences. The EFRC is not a zoo, it is a place for neglected, abused or homeless cats to live out their lives and be taken care of. They offer tours as a way to help support the care of the cats, not to humor the public. Because of this, the most important thing is large natural enclosures for the cats, not wide paved walking paths for the people. The paths are about six or seven feet wide and there are fences with cats on both sides. The plant life makes it possible for a 500 lb tiger to lay right up against the fence and still be hidden so we had to be on guard 100% of the time to keep Lilly away from the fences because there is no safe space between people fences and kitties. Not to mention most of the cats were raised by humans so they aren't afraid or even shy of their human caretakers. And the way the big cats eye her was a little unnerving...they all looked at our Lilly like a cat in the wild would look at a wounded gazelle. The tour guide said they always show a lot of interest in little kids.
So, not a lot of pictures, but there are a few good ones of the kitties. We were standing right in the middle of this large African Lion (above), a tiger named Raja (below) and two other enclosures that included a total of five adult tigers when all of a sudden all of the cats stood up, ran towards the fence and started pacing, generally making everyone in the tour group a little uncomfortable. It was then that we mere humans heard the RTV, or food truck. So we got to watch while the keepers tossed parts of a horse into each of the enclosures.
The only picture of people. This was next to a pen with five enormous tigers so we thought it would just be best if Brecq held Lilly for a while.
Lilly's favorite. She insisted that this leopard was a baby jaguar...possibly Diego's baby jaguar.

All three of us had a great time and Lilly loved seeing the lions, tigers and cougars. But, the highlight of the day, at least for Lilly, was when we got back to Brecquelyn's house and Lilly was able to come in and pet one of her domestic cats.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The German Dress

As many of you may know, Bryan's sister Cammie and her family have lived in Germany for the past seven years while her husband bravely serves our country in the army. When Lilly was born Cammie waited for Ed's leave and then quickly made arrangements for the whole family to come and see her new niece. She brought with her an adorable German dress. At the time it seemed closer to fitting me than the tiny baby she had intended it for. But, last night while organizing the closet in Lilly's big girl room I stumbled across the dress and began to wonder. Lilly was just as excited as I was to try it on. She called it her princess dress and I had to do some smooth manipulation to get her to take it off before dinner.
I thought everyone might enjoy the pictures, but don't be surprised if you see the dress again in the Halloween blog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Festival

It started out as a dreary gloomy Saturday. Complete with clouds and drizzling rain. We planned to take Lilly to the Fall Festival which includes a parade, a small carnival and some local merchant tents and displays. The weather made us question our resolve, but we decided to risk it when it looked like the rain would not last.
We headed downtown Z-ville, found seats on the curb and settled in for the longest and most boring parade ever. Evidently you don't have to have a float or even a reason to be in the parade...just an overwhelming desire to show yourself off. Now, don't get me wrong there were floats that were well designed and deserved to be in the parade and there were fire trucks, police cars and Lilly's favorite part, marching bands and princesses. But, quite a few entries were just local people who are proud of their car, their job, or their new hair cut...I don't know.
But anyway, Lilly enjoyed it and we didn't stay for the whole thing. Here's Lilly and Bryan patiently waiting for the parade to begin.
Lilly in her bag chair. Bryan carried it all the way from our distant parking spot only to realize that Lilly could sit in the stroller if she so desired and that she was only going to sit for amount of time that it took me to take this picture.
When McGriff the crime dog came by waving and passing out candy Lilly panicked and ended up in my lap. This happened several times during the parade whenever a mascot made an appearance. She is just like her aunt Kristy in this regard.
And of course...Lilly rode a pony. If there is a pony ride within a hundred miles Lilly will find it and talk of nothing else until she's had a turn. Sadly, all she talked about while riding the pony was the playground.
Around this time Lilly and I headed home for a rest while Bryan pressed the flesh with the public at Key Bank's booth. We came back rested and ready to party a few hours later as Bryan's shift was coming to an end. We hurried to get back to the Key Bank booth in time to get Lilly a Tinkerbell spray on tattoo, but Lilly wanted no part of it. She seemed afraid as if it would hurt like a real tattoo. Hope she keeps that attitude throughout her teen years.
After that we headed to the midway to see if there was anything that Lilly could ride. There wasn't, but after Daddy forked over three dollars to a young girl with black and purple hair and many of the previously mentioned real tattoos, Lilly was aloud to 'pick till you win' at duck pond in the carnival. She chose as her prize this purple ball. Then insisted on riding on Bryan's shoulders and holding the ball. It was only then that Bryan discovered that the ball was wet.

The highlight for all of us was the area that was dedicated to inflatable playscapes. There were six of them. Ten dollars for an all day wrist band or two dollars for a single ticket. I talked Bryan into springing for the ten dollar wrist band when I pointed out our friend standing nearby with his four kids. Bryan easily shelled out the ten bucks when he realized how happy he was that he wasn't being asked for 40. Lilly had a blast for well over an hour, going from bouncy house to bounce house. Some were just the old fashioned moon bounce, but there where three obstacle courses, and a slide too. Lilly was able to do all six things unaided, which meant that we had the luxury of standing idly by and watching. After a while Bryan suggested that we leave. "Why?" I asked. He looked around and couldn't come up with an answer so he tossed Lilly back into one of the obstacle courses and we resumed our idleness.

A note to Matthew...When we got out of the car and Lilly saw the giant inflatable slide she couldn't hold in her excitement. "Matthew will be here!?" she asked. Please note the Fourth of July blog.