Monday, April 20, 2009

Bouncy, Trouncy, Flouncy, Pouncy, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun!!

This weekend, we loaded up all of our little people and headed to the Bloomin' Festival. One double stroller, one Moby wrap, one Baby Bjorn, one pack of baby wipes, a handful of diapers, three sippee cups, two Klean Kanteens, four sweaters or jackets, two pair of sunglasses, one bottle of hand sanitizer, one nursing apron, two changes of clothes, one burp cloth, one bib, one camera, and a ten minute drive later, we were there.

Anna enjoying the kaleidoscope of activity.

We unloaded everyone from the van, handed out marching orders and were off. We had barely begun to drift around, enjoying the atmosphere, when Sarah Grace piped up.

'Mommy...I need to go potty.'

Sigh. I took Sarah Grace by the hand and headed off to port-a-potty alley. She looked a bit dubious when she saw the tall, blue, plastic stalls and gripped my hand a little tighter. When I opened the door to one, she balked.

'Iiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!! Mommy, dat's stinky! I don't want to go in there! No, Mommy, pwease, no!'

Now, due to major progress in the chemical industry, the place did not stink. Well, of chemicals, perhaps, but not, you know, bodily functions. This kid had no idea how good she had it!

'Mommy, I want to go in the grass.'

Why, yes, my daughter did just ask to urinate in the grass. Welcome to Alabama, ya'll. Where our well mannered children believe it is an everyday thing to go potty on the lawn of some random location.

I have no idea what the ill mannered children do. That just might be the one potty talk that we do not have on this blog.

I laid it on the line for Miss Priss. She could either go on the potty (which Mommy would cover thickly with paper towels for her delicate bummy) or she could wear one of Elizabeth's diapers. No, honey. Your not being punished, but those are your choices.

I was secretly hoping she would opt for the diaper. It somehow seemed more sanitary...

She pouted and thought for a few seconds, sucked it up, and declared she could use the potty. And so she did, then off we went to join the rest of our family. And use a good dousing of that hand sanitizer.

We resumed our roaming for all of maybe fifteen minutes before I heard the second request.

'Mommy, I need to go potty.'

Since only two of my children are potty trained and only one is a girl, I will give you only the one guess to figure out which little lady made this remark.

Joshua and I eyed one another over the children's heads and made the decision that everyone was going potty. We headed back towards potty alley, got everyone taken care of, and issued hand sanitizer to all.

And that concludes this portion of the story.

Can I get an Amen?!?!?

We made it past all the yummy smelling concessions, promising the kids that we could come back for a treat after lunch. At this point, I felt we had already run a marathon, so I suggested to Joshua we go ahead to the inflatable toys and let the kids burn off some energy.

I handed the girl a bill to pay for our precious children's admittance to the play area, and she looked at me dumbly and said something about needing a calculator to make change. I took pity on the teenager, who was sitting in the hot sun (a lovely 72 degrees) and helped her out by telling her how much change was due to me. She floundered around in a box of bills that was in no way organized and asked if she could get my change to me later.

Um, no. Here, just give me a ten dollar bill and let's call it even. She looked like I had cheated her (when I actually overpaid by a buck) as she handed me the bill. By then, my kids were already shoeless and sockless and ready to go. I thanked the girl, sent up a quick prayer for her day (it wasn't even eleven yet...she was doomed!), and headed off to play with the kids.

The kid with her tongue hanging out? That is Elizabeth. She thinks she is a doggy.

The kids bounced and ran about joyfully in the grass in their bare feet. I stood back and watched their goings and comings and hoppings and slidings while Joshua snapped pictures. At some point, Anna demanded some attention and some food, so I went and sat in the shade of a tree and obliged. Apparently, this is what was going on whilst Anna and I were chillin'.

Those feet belong to my son!!
The guy in on the right, he belongs to some other family. Not ours.

That smile belongs to my son, too!

That barefooted cutie, she's mine!

When Anna finished, I popped her in my wrap and we joined the rest of the crew. The kids were winding things up, having played for quite some time. They were hot and thirsty, so we planted the older girls in the stroller, gave Thomas a bit of freedom (meaning he didn't have to hold our hands or the stroller), passed out sippee cups, and took off.

We meandered about for a bit before deciding it was time to eat some lunch. On our way to the food tent, we passed a kettle korn booth, making a mental note to revisit that spot! The food tent was set up with several long rows of tables. We snagged four chairs at the end of a row and let Elizabeth eat from the stroller. The older couple sitting across from us were super kind to our kids, and regaled us with stories of their children, grandchildren, and great-grand children. It was a very enjoyable visit.

We finally parted company with the sweet couple, and as promised, took the kids back to the kettle korn stand. By this time, Joshua was wearing a sleeping Anna, and he stood on line to get our popcorn. The kids and I detoured to the back of the booth where they could see the corn popping in the kettle. I allowed Thomas to stand in the front seat of the stroller while I hoisted Sarah Grace up on my hip so they could watch what was going on. After the first round was finished, the fellow started a second round, and Elizabeth wanted to see what was going on.

I jerked back the umbrella to the back seat, and sent Thomas sprawling. I didn't realize that he was steadying himself by holding the umbrella! He came up with a wounded look on his face and I felt wretched. The guy manning the corn kettle chuckled a bit and I told him I would appreciate his vote for Mother of the Year. He laughed outright and went about his work.

Once that batch of corn was popped, I saw that Joshua was at the front of the line, and we went to join him. The folks handed each of our kids a small bag of kettle korn, and a big one to Joshua for the two of us to share. At that moment, someone tapped me on my shoulder. I turned to see the popcorn man holding out a bag of kettle korn to me.

'You've got my vote as Mother of the Year. Here's your Gold Star.'

I laughed and thanked him and happily munched on the yummy kettle korn.

We made our way to the lemonade stand and grabbed up fresh squeezed lemonade for everyone. While I transferred lemonade to the girls sippee cups, Joshua made his way over to some steps and sat down with Anna and Thomas. I got the girls lemonade under control, then pushed the stroller over to the steps.

Joshua looked up at me, an odd look on his face.

'We need to go home. I have ripped a huge hole in the butt of my shorts.'

He stood up, turned around, and sure enough, there was a gaping corner tear in his shorts, showing off his blue underwear.

And that is hopefully the last I will mention of my husbands underwear on this blog.

Because we had promised the kids a ride on the train, we made off to the 'train depot', where we loaded up on a train car, and asked the engineer to take a family picture of us before he headed back to the John Deere engine.

We rode around, the kids waving the Disney wave to anyone who was or wasn't paying attention. After the ride came to an end, we opted to be done. We were two hours past nap time, and the melt down was beginning.

We made it to the van, where I managed one bad shot of the aforementioned shorts, but promised not to post it. Because I love my husband, I will not be showing you the very blurred picture.

I didn't say a blessed word about showing it to IRL visitors. Ya'll come on by now, ya hear?


Jana (sidetrack'd) said...

Sounds like quite a day! And a fun family adventure.

The Bouldins said...

The looks on the kids' faces in the last picture are awesome! The dazed faces of Thomas and Elizabeth ... Sarah Grace's expression just makes me giggle :)

Becca said...

aww...i miss the bloomin festival. *sniff*.