we were supposed to go to the texas state fair that friday evening, but brian had pulled out his back the night before and was playing hookie from work. this is how i learned they have a basketball court at his new office building up there in the nether regions of the dallas suburbs.
in that case, we only had one last chance to go that sunday. which meant we should leave for tyler friday evening. and we did.
it was my dad's 64th birthday and they were out at the el charro with friends for dinner. after having had el charro with family for lunch. we did not have the energy to join them with our two tiny, fussy people.
saturday morning, we were up and at them so that i could take my car to my mom's office to get the door handle replaced. you see, the exterior driver's side handle decided to split in two one day and i've been having a heckuva time getting into my car without looking like i have a car with a broken door handle. while we were there, we decided to have the tires do a do-si-do to see if that would stop the feeling that my car's about to shake apart on me.
since oliver was back at the house giving grandpa a run for his money, we decided to take violet on our usual luxurious trip to the drug emporium. they'd moved the aisles around, giving us the impression there might be new things to discover. i did discover dr. weil's chocolate oatmeal must have gotten lost in the shuffle.
we returned home and dad told us how they'd walked around the house and then the yard and then the block. if we'd taken much longer, i'm betting we would've seen them walking the loop.
we gathered up oliver and took the four of us to the best pumpkin patch in texas. no one wanted to go with us, so we had to ask a stranger to take our picture. it was not very good, so blame my appearance on her and not on me. it was a super grand time. oliver went nuts climbing up this frigtheningly tall, homemade ladder over and over again next to this little heathen girl who kept pushing into him. i tried to block her at one point and told her to go away and she just pushed into me. so, i bumped her foot with my elbow and made her fall off the fourth rung of the ladder. not really.
oliver would get to the top of the ladder and be about 7 or 8 feet in the air and would make a couple of little victorious hops and i would tense up every fiber of my cardiovascular system and send that energy on up there to keep him from hopping backwards off the platform. then, he'd go to the steepest enclosed spiral slide in east texas and zoom to the bottom. he super enjoyed this.
he had daddy push him in the swing a couple of times and they got enough air that his toes would touch the underside of that platform and send him into a cascade of giggles.
we managed to get him a spot on pappy's barrel train and he steered that old oil drum with all of his might. he rode the hayride down to the pumpkin patch with daddy, while i pushed violet there in her hayride stroller and we swapped on the way back. oliver picked out a smallish pumpkin and several more smaller pumpkins back at the barn. two of them have already had to go to the trash after leaving rings of mold on our dinner table.
it was a gorgeous day and the property is fantastic. people had brought blankets just to hang out on and there was even a birthday party happening at one of the tables. i would like to move to that pumpkin patch and just roll around in the grass.
down in the patch.
you will just have to believe me that brian and oliver are on that hayride.
funny pumpkin plus caterpillar. plus magical tractor beam. plus tractor. plus child who does not look like oliver.
16 (x4) candles.
we returned home and, after awhile of doing who knows what, my grandparents and sister's family showed up. dad ordered in the little ceasar's and we ate like pizza kings. ashleigh made a '64' out of little birthday candles on top of a chocolate cake and we singed my father's eyebrows with the mightiness of their combined flames.
sunday, we washed some stinky diapers and headed out early for dallas. at home, we shoved some lunch down our throats before piling back into the car.
it was the closing day of the state fair and we were quickly stuck in a line of traffic. we decided it would be futile to look for a free spot and ponied up $10 at the first parking lot we saw. at least we saved a couple of bucks by buying our tickets at kroger. and we were two times glad when we saw the ridiculous mob that had formed trying to buy tickets. it was a challenge just getting over to the "we already have our tickets" line and it required us cutting through every other line out there. but then. then. oliver finally had the moment he had been waiting for ever since i showed him video of last year. there was big tex looming far over head.
oliver stood there staring up with his mouth open. he was obviously in love. and who could blame him? he's pretty dashing in that yellow shirt and speaking in that deep-voiced, halting manner and waving his hand at you while you pray it doesn't finally disconnect after sixty years of waving and come crashing down.
we spent an ungodly sum just doing our sparse state fair routine. we hopped in a sky cab and i remembered yet again how afraid i am of heights. well, really, it's not so much that i'm afraid of heights, but that i don't trust a cable to not snap or a bolt to not sheer off. so i sit in terror and try to not project it too much.
hanging on for dear life.
brian got some fries and a beer for us and then we hit up the star of texas and i tried to not project again. because that thing is HUGE. i mean HUGE. you are literally up there with the birds. as in ... the bird show places a buzzard, or something, on one of the cars and it comes swooping down at you when you're in the amphitheater during the bird show. and that's where we went next. it seemed like the least populated place to squeeze in some nursing. and more fries and beer for brian. what? does he think we have two incomes?
oliver wanted to go over and gaze at spongebob, for some reason, before heading to the ferris wheel.
we made a pit stop at the carousel.
the texas star. i will place my yearly reminder here about how those tiny little pods seat up to six people. that is how big that thing is.
prince was there.
we had difficulty keeping him in his seat. i certainly did not want him to slip through the bars.
my family sure points a lot these days.
look how terrifying.
she has reason to look frightened!
so, we didn't really mean to see the bird show, but then... there it was. oliver didn't seem to give a hoot about it and we grew tired of hollering and pointing at big, swooping birds trying to get him to pay attention for more than 1.25 seconds and the wind was starting to get windier and chillier. and bedtime was getting bedtimier. so we got the hell out of there. with one more pass by big tex.
oliver is pleased that the little lamp post banners with big tex on them are still lining the meridian on greenville avenue. he points them out to me.