saturday was a big day. it was my father's 65th birthday and they had decided to come to dallas to watch my nephew play in the band at a football game the night before and to see oliver at his finest playing soccer that day. they came by for a few minutes so we could give him a gift certificate to half price books, a couple of drawings in a plastic bag, and a possibly dirty QTip. we are that big into recycling/reusing. we carted ourselves over to lindsley park on gas fumes. it was soccer picture day and we had to get there an hour early to stand around and do mostly nothing. since my niece had come with, they had to cancel plans to eat out in order to get her to work in tyler by 4pm. they stayed for most of oliver's game and decided to leave even earlier when they realized he wouldn't be back out on the field. instead of giving oliver money for the bus home, we stuck it out until the end of the game and drove him back with us.
posing for his soccer photo.
blinded by the light.
there was a stop by whole earth provision to tear it up in the toy section with the end result of purchasing two kites for birthday presents. violet made nice with the large-sized melissa&doug stuffed animals. she was nuts.
after returning, home, oliver helped me stamp letters on to cards to tie on to the kites. he decided plastic bags would lend a nice touch to the overall feel of the gifts. that's his way. he's his great grandmother's great grandchild.
we had big plans that evening, not beginning until 6pm and not ending until 9pm. that's one hour past bedtime! twins landon and kate were celebrating their fourth birthdays together in sophisticated style. we pulled up to the curb and trundled down the drive into the backyard, where a party-time concession stand was set up. they had their liquor license, so i found myself a beer. brian went insane with sobriety and started feeding violet a juice box. A JUICE BOX! what kind of people does he think we are? and don't even get me started on how he asked oliver if he wanted soda at the last party we went to. i might have to ask for a divorce soon.
anyhow. we learned that each child had been told they could invite three people. landon chose oliver, theo, and aiden, and wasn't that sweet? oliver took quite a shine to theo, who is also one of his classmates, and he followed him high and low. literally. there was a swingset involved. they brandished lcd flashlights from their party bags and all the kids just went generally nuts. there were people falling off the porch stairs, for christ's sake.
the theme of the evening was movie night and as darkness began to surround us, landon's father set up the projector he had stolen from work so that it lined up with the bedsheet movie screen straddling the swingset. it was brilliance. movies in the backyard.
the movie selection was "jungle book" and we had originally fretted it was going to be some awful modern day version of "jungle book" with someone like brendan frazer, but we lucked out and there was the old cartoon. all the children settled in on blankets on grass with mountains of popcorn spilling into open and hungry mouths.
violet decided to become tired. and grumpy. i put her into her baby carseat (don't worry... we finally upgraded her to a bigger one) and swung her and rocked her and rocked her and rocked her until she decided she would try some sleep on. in the meantime, we chatted with various parents like regular adults with social lives. did i mention the brilliance of this party?
the movie eventually ended, as movies tend to do, and there's the closing bit, you might not remember, where all the cartoon movie stars dance around the jungle to the bare necessities and all the children did likewise in real person land and oliver danced just like baloo. shortly thereafter, we gathered a harvest of tiny people and made our way to the car as oliver went from dancing bear to riddled with up-past-his-bedtime-ness. late hours make for messy children.
sunday. sunday was one of those days where i decide we're going to celebrate childhood and whatever holiday is going on. you might have noticed that we do this alot.
i was pretty sad that we hadn't had the excuse of going to tyler for my father's birthday so that we could also go to the best pumpkin patch on the planet which we have visited in years prior. so we threw a dart at this pumpkin patch website and came up with one in flower mound, i think it was. we drove until we hit some boondocks and turned in and nearly turned away. there was dust and dirt kicking up everywhere and underneath that we could see we had located the antithesis to the tyler pumpkin patch. it was as far from quaint and pastoral as a pumpkin could get. it was the charlie brown aluminum xmas tree lot answer to the pumpkin patch.
we decided to make the best of it and woke up children with cries of, "we're here! it's the pumpkin patch! hot dog!" and we headed into the dust like a pack of pioneers. there was a grid of pumpkins where you could take photos and five thousand dust-covered bouncehouses and some awesomely old rickety rides and this patch was kind of huge. and then you looked past the fence and it was pumpkin patch part two. the one redeeming piece of this experience puzzle happened as we were driving back out and had our car pointed at a back pasture, just before you hit the row of mcmansions, where there were these crazy mustang-acting horses just galloping and going nuts in all their majestic horse glory. and everyone nearby stood around with mouths open, catching dust on their tongues.
brian purchased some tickets and oliver jumped in some bouncehouses and rode some of the rickety rides and i did the best i could with the photo opportunities and then we got the hell out of there with a meaty little play pumpkin. and drove on even further because we were kind of sort of near denton, which houses mr chopsticks. there was eggplant and tofu all up in my face and rolling down into my ass and thighs. it was sexy. i don't know. i guess that was the end.
enjoy the last days of the mighty mullet. did i mention it was windy at the pumpkin patch?
he's in #2 with a little boy made to wear a vest. i wasn't fond of his daddy.
hanging on for dear life. i scored him the last barrel in order to spare him from the majority of the tractor exhaust. i've learned a thing or two about pumpkin patches during my four years of parenting.
look! there's the mustangs!