changing lives since 2003 (ms_pooka) wrote,
changing lives since 2003

12/3-12/5/10: mainly dinosaurs!

friday, i had a secret. i knew it would be the last of the gorgeous days, and the pinnacle of the gorgeous days, before we descended into the frosty, coat-wearing days. 71 degrees. it was time to buck up and take kids to the park. i chose coffee park. oliver was wearing the latest incarnation of the new free dress days. the headmaster had decided gardening day, fridays, called for something more casual and wanted everyone wearing shoes that could be watered down (which made me have to see crocs in my future). we relished the free dress for several weeks and slid by the whole waterproof shoe business. i mean, i sort of tried, but they don't have crocs in the places i happened to be. i've only ever seen them online and at a kiosk way off in the galleria, despite 75 percent of the population having a pair.


finally, the headmaster had had enough and sent everyone a memo indicating she guessed she needed to lay down some ground rules. so, oliver was wearing his red school polo, jeans, and lime green croc boots. like a little christmas tree. in the spirit of things, back at coffee park, he kept telling me he was going to gather all the children to put on a xmas pageant. i tried to let him know that might be difficult, as the other children had come to play on the playground and might not be up for a xmas pageant at the moment, but you know how preschoolers can be.

oliver ran and played and violet toddled and played and i saw oliver looking a little sad on the perimeter at one point, so i asked him what was up. he said he had tried to get the children together for the pageant, but he guessed none of them wanted to. so i sat on a bench with him and hummed a song with him that he had been learning in music class, sung by pushing air through closed lips. brrrr-brrrr-brrrr. and then there was more playing.

three bean taco bowls that evening. three bean terror that night.

saturday was a big day. we'd been expecting it for some time. groupon had sent me an offer back last summer for discounted tickets to dinosaur world in glen rose, tx. i'd only recently discovered there was a glen rose, tx, known for dinosaur valley state park. you can go there and see dinosaur prints in the creek bed, or what was left after people one hundred years ago cut them out to sell to other people to put in their gardens. so the groupons were an excellent impetus to push our wagon down that way.

brian said we should head out at 8am. so we pulled the car out of the drive at 10:00. we twisted through the countryside and marveled at the beauty of silver, gold, brown, and red grasses rippling in the breeze and shimmering under the sun. we ignored the abundance of industrial facilities. the day was positively gorgeous, if a bit windy. pleasantly cool and bordering on the need for a jacket.

we pulled up out in the boonies to a very impressive gate adorned with gigantic dinosaur replicas. and some giraffes advertising the nearby fossil rim animal place. there weren't many cars, which was additionally delightful. for us, anyway. we exchanged groupons for dinosaur wristbands and were there just in time for oliver to participate in the ten minute fossil dig. he got to keep his three favorites. we nibbled some food at one of the plentiful picnic tables off to the side of the playground (we had already gotten our money's worth at this point) and then headed out on the one mile dino trail. it would have been a pleasant walk even without that whole, gigantic heap of dinosaurs. plain lovely.


oliver, in usual oliver fashion, sped on through as quickly as he could get us to go. violet held her own pretty well, but had a tendency to just plop on down on the sidewalk when it was just getting to be too much. the dinosaurs were not animatronic, so there were no grumblings coming from the forest. the height of some of these dinosaurs was quite impressive and i began feeling a lot had happened in the world of paleontology since i had been schooled. i was feeling that many of them had been simply made up. you'll see.

rooster dinosaur. gay disco dinosaur.

space dog dinosaur. i-don't-even-know-osaurus

oliver enjoyed fake reading the signage.

we made the loop, let the kids have the run of the playground for a few minutes, and then exited through the gift shop. brian managed to talk himself out of buying his own campy dinosaur world shirt and brian talked oliver out of the one girlie dinosaur shirt (pink with dinosaurs and hearts) and i kind of tsked him, thinking of that little boy who dressed as daphne on halloween and the other little boy who enjoys being a princess. we accidentally picked out a couple of inexpensive xmas gifts... a funny dinosaur puzzle and a little dinosaur skeleton figurine (a little gruesome, i know). brian and the kids pressed a penny into a dinosaur world memento before we got back in the car.

we drove a very short distance and the road dumped us straight into dinosaur valley state park. we paid $10 and oliver peed and looked at the swatch of dinosaur footprints that had been installed by the entry kiosk building. we wound our way over to dinosaur track site #2 and joined others in crossing the river-creek on slabs of slick rock. i was feeling a lot of anxiety at this point as we trundled my babies across cold water and sharp edges. brian was really trying on his new let-the-children-have-their-experiences hat and i worried he was swinging too far that way and ignoring some real dangers in a place that was who knows how far away from a hospital. i mean, alright and so what if he fell in two feet of cold water. i was more worried about what he'd be slapping against rocks on the way down. i also wasn't keen on the idea of one of us slipping while carrying violet and smashing her between our bodies and a rock place. anyway. i got to take a turn as the overprotective one, forced to yank particularly hard on the protectiveness pendulum. not exactly new territory.

yes, this is me. standing in the middle of a river with two small children, holding one by the scruff of his neck. why not.

so we made it across and saw some tracks and made it back across and let my chest decompress for a few minutes while we drove in circles looking for the blue hole. which we found at the bottom of a steep embankment bordered by the slightly swift moving water of the paluxy river, ranging from 12 to 21 feet in depth. this way, i could worry about oliver slipping and breaking a leg just before tumbling to unconsciousness and landing in frighteningly deep, cold water. well alright!


we made it on down and sat on a little patch of dirt eating crackers and a burrito half and some sesame seeds, or something, and then hobbled back on up and hit the road home.


no starbucks locations were to be had (okay, there were two hiding somewhere), which made me sad and glad all rolled into one. the sad part let brian order roti grill for dinner. it's like we practically live in that place, i'm starting to realize. banana peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. good thing i've started back to the gym.

nothing much to report about sunday. but i will anyway. weekly trip to target. i've been learning to hate the mainstream toy aisle. i've realized it's akin to the standard grocery store aisles in how it applies to our lives these days. very little to offer. brian took oliver to run errands so i could start tackling what turned out to be a mountain of work punctuated by homemade pizza. i crawled on to the couch at 12:50am. violet began waking at 1:00am. i feel like i did not get an ounce of sleep.








oh, screw it. this is ridiculous. we were just about the worse camera-parents on that day that we have ever been and this does not even (yet) include brian's iphone photos. or the flip. i'm thankful there weren't more people around to witness our obnoxiousness.
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