Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dog Days Aren't Yet Over

As someone who lived in Arizona for six years, then Florida for almost two, I am so fucking sick of summer. The days over 100-degrees have far outnumbered those below zero during arguably the coldest months in Montana. The temperatures got warm very fast, and there has been so little rain there was only about a week when things were sort-of green.

While summer is supposed to make everyone happy and carefree, I was mostly irritable and depressed. I couldn't cook, couldn't bake, couldn't really keep up on housework, couldn't find a comfortable temperature in the car, couldn't warm up at the office, couldn't stop worrying about smelling like BO, couldn't get comfortable at night, couldn't really play outside during some parts of the day, and couldn't plan anything without taking into consideration the times of day when it feels like your skin is frying off.

But, as you know, we, of course, found things to occupy our summer that seemed to fly by like the speed of light. It's the end of August, who saw that coming?!

 I tried to read as much as I could over the summer, but I didn't make it very far through my reading list. I even read one that wasn't on my list but I had to for when book club meets again in September.

 You know me, I'll read anything, but I am reading How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. And Oprah's testament was correct; guys do love it!


 So we'll go play in the mud instead.

 Ages since it's rained, we turned the sprinkler on in the backyard.

 Then went to town!

Louis and Daddy: Mud Play Supervisors

 Yeah, she really gets down in there. 

 Louis is always standing by.....waiting for.....something...


 Exclaiming, "I got a stick!"

 My gorgeous, muddy baby.

 Daddy put on his shit-kickers and splashed around in the mud, too.

Post-Mud bath-time!

We did spend a good deal of the season running through the sprinkler. The heat made us not want to leave, yet leave at the same time; cooler air conditioning in the car and other buildings, but still have to spend a certain amount of time in the heat. Wow, I've become quite the complainer in my almost-old age.

But we still needed things, and staying in the house too long isn't good for any body (except maybe people who want to improve their marriage without talking about it).

 Jacob needed new shoes so here they are! Yes, those are built-in toes. Totally kidding. They weren't the right size.

 Zoey did get a new book, though; Dora the Explorer Scavenger Hunt. And she's amazing at it too. I'm amazed at how many objects, shapes, and colors she's aware of. She's getting very good at stringing words together to make sentences, and having a back-and-forth conversation.

Playing Peek-A-Boo with her new book.

 I didn't get a new pair of shoes (pretty sure there is a snowball in Hell right now), and neither did Zoey (at least that weren't graciously donated to her), but she likes to parade around in Mommy's. She already has them mastered and is able to tool around sans hand-holding. Video coming soon, I swear.

Looks like they're headed for a night on the town. Aint no better way to do that than in red heels!

 My babies with their Suits.

 Coloring and/or eating while watching Mickey Mouse Number Round-Up. Yup, dogs know where to hang-out during food-time (which is pretty much all the time).

 Pooped babies.

 A lot of the time we're home, especially in the morning and after nap, Zoey wants to snuggle in "Mommy bed," and watch "Boo Clue, (Blues Clues) or Dora the Explorer. It's just too cute, and if she asks nicely, of course we can't refuse. We try to keep it to an hour at most, though.

 Smacked my head in the door-frame (yes, I do that. I also stub my toe while sitting, and fall out of my chair trying to stand up), Jacob ran and got from the freezer what he knew would make it all better: frozen pina colada. 

 My boss has a 7-year old son, who is the cutest kid ever and is Zoey's BBF, gave Zoey these shoes. It's hard to tell from the picture but they're rubber green clogs with frog eyes over the toes. She LOVES them. She gets mad because they're just a schmidge too big so she can't walk and run as easily as in her other shoes.

 We spent a good amount of time outside, especially thanks to the bench her grandparents got her. She loves to point out the "choo-choo," and animals.

WTF, dogs?! Since we spent so much time outside, I had to keep up on keeping the backyard dog-poop-free. I guess the dogs showed me how they felt about that. This was just after I cleaned, too.

We have another couple of weeks of temperatures in the high-80's, low-90's, so these really are the dog days of summer; whatever that means. And I've heard this winter, El Nino, La Nina, El Polo Loco, whatever, will have an affect and it will be a balmy winter. We're just looking forward to the temperatures dropping another 10 degrees, as I'm sure is most of the country. Makes you think Al and Peg Bundy were really on to something.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Family A-Fair

I never went to a state fair growing up - at least that I can recall at this moment - but somehow I've managed to go to the Montana Fair every year since moving here (that's 3). It's right in town, so that makes it easy, and it's just the right size to get a good fair experience and not be completely overwhelming (or your bank account completely emptied).

My first year, my mom and I went to the Kelly Clarkson concert; then mom, Zoey, and I went last year, so this year it was Jacob, Zoey, and I. We made a family morning of it. We had breakfast, got ready, and got there just a little after 11am, which was perfect. Some things were open, but not everything; and the weather hadn't gotten too hot, yet. Also, there weren't very many people, and that's always a plus.

 First stop: got Zoey a hat that says, "Angel." And she really was. (Actually, the first stop was Jacob getting some much-needed Calvin and Hobbs stickers for the cars).

 Watching Daddy pop some balloons with darts in the name of stuffed animals.

 Super excited for the Pick-A-Ducky game, where every duck is a winner!!

She won a stuffed lobster that she now insists on putting above her head in bed.

 Daddy playing another balloon 'n dart game.

 Yelling, "YAY, DADDY!!" after he popped all 4 balloons in a row and won her the as-requested stuffed frog.

 The frog she decided to carry around at least until we got to the next activity.

Zoey's first fair ride. She was under the height requirement but was able to go on the rides if I went with her. Such a dunce, I have no idea why I didn't choose to sit on the same side as her. Afraid I'd throw off the balance? Probably just an awful mother.

 It started out by going 'round and 'round, then up and down. She was having fun - even saying, "this is fun!" - until it started going up and down.

 Then she hung on for dear life and was not a fan.

She didn't cry, just was very uncomfortable, and unsure of what was happening. I should have paid attention to the direction it went and made sure she would have been traveling in the forward-direction.

 When the ride started to even back out, then she said, "now it's fun!"

Feeling like Mother-of-the-Year, let me tell you.

 We decided another ride would be adequate to round out our fair experience and decided on the Merry-Go-Round. Zoey needed little convincing.

 Excited to get things going.

 OMG, she had a freakin' BLAST! Every time we went around she'd start yelling, "LOOK AT ME, DADDY, LOOK AT ME! I RIDING HORSEY!" Then she'd giggle like crazy and say, "this is a fun one!"

 Down in the left-hand corner you can see how much fun we're having.

When the ride ended, and we were down to our last $20 bill, we headed for the free petting zoo.

 Checking out the 5-week old piggies.

 Now the goats.

 Trying to feed the goats.

 Daddy and Zoey.

I had my heart set on getting a Funnel Cake. I shared one with some work gals when we did Lunch Bunch at the Fair the previous afternoon and man was I jonesin' for it. What I ultimately picked, though, was the strawberry kabob. If you've ever had a strawberry dipped in chocolate, they are absolutely impossible to refuse. Jacob joked that of all the crappy fair food, I chose probably the most healthy item.

Zoey was thoroughly pleased as well, I couldn't keep it away from her.

By then, we had gotten the full fair experience; we played games, rode some rides, ate crappy food (oh, and Jacob got an old-fashioned Orange Creme Soda), and it was passed nap-time so we figured we'd better head home. We were there for only 2 hours but it felt like an entire day. Not even home 10 minutes and Zoey was zonked out.

It was a good day and we had fun, but we're glad it's only a once-a-year thing. As Jacob said, "I've spent $100 faster, but I don't think I've gotten less."