Wednesday, August 29, 2012

State Fair...and we are READY!

Of course, here we are, end of the summer and HAD to get those last few things off the to-do list for the summer.  Well, it's not like you could do the State Fair during any other part of the year.  So last Friday, we went to the State Fair.  Russ was able to come with us this time, and we got to stay for a fair amount of time (pun intended).  I think I need to get a bit more familiar with where our favorite spots are before I go next time, because I didn't plan it all out very well. 

We did the animal barns as well as grabbed milkshakes outside the cow barn.  First thing into the fair, Gwen was hungry (at 10am) and decided on....a hot dog.  Trevor then wanted one too.  So at least we started out without the kids being hungry.  We got them through until the milkshakes.  After the milkshakes, we went on to the jumping trampolines.  That has been an annual event.  I don't know if it was because we had been to Valleyfair earlier in the week or not, but there was only one ride that the kids wanted to go on, and it was in the Kidway, so we didn't even buy tickets for it. 

Russ and the kids went on two rides of the Giant Slide, where Trevor was a little frustrated that he didn't go as fast as Gwen and Russ in their race, but it was a good lesson in what develops speed in a slide.  So from there, we went by the agriculture building which was right near the Skyride.  We took a round-trip ride before Russ had to head back home.  After the ride, we went to the food building to grab some cheese curds.  The kids enjoyed the fair cheese curds.  At this point, it was afternoon and getting REALLY hot in the sun.  There was enough shade where we went to stay cool and I knew we had to go over to the Twins tent.  Unfortunately, there wasn't any shade there.  Gwen wanted to do the jumping house and Trevor saw they were doing a home run contest with an inflatable fence.  I think the height was 7ft tall.  The distance was maybe 25 feet from where the kids were hitting the ball.  They had pretend bases and the pitcher was one of the workers.  They had wiffle balls and thin plastic bats.  I knew Trevor was pumped.  He had 4 chances, and as he was up the 4th time, Gwen was melting down....literally and emotionally.  I was able to watch him bat, and the first 2 times he hit well enough to get on base but not over the fence.  One time, he popped out to first base.  Finally, luckily his last time, he hit one over the fence.  Obviously he knew this really meant nothing as there was no prize, the event cost no money to enter, but the grin on his face was priceless.  This boy loves baseball. 

After the Twins area, it was time to head back to the other side of the fair, where our car was parked.  So we walked, being in the shade as much as possible.  We were home by 3, able to rest and cool down.

So on to this (Wednesday) was the day that I made sure to get our school-related to-dos done.  I double-checked the supply list and we are set.  Both kids needed haircuts.  Both kids needed a first-day-of-school outfit.  And if we had time, I needed a few things at Target.  So when I told Trevor the list of things we needed to do, I knew he wasn't going to be super keen on shopping for clothes (yep, he's my son).  But I knew I would be able to at least let him take care of the items he needed to get if I gave him a list and a size.  I was right.  So I hung around with Gwen and let her roam to see what she wanted to get. 

I heard Trevor ask the salesperson if they had Ninjago t-shirts and she was a bit puzzled.  I knew they didn't.  The shirt that he did pick out I think was a result of being forced to pick one.  He tried it on, and it was too big for him.  So we put it back and I told him we would check out Target.  He wasn't really thrilled with that idea, but when I told him we had other things to pick up anyway, he was ok with it.  Gwen found a nice shirt and skirt so we were off. 

We went into Target and split off again.  I told him to look for his t-shirt and Gwen and I went to the shoes.  Gwen's biggest thing lately is that she is proud to say she has changed her first favorite color from pink to purple.  So now clothes and in this case shoes, she is on the lookout for anything purple.  And we found some purple shoes.  That's done.  Moving back to where Trevor was, he had found a t-shirt but I didn't recognize the character on the front.  I directed him to the character t-shirts and wow...there was a Ninjago shirt.  Only his size left so it worked out perfectly.  He will feel all cool and excited for anyone to ask him about his shirt and Gwen will look pretty in her new clothes.  Mission accomplished.  Went over and got haircuts for the kids, lunch, and we are done.  Everything is set.  We have a pool gathering tomorrow, dropping off the school supplies, and to the cabin for the weekend!  That will be all that's left of the summer vacation!  This mom is glad school is coming....the kids and I need our schedule back! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 Mall of America...except outdoors

Seeing as how the kids have never been before, I tried to explain it to them, but it just didn't work.  They kept trying to figure it out..thinking with "fair" in the name, it was like the County Fair they went to a few weeks ago.  Sort of...but not really.  They had just been to the Mall of America Nickelodeon Universe a few weeks ago...sort of like that...but bigger...and outdoors....but not really either.  Valleyfair has a water park in it and rides that really get you wet. 

We have seen it as we have driven into Shakopee, but just some outlines of rollercoasters, and I don't even know for sure that Gwen would know what she was looking at.  So we went, all packed and ready before the park even opened that day.  They had just changed to a later opening time that week of 10am.  So we heard the fanfare and musical opening ceremony that they do.  Not exactly worth coming out to see, but bringing Brian, and how far I remember having to drive to get out there when that was where we lived, it was just ODD. 

I cannot remember the exact year that I had been there last...but I know I had ridden on Wild Thing roller coaster.  Since then, they had gotten Renegade and Steel Venom.  I believe that puts their total to 6.  We walked through from the front and worked our way around.  We hit the old time cars since that was right at the entrance...looked at the Wave for a bit because that can be interesting to kids.  Gwen got a big splash right where she was standing and she wasn't very happy about that.  But at least the kids had their swim gear on so it would dry quick. 

We tried to convince Trevor to go on the Corkscrew roller coaster first since it was the first one we came across, but he couldn't do it.  So we went on the ferris wheel instead.  That way we could see the whole park and tell which roller coasters were the highest.  At that point, he was willing to go on High Roller.  Gwen and I hung out in the Camp Snoopy part of the took over for the Berenstein Bears park.  There were a few nice rides for her and I could see when the boys came around on the coaster.  Trevor said it was awesome.  Unfortunately, a few minutes later, Brian found out he lost his phone.  I thought FOR SURE that meant it flew out of his pocket and was gone forever.  He went back to the ride and they said that they found it and just returned it to the front gate area lost and found.  Thank goodness! 

Brian headed up to the front and we rounded the park to the Mouse roller coaster.  I thought Gwen could pass for 44 inches, but we got to the front and they said no go.  She had a bit of a fit and Trevor decided to go on it anyway.  So we kept walking and at that point I remembered Thunder Canyon....oh it had been forever.  Unfortunately, it was another ride that Gwen couldn't go on, so I braved it with Trevor.  The sun had started to go behind clouds and rain was off in the distance, so I knew we had to get it done soon.  Of course I had to sit in the wettest part of the ride.  Didn't help that there was an added bonus of people could pay 25 cents to squirt water out of a shooter at the riders.  I got a good chunk of that one too...since it was Gwen and Brian aiming right at us.

Before coming over to Thunder Canyon, we were going to try Wild Thing, but Trevor couldn't do it.  After Thunder Canyon, since we were right by Excalibur, I told him it was his only chance...he couldn't say later.  So he did it.  I think he gets so amped up and nervous right before the ride, it is hard to enjoy it until it is over.  But he did it, without complaint...said it was a little bumpy, which was why I didn't care to go on it. 

We went back to the sports bar place to eat and sat down for a good chunk of time when the radar started to look iffy.  But we still got out and rode on one last ride called wheel of fortune before we noticed all the rides were shut down due to lightning.  So we took off for a playland type place over by camp snoopy.  I thought we might head out, but the weather didn't ever really get that bad.  Plus I knew it was going to lighten up again and they were going to re-open the rides.  We moved over to the arcade for a change of pace and when we saw the rides starting up again, Trevor REALLY wanted to go on the High Roller again.  So he did..and Gwen went on a few of her favorite Snoopy Rides.  This is primarily where the Snoopy character would hang out so Gwen got quite a few Snoopy hugs which I know made her day. 

So after Trevor's coaster, I REALLY wanted to get on Renegade before we left.  We walked over and Trevor and I rode on it first.  It wasn't really what I was expecting.  But Trevor liked it and immediately went on it again with Brian.  After that is when he started going on the water tube/slide ride.  At this point in the day, I knew we were not going to make it to the water park, because of how late it was and how cold it was for me.  Poor Brian got soaked.  But I think he enjoyed it too....

So by this time Trevor agreed to try the corkscrew again...because the drop on that one is way lower than Excalibur was...and I told him it was very smooth.  Yep...he did it and loved it.  So that made 4 out of the 6.  We made it back to the entrance area, and then the boys had to go on the Wave ride.  Crazy kids....if they weren't wet before, they were drenched now.  And they have this "family drier" where you pay $5 for 3 minutes of drying.  Um what?  Trevor thought if he got wet enough I would buy that.  Nope.  Here's your towel.  Let's go on the Enterprise to dry you off.  So we did.

Gwen really wanted to get her face painted, but I said no because we were going to go mini golfing.  But when we went to the park, it was closed for the season.  Brian got to try out Steel Venom (no thanks for me...and Trevor also said no) and then the boys rode on the go karts.  So I took Gwen to get her face painted. 

We got a quick dinner before leaving the park "officially" less than 30 minutes from closing.  That. is. insane.  Who does that?  I'm pretty sure Brian wasn't expecting that sort of day.  I wonder if he'll come back to do it again some other time.  Until then though...Gwen needs to grow another inch and Trevor needs to get just a little more guts to go on those two other coasters he has a slight fear of.  But for now, it is another check off of the to-do list this summer.  Only 12 more days of summer vacation!  But who's counting ;-) 

Monday, August 13, 2012

A new thing for Trevor

I read a few weeks ago about a friend that had gotten her daughter an email account.  So I looked into it, asked both Trevor and Russ what they thought of it, and they both thought it would be great.  Trevor now has email, but I have the ability to control it.  I set settings such as who he can send email to, who he can receive email from, censoring settings, and if I want the first look, I can.  The provider costs $12 a year so it is pretty do-able. 

As of now, just shoot me an email if you would like to be put on T's contact list.  I'm sure he would love to send emails to all of you.  We'll tell you how he likes it in a few weeks.

School opened for me to get all the PTA bills and mail from the summer today.  I guess I should get that stuff together to start the school year.  So I'm busy again. 

We had an awesome weekend with a visit from my cousin and her two daughters.  I feel bad that we can't do that more often if we had lived closer.  But at least we don't have to go so long between visits since we both get to the cabin during the summer as often as possible. 

Until next time.....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Finally seems like we have a few minutes

Although every week Trevor could go to the parks, and next week is the last week of the session, I've decided to have him around because he has an afternoon hockey practice all week.  Things are finally coming together...and yes it took all summer to get this organized.  We are scheduled to go back to school shopping tomorrow, and if all goes well we will see the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie at an early (cheap) showing. 

Today I took Gwen in to get her shots updated so that she could enter Kindergarten in September.  I told her late last week that today would be the day, and while she seemed to be a bit fixated on it and mentioned it at least once a day, she did pretty good.  I remember when Trevor had to get them, I had to physically hold him down and one other nurse had to come in to also hold him down because of the fight he put up.  Gwen reminded me a lot of myself.  She braced herself, and looked away.  She cried, and was out of sorts, but she recovered well.  She doesn't like to remember it and gets sad if she even thinks that she will ever have to do it again.  Even though we have told her it is another 7-8 years off. 

I also registered her for her dance class next year.  I've started Trevor thinking about all his activities for next year....chess, swimming, piano, and yes he already wants to know more about baseball.  He was willing to forgo summer camps next year until I explained that it doesn't take any more time during the day, they are all evening and weekend games or practices.  I think he was a bit surprised by that. 

New for this school year, our church is offering Wednesday evening religion classes.  It is pretty neat that most activities don't meet on Wednesdays because of the assumption that so many churches do hold religion classes for kids.  Our elementary school also doesn't want parent meetings during that time either for that reason. 

So starting to switch gears while still having enough days in the summer to plan to get a few more things checked off the list of summer activities is what we have in store.  27 more days!  I think we'll be ready when it comes.  And very excited!