Weird day at the airport

by beagoodmom on September 2, 2014

I’m typing on my phone so forgive any errors,   I just felt this day needed to be blogged.

First,  Southwest oversold my flight.  Fine.  I volunteered for the bump.  Flying 5-7 hours later but would get $595 in travel voucher.   Plus my biz meeting in Newark isn’t until tomorrow.   Good way to double down at make some extra money while flying on biz (employer would let me keep voucher).  But then they un-bump me!  So disappointed!  You know how quickly I can mentally spend money.

Then I board plane.  Lady in front of me has large carry on.   They say no more room.  Must check it.  She says ok but she must get some important things out first.  She then proceeds to unpack some machine and about 200 individually wrapped (wholesale?) Hair extensions.  I don’t know anything about hair extensions but apparently these were too valuable to be put in the belly of the plane.  She left another giant pile of fake hair (retail ready with cardboard display tags like what they sell at Sally Beauty) in the bag that got checked.  So that must have been the  cheap  stuff.  But still….that was an entire carry on of hair.   Nothing else in the bag.

Finally,  walking from gate to baggage claim I see a family I “know”.  They must fly Chicago-Newark as much as I do.  I remember sitting next to the 4 year old boy on a flight over a year ago….he fell asleep after organizing a deck of UNO cards.  I remember the Mom…….because she was reading 50 Shades of Gray right next to me.  You tend to remember sharing an armrest with a person reading 50 Shades of Gray in public.

Anyway, done at airport for today.  My life should quiet down now.

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County Fair 2014

by beagoodmom on September 1, 2014

Ok.  really quick post because its getting late and I am flying to New Jersey in the morning.  But I since I will be gone all week, I wanted to write a bit about the County Fair.  Today is Labor Day, so you know what that means….we went to the County Fair just like we do every year!

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Pardon the randomness of the content, but I had some trouble uploading these pictures and now its even later than it was when I started!

The kids made homemade rope again this year, its always a favorite.  If past years are any indicator, they will be using these ropes to tie and drag things behind their bicycles for the next 8 months.  On a related note, I still like the smell of baler twine.  Reminds me of Summer trips to Farm and Fleet with Mom and Dad when I was a kid.  I bought 3 raffle tickets from these old timers.  1 ticket to win an applique quilt that I actually find quite ugly (but it was for their old-timers steam show group) and 2 tickets to win a 1948 Allis Chalmers Model B tractor, fully restored.  I don’t really want to win that either, but I figure it will make a good story if I win it.  Plus, I hear you can sell anything on eBay.

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Pookie has been reading “Its Not Easy Being A Bunny” by Marilyn Sadler lately(although he insists it was written by PD Eastman).  He was mildly obsessed (only in this building) with seeing if any of these rabbits were named PJ FunnyBunny.  We didn’t find any such rabbits, but he liked petting this one.

Pookie is always an interesting case at events like these.   He either looks completely disgusted and angry to be there or he is stimming/flipping like crazy.   We blame it mostly on the heat, he is not really an outdoorsy guy; he has been that way since he was a baby and used to turn beet red and sweat like a construction worker when he’d been outside for only a few minutes.  So, its nice to have a smiley picture like this one.

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Giggles and I tried to take a few animal selfies but found that its harder than it looks.  First, the aisles are narrow and if you get too close to the cages on either side you are likely to get pecked/nibbled.  Second, people don’t think chicken selfies are funny and don’t like you blocking the aisles.  Finally, chickens (and ducks and turkeys) rarely look at the camera when asked.  But, this was one of our better ones.

We missed the cow and sheep barns entirely this year!  I blame it on the fact that we deviated from our usual traffic pattern upon entering the fairgrounds.  From then on, I was totally messed up and we missed a few of the usual things.  Funny thing is, I can’t even remember why we deviated from the usual path, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.   I think we were scared of the pending rain (which held off until 6:30pm!) and were trying to go too fast.  I even missed taking the annual “picture of the kids in a giant tractor tire” photo.

One thing that I don’t have a picture of (but I do have a longer video of) is that Geetle got to go on stage during the kids magic/puppet show!  The entertainer showed her how to use his sidekick goose puppet and she got to do a few seconds of the act.  It was cute and I know she enjoyed it.  The show had an agricultural theme, lots of “corny” jokes that were “udderly” goofy.  (harhar…see what I did there?)

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Speaking of fair highlights, later on in the goat barn Giggles was almost eaten by a goat….but it was a clear cut case of entrapment.  I have several other pictures of her casually putting her head next to the goat’s face and waiting.  This goat took the bait and nibbled for a good while.  Giggles was thrilled.  Funny City Girl…she is so used to washing her hands after we leave the barns that she asked me where she might go wash her hair.  I told her we would take care of it tonight before bed.  She was OK with that, but I think she honestly would have washed her hair in the fairgrounds bathroom sink and been fine with it if I had made her.  And then she would have been right back trying to entrap another poor goat.   Somethings in life are just worth the consequences.

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We bought the $25 all-u-can-ride wristbands again this year.  That ended up being 13 rides per kid before we had to head home for bed/school tomorrow.  So, at 3-4 tickets per ride and $1.50 per ticket, I think we got our money’s worth.  The lines were short, partly because its the last day of the Fair and partly because there was a threat of rain all day.  The kids got off some rides and got right back in line to go again.  This green spinner was a favorite of the girls, they did it three times.  Pookie refused to do it even once.  He rode other rides that were fast and spinny….but he just doesn’t trust the physics involved with this one apparently.  He flat-out refused.   If you can zoom in and see Geetle on the far left side of the wheel in her gray t-shirt and turquoise gym shoes, you will see that she has an incredible look of glee on her face.  This was her favorite ride of the day.  And when I zoomed in to find her, this was my favorite face of the day.

On a related note, my other favorite thing was the times I caught Geetle resting her hands on Giggles’ shoulders as they waited in line. Or when they all got off of a ride and I saw her gather up Giggles and Pookie and protectively herd them over to where BAGD and I were waiting.

Giggles is 46 inches tall as of today.  Many of the rides she wanted to do required you to be 48 inches tall.  She is eagerly anticipating next year and assumes that she will grow at least 2 inches in that time.   I don’t think the 2 inches held her back much this year, there were only a few that she couldn’t do and they were really “grown-up.”  I was a little worried about her on this green spinner but BAGD got all “Dr. Science” on me and told me “its simple physics, acceleration and gravity.  She is not going to fall out.”  Our only ride-related disaster occurred when we were waiting for “Convoy,” which is a simple truck on a track ride.  Just before our turn, the operator said he had to close it down due to a mechanical issue.  That kind of news is always hard for Pookie; especially when he is in the front of the line.  We ushered him over to the VERY SIMILAR “Race-A-Way” ride which is basically the same thing but with race cars.  He liked it, but had a hard time letting the idea of that truck ride go.

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Bought some books at the Friends of the Library book sale, ate corn dogs and sno-cones, bought raffle tickets on 4 different quilts (and one tractor!), weighed ourselves on the cattle scale, played skeeball, sat on tractors, looked at the arts and crafts displays, got a lot of free balloons and pencils, saw the 16 foot tall sunflower and the 440 pound pumpkin.  Full Day.

Oh…and we saw this ATM in a port-a-potty.  Baby Belaina and Giggles thought it was funny, but not as funny as Aunt Kel who thought I was hilarious when I called it a “port-a-coin”.  Not even my best joke of the day, but she loved it.   She’s an easy mark.

All in all, another great fair.  We tried the famous cinnamon rolls for the first time this year.  The line is usually so long that we refuse to even consider it.  But this year the cinnamon wagon was scheduled to close and leave at 1pm.  We happened to walk by at 12:59 in that awkward close up/clean up window and they sold us one regular and one pecan.   Both were good; pecan was best.  But not worth standing in line for 45 minutes for next year.  But now we can say we tried it.

We always check the attendance board when we visit each year, something Papa started us doing when we used to come when I was a kid.   I am always shocked to see that the numbers are going down overtime.  About 130,000 people attended last year, but it was in the 170,000′s in the 1990′s.  But this County Fair is held in a town of 10,000 residents!  Its a County Fair…in a county of 100,000 residents!   That means pretty much the entire county is coming.  So, even if the numbers are going down, its still something to be proud of.  Its been around for almost 150 years and I think its great family fun (although I wish everything was cheaper).  I look forward to it every year and I love knowing that my kids already have multiple individual memories of the times we have gone.   We have not missed one since BAGD and I have been married (well….maybe 1999, the year we moved back home from GA….I can’t remember that one) and I hope we can continue to go for many more.

 

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I went to 6th grade curriculum night in Geetle’s classroom on Wednesday.  The kids stayed home with KB.  I wore an ordinary fuchsia tank top and an embroidered fit n’ flare skirt that I have had for about 8 years.  I saw a few 6th graders who probably know me because “I am always around,” as Geetle puts it.

The next day Geetle told me that one of the 6th grade girls asked her how old I was.  Geetle told her I was going to be 40 next week.  The girl said that was a shocker because I looked like I was in my 20′s.

I smiled and told Geetle that was a nice compliment to give a woman and that I appreciated it.  Geetle was happy to have been the compliment delivery person and smiled back.

So, if 6th grade girls are any expert, I look young beyond my years!

I went to Giggles’ curriculum night on Thursday dressed in rolled up jeans and my “This my Lucky Shirt” T-shirt.  When I met Geetle after the visit she smirked at me and said “so…anyone tell you that you looked 20 tonite?!”  I didn’t say it, but I was thinking “No, the competition in 1st grade is a lot tighter.  Its not as hard to be a cute 1st grade Mom.  By 6th grade, most of us are really showing our wear and tear!”

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The Irony

by beagoodmom on August 29, 2014

Its a great irony.  I need help around the house.  I cannot manage all by myself.  Plus, its good for kids to do chores, right?  I would be doing them a disservice if let them coast through life with no responsibilities, right?  So, I give them chores.  And having them “help” me should reduce my workload and stress, right?  Win-Win.

No.  Absolutely the hell not. 

I have to make chore charts.

I have to ask them every day….”did you do your chores?” 

I have to make things “fair.”  Have you ever tried to make a fair chore chart for a typically developing 11 year old, a 6 year old and another 11 year old with Autism?  It can’t be done. 

I have to orchestrate things to that they can do their chores at all.  I have to manage the family calendar so that they have a window of opportunity to do them. 

I have to make sure the supplies are distinct, stored in the same place and available. 

I have to “teach” them how to do each chore a dozen times while they do their best show me how they cannot possibly learn this new thing.

I have to check their work.   Even with consciously lowered expectations this never goes well.

I have to manage expectations and consequences.   I have to enforce the consequences and feel bad that I did so.   And the chore team members are so different that its nearly impossible for me to do this fairly.  Pookie does fine on jobs he understands, but he still has to be reminded and guided.  And if he fails, taking away his allowance makes no sense to him.  He barely understands money at all; he certainly does not understand how his allowance is tied to whether or not he unloaded the dishwasher when I reminded him to.   I don’t actually blame him when he fails to do his chores, but  when the girls are looking I have to pretend that I do because we have an established family message of “Pookie is capable of everything we teach him how to do.”   I can’t undermine that.  One more thing to orchestrate. 

And most frustrating of all…I have to watch them complain, drag their feet, grimace, and half-ass the jobs on purpose. 

Why?  Where’s the benfit for me?  Why don’t I just do it all myself?

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Change the Channel

August 28, 2014

There’s a commercial on TV.  It’s a Public Service Announcement I guess.   I think its an anti-bullying message, I don’t really know.  I never make it past the first 3 seconds when the awkward boy on the bus gets hit in the back by some kid sitting in the seat behind him.  I never make […]

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Public Service Messages- begin with the beginning

August 27, 2014

Giggles:  Mom, what is “tahb-bah-co”? BAGM:  Tobacco?  Giggles:  Yes, tobacco! BAGM:  Its what cigarettes are made of. Giggles:  Oh.  I needed to know.  I am supposed to stay away from tobacco but I will need to know what it is first.   I already know about cigarettes, but no one told me about tobacco!

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First Day of School 2014

August 18, 2014

This is a big year for the BeAGoodFamily!  The twins are in 6th grade (last year of elementary school) and Giggles is in 1st grade.  Its our one and only year where they all ride the same bus, to the same place and stay the same amount of time!   I sent them off this […]

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Oh (inadvertent) Snap!

August 18, 2014

At the dinner table tonight: Geetle:  This year lunch will be great.  The 6th graders get to do lunch alone. BAGM:  How is that different than last year? Geetle:  Last year we were on the playground at the same time as the 2nd graders.  They kept ruining our games. Giggles:  Why?  Because they were faster […]

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Behavior and Consequences

August 18, 2014

Ok, so here’s a story about this boy.  The other day he got in trouble.  It would be hard to explain what he got in trouble for, it was just an escalation of many things that happened on a bad night. I told him that if he didn’t behave I would take away one of […]

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Tonight was one of those nights

August 14, 2014

One of those nights where if you asked me if I loved Pookie I would pause, take a deep breath and say “of course I do” with an air of serenity that belies my actual stress level.  The pause would be just a fraction of a second too long and you would almost start to […]

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