Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ren Fair

I haven't been to a renaissance fair since high school, so when a lady in our ward offered free tickets, I eagerly accepted.  I spent so much time in what I feel like can be described as literally hauling the kids around, that I only took 3 pictures.  That's it.  Three.  I apologize for this one being sideways, but this is the fire whip guy; by far the most awesome attraction at the fair.  Or faire.

I like that I didn't take a picture of any of his tricks: the one where he used a huge bullwhip to whip roses out of a lady's mouth, the one where he did two whips at once upside-down and backwards, or the one (as his name suggests) where he LIT HIS WHIP ON FIRE and used it to whip things OFF HIS OWN HEAD.

No, I took a picture of when he was doing a silly crowd-working thing by making a phone call on some guy's phone.

It could be that I was too in awe of his whipping prowess to take any pictures but probably it was the children.  It's always the children.

These are the other two pictures I took.  It was pretty hot, like 90 degrees, and I felt bad for this guy dressed up as a tree, so we paid a dollar to take a picture with him.  Ethan and Nora were completely freaked out by him, and you can see Lillian is not so sure.

Other activities we enjoyed were: seeing acrobats, watching a glass blowing demonstration, eating a turkey leg, Tyler threw some axes, there was a merry-go-round, and a falconry show.  I wanted to get my hair done in a fancy braid but they wanted $25, so I passed.  We'll have to go back one day when our kids are older so we can watch all the other performers with their Elizabethan humor and puns.  I do love a good pun.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tucson Book Vegetable

I have this feeling that I'm not living as much life as I used to, on average.  Probably this is because I've spent 80.95% of the last 7 years and 4 months being either pregnant or nursing a child under 1.  Also, I finished my degree.  And worked.  But I feel like I haven't done anything else.  We used to be fun and do fun things, we used to have people over.

I'm turning 30 this year, and Tyler asked me what I wanted.  I tried to remember what I did for his 30th and I couldn't remember.  Oh, that's right, I had just started working 2 weeks before and I had 3 weeks left of school so I had no mental energy left to spend on planning anything.

See? Boring.

So, the past few weeks, since I've been feeling a little better, I've been trying to ramp up the interesting factor around here.

Fun-Slump Amanda never went to the Tucson Festival of Books.  It's a huge deal on the U of A campus.  I pictured something overcrowded that my kids wouldn't be interested in and it was often times hot and I didn't want to drag myself all the way into town to have my kids cry and try to run away and freak out while I was trying to look at things and listen to people.  Plus people always complain about how you have to park really far away.

New Amanda is up more up for fun... within reason.  We had to go up to town anyway, so we went and checked it out.

Nora couldn't say "festival" so she called it the "Book Vegetable" which was funnier.

Ethan is always up for hugging people in costumes.

Nora, not so much.

Also... there was a CIRCUS!  They were all characters from The Wizard of Oz.  Here are the two witches doing a double trapeze act.

Nora's favorite part was when the lion, the scarecrow, and one of the flying monkeys started dancing to Gangnam Style.

Near the end, they pulled Tyler out of the crowd to do... nothing.  He stood there for a little bit, and then they sent him back to his seat.  Haaaaawkward.  We didn't stay for too long because we got there late in the afternoon.  Also, we didn't go to any of the approximately 5,000 lectures.  But I did see a real whale brain on display, and that was cool.

I think I might have gone a little overboard on this new more life-y life.  We have secured a babysitter for the next TWO weekends and then I'm going out by myself the weekend after that.  When am I going to have time to knit and watch back episodes of Star Trek: TNG?  They're not going to just watch themselves.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Fast and Slow

Now that I'm spending a lot more time with my kids, I am more aware of what I say to them.  I find that I am giving my kids two different messages all the time, and that might be confusing for them.

All the time, I'm telling them to move faster.  I'm constantly emphasizing that we're going to be late if they don't get their shoes on and get in the car, their cereal will get soggy if they don't put down the ponies and get over here, I am always trying to figure out ways to get Lillian to read more smoothly so she can make 80 WPM and pass off her stupid reading assignments (she has these dumb paragraphs that she has to read over and over and over again until she can read them in a minute or less... we've read the current one every day for two weeks), or pushing her to be able to do her timed math wherein she is supposed to do 72 simple addition and subtraction problems in 10 minutes.  She can do about 20; it takes her about 40-45 minutes to do all 72.

And then sometimes in the same breath, I tell them to slow down.  Be patient, wait, I know it's boring, take your time and do a good job.  Lillian has very sloppy handwriting and Tyler and I harp on her about it ALL THE TIME.  I\We make her erase and re-do, do practice worksheets like the kind you do in kindergarten, and emphasize that she has to think about what she's doing before she does it.  The kids complain that their chores take too long or that it's boring when we go to the park with just a soccer ball and no organized games or activities, or when we have to wait at an appointment or a restaurant and I didn't bring the iPad or any books or toys.

I was thinking about this on our a hike we took recently.  All three kids were walking and there was much emphasis on hurrying up, putting down the rocks, stop touching the grass, catch up, OK I'm leaving without you, and that sort of thing.  The kids kept telling me that they were bored; they wondered when we were going to "get there," and I told them that there was no "there."  I told them that the point was to be out in nature and to get some exercise.  Speed up and slow down at the same time.

I worry that they can't keep up with life, that they won't be fast enough; but then at the same time, I worry that they won't know how to slow down and do "boring" things like wait, study, practice, and enjoy nature.

I suspect that this is why parents make their kids play sports.  It has elements of both things- you need to think fast to keep up with game play, but at the same time, you have to do boring drills and go to practice over and over again.  So, although I have no idea how soccer is going to fit in our schedule, I plan on signing Lillian up for the spring season.
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