Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Castle in Muskogee: Renaissance Faire 2014

I love the Ren Faire so much. I wish real life were like a Ren Faire all the time.
and that this was how we solved all our disputes, complete with fake death and magical monarch-ordained resurrection at the end.

I think my favorite part is how people dress up and create this fantasy world that we all kind of wish were true but don't want to admit it in the drab light of day, only behind the Castle walls nobody is in the least bit embarrassed about it. 
Yes, ladies, I'm talking about you.

And you, too, dearest friend from earliest childhood memories. Except I've known you too long to think you wouldn't wear those in public if you felt like it, so maybe you're a bad example.

Also, the Doctor.

This little girl, on the other hand, has not yet learned to be embarrassed about being a princess, thank goodness.

My oldest friend from before either of us could toddle or pee in the toilet came to join in the festivities, and I introduced her to the magical Castle of Muskogee. I hadn't seen her in years. Probably 10 of them. And the last time I saw her we were chased by evil geese, which is another story altogether.

I didn't get a picture of the two of us together because I fail as a friend, but Heidi was quite taken with her and gave me lots of photo-ops. In fact, Heidi is looking over my shoulder right now and saying, "That's Dylan!"

Heidi got to go on the Queen's Quest and find the ribbons that were hidden all over the Castle this year. Last year she wouldn't curtsy, and that is the requirement to go on the quest, so this year we practiced our curtsy so that she would be a pro at it. She got to meet the Queen and was made a lady, and we were given a royal command to call her Lady Heidi for the rest of the day.

There were many adventures all day, and if the repeated chorus of "Princess Castle, please!" ever since is anything to judge by, I'm not the only one who wishes real life were more like this.

Dylan, I'm going to conscript you as my child photography assistant to make funny faces behind my back all the time.

This dear childhood friend of mine hadn't been in my house 30 minutes before she taught my kids to touch their noses and say "phbbbbbbbbbbt!" which hasn't stopped being hilarious to them since.

My babies want a hobbit house, oh, so much. 

In short, in the stories about people being whisked away to Fairyland, if it is anything like a Ren Faire, I can see why those people stay there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Heidi ran up to me, face full of joy and sparkly colorful raccoon eyes. "Momma, look! Momma, look!"

I looked. I breathed in, halfway. I stopped. I swallowed. I breathed in the rest of the way. I closed my eyes. I forced a smile onto my face. I said, "Did you make yourself beautiful?"

"Yes, I did! I'm so beautiful!"

"You are such a beautiful little girl. Now let's go clean up the mess you made."

But upon inspecting the bathroom, all I could find was a single eyeliner on the sink. "Heidi, where is the rest of my makeup bag?"

"In the closet!"

And I'll be darned if it wasn't. There may have been powder and eye shadow all over the bathroom, but by golly, that makeup bag was put back away.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Catchin' up: Easter

Did you know Picasa made gifs? Because I didn't, but I shall henceforth upload all my rapid-capture shots and have it auto-gif them instead of just picking the best ones.

Anyway. Ahem. Kindly ignore how incredibly late I am at posting Easter pictures, and hang on for the next two posts too in which I will show off a) my beautiful family which you clearly have never seen before, showcased by my friend's excellent photographic skills and b) my friend's beautiful family, showcased by my rather more bumbling photographic attempts. In the meantime, here's Easter!

Also, thanks to Google's awesome and somewhat creepy software, here a gif demonstration of why you will probably never see a picture of my children in which they are all looking.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I went to the grocery store.

My poor dear husband isn't feeling well. In the midst of making dinner (I was trying to write some sort of web content about real estate sales despite the three children climbing on me), he looked over at me with sad, hopeless eyes and said, "Can you go to the store and get me ginger ale?" And I, because I will leap at any excuse to procrastinate on my work am an amazing and loving wife, immediately jumped up and grabbed the car keys. He asked me to get a few more things; I offered to take a kid or two with me; he said no, just go and get home fast because he needed his ginger ale STAT. So I walked out to the car, opened the driver's side door, sat down, buckled my seatbelt, closed the door, turned the ignition, shifted into reverse, and drove off.

Parents of small children will understand how amazing this was for me. Usually going anywhere involves finding clean pants for all the kids, running through the house in search of three times two shoes that make a total of three pairs of any sort, putting said pairs on two smaller kids, reassuring older kid that she has hers on the right feet (or telling her to take them off and switch them if she doesn't), taking baby out to the car, buckling her in, reassuring middle child that he's coming too and please stop screaming, grabbing oldest child and lifting her into the car nanoseconds before she gets outside-of-car dust all over her (hopefully) clean clothes, buckling oldest child in while cheerfully answering all her questions about where we are going (no, we're not going to MeMe's, baby, I'm sorry, no we're not going to the park this time, just the store, yes the STOOOOORE, and we're going to get milk yes and we're not going to get candy no, and no Daddy's not going this time because he's writing his book and Bubba's going and Baby's going and no we're not going to MeMe's afterwards we're just coming home and there you go you're buckled in now I'm going to go get Bubba yes I'm going to go get Bubba I love you too), going and finding middle child (around the side of the house picking dandelions), preparing to hurl remonstrances at him for wandering off, seeing him turn around with a huge grin and say "Mamma, frowers!", find self unable to yell in the face of the cuteness, scoop up middle child and put him in carseat, bang his head on the car on the way in, feel terrible, kiss head, apologize, buckle in middle child, get him the toy on the floor he's crying for, wipe tears, agree with him that he has frowers and that they're bootiful, tell oldest child that no she can't have any of Bubba's frowers, replace youngest child's shoe that has come off, put purse in passenger seat, climb into driver's seat, remember that I didn't bring sippy cups, debate going back inside for sippy cups or not, decide not, turn ignition, put car in reverse, and pull out of the driveway just as middle child says, "Mamma, I want a dwink!"

So anyway, I got into the car and drove off, unaccompanied by any whining whatsoever, and by the time I pulled into the Wally World parking lot there were basically angels singing. I put the car in park, turned off the ignition, unbuckled my seatbelt, opened the door, got out, closed the door, beeped the clicker, and walked into the store. Just like that. I was only one person, and if you've never had small children you have no clue how amazing it is to just be one person. I was invincible. Nothing could stop me. I was going to grown-up the s*** out of this shopping trip. There would be no trail of de-shelved grocery store goods in my wake. There would be no stream of threats about what was going to happen the next time anybody put a hand out of the cart and grabbed anything. There would be no screaming fests to stop. There would be no worrying about whether anybody else thought I was a terrible parent based on how my kids were acting. There would be just me, my cart, and my grocery list.

Oh, yeah, the grocery list. I dug in my bag for it and a couple of diapers fell out. Hopefully nobody noticed that. Nobody here knows I have 3 kids. They don't see an exhausted mom with frizzy hair pushing 3 ragazzi around the store (we really need a good word in English for ragazzi). They just see a ... woman ... with frizzy hair ... alone. Just me. And really, there are all sorts of excuses for having frizzy hair. Perfectly valid excuses that don't have anything to do with 3 kids. I smiled broadly and made eye contact with people. Well, I made eye contact, but everybody else looked away. Because people don't actually make eye contact or smile broadly in the grocery store. That wasn't going to stop me, though. I was a human being, and only one of those at that, and I was going to make the most of it.

I got a box of ginger ale. I got a gallon of milk. I got a jug of olive oil. I got a box of crackers. I checked things off my list and didn't have to pick up a single thing off the floor. My smile kept getting brighter and my step got springier. I got in line and put my purchases on the conveyor belt without having to take a single candy bar back out of small hands. I told the cashier I was doing GREAT and asked him how he was doing. He told me he was tired and I sympathized, though perhaps he didn't believe it because of how damn cheerful I was. And then he looked up at me.

And I followed his confused gaze.

To the white crusty line of snot that extended from shoulder to chest of my purple shirt.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Flying kites in the park

Happy birthday, Miss Rori!

We had a happy birthday party for Miss Rori-pants. We went to Sweet and Sassy Cafe in Muskogee, which was a great little venue and made her a gorgeous cake.

curious about the decorations

there was lots of candy

spending some time with Nanny

walking and walking

and walking in the little red ladybug tutu

fun with cousins

Heidi keeps talking about "her Ava."

Ion and Granddad

and Rori with Granddad

I wish I had gotten the camera to focus on someone in front of the wall before setting the auto-timer, but instead I got a great picture of the wall decorations behind me.

hangin' out with Mammaw

the beautiful cake Sweet and Sassy Cafe made us

and the cute little smash cake

which was examined for a brief time

before being totally destroyed.

Then we went over to Alice's party.

little cousin twins

sneaking bites from Mammaw's cake

and marching around victoriously with the spoils of her presents

All the little girls are going on an adventure. Look out, world!

Happy birthday to you, Alice!