Heat break for playground monkies

The sky looked a little cloudy Sunday. The sun, temporarily hidden behind plush clouds, wasn’t blazing down upon our little pseudo-suburbia with the ferocity of the last few weeks. Could we finally dare to venture outside to a park for some much needed energy release? Well, yes, if we avoided the heat-reflecting metal slide or the incubating rubber play things formerly known as tires. My kids, however, are very brave souls. They don’t mind a little heat on the bum if it’s a byproduct of their playtime fun. And fun is exactly what they had.

It seems that despite being cooped up indoors for much of the summer’s daylight hours, they’ve not lost their gusto or their agility. (And they like to show off for the camera, who knew?)

Where was Ya in all this show? In the sandbox playing with his monster truck – which seems to be the next big toy obsession.

Poolside ponderings (of the evil stepmother)

JD stands. He’s clad in heavy jeans (despite the heat) and his favorite anti-chores tee. His hat remains haphazardly set upon his head — the very head that was newly discovered to be harboring an unwelcome ring worm and has caused the entire homestead to be blanketed in a fog of Lysol and disinfectant.

He is bored. And thirsty. He ignored the recommendation to bring along a cold bottled water and some form of entertainment. (Next time, children, listen when I offer advisement). Occasionally, he whimpers, as siblings three laugh and splash in the deep end waters. He remains under the umbrella, alone – isolated at a crowded community pool.

I can’t help but wonder how hard it must be to be “odd man out” all the time, stuck between two families and two many parents. Uncertain of when to let his guard down and when to stay on high alert, he remains aloof. Each household demands strict adherence to rules and expectations foreign to the other abode and each includes siblings who are permanent residents of their respective homes, not part time dwellers.
He sighs. Wipes his nose. Searches for the ones who’ve left him. They laugh together – loud enough for him to wonder about the joke he’s missed, been left out of while sitting perched at the edge of his lounge chair. They create games, mingle arms and legs in chase, push one another under water in playful “gotcha” games. He buries his head in his chair – a nap and dreams commence (far better, I assume, than wishing he were part of it all).

Perhaps he’s been struck by the earlier comments about his ever-increasing fear of water. Even the youngest knows JD wont willingly don his swimsuit and join in pool play. He sits up minutes after beginning his soft sleep, and wearily looks toward the rippling blue waves. No doubt he sees the infants happily floating along in blow up boats with inflated sun shades shielding their sensitive heads. Or, the toddler jumping fearlessly into mama’s waiting arms, giggling even as she wipes water spray from her face. And the kid who’s probably about his age? He jumps in, too, quickly bounding back to the surface and hopping along in the shallow on his tip-toes, water up to his chin. It’s a whole society of swimmers.

Does he wish he were somewhere else? Is it fair to treat the others to activities he will refuse to partake in?

Back in time

We’re starting to do outings in partial groups.  It’s not something I enjoy.  When I experience an “adventure,” I like to have my whole crew share in the novelty. 

But Chi is growing up.  She has friends and likes to go out with them to movies and on playdates, though I hardly think the 9.5 version of her would call their socializing “play.” Rico, in his almost teen persona, maintains a safe distance from our excursions.  He guards his time alone – even when traveling with us he remains safely on the outside mostly as an observer and occassionally as a participant.  He’s fiercely competitive, so I’ve no doubt that when the sports seasons begin with the new school year, we’ll find a common interest in his athletic persuits.

Our most recent outing has become an annual journey to the past – the Virginia Renaissance Faire held at Lake Anna Winery.  From the parking lot we are drawn in to the cast of this quaint oasis of European history come alive.  Poppets are invited to participate in a tournament at twelve of the clock.  They can be knighted by the Queen, can join the royal processional, and can create little trinkets as souvenirs.The many performers dazzle and humor us with their comedic timing, larger than life caricature-personas, and nods to classic drama.  And pyromaniacs have no shortage of circus fire stunts.  My favorite performances, though, have to be those demonstrating  amazing strength and agility.  The hat and vest we picked up last year were perfect fits for my little Rennaisance Man.  He looked absolutely daper as he strutted through the different areas of the faire.  And, an experienced patron, he was more than happy to try everything at least once.  He battled a villianous stake in a close combat attack. He donned his heavy metal helmet and chest plate to storm enemy troops.  And he made a valient effort to hoist the weighted leather, metal, and wood shield designed for full-grown combatants.  We brought Hubs and JD as the new initiates into the world of old. JD was not too amused and spent much of the day swatting at insects no one else seemed to be bothered by. He would not participate, or did so with such reluctance that it seemed like we forced him. He was not awe-struck by the performers. He was not even slightly drawn in by the sword fighting, weaponry, and pageantry.  I think outings like this are still too foreign, too new for his comfort.

Hubs found the day… interesting. He sampled Lake Anna Winery’s finest (and found some smooth and wonderful cider for me). He even volunteered to be in a knife throwing juggling trick, although I hardly think he thought they’d really be tossing knives over him.  A little innocent wager on the lure coursing proved him quite the good judge of athelete (at least of the canine variety, he picked wrong on football and doubted my Giants).

The faire this season seemed much smaller than the previous few we’d attended, but the talent was strong.  If only the heat weren’t so imposing.

Texture Tuesday’s Double Shot

Texture Tuesday with a double dose, the remnants of a fresh sheep sheer aged to satisfaction with KK’s Chase and Oh My textures
I think I discovered what it means to be in sheeps’ clothing… and it’s really not hard to do.

You see, they sheer sheep from tummy to back, tummy to back, so that the entire coat of well-worn wool comes off in a giant sheep cloak. I’d be afraid to put it on immediately, considering the natural lanolin that covers the inner softness of this wardrobe, but it could be neat to parade in after a good washing. Or maybe it’d fall apart at that point? Or maybe I’m just weird to think it’d be fun to throw on a sheep’s clothing and march around? Yeah, it’s the latter. Definately. But… it might be fun even if it is an eccentric activity.

Fire Taco!

I’ve no idea what exactly this expression means, but Ya insisted it was the thing to say as the boys posed and pounced on and off this sewer drain. Perhaps I consumed one too many tacos while pregnant?
While at our last playdate, I shot a quick couple of family photos for Jack’s family to have (holidays are looming and cards are needed for everyone). We’ll see if Mom picks one of these horizontal portraits. My favorite, though, is a vertical shot that is totally unposed and an absolutely precious moment captured.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: hot thing

floral burst
Something about this burst of blooms seemed to beckon for an “abstract” label.
abstracted sun
And I love the vibrancy of this macro, it’d like an abstract sun.
lawn charm And this? Well, aside from loving the assortment of lawn spikes, the globe has a fantastically abstract swirl.

JD's wheelin
Isn’t he just the cutest? A super sized fire truck tire made for an excellent toy in the station. Climb inside and wait for a little push and… you’re rollin’ now.

fire burger
There is nothing, nothing like a flame broiled burger. And my mama is the Burger Queen, for real.

Seeing Faces in Strange Places
Me. I’m making a personal note to try this again with a globe that doesn’t have water splotches all over it.

I thought I’d go literal first – it’s “literally a star,” as Chi would likely say. Does it seem a little early to be setting up Christmas decorations? The stores don’t wait until mid Autumn anymore.
belt test (101311)
And here’s my star just before testing for her Green Belt in TaeKwonDo. She did fabulous and will get the new rank on Friday. {Mommy’s proud!}

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