Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter weekend

Sorry for a late post on this one... blogger wouldn't let me post pictures yesterday, and I didn't get around to blogging before that. Better late than never.

Saturday night, we dyed the eggs. Yes, I stripped my child down so he wouldn't ruin his outift (does dye come out in the wash? I have no clue). There doesn't seem to be any way to dye eggs without a mess, especially when Mr. Independent decides he can do it himself. Smart folks that we are, we invited ourselves to DeDe's house to make a mess.

In case anyone else couldn't get the egg-catcher that comes in the package to work, just take John's advice and use your hands.

Then, late Saturday night, after we had procrastinated long enough, we began to prepare for the next day. And as usual with procrastination, there was a problem! I bought John's button-down shirt and linen pants at The Children's Place months ago, when they put out the Easter line. (I'd had the vest from a prior year sale--because that's how I do it). When Rob started ironing the shirt, he noticed several stains on it, some yellow and some blue. So, we gave up on that and prayed that John's previous white button-down still fit. It did--barely. Then, the pants were supposed to be adjustable-waist; however, the tabs don't work when sewn down! All of John's other pants look like he's preparing for a flood, so we had to rip out the inside seam. From now on, I will thoroughly inpect all clothes I buy, especially from The Place! Despite the drama, we still cleaned up pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

John slept in Sunday morning, and we actually had to wake him to come see what the Easter Bunny brought, so we could get to church on time. When we mentioned Bunny, he snapped his head up, jumped out of bed, and ran down the hallway still half-asleep. I have video, but it's really long (and a lot of my sluggish-southern talk), so I'll spare you. But, John noticed the chocolate bunny first, and then Wall-E, and then Dinosaur. Check out the goodies below:

After church, we went to Mema's house and quickly changed clothes and hunted for eggs while the less fortunate (i.e. Mema and Big Daddy) were stuck inside preparing lunch. This was John's first hunt this year with HIDDEN eggs. Of course, I use the term hidden lightly, but his hunt at school and the last one I blogged about were both on open fields. Not much to the "hunt" in an open field. At least he had to look up and down and all around the yard to find them this time.

After the hunt, Rob counted out the change (Mema stuffs her eggs with change) and got the candy out of the sun. Then, the boys took a ride in Uncle Steve's Miata. It was John's idea. As soon as Steve and Michelle drove up, John said, "Ooooo! Shiny, red car! I drive! I drive!" Of course, Steve didn't let John drive, but he was crazy enough to let Rob drive.

After lunch, we made a Bunny House, which is similar to a Gingerbread house, except with Jelly Beans and pastel colors. Notice how things normally work in our family: there is a worker (Rob), and a supervisor (Matthew), and an eater (John). I know, I know, you want to know where the extra supervisors and eaters are? Well, I was behind the camera, and I classify as both eater and supervisor--never worker.

And last, when all the other Easter activities have been done, there's always bug-hunting. I was inside when John ran by, grabbed the magnifying glass, and ran outside. What? He wanted to find bugs. The idea struck him on the fly, as he noticed the magnifying glass. This is how things usually happen with John--he never sits around and thinks. He just does. Deep-thinking and conniving are done on-the-go. You can't really tell in this pic, but the bug is actually dead. That's because Kacky or Aunt Michelle pointed out that it was a stinging type of bug, and Aunt Jan and I both said, "Well, let's not play with it!" as Uncle Steve and John were investigating. And then Mema took action and squashed it. (Squash, -ed, v. stepped and twisted in the same motion.) But that didn't stop Steve and John from studying the remains of the "deadly" bug.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jam-packed Weekend

This past weekend was jam-packed fun for John--just the way he likes it. Rob likes to go-go-go too, but I'm a homebody, so it's taken me a while to recover!

Friday we went to visit the Easter Bunny, for the sole purpose of telling him that John NEEDS a chocolate bunny for Easter. We had written a letter to the Easter Bunny, asking for the Wall-E movie, after John saw clips of it on Oscar-night and insisted on having that movie. He wanted that movie. Needed it. Now. And Daddy-genius halted the tears with a letter-writing project. (Yay, Daddy--Mommy had no idea how to stop the sudden tear-fest!)

But, I could not convince John to ask for that. He must have figured the letter had done its job, and now was the time to express his need for a chocolate bunny. I promise, folks, that was not my idea. (Really, it wasn't... I know some of you don't believe me, but the sweet-tooth is hereditary.) John discovered chocolate bunnies on one of our many trips to Wal-mart. It was sort of a choir-singing-Hallelujah moment--think Confessions of a Shopaholic, Rebecca Bloomwood/Isla Fisher breaking into her iced-over credit cards. Yeah, John was totally in awe of the row of chocolate bunnies. Anyhoo, here he is with his lollipop from the Easter Bunny, finally soothed into liking our giant, floppy-eared friend (all prior pictures were of John sitting in Bunny's lap while holding Mema's hand, which is exactly why Mema came with us!):

Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early for a 45 minute drive to Calera, AL and the Heart of Dixie Railroad to see... well, just see for yourself:

John had tons of fun climbing on and around the old trains, investigating their hugeness.

Of course, there were more than just trains there. My previous putt-putt post was actually a piece of the Thomas Adventure. There were also inflatables (which John surprisingly ignored), a tent full of train tables (where we spent the bulk of our time), a Thomas Temp-Tattoo stand, a balloon animal stand, a story-time area (puh-leeze, did you think I could get him to sit down with everything else going on?), and a gift shop. Oh, and did I mention the petting zoo? John enjoyed feeding the goats.

When our time came to board Thomas, John was very enthusiastic. He immediately poked his head out the window, which I later found out was a no-no. At least I got a pic first! When our journey was almost over, John said, "I not want to get off; I want to ride again." But, he went willingly enough--at least he wasn't kicking and screaming like some kiddos whose parents were dragging them off!

Thank you DeDe and Pop for a fun time at Thomas the Train! We left there and grabbed a quick picnic lunch before heading home for a nap. The nap was very important, because we had an Easter Egg Hunt that night. The City of Trussville has a Flashlight Egg Hunt where the kids come out and bring their flashlight to hunt eggs after dark. We had a while to wait, and the face-painting and pictures with Bunny only lasted so long, so John whiled away the minutes by...

Climbing a 6-foot fence. He was already several feet up by the time we realized it, so Rob rushed over to make sure he didn't fall as he finished his climb. John has turned into a real monkey lately--everything is his jungle gym.

I didn't get a pic of the egg hunt, because I was too busy trying to make sure the other parents were not snatching eggs out from under my child. Oh, yes!!! Other parents of 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds were snatching up the eggs and putting them in their children's baskets. It's not like they were competing with 8-year-olds! So, John walked away with 5 eggs, while other kiddos had 20. At least I know my child did it on his own. John was a bit upset that he only had 5 eggs while other baskets were overflowing, so we treated him to a cone at The Moo Place (a.k.a. Chick-Fil-A).

I know that this is only my first run-in with overprotective parents... In a few years, it will be the Biochemist completing his son's science project or the Court-lawyer preparing her daughter's speech. But it's really frustrating! So, tell me, has anyone else had a run-in with helicopter parents (who hover over everything their children do and don't let the kids figure it out themselves)? Please vent, so I don't feel so alone in my exasperation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hangin' out at Fairhaven

Nursing Home, that is. The DeArman family celebrated Grandpa's birthday on Sunday, even though his birthday is actually today...

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

FYI: I was at a baby shower for a good friend of mine, so I missed all of this and cannot be held responsible for John's behavior, nor am I responsible for accurately retelling the story--I am merely "reading" the pictures.
When one reaches a certain age, it appears that one can no longer read one's own birthday cards. Not because one's eyes have failed, but because the youngest "reader" in the family snatches the card away to read it out loud. (Man, I sure hope John didn't say anything embarrassing! If he isn't "reading" A Fish Out of Water word for word, he tends to make up going-to-the-potty stories. Sheesh!)

Once one reaches the age of 50, the eyes don't work like they used to. (Sorry to reveal your ages, Granny and Grandpa!) It is polite for the younger folk to hold the cards just right for the 50-year-olds to be able to read. Perhaps John was struggling with a word and needed Granny's help sounding it out?

Finally, you know the party's over when the party animals start playing with the Birthday Boy's ride. Thank goodness the nursing home doesn't keep bouncers on payroll to throw out the wild visitors!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Goofy Sports: An In-depth How-to Demonstration

I know that "they" say TV really affects kids, but I have never noticed a negative effect on John. More than anything, it spurs his imagination with his animals and Disney characters. If I had ever expected any effect from his love of Disney, I certainly didn't see this one coming. I will now narrate the following pictures with the same sort of helpful insights as provided in the Goofy "How-to" sports shorts on one of John's favorite DVDs.

When attempting golf for the first time, as with any new sport, one must learn from an expert the proper posture and position required to excel. (For the purposes of this program, the term "expert" may be used loosely. The advice offered in this program may not be applicable to all interested golfers, particularly avid golfers who shoot more than 9 holes a week.)
Once one has become acclimated to the world of golf (note: such acclimation implies more experience than just one or two holes but may be denoted by as little as three holes), one may make subtle changes in the expert's suggested positioning. Note the subject's backward handling of the golf club. It may be assumed that the subject has reached a level of professionalism wherein he successfully breaks the rules and paves the way for a new method by which all future golfers may succeed.

The following technique is called a block. Once the putt-putt limit of 6 strokes is reached, and the ball has still failed to enter the hole, it may be assumed that the ball is flawed. At this point, it is perfectly acceptable for the golfer to "block" in the hole so that the disfunctional ball has no other option but to enter the hole.

Finally, if the above block technique fails to work, and the ball is deemed defective (i.e. beyond flawed and lacking any hope at ever succeeding as a superstitiously "good" ball), the golfer may resort to the pick-and-drop technique in which he picks up the pitiful excuse for a ball and drops it into the hole. Note: Rule no.173 in the Golfer's Handbook states that in such extreme cases, points may be taken off the total to account for the extra strokes required because of the ball's defects. The number of strokes taken off is ALWAYS decided by the golfer's mother.

According to Rule no.173, John came in under par, which is excellent for his first time.