Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ramblings: Ballet Marathon and A Death-Defying Hayride

Saturday was a LONG day...a good day, but a LONG one. (Probably not as long as this post though). The majority of it was spent at a nearby high school at Maddie's ballet rehearsal and then recital. And despite all the promises, (I know this was out of your hands Ms. Melissa) the recital was still a whopping 3 hours long. And the poor little tiny ones in the youngest class were almost at the end, and I'm sure they were exhausted by the time they went up there.

I decided it's the cheesy, over-dramatic dialogue followed by the semi-unnecessary awards (left-splits, right splits, center splits, co-lead student teacher, new student teacher, the list goes on and on...) at the end of the whole dang thing that make you want to gouge your eyeballs out with a rolled up program. At one point, there was a quote about every man having to walk through a wall at some point in their lives...? And then something about struggling through life and suffering though death and loss...? This is a dance recital not an obscure lecture on philosophy, right? But we persevered and the majority of the crowd ultimately triumphed by remaining alive with eyeballs intact. We gave the girls flowers after, but the real treasure is in her other hand: Fun Dip.

{Am I wrong, but wasn't it called Lick'em aid when we were little? Why the need for the name change?}

Maddie and her cousin Tara are in the same class and did great, even though there was a bit of confusion at the beginning and throughout their dance because one of the other girls had accidentally come out and gone to the wrong spot.

Don't feel obligated to watch this--I'm posting it for the absent Grandmas and other relatives that will be interested.

Maddie is the 2nd from the right (although she is usually on the end--which is the source of the bewilderment you can see as they try to reposition themselves around the girl in the wrong spot). Excuse the cheesy 20 seconds of dialogue in the beginning, I didn't know quite when to start recording. And they must have rushed through some moves because they finished a good 20 seconds early, and stood there frozen not knowing what to do with themselves.

The girls got to come sit with us after their turn onstage and Maddie LOVED watching all the other dancers. She was enthralled with the skills of the 40+ year old baton twirling lady, but I was impressed (and a little frightened) that the baton twirler's mom standing about 15 feet from us could cheer so loudly that it actually sounded violent.

Right after the recital, we all loaded up and headed out to my parents' ranch for some honky tonk fun. My grandparents are in town from Washington and so some of my cousins were scheduled to come up from Houston with their families on Saturday. But due to some illness (luckily, non-swine flu related), they weren't able to come up. But we carried on with the hay ride and wienie roast anyway.

A cold-front blew in suddenly and everyone was underdressed and a bit chilly. Despite that, we had some fun on the hayride of death. No, it wasn't really death defying but we did question the sanity of taking a huge trailer full of HAY to tour pastures full of horses and cows. As soon as we came in the gate, we were like sitting ducks. All the chomping mouths were running after us at once trying to sneak bites of our seats. It didn't help that my dad kept slowing down to a crawl and stopping here and there.

At one point, Alex screamed "Grandpa, zip up the pouch!" After alot of laughing and naughty insinuations, we figured out that he meant "pick up the pace." So for the rest of the hayride we all kept randomly screaming out "ZIP UP THE POUCH!"

Maddie and Cate.
Me and Avery.
Jere, Aidan, and Greg.
Tara and Brooke.
Maddie and Grandma.

Grandpa found this turtle and let each of the kids take turns trying to infect themselves with as many diseases as possible. We told Alex we'd give him $5 to kiss it. He didn't. Nor would he take the offering of a combined $50 jackpot to jump in, roll over twice, and then jump back out of the full manure wagon. His loss.
It's been raining a TON here lately, so all the grass was tall and green and keeping the animals fat and happy. When they weren't chasing us, they were mostly just annoyed by the noise of eight kids mooing and whinnying from the haywagon. The horses don't appreciate being mocked.

The kids liked seeing all the momma cows and horses with their babies following around behind them. I felt really, really horrible for this one momma cow whose udder was so HUGE and engorged it looked like a water balloon when you fill it up too much and it's about to explode. You could tell it was so heavy by how it was swinging when she walked. {Insert sound of Barbra Streisand singing 'Memories'}. There is definitely a painful reason behind her ornery attitude. I've felt your pain, sista.

After the hayride, the kids all descended on a poor little calf that needed to be bottle-fed and each kid tried to heave the giant bottle in a tug of war with the hungry thing. He wasn't sure quite what to make of all the chaos and screaming. But I'm pretty sure Aidan found a new little best friend. (Funny--his new friend smells pretty much the same as his twin brother and he can put him in a headlock just the same, too.)

At that point, we were all hungry and getting ready for some grub. (You have to call it grub when you've been out at the ranch pretending to be cowboys.) So we went back to the house and got the firepit going for some yummy hot dogs along with corn, potato salad, fruit, chips, and other assorted goodness provided by Granny. The kids got nice and dirty and I had panic attack after panic attack worrying that they would start monkeying around and someone would end up in the flames. Am I the only neurotic mom afraid of the kid/campfire combo?
No firepit has reached its full potential until it's had marshmallows destined for s'mores cooked over its hot coals. My dad won the prize for prettiest and most uniformly toasted marshies (photo was of his work in progress), and Dee was the lucky recipient of his patient work after she played the "But I'm pregnant and the baby wants marshmallows" card. Spoiled rotten fetus. After we ate and ate and ate and the kids played and played and played until we dragged them home and hosed off the gunk and stickiness even though it was WAY past their bedtimes. We figured they could all sleep in Sunday morning (thanks to that horrible, evil 3 PM church time), but it wasn't meant to be. The boys woke up at their normal 6:30 and set off that new alarm system I told you about when they tried to go out on the porch. Everyone was up, wide awake, and scared spitless.

But at least Saturday was full of fresh air, lots of laughing, a slightly hazardous hayride, good food, & good times.


Sandito said...

FYI-the momma cow with the eeee-normous udder had twins yesterday. Another common thread weaves itself into your narration. I wonder if she will want a tummy tuck as well? I told Grandpa that we should start saving up now for all the therapy our grandchildren were going to need after the hayride. Heck, I will probably need some myself. I am having nightmres about those horses chasing us and the cows stampeding right up into the flatbed trailer. :( What were we thinking? Were we insane?...well more than usual? I really did enjoy all the laughter!!

aubrey said...

I LOVE that picture of Alex with the turtle. Priceless...

The Lowe Family said...

where was deanna and her belly?

that poor muthacow definitely has mastitis. someone needs to give her some meds poor thing.

Deanna said...

Jessica, I was in the truck because the hayride was too bouncy for the belly. And the only 2 pictures Laura took of me at the weenie roast better not appear on her blog or she's in big trouble. You've seen me with a belly, I look just the same as the other 3 times.

That poor muthacow is right...you should have seen her trying to walk. Yikes!!!