Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week Forty-Three

Event:  Entered a Halloween Costume Contest, trick-or-treated with a four-year-old and smashed a pumpkin

On Friday, my co-workers and I dressed up as a School of Fish for Halloween.  There were eleven of us and we all dressed up as a different type of fish:  A Clown fish (me of course), Zebra Fish, Angel Fish, Fish Stick, Rainbow Fish, Star Fish, King Fish, Bull Fish, Sword Fish, Gold Fish and Tuna Fish.  We cut a fish shape out of poster board and wore it like a sandwich board and decorated both our fish and ourselves.  (In honor of Nemo I even made a special fin that was smaller than the other).  We entered the company Halloween costume contest in the "group" category, and we thought we had a pretty good chance at winning until other groups started showing up.  As we were seated waiting for the contest to begin, we saw out of the corner of our eye a Cowboy, then Little Bo Peep, then freakin' Buzz Lightyear and both Mr. Potato Head AND Mrs. Potato Head.  Oh for the love of shark bait it was over.  Dreams shattered, we kept our gills held high and when it was time to take the stage, we owned it.  Sort of.

We were the first group to take the stage in our category, so we walked up and individually introduced ourselves, blowing bubbles hoping to really add to the effect.  Heck, we might as well have been called "Fish in 3-D".  The bubbles were that amazing.  Ok maybe I'm exaggerating.  I actually could not get the damn bubble stick out of the little cigarette sized bubble tube because I couldn't see past my big ass red nose or the oversized clown glasses I had on.  Plus I had multi-colored clown hair getting caught in my lip gloss so the fact that I had to pretend to swim, walk in clown shoes and make my mouth get close enough to a bubble stick to form what would inevitably be 3 tiny ass bubbles was beyond me.  Please don't tell the other fish.  Anywho.  The mild applause indicated to me the crowd either didn't get it, or they were speechless with our creativity.  Fish tails between our legs, we walked off the stage but that's when it hit me.  As a Clown Fish, it is my duty to make the people laugh.  So I grabbed the microphone and said, "Why did the shark cross the road?  To get to the other TIDE!"  Ok, I thought it was funny given the circumstances.  I then wanted to tap into the microphone and say, "Is this thing on?"  I exited stage left only to pass the entire cast of Toy Story.  Super.  Thinking we really nailed it with the bubbles and the joke, we were the ones that were speechless when the Toys performed a SKIT!  I mean, come on!  If we would have known we could have had sound effects, we would have at least played "Under the Sea" from the Little Mermaid, or at least the Jaws theme song.  Dang it.  Bubbles were not going to cut it.

The next group took the stage and at first we thought they were just 80's punk rockers, but then they turned on music to their theme song and that's when we realized they were dressed as the 80's TV Series, "Jem".  (Sing it with me now, "Jem is truly outrageous, truly truly truly outrageous, oh oh oh oh oh...")  Anyway, since they did a freakin' musical production and all we had were bubbles, we knew it was definitely over.  But then, the judges asked all of the groups to come back up to the stage, fish first.  I knew the crowd was thirsty for more, so I took the opportunity to tell my second favorite fish joke.  I grabbed the mircophone and said, "What did the fish say when he ran into the wall?  DAM!"

Ok, it's over.  We waved, we smiled, we blew our bubbles (I had actually thrown mine away already) and we swam off the stage.  As we stood off to the side, hoping we wouldn't place 4th (there were only 3 groups so that really would have been embarrassing) they announced the second place winner was....SCHOOL OF FISH!  Unbelievable.  It must've been the bubbles.  Or the jokes.  Either way, I celebrated our win by having shrimp for dinner.  Hooray.

For Halloween I decided to go trick-or-treating with my neighbors and their 4-year-old grandson.  We went up and down our block and at first, I couldn't believe how many people didn't have their lights on.  But then I thought well maybe it was because the first two kids I saw were like 18.  I wanted to go, "dude, you have, like, a beard."  But I didn't want him to smash my pumpkins so I let it go.  As we followed our sweet, innocent four-year-old up the block, he kept saying things like, "Come on guys!" and "Why are you going so slow?" and "This is like Easter!"  These comments coming out of a four-year-old policeman were just hilarious. 

When I got home, I couldn't help but look at the rotting pumpkin on my porch.  The stem fell of weeks ago and while the front of the pumpkin looked fine, the back was a black, rotting hole just waiting to take over.  Then it hit me - for the first time in I don't know how many years, no one has stolen a pumpkin off my porch and smashed it in the street.  Now, I'm not one to break tradition, so this crazy ghoul inside of me took over and I decided to smash MY OWN pumpkin on my own street in front of my own house.  I mean, really.  What's the big deal about smashing a pumpkin?  Having never done it before, I really wanted to know what was so fascinating about it.  So, I bent over to pick up the rotting pumpkin only to put my finger threw one of the squishy sides that I didn't think would be squishy.  Euw gross.  I finally found a sturdy spot and rolled it over onto my hand.  Walking down my own driveway, I quickly turned around when I saw a car coming.  Oh I get it, this is why this is so exciting.  You don't want to get caught.  But what did I care?  This was my own pumpkin, and my own street, and...but still.  I waited for the car to pass, then tried it again.  Damn!  Here comes a trick-or-treater.  Ok take your kit-kat and be on your merry way.  Finally, stillness.  I grabbed my pumpkin, ran down the driveway, threw the pumpkin straight up into the air and....SPLAT!  I've been hit!  Pumpkin seeds shot out like a canon, guts were splattered everywhere and it made the most fantastically disgusting sound.  Now I totally get it.  Marveling at my own Halloween horror scene, a car drove by my street and for a split second I thought it was a cop so I ran up the driveway, into the house, slammed the door and giggled like a teenager. 

It was then that I realized I have to clean it up. 
Hmmmmm.  I've never made pumpkin pie before...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week Forty-Two

Event:  Took a boxing class

If you were to describe my body type, the following words would NOT come to mind:  Athletic.  Toned.  Muscular.  Yoga.  Pilates.  Gym.  Runner.  And that is precisely why I decided to sign up for a boxing class.  No, not a kick-boxing class, a BOXING class. 
Yo Adrian.  For real. 

Title Boxing Club opened up a new location near my house, so I called to see if I could attend a trial class before signing up for a membership.  The owner told me there was a basic boxing class on Saturday morning and I was welcome to attend.  Excited, Saturday morning I jumped out of bed, only to realize I haven't been to a gym in over a year and therefore none of my workout pants fit.  Super.  While digging through the back of my dresser drawer, I found a pair of black pants with racing stripes down the side (to give the illusion of long, pilates-type legs of course) and while now they fit like a tight pair of leggings, at one point in my life these were baggy.  Surely the dryer shrunk them...

Since the pants were a total train wreck, I needed to find a shirt that said "hey, look at me, I'm a runner, a gym member and a boxer.  Bring it".  Unfortunately, I don't own anything that even remotely resembles that, so I ended up wearing a shirt that I wore to a race a few years ago (one that I walked in, of course).  Hopefully my fellow boxers will be so distracted by my intimidating race t-shirt, they won't notice the high waters that are cupping my butt so tightly I have two sets of butt cheeks.  One set under the underwear, the other squirting outside of the underwear.  Oh for the love of squats, let's do this.

I walked into the gym, head held high only to be caught off guard when the owner asked, "Do you want me to tape your hands?"  Huh?  "Do you want me to tape your hands?"  Eh?  "Do you want to put tape around your hands before you put your gloves on?"  Oooooh.  I get it.  This is like Rocky.  And you people are for real.  Hell no I don't need you to tape my hands, I'm not really going to punch anything, am I?  (that's what was going through my head).  I passed on the hand-taping but quickly regretted my decision when she handed me a set of boxing gloves that were as big as watermelons.  And we're off.

We were told to stand next to our punching bag so I quickly found a bag at the back of the room.  There were about 25 people in the class, each standing next to their own life-size punching bag and that's when I realized three things:  1) All of the girls in the class were a size two.  2) All of the girls in the class were wearing skimpy spandex shorts and spaghetti strap tank tops.  3) All of the girls had their hands taped.  Shit.  I couldn't stand out any more if I tried.  Fat girl.  Fake race t-shirt with a hole in the armpit.  No tape on hands.  I might as well have worn my swimsuit.  Soon the instructor came in looking like a combination of Lil Wayne and a Navy seal and before I knew it he was yelling at us to put our gloves on and punch away.  The class was already into the third set of right hooks and upper cuts before I even figured out to get my second glove on.  Do you know how hard it is to put on (and velcro) a boxing glove onto your left hand when you have a boxing glove on your right hand?  I was both dumb and dumber.  This was not going to be my best day ever.

For the next 60 minutes we punched, squatted, punched, crunched, jabbed, squatted, ducked and rolled, hooked, squatted and punched some more.  Then we ran.  Then we did a backwards crawl on all fours, then we ran some more, then I ran to the bathroom to dry heave, then we punched some more, then I ran to the drinking fountain, then we ran backwards and I ran forwards to the bathroom again, then we did side running, and I ran and stuck my head under the faucet, then we did crunches and scissor kicks and windshield wiper kicks and I ran out into another room and hid, then we did jumping jacks and I ran out and laid my cheeks on the cold marble tile, then we did side running again and I ran to the bathroom, soaked 5 paper towels, squished them on my head and ran back in only to find more running, punching, squatting, crunching and punching.  At one point I threw my gloves off like I just won the fight and I walked out of the room.  I was down for the count.  A lady came and checked on me.  My face was 13 shades of red.  In that moment, I really did not think I would live to see Christmas.

During the rest of the ass-kicking, I found myself asking God for an oxygen tank, an earthquake, the ability to upchuck my cheerios, a fire drill, a power outage...anything to make the class end.  Thankfully, with minutes to spare in my life, we stopped punching and began the cool-down period.  I sat down next to my bag, unable to move.  Gloves off, I looked down at my hands and noticed my knuckles were purple.  Damn hand tape.

In the end, I fought the bag and the bag won.  And despite this being a complete TKO, I can't wait for the re-match.  But I think I'll wait until after Christmas.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week Forty-One

Event:  Worked on a farm during Harvest

This weekend I drove to a small town in Nebraska to experience my first Harvest.  Population 630, this small town is the home of endless fields of corn, soybeans and alfalfa.  And boy, this city girl was in for a treat.

I knew it would be an adventure when my friend (who's husband's family lives on the farm) tried to give me directions.  She said she would text me with the steps on how to get there once I reached Omaha.  I figured that would be a good plan because surely it was just a couple of highway changes and I'd be there.  I received one text, then two, then three, then seven, then nine and finally, when the TWELVTH text came through saying "Good luck!" I knew I was in trouble.  Here's what some of the last few texts said:
-Go 15 miles on the highway and into town
-Turn right into town
-Go straight until you come to a 4-way stop at the end of town.  There's a mini-mart on your left.  Keep going.
-Follow the curvy road for 5 miles.  Look for signs with letters on them.  Turn left on "E" road.
-Go 1.25 miles on the gravel road.  At the top of the hill is a driveway.  Turn left by the big silver grain bins. 

Are you kidding me?  You might as well say, "turn left by the cows, turn right by the chickens and follow your nose in."  Boy was I corn-fused!  I knew I was in the right area though when I started seeing signs like the one that had an arrow on it that said, "Ballroom, Ball Fields and High School" this way.  God I love small towns.  I then came to an intersection where the Friday night High School football game was being played and I'm betting the entire town was there.  Next to the football field were grain bins.  I freaking love it.  A few wrong turns later, I found my final destination.  As I stepped out of the car I looked up at the magnificent sky and was overwhelmed with the bazillion stars that hung above me.  At about that same time my nose reminded me not to take in a deep breath of "fresh" air, as I found myself standing about 200 yards away from a hog barn.  "That's the smell of money" I was told.  As long as I'm not reminded that I'm eating the 'money' for breakfast, I'll be fine.

Shortly after I arrived the men came in from the field, ready to hit the town.  And this Dell was ready to meet her Farmer.  Hold on a second.  I just looked up "Farmer and the Dell" to make sure I spelled it right and I just learned that the stupid song says "Farmer IN the Dell."  Seriously, until this very moment I thought the song said, "The Farmer and the Dell" and by Dell I thought it meant lady farmer.  Holy cow manure I know absolutely nothing about farming.  I'm really glad I was telling cowboys all weekend that I'm the dell to their farmer.  Oh for shit's sake.  Farm 1, City Girl 0.

I put on my shit kickers and we were off.  You could say we went hog wild (yeah I said it).  We went down to the bar, conveniently called the Grain Bin, where it was like a scene out of Cheers.  Everyone knew everyone.  Except when I walked in it was like the record skipped.  Awkward pause, moment of silence, I quickly made friends with the bartender and we were all good.  A local even bought me a shot.  Another local came in, said hello to my group and ordered a 12-pack to go.  Huh?  That's right.  This bar also served as the town's liquor store.  I can't even take it!  On the way home we made an obligatory stop on the side of a gravel road to run across hay bails.  It's hard to run across hay bails to begin with, but you add the layer of total darkness (ok, and a little alcohol) and everything changes.  As I nervously took baby steps, the guys were running across them without a care in the world.  Silly cowboys. While I was being told to speed it up, one of the guys fell into a hole in the hay bail and found himself eating hay, while the other, attempting to catch up to us, didn't realize he was about to run out of hay bails and he quickly found himself eating dirt.  I daintily skipped along, then attempted to slide off a 7-foot hay bail only to get a bunch of hay splinters in my butt.  Super.

The next morning was controlled chaos.  Grandma was making eggs and coffee cake, the men were scurrying around getting ready, the women were chasing the children and I was putting on my make-up.  I literally have no idea what I'm doing.  We all quickly ate and before I knew it everyone was in a pick-up heading out to the farm.  Not sure what kind of danger to expect, I grabbed a bright orange hunting hat just to make sure no one Combined over me (at this point I have no idea what a Combine is) so when we stepped off the truck, I got a crash course lesson on Combines, Tractors, Grain Carts, Augers and Semi's. It was at this moment I was inspired to write a book entitled "The City Girl's Guide to Farming."  I could not believe how much I didn't know.  When I think of farming, I think of women dressed in jumpers and bonnets and men dressed in overalls riding a mule pulling a metal thingy that digs into the soil.  Oh wait, that's the Amish and they still do that.  At any rate, this was nothing like what I imagined.

The combine and the tractor have an air conditioned cab complete with music, a CB radio, cup holders and a flat screen.  Just kidding.  But seriously, they are high tech.  I learned a Combine sucks in the entire 9 foot corn stalk, stripping it of its stalk, silks, kernels and cob.  It shoots the kernels up to the attached grain cart and spits out the rest of the "trash" behind it.  The Tractor runs alongside the Combine so when the Combine's grain cart is full of kernels, an Auger swings out and shoots the kernels into the Tractor's Grain Cart.  When the Tractor gets full, its Auger swings out and shoots the kernels into the top of a semi.  When the semi is full you drive into town and a trap door opens at the bottom and the kernels are dumped into the floor of a grain bin.  Seriously.  Where have I been.

I spent the day riding shotgun in all of the aforementioned vehicles, only taking breaks to eat, potty and shovel corn.  And by that I mean grabbing a shovel (because sometimes the augers miss their target) scooping as many kernels as you can and tossing it into the top of a semi.  I wanted to prove I could do it, so I shoveled and tossed as hard as I could.  More than not my kernels crashed into the side of the semi as opposed to getting up and over the top, but I was trying.  In the end, I gave up and just sat in the pile of kernels doing snow angels and burying myself like I was at the beach.  I'm pretty sure they loved that.  Lucky for all of us, we got to take a break for lunch that featured fried chicken, home-made biscuits, veggies and a pumpkin dessert.  While enjoying this mouth watering meal I told Grandma this was about the best friend chicken I had ever had.  She responded by saying, "I just bought these chickens from Rita's farm - right down the road!"  I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

When we finally stopped farming around 10:30 that night, five of us piled into a pick-up with a cooler of beer and we hit the streets.  Excuse me, we hit the roads.  Gravel ones.  For fun the locals sometimes grab a spotlight, a 12-pack and drive around looking for wild animals.  Thinking we would probably only see some cows and maybe a horse or two, we were speechless when we saw a raccoon in a tree, a skunk running down the road, two deer and a coyote!  I was freakin' Jack Hannah and this was Animal Planet!  It was awesome.  To wrap up the night we even saw a Grizzly Bear!  (ok, it was stuffed and mounted on a plaque but still). 

The next morning I overslept and woke up at 10:15.  I had to put Bengay on my shoulders, two band-aids around my finger, take an advil and a Claritin.  This Dell thing is harder than it looks.

Here's to corn.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week Forty

Event:  Learned to drive a 5-speed

"Mustang Sally....guess you better slow that Mustang down!"

Today I got a lesson on how to drive a 5-speed.  But not just any 5-speed.  A Ford Cobra Mustang 5-speed.  With red velvet leather seats.  Oooooh yeah. 

The first part of my lesson was to learn how to start the car.  And despite being told exactly what to do, like a 16-year-old doing this for the first time, my first attempt failed miserably.  Let's try this again.  Putting my feet in all the right places (sheesh, these pedals are tiny), I fired it up and let 'er rip.  Oh shit.  Now what. 

Getting it into first gear was a breeze.  Staying there...not so much.  I think I killed the car more than I drove it, but soon I figured out the delicate balance of clutch and gas.  After several successful turns at progressing from first gear to second, (side streets only - I didn't want to find myself at the top of a hill going backwards at a stoplight) I was encouraged to "peel out" because after all, that's what Mustangs are made for.  So, I came to a stop at the beginning of a quiet street.  Sweaty palms in tow, I "floored it".  And by "floored it" I mean "killed it."  Dang it.  My second try was slightly more successful and as I was really picking up speed (ok, I was really only going like 12 miles per hour but still) a squirrel literally ran into the middle of the road and stopped, as if to be singing Mustang Sally, telling me to "slow my Mustang down."  I got the message and he got a haircut.  Stupid squirrel.

Ok, third time's the charm.  New street.  New courage.  No squirrels.  And this time I gave it a good rev and gave myself the ultimate "peeling out" experience only to find myself coming to a screeching halt right into a family reunion picnic.  If looks could kill. 

As fun as that was, I'm really not a fan of working out while driving.  I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a charlie horse tonight in my left calf from the clutch work out.  And my right hand is cramping from squeezing the gear shift knob, so this 5-speed thing is for the birds.  Plus, with all the shifting and clutching when does one have time to send a text, put on make-up, change the music or eat?  I mean really.  (I hardly ever do these things and when I do I make sure I've come to a complete stop and it's a very long stoplight.  I promise.  Girl Scout Honor).

Ride, Sally, Ride.

No family reunion members were harmed during the making of this blog.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week Thirty-Nine

Event:  Adventures in Babysitting

The other day I ran into a co-worker of mine who told me his parents read this blog.  That got me thinking - what in the heck do total strangers think of this crazy girl who goes out and sings with bands, hops on motorcycles with men she doesn't know, goes to shooting ranges and rides around with cops for fun?  So I thought I should tone it down a bit and show that I'm not a wild, thrill-seeker living on the edge at all times.  That's why I called one of my best friends and asked if she and her family wanted to meet me at a local pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins.  In my mind, she and her husband and their three kids would meet me (the cool "aunt") at the pumpkin patch, where I would get to run around with them for a few minutes, eat kettle corn, pick a pumpkin, scope out the single dads, and go home.  Upon running this brilliant plan by my friend, she thought it would be even more fun if I took two of her kids with me...alone.  For the record, I don't have any kids of my own (that I know of) but I've been around them enough to know the basics.  What the heck.  Let's do it.

I drove to my friend's house because we both agreed I needed to drive their car since both kids are still in car seats.  Excuse me.  One is in a car seat, the other is in a booster seat.  I'm guessing this is a big deal.  Anyway, the youngest is two years old and his older sister is five.  Right before we piled into the Honda Odyssey minivan (seriously, all of my nightmares are coming true) I got a lesson about peanut allergies.  Fact:  Telling a single girl about the dangers of peanut allergies and discussing the risks if a child with a peanut allergy even so much smells a peanut will literally make single girl break out into a cold sweat, maybe even hives, and momentarily wish she had never signed up for this.  Ever.  But that wasn't the worst part.  The peanut allergy lesson got more interesting when I had to learn how to use an EpiPen.  Oh for the love of peanuts all around the world, I have to watch for two warning signs and if I see them (wheezing, red cheeks, fainting, throwing up - wait, that's just me) I have to dramatically shove this EpiPen thing into the fatty part of the thigh of this sweet little two year old?  All the while, maintain complete composure, explain how this is not my child, call 911, call mom and dad, yell for help, call MY mom and dad, keep an eye on older sister, watch my purse and make sure no one steals our pumpkins?  This parenthood thing is ridiculous.

Scared half to death, I left my purse behind and traded it in for a backpack that looked like a monkey.  (It is now abundantly clear that I will not be getting hit on today).  Inside are baby wipes (for fingers only, hopefully), two cups of water, two jackets, Benadryl and the EpiPen.  I got a quick lesson on how to drive a minivan, like how the side doors open automatically (my parents' Plymouth Voyager with wood paneling did NOT have that feature) and how to keep an eye on the kids by looking at the nifty little mirror above the windshield.  And we're off.    

As I nervously drove down the highway going 17 miles an hour, the kids were serenating me with the song "All the Single Ladies" sung by the chipmunks from Alvin and Chipmunks, the Squeakuel.  Ahhh, the irony.  Shortly after that song ended, Elmo came on.  This is exactly why moms secretly drink in the afternoon.  Three wrong turns later, the oldest told me I sure didn't know how to drive around the city very well, but we finally arrived at our destination.  Before opening the cool automatic doors, I said a little prayer, reminded them that they have to stay by my side at all times or else, I grabbed my monkey backpack and we were off.  I think I said "wait" and "hold my hand" like 87 times even before they were out of their car seats.  Oh sweet Jesus here we go.

As we walked up to the entrance, I handed the money to the gal behind the window and that's when the oldest said to her, "this is my mommy's friend."  And I responded by explaining how I was taking them to the pumpkin patch without their parents and we were going to have fun, and.... That's when she interrupted me and said to the woman, "And my older sister is at a birthday party so mom and dad are home all by themselves.  And you know what that means."  Before exploding with laughter, the woman and I looked at each other, waiting with baited breath for her to finish her sentence.  "That means they're WORKING."  Oh thank God.  Good answer.  Moving on.

We made it 10 feet before both kids started grabbing handfuls of gourds while the youngest went and got a wagon to pull.  Oh great, this is a train wreck in the making.  No telling how many toes we will run over today.  From gourds we moved to big, ugly, warty pumpkins (which was fun to explain why they looked that way - I made up something brilliant, I'm sure) and we finally made our way over to rides and games.  They rode a train, jumped on a pumpkin trampoline, had a duck race, went down a pumpkin slide, rode on a tricycle track, shot a paintball gun, launched a gourd out of a pumpkin cannon, got to see bunnies, pigs, horses and goats oh my!  All the while, I'm pulling the wagon with 17 gourds and a monkey backpack, checking for peanut allergy warning signs, and for the first time in my life, I understood why some people put their children on a leash. 

We didn't make it very far before the kids started asking for kettle corn.  I didn't want any tears, so we quickly made our way to the concession stand and I ordered a large bag of kettle corn and two leashes.  Just kidding.  As I began to open the bag, I had a vision of kettle corn being made with peanut oil so I quickly grabbed the bag away from the youngest and asked the woman behind the counter if this was safe to eat.  She of course gave me a non-answer by saying, "Legally I'm supposed to tell you some food with peanuts is made back here."  She clearly doesn't understand that I'm not a mother and if this is "mom speak" I'm not following.  Looking for a yes or no answer, I couldn't get one.  So, the "cool aunt" quickly became "the jerk that my mom is friends with" because I told the youngest he had to wait while his older sister chowed down.  He didn't quite understand my explanation, so for the next hour, all I kept hearing him way was, "I wann pup-core".  Eh?  "I wann pup-core."  What?  "I WANN PUP-CORE!"  His sister had to translate.  Oh, I get it.  He's trying to tell me he wants some of the popcorn.  I suck.

I did my best to distract him as we hopped on a tractor headed out to the field of pumpkins.  Luckily, each of the kids migrated to the medium sized pumpkins, not the "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" sized ones.  I told them we could get as many as they could carry.  Well that was stupid because guess who ended up carrying 6 pumpkins back to the tractor.  That would be me. 

As we worked our way back towards the entrance, we had to stop and play on a slide, a pirate ship, a train, a horse swing, dig in the sand and play in a sandbox filled with corn.  Oh crap.  Does corn grow with peanuts?  As I looked over, both of them were elbows deep in a corn-filled sandbox and my heart skipped a beat.  We didn't talk about corn!  What if he has a reaction to corn?  EpiPen on the ready, I waited for the signs as I ran over and lifted them both out of the box.  So far so good.  I could tell a minor meltdown was on the verge, so we hopped back on the horse swing, I bribed them with more pumpkins and we were on our way.  Meanwhile, mom called and said the kettle corn was fine.  Sorry for the delay, here's your pup-core.

A zip-line ride, a failed attempt into a haunted house and one more stop to see the bunnies and we were out of there.  Just in time because everyone was fighting over the kettle corn, I was out of money, and no one has pooped in 3 and a half hours and I'm betting my luck is about to run out.

Elmo sang us all the way home and that's when I realized these sweet little angels taught me a lesson today.  Life is all about laughing, having fun, playing in a sandbox filled with corn, going down a pumpkin slide and petting baby animals.  So here's to peanuts, "pup-core" and to kids of all ages.