(WARNING: Picture Overload May Occur While Viewing This Blog Entry)
One of our family's favorite Fall activities is to go to the North Carolina State Fair--especially since it's right here in our home city of Raleigh. We all have different things that we like about spending the day at the fair and so we try to make sure we cover them all. Here goes...
The boys really like to pet and feed the animals, large and small. Josi...not so much.
"So, you want me to hold out my hand and let this furry thing eat some food out of it???"
"OK, I'm trusting you on this one Daddy...let's do it."
"Hmmm...maybe if he can't reach it, I'll get to eat the carrot."
Michael, my tender-hearted child, be-friended the smallest goat and made sure the bigger goats didn't get the food away from him.
Josi is happy to feed and hold her favorite 'pet'...her sister! :)
Now on to some rides! Josi is game for just about any of the rides and so she and Daddy went down the giant slide to get things started. Her glasses broke at the bottom (they were already damaged and being held together with super-glue) but otherwise it was a fun ride. The ride attendants ended up giving us some tape to temporarily fix her glasses so Josi could see for the rest of the day.
Allen is not so much a ride guy but will jump at the chance to try new foods. His favorite part of the fair is definitely the eating part and there is always a lot to choose from.
Josi makes sure Nadia doesn't stray too far away when we give her a 'break' from her stroller.
One of Josi's favorites is the Merry-go-Round. I always have a flashback while standing next to this ride because it was here, 13yrs. ago, that I pondered with a tear-stained face, the 1-day old diagnosis of Down syndrome for the baby girl I was carrying. We went to the fair with Jim's parents (Allen was only 13months old at the time) and met my sister with her 2 young children as well.
The thought that stood out in my mind as I stood watching Jim take Allen on the merry-go-round was that there was not one single child with Down syndrome at the entire fair. Where were they? Were we the only ones experiencing this?
I also had a very strong resolution that I shared with Jim immediately...that we would NEVER keep our child hidden away...that she would go with us everywhere and be a part of everything we do as a family and that others would see that there is beauty and even "normalcy" in having a child with Ds.
So, seeing this beauty riding the merry-go-round is always a thrill for me--even 13yrs. later.
And of course being able to accompany our newest beauty on her first ever ride at the State Fair just filled my cup to overflowing!
Now on to my favorite part of the fair--the rides that make you scream and feel as if your stomach has just left the building...I LOVE IT!!!
However, I had to be patient because Jim got to ride the first thrill ride. Plus, I'm never so sure that these mega-drop rides are really going to "catch" you before you slam to the ground and become a squatty-body for the rest of your life. Fortunately, both of my guys are still the same height after their ride.
We had to stop in the Expo Building on the way to the bigger rides so Nadia got a chance to see some farm animals (you know...the ones that you go in and look at and try not to tell your children that they'll be steak and hamburgers next week.)
I just had to throw this one in because my husband is so darn handsome and our newest daughter is so darn cute!!!
OK, call me weird, but next to the thrill rides, I get a kick out of seeing the prize-winning pumpkin every year. And every year I have to take a picture of it. So, here it is...all 864 pounds of it!!!
I'm getting warmed up on this mini-roller coaster with Josi. I showed her how to hold her arms in the air and scream so she'll be ready to go on the Ring-of-Fire (ROF) with me once she's tall enough! Woo Hoo!
Since I couldn't talk anyone into going on the ROF with me this year, I had to settle for the Cobra with my boys. OK, this is one of those rides that spins your car one way while the larger arm spins you the other way. I'm ashamed to admit that I had to close my eyes to keep from hurling. I'd take the fastest, most curvy, loop-de-loop roller coaster any day over these spinning torture chambers!
We could only sit 2 to a car so Allen had to share the ride with a stranger. He handles these situations so well...it makes me very proud!
Had to do the Flying Bobs before calling it a day on the rides. Josi mentioned partway through the ride that she was going to be sick so I did what any good Mom would do and just told her to hold up her arms and scream. Woo Hoo!
Nadia was quite the trooper in her stroller but we made sure we gave her lots of attention which she rewarded with lots of kisses.
I have a feeling now that Josi has experienced the Bungee Jumping that the merry-go-round might be a thing of the past. She wants us to put one of these up in our backyard. :)
To top things off...everyone gets to pick their poison...I mean their final fair treat.
Allen chose the fried Oreos while Michael went with an old stand-by.
Josi, a girl after my own heart, went straight for the funnel cake. Yummy!
Last but not least, I cornered a nice lady and asked her to take a family photo to commemorate our first State Fair as a family of 6. Um...perhaps I should have emphasized the family of 6 thing a little more clearly!
(We did end up getting one with all of us, which is at the top of my blog, but this picture just made me laugh too hard not to include it.)