Saturday, August 11, 2018

Christopher's Day

Last up, Christopher! Not too many pictures because, you know - 12yo boy. We picked up a hitchhiker at the bottom of the hill and took him to his destination first. Don't worry, I've picked him up before, and he has promised he is not an ax murderer. We had breakfast at Plateau Espresso, then grabbed donut holes at the donut shop, because - 12yo boy.

Christopher had money from bat houses burning a hole in his pocket, so we stopped first at the bank to ask about savings accounts for minors. We didn't have his SS card with us, so we couldn't get one on the spot, but he agreed to save some money to start an account later. The fact that I told him I would match anything he put into savings may have had some inflluence.

Walmart for school supplies and to spend the rest of it!

Some very "Christopher" choices!

He asked to go to the Tularosa Basin Historical Museum next, so we checked out some of the cool items from the area.

There was still some time left before lunch, so I told him I had an idea - but I wouldn't tell him what it was. I took us to a large empty parking lot, and told him to trade seats with me. I had to tel him three times before he decided I was serious!

That is a very nervous smile! Knowing that he needs lots of practice with new things, we have been talking about driving safety for a couple years. Today he learned how to adjust his seat and mirrors, and how the gas and brake felt, then I let him actually start it, back it up, and re-park it. Not exactly Indy racing, but a first step - and probably better than him learnng it all in one fell swoop from one of his friends when he's 16! (Hypothetically speaking - but, thanks Krista!)

He was ready to trade back again, and we went to Pizza Hut for lunch, then hit a few thrift shops and a movie (Hotel Transylvania 3). He now has a new pic-up line: "Your delicous neck wrappings are in a nice coffin. Would you like to see my parts?" I told him I will give him a dollar if he says that to a particular girl on the first day of school. Hey, it worked for Drac!

Some quiet time at home before I went to pick up the littles, then his choice of spaghetti and meatballs for supper, followed by sleeping in the camper.

The next two days are MY special days - which means we aren't going anywhere, nobody is coming over, and I am getting this camper, yard and house CLEAN. Not terribly exciting, I know, but it will make this Mom happy!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Shane's Day

Shane usually joins me in bed in the middle of the night, but last night he actually let me sleep all the way through - so we both had plenty of energy for his big day! He scrambled into the bed early this morning, full of giggles and hiding under the covers when daddy came in.

After we dropped the big kids off at Grandma's, we turned back up the hill towards Mayhill. We stopped at the cafe there for a donut, where he charmed chuckles out of several regulars with his chipmunk chattering and enthusiasm for all things dessert.

He even got to eat it in the car, which is usually a big "no". The whole inside needs to be pressure-washed after tha camping trip, so what's a little chocolate?

And he NEEDED the sugar, obviously.

He kept saying "Mommy, I am SO EXCITED!!"

Twenty miles past Mayhill we came to Runyan Ranch, where we were the only visitors the whole time we were there.

Man, I need to shave my legs.

Some new animal friends since our last visit!

So. Dang. Cute.

Zipper has earned his sign.

The goats are always the pushiest, and there was a brown one in this pen who wanted ALL OF THE FOOD ITS MINE ITS MINE ITS MINE. I distracted him with dribbles of food at one side of the pen, while Shane fed everyoe else at his end!

For some reason I always hear the pigs in my head cutesy-baby-talk style:

You gots food for me, too?

They are about to have MANY baby goats!

As always, we had to see the fish.

And as usual, the geese were our very noisy entourage.

Eager but sweet llama.

Pushy and pregnant goat.

Shane got attached two these two littler ones. They are all now named "Buddy".

Found a feather, too!

We grabbed a popsicle, returned our empty feed bags (and a plastic bottle some halfwit left behind), paid for everything, and headed back down the hill.

By the time we reached Cloudcroft the popsicle was gone - and Shane was slightly sticky. We stopped at the Family Dollar there for wet wipes, and managed to also come out with cookies, socks (not ankle!), erasers, and a Paw Patrol picture.

Quick stop in High Rolls to hide a rock,

Then to the Blue Stone to get his summer reading prize, and say "hi" to Ivan, of course. 

And, of course, Alamo Jump (or, as Shane says, "Aminal Jump")

He made friends with a slightly younger boy, and they chased each other around for an hour.

Shane isn't starting school yet, but he needed school supplies too! We picked up a few things at the Dollar Store. 

By the time we grabbed groceries at Walmart, he was asking to go home. Don't have to ask me twice! And by the time we hit the driveway at 3PM:

Yep, I broke him. He broke me, too! The bigs were all playing with friends, so we had some quiet time at home for a bit, working on some of the things we bought for 'school'.

For his meal, he chose...TV dinners. 

Well, it was easy, at least! I let them eat in front of the TV, which we NEVER do, and that was enough to remind me of why. He wanted to sleep in the camper too, so off we went - with his new double barrelled squirt gun, "so I can protect you from the aminals."

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Grace's Day

After last year's day with Grace had to end early, I planned mostly low-key fun. We grabbed a donut (pink sprinkles, of course) and went to the zoo to eat it. 

Of course I tell the kids not to touch the animals, but what do you do when one is begging for ear scratches?

and licking your fingers?

Yum, donut frosting! 
Wait, is there food? I sense food...

Watching the otters play. 

Our friend Kate is one of the zookeepers, and as we were talking to her about some of the animals the zoo has had over the years, Winnie the bear tried to convince her she was staaaaarving!

Kate could not quite convince her that PVC glue really isn't food, and Winnie couldn't convince Kate to come any closer, so it was pretty much a stalemate. Kate is well out of bear's reach here, but Winnie can and did get her arm through the holes several times, which led to conversation about people who underestimate wild animals and overestimate their own common sense.

Like the others, Grace wanted to visit the aviary. The head zookeeper was with us then, and pointed out the weaver birds building their nests.

Busy little guys!

It was already getting hot when it was time to leave for Grace's hair appointment. She got a trim, too, then two braids. She had a little trouble sitting still...

but the lady did a marvelous job!

This is what I got when I told her to "look at me and smile":

Now for the real fun: a trip to the laundromat! Okay, not really fun, but I needed to wash a bedspread and sleeping bag in the giant washers, and I thought she might get a kick out of it. At first, she did - things that spin and a big sink and snacks from the gas station next door! 

There was a possibly-homeless gentleman, I think named Mike, with a dog who wears sunglasses, who we see around town a lot. He and the dog were both very nice. The bedspread finished and I tossed it in the dryer. The sleeping bag was still going. Weird...but, it was on a different cycle, maybe that takes longer. Cleaned out the car. Bedspread was dry. Sleeping bag was still going. Grace was getting antsy. No way to stop the machine, outlets are boxed in so you can't unplug them, door is locked shut.

Finally tried calling the emergency number on the wall - no answer. Finally drove across town to the 'parent' laundromat, and got an attendant who called the owner - and had to leave a message on his phone. 

Drove back to the original laundromat, and discovered Mike (?) the possibly-homeless guy had the number of the guy who opens the door in the mornings, and had called him! Mike saves the day! By the time the guy came and took the machine apart, it had been washing for TWO HOURS. It is now a very clean (but still damp) sleeping bag.

That was a LONG time to entertain yourself with spinning things, and Grace was very close to a meltdown. We went through the McDonalds drive-thru, because I knew just having sweets so far was not helping matters, but going straight to the noise of their indoor playground would not be a good segue. She ordered chicken nuggets and then changed her mind when we got them. Needless to say, she had the choice of chicken nuggets or nothing.

She nibbled enough for me to say okay, she ate them, while we headed over to her new school.

Grace has been in the same classroom for DD preschool for the past two years, and now she will be in an entirely different building, different staff, and all day. We were hoping to meet her teacher, who we knew was also new to the district. The staff was in a training when we got there, but the secretary knows me and convinced the principal to go pull the teacher out.

We loved her!!! She is very sweet, and her background is in behavioral psych, mainly working woth autistic children, which I think is a plus. There will be six kids in the class, and she was very excited to meet her first student. Gracie liked her a lot, although she was showing her inattentive, lack of focus, easily distracted side - spinning in circles and not answering questions, taking off down the hallway, etc.

Okay, NOW she was ready to be with a noisy group of kids, so we headed over to Alamo Jump. One of the summer day care groups that has been visiting the library was there, and the kids were all tickled to see me in 'the wrong place'. In fact, I knew all the kids who were there - go figure. Grace did really well interacting with the other kids, had one near-meltdown when I made her stop to go to the bathroom, but she was distracted by another kid crying, and that stopped it!

I lured her away with the promise of purple school supplies, and we did Walmart, the Sonic for slushes, then home. Then the school for an ice cream social, then supper. We're a little off on nutrition this week.

So happy I have learned her cues well enough to avoid full-on meltdowns more often, and we were able to have a good day together!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Logan's Day

Next up, Logan Wayne!

We got an earlier start this morning, despite the stupid dog keeping us up all night by alerting to every animal that came through our yard (that is a considerable number on any given night).

We also remembered his rocks to hide, and almost immediately found another one (on the far right)!

The first two were hidden at the library, where we went to check on a cockroach issue (pets, not pests).

Amigo's Bakery for breakfast.

Lgaon by himself is a royal chatterbox! Here he was telling me something about Captain America.

We hid a rock there, too.

And one at the Dollar Store,

where he only spent a dollar! He is Mr. Frugal with his money. He had $9 saved up, and we visited every thrift shop in town, spending 50 cents here and a dollar there. He still has 88 cents left. He LOVES tiny things, so while I was searching for a large party-sized tea pot, he found a little three-inch porcelain one with paw prints all around it, and at another thrift shop, a bitty china cup and saucer. 

Found another rock at Walmart!

That was rehidden elsewhere.

We went to Clay Time and painted crayon holders - pictures will come after they are fired! On to the mall, to check out the entries for the trash bin painting contest. Our friend Samatha won first place!! Yay Sam!

Our favorite Chinese food for lunch,

then Alamo Jump. It is pretty much impossible to get a clear picture there. He ran and jumped like a crazy person, all by himself - he's my loner! A big group showed up, and he kept switching to whichever jumper they weren't on. Not really shy, just content to be in his own world.

 There, now he's still:

Still silly, that is.

We grabbed ice cream and then swung by the zoo, just in time to see an injured hawk brought in.

People suck. Initial guess from AC is that he was shot with a pellet gun. Poor guy was so scared! They will take good care of him.

Logan likes to feed the birds.

Or just watch them.

He is full of stories about what they might be doing!

He also spotted this very cool tree that you can hide under. I can even stand up inside it!

I need one!

Sonic for slushies, then we stopped at the Apple Barn. Didn't buy anything, just looked around. Somehow I have never been in there before. Someone asked us where we were from and I had to answer, "Um...across the street."

Back home. Logan picked Beefy Bacon Chili as his meal. That takes a bit to prepare, so we did the prep work tonight and we will eat it tomorrow. Tomorrow is Grace's day, so we switched and let her sort-of-help with dinner tonight. 

After dinner, he and Sheridan had a tea party in his room with his new purchases...and a tree that Sheridan cut down with her new tool kit.

I suggested that, in the future, we might ask Daddy which trees actually need to be cut down first. And then I gave them the jelly jar to 'plant' it in.

He blessedly opted to set up a fort and sleep in Sheridan's room tonight, raher than the camper, so Mom may get a bit of sleep tonight! An awesome day with my sweet, jibber-jabber Medium Guy!