Life as we know told by Heather

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Balloon Blues

We've always had the occasional balloon around the house, some with helium and some without. Recently though, Xander learned (as most of us do at a young age) that a balloon could teach him a lesson in physics.

There's a little grocery store Xan and I love, called Trader Joe's, where they have specialty foods and little shopping carts for kids. With gas being $4/gallon we don't go out of the way to shop there, but it's close to Xander's occupational therapy facility so we make a trip every other Wednesday to stock up on some of Xan's special foods, as they're much cheaper here than at the larger retailers.

On this particular day they had blown up a lot of balloons, and Xander was offered one by the cashier. He doesn't really have a favorite color so I had no idea what he'd pick, but I was impressed with his selection of a magnificent purple balloon. Jason of course would say that it would be the obvious choice, as it is an LSU color, but it really was probably the prettiest balloon they had. It wasn't one of those opaque, filmy-colored balloons, but a translucent, deep purple that you could see someone in through the other side. Very satisfied with his selection Xander's balloon was tied around his wrist and he was warned to hold on to it tightly so that it didn't blow away outside.

It wasn't good enough to just have the balloon, but it had to come with us for the rest of the day. He even took it next door to Meijer, where it kept bopping me in the head as I pushed the cart. It rode him on his arm, came in the house and stayed through dinner. It reminded me of the French movie The Red Balloon, which I watched a lot in kindergarten.

The movie is about a little boy who has a balloon follow him all the time, basically like a stalker. I don't know if it was because we really liked it, or because there was no dialogue which made it quiet, but our kindergarten teacher used to show this movie all the time. Unlike most movies from elementary school where I was more fascinated watching the light come out of the projector, I used to face forward for this movie and actually watch it.

Then after dinner the balloon followed us outside. There was yet again another reminder of making sure to hold on to the balloon even though it's tied around our wrist, because it could slip off and float away. And then it did. And it was quick. As soon as the screaming started and we looked up, the balloon had already risen way above the house. Jason offered to pick Xander up and take him to the front yard so he could watch it's ascent and he actually agreed. So off we went, the four of us, to the front yard to watch the balloon. Without any trees around it was free of obstruction and headed pretty much due north as it traveled upward. Xander wanted to know if it was going to see Jesus and we told him probably. We said maybe Jesus was having a bad day and needed some cheering up by a big purple balloon. What else could we say? Even the next night he woke up crying about the balloon. He wanted to know if he prayed to Jesus would he tell the balloon he missed him. I assured him this would probably work, but that it wasn't going to make his balloon return and I don't think he liked that too much.

But since then we've had more balloons. We went to Red Robin for lunch on Father's Day, where they pass out balloons. He chose purple yet again, though it was more like an opaque lavender. And then last week we were back to Trader Joe's, where they only had white balloons available. He wasn't nearly as satisfied with either of these choices, but he has learned to hold on to them. So much so that now we have a balloon collection tied to the back of his chair in the kitchen. At some point we'll have to figure out a way to explain how balloons just "disappear" after we've carefully kept a handle on them, but that will have to be another day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Of berries, bikes, bad weather and no particular order.

I'm starting with weather first because I'm sick of it. I don't know why it's so hard this year for the weather people to tell us if or when we are having severe storms. They're either popping up out of nowhere, or they tell us they're coming and they don't. My personal favorite is that of last Friday and early this morning, where they say things are weakening or just not coming near us at all, and yet I'm awoken by some thunder and lightning only to discover there's a tornado warning nearby. Poor southern Ohio will have been under a tornado watch for about 20 hours straight by the end of the day if the current watch stays in effect. Luckily the weather was able to cooperate for Memorial Day weekend. It was quite lovely and we had a nice cookout at my mom and step-dad's that Sunday.

At any rate, this rain of late is doing wonders for my plants. The strawberries are a little experiment I was trying with Xander, but then I discovered my neighbor Dena gardens and she offered to start some seeds for me. I'm doing all containers this year until I see if I'm successful, as I don't want to rip up my yard to find I'm not good at growing things. I'm horrible with houseplants so I wasn't expecting much from these. The strawberries are looking great though, and it was fun to watch Xander learn how to plant them, then put them in the sun, and he even helped me water them. I discovered, however, that 12 strawberry plants isn't going to put a dent in my kids' consumption of the fruit. Xander is very proud of the strawberries so I took a picture of them yesterday. The other little plants you see are the ones from Dena that I need to re-pot. They're tomatoes, cucumber and green pepper. One of each, just to see how they do.

Xander also just got his first big boy bike. Jason had told him he could use some birthday money to buy it so they went last week and picked it out. Just so happens that it matches the helmet he got last summer at the Safety Fair. Xander loves his bike and is quite good at it, just got on and took off. He's already riding it around the block and we've been leaving the cars in the driveway so he can ride in the garage on days that it rains.

Nomey has a helmet, too, and insists on wearing it even if she's not riding her tricycle. They even wore helmets to help me wash the car on Sunday.

Other than that we've not been doing much. The kids and I have gone on a few playdates with our MOPS (Mother's of Pre-schoolers) group and I went out for Mexican and dancing with some friends last Saturday night. Something about having two kids and turning 30 has reduced my ability to decide what makes for good "going out" clothes, so I let Jason choose my attire on Saturday. He was quite pleased with the end result and even took my picture. He attempted to go fishing with Xander and his dad last Sunday but that didn't go so well.

Our next big adventure is a garage sale at my mom's next weekend. She already sold some of our baby stuff to a girl at her work, but I have tons of clothes and other things here that I hope to get rid of as well. So please pray for me that it doesn't rain next Saturday, so I will not have spent hours pricing all these things for naught.

Also, Jason's cousin is getting married this weekend, so congratulations Nellie!!! All of you family members making the trip to Punta Cana we hope you have a fabulous time.