Otherwise known as the Minnesota State Fair. The Fair is an annual event in our house with extra importance because of Michael. Michael has proudly proclaimed that he has never missed a Fair in his life. He was barely a month old when we took him the first time. He also insists that he NEVER will miss a Fair. We are getting close enough to finished with our paperwork that it was a concern that we might miss this one. We are still waiting for our I171h to arrive. It always seems to be the sticking point in our adoptions. It is very frustrating - but I digress. The point of this post is the Fair.
There is about 2 hours of preparation that goes into an outing like this. First, there is the cooler and diaper bag. Caelia needs electrolytes - she dehydrates fast and most things upset her tummy and one of the best parts of the Fair is the food. So, water, ice, electrolytes. Medications, sunscreen, diapers and 3 changes of clothes for each girl (and a clean shirt for Mama and Daddy in case one of the princesses - probably Caeli - chucks up her cheese curds. The girls are really trying on the whole potty training thing - but they haven't quite got it down yet and the Fair is the last place to try to practice. Lines for the womens' room is always long.
Everything needs to fit into the stroller. We currently have a double jogging stroller. You wouldn't think that a stroller was a necessity for a 6 and an almost 6 yr old but Caelia does evenutally tire and Lera seems to tire easily. The stroller serves a couple of purposes. It is handy for containment purposes. You don't want to have to chase 2 girls running in opposite directions. It is a safety device. Not only does it keep them from wandering, it protects them from people who plow blindly through crowds and never mind the child that is tottering along in front of them (a personal pet-peeve - especially if they are walking with a lit cigarette at little face level). It saves Daddy's back. It saves Mama's back and shoulders. Shoulders because of how heavy the diaper bag with supplies gets to be. There are problems with the one we have - like we will soon need a stroller for 3 or 2 strollers.
We are thinking of getting the same stroller that Meredith has (http://cornishadoptionjourney.blogspot.com/2008/08/i-won-lottery.html) It is practically impossible to find a stroller to accomodate 2 bigger kids but this one looks like it might do but anyone with another suggestion, please let us know. The Valco Baby stroller has a great feature - a toddler seat that can attach in the front for a third child to ride. Sounds like a plan to me - if it can accomodate my big girls.
Anyway, our current stroller will do while we have only two riders. It just requires a bit more effort. It is designed for a taller person (which I am not) and it has a fixed wheel in front so you need to pop a wheelie to make turns. This is a bit tough to do with over 100 pounds of precious cargo.
Grandpa and Uncle Ryan went with us. The girls were very excited. They were aware of going somewhere special but I don't think Caelia remembers it clearly and nothing in Lera's memories are like the Fair. As soon as we drove onto the fairgrounds, the girls were pointing and trying to get loose. Lera saw the Midway (where all the rides are) and started shrieking. We took her to a small carnival around Independence Day and had to carry her back to the car kicking and protesting when it was time to leave because she so wanted to go back to the games.
It was a beautiful day. Sunny, pleasant and very busy. Our first stop was the animal barns. Not a favorite of Michael or Ryan or Randy for that matter but the girls really like the animals. A very nice boy asked if the girls wanted to be his calf. She was very sweet and mostly stayed asleep. Lera was thrilled! Then we went to see the sheep and a wonderful lady introduced her to a lovely nanny goat. We saw bunnies and chickens and turkeys. We discovered that turkeys and chickens really hate Ryan. All he had to do was walk past one and it would get all ruffled and noisy. Lera had to touch everyone of the animals they had out to be petted. So much food. Pronto pups, turkey legs, milkshakes, caramel apples in a dish, pulled pork sandwiches, deep fried cheese curds, mini donuts, porkchop on a stick, pickle dogs and of course, the footlong hotdogs were great! Two ends - no waiting! Michael is such an anomally. In the midst of all of the noise and crowds, he finds a small garden and while the girls scarf down a "meatball sundae" he spent his time trying to coax a butterfly onto his finger to show his sisters. In addition to food and animals there are also rides. Oh, boy, the RIDES! Pictures discribe these better than I can.
By far, however, the best thing about the Fair is the MUSIC. Both Caelia and Lera seem to live for music and to dance. This is a bit tough when Mama has you buckled into the stroller but when you gotta dance...you gotta dance.