15th September 2010

State Fair

My folks took our family to the fair this year.  As usual, it was a lot of fun.  The only unfun thing was dad having an injured eye.  He got a scratch on his cornea and it was ulcerating, causing him a lot of pain, and the drops he has to put in hourly were also painful.  It was in his “good” eye, which rendered him, effectively, blind.

They got ride-o-rama bracelets for the three kids the kids and Zach, so Zach could help, especially on the bigger rides Zane wanted to go on.

We have a photo of him looking forward and happy on this ride, but I was tickled by the picture of him smelling the ride before settling in.  One of those quirks inherited from both sides of the family.  (Even Zach’s dad, Zane’s grandpa, was known for smelling everything.  lol)

Before Zach & Zane split off to go on big rides, Zane rode a few of the kid ones with Zora.

One of the only rides that Zane has never really liked is the carousel.  When he does ride, he rides on the bench, but he prefers not to ride it.  I actually agree with him on this one.  I can ride the wildest roller coasters and other adrenaline rides, but the carousel gives me horrible vertigo and I hate it.  Zora and Zach both love the carousel.

Dad and I hung out with the kids and mom for a while, until the brightness and the dust was just more than he could take.  We found a spot just off the midway, in the shade and away from the people where we sat for most of the afternoon.  I realized later that the hours long conversation was the longest uninterrupted conversation I have had with my dad in decades.  We also laughed at the idea that he could never have guessed, when I was Zora’s age, that I would ever sit still for that long.

As darkness fell, we headed back to the cars, with one last stop:  the train.  Mom has taken this ride every year since she was a little girl, she always took us every year, and now my kids have gone every year.  However, I don’t remember being able to go in the “coal car” part of the train, so I am a little jealous.  We ended up going on the last loop of the night.  I think the kids behaved better than the “grown-ups” this time.

And, as we pass by a “photo board” thing, we decided to give it a shot.  I will leave out the nice photos because the bad ones were so much funnier.

Our family’s submission to “awkward family photos” website (a website of horrible family photos).  Zane was not really into the photo thing, as you can tell.

but we did get one last smile out of him before leaving.

posted in Autistic Life, State Fair, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zane, Zora | Comments Off

20th September 2009

Kansas State Fair with Dawn’s Family

Dawn brought most of her family (her oldest had homecoming that weekend, so she stayed home) back to Hutch for the Fair and we met up with her the last day of the fair. Zora and Kaz really hit it off. Kaz is a few months younger than Zora and they both seem to fall right back into that easy familiarity and preschool flirting every time they get together. (and drive their parent’s crazy wanting to see each other for days and weeks after they are separated).

Kaz fell asleep in the stroller and Dawn and the girls went to see the Naked Brothers (a teen band) for a while, so we were on our own after we all ate something. After the concert, we met back up and hung out.

Since it is rough on Dad to be in the animal buildings (allergies), we waited until Sunday to look at all the animals. (Plus, both of my guys were getting overwhelmed outside because it was too hot and too crowded)

And, back to the rides

No, she doesn’t know the girls, but within a minute of hopping in the back of the pseudo mustang convertible, you would think she knew them for ages.

Zora insisted these were coffee cups, not tea cups.

After one scary incident when I almost passed out on a merry-go-round a few years ago (I think I was pregnant with Zora at the time), I get freaked out by them. (never mind that I have no issues with the most extreme roller coasters, the dang merry-go-round still bothers me). So, once she was out of the concert, Dawn went with Zora. She was very specific about which horse she wanted. Zane wanted to sit on the bench with Zach.

The kids wanted to do the roller coaster again. You can see Zach with Zane and Dawn with Zora, all holding their arms up. lol.

In the foreground: Zora and Kaz eat some snacks as Kaz starts waking up. In the background: Zane, Zach and Zyg are getting on the giant swings.

Kaz and Zora made good use of the “Ride-O-Rama” unlimited ride arm bands with this one ride. It is called “Rainbow Rock” and they would go in and do the obstacle course, giggling most of the way, go down the slide at the bottom and run back to the entrance to do it again.

They did ride the rockets together once before going back to Rainbow Rock and doing that another 20 times or so.

The whole gang, minus me (taking the photo) after our supper at Applebees. We kept lingering because nobody wanted to leave. It was such a great day and we miss them so much.

posted in Friends, State Fair, The Kids | Comments Off

18th September 2009

Kansas State Fair with Jennifer’s parents

(updated with a few photos that got left off the end)

Zane took off in excitement when he saw Uncle Steve in the distance.

Pronto Pups + walking= problematic. Good thing Grandpa brought his cart.

Waiting for the train

A Fair Tradition, riding the train. My mom did it when she was a little girl too.

We sat next to each other and got along. Never would have believed it 30 years ago. The funniest thing is that we ended up discussing engineering. lol

This was the first time I ever rode the skylift. It wasn’t around when I was a kid and usually mom is the one who rides with Zane. Zane and I are in the first one after the post (we are headed east/left to right), Zach and Zora are behind us.

Ah…aren’t they cute together? :D

Steve rode with Zane in the very back seat of the roller coaster (Zora and Zach were in the seat in front of them)

Zane found the horn and was beeping it in a rhythm throughout the ride.

posted in Extended Family, State Fair, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids | Comments Off

15th September 2008

Kansas State Fair 2008

It was a great day. I wish my Dad could have made it, but he had a really awful cold. Mom and Steve both met us there though. It was good to see Steve again. It was especially good to see him spend time with the kids and start to really get to know them better. (something he could never really do with his soon-to-be-ex) After a week of constant rain, it finally cleared in the afternoon and we were blessed with perfect weather too.

The fair is such a big deal for our family. Steve and I were often at the fair every day as kids/teens because we didn’t live far away and we were very involved and often had many various entries, from art, to FFA, to FHA, to competing in the band contests. My mom said she has only missed two fairs her entire life: the first when she was about Zora’s age, when there was a big polio scare, and the second when she was in the hospital having Steve. (his birthday always falls during the fair, and this year it was the day we all went there).

The Illinois State Fair was a big deal in Zach’s childhood, and one of Zane’s strongest and most enduring interests is in roller coasters and rides (he plays Roller Coaster Tycoon on the computer quite a bit and loves to design rides, pathways, and landscaping on the game).

It was a really fabulous day for all of us.

Through the poultry building on the way to get some food.

The look at the poultry was pretty much over when Zane realized that the rides were just on the other side of the building. We first went and got a Pronto Pup to eat because all of the adults were starving, then on to the rides.

Zane wanted to go into the obstacle course ride. We held our breath as we watched him climb up rope ladders, traverse a narrow swinging type bridge, and navigate through other obstacles until he finally made his way to the triumphant big slide. We didn’t have to go in after him and he didn’t seem to hesitate on the different obstacles…we were happy to see that.

Zora waiting with her brother for her first ride ever.

For her first ride ever, she insisted on the car ride. While Zane chose the back seat of a jeep thing, Zora went straight for the two seater red sportscar.

Another one where I go…you take him…I don’t wanna.

Letting us know she is good to go on the NASCAR ride. lol

Zach and Zane sat in the back row, Steve and Zora right in front of them. We were a little shocked when Zora asked to go on this thing. I know it is a “kid’s” roller coaster, but still. The girl has serious daredevil genes.

The adult roller coaster, this time Zora sat out (too little), but Steve came along for the ride again. Zane loves this thing.

After riding “Ye Olde Mill” and the train, we decided to split up because Zora wanted to see the animals and Zane wanted to go back to the rides. Zach and Zane ended up on two or three more rides, including one that was more intense than the adult roller coaster. Zane, of course, loved it. We were there late enough that Zane got to see the rides with all the lights on. He and Zach rode one of the rides that Zach remembers riding with his dad in the dark…it was called the “Blizzard” and is the one I remember being called the “Schletterbaum”…where you go up and down in circles really fast, then it takes you backwards, with really loud music and blinking lights, half of the area covered, half outside.

Zora seemed most interested in seeing a cow. What she really wanted was to go up to all of the big cows and bulls, but what we let her do was pet the calves. Here she is showing us the cow.

Zora and her “unka ‘teve”

This was the response when I told her she needed to wash her hands.

She insisted on getting Steve to show him the 4 horned sheep. He was able to convince her to wash her hands with no problem. lol.

We wore them out. They didn’t even wake up when we carried them inside and into bed.

posted in Autistic Life, Extended Family, State Fair, The Kids | 2 Comments

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