The other day we had some unexpected business to attend to, and I was a good bit irritated that my plan for the day was thrown. As we were running the necessary errands, I actually told the boys, "I know none of us wants to do this, and this is turning into a bad day, but let's just try to be good and get through what needs to be done." Great attitude, Mom!

But when we pulled into the parking lot of the bank, we saw something that peaked all of our interest: a police car, an ambulance, a fire truck, two helicopters, and a crowd of people. My first thought? "Oh, great! There's been some bomb threat and they've had to evacuate the bank. Now we'll have to wait to do our business. Can my day get much worse?" (Remember that bad attitude?) Then I realized the people were not panicked and kids were climbing in all the emergency vehicles. That was my first clue this was not a bomb threat.

We completed our business at the bank and decided to walk across the parking lot and see what was going on. I learned that the library, in the same shopping center as the bank, was having some special event and had brought these vehicles in for the kids. Patriot said he didn't want to get in the firetruck or the police car, but he was definitely interested in the helicopters, so we went over to check them out. He and Azlan both got to sit in the helicopter and pretend to drive (see pics below, taken with my new iPhone, thankyouverymuch).

Driving the helicopter must have warmed them up to the whole idea, so we sat in the police car and got to turn on the lights and the siren, then we climbed into the firetruck and got to turn the big steering wheel. We talked with the police officer and firemen, and generally had a really good time!

Just as we were about to leave, the propellers on the helicopters started spinning and they asked everyone to back up. We were able to watch both helicopters take off and fly away, feeling the warm wind and hearing the loud whir! It really was exciting even for Mom!

So I learned a couple things that day:
  1. A firetruck generally goes about 65 mph. A police car goes about 140 mph. And a helicopter goes about 200 mph. We thought that was very interesting.
  2. I need to just roll with the changes that come to my day, because you never know when the coolest opportunity might pop up.
You know how you sometimes see that little girl in the grocery store wearing her Cinderella dress? Or the boy who looks like he's been wearing his Spiderman pajamas for four days straight? When I see those families, I always have to wonder what happened at their house before they walked out the door. Now I know.

Patriot has taken to dressing in strange costumes. I think it started a week ago when I let him get a Batman mask at Wal-Mart. He immediately (meaning, before we left the toy aisle) put it on and assumed the persona of Batman, at least as much as he knows seeing as he's never seen a Batman movie, cartoon, or comic book. As we continued our shopping, we talked about how Batman was a hero who helped people and fought bad guys. Patriot liked that idea and, as long as I referred to him as Batman, actually helped me continue my shopping.

Me: Patriot, do you see any bananas?
Him: No, Mommy, but Batman might.
Me: OK, Batman, do you see any bananas?
Him (in a deep voice): Yes, they are right over there.

This seemed like it could be a pretty good deal for me. So I let him keep the mask on until naptime. As soon as he woke, he wanted it right back. I figured it couldn't hurt any, so I gave it to him. He was Batman the rest of the day and the next day. As time went on, though, we noticed "Batman" seemed to be a little sassier and wasn't afraid to talk back to grown-ups disrespectfully. This is not OK, so we promptly limited the time in the Batman mask.

The next day he asked to wear his Bengals helmet and wanted to wear it all day long. A little unusual, but maybe he's just anxiously anticipating the start of the NFL season (aren't we all!).

We had a sunglasses day. This day he wanted his brother to join the fun, so they both wore their sunglasses. Patriot told Azlan, "Now we're styling."

Today he found a kid-sized life jacket in the garage. You know, the kind you'd wear on a boat. He wanted to wear it and, since we were just goofing in the yard, I put it on him. The boy wore it all morning. He played Wii in the life jacket. He kicked balls in the backyard in the life jacket. He looked like he was just waiting for a flood! Oh, how I wish I had a picture of him wearing the life jacket and the Batman mask at the same time! It was the funniest thing ever.

So where do you draw the line on ridiculous costumes? For me, the line is when my own inconvenience or embarrassment outweighs his desire to express himself through imaginative play. And my embarrassment threshold is pretty high so don't be surprised to see me running errands with Batman!
My Granny died this morning. She was my dad's Mom and lived here in the Cincinnati area. She was survived by her husband of a zillion years, Grandpa Stan, her three children: John, Susan, and Sarah; three grandchildren: me, Joni, and Curtis; and three great-grandchildren: Patriot, Azlan, and Elias. I don't know the exact cause of death. Her health had been failing for a while now, and she was taken to the hospital last night with stroke symptoms. They determined she had fluid in her lungs and carbon monoxide poisoning. I'm sure we'll learn more in time.

I remember a lot about Granny. She always told a story about when I was a child and she was taking me to the zoo. I was upset because I didn't have new sandals, but I apparently pronounced it "sanders," which she loved.

We used to go to Granny's house for Christmas every year and she always made the best pressed cookies! When she started getting sick and couldn't bake anymore, I secretly tried to mimic her cookie recipe every year, but they were never quite right. I'm sure she'd have given me the recipe had I asked . . .

Granny was quite the card player! She played all kinds of different card games, but we played a lot of Uno around her kitchen table.

Granny loved bird watching. I think cardinals were her favorite. She always had a bird feeder or two set up and could tell you about all the different kinds.

She always used to sing the John Anderson song "Just a Swingin'" -- I have no idea why. She was a Cincinnati Reds fan, especially Johnny Bench. But she was always disappointed by the Bengals (just like the rest of us!). She had also gotten into Nascar and had her favorite drivers, but I couldn't keep up with all of that.

Granny was a spirited woman! She kept up with politics and current events and had an opinion about all of it. She and Matt had several friendly sparring matches, but she always won!

I remember she cried when I told her I was pregnant with Patriot. She said, "I didn't think I'd live to see any of my great-grandchildren." Not only did she live to see them, but she attended Patriot's first birthday party. When Azlan was born, she held him for the longest time and then asked us to take him because he was just too heavy.

She requested to be cremated and have no funeral service, so we're going to have a small graveside service for her. If the circumstances are right, I think I might take the boys (or at least Patriot). Neither have ever been to a cemetery or had any real encounter with death. I don't think Granny would mind if they raised a little ruckus.
My little blog is turning 1 today!

Thank you for reading my random thoughts and enduring my endless pictures of the boys. I see my blog as my electronic scrapbook, because we know I don't have time for all those stickers and stamps that come with regular scrapbooks! The boys and I have already been able to reminisce about Halloweens and snow days by scrolling through this blog. Maybe someday we'll look back and remember how Wii-obsessed Patriot is and how Azlan's appetite is never satisfied. Your comments add to our memories, so please keep them coming!

I hope you like the new look! Change is hard and I keep thinking "Maybe I'll just go back to the pink." However, if I've learned anything as a parent, it's to accept and welcome change because it's coming whether you're ready or not!

Now, do they sell blogiversary cake at Wal-Mart bakery?