blah, blah, bio ...

We are "natural parenting" a precocious
eight year old, Adeline Brett, her three year old sis, Eliza June and their wild baby brother, Silas Augusten.

Homeschooling ...

Enduring lots of craziness ...

I am living with the life altering, disabling chronic illness
(postural orthostatic tachycardia - POTS) as a stay at
home mommy, wife & small business owner.

But most of all, we are thanking our lucky stars
that we are reveling in lots and lots of love and happiness.

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{ fair game }

Posted on September 5, 2011

We hate the fair. There, I said it. I know so many people think of the fair as a joyful place to go have fun and be a kid again. And I do have fond memories of hanging out at the fair with my friends when I was younger. But let’s face it. the state fair … at least our state fair here in Oregon … is pretty much the epitome of the armpit of society. I can’t stand crowds (I also detest the mall and try not to visit a mall except once every two years and only if absolutely necessary). Even when it’s people I love, being squished together with hoards of people makes me claustrophobic and nervous – I can’t breathe and can’t wait to escape. Anywho, you get it – visiting the fair, not my favorite thing (and Scott is in wholehearted agreement here).

The fact that this sign is necessary and is in a prominent place at the entrance pretty much sums up the mentality of most of the fair attendees …



All of that aside, we put our hatred for crowds of less savory folk aside (I know, my snobbery is showing, LOL) and I convinced Scott to take the kiddos simply because Addie’s bliss at seeing all the animals, throwing our money away on games played and being thrown in the air by giant machines operated by mostly drunk ride operators was something I really wanted to see. Sidenote: The Urban Dictionary defines Carnival Folk as: “Can be easily distinguished from Homo sapiens by their lack of teeth, greasy never-washed mullet, bad posture and horrific smell.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up … except, as my sister-in-law pointed out, at the Oregon State Fair there isn’t much to distinguish the fair goers from the carnival ride operators.

We didn’t tell Adeline where we were going, only that it was someplace fun. When we stepped inside the gate there was a big display by the corn grower’s association featuring bales of hay to climb on and a big box of corn kernels that kids were rolling around in … she squealed and jumped in thinking this was the big destination mom and dad had been talking about for the last few days. Imagine her surprise when we rounded the corner and the whole fair was spread out before her in all it’s glory (not that hay and corn isn’t something to get excited about).

It was just getting dark when we arrived, so I have to admit with the low light of dusk and all the lights sparkling, the place took on a different quality where one could almost forget the reality of where we really were. Once the sun set the twilight was a sight to behold … the whole sky was lit up with purple, indigo blue and a rim of electric pinkish orange. For you photographers out there … twilight is an AMAZING secret time of day to take photos. It is magic! About 15 to 20 minutes after the sun has dropped you’ll have this amazing color and light that no boring sunset photo can touch (while I love watching sunsets and think they are amazing in themselves, we’ve all seen a million variations on the sunset photo – the twilight shots can be those “how did you get that color” types of images that stand out from the rest). I actually did very little processing to these images. Poor Addie almost peed her pants because I was dragging them around to catch a few photos of the amazing light and color before it faded (and you really have to be ready because it lasts perhaps a couple minutes tops before fading to dark) – and I made her wait to go potty. :) She was doing what we call “the pee pee” dance the whole time. Bad mommy.

Photoshop Actions Elements Actions Children Photography Mommy Blog Babies Fair Photos

Photoshop Actions Elements Actions Children Photography Mommy Blog Babies Fair Photos

When we arrived we first decided to trade in good money for some “prizes” Addie won playing some of the games … the tiny monkey she won cost us $8 and had a hole in the head two minutes after walking away from the booth. But she was so proud and so dang excited about it that it was easily worth $10 in my book. We are keeping it a secret that her opponent in the water gun race (daddy) wasn’t actually trying to hit his target. :)

Next, we moved on to the rides. Now, as a kid and teenager I LOVED the scary rides. The faster, more thrilling and puke inducing they were the better. Upside down at wild speeds – my favorite. Scott, on the other hand is a wuss. Sorry, Scott, but we know it’s true. At the mention of Addie being tall enough to go on the big girl rides with mommy he had a little freak out saying how terrified she would be, etc, etc. She was crushed. I had a big girl talk with her and Scott and we decided if she thought she could handle it then we would try it and see. She picked the Cliffhanger. I tried hard not to be disappointed she did not pick my old favorite, The Zipper. LOL. Now, as much as I used to love rides when I was younger, I am now OLD and on top of that my POTS puts a big crimp on the things I am able to do. Because my autonomic nervous system is broken, just standing up can make my heart shoot from a normal 70 beats per minute to a galloping 200 bpm. This leaves me either passed out on the floor or so dizzy and out of breath that I’ve got to lower myself back down (I’ve gotten very good at acting normal when I actually feel like I’m dying). So, obviously, whizzing around through the air could put my body in a tail spin (I think those warning signs are actually designed for people like me). However, Addie did not want daddy to go and begged and pleaded for me to go with her, so I sucked it up and went. Thankfully, my body cooperated with me and it was amazing looking over at her while flying through the air – my teeny baby girl was in heaven and the faster and scarier the ride got the bigger her smile grew. I told Scott afterward that he needs to remember that the girls just may turn out to be more like me than him in some ways. ;)

This ride was like the Octopus, but on steroids. Super fast and swoop-y, and I was nuts to take my giant camera up there but didn’t want to miss her face. I’m sure I looked quite nuts up there with my giant camera and lens in one hand (and securely fastened with my strap lest it fly off and kill someone) and my other arm twirling us with the wheel faster and faster.

Photoshop Actions Elements Actions Children Photography Mommy Blog Babies Fair Photos

Photoshop Actions Elements Actions Children Photography Mommy Blog Babies Fair Photos

We also rode the Gravitron and I was shocked at the no rules way it was run … people crawling up the walls and turning upside and sideways (it’s one of those spinning ones that send you flat against your back, defying gravity), even as the kid in me thought it was rather awesome (as did Addie). That one was the killer for me, however. It sent my heart a spinning and jumping this way and that, and I stumbled off at the end needing to get out of there asap, praying I didn’t just cause another flare up. After settling down and nursing Miss Eliza in the back of a dirty food tent (where a lady came up and started telling me how she appreciated how discreet I was, some women just whip it out anywhere, yada yada – as I was thinking, “Ummm, hello?? Where is your discretion, lady? Leave me alone while I nurse my kiddo! (who does not take kindly to interruptions while she’s trying eat and snuggle)”), we decided to take a quick trip through the animal section. We also decided that this visit wasn’t long enough for the girls to see and do everything and we are … going back again tomorrow! What!?!

Here is Miss Eliza visiting the baby goats. They had some kind of secret language with her, she seemed to be talking to them on their level and kept offering her ducky (won by Addie at one of those previously mentioned games – only $6 for the duck that cost 3 cents to make!) to them, just like she shares with someone she really loves. We had to keep fishing it back out when they appeared to be disinterested in her offering. I think watching the kids interact with all the animals is the main reason we want to go back. It makes me long for the day – hopefully soon – that we’ll be able to move us out to the country where I feel we belong. This suburban home here is just not for us. I want the girls to grow up with a little patch of wild to call their own, animals roaming the property and plenty of natural space to let their imaginations soar. I had that blessing when I was growing up and I want them to have the same magical experience.

{ Snapshots from the iPhone … }
Photoshop Actions Elements Actions Children Photography Mommy Blog Babies Fair Photos


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