Friday, July 31, 2009

Swimmy

Last year I completely forgot to sign-up for swim lessons.  This year I waited until the last moment - but I did it.  I got him in.  And it's a good thing too.  My boy is a water baby and he's taking to it beautifully.

Here he is jumping in.  He keeps his arm extended so he can grab the side ASAP.
Then they practiced their massive, splashy kicks.  (I had to laugh when the asst. teacher shielded herself from the splashing.  Give it up!  You're gonna get wet!)


Something Magoo is not super fond of is floating on his back.  He feels out of control.  I'm sure once he can actually swim, he'll be better at this.  But right now, he resists it.


The night I was there (it's usually Mike's job to take him to swim lessons) Magoo was the only boy in the class.  He didn't seem to mind though.  He used his time to chat up the ladies.


And they finished class with a noodle chain.  So cute!

He can't "swim" just yet.  But every day he's getting closer and yesterday, at the day pool, he was "swimming" from the wall to my arms and wanting to do some new things and show off his skills.  It's wonderful to see his confidence build.  I know once he's independent of flotation devices he's going to be a friggin' fish!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Favorite Photographs

In yesterday's post I mentioned how I'd be posting favorite photos from my archives today.  I've limited myself to five images, and it took no time at all to find five I loved.  But I wouldn't say these are my top five.  I didn't have the time to go through ALL my archives - so when I got to five I just stopped.

Also, I hadn't intended to have so many be of Magoo.  Who I am kidding, though? 80% of the photos I take are of that kid.  He's my muse!  So you get 80% Magoo photos.

Here they are, in no particular order.

Clothesline.
This was a tough call, color or black & white?  Hmmm.  I liked the colors of the laundry - but the look of the clothesline is kinda classic so I went with B&W.
 
Speedy Sunset.  
I took this shot on the drive home from my mother-in-law's in Niantic.  The sky just exploded with color.  I have some where the focus is sharper - but I like the movement in this one.


Water Fountain.  
I usually like any photo where water is captured in motion.  I like how the light and colors reflect in it.  And, come on, look at the tongue!

Sitting On The Edge.  
One evening, Magoo was getting ready for a bath and the light coming in was just too darn gorgeous.  I had to run and get my camera.  Magoo was a good sport about it at first.  Then he started getting irritated with me.

I give you...
The Pout.
Can my boy pout, or what?!  Magoo is a pretty happy kid most of the time, but when he's feeling low, he lets you know about it.  This photo is a family favorite.

I'm sure I'll do more someday b/c this is just the tip of the iceberg.  But that's it for now. Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Day

It's been an odd summer.  There's been a ton 'o' rain.  But today - July 28th - it finally hot and sticky like it ought to.  I had to take the car in for an oil change, so I went to the walking-distance Marshall's and look what I found in clearance - the perfect dress for a sticky, hot day!

I can't tell you how excited I am by this dress.  It's (what I call) peacock blue - which is one of my ABSOLUTE favorite colors.  The elastic on the top keeps it from sliding down.  AND - no waist line.  When you're hot and sticky is there anything worse that a waste line?  I think not!

Better yet - it goes perfectly with the necklace Sara made me.

I don't have a whole lotta blue - so I never wore this necklace a lot - despite the fact that it's FABULOUS.  But I wore it today and it made the look!  (Sara, I got some lovely compliments on your necklace.)

And because it was a hot and sticky day - Magoo and I met up with some buddies at the sprinkler park.

Here he is bounding through the jets.  Doesn't it look like he's blasting off?

We come to this park pretty much every year.  When Magoo was younger we came a ton.  Then we started hitting the wading pools and now the bigger pools.  I decided to go back through my archives and find shots of Magoo at the sprinkler park through the years.

Apparently I did a thorough cleaning because I could only find one group of shots.  So here's Magoo at the sprinkler park when he was 1 1/2 years old - and today, at 6 1/2.


He was a water boy then and is a major water boy now.  (He's actually at swimming lessons as I type.)  It was amazing to go back through all those photos and watch him get younger and younger.  (And I also just found a lot of photos that I thought were just plain good photos.  So I think tomorrow I will just do a little photo gallery of favorite shots.)

I hope everyone had a lovely summer day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Additions

We've added a couple new things to the studio recently.  One is this AWESOME desk I got on Craig's List for $15.00.  I was "window" shopping for a couch when I found this and thought it was too perfect for Magoo to pass up.  To me, the best part is the storage space.  Now I have a place to put all his pencils and folders.  

You see, I'm the evil Mom who makes her kid do homework in the summer.  We don't do much. But the Kindergarten teacher sent home a whole honkin' list of words they should be working on for first grade, and doggonit, we're actually doing it.

I've learned that it's best to do something every night.  Even if it's only one word, because breaking the routine and getting back into it is very difficult on both of us.  But Magoo is doing great with his words and the more he does the better he's getting at sounding things out.

I figured he'd hate the desk.  It symbolized torturous work and an unkind mother. But the other day he said, "I'm going to keep this desk for when I have a son."  !!!!  That's a direct quote.  I wrote it down and taped it to the side of the desk.  I was GOBSMACKED!  So, now I can never ever get rid of it, yanno.  Good thing it's small.

The other new AWESOME thing is a set of library card drawers.
 
These were Sara's and they didn't want to move them so now they are mine.  (thank you thank you)  OH I LOVE THEM SO!  I have a neat place for crayons, tape, glue, markers, stamps, colored pencils, etc.  And the best part is - you can just pull those drawers right out and plop it down in front of you - so they're like boxes.  

Drawers and boxes all in one?!?!?  I'm in freakin' heaven.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

OMG - A Baby Squirrel

Magoo, Mike and I returned home from hitting a birthday party, the pool, and the grocery store (quite tired) and found our cat, Java, in the front yard with some sort of critter.  It turned out to be a baby squirrel.


We put Java in the house and saw that the squirrel was still breathing.  It didn't look bad off, like Java had tried to eat it or anything.  It seemed to be sleeping.  Maybe it was too boring for the cat to eat.  We assume it fell from it's nest and Java found it and maybe moved it.

What to do?  What to do?

The fact that we found it at 5:45pm on a Saturday did not bode well for finding help quickly.   So I went to the internet.  The first site I found said the first thing you need to do is keep it warm.  Mike went out and put it in a shoebox with fabric. (above.)  Then the site talked about formula and feedings and antibiotics - all of which was waaaaay out of our league.  But it had numbers for a couple state rehabilitators, so I called one (Skip) and left a message.

Then I went back online and called a vet.  They gave me the number for the Dept. of Wildlife.  I spoke to a man there who directed me to their website, but he also said if I couldn't find anyone to help us the best thing to do is put the squirrel back out where we found it and let nature take its course.  Yeep.  That wasn't really what we wanted to do.

On their webpage, it said you could put the baby in a basket and hang it back in the tree where it fell out in hopes the mother would find it.  So that's what we did.

I got a basket and put a hot water bottle in it (first site said to do that to keep the baby warm) and tucked the baby in.


Then we hung the basket.


About fifteen minutes after we got the basket up the rehabilitator (Skip) gave me a ring back.  He said what we did sounded good and to check on the baby tomorrow around noon.  If it was still in the basket and still alive, he gave me a couple numbers to call.

That's where we're at.  We're keeping Java in and hoping for the best.  I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE:  Sunday morning, 11:30

We checked on the baby this morning and it was still in the basket and still alive, although the breathing wasn't as strong as yesterday.  Then I started making phone calls - lots and lots of phone calls.  I also added another warm water bottle.  By the time I had left about 10 messages, the baby seemed to be doing better.  It snuggled itself closer to the bottle and was breathing well again.

Long story short - a very nice woman just came and picked up the squirrel.  She handled it like she handled little babies all the time.  She told us it was a boy and about 3-4 weeks old.  I'm thrilled that the squirrel has someone to look after it properly now and wish it the best!

Worrying about a baby squirrel is exhausting.


A Visit with the Literacy Camp


My friend Heather runs a summer literacy camp.  Thursday was the last day and she asked if I'd come in and do my Wink presentation for the kids.  Of course!  My visits to Tootin' Hill School (which Heather also organized) went so well - I decided to do the exact same presentation.

That was a mistake.  (More on that later.)

Here is the crowd.  I asked them to make silly faces.  The boy in the lower left corner isn't going for it.  :)
  
Things went along well enough.  There were a few blips in the road.  Summer is a hard time for a group of kids to sit still so I should have motored through instead of stopping to ask questions like I normally do.  

I'm learning there is a place early in my presentation that helps sum up the group.  When Wink climbs into the panda pen at the zoo, I often ask the kids if it is a good idea or a bad idea.  When the group is focused and invested, they say it's a bad idea.  This is a group I'm going to be able to have a back-and-forth with while keeping on track.  There's always a few that say it's a good idea to climb into the pen, to be funny.  But when MOST of the kids say it's a good idea... That's a group that is not along for the ride.  That's a group I'm going to have to be very careful with. That was this group.

Not to say that they weren't lovely.  They were.  And there were plenty of smart kids with great answers and ideas.  But there was a decent chunk who'd talk to their neighbors or shout out answers.  They weren't really listening, yanno?  It is summer, after all.

After about 35 minutes, one kid in the front said (loudly) "How long do we have to sit here?"  :)
Another child chimed in, "Yeah - how much longer?"  

Remember that mistake I mentioned earlier?  I have two presentations for Wink.  A long one and a shorter one.  The shorter one doesn't go into the selling of the manuscript and publishing houses much.  I should have gone with the shorter one.  Live and learn.

So I wrapped it up quickly.  

Funny Story:
Toward the end of the slide show I have a photograph of me and Magoo at the Viking offices, standing on front of a case of Viking books.  One little girl said, "You're wearing a bathing suit!"
"No I'm not," I said, chuckling.  "I'm wearing a top and a skirt."
"You're wearing a bathing suit," she insisted.
"Do you really think I'd go to a publishing house in New York City in a bathing suit?" I asked.
"It's a bathing suit."  She wouldn't budge.
How do you respond to that?  It took all my will power I had to not whip out my can of sarcasm on the girl.   So I just said, "Okay, thanks so much.  Have a great summer!"

This might not have been my best presentation ever - but it all adds up to experience which is great for me.  And I'm forever learning from the back and forth that I have with school groups.

Thanks Literacy Camp!  (And I'm still not in my bathing suit.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Work In Progress

Sorry I've been a slack blogger this week.  I've been writing a bit and that doesn't make for an interesting blog post.  My other project has been working on a Pikachu pinata for my son. 

Above is Pikachu, for anyone who doesn't know.  It's a Pokemon character and Magoo is ALLLLL about the Pokemon these days.

Below is the start of the pinata.  Actually, it's a little further along than the start.  It's the body: balloons, cardboard, and Dixie cups.

Now I need to get A LOT of yellow tissue paper.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gluten-Free Blueberry Crumble Cake


Thanks so much to Jessica for sending me the recipe for the Blueberry Boy Bait, but I decided to tinker with something I tried before and put the blueberries to use in a Gluten-Free Blueberry Crumble Cake. (I'm still planning on making the Boy Bait someday, though.)

I made the cake part (minus the crumble) for Magoo's 6th birthday in December. But we didn't have gluten-free oats at the time and he can't he nuts - so I just served it up plain.

This time I had the right oats and I decided to substitute ground sunflower seeds for nuts and give the crumble a tumble.

The Topping:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, ground up
1/4 cup GF flour
1/4 cup GF oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TBsp agave nectar
1 T safflower oil

Mix seeds, flours, oats and cinnamon. Pour agave and oil over top. Mix until crumbly. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease up a 9 X 9" cake pan. I use glass.

Cake Batter:

1/3 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup soymilk
2 TBsp ground flax seeds (Although I didn't go crazy with the grounding part)
grated rind of a lemon
1 3/4 cup GF flour mix
1 tsp. xantham gum
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 TBsp. baking powder
2 cups fresh blueberries

In a medium bowl, combine oil, agave, milk, flaxseed, and lemon rind.


Set this aside for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, mix flour, xantham gum, salt, and baking powder. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. It's OK if there are a few lumps. Fold in HALF the blueberries. Spread into pan.


Sprinkle your crumble mix over top and then add remaining blueberries. Bake on middle rack for 45 minutes.

Enjoy! (This is lovely warm and fresh, but it's still good after it's cooled.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tummy Yummies


My buddy, Sara, came over Thursday evening to sit, chill, and watch a movie. I made an apple tart from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Cookbook - which I LOVE!

I've made this tart several times. It's easy and tastes so good. And if you have left-overs, it's an AWESOME treat for the morning.

Little did I know, Sara was bring treaties too!

She brought this chocolate temptation - so rich!


And lemon cake. Everybody sing, "Lemon cake, very pretty - and the lemons taste so sweet."

Sara said she had to buy it because it was so lovely. And it was TAST - TEE too. Layers of lemon cake upon layers of lemon creme. MMMMMMM!

She also brought a berry tart - which was great - but just not as pretty as the other too.

So we ate well.

Good thing the food was so yummy because the movie, No Reservations with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart, was a formulaic yawn-fest. But I got it at the library so it was free, at least. And if you're going to watch a stinky movie - it's good to have a friend there so you can cringe together but note the kicky beret Ms. Zeta-jones wore and discuss the merits of good head accesories.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Judy Blume's Shoulder

My excellent agent is in Chicago at the ALA Conference (American Library Association) and he just sent me this photo he took (maybe?) of Judy Blume and a cute young woman (who is not me.) But look where Wink is. He's dancing on Judy's shoulder!

He's whispering, "Hey Judy, send some of your best-seller luck my way."

And cooler still - he's in the front row of the Penguin Book display. He wants to be noticed, after all.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blueberry Season


While taking some trash outside, I noticed quite a few blue dots on the blueberry bush. It's harvest time!

Now, what will I make? Hmmmm...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pool Party!


Our buddies, The Metcalfes, (who just moved to Maryland) are back for a week. Fortunately for us, they have relatives in town so we will still get to see them from time to time. Extra fortunate for us - the relatives have a pool!

The water was decently cold, so the adults stayed out and ate chips & guac and fruit salad. But the boys braved it. (I made Sara's secret recipe for guac and it turned out quite well.)


Magoo had a life jacket and a noodle to keep him afloat. (Swim lessons start at the end of July.) D had cool Spiderman arm swimmies.

Here's lovely Sara and her youngest.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if The Terminator and Borat had a baby?


That wrap around life jacket was KILLING the adults. N. seemed to like it just fine, though.

IN OTHER NEWS:
Magoo loves camp! Yeah!

I'm waiting on art notes for Wink 2. Hopefully they'll come in soon - I'm looking forward to starting the illustrations. But most likely things won't pick up until fall.

I just got word that WINK is on the first grade reading list for the elementary schools in Newton, MA! Yahoo!

I'm currently working on another picture book manuscript which I hope to send to my editor in the next two weeks. And another larger writing project that may sink or swim - we'll see.

Monday, July 13, 2009

FIrst Day of Summer Camp


Finally, it's here. First day of summer camp! For the most part, Magoo is excited. When Mike left this morning, he said, "Have fun at camp." And Magoo responded with an enthusiastic, "I WILL!"

But when we got there, a slight bit of hesitation was creeping in. Magoo said a couple times, "I don't know..." But soon another boy, Milo, came along and the two started talking about their ages, Harry Potter, and backpacks.


We saw one other boy that Magoo knew, but he wasn't in the same group. Too bad. Still, Magoo is very friendly so as long as he finds at least one like soul, he'll be fine.

I can't wait to hear how it goes!!!

UPDATE: At pick-up Magoo had a huge smile on his face and told me that the boys' team beat the girls' team. Then he rattled off about five different activities that the kids did. We walked to the car and Magoo said (still glowing off his boy win) "Boys rule!" So I said, "But I'm a girl. What do girls do?" "They like flowers and pink stuff." :)

Then, after a minute of driving, he said, "I had a great time at camp."

Yeah.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Projects: Magoo and Me

I registered for the yearly art show I do in Hartford (in Nov.) and I had to send in a sample of work for the program. This year I get to bring the book in and hopefully sell a bunch of signed copies so I wanted to make a piece that would go with the book. The theme for the group show in the gallery is 20/20, so I made a piece called Twenty Bamboo/ Twenty Ninjas - or something like that. I hate titling things.

Hopefully someone will really like ninjas.

Magoo has been working on LEGOS.

His new thing is doing floorplans. He'll put all sorts of crazy things together and explain to me rational things like where the water system is. He'll then follow-up with where the skeleton and fire bombs are.

He's hoping to make something SO WONDERFUL that they publish his picture in the Lego's magazine that comes every 2 months.

Otherwise we are busy with playdates. Next week Magoo starts three week of morning camps and I will be able to get back to some writing projects. But this week I'm on full-time mom patrol and it's hard to get things accomplished. But it's been a good summer so far and we've had a lot of fun.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beach Bag Tutorial (Kinda)

"Ask and you shall receive." Susan asked for more details on how I made my Big A** Beach Bag in the comment section of my last post. I get so few requests - how could I not comply?!

But I warn you - these are guidelines not "Instructions." I won't go into enough detail for these to be instructions.

You can see the measurements above. (If you click the image it should enlarge.) I used an IKEA canvas for the outer shell and a softer white fabric for the lining. Here we go:

CUT: 2 large outer panels: 25 X 20"
2 large lining panels: 25 X 20"
2 outer side panels: 20 X 7"
2 lining panels: 20 X 7"
1 outer bottom panel: 25 X 7"
1 lining bottom panel: 25 X 7"
1 outer side pocket panel: 9 x 7"
1 outer front pocket: 15 X 12"

OPTIONS:
handles: I used leather handles I bought at JoAnn's so I just had to make four tabs. You may want to make fabric handles.
front hook: because it's so big, I just wanted something to loop over and hold it together. I made a tab (with machine) and sewed on a big snap by hand.
Inner pockets: I will try to find the directions I used (online) to help with the zipper pocket. I will not do a good job of explaining it. I also made a regular pocket that I just stitch on (much like the front pocket) on the facing side. It's not pictured. But I figure if you're carrying around a huge bag, you're gonna want some pockets to hold your smaller stuff.
Ribbon to hold carribeaner hook. (I don't know how to spell carribeaner.)

OKAY -
First you need to get the front pockets ready. That means folding over and sewing the TOP EDGE of the OUTER SIDE PANEL POCKET. Then you want to do the same thing to the OUTER FRONT POCKET. When you've sewn the top down of the OUTER FRONT POCKET - go ahead and iron the edges of the sides and bottom so they won't show when you stitch on the pocket. Place it carefully in the center of one of your front panel pieces and sew it on. (DON'T SEW THE TOP. But seriously, if I had to tell you that, buy a pattern because there is NO WAY you're going to be able to follow these rough guidelines.)

OKAY. Now place the OUTER SIDE POCKET on one of the OUTER SIDE PANELS - toward the bottom - and line it up - right sides together to an OUTER LARGE PANEL. I'd do the one with the pocket since you're thinking about it and this way you won't attach something upside down. Go ahead and stitch all four sides together.

Now you get to do the ever-so-much-fun chore: stitching on the bottom. There may be a better way to do this, but I just line it up side by side and make 4 lines of stitching. Turn it out and press -= you have the outside of your bag.

OKAY. Now you have to prep any pockets for the interior of the bag. Here is a VERY GOOD TUTORIAL on how to make a Hobo Bag. I have not made this bag, but this is where I got the direction for the zipper. Best of luck to you!

Go ahead and sew in the other pocket(s) if you so desire and the loop of ribbon for the carribeaner hook.

Now assemble the lining just like you did the outer shell ONLY remember to leave a gap in one of the side seams (approx. 4-5 inches long) so you can turn the bag back out.

OKAY KIDDIES - now we have to pin that bag together and stitch it together. You're going to need your handles and the front tab if you are using those. ("But Julie, you didn't tell us how to make the tabs." You're right. It's too easy and I'm not patient enough. If you need more help than "make tabs" you need a real pattern. Sorry.)

Keep the right side of the outer shell fabric facing out and flip the lining so the rough edges are facing out. Tuck the outer shell INTO the lining - right sides of fabric facing. Pin the corners together. Place handles with the rough edges poking out the top and the handle dipping down between the fabrics. Pin in place. Pin front tab down the same way - rough edge sticking down between the fabrics. Pin all the way around and stitch. I try to stitch over the handles a few times to make them good and strong.

Now turn the bag out through the gap in the lining seam.

If all is well, you can hand stitch that seam up and then I do a top stitch over the top of the bag to make it good and secure. If all is not well, guess you'd better go and fix that now. I'll wait.

OKAY, Good?

Now finish off the snap.

Then I tacked the corners of the lining down into the canvas so it wouldn't move around.

If that made any sense at all, you'll have your own Big A** Beach Bag. If not - sorry. Directions are hard. Go out and buy a good pattern and if you can understand what they're saying - appreciate the skill that goes into writing clear directions! :)

Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beach Related Thingies


This last weekend we made it down to Niantic and hit the beach. Magoo LOVES the beach. He ran back and forth from our chairs to the water bringing us "beach treasures" to ooh and ahh over.

And he spotted something in the water! (See it on the horizon?)


We have no idea what that ship was doing there but it sure was cool.

You don't see that every day.

Monday I finally got off my butt and made, what I'm calling, the Big A** Beach Bag.

It doesn't look all that large here, but that front pocket holds a magazine. I designed it to fit 3 -4 beach towels, swimsuits, sunscreen, snack, water, etc. I wanted it BIG.

And I'm so impressed that I did my first inside zipper pocket!

Oopsie. I see the photo is sideways - sorry. But you can see the blue zipper. And the hook for my keys - VERY IMPORTANT! I hate not knowing where my keys are.

Now we're really ready for summer fun!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gigantic Six Flags Post

Yesterday we went to Six Flags for the VERY FIRST TIME! We probably could have braved it earlier - but at 6 1/2 years old, Magoo is really ready for some rides and he has the energy to last through the day (and the temperment too - for the most part.)

(Above) Here he is with his two buddies G. and O. (Not the best smile from O. but he was excited to be there.)

Magoo met all sorts of "characters" and I took pics of every single encounter. But I'll spare you all because I think two pics of this kind of fun is more than enough. Magoo greeted Porky like a long lost friend. And got devilish with Taz. (He also met The Flash, Green Lantern, Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy-Doo, Robin, and Wonder Woman.)

(Below) Here are our friends the Brudz family.


We started off in Wiggles World - nice tame rides to get the kids' feet wet. (Below) Magoo on Captain Feathersword's Ship. He had a blast!


Then we made our way to the Looney Tunes area and Magoo rode his very first (mini) roller coaster. It was fun, but very short. I wished they'd let it run through the track a few more times.


Right next door to the mini coaster was a REAL coaster. It would be considered mild on a roller coaster scale, but it was just right for us. First you have me, who hasn't been on a roller coaster since, probably, high school. Then Mike, who's never been a big "ride man." And then Magoo, a theme park virgin. So it was a BIG ride for us. Heather came too. She's a little bi-polar when it comes to rides. Part of her wants to do all the big thrilling ones, and the other part is scared to death.

The coaster was called Pandemonium and each car held 4 people, who faced each other. Our car rode the track, but it also spun around. We got started and went up the big hill, came down and hit a few turns. I was watching Magoo's face to see if it was too much, or if he was going to hurl, but he smiled and said, "This is awesome!" It was pretty awesome.

After lunch we went into the water park and I didn't take my camera - sorry. We started off on a mild water slide then the kids all wanted to play in the wave pools for awhile. This was fine except I kept eyeing all the big waterslides and I wanted to RIDE THEM!!!

After 15 minutes of play, Mike and I convinced Magoo to come on a family waterslide. OH MY GAWD. So much fun! We had to carry a big four-person tube up three flights of stairs, then they put us in the water and you go into a giant tube where it's PITCH BLACK. (The mother instinct kicked in because I couldn't see Magoo anymore - but I could hear him laughing so it was fine.) We did twists and turns and then went through a waterfall and down a drop that threw Mike right off the back of the tube into the water. SUPER FUN!

We rode that one again then they temporarily closed the rides because a storm was brewing. It rained for maybe 15-20 minutes, then the skies cleared and we were back at it.

We made our way to the other side of the water park (this water park portion is so huge you could spend the entire day here - easy.) We rode another family water slide ride, played in a bigger wave pool, and rode Magoo's favorite ride, Adventure River, three times. It was basically a "river" with a current that you rode on your inner tube. Very gentle. Magoo LOVED IT!

I went ahead and braved a single person waterslide since it was right next to the wave pool and there was no line. Yeah - I'm not 19 anymore. That thing rumbled my bones. At first it was great. I went into the tube, hit the first turn and thought, "Wheeeeee, this is fun." Then it got darker and rougher and it was a little bit like I was a piece of chicken in a zip-loc bag and someone was coating me with bread crumbs. Shakey-shakey. I stepped out of that ride like a drunk stumbling out of a bar. Not cute.

At around 4pm, Magoo started to loose his cool. Nothing bad had happened, his composure just started to crumble. Mike said, "It's like it has been his best day ever and he doesn't know how to handle it."

Most of the kids were tired though so we dried off and changed back into street clothes.

Mike and Magoo hit one more ride while the Brudz gang got dressed.


Then we did a few games. Wac-a-mole ...


And darts - where Magoo won a prize!


Then I posed with Wonder Woman! I HAD TO. IT WAS WONDER WOMAN! (Robin snuck in by my side like that third cousin from Missouri that jumps in the wedding pictures. Oh that sneaky Robin.)



Then we headed home.


It was an awesome day and to prove how wiped out Magoo was, he slept until 9:15 this morning. (Unheard of!)