Posted in Family

Dollywood

Saturday we packed up the car, made a pit stop to grab my mom, and headed to TN towards Dollywood. It’s been on my list for a long time and Wyatt is finally tall enough to ride most of the rides. In fact, at 42″, he can ride all but the tallest rollercoasters in the park. 

Riding the tram from parking

The weather was next to perfect: neither too hot to be enjoyable nor too cold to want to go on the water rides. We arrived right as the gates were opening.

The park is in a big circle and we headed clockwise to see what kind of trouble we could find. I love rollercoasters, but the hubby and my mom are less enthusiastic so I was prepared to skip most things and just enjoy what Wyatt could ride. 

The park put a lot of effort as thought into things beyond just the rides. Each section had lots of things to do and look at. I’m sure it all cost a fortune.

The park itself is really nice. Everything was sparkling clean and the employees were really nice and friendly. Wyatt was in a hard in between stage: too big to enjoy the little kiddie rides and while tall enough to ride most of the big rollercoasters he was too little to enjoy them. Even with that we found plenty to do. 

The park is broken into sections and each was well decorated. I enjoyed the ambience of each although the 1950s styled section was my favorite. If I could live in any other era it would be the 50s with the sock hops, wonderful music, cool cars and relative prosperity. I was really good at taking pictures in the first section we hit, but after that the phone was placed in protection from water as we did a lot of water rides in the heat of the afternoon. Then I forgot all about it. 

We missed out on the entire central aspect of the park and I think Wyatt would have found plenty to do there, but it was getting late and everyone was tired and ready to leave. 

The day was really enjoyable. We rode plenty of rides with Wyatts favorite being the raft water ride although he was a bit too small to get much of the water spray.

There would only be two complaints I would raise about the park. First, the food was ridiculously expensive. It was bad enough to shell out $67 per ticket but all the lunches were $11 a pop. For chicken nuggets. A regular sized hot dog was $6! For a hot dog! I hate feeling ripped off. Second, the entrances to the rides were really difficult to find. We ended up waking around the outside of many rides just trying to figure out where to enter. 

Wyatt rode this coaster which was pretty insane. He was tall enough and even though he saw how tall it went (one of the largest coasters they have) he said he wanted to go. We ended up in the very front car. I felt bad because even though I warned him it was faster and taller than anything he had done before, I realized later that this wasn’t even in his realm of possibility. He just didn’t understand having never experienced anything like it. He was terrified the entire time and I basically just held on to him and covered his eyes. Near the end of the ride the cars go into a small shed where fire works are. Fire lights up and the car gets blown backwards along the track. It was a lot of fun but he shrieked the entire time. Afterward he announced to everyone “I am never, ever riding that ride again. Ever!” He never cried though. It did make him more cautious going forward with rides.

I’d love to go back. Everyone was whooped when we left and Sunday was spent recuperating at home. Wyatt played play dough for a solid 8 hours. Next time I hope to get him on more rides as I was a bit sad walking past some of the coasters and not being able to go on. Dusty and I snuck away one time to ride the Mystery Mine coaster while my Mom took Wyatt on a different one, but other than that we stuck together. 

Having been to Disney, Cedar Park, Six Flags in Ohio and Kennywood I’d say in comparison this one is like a mini Disney with all the scenery and then beautifully built rides. It wasn’t just steel coaster after steel coaster. There were a few really big steel coasters to go on for adrenaline junkies but most of the rides were more toned down and fun. Much more my style. I would recommend it for anyone in the area. 

Posted in Family

A Day in the Life

One of the new blogs I am following is about life with a small child and she wrote a day in the life type post last week. I found it interesting and decided to bore you all with a look at my own, but on a more general basis since I am pretty boring. Just thinking about it opened my eyes to why my house is messy, my errands don’t always get done and I have little energy to ride most days.

Weekdays:

6:30 am is wake up time. Typically Wyatt is in our bed having joined us around 3 am or so and Dusty has already been up, showered and served breakfast to our herd. I help get him dressed and shower while they get out to door around 7:10am

I then make my own breakfast, drink a cup of tea and catch up on blogs until its time to go to work.

740 am I leave for the office and spend the day seeing patients, writing notes and putting out fires

5:15 pm and  I can finally leave. Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri I pick Wyatt up from preschool/day care. This puts me home right around 5:45 or 5:50 and I let Einstein out to pee. If it is a Thursday I pick Einstein up a few doors down from Wyatt from his doggie day care day.

Two days a week I head to the YMCA for a work out. On these days I throw the horses their hay and give them their grain and stand to make sure Pete doesn’t eat Gemmie’s snickers instead of his kale. Then I change, put Wyatt back in the car and head to a 6:15 class. Thankfully I live only 5 miles from the Y so this works.

Dusty gets home at pretty much any time. On time puts him at home by 5:45 and if he is there then Wyatt stays home with him. Lately, he has been so slammed at work that he is getting home who knows when and will just come to the YMCA instead.

Wyatt either plays with kids at the Y or hangs with his dad, whichever he prefers to do until my class ends at 7:15 at which time we will either eat at the Y’s diner (soooo good!!) or head home to eat left overs.

8:00 starts the bed time ritual and Wyatt finally crashes around 8:30 or 8:45. At that point I read a book in bed until 9:30 when I crash myself.

On days I don’t go to the YMCA, I cook dinner while Wyatt plays outside with Einstein or he helps me cook. He really loves helping me cook and gets to measure, stir and dump things in. We eat when Dusty gets home and then have about an hour or 90 minutes before bed time to read, wrestle and play.

You’ll notice the absence of any TV time. We don’t have cable or netflix and Wyatt gets no screen time on a school day, so really the TV only gets turned on Friday night for family movie night and a little bit for sat/sun morning cartoons.

On Wednesdays I work outside my office at a local Wound Center which means I leave the house 30 minutes earlier. I head off straight from there to ride when I can and when I don’t I go straight home getting there around 6:30 pm and then see the above.

So…all told I get about 2.5-3 hours of awake time at home during each week day. I struggle with my inability to keep the house tidier, ride more on week nights and do chores like rotate the compost or pick the pasture. Truth is I just don’t have the time since one of those hours is spent getting ready for work in the morning.

Weekends

Dusty works every other Saturday morning. Either way he generally gets up when Watt does around 6:30 am and I get to sleep in until 7.

I use the Saturday’s that he works to clean the house in between playing with Wyatt and we have a good system of when I take a break from vacuuming, washing the floor, doing dishes etc…

Once that is done we play until Dusty gets home.

The rest of the weekend is typically spent grocery shopping, doing laundry and running errands that didn’t get done during the week.We also always try to do something fun for Wyatt. This past weekend I introduced him to Pokemon Go since he has gotten really big into Pokemon and we went downtown hunting. He had a blast.

So anyway…there it is. A look into my life. It is busy and hectic and I mostly love it although I’d love to find a better balance and be home more. Some day.

Posted in Family, Riding/Horses

The Most Expensive Free Hot Chocolate

Spring time makes me itchy for adventure. The last three weekends have been gorgeous and I’ve been fighting the urge for a day trip knowing that we had a lot to do around the farm.

This past Sunday was free of necessary chores and we piled into the car to head to a local destination I’ve been wanting to hit up since we moved here: Tryon, NC. It is just about an hour away and is a simple highway drive. I knew most of the shops would be closed, but that didn’t matter since I wasn’t looking to buy anything. Just being out in the sunshine exploring a new town was enough.

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Sure enough, most stores were closed including the one restaurant I had hoped to hit up having been told to eat there by several friends. The Main Street was charming though and with nobody else around Wyatt could run around the sidewalk without threatening to bowl. anyone over.

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We found an antique type store open near the end of the street and ducked inside. It was a really neat store and we had time to speak with the owners. They just moved here from years spent living in Germany collecting antique furniture from all over Europe. The pieces were large, solid and ornate.

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Interspersed among the beautiful furnishings was pottery painted in a unique blue and yellow pattern. They explained that it came from Poland and was considered “art you can eat off of”. It was really beautiful but I was unable to snap a picture.

As I wandered around the store, which was larger than the outside let on with many rooms, I spotted a complimentary Keurig. Dusty and Wyatt were both complaining of being hungry, so I made Dusty a cup of coffee and Wyatt some hot chocolate. Knowing how hot the Keurig gets, I blew on the hot chocolate for a long time as we chatted to the owners before I gave it to Wyatt.

We were just heading out when Wyatt took a sip and the second worst nightmare a parent can have in a store with a child (the first being that they grab and break something you can’t afford to purchase in good form let alone broken), came true. Wyatt took a sip, burnt his tongue and flung the cup away from him. Hot chocolate went everywhere including soaking into an ornamental rug on the floor.

Thankfully the rug was old, worn and not for sale, but as I helped sop up the mess Dusty looked over at me and whispered “now we need to buy something” I nodded. Had it not been empty or had we not just spent 20 minutes chatting to the lovely owners, we might have been able to clean it up, apologize and slip out. As it was, I felt awful.

There was a beautiful horse painting I had spied in the back and so, once the lady owner and myself were off our knees once again, I asked to see it. It was reasonably priced and I purchased it.

Turned out that free cup of hot chocolate cost me $102. At least I got a nice painting out of it. It also happens to be the only horse themed artwork I own.

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Posted in Family

Dropping the Ball

Being a full time working mother is hard.

In pre-mom life, I juggled a lot of balls in the air. School, work, the dogs, riding, hiking, the hubby, reading. Everything was fairly well balanced with each ball the same size and weight. No one thing was vitally more important than the next and while it took some shuffling around and a bit of exertion, it really wasn’t that difficult to find a happy balancing point for all.

Then Wyatt was born and it was like someone threw a bowling ball into the mix and told me I had to juggle that one too. Being larger and heavier means I have to devote more time, energy and awareness to it. I handle it by just throwing the others up a little higher, giving me more time to ignore them before having to devote myself to them once again.

In general, it works out ok. This past Tuesday it all came crashing down.

Things were looking to be working out – I had a 6 pm spin class I was really wanting to join and Wyatt had a 6 pm cooking class he had been looking forward to for a week. Dusty blocked off his schedule to get out in time for the start of the cooking class. My mom and dad would pick Wyatt up for me and deliver him to the Y so they could also join the spin class.

All my balls were in perfect sync, flowing through the air in matching arcs.

The cooking class information said to call by 12pm the day of to ensure there would be enough food for all participants. I made a mental note and began my work day. Then work got insanely busy. I was hopping from one exam room to the next, putting out fires, scheduling surgeries, talking about amputations and performing minor procedures. I was 15 medical record notes behind by the time the drug rep came for lunch to have a meeting about a new wound care product on the market: one that can actually be used in the acute wound phase and could potentially be a game changer if it does what it claims to. Heck, even if it does 1/4 of what it claims to.

All thoughts of calling the Y were erased from my mind.

I was all excited, still believing things were all falling into place, when I arrived the YMCA and immediately felt my heart hit the floor: I had forgotten to call. I walked up to the counter and asked if he could still get in. No. Apparently they go grocery shopping at 1 pm the same day to get just enough food for those signed up. As an aside, I also had to pay the $10 in advance which I would have been unable to do on the phone anyway,  but that is besides the point. There was no way they were going to let him in.

I felt terrible as I saw my big old bowling ball came crashing down on the ground. I had messed up and my best little man was going to be heart broken because of it.

He came walking in about 10 minutes later with a huge smile telling me he was all ready for his cooking class. Take a wild guess how well he took the news that Mommy forgot to call and he couldn’t participate.

I wanted to cry.

In the end he probably had even more fun playing basketball with his dad on the court (specially when they lowered the hoop for him) and then running around on the track. But still…I knew I had let him down. Letting your kid down is a terrible feeling. I don’t suggest you try it.

In the grander scheme of things, missing a cooking class isn’t so bad. He was none the worse for it and had his own fun, but still. It just made me realize that my juggling skills aren’t so good after all. Nothing like a big old piece of humble pie to start your week.

Keeping everything running smoothly is hard. Its why I stopped riding many months ago when the horses were so far away and the timing just wasn’t working out. Its why having them home now is such a big deal. I scheduled a riding lesson with a new trainer for Sunday at 4:30pm. At my house. Its going to be amazing. Anything I can do to lighten the load, to even things out. Anything I can do to help keep those balls moving in flawless arcs up above my head.