The kids and I went to the Capital Ex fair on Monday. (Yes, just me and 4 kids 7 yrs and younger!!) We did the same thing last year, and had SO-MUCH-FUN!! They were incredibly well behaved (I told them that if they weren't that we would leave immediately and never come back-that there were people out there who may try to take them and that they shouldn't be running around and acting up.) They did great, helping each other, and not whining when I said no to some things. I had budgeted $200.00 for us to spend.
My friend Becky generously lent me her chariot stroller this year, so I didn't come home with an incredibly painful shoulder like last year, from packing around all our stuff (diaper bag with spare clothes, water bottles, snacks, snacks, snacks-my defense against all the expensive food at the fair, and also against having cranky kids!). When we got there, I made sure to slap a "Safe Parent House" sticker with my cell phone number on the backs of all the kids (even remembered to write down my cell number before we left-not phoning myself too often, I never remember what it is!)
Jesse took Tabitha on the bumper cars first-they had a blast!! Wyatt was still too short for it, but he happily hung out with me, snacking. Then all 3 of the older kids went on the hampton motorbikes ride-all 3 loved it! Next was a racecar thing that went in a circle, and zipped especially fast around the corners. Jesse and Tabitha took Wyatt on that one-it was so much fun to see my kids all going together on the rides!! Ditto about the caterpillar roller coaster-I wasn't going to let Wyatt go on that one (heck-I didn't want to go on that one!) but he was ok in height for it, and sat happily sandwiched between his older brother and sister and was happy and excited when he got off-so my apprehension was for nothing! :) I visited with a grandma while the kids were on some of the rides. She had brought her 3 yr old grandson. They were wrapping up a 10 day stretch of fun, visiting Drumheller and other places, while his mom recovered at home from a c-section with his new baby sister. The grandma told me she wasn't looking forward to having to take him home and go back to work. I thought it was pretty sweet. Later, she came and found us, and handed us the remainder of their tickets, as they were going home (the grandson looked pretty tired out!). Just something I found really nice.
We just had to visit the interactive farm thing, which my kids LOVE to visit every year, even though they get to milk real goats/cows and pick real eggs at home. It's a fun little trip through anyways. I was sad to hear the man say that it should probably be Jesse and Tabitha's last year to go on the mini tractors, 'cause they love them so much.
And then on to the real pony ride. I felt kind of dumb paying for them to sit on ponies at a fair when they can ride real horses at home whenever they want for free! But it was fun to pet the cute horses-Jesse rode Scout, Tabitha rode Tinkerbell, and Wyatt got Skittles.
Then to get more tickets. We kind of ran into a snag there, b/c Jesse was apparently licking out a cheese n crackers container as we were walking there, and got separated. It is an awful feeling to look up and not see one of your children anywhere, in just the blink of an eye. I tried to keep calm, and Tabitha and I looked around. Finally, we spotted a gentleman in a lineup close by, with his cell phone out, and Jesse's back to him, showing him the "safe house sticker" on his back. For some reason, I hadn't heard my cell phone ring (maybe it was the blood rushing in my ears!), but I raced over to collect him, and thanked the people for phoning. Jesse turned to me and said "Mommy-I know exactly why we get those stickers on our back now!!"
Then off for more rides!! We went on the carousel for the second time. I stand by Wyatt when he is on the horses, and there was an empty one beside us. Jacob was practically climbing out of my ergo to get on the one next to us! So I pulled him out and sat him on-his smile was a mile wide!!
Then we went on the flying bees. Wyatt was just going to go on with Jesse and Tabitha, but the operator said he was too small. So I asked if I could take baby Jacob on, so I could go on with Wyatt. The guy said "yes", so on we went. Now, I don't like heights that much, especially not on a ride zipping around at a good clip in a circle. But the things we'll do for our kids! The ride started, and I grabbed (what I thought was a clutch bar) and held tight, pushing it forward as I did so, trying to keep from freaking out and scaring my kids. Higher and higher we rose in the air. I wondered why our bee was deciding to stay so high in the air. The others were going up and down, and one even stayed down. Well, I managed to survive (the kiddy ride), and get off, when my oldest son informs me that the bar was to make the bees go up and down. Ugh!! What a forehead smacking moment!! :) Jesse tried to win a motorbike at one of those ball gun booths. I didn't want to let him do it, but he was SO SURE he could do it, and he had his heart set on on of those things. He did manage to knock a couple balls over, but not all. And I couldn't afford for him to keep trying. I felt so bad for him, but even then, he accepted it and didn't whine. Then onto another trip round the carousel so I could watch Jacob light up again!!
Then over to a food booth so we could buy a ginormous bag of cotton candy, as we always do. And then inside for a bathroom break (you know, with all the money Northlands spent on that new addition to the building, they could have added more bathrooms! Oy!). Then a trip round inside. The kids had a blast at the butterfly exhibit-Tabitha had sticky hands from eating cotton candy, and so the butterflies were intent on licking her!! Bless her, she thought this was cool!! We bought a container of caterpillars, so we could watch them turn into painted lady butterflies. Jesse was especially enthused about that! Then a stop at Toddler town square-Jacob LOVED all the little tikes slides and the little rockers, and the crayons.... next, we toured around more-bought a cute book about what looks like a black lab titled "Piddle Diddle, Stuck in the Middle". We also got free yogurt, and free juice boxes-that was pretty cool.
The kids wanted to do some of the paid rides inside, like the go carts. I wasn't sure if Wyatt was old enough, but they said so long as he could operate the hand pedals, which I knew he could.... Well he got in there, and he was doing great, just zipping around, even faster than Jesse, for the longest time. Then, he kinda lost control, running into a lineup of parked go carts, which had the domino effect of hitting an operator and knocking him down! I saw this all as in slow motion, but couldn't say anything fast enough to stop it!! The other ride operator took Wyatt out of the cart and brought him to me saying "I think he kind of scared himself". I thought to myself "nope, I think he kind of scared you!"
Then to Candy Mountain. I wished we had more money to spend there, but as it was the kids each were fairly satisfied with a "unicorn horn" sucker. Except I forgot to buy one for Jacob, who crawled out of the stroller and helped himself to a sucker at a lolly tree, as if to make his point that I'd forgotten him!! So I paid for that too, and then it was finally time to call it a day. We'd stayed much longer than last year, probably b/c I wasn't so tired and sore from packing everything along. It was a fairly quiet ride home, and we didn't get home 'til well after 10:00 pm. I liked how they put the kiddie rides right in front of the expo center this year, and how they had toddler square inside, where it was cool. I think next year we'll buy the ride passes for the older two, (possibly for Wyatt too, we'll see how tall he is then.).
All in all, it was a really, really worthwhile trip!! Lots of fun memories!
3 days ago