Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tennessee Safari Park

I've had the Tennessee Safari Park on my list of things to do for ages. Over Spring Break, I finally had a chance to take the monkeys. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, my friend, Kristy, offered to drive us in her minivan along with two of her four kids. Satchel wanted to bring a friend and soon we had a full house.

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The park is about an hour an a half away in Alamo, Tennessee, which is about 20 miles from Jackson. Once there it's $12 for adults and $8 for 2-12 year olds. They are open year round, seven days a week.

You also buy buckets of food at the gate. There is some minimal instruction on protecting your thumbs and then you are free to drive through and feed the animals.

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Beware of the ostriches. They are waiting for you at the start and they want all of your food!

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It goes from being totally funny to a little scary.

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We had four boys and one girl, but everyone was screaming like little girls after about five minutes!

Kristy put the back of the van up, so that may have added to the excitement!

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There were a lot more animals than I was expecting and it was both funny and sad that we didn't know what they all were. Kristy and I were saying things like, "Look at this little thing, whatever it is. Moose? Reindeer?" and "There are some pretty gazelles or something" and "What's this pretty gold crested thingie? A crane?"

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Finally, I was like, "It seems like they would have given us a brochure or something." Then Kristy said, "They did!" And we looked all over, but couldn't find it. Eventually when we got out of the car, we realized Kristy had been sitting on it the whole time! Ha!

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Oddly enough, one of the favorites was a group of piggies.

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We'd been told to save some food for the camels at the end, and it soon became clear why.

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They could totally steal the buckets with their mouths! But they weren't all thieves.

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It took us about an hour to go through the park, and then we went to the petting zoo area. (There was a snack bar, restrooms and a picnic area.)

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The peacocks and the pigmy goats were the highlight of the petting area.

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It was a really fun day trip and everyone really enjoyed themselves! Kristy's car was pretty trashed when we were done, but she didn't seem to care so that was an added bonus!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Public Enemy #1

So, thirteen years ago, when I was pregnant with Satchel, there was a LOT of hooplah about vaccines and autism. Mothering magazine, which I considered to be extremely trustworthy, did many articles and special issues on the topic. Warren and I decided to delay vaccinations for Satchel until we felt more confident that we'd be doing a good thing, and not endangering him.

We made the same decision two years later when Jiro was born.

As the boys grew into strong, healthy dudes, the issue of whether or not to vaccinate them faded into the background. They didn't need vaccinations to attend private or public school and we were easily able to find a doctor who supported our decision.

Well here we are in 2015 and people are losing their shit. I even had a Facebook friend ask that anyone with unvaccinated kids unfriend him immediately. (He's a new parent, and I remember the fervor I had as a new parent, so I didn't let it offend me too much.) Anyway, in light of current science and the measles outbreaks across the country, Warren and I decided to go ahead and vaccinate our healthy boys.

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Having never had a needle in their arms, they were a tad nervous. Satchel handled it like a champ (despite the above photo). Jiro needed some encouragement, but he survived. When he later told me it was the worst thing that ever happened to him, I told him that if that were true, he should consider himself lucky!



I did get a few, "Why didn't you do this to us when we were babies so we wouldn't remember?" complaints from the kids, but I explained my rationale to them and also reiterated the fact that they'd still need boosters and other shots at their current ages anyway.

Finally, to put it all into sharp focus, I told them how their dad and I spared them from circumcision and that at least we hadn't changed our minds about that!

Then we went to Belly Acres for a burger and all was right again.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Final Wishes

Excuse me while I get a little morbid...just for a minute.

One of my coworkers died suddenly last week, and I attended her funeral this week. She wasn't sick and she wasn't much older than me. Seeing how my dad also died suddenly, it got me thinking about my own funeral.

I have some small requests:

Please, please, please do not embalm me. Under no circumstances! I would like to be disposed of in the least expensive, fastest manner possible. A pine box, cremation, fire in the backyard--I really don't care. If you'd like to turn me into a tree, that'd be fine too.

Can we leave religion out of it? And don't have someone who never even met me lead the service (if there is one). If everyone could just gather round, have a few beers, and put Joni Mitchell's "Blue" on repeat, that'd be plenty. Should anyone like to say a few words, I'd suggest telling a story about a time when I was right about something, anything.

Thank you!

p.s. The kids probably know all of my passwords.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Family Photo

I asked Warren to come along for the yearly photo shoot, but we never quite made it happen. So, this year, Chip captured me and the boys in the apartment and in our new neighborhood.

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I seriously can't believe how gorgeous these two are.

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We had a lot of fun taking these pictures. I mean, who doesn't love playing in traffic?

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I'm declaring us officially "too cute for traffic."

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No cards going out this year, but we really enjoyed all of the ones you sent us! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chrismukah

It's been a very busy holiday season.

Warren won Hannukah by making sure the candles got lit every night and by calling me to participate via speaker phone when necessary.

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On Christmas Adam (the day before Christmas Eve), Jiro and I went to Marlinee's house to partake in some yummy Thai food and to see some good friends. (Jiro & Gus are buds now, though we haven't managed to get in on camera.)

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Christmas Eve at Gigi's was quite festive. She and Branch made Jell-O shots to keep everyone's spirits high.

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Tracey & Ronnie brought Chinese food from Asian Palace and sushi from Toyko Grill.

As far as presents go, it will be remembered as the year Warren got Satchel a collapsible stool...

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and Tracey & Ronnie bought everyone scarves at the Thrift Store.

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Christmas morning we continued our tradition of delivering meals for MIFA.

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We had a really fun route this year and got to chat with some interesting people. Afterwards, we went to CKs for breakfast.

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Then we went back to Warren's to look in the stockings. Of course, Satsuki had one too.

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The monkeys did a good job of hiding their disappointment at not yet having their XBOX One. They had saved up some money and received enough in gifts to buy one, but much to their dismay, Game Stop was closed on Christmas day.

Then I finally divulged that I had one last present in my car. They were ecstatic.

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They immediately wanted to set it up and start playing it, so I went over to Brantley & Jim's for a little more Christmas cheer.

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The boys and I ended the evening at Leslie's house for one last dose of family fun. It was a great few days.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Thanksgiving Break

So, we had our first major holiday as a two household family. The monkeys had a cousin sleepover at Gigi's Wednesday night and got an early start on the festivities.

Left to my own devices, it soon became clear that I am an extrovert.

I started Thursday day off with my running buddies.

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Then I went to an early morning party with my buddy, Ross (who has escaped my lens), where I made new friends like Sheri. Sheri makes Kool-aid pies for awesome hosts like Michael & Kelly. (I love that they had a party that started at 10am!)

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Ross had to leave early to help his dad cook a turkey so I caught a ride with Brantley & Jim. It was a close call as to whether to have them drop me at Warren's house or take me to New Orleans.

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Warren and I drove out to my mom's to meet up with the rest of the family. We were late. Tracey was mad. Thankfully she had vodka.

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Warren's penance was carving the turkey.

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Satchel & Scarlett nabbed the wishbone.

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Food was eaten. Naps were taken. Games were played.

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Satsuki was also in attendance. We had just gotten her this time last year, so we brought her to Thanksgiving. Now we just bring her every time.

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We left around 7:00pm and headed back to Midtown. The boys went with Warren since they planned to go camping on Friday and I went home. Alone. It was a little sad. I was asleep by 9:00pm.

Friday I stayed busy. I had lunch at Dan & Ashley's and then we took their dogs to Shelby Forest.

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It was a perfect day for a hike.

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We saw lots of cool stuff and stayed far, far away from the shoppers. We joked that we'd rather get shot on accident in the forest than at a Wal-mart.

After the hike, I met up with my friend, Colleen, at the Memphis Made taproom. There were lots of people there and it was fun to check it out. Then Ross picked me up and we had dinner at The Second Line. It just happened to be the one year anniversary, so that was super fun--especially when the owner sent bourbon shots all around.

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Saturday, Ashley, Katie, Elizabeth and I drove out to Shelby Farms Park to run the Yellow Trail. I freaking love the Yellow Trail. We had a great run.

Then of course we rewarded ourselves at Tart.

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I did some housework and then went to see "The Theory of Everything" where I ran into my buddies, Margot and Gary. Margot and I giggled through the whole movie. It was fun. And the movie is awesome, p.s.

Then I met Seamus at the Growler to talk soccer and wait for my babies to return.

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They got back around 7:00pm and we had a quick family dinner so I could hear about the camping trip. They were not very full of details, but judging from the two photos I have seen, looks like they had a fun time.

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I'm glad Warren got them out of the house and that they got to get their nature on.

But I was really glad to have them back home and all to myself. Saturday night and all day Sunday we pretty much holed up in the apartment and recharged for the week ahead.
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