Sunday, October 28, 2012


Folks, it's time to say goodbye to Two Kids and a Beagle.

I'm ready to be off Blogger and, with the loss of Maggie, it was time for a new name.

Meet me at This Suburban Life for our continued adventures!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Return Of The Redhead

I grew up with hair that was titian red and I hated it. I mean, I despised it. I hated being teased for it, I hated that it made me different, I hated everything about it. I wished almost every day that it was different.

Then, I grew up and got over it. Then I grew up some more and decided I liked it.  Then I grew up all the way and it became a treasured part of my identity.

That is until I had kids at which point it got duller with each passing year. Instead of going gray I'm simply going dull and boring.  What was once unmistakably red is now headed straight for a dazzling shade of mud.  And each passing year I hate that it's happening more and more.

I finally gave in and made an appointment to have my hair colored - something I swore I would never do until I was gray.  I didn't feel like myself and I was tired of people looking at me and saying "Where did Jamie get his red hair?" and being confused when I said "Me."

Today was D-Day (Dye Day) and I was really keyed up and nervous this morning. I trust my hair dresser very much and he has never steered me wrong but still - this was a big deal!  Also, I was going to have him chop 3 inches off my hair in an attempt to tame its increasingly unruly nature.

I couldn't be happier with the results.


Huzzah! I'm me again!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mother Nature Is Showing Off

Today was one of my rare days in which both kids were gone for an extended period of time. I had the day planned out and then unexpectedly found myself with a block of free time.  So I grabbed my camera bag, hopped in the car, and went on a drive looking for spectacular fall color.

I didn't have to look very hard. Mother Nature is putting on quite the show this year. (click on the photo to make it bigger)

The intrepid photographer

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Sometimes I wonder about the sagacity of giving Jamie the power of speech. Lately he's been coming out with some doozies. Other times, he's just hilarious.

Jamie thinks that discipline is funny. This presents all manner of problems, of course.  One evening, I scolded him for something (I don't remember what) and he started to laugh at me.

"You're not funny, Jamie," I said sternly.

"Oh, I funny, Mommy," he replied.

Yeah. You're a riot, Alice.

This morning we were on our way home from the grocery store and Jamie was in the backseat repeating "Hai-ya! Hai-ya! Hai-ya ya ya!" over and over again.

So I said it right back to him.

"Stop that, Mommy, that's annoying," he said.


I took Jamie to lunch at Eat n Park (a perennial favorite of my children) and when his milk came to the table he grabbed a straw to put in it.  As he was tearing off the wrapper...

*gasp* "A bendy straw?!" he said.

"Yes, a bendy straw," I replied.

"For me?!"

"For you."


Who knew bendy straws were that exciting?


When he's not being a smart ass he's being stubborn. I hear "no" and "I don't want to" an awful lot around here. He's got an opinion on just about everything and he's not afraid to voice it. I love this child to distraction and he can be sweet and adorable and loving. I try to remind myself that there will come a day when stubborn self-confidence will serve him well and in the meantime, I just have to civilize his savage side.

As my mother said on the phone today, "You can't strip to a loincloth, paint yourself blue, and attack the neighbors, kid."


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Magnolia Dumplin' 2002-2012

We had hoped that we had more months with Maggie, but the medication didn't seem to work for her and months became weeks. This morning, Maggie ended her journey with us by her side.  We at least had time for everyone to say goodbye.

She was there each time we brought a new child home from the hospital and she accepted each of them as part of her pack. They loved her fiercely in return. She's been a companion and a part of the family for 10 years and it's going to be hard to adjust to life without her.

We'll miss you, darling girl. You'll never know how much.

Baby Liam and Maggie

Liam's first Halloween; Maggie ashamed.

What *IS* this thing I'm wearing, Ma?!

A boy and his dog.

She always did love burrowing in blankets.

Ms. Flippy Ear

Maggie and her toy crocodile. It was the only toy she never managed to fully destroy.

Jamie always wanted to help feed Maggie.

Maggie is ashamed of her doggie Snuggie.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


It was the summer of 1999. A few months earlier I had broken off the engagement to my college boyfriend after a 3 year relationship and just 2 months before our planned wedding. I was out of college and working full time but not really finding the right guys to date and still very gun shy about the whole thing.

Enter my sister and her friend, Anna, who had hatched a plan to play matchmaker between me and Anna's best friend. 


We first began talking over email because I still lived in Michigan while he lived in Pittsburgh.  After a few weeks I gave him my phone number and he called me for the first time. When I asked "how are you?" he said "Nervous."  

That phone call lasted 2 hours.

We talked on the phone almost every day after that for hours at a time.  Finally, I was going to be in Columbus visiting my sister on a weekend that he would also be there visiting Anna. A meeting was arranged.

He brought me Betsy Ann chocolates and became the first man to ever bring me chocolates.

We had our first date that weekend at The Columbus Zoo. When I asked how the koalas could sleep in the trees without falling out he said "They're fully koala-ified." Between the puns and the giant land tortoise sex it was a successful first date.

Two years later, on this day in October 2001, we got married.  

Today we celebrate our eleventh anniversary and in the last year life has challenged us in ways I wasn't prepared for. But all the frayed nerves and stress haven't driven a wedge between us. Instead we have weathered it all as a team, supporting each other and tackling everything that's been thrown at us. Sometimes I feel like our marriage is made of steel because it's been tempered in fire. 

I'm sure there were people wondering if we would make it this far especially when we got engaged only a year after I broke it off with my ex-fiancee. I'm sure my parents worried that I was making another mistake by jumping into such a serious relationship so soon after my previous one.  But I got lucky and found my partner. I found the man who would become a great Dad to our kids. I found the person that complements me in ways I didn't know were possible.

There is nowhere else I'd rather be.

Husband and Wife!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Crisis Of Last Week

On Monday morning last week, I had a vet appointment scheduled for Maggie. She was due for her checkup and vaccinations but there were other concerns I had to discuss with the vet. She's been showing some signs that not all is quite right with her and it seemed more than just being a slightly senile 10 year old neurotic beagle.

I had thought that maybe I was crazy and I was imagining her symptoms. But then she stepped on the scale at the vet and she'd lost 4 pounds. Being as we have always kept a close eye on Maggie's weight so that she wouldn't give into Portly Beagle Syndrome, this was not a good sign for her. She really didn't have 4 pounds to spare.

The vet and I discussed possibilites and ways to go about diagnosing them. Then they got a blood and urine sample from her and sent us home to await the results.

Good gravy, it was a long wait. By the end of the day Tuesday I had a migraine so vicious that I would have thrown up except I hadn't eaten so there was nothing to come up.

When we finally heard back from the vet things were a little unclear.  We ruled out the most likely possibility but the remaining possibility wasn't sunshine and roses either. The vet said she would have the pathologist take a closer look at the cells in her urine sample to see if we could determine anything more and that she would let us know in a couple of days.

Thursday we found out we were still in limbo and the vet was recommending more expensive tests. We're talking upwards of $500 worth of diagnostic testing and we'd already spent a few hundred dollars on Monday.

This is the point where my parents being veterinarians comes in so handy. While they live too far away to treat Maggie, they have been so wonderful in helping us over the phone, talking over diagnostic options, talking to us about treatment options, and running the whole gamut of scenarios with us.

After a lot of conversations between Scot and I and my parents, we decided that we were 80% of the way there with diagnosis and spending $500 to get 100% there was not really smart. Especially when there isn't much we can do.

Maggie has bladder cancer.

It's not very common in dogs but it is slightly more common in beagles. It is generally inoperable because it tends to occur in a section of the bladder that makes it nigh inaccesible.  While chemo treatments might exist, I just can't put my dog through something so rotten that she won't understand.  There is one treatment available to us.  Many dogs respond to it and it is surprisingly affordable. But we cannot cure her. The treatment will alleviate her symptoms for a period of months.  Then the symptoms will return and it will be time to let Maggie go.  We don't know how many months she has. Dad has seen some dogs go 18 months to 2 years but the research literature says 6 months. So, it's anyone's guess.  We started the medication on Saturday and we'll see how things progress.

It was not an easy week last week and it was especially difficult trying to keep all of this from the kids until we had an answer. Once we did, we sat down and told Liam who was heartbroken. He took it as well as he could have and I think he understands that the loving thing to do is let Maggie go before it gets really bad.

In some ways, I'm so grateful for knowing we only have months because it means everyone has a chance to say goodbye and make a few last memories with her and to adjust to the idea that we are going to lose her sooner rather than later.  But no matter when it happens, we will all miss her terribly.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes On Life In Our Nuthouse

1. Scot finally seems to be on the mend.  He worked half-days all last week and he's back to work full time this week.  The antibiotic they put him on in the ER seems to have turned the tide.  Thank Christ for that.  He's still not up to full strength but he's getting there and life appears to be returning to normal on that front.

2. Jamie loves preschool so much he hates leaving preschool.  He just cannot get used to the idea that he's only there for half a day and he constantly tells me he doesn't want to go home. Yesterday when I picked him up, he said he didn't like preschool - right after he finished telling me how much fun he had. I asked if that was because he had to leave and he said "yeah."  Poop.

However, the same facility that our preschool is in runs a drop in daycare. So we're going to investigate letting him stay all day at 'school' one day a week. The daycare portion is inexpensive as these things go so we can swing it once a week. When I told Jamie I would look into it he perked right up. We'll see how it all works out. I have to find out what kind of availability they have and that sort of thing.

3. Second grade with Liam is Serious Business.  Tests, tests, and more tests! Pretests! Reading tests! Spelling tests! Math tests! It goes on and on and on. The amount of homework has ramped up again (I expected it would) to the point that we're now tackling as much of it on the weekend as we can.  On top of that, two days ago he came home with multiplication homework.  Multiplication! I didn't start learning that until the 3rd or 4th grade and certainly not in the first month of it!  Holy crap!  I'm pretty sure second grade is stressing me out more than it's stressing him out.

4. Pumpkin update! So, it turns out that we got two pumpkins from our plant this year.  The second one is still ripening and it's much smaller than the first but we got it! I think I figured out that I planted it in too small a space so it couldn't root itself properly when setting fruit.  Next year (I'm hoping to try this again) I'll plant it in a larger space and hope for a bit more in the way of a harvest.

5.  The new schedule is still killing me a little bit.  With Jamie out of the house for only 2.5 hour chunks 3 days a week, I feel like I'm running a marathon every day that he's in school. I drop him off, try to go for my 3 mile walk, come home & cool off, then jump into chores until pick up time. It's crazy. I can't seem to fit it all in!

And yes, I have made some changes on the health and wellness front. I'm back to exercising as regularly as I can. I got way off track this week due to The Crisis of The Week (which I will talk more about in a separate post at a later date) but I haven't forgotten my promise to myself so I'm hoping I don't get completely off track. Thinking about exercising counts, right? (ha! I wish.) I've also tried to be better about my food choices and journal my food intake. That one is a bit of a roller coaster. Some days are really good, some days are really bad, and others are just so-so.

6.  This house needs a major purge of STUFF. We have too much STUFF and it's driving me utterly batshit.

7.  Squirrel!

P.S. When I did a google image search to find a funny squirrel picture, I discovered that 'squirrels with guns' is a thing. Image search THAT if you dare!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Genius Discovery

For years, I have loved the Bath & Body Works Foaming Hand Soap. I love the scents it comes in.  I love the way to foams up so washing kid hands is easy. I love the way it makes my hands feel when I wash them.

I try to be frugal though so I always bought them in bulk when B&BW was running a sale. So, maybe twice a year I'd spend $30 on soap and that was that.

But this latest round of illness with Scot has finally convinced me that we need to lay off the anti-bacterial agents in this house, if only for the sake of Scot's health. It's a small change but maybe it'll make a bit of difference.  Also, I'm running out of the B&BW soap so it was time to either restock or change.

Did you know that finding foaming hand soap that does not contain triclosan (the active ingredient in antic-bac soaps and Purell) is nigh impossible? They don't make them!  Cue the sad panda face from me. Instead, I found a couple containers of Softsoap brand hand soap that were acceptable scents and resigned myself to my kids using way too much soap and spending more money.

In frustration, I tweeted about it.

Seconds later, a twitter friend who goes by TwinmamaTeb tweeted back that I could make my own.

Wait. What? I already make my own laundry soap, how could I have missed out on this foaming hand soap thing? But she assured me that I could. Just fill the foaming dispenser with water and add a few pumps of any old soap you wanted and VOILA! Foaming hand soap on the cheap!

I had to try it out.

I just ran out of soap in the kitchen this morning so I dug the dispenser out of the recycling and thoroughly washed and rinsed it, ridding it of the last vestiges of the soap that I'd run out of.  Then, I filled it with warm water and added 10 pumps of the Softsoap I'd bought this morning.  I put the lid on and swished it around to mix it then gave it a pump and BAM! Foaming hand soap. Works like a charm.

The small bottle of Softsoap I bought is going to last for AGES doing it this way and save a TON of money in the process.  I think I just cut back my soap expenditures to around $6.00 a year but we'll see how long it goes.  And! And! It's plain old soap with no triclosan!

Try it! You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Spoke Too Soon

After blogging yesterday about Scot having pneumonia and hoping he'd get better, he took a nose dive last night and ended up at the ER.

I was getting kids to bed and he was awake after having slept for most of the last 2 days. He was coughing. That nasty deep, hacking cough of pneumonia and I didn't like it.

"I don't like the sound of that," I said. "You're not supposed to be doing that 3 weeks and 2 rounds of antibiotics later."

So Scot called our doctor who called him back and said it was time for a chest x-ray. My mother-in-law very graciously came and picked up Scot so that I could stay with the kids and while they had planned to hit Urgent Care, Scot changed his mind and they went to the hospital. By this time the humidity outside had made it difficult for him to breathe and he knew the ER could treat things more aggressively than Urgent Care could.

Of course, it was Friday night so they were slammed.

It was a long night for Scot and my poor mother-in-law. The staff took the xray and ran a bunch of blood work only to figure that while things are kind of getting better this stuff just doesn't seem to want to die.  Also, they had a hell of a time starting an IV on him despite the fact that he's been making an effort to keep hydrated.

In the end, they gave him an HOUR LONG breathing treatment, some IV fluids, an IV bolus of antibiotics, and some codeine for the cough.  He came home with prescriptions for the Trogdor the Burninator of antibotics and some more codeine. They are trying to KILL IT WITH FIRE.  Since this is now the third class of antibiotics they've put him on and they finally pulled out the BFGs, I'm hoping this will turn the tide.  This shit will kill the plague so it better damn well kill this.

I fell asleep sometime after 1 am and Scot didn't get home until around 2:30 am.  Unfortunately, the kids were up at their usual 7 am wake up time so we are crispy fried critters today. It's movies and PJ's today for this house.

I am going to need an entire pitcher of sangria when this is all said and done. And then I'm going to need douse my entire house in bleach.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Catching Up

Man alive, it has been a long few weeks.

In no particular order, the goings on around these parts lately include:

1. Scot has had pneumonia for the last 3 weeks.  His work has been PHENOMENAL about the whole thing. They've told him not to push himself or do anything he's not ready to do and that he's not worry about the work he's supposed to be getting done. It has eased both of our minds to know that they are understanding.

He did try to go back to work on Tuesday after being off for 2 full weeks.  He made it all day Tuesday and half a day Wednesday but it seems that was too much too soon and he's been a limp dishrag since Wednesday afternoon.  Here's hoping the weekend brings improvement...

2. The first full week at school for Liam was a HUGE improvement from last year.  He's used to full day school now and he dropped back into the routine with almost no ripple.  It was a crazy first week getting everyone to their commitments and having Curriculum Night in the mix as well (which was one giant data dump and a lot to take in).  But we got through it and I think second grade is going to be good. So far he seems to like his teacher and he's happy with what they're learning in class so I'm content. The first grades he brought home - his first real letter grades - were A's. Go Liam!

3. Jamie started preschool this week. He had a sneak peek last week when he got to see the classroom and meet the teachers.  He loved it so much he cried when we left and was grumpy for an hour after we got home.  He's had two days of shortened hours this week and both times he cried when I picked him up. I think it's a combination of the stress of adjustment and not wanting to go home yet. The poor kid is used to full day daycare and this 2 hours at a time business is really pissing him off royally. But the teachers say he loves his time there so I have to trust that he'll get past all this and learn to love it.  I feel bad for him, though; I wish it could have been different.

However, check out how excited he was to go on the first day! (And please note that getting these pictures was nearly impossible - he was so excited I couldn't get him to stand still long enough to keep my pictures in focus!)

Ready to go Mom!
Headed out the door with a backpack as big as he is.
Also, there is nothing like a suburban preschool to make this mom feel out of place. I didn't know anyone (except my one neighbor up the street), they all show up for pick up way early (I got there 10 min early and there were 8 other moms there already), and they all seem to know each other from last year. I don't know them yet so I can't say for sure, but it felt like walking into a sea of Stepford Soccer Moms and I'm the odd woman out.  It'll get better and Jamie loves it, so that's what matters.

4. What about me, you ask? Well, I'm trying to keep my head above water and on top of the chores. I'm usually last on the list of things to take care of and I have to remind myself to shower on a regular basis.  I'm trying to work my way into figuring out how our new schedule works and how all my responsibilities fit into it. I want and need to make some fitness and diet changes for myself and I've been waiting out these last two weeks impatiently. At the start of next week I'll be seeing how my time really works out and I'm hoping that those 3 mornings to myself will afford me the time to put myself higher on the priority list every now and then.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Ends, Second Grade Begins

Second grade. Second grade!  I will probably say something to that effect every year, won't I?

Liam started second grade on Thursday of last week.  He wasn't nervous, he wasn't worried, it was no big deal to him. He hopped on the bus and headed off to school without a backward glance.

The other mothers and me? Cheering. The bus driver was laughing her head off at us.

He likes his teacher, knows all his classmates, and seems to have settled into the routine of school without too much trouble. Last year was a difficult transition. He has spent a year going to half-day kindergarten and then he transitioned to full day first grade.  That first month of school was brutal with him. He was tired and cranky and difficult. This year is another story.  He seems to be falling back into the school routine with almost no trouble. *knock on wood*

Today begins the first full week of school and, looking back on last year's post from this time, it was not an easy week last year. I hope that it's easier on everyone this year.

Here's to school and an end to The Crap Filled Summer of 2012!

Ready to head to the bus stop!

Jamie got in the way but it's too cute not to share.

Friday, August 17, 2012

This Side Of The Fence

If you read this blog regularly you know that I've talked about my struggles to lose the weight I gained with Jamie.  It's been a topic almost from the inception of this blog.  However, as much as I think about it, I post about it a lot less.  Who wants to read that anyway? Weight loss and fitness are decisions I made for me not anyone else.

But I have some things to say.

Weight loss has never been easy for me. Ever. I can't say that I was always overweight or that I've never been skinny but I can say that I'm one of those people who carries her weight in such a way that most people don't see me as obese or even overweight.  Since my teen years, I've spent a lot of time fighting my urges to devour delicious food, avoid exercise, and trying desperately not to grow to gargantuan sizes.  The only times in my adult life that I've been free of weight worry were during my pregnancies.

The older I get the harder it is.

I have been stuck in the same place for well over a year now. I lost about 18 pounds in the space of 6 months or so. Those pounds were NOT easy to lose.  Then I stalled out something fierce.  Life got in the way, I was busy, we had calamities, and my weight loss and fitness became the last things on the list.

This summer has been the most stressful I've ever lived through. Some of what's going on is not suitable for blogging so I haven't talked about it here.  It's simply not my place.  But it has affected me profoundly and I've spent a lot of time eating my feelings.  As a result I've gained 8 pounds in the last few months - that's nearly half of what I fought so hard to lose in the first place.

Let me be clear about something. I am painfully aware that this is my own fault.

Now we come to the crux of this post. From my side of the fence? Weight loss is the hardest thing I've ever tried to do.  I struggle with it constantly and I keep failing. Worse, I know that it's my fault that I fail.  I castigate myself all the time about how I eat and how I can't make myself exercise after a long day with the kids.  I want so desperately not to be this person who fails and yet for all my good intentions - I fail.

People tell me I'm not fat. Right. But then I go to the doctor and get yelled at to lose weight.  My BMI is 29. I weigh 178 pounds. By all standards available, YES, I am overweight.

I feel like every bite of food that enters my mouth is judged by SOMEONE; that people look at me and think "yup, pretty clear why she's overweight." I think that about me, why wouldn't someone else?

Little changes DON'T add up for me. Not weighing myself DOESN'T work (all I do is get fatter).  I am well aware that a number on a scale or my BMI are not fantastic ways to measure my progress but they are the only concrete ways I have to do so. It's all I have to work with and I have to pay attention.  That's just how it works for me.  I hate it intensely. But ignoring it doesn't make it go away or make me do a better job of losing weight.  I've tried that, too.

I get it that skinny people don't always have it easy, either. They get told to eat a sandwich or people assume they have eating disorders. Allow me to be honest though - in our society, it is far, far easier to be skinny than to be fat.  It's annoying that people feel free to comment or make assumptions but skinny people don't get little kids pointing at them when they're in a bathing suit (yep, had it happen). Skinny people don't get stared at in the same way. They are objects of desire, the goal to be striven for. Some thin people have worked damn hard to get there and some are lucky enough that they don't have to work at it to stay that way.

From here? From the fat side? I would take all those consequences in a heartbeat if it meant I could just "throw away the scale" and "go by how my clothes feel."  If it meant that I could dispense with feeling like the whole world judges me just by how much I weigh.  If it meant I could stop feeling like a failure every. single. day. because I hate how I look and I'm losing faith that I can change it.

From my side, that's how it feels. That's what it looks like. Maybe it doesn't look that way for you. Me? That's the hand I got dealt and I keep trying to shuffle the deck only to come up with the same stupid cards every time.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Post More Than 2 Years In The Making

Yesterday Liam took his final color belt test in Tae Kwon-Do to earn his third (and last) black stripe on his red belt.  From this time on, there will be no more tests until he tests for his black belt. We anticipate that happening in April of next year as long as he keeps up the hard work.

I admit I was a little apprehensive about his performance at this test. After his slip up at the last test, I wanted to make sure he felt confident in all the patterns he had to do. We threw an extra class in here and there over the last 2 months and that seemed to prepare him.

He had to do 2 patterns that he had done before for other belt tests and one brand new pattern - Chin-Moo. Which, I am shocked to say, he learned in its entirety in a single class. That kid has a mind like a steel trap.

(A word on the videos - I did the best I could but an adult who was testing kept getting in my line of sight. Also, I got a little wobbly. Sorry, folks.)

First, he had to do Te-Ge.

Next was Fur-Ahn (I missed the first couple of movements in this one).

Last, Chin-Moo.


After he performed patterns they sparred in groups.  My pictures from that are mostly blurry but he did a pretty good job.  Then, it was time for breaking, which he crushed.

Like a boss.
Finally, it was time to be awarded with his stripe.

Three! Three black stripes!
When it comes time to test for his black belt, Liam will have to perform all nine of the patterns he learned to earn his black stripes. It's a good thing we have 8 months to prepare!

I know he can do it, though. He started out 2 years ago having no real idea how to make his body be so coordinated. He was so awkward - all elbows and knees sticking out. But he kept at it. He worked hard. He did all they asked him to do. He practiced at home. He went to class twice a week every week; summer, fall, winter, and spring. Now he is poised to prove he's worthy to wear a Young Brothers black belt. I know he is. I can't wait to see it happen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Week With Cousin Becca

Last week our niece came to stay with Grandma and Granddad for a whole week and my kids got to play with their cousin almost every day. All the kids loved it and we met up to do some fun things while Becca was here (the last of which being Kennywood).

One morning we headed to the playground for some climbing, sliding, running, and swinging.

Another day we headed to Soergel's orchard.  I had no idea this was an attraction for the under 10 set but it is. Playgrounds and farm animals!

Waiting for Grandma and Becca

Driving the tractor.

You're taking our picture? 
Locked in jail!

The kids had a fantastic time hanging out with each other. Next summer should be even better as Jamie will be older (and hopefully napless) so we can do more things with less tantrums.  This year, Jamie went three days without a nap and it almost killed him (and us).

So, now we're on the home stretch before school starts.  We have two full weeks plus a couple of days and then it's time to put Liam on the bus for second grade.

Monday, August 6, 2012


On Saturday - the most blazingly hot day I've spent outside in years - the extended family went to Kennywood.  It was the first time our kids had ever been there and they had a blast.  I would have enjoyed it A LOT more if the weather had been a tad more cooperative. Over 90 and high humidity made me feel like crap.  I'm surprised we didn't collapse on the way back to the car.

On to the pictures!

Liam and I preparing to ride the ParaTrooper. NOT OUR BEST DECISION.

After riding the ParaTrooper. NO ME GUSTA.

"MOTORCYCLE!" Jamie screamed and had to ride it.

On the Orbiter

Liam and Cousin Becca on the flying elephants.

Pretty girl Becca 
Granddad, Scot, and the boys on the S.S. Kenny

Scot just loves this ride!

I don't know why Liam is making this face but it's hilarious.

Loving the Lil Phantom!

A sign we did Kennywood right.
I'd be willing to take them again next year but when it's COOLER.  Hauling 40 lbs of Jamie around in a wagon just about killed me (and says a lot about my lack of fitness).  However, they're never going to get me to ride the big coasters with them. NOT A CHANCE IN HELL.  They'll just have to figure that out on their own. Seeing as Liam wasn't a super fan of the ParaTrooper either, I'm probably safe. At least for a little while!