Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hannibal, Mo

I have wanted to visit Hannibal since we moved here, but never seemed to get around to it. Well on the 4th of July we went for it. It is about two hours north of us, so not too bad a drive. Daniel was working that night so we left him sleeping and went north. There were two things on my agenda, although there are a few more things to do and see there. I wanted to see the Molly Brown house and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. We stopped at a visitor center just outside of Hannibal and got a booklet of coupons. Then we went to the Molly Brown Home. Turns out her real name is Margret and she went by Maggie her whole life. Hollywood changed it after her death. (Apparently Molly is easier to sing then Maggie.)  Also not only did she survive the Titanic, but 2 other boat crashes and a fire! I'm not sure if she was lucky or cursed. She was very intelligent and learned several languages most of which she spoke fluently. This aided her on the Titanic where she was able to interpret for the immigrating passengers. She accomplished much during her lifetime. Quite a remarkable woman.
Then we went to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. These are separated into various buildings. We started at the museum and then walked to the Home and saw his father's law practice and home of his sweet heart. I enjoyed visiting Hannibal, but was shocked to find no marker nor mention of Hannibal's other Star: Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO. Alas. I guess The Unsinkable Molly Brown is the only musical to be celebrated there.

Palmyra, NY

 We were blessed to be able to go to Palmyra for the pageant, but for our first stop we went to Chicago! I have wanted to go there forever. I love the architecture. So Daniel let me plan that leg of our trip. We arrived at the:
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
 A quaint B&B outside of Chicago. The owner played the piano for us during breakfast! She was super sweet. We had the upstairs room. It was cute. Then after we had unpacked for the night we set off once again for: Medieval Times!
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
We enjoyed dinner and the show.
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
Charles had a hard time with the noise, but Lizzy had a blast cheering and booing. She was so excited. In the morning we went to Chicago and after the GPS went haywire, we finally got on track and made it to the down town. I was so excited I was practically jumping. We stopped in the Library first which had a visitor center and picked up a few brochures. Then we headed out. We walked down to Wacker Dr. and I got a pin at the Hard Rock Cafe, then we spotted some window washers on one of the buildings. See if you can spot them:
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
Not a job I would want! Daniel said that he'd try it though. We saw the Sears Towers and the Chicago theater.
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
  We headed up to the Millennium Park for lunch. We had some less then outstanding Chicago Dogs and listened to the band play. Our parking cost a whopping $28. for 2 hours! I wasn't expecting that. Then we headed west to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park. We were in time for the 2 o' clock tour and I just loved his studio. He used chains to create tension for the structure.  It was beautiful!  Here is the upstairs part The columns are on casters and store the drafts. The house was impressive too especially the children's play room. On the opposite side is a grand piano set inside the wall and a gallery for plays and whatnot. The piano end sticks out overhead in the stair case. It was so fun. Then we were off to Clinton and Janet's house. That was great, but we had to leave the next morning for Palmyra. So off we drove through 3 states and numerous toll booths to arrive at Niagara Falls! After a few false starts, nearly going to Canada and several rings around the parking lots we made it. Click on the video to experience it:

From Palmyra Falls
Then I got a pin at the Hard Rock Cafe there. It's a good thing we weren't eating there as there was a 2 hour wait! Then we raced off to Palmyra to arrive just in time for the pageant. We got some food from the Lion's Club vendors and set up our blanket. It was a beautiful night, and the pageant was wonderful.
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
Then we went to find our car amidst the blaring Anti Mormon preachers across the street. That was funny. We spent the night in a little town just outside Palmyra in a nice hotel, there was a wedding party there too. I would have liked to explore there too since there was a lot of fun history. (Jell-o was invented there) But time was short so we went back to Palmyra and visited the church sites. We saw the Smith's log home where Joseph recieved the vision of the Angel Moroni. Then we toured the frame house which is just a few yards away as you can see in this picture.
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
But it crosses the county line so we couldn't tour the upstairs. I was most impressed with their sink.
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
 We toured the barn and saw the beehives:
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
and the cooper shop. Then we went into the Sacred Grove. I wish I could impart the feeling there. It was like entering the Temple. Though there were many people visiting, the tone was hushed and reverent. I asked Daniel to go ahead and I sat down on one of the many benches. He decided to stay and stand there in front of me so I didn't quite get the moment I wished, but oh well.
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
We had to leave, so I got up and strolled out. I wish we had more time. I do hope that we may be able to return someday. We returned to Clinton and Janet's for a scrumptious meal. Janet, Lizzy and I went to the park and Lizzy was scared by the fire flys. She has a real aversion to bugs. Here's a video.
From 2011-07-10 Palmyra
 Then we went to bed. After a glorious breakfast, we drove home. Charles finally started crawling during this trip and now he has two teeth on top. So it was momentous for all!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wild Things

Last week my friend Elizabeth invited us over for an animal party. I was excited and asked Lizzy what animal she wanted to be. She said a spider, but later changed that to a sheep. OK I think I can manage that. So I break out the hot glue gun and cotton balls. This outfit will be epic! I get to gluing and Lizzy starts out by handing me the cotton balls. Then she hides them, next she starts throwing them like snowballs all the while yelling, "Snow, snow!" Eventually I am able to locate them all when I realize I don't have enough! What to do? So I frantically search the house for white fluffy wool like material. I find some batting and get back to gluing. At last it is finished and looking a bit wonky, but it's too late to start over. Note to self: Just use Batting to begin with, it's easier and faster then cotton balls. Anyway, so we arrive and Lizzy is the only one with a costume. Oh well. So much for my frantic morning. We made masks and danced around and then had a snack of bananas and animal crackers while Grace performed a puppet show. We all had a good time.
From 2011-07-02 Animal Party
And here is the whole enchilada:
From 2011-07-02 Animal Party
On another note, Lizzy is my little Sous-chef. She has been helping herself to the unfinished products for years now. It baffles me how she can eat flour and salt plain, but I digress. Anyway so while shopping at Michael's the other day I found a Chef hat and just had to buy it. Now that I've tried it on, I'm going back for my own. It is so fun. Unfortunately, after decorating it, she didn't want to wear it so here is Charles modeling it.
From 2011-07-02 Animal Party
Adorable right? I love it! We also got to meet Cara Bartholomew for the first time. Janet and Cara braved the 9 and 1/2 hours to come down for a visit and we met up with them at Denise and Jason's home. We had a scrumptious meal and got reacquainted. Cara is a dear. We had Baby Wars:
From 2011-07-02 Animal Party
Cara won. She's a contender:
From 2011-07-02 Animal Party

Events

A lot has occurred in a short time, as often is the case with children. I am excited to announce that Charles is now mobile. He can crawl and even climb up our one step with out too much difficulty. This of course means I need to locate the safety gate and put it up. In addition he has gained a tooth on top. I can feel a second one coming in too.  Soon he will be able to chew anything. My fingers may be safe! It is amazing how so much can happen in such a short time. The day before Charles tooth emerged, Daniel had a dream that Charles had a new tooth. Isn't life funny?

From 2011-07-10 Palmyra

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Royal Pains!

I have bad teeth. I have come to this realization. For no amount of brushing and flossing seems to keep the cavities away. Regardless what the dentist says. So I was not overly surprised when at my last appointment I was told of yet another cavity. Unfortunately upon peering at my x-ray of teeth, resembling more an old patch-work quilt then teeth, it was apparent that there was less tooth then should be possible and a crown was in order. Wow, I get a crown! Yea. Little did I know what lay ahead. I made an appointment and left in blissful ignorance...
 Cue next visit. Start the soothing music. And Begin. So I arrive and wait for the office staff to finish their morning meeting before ushering me to The Chair. It was a hot day as are common in MO. and the hygienist had a fan basting in the room. Yea. Next she puts the lovely necklace of paper towel around my neck and asks if I had any questions. I answer no and she proceeds to tell me that this apt. will take 2 hrs. Lizzy was with a babysitter, but I had Charles with me. Ugh. luckily the ladies at the front desk kept him occupied when he had had enough of his car seat.
 We made a mold of my teeth and then the drilling commenced. They had to destroy what was left of my tooth in order to crown it. That was sad. Then she fitted a temporary in place and sent me on my way. I was to return in a week when my permanent crown would come in. I collected my  by now sleeping son and raced to pick up Lizzy. My mouth was quite sore.
 Next visit... now the real fun begins. This time I had the foresight to leave both kiddos with a babysitter. Silly Mom. After a few pleasantries, I again meet the Chair and get the necklace. We begin. I typically need more Novocaine then most patients and so it takes a long time for any of my dental work. Dentists are generally disbelieving of me when I tell them at the beginning that I need a booster shot. Even when it says so in my chart. Anyway, so I get the first shot and they drill and it HURTS and then they give me a booster. So this takes twice as long as normal. Yea.  This time was no exception. So I get topical applied to my crown and then the hygienist pops off my temp crown and proceeds to cram the new permanent one in it's place. Ouch! Then began the long process of putting it in, wiggling it a bit and pulling it out and polishing, rinse and repeat. Then we had to stop because all the movement had got my gums bleeding and they had to calm down before we could proceed.
 I wish I could have read a book or something. Alas. Once that ordeal was over we took and x-ray and then then it was time to attach the crown. So I got cement the the crown and then the fun really kicked into high gear! She proceeded to floss off the remaining cement from the surrounding teeth, but could not. So, like anyone facing a problem, she did it again and again. Mostly just causing my gums to bleed and breaking the floss. "Wow, this cement loves your teeth." She says. Then she  breaks out the saw.  This instrument rather looks like a miniature logging device. She proceeds to saw off the cement, along with my lips. I was beginning to fear my gums might just walk off the job in protest. I couldn't blame them, if anything this was cause for a mutiny. Finally the task was completed, and I could relax for a moment. She alerted the Dentist and then applied topical to my mouth because NOT only do I have a crown, but of course an other cavity as well. So then the dentist came in and checks the crown. Looks good. She tests the area for numbness and unfortunately, the Hygienist had numbed the wrong area. So take two. This time I get the shot and the filling is put in without further complication. Finally I am allowed to get up. I was never so glad to leave a place in my life! So much for the royal life. You can have it!

Giving Thanks

  This year we celebrated with my Sister and her family. It was great fun as always, even though we had some illness strike. Poor Emily woke...