Friday, April 22, 2011

Let's Play the Ponies

Last weekend was opening weekend for the racetrack, and the Star Telegram was offering free admission, program, soda, and t-shirts for press pass holders.  It was an offer we couldn't refuse, so after church on Sunday (we went to the 11 a.m. service, and for the first time, the boys didn't want to leave the nursery - it made me SOOOOO happy), we grabbed some chicken, met up with Aunt Mellie, and went to see the horses.
Daddy packed lots of stuff to make our time at the race track enjoyable.  We had chairs, Capri Sun, hats, and Aunt Mellie brought us some new sunglasses.  The boys had a little bit of lunch, and then they hit the ground running.
Our posse.  Lately, I've been a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I'm unable to go in public with the kids without help.  I'm sure the four of us could do it, but it's so much work and even in grocery carts they stand up and put themselves in danger, run in different directions, etc.  The other day, James and Ryan came with me into the garage to get a soda, and it took me 10 minutes to herd them back inside.  I can't imagine what I would do if I had all three without some back up.  Anyway, all that is to say, I'm just going to be grateful that we have enough people who love and care about us and who are willing to go do stuff with us.
Grandpa studies the ponies - he must have done a pretty good job since he left the track even.  Poor Lonestar Park didn't make a dime off of the Newhouse clan on Sunday.
Ryan drinks some more Capri Sun.  I was so proud that he kept his hat on for as long as he did.  James is the fairest of our three, but Ryan's cheeks really flush in the heat.
Michael makes his way to the blanket to relax in colorful comfort.  Michael and Aunt Mellie had a blast together.  I'm pretty sure that Melanie did about 1000 laps around the band, and Michael made her take the stairs every time.  These boys sure do help you get in your cardio workout.
The kids absolutely adored the horses.  My papa would have been proud.  James was obsessed with the horses.  We went out to the paddock, and Bob couldn't get him to leave even when all of the horses had disappeared.  Luckily, you can get pretty close to the action on the track, and the boys really liked watching the races.

When the horses weren't on the track, the band was in high demand - especially by Ryan and James.  I was a little concerned that the kids were going to rush the stage or rip down the banner or do any number of non-mom approved things.  James danced like a maniac, and he loves other kids.  He followed this little boy around and by the time we left, he was trying to hug him (much to the chagrin of the little boy - although, if you're gonna show a kid how to play air guitar, you should be willing to receive love and admiration).
Michael also danced his heart out between laps with Aunt Mellie.  He also conned her into carrying him around, hand feeding him french fries, and various other tiny man machinations.  I'm pretty sure she would give him the moon if she could reach it, and Michael is totally okay with that.
About 3:30, the kids had reached their saturation point, and we loaded up and went back to the car.  James helped Daddy pull the wagon the entire way to and from the races.  He is such a helper, and I'm pretty sure the three guys in this picture have a very similar walk.  It was a wonderful (and free) day.  Hopefully we can do it again soon, and maybe next time we'll make it to the petting zoo.

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