Been a busy week…
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Been a busy week…
Enjoy the rest of your week!
We’ve blogged about this before, so we’re not going to hit you over the head with it again, but Monkey Joe’s is incredible. $5/kid for unlimited inflatable action.
But don’t take our word for it. You could also ask Ford, who apparently repeats “Monkeyjoesontheweekend!” so much and so breathlessly at daycare during the week, that his teachers at Spanish for Fun have begged us to either buy a pet monkey or to find another daycare.
Considering the fact that Russian for Fun does not sound fun at all, it looks like we’re buying a baby chimp.
Oh, and then there’s this video, which is long, but is hilarious. Cal can walk now. Barely. So asking him to walk from one side of an inflatable to the other is borderline child abuse.
Fortunately, borderline is still legal.
Ah, the beach. With the sand, hairy backs and sand…what’s not to love? Not much, frankly (double negative?). It’s awesome. For my money it’s up there with Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salads and Carolina hoops. Yeah, I love it that much. Gone are the days, however, of actually enjoying said beach. Gone are the days of “reading books” and “just heading down to the beach for a quick stroll.” Gone. Gonegonegonegone. Instead, let’s give a warm round of middle fingers to the days of the beach plus diaper-saddled kids.
Although we may appear happy, Page and I vehemently loathe these new days.
Sure, the kids are cute. They love the beach. But come on, this is ThePreggoPage.com. We keep it real here. I don’t want any of you to come back at me saying that we should be cheerier, blah, blah. Bottom line, the beach is no longer the beach. It’s rope-a-dope plus a sandy butt crack.
Allow me to explain.
1. Ducking the paparazzi, aka my wife.
Page loves her some pictures. Loves them. As do most women, I’ve found. Most men? Seriously, get the camera out of my face. Now, of course, it’s always fun to see my fat, hairy ass frolicking with the kids after the fact, but in the course of action, it always gets me a little salty. “Oh, what, another one, babe? Hold one sec while I try to corral the greased pigs that are your sons.” “Nope, no, it’s not a problem for me to balance both boys on my shoulders while executing what is essentially a ‘reverse warrior’ yoga pose.” And then there’s the foggy camera lens issue, which rendered all of our pictures useless until we found out the beach trick of putting your camera on the deck for 30 minutes prior to use. As a side note, it actually felt that thick/foggy out there this weekend with those 100+ degree temps. Lord.
2. To nude-ify or not to nude-ify?
This one needs to be defined for us. Please. It’s not a point of contention for me and Page, but we definitely differ. First let me say that neither of us care if our kids are walking around naked in public. “Just let it happen” is a personal Fehling motto (case in point: two kids within 15 months of each other). But I am far more conservative than Page when it comes to letting our boys flash complete strangers. Page? Let ‘em hang. Me? Let’s wrap a towel around those things, shall we? Maybe it’s the fact that I’m from Pinehurst where I grew up being belted over the head with rules like your shorts “must be bermuda length or you will be shot,” or maybe I’m just a prude. In all seriousness, would love to hear people’s thoughts here.
3. I feel sorry for my parents and brother.
I think I can safely speak for them when I say that sharing a beach condo with me and Page is no longer “fun.” Welcome to your 6:45 a.m. wake-up call, kiddies! Yeah. By the end of our four days together, my brother had downloaded a sound machine app on his phone and my Mom was openly thanking us for taking the boys to the pool one morning. I nearly responded by apologizing that we didn’t just head back to Raleigh after leaving the pool. It was a rough stretch of mornings for the lil’ dudes. Ford gets cabin fever in about 14 seconds and Cal is cutting no less than 37 teeth. He also likes to eat anything in sight, and if someone around him even looks in the general direction of food, he turns into the equivalent of a grunting car alarm, where instead of keys you have to insert Goldfish, London broil and a gallon of milk. Together. He’s a machine. Either way, consider this your apology, Watson/Fehling Family.
I, of course, am being slightly – OK, very – melodramatic. It’s the beach. It’s not work. It was great. I actually got through a chapter of my book and took two naps. I ate about four liters of jalapeno pimento cheese and tried peach Firefly for the first time. Finally, it’s always good to see the fam. My 90+-year-old grandfather was there along with about 40 of his offspring and his offspring’s offspring. We do group dinners at about 10 p.m. every night, and I’m convinced that if there was ever a Family Feud-style charades game, we would smoke all comers. I actually have practiced what my pose would be as the “FEHLING” curtain is pulled back when we’re introduced…
So there you have it. The be-ach still rocks. Sure it takes more effort (and by more I mean every ounce of your being), but watching the kiddos get hours of enjoyment out of making sand castles, smashing them, building them, smashing them, sigh, well, it makes it all worth it.
We’re baaaaack. You remember us, right? The obnoxious, over-sharing, overly-dramatic Fehlings? Yeah you do.
We’re dusting off the blog and tweeting some more. Or at least trying to. Don’t worry, we fully plan on making another post like this in a few months re-re-introducing the blog and talking about how dedicated we are to posting and reminding you how funny it is all over again. Again.
To get things (re)started this time, we offer you a review of the Asheboro (N.C.) Zoo. And for you “Sports Guy” fans out there you’ll appreciate this…I went all Bill Simmons and kept a running diary. And away we go:
6:58 a.m.: Cal crying. Awaken. Swift heel into my right hamstring tells me my wife would like me to handle the wake-up process this morning. I swear, she has to be a blackbelt in under-the-cover back heels.
7:27: See first weather report. No bueno. On and off rain all day. “Mostly on,” says the forecaster as if he knew that I would eventually write the previous sentence. I’m discouraged and want to push to Sunday. Page’s parents – Susan (aka “Swen” to me, “Danny” to the grandboys) and Dennis (aka “Big D,” “D,” “Grandpa D,” “the Diesel,”) – both offer a look of, “don’t even think about it, we’re going.” I flash back a look of, “why are we flashing looks at each other but not speaking?”
8:52: Inform Page about the diary idea. “Cool,” she responds. Translation: You’re an idiot, but if it keeps your nose out of meaningless fantasy box scores, I’ll take it.
8:53: After checking if coast is clear, plunge nose firmly into previous night’s fantasy box scores.
9:00: Load the Diesel’s electric wheelchair into the minivan. Five minutes earlier Page had asked me to “grab D’s wheelchair and put it in the car.” She failed to mention it was electronic and weighed roughly as much as D himself. I somehow manage to make the transfer, while also ensuring myself a purchase of one such chair in the near future. As a sidenote, D’s back is in rough shape (say a little prayer this week, folks, as he goes in for surgery), so the wheelchair is a necessity. It’s also awesome.
9:03: Pack into the minivan. I’m driving. D is riding shotgun. Swen is bookended by the sparkies in the second row. Page is wedged into the single seat of the third row, spooning both the double stroller and the wheelchair. She definitely drew the short straw. Let me take a minute here to again recommend minivans, people. They may not be sexy, but re-read this paragraph so far. This thing carried a Fehling, three Crawford-Fehlings, two Crawfords, and two massive stroller/wheelchairs. Suck it, MDX owners.
9:04 – 10:37: I can’t diary-log and drive, so suffice it say that Ford spends this time yelling back at Page, alternating between “Tia” (Spanish for aunt) and “Mudder” (redneck for Mom). Can’t put a price tag on that randomness.
10:38: Pick up pieces of Ford’s exploded head following his seeing three life-sized elephants staged just outside the entrance.
10:40: Unload van and wheel our way to the Africa entrance of the zoo. You get to pick what side of the zoo you want to enter: Africa or North America. Moose, bison and elk or monkeys, elephants and rhinos, not to mention the only-for-a-limited-time albino alligators? It’s a no-brainer. Africa, baby.
10:40: First “Man, it’s hot out here” comment from Page. For those of you that took the over at 17 seconds on Page’s hot weather complaint line, sorry, you missed. By 15 seconds.
10:41: Toto’s “Africa” playing at the entrance. Gonna be a good day.
10:41: “…I bless the rains down in Africa…”
10:41: Look at the sky. Ominous. OK, so maybe this is gonna be just an average day.
10:45: D sets the pace in his wheelchair. We literally can’t keep up. Cal doing the Titanic routine on his lap. Clubhouse “having fun” leader is Cal…by a huge head.
10:47: Buying tickets and notice more fake animals. Hmmm. We are going to see some real wild life here, right?
10:48: Cal makes first groan/stretch/reach/whimper/shift move in his seat. Rut roh.
10:54: Mind blown (again, for Ford). After you make it through the entrance there is a small courtyard, you veer slightly to the left, the trees open up and you come face to face with about four giraffes, six zebras and a flock (?) of ostriches. Boom. Just like that. I’m a grown man and I was impressed. Ford and Cal are little, ungrown men, and I’m pretty confident they filled their diapers. This also marked the debut of “OH NO!” from Ford, which instantly became his zoo catchphrase. Whether it was animals, the bathroom or umbrellas (spoiler alert, they eventually make their way out), Ford greeted everything with a hearty and high-pitched “OH NO!” While it somehow never got old for us, it had to have been riding the nerves of each and every other person there into the ground. I’m pretty sure I saw a family flee to North America at one point to get away from the walking broken record.
As a side note, let’s just get it out there that as into it as Ford was, Cal might as well have been at Target. He was generally having a good time, but it wasn’t as much for the elephants et al, as it was for doing things like “being strolled around” and “crapping his pants just to mess with his parents.”
11:03: Elephants. More OH NOs. This zoo thing is pretty legit.
11:11: Walk by a “jungle helicopter” display. Ford does his now patented, whimper, run away scared, grab a parent’s leg move. Let me get this straight, bud, you’re good with the elephants and zebras but a parked, mini helicopter scares you? I’m not quite sure what to think here.
11:13: What’s that smell? That would be Ford and Cal. With clean diapers. Didn’t know it was possible for kids under 3 to have B.O. Looks like the zoo is rubbing off on them. Literally.
11:15: Walk under a mist machine. Great, except for the fact that I already have major swamp ass and the mister shooting up from the ground got me right where I didn’t need to get got.
11:17: Rhinos and antelopes. Kind of. Whereas the earlier exhibits had the animals in a relatively small area, there were ACRES of land for these guys. Whoever did their contract knew what they were doing. “Are they napping rhinos or a collection of boulders?” We still don’t know. Tough to discern from 40 clicks.
11:22: Luke Scott Orioles shirsey sighting!
11:24: D stalls and tries to restart his wheelchair on an incline. Nearly had a man overboard situation. While it normally would have been funny, we all remember that his back hurts worse than my swamp ass, so we keep moving.
11:25: Wheelchair breaks down. Too much weight on an incline, apparently. We free him of Cal. OK, now am I allowed to laugh?
11:26: “MONITOS!!!! (MONKEYS!!!!) OH NO!” I feel like I’m at the zoo with Pitbull and Lil’ Jon. I blurt out, “WHOA KAY!!!” in response. Somewhere Lee Trevino is shaking his head silently.
11:40: I am being told the albino gators are to be called “swamp ghosts.” Seriously? I counter with “how about freak shows?” The zookeeper is not amused.
11:42: Baboon boner. Finally, a juicy diary entry. Page and I exchange a silent look/understanding that yes, this is funny, but we need to be responsible parents. Another monkey enters the frame, approaching the aforementioned aroused monkey. Something is happening…something inappropriate…something I really shouldn’t write about. Page and I are flanked by two families who, to our sheer delight, decide to make this a learning experience.
Family 1 parent: “Look kids…hehe, I think he peed on that other monkey.” What’s sad is that she really thought that that was what was happening.
Family 2 parents: “Oh snap, those monkeys are f%*&##*.” OK, maybe there was no F-bomb, but you get the point. There was no sugar coating here. I’d like to think that Page and I offer our kids a bit of a hybrid of these two families, trending more closely to number 2. I hope.
11:46: A couple of really weird displays. 1. Something that I can only really describe as a fake botanical explosion and 2. A massive painting of a unicorn. Did I mention we’re currently in an aviary? I’m lost.
12:04 p.m.: First pit stop of the day. Diapers changed. Cal tries a changing table routine that Michelle Kwan would have struggled with, while Ford runs pantless through the rest area screaming about hairy monitos and hairy Dada. Sigh. Yep, get used to it, kiddo.
12:14: Leave aviary to double-back to the lions. Pass the monkeys again, or rather, where the monkeys were when we entered. No monkeys. They’ve all taken shelter. Take a look at the sky. “Threatening” would be only a slight understatement. Monkeys 1, Humans 0.
12:16: “I WANT TO DUNK IT!” I look around and see nothing even close to resembling a ball or hoop. “I…um…want to dunk it too, Fudge.”
12:20: Gorillas. Highlight of the trip. One giant gorilla sleeping in the center of the exhibit. Ask Ford and Cal to trust us that the snoring, hairy, black mass in front of them is a huge gorilla. A couple of yawns are all I get in response. Seconds later, the heaping mass rouses, turns and walks straight at our 20’x12’ glass peephole. He apparently has had enough of the fishbowl routine. We all subconsciously slowly back away from the glass. He walks right up to it, stops, and then in one motion does a 180 and sits down, back against the glass. Phenomenal. Try this view on for size, ladies and gentlemen. Ford and company lose their mind over the performance and right when we think we’re having the time of our lives, Swen notices a foot-long crack in the bottom corner of the glass…
12:22: 30 adults and 7 strollers flee the gorilla exhibit…
12:22: …as it starts to pour.
12:24 – 12:32: Lions and lightning and lemurs, oh my.
12:33: Find shelter at the lone restaurant in Africa. Wolf down $56 worth of chicken fingers and fries. Finally found the catch. I’m told that we could have brought our own food in and picnicked. I slap the person that tells me this.
12:34: As if on cue, Ford and Cal start to self-destruct.
3:02: Pull into the driveway. Happy. Satisfied. Relieved. Beaten. Saving you the details from the last two and half hours, because they were pretty brutal. Tears, whines and demands for sixth and seventh readings of “Curious George Goes to the Toy Store.” And that was just from Dennis.
So here’s how we’re going to rate this thing: five categories, scales of 1-10. The categories are:
1. Is it educational?
2. Does it wear them out?
3. Can you fit it in before meltdowns ensue?
4. Enjoying for the kids?
5. Enjoying for parents?
The Asheboro Zoo was strong. Real strong. Here’s where it checks in:
1. Educational?: 7. Definitely. Learning about animals, their habitats, etc. is always good to know. Not a ton of hands-on opportunities, but learning that monkeys get aroused just like us is really helpful stuff.
2. Wear them out?: 7. Sure. Simply because of the time elapsed. Ford ran most of the time so he was completely done by the time we stopped for lunch. Cal was just antsy. He’s always good for a nap, though, so he gets an N/A here.
3. Fit it in?: 5. Not so much. We only did Africa. Even if the weather would have held, we probably still would have bailed. 2-3 hours is about all these kids have in them. On the other hand, we are now technically left with a completely new zoo trip. I can’t wait until I tell the kids that we’re going back to North America!
4. Kids dig it?: 10. Are you kidding me?
5. Parents?: 8. Page and I hadn’t been to the zoo in years. Come on, it never gets old seeing giraffes and white alligators. OK, fine…the baboon is worth an extra point. Let’s go 9 here.
So there you have it. A 38. Highly recommend. Next review: Playing Wii at home in the manroom while your wife watches the kids.