Monday, September 8, 2008

Lots o' Hot Air -- The Weekend Update

On the first full weekend of September the city of Reno wakes up at 4am and heads off to Rancho San Rafael Park to watch the Great Reno Balloon Race. As a child my dad would wake us up, load us in the car and we would perch ourselves at the top of a hill and watch as the "Dawn Patrol" would take off; followed by a hundred hot air balloons. It was something we looked forward to every year. (OK, maybe not so much during those teenage years when sleep was at the top of my priority list.) In fact, the year before DD joined our family I remember seeing the balloons flying on my way into work and thinking, "I can't wait to have kids to bring them to this."
Last year we went, with the Sophs being only 3 weeks old, and had a blast. DD was properly amazed and excited with each balloon he saw and expressed this adulation with waves, clapping and squealing. The Sophs, thank heavens, slept through the whole thing.
This year, on the other hand was quite different as we no longer live only a 10 minute drive from the park. So, planning ahead we overnighted at Grandmom and Bumpa's in preparation for dawn patrol. Dave had invited his parents who wouldn't give us a definate, then finally ended up calling us to let us know they were spending the night at the Nugget. (I couldn't help but be a little jealous that they got to stay in a nice hotel room without kids.) DD was eager to go to sleep in his special room upstairs and Bumpa did a great job of going through the bedtime routine. (Except I did get stuck singing I Love to See the Temple six-umpteen times.) And Dave and I were excited for the next day. After all, last year was so much fun!
Well, the Sophs was coming down with a cold and didn't sleep as well as we had hoped. She had us out of bed several times between midnight and 3:00. At 3:45 I realized Dave hadn't come back to bed from his last shift with the Sophs and I rolled out of bed to start getting ready. We dressed the Sophs who was still wide awake from her last bottle and I went upstairs to start getting DD dressed. I went into his room and to my surprise he was gone! Aparently someone got up in the middle of the night and somehow made his way into Grandmom and Bumpa's bed. I found him soundly snuggled between the two of them fast asleep. I plucked him from his new found arrangement and carried him downstairs to ready him for the adventure.
As soon as we hit the bottom stair he realized where he was not and started to cry. Not just any cry, but the cry of a crazy man. I started getting him dressed and he just got worse and worse. I finally wrestled him into some sweatpants and a t-shirt and decided it would just be faster to put him in the car and go. After all, we didn't want to miss the balloon action. No sooner do we get outside and DD launches into full blown tantrum. (You know, the kind where you wonder how soon you can reach a priest on the phone and how long it might take for him to come over and do the exorcism.) As I am wrestling him into his car seat and promising him that we are going to do something "really neat" he is screaming, "PUT DD IN BED! DD NEEDS SLEEP! NOW!" We finally get the seatbelt around his body and he is almost hoarse from the shrieking. "PUT DD IN BED! GO BACK TO GRANDMOM'S! DD NEEDS SLEEP!" We start to drive and he is screaming the whole way: "STOP THE CAR RIGHT NOW! GO BACK TO BED!"
By now Dave is starting to think this is NOT such a hot idea and is forbidding us to ever go to Dawn Patrol again. (OK, let's be honest he was thinking this as I was getting the kid dressed.) And I am moving into panic laughing mode, nervously chuckling and trying to figure out what to do with the tantrum kid while we are walking to the field. Can I pass him off as special needs? Will people believe me? Maybe I can hand him off to Dave's mom and walk 50 or so feet behind them and make comments about "that lady's child." Finally as we turn into the parking lot I make a promise to DD that after we see the balloons he can go back to bed. In a small whimper he says, "OK, mommy." (With just enough defeat in his voice to reassure me that I am a jerk parent.)
By the time we walk the 1/4 mile or so to get to the field Mr. DD has forgotten all about his warm spot between Grandmom and Bumpa and is now excited to be holding hands with Grandma J. and looking at the spectacular balloons filling on the field. And of course, the Sophs has been asleep the whole time.
Needless to say we had a blast! And DD's excitement and amazement sure did make up for the pre-festivities battle. It's such a magnificent event to watch these hundreds of hot-air balloons take off of the field rise into the morning sky. DD is still looking at the pictures in his program and saying, "3-2-1 Glow!" And pointing out which balloons he saw, "Go up in the sky! Fly away!"
Oh yeah, Sophs did wake up eventually and couldn't take her eyes off the colorful balloons either. Perhaps next year (ha, ha Dave!) she will be just as amazed as big brother.
So, obviously, that was all the action we needed for the rest of the weekend. Especially since Dave and I both came down with HORRIBLE colds. By the time Saturday night rolled around we were miserable and spent most of Sunday switching off taking naps/taking kids. Hopefully by this weekend we can make a full recovery. The Reno Air Races are in town and I know Dave will want to go and take DD. Also, our close friends from residency will be in town, staying with us, and we know that we won't get to bed until the wee hours of the morning.
Finally, by way of disclaimer...Keep in mind, the pictures in the slide show are of people who woke up extraordinarily early. Just be impressed that we made it out of bed to expose our kids to wonderful things!


Kristen said...

wow- I am seriously so impressed. That looks like a lot of fun. I love hot air balloons - but why do they always have to launch sooo early?? :)

Hannah Stevenson said...

I will never forget this line: "the cry of a crazy man" Maisy has this cry...well I guess you'd say "crazy woman".

Sounds like a ton of fun (hehe)You are both star parents for going!

I WISH we were there to join you!

Chris and Tara Mason said...

Hmmm - I'm still trying to decide whether or not I miss getting up early to watch the Dawn Patrol... Perhaps I wouldn't mind it in Texas where it's not so cold.

Shannon said...

Beautiful pics of the balloons and family! The glowing, the number of balloons and that bunny one- very cool! Do they ever bump into each other?! Good for y'all for gettin' outta bed and surviving the screaming! =)