Monday, April 20, 2009

My swingset story

I was a young'un - maybe 9 or 10. My brother (we'll call him "T") and I were playing in the backyard of my Aunt M's and Uncle J's house. They lived in a quiet little suburban neighborhood on a cul-de-sac. Compared to the north side of Chicago (where we lived), this area was beautiful and clean.

Aside from the odd apple-producing tree in the backyard, there was a metal swing set that, I believe, came with the house. It was basic - two swings (interchangeable with a pull-up bar), monkey bars, and a slide. That was how you rolled back in the day - no tree houses, ramps or rock-climbing walls like they have now.

One afternoon, T and I were running around when we heard a loud, deep dog bark. We knew immediately who's dog this was - the corner neighbor owned a Rottweiler that would bark and snap at us when we passed on our bikes heading to the park. But something wasn't right about this bark. It was too close.

That's when we saw the dog on the street. We panicked. We knew the dog was on its way to get us. T was closest to the house, so he immediately ran indoors. I was on the other side of the yard...and knew there was no way I'd make it inside before the dog entered the backyard. So, I hastily made my way to the top of the slide...hoping he didn't know how to climb up.

I remember a lot of screaming and crying atop the slide, with the dog barking and snarling at the base (he made it pretty far up the slide just by standing on his hind legs). I remember seeing my brother, horror-stricken and helpless, watching me from the door.

I don't remember what made the dog go away - was it the owner's call? Who knows. But I will always be grateful for that metal swing set.

I am sharing this story with you for two reasons:
1. I plan on sharing little bits and pieces about my memories of this house and my aunt and uncle (and their kids). This is a good place to start - get the bad memory out of the way.

2. There is a big spring contest over at Dad Blogs. You write a blog post and reference their giveaway and you can possibly win this:

A fully-loaded wooden swingset from Kid's Creations. Valued at $5,000!
And if that wasn't enough, they are throwing in a Canon PowerShot SD 1100.

Though this swingset won't protect Peanut from big, scary dogs (that wall would certainly do her in), it would still be a blast for us her to play on.

So, If you happen to check this giveaway out, please mention my name.

Weekend review

We are back and made it through Saturday. Fortunately, Mother Nature was smiling on us and we got a 70+ degree day with lots of sunshine. For a Midwest April, this is amazing (Sunday was 45 and rainy, if that says anything)!

For my reference, a few important notes for next year:

1. Don't do favors
2. If your child touches your face with cake hands, make sure husband checks your face before pictures are taken (after reviewing our photos, it looks like I have chocolate snot. Greeeeat...I'm sure several other people got the same shot).
3. Make sure the time of the party doesn't interfere with nap time...especially with a sick child. She wasn't miserable - but not her usual smiling self.

I am not amused.

This little bundle of teething sickness decided that the day of her first birthday (Sunday) was the perfect time to start walking and feeding herself with a spoon. However, the continuation of doing either of these is on her OWN amount of coaxing can get her to do it when you want her to (good thing we got the first steps on video).

* * * * *

Dance Party Time!
(Have no idea what I'm referring to? the bottom of this post)

Artist/Band: The Pointer Sisters
Song Title: Jump
Kid-friendly?: Yes

And here is a great scene of Hugh Grant dancing to this song (as the Prime Minister in the movie "Love Actually." If you haven't seen this movie. Go watch it right now. Seriously)