It wasn't methane....this time.

So when you're husband just had surgery and your dog has diarrhea and you are coming down off a week full of family, friend reunions, holidays, theme parks and pools, and are suffering from insomnia as a result, what are you gonna do? Chores? NO! Cook? NO! Plan a day with the kids that involves COSTUMING and BUBBLES? Ding Ding Ding!

Every year Chick-Fil-A does a Cow Appreciation Day promotion. Dress like a cow from head to toe, get a free meal! Wear partial cow attire, get a free entree. And since nothing turns my crank quite as much as free food and making an ass of myself, we have made this a family tradition. Except last year, when my family kept it a secret from me because they "weren't in the mood." Not in the MOOD? GET IN THE MOOD!

I'd love to tell you I have tons of pictures from today, but I don't. I wish I did, because I busted my hump finding black and white clothes for four people, including a vintage necklace & kicky tulle skirt for Alice, and a necklace made out of zippers for me. I printed out 4 sets of costumes from the Cow Appreciation Day website, and I was still putting them together 10 minutes after we were supposed to meet my sister in law and her nephews for lunch. I had Jarvis finish cutting them up in the car. Let me tell you, an perpetually cranky eight year old and a pair of dull scissors is a WINNING combination.

When we got there, I was so busy slapping cow spots on the backs of my kid's white tshirts with packing tape, and not paying attention to anything else,  that I locked my keys in the car. And my purse. Which had my phone. Which is my camera. So when I should have been photographing my kids I was instead frantically asking my sister in law to call my father who is ALSO recovering from surgery, and ask him to go get the keys from my invalid husband. My dad's surgery was a few days before my husbands, so it seemed like the only call to make. I bought him lunch to make up for asking him to get an extra set of keys. I also tried to buy him ice cream because he not only went after the keys, but tried to get them from my husband AT WORK, although he is on our couch convalescing and has been for three days. He graciously declined.

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I can't write this post without giving you at least a bit of Cow goodness, so this is us, three years ago, the first time we ever did this. Jarvis was 5, Linus was 3 and Alice was 1. Our costumes this year were essentially the same only we rigged the nosepiece to the headpiece with a strip of paper, and there was NO denim.

Cow Appreciation Day has gotten bigger and more involved than the first year we went. I remember a few people trickling in with cow costumes, mostly slow. This year it was a MADHOUSE. I felt sorry for anyone NOT in costume, because they plainly had no idea what they were getting into. Not only was it incredibly busy but there were 2 live cows out front and free stickers, hats, and EAT MOR CHIKEN signs. I didn't have to rely on the printables after all! Next year, I am not messing around with that, especially since printer ink is one of the TOP FIVE MOST EXPENSIVE LIQUIDS IN THE WORLD! I've always wondered if I actually sat down and did the math, including gas prices and opportunity cost of driving across town, if we actually come out ahead. But I don't do math, so...yeah.

Chick-Fil-A also has a tiny, claustrophobic playplace. My eldest, Jarvis, decided that this cramped space was the perfect place to terrorize the younger children by playing Frankenstein. Between Frankenstein on the inside of the playplace and GOOD LORD IN HEAVEN, a person in Cow Mascot Uniform out in the restaurant (nothing terrifies Linus more than a mascot costume) plus hoards and hoards of patrons, Chick-Fil-A was starting to freak everyone out a bit.

Why God? Why?

Time for Bubble Fest at West Branch Library.

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 This kid was very happy to be there.

Even though there were hoards and swarms of other kids he didn't know.

That tends to me a deal breaker, but this time, science and messiness won over crippling social anxiety.

 

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 Linus looks a bit like a keyboard player for a British Synthpop band. He even cried when we left.

 

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Alice seems bemused, but being INSIDE a bubble soon increased her enthusiasm for the event.

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"Look ma! I can put my hand alll the way through!"

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"I see...a bicycle! In the basement of the Alamo!"20110708-085153.jpg

Linus made some seriously huge bubbles!

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Nobody really  wanted to go except the baby, who was on my back and getting super cranky. Alice was agreeable to saying goodbye to the bubbles, Linus cried because he wanted to KEEP making huge bubbles even though he'd been doing the same thing for 15 minutes straight. Jarvis was not only agreeable to leaving, but grabbed me around the waist and said "Hey Mom! Let's CONGA!"

So we did. You can't make this stuff up.

And later on in the day Linus cuddled up to me on the arm of the recliner and said "Mom, you know what? I think if it wasn't for our family the world wouldn't even BE HERE. Because we are nice."

Yeah.