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    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    We had been planning a nice relaxing weekend at home, so things were a little thrown off by a sickness on Friday, but luckily things picked up as soon as Benjamin felt better. Mike had the day off on Friday to spend with his family at the Olmsted County Fair for IBM day. We were given free entrance to the fair and $10.00 in food tickets along with access to the IBM building, which featured family activities and music. Benjamin really wanted to see the animals so we walked around a bit first looking at the standard county fair varieties: cows, horses, sheep, goats, rabbits. Our fair also has a number of exotic animals on display, including a camel and a "ze-donk" (what you get when you breed a donkey with a zebra - weird). Benjamin had been feeling a little strangely all morning, so we figured that we should probably get home soon so he could take a nap. We grabbed some of our free food and sat down inside the IBM building ready to take our very first bite when the sickness decided to rear its ugly head all over Mike's shorts!! We quickly scooped up Benjamin and got him to the car. I think he fell asleep as soon as we pulled away. He actually napped for a total of about 5-6 hours during the day and slept a full night as well. Thankfully he did not get sick again, but we were worried about how he felt because we were scheduled to volunteer at a waterstop for the training runs early Saturday morning.

    We still were not sure how he was going to be when he woke up, so to play it safe, Mike stayed home with him while I went out to gather the waterstop goods and get our spot all set up for the runners. About an hour later they met me out at our spot, Mike ready to run with the group from that point and Benjamin apparently feeling a MILLION times better. He and Daddy did a few practice laps and played in the adjacent playground while we waited for the first runners to come through. Whatever decided to interfere with our day on Friday must have only been a 24 hour virus, because Benjamin was back to normal already! Hooray!

    We worked the waterstop while Mike was out running, which is always so much fun for both Benjamin and I. We are so lucky to be a part of the running community here, everyone is so amazing to us. After the run was over, Mike and Benjamin headed over to a coffee shop with some other runners while I went home so I could take advantage of the beautiful weather for a bike ride on my new bike! The ride was exhilarating! We spent the rest of the day just hanging out and watching movies. However, the highlight of our weekend was yet to come.

    Earlier in the week Mike had reserved tickets for us to a performance of Benjamin's favorite musical, Beauty and the Beast. A community theatre in a nearby small town was putting the show on and it was going to be Benjamin's first exposure to live theatre (well, besides Sesame Street Live). We talked up the show quite a bit and explained to him that a) you can't talk or cry during the show, b) the characters are just people in costumes, and c) he would be hearing all of his favorite songs. He was sufficiently excited as we took our seats and waited for the lights to go down. He barely moved through the entire first act, he was in awe. When the lights came back up for intermission, he was very concerned and wanted "to see Belle and Beast again!" After a quick visit to the potty and a glass of juice from the concession stand, we were back in the theatre and ready to watch the rest of the show. It was so cute, every once and a while Benjamin (who was sitting on Mike's lap) would lean over and just smile the biggest smile at me, as if he was so excited, he couldn't even speak. He had such an awesome time and now we know that we can take him to more performances. I tried very hard to get a picture of Benjamin with Belle after the show, but he wanted nothing to do with the actors at all!

    After the show we went to our favorite restaurant, Whistle Binkies. Just as we were ready to leave, our friends, the Olsons came along. They joined our table and the kids spent some time playing in the sand volleyball courts, it was very nice. It was a great weekend and we are all sad that it is over and the work week has to begin. It is already August and it is beginning to feel like summer is winding down into autumn. Even though we aren't ready for summer to end, we are all secretly looking forward to crisp air, beautiful leaves and of course, APPLES!!!