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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Conner!

I was all excited to post some pictures from the Aquarium, but I've just looked at them and they're horrible. I have got to get a new camera. Any recommendations?

Oh, never mind. That question didn't work out too well for the washer and dryer. (It's not too late, you know. See below.)
Happy Birthday, Conner! Yes, 12 years ago I pushed him out into this big wide world despite all the inattentive efforts of the army medical staff on hand. We have then proceeded to move him around seven more times since that birth in the aforementioned Army Hospital in Germany. Geewillickers! Emphasis on the ick.
Ah, the memories ... but perhaps 30+ days in a hotel (and counting) during the most recent PCS isn't the best time to wax nostalgic on all our moves. So I'll spare you.
We celebrated Conner's birthday by going to the Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati. Actually, in Newport, Kentucky, which is basically still Cincinnati, in my mind -- I don't know what the locals say. We took along Mitch, a wonderful friend that Conner has made already since starting school and who we haven't stopped hearing about since. We thought it was very brave of his parents to send their son off with this family who just came to town and don't even have a permanent address, but apparently they haven't stopped hearing about Conner, either.
It really was a great day. Fall has finally arrived in Ohio and brought some crispness to the air to go along with the sunshine. We treated the boys to some special back-stage passes as part of the whole Birthday Day: they got to meet some penguins up close and personal and learn about their habits (they poop every twenty minutes! cool!) and they also got to tour Behind the Scenes to see how the aquarium is equipped and maintained. Conner did get to pick something out from he gift shop, so his birthday wasn't entirely present-less. For once he picked out something other than a stuffed animal: "I kinda have a lot of stuffed animals already..." yathink?
Mitch was such a nice young boy and so polite. I can't wait to see the real him come out as we get to know him better. He must have thanked us a dozen times. And the car ride was so pleasant with Conner occupied with a friend instead of torturing his sister and making annoying noises at his brother. And to top it all off, we thought we were late getting John back for the Alabama game, but it ended up being delayed!

So it was all good. And Conner thanked us, too, for a great day: "That was the best birthday I ever had in Ohio!" Oh, wait.
Here's a couple of photos anyway. (And I really, really would like a great camera recommendation.)

The Penguin Pass was about 20 minutes long and got you one-on-one with some African penguins, "Paula, Randi, and Simon." Very funny. (American Idol judges' names, in case you live on another planet and didn't get it.)

Did you know that some penguins live in climates that can get as hot as 100 degrees? (fahrenheit, of course.) Who knew?

I also asked one of the young women who conducted this session what her background was: what her degree was in; what type of jobs led her to the one at the aquarium, etc. Ever since Conner could talk he has been fascinated with "sea creatures". He used to say he wanted to be a "fish feeder" when he grew up. And he has always loved science. I figure it's not too early to start thinking about what you gotta do to be able to do what you wanna do.

These little guys came right down to you once they realized you were one of the suckers who supplied their liquid diet. Olivia was so intent on holding one -- until it came right down to it. Just as well. The little buggers sometimes got your fingers caught up in their hurry to get at the little cups they were obviously very familiar with.

And, yes, this bird pooped on John's cap. Maybe they go every 20 minutes, too.

But 'Bama won anyway, so it's all good.


Kim said...

What fun pictures! I am so glad you visited my blog. I usually blog nearly every day so I hope you visit again. I will get back into my routine again after my husband leaves. To answer your question about the swing set; we used the length recommended on the 4X4s, but wish we had gone with about 2 feet longer. The girls do love it though. have a great week.

Cherilyn said...

Happy Birthday Conner! Your card would be on the way if I knew where to send it! I need your new address!

Your birthday looked like it was a blast and I'm so glad you've made a new friend!

Tell your mom I just learned about 100 degree penguins this year so she's actually ahead of me since I'm older than she is.

Enjoy your new room and new house! We miss you!

Aunt Cheri