But it is time for something just as exciting to the native residents of Neshoba County, Mississippi.
Next Friday starts the 8 day long event of The Neshoba County Fair, aka Mississippi's Giant House Party. If you know me at all, you know I'm not the biggest fair fan, but I have learned to adapt what it is into something I can enjoy. This is the time during the summer that most Neshoba Countians take their vacation, pack their clothes up, pack the car up, and drive about 8 miles out of town to the fair grounds where they will spend the next 8 days at a cabin or camper, sitting around, eating, talking, playing, watching other people, listening to music, going to the pageant, going to the arts and craft show, watching the horse races, riding the carnival rides, listening to the political talks, etc. all in the 110 degree heat. I did not grow up with such a thing and it is quite an odd thing to me. I personally do not enjoy being away from home for 8 days, away from my bed and my shower, and anyone who knows me well knows that I don't enjoy doing anything with rivers of sweat dripping down head and body. That being said, I do see if you grew up with such a thing and it was in your blood to enjoy the week, how you could/would/do look forward to such a week.
My first year here, in 2007, I called Mom and Dad and told them they had to get over here and see this. It is unlike anything I could every explain. They came and they saw, and they do enjoy. But they are like me, sort of unreal to think that all those people take all that time to literally shut one home down and open up another for the week for a "fair". In 2007, I spent every night out at the fair cabin, but was still working on my master's so would come into town early in the mornings and go back to Sid's mom house (where we were still living at the time, before we were married) to get some work done and even had class in Birmingham 2 of the nights during the fair. But I made it that year.
In 2008, I was pregnant with Bailey and sick as a freaking dog. I could not take the heat and I certainly was not going to be away from own bed when I was so sick and had those bad bad restless legs and couldn't sleep anyway. I guess I forgot to mention that most fair cabins don't have bedrooms. They are literally like a cabin that you would see at camp, with one huge room upstairs that holds about 20 beds. So, there was just no way I was going to spend the night away from home where I'd be disturbing the entire extended family at the fair cabin. I went back to July, 2007 on the blog and there was not much mention of the fair that year, or pictures either. I was just that sick. Plus, I was also working a job at that time that required me to work during the day, so basically the only time I had to spend out there was early afternoon/night anyway. I will have to say, since it appears that I am taking a trip down memory lane, this was a hard fair week for me and Sid because he felt torn about going to the fair and leaving me at home, although I would offer for him to go on without me. And other's in the family had to get their remarks in, too, about me not being there and doing what Sid wanted to do. I have harbored ill feelings about the fair specifically because of that from that point on. I was not faking sick nor faking being pregnant and it just was what it was. There was no need for anyone to make it worse than it had to be. Ok, we've moved on, moving on!!!
In 2009, my sweet Bailey Ellen was 7 months old and she was also 2 months post-airway surgery. We pretty much still had her under lock and key germ wise because of her vulnerable airway. It had been such a traumatic 7 months for us that we just decided it was best not to keep Bailey out for 7 nights and to keep her on somewhat of a routine, but I will say she enjoyed every minute that we did spend out there. Bailey still wasn't sleeping through the night at this time either and once again, I just couldn't see it being fair to the other 30 family members who would be sleeping in the same room to subject them to that. We have tons of sweet pictures from those days but read here to see what I put on the blog about it. If I remember correctly, Bailey's bedtime was still pretty early by fair time standards and I guess that's another reason we chose not to "move" to the fair cabin.
And that fair sort of just set the precedence for how we would do the fair. Sid has to work most days and so we've it's just sort of turned into this: Bailey and I hang out at home during the morning time and Sid goes to work. Bailey is able to get her nap at home and when Sid is home from work and ready to go, we load up and go out there for some festivities and to eat supper and participate in some of the night life. On the days of the horse races, if Sid is able to go, he likes to go and take Bailey with him. But for the most part, we spend the night at home and that has been our compromise thus far. I enjoy being out there for several hours each day and visiting with family and friends, but I do not enjoy being away from home for 8 straight days when my shower and pillow or only a few miles away.
In 2010, that's pretty much how we did it. Bailey was much older and could get into much more. The pictures trip down memory lane from last year shows that Mom, Dad, Maggie and Bo were in town for some of the fair, too. It's amazing to see the difference in Bailey from year to year. One year she was swinging on the porch in her baby swing and the next she was toddling around getting into everything.
So, now it's 2011, and look where we are. First of all, we all know I"m on restricted bed rest. I will be 32 weeks the week of the fair this year, but it has already kicked off. We spent a few hours at Sid's grandmother's camper last night and enjoyed that time. Sid and Bailey are already back out there today and I will join them later for some supper. This is known as the Saturday before the fair, and some will stay the night at the cabin and Nene will cook. I don't know how much I'll be able to do this year, but I've already told Sid for him and Bailey to do what they want to do and don't worry about me. If I need to stay here, I will. If I feel like going, I will. Even if i do go, I can't get out and enjoy much. So we'll just see. I also don't need to be out in the heat. But in preparation for the 2011 Neshoba County Fair, since it's rained all week and there is water all around the cabin, Bailey got new rain boots.
She looks so tired because she was up early and it was nap time when I took this, but her cowboy hat had just fallen off so that's why she has this expression on her face.
Her daddy talked her into wearing her Kabota girl hat instead of her cowboy hat, but she was ready to go and instead of take a picture. She is getting soooo big!!!
I was trying to sneak a picture of her getting ready to go potty, but she turned around and caught me!!! Sneaky little face!!!! I know she is mine, but she just amazes me everyday at how smart and beautiful she is.
Back to the fair, let's think for a moment about the 2012 fair. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE???? I cannot!!! But I can tell you that life as we know will be a totally different life this time next year. Sid and I will have a 3 1/2 year old and TWO 11 month olds. Shew!!! Makes me tired just thinking about it. I cannot imagine what it is going to look like keeping up with three babies, but we'll do it!!! I'm sure our plans to just stay at home won't change much, but the love of the fair will grow times 2 next year.
For this year, we'll just sit back and enjoy Bailey and her sassy self with those cute rain boots she picked out!!!