Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photo Challenge: Rural

Keith's greatest challenge this week was actually not finding something rural, but dealing with a recalcitrant, sugar-high toddler.

When he read that this week's Shutterboo Photo Challenge would be "rural," he knew immediately where he would head to take some pictures. Even though we live in an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland, we only have to drive 20 minutes East to find ourselves surrounded by parkland, trees, and rural-ness? Rural-osity? A pastoral landscape.

Keith and Eleanor headed out on Easter Sunday, late morning. It was a very gray and rainy day—so pretty much, like any day around here for the past few weeks. But it wasn't the weather that Eleanor had a problem with. She was in sugar-withdrawal and very tired. We had celebrated Easter with my family on Saturday, and she really was adorable in her dress.

That girl loves to dress up. What do you want to wear? A dress! A fancy dress? Even better! But it's the BEST if there's also tights and fancy shoes and not just one, but TWO ponytails! (I can't call them pigtails because that confuses her.)

She had a wonderful time showing off her dress (and tights/shoes/etc.), and playing with Gavin during the Easter egg hunt and blowing bubbles after dinner. And did I mention the candy? I'm sure I don't even know how much sugar she ate, and I'm equally as certain that I don't want to know because I would be horrified.

So we had a wonderful time. But we got home late and she was, shall we say, reluctant to go to bed. Even though she fell asleep nearly 2 hours later than normal, she still woke up at a normal time on Sunday. She was tired and cranky because she kept asking for things (SUGAR) and we kept saying no. Why can't she have sugar before breakfast? For breakfast? All the time? What about now? How come she never EVER gets to eat chocolate?!?

I got a break while Keith and Eleanor went to take photos. (I was grading, so it wasn't much of a break. But still, there was no whining.) Usually Eleanor delights in accompanying Keith on his photo jaunts. The old schoolhouse he photographed for the challenge "Past" is on our way to the grocery store, and now every time we're approaching it she says, "That's the school Daddy and I took pictures of!"

But sugar monster Eleanor was not having it. She didn't want to get out of the car because it was raining. She then fell asleep for about 15 minutes in the car, which meant she refused to take a real nap when she got home. Keith put her down at a typical naptime of around 12:30, but she didn't fall asleep until after 3. Sugar monster Eleanor is stubborn.

In the end, Keith did manage to crop and color boost his way to a good-looking rural photo, even though he only had about 6 pictures to choose from. And we all learned a valuable lesson about staying away from refined sugar. Of course, having said that, we still have leftover Easter candy in the house that sometimes I think about just throwing away, but of course instead I throw into my mouth every once in a while when I pass by the bowl. I always thought that I kept Eleanor away from sugar for health reasons. I didn't also realize how important Eleanor's lack of sugar is to my sanity!

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