Monday, June 26, 2006

This is what we saw when we arrived at Family Camp last Monday. Isn't it beautiful? It was a stressful and exhausting trip to get there (with Mason not tolerating being strapped into his carseat for over 6 hours!), but as soon as we drove up to the camp, I think all three of us sighed. How refreshingingly gorgeous it was. There were trees as far as you could see, and the fresh mountain air was delightful.

Family Camp was so spiritually strengthening and renewing for us. It was just so great to spend a week together and with other Christian families and pray, play, be goofy and love one another.

As you can see, one of Mason's favorite activities at camp was playing in the sandpit. Give a toddler a bucket, shovel and some toys and a bunch of sand, and BAM!! instant fun. He loved digging his little toes into the cool sand, and attempting to shovel sand into his bucket (he hasn't quite realized that he has to turn the shovel up to get anything into the bucket, but he tries with all his might). I just enjoyed sitting back and watching the joy on his face, as he delighted in the sensations and playing with other kids.

Daddy's talent was shown in the picture to the left. He took a starfish shape, and went to work on making the American flag in the sand. He thinks it wasn't all that good, but it got applause when the picture was seen in the slideshow the night before we left camp.

I wish I had a picture to put on here of something very significant that occured during camp: My husband and I were baptized together. I had no plans to get baptized while were there, but God had other plans. He laid it on my heart that I should go. The amazing thing was when we got into the pool, they started singing what has become my favorite song at church. Needless to say, it was a overwhelmingly emotional moment for both of us.

Ahh yes, then there was the food. We ate A LOT while we were there. You just can't help it when you're on vacation. And really, overall, Mason didn't eat much. He was more interested in all the kids (and adults!) that kept coming up to him and making silly faces, trying to tickle him and just looking in his general direction.

But one afternoon after returning from playing in the pool, we gave Mason a chocolate chip cookie (that place can make some mean cookies!) and we ended up with the vision you see to your left. He was so hopped up on chocolate and the expression on his face was of pure bliss (not to mention the rockstar hairdo!), we just had to take a picture. Just goes to show how much fun Mason had.

As sad as we were for Family Camp to end, we were anxious to get Mason back on his schedule and to sleep in our own beds. Our road trip back was bittersweet and again, Mason was not pleased with riding in the car so long. When we stopped at one point, I let Mason drive and Daddy and I napped--just kidding!! We were parked and we let him play around to get out some energy.

It was a fantastic trip and we are so thankful that Mason's babysitter kept hounding us about going. :) We are forever changed because of it, not to mention all the memories we took away...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

So much to say

What a week. I am currently sitting in my parents' office and it is Saturday night--the same day we've returned from our week at camp with church. We dropped in here for the night (and part of tomorrow) for a visit, and then it's home. Home sweet home. I have so much to tell you all, and so many pictures to share (so be prepared for a lengthy picture book of an entry next time!), so I will save it till we get home. I expect I'll have time tomorrow evening. Just know that we had a blast and but we are ready to go home to our own beds and get Mason back on his schedule. Nighty night. Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

It's already Sunday

It was so great to have my friend here. We all had such a good time while they visited. Friday at work was more tiring than normal, because I was alone with the kids from 1-6. I had to get 20 kids out of the pool (and dressed and keep them out of trouble and have a near catastrophic moment with one of them, which is a story best held onto for another time), and take them to the rock climbing wall. Luckily, when my shift was over I got to meet up with my husband, Mason and our friends for dinner at Chili's. I just sat down and breathed a sigh of relief. Yesterday was a good day. We hung out in the morning and just talked and laughed. Then PBAF and I went to the mall and took Mason along. We just walked around with no real purpose and spent quality time together (and of course stopped and got Starbucks!), while our husbands had manly bonding time at Walmart, a video game store and Subway. Last night, Mason went over to a friend's house and we went out to a nice dinner at a steakhouse and then bowling. There was drinking involved, which made the event that more entertaining and memorable. After we brought Mason home and put him to bed, we drank a little more and played Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture. It was a lot of laughs and felt good to be around good friends. This morning, they didn't stay long because they had a long road trip ahead of them and we had a lot to do today, because our California trip is tomorrow!! So, after they left, we've done laundry, packed and had lunch. Now, we're still packing and organizing. And Mason's getting into the road trip snacks, so I have to go. I will write again next weekend. Have a good week, all!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tomorrow's almost here!

I am so excited to see my fellow Princess tomorrow (my friend that I haven't seen in 18 months is also royalty--at least in my book!) Unfortunately, I still have to go to work first. They will be in town in the afternoon, so they'll be hanging out with Mason and my husband until I get off of work. It's okay though, because I need the hours, since I'll be off all next week.

Speaking of work, today was quite a day. I knew we were going on a field trip (because we always do on Tuesdays and Thursdays), but we thought it was to a nature center that's inside. Nope. We went on a hike today. Middle schoolers on the whole don't enjoy hikes. Remember, this is the generation of kids that are not just entertained but raised by tv and video games. They don't like being outside as it is, and then you're making them walk around and look at nature. What a bunch of whiners. Some of the girls kept complaining about how hot it was outside and how tired they were and how bored they were. They said we should take a field trip to the mall. Granted, I remember as a pre-teen and teenager, all I wanted to do was hang out with my friends and sit around and do nothing. But jeez Louise, you'd think we were asking them to pull out their two front teeth with pliers. Anyways, it was actually a pretty nice day, and it was refreshing to be among the swaying pines and cool breeze. I was tired to the extreme, don't get me wrong, but it felt good afterwards to know I was out being active and getting fresh air. I tell ya, I've had more physical activity in the past 3 weeks than I've had in years!! It feels good to know how many calories I'm burning on a daily basis! And the tan, yeah, it's darkening everyday--on my arms at least. I imagine by the end of summer, there will be a humorous difference between my arm color and my leg color (because I usually wear capris, so most of my leg stays covered).

So, it's about bedtime and I have some laundry to put away. Need to get my beauty rest! I will try to write Sunday, after my friends leave and before we head to California! Hope your weekend is at least half as eventful as I know mine will be! TTFN.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Freedom isn't free

I worked in a charter school this year. Some of their philosophies were a little idealistic and the kids' hands were held waaaaay too much, but at least the teachers were authorities and respect was expected.

Today, we were on a field trip to a Native American museum, and I was frustrated by what teachers and free-thinking schools have created. Three of our boys were not at all interested in staying with the group and decided it was okay to walk away from the guide and go wherever they please. They interrupted the guide, touched things they weren't supposed to, and were generally disrespectful and rude. Apparently all three of these attend this charter school in town that promotes "free thinking" and "expressing themselves". That means the kids are allowed to wear hats inside the building, get up and walk around when the teacher is talking and are allowed to chew gum and eat candy in class, since it might "help them learn". This is the battle we deal with at camp. They don't have to be with the group or participate or listen or do anything if they don't want to. Great. So they're crumbling the whole ideal of camp, if they don't have to do group games and activities. And there's something oh-so-irritating when kids think they don't have to listen to you. Hormonal children are hard enough to challenge on that topic, they don't need schools encouraging them. I'm all for inspiring children to be creative, innovative and free thinkers, but not at the cost of losing respect for authorities. If this idea catches on and students feel they have the right to "express themselves" any time they want, then well, my job will be diminished. And I didn't go through 4 years of college, student teaching, trainings, state tests and mounds of paperwork to find that the light at the end of the tunnel has dimmed and I may not even need to be there, or be respected when I get there. Let's hope most schools continue to run with the concept that teachers are the leaders and the students are there to learn through and honor their teachers. I don't remember the Constitution mentioning the Freedom to be little snots. Maybe I need to read up on that...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Eating a tuna sandwich

I am not in a creative title kind of mood, I guess. It's Sunday and I feel lazy. However, today I've already gone to church (and helped out in the nursery at the second service), gone to Target (looking for some swim shoes for Mason, and they didn't have any), straightened up my closet and put Mason down for a nap. So, I guess I've still been productive today.

Yesterday we cleaned the house in the morning. The thought of having guests staying here next weekend was inspiration for us to do some deep cleaning that's been ignored for quite awhile. Later, I met with my friend that was in Special Ed at the school I quit for lunch at Red Robin. I got to hear some more dirt on the White Witch and how absolutely insane she is. Good times. After that, we cleaned a little more and watched "Must Love Dogs". Really cute movie.

Mason's going through what articles we've read, call "An Independence Period", which translates to he hasn't wanted to eat much besides popcorn in the past couple of days. And he's had some sort of stomach virus or something on top of it. The whole thing started with him throwing up at the YMCA pool all over Daddy on Wednesday. Yum. Thursday I kept Mason home because he was still vomiting. He didn't eat much of anything that day. He wouldn't even drink milk. I was able to get some juice, Pedialyte and Gatorade down him. Friday he started the day with nice runny, green diarrhea but ate okay at the babysitter's house. Yesterday he ate 2 bites of my Red Robin burger, one french fry and a couple of his crackers. That's not like him. There are times when he can get after a regular cheeseburger all by himself. And fries, he loves fries. So, we were worried, but we read up on it and it seems that he's just expressing his independence and it's just a phase. Basically, he's saying (without words) that he will eat what he wants when he wants. Great, attitude already. We're not sure about the poopy issue, but if it continues through tomorrow, Daddy will take him to the doctor Tuesday. Being a first time parent is mind blowing.

And that was my weekend. Cleaning poop and cleaning the house. Yee-haw!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Okay, I have a minute, so I'm writing. Things have been really busy lately. I actually worked longer hours at work for a few days, to cover for someone that was gone. And Mason was throwing up yesterday, so I didn't go to work. Plus, my friend comes next week and after that is our trip to California. So, we've been arranging petsitters and borrowing items from people and getting the car ready. Anyways, here I am. It's Friday, and I'm glad of it. Mason just dumped his Fruit Puff/Cereal Mix all over the floor and is now wanting up in my lap. So, this is a quck blog. (Let's see how fast I can type before Mason's breakdown gets out of control!) Not much else to say. Been really busy and really anxious for next Friday and the week that follows. It's getting really hot here and I don't like it. I spend a lot of time outside for work, so I'm getting a tan and I'm always sweaty. Ahh, the perks. Well, that's it. Mason's getting really intolerant of this, so goodbye.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ahh, a step back in time...

Can you believe this is Mason? This was just moments after he was born! I can't believe how tiny he was!!

My cousin is 9 months pregnant. In June. In Las Vegas. That poor girl. I called her today, for the first time in years, and it was weird to be in the role of "experienced mom". She's uncomfortable, scared and anxious. I've been there. At least she's having a schedule C-section, which alleviates some of the stress. I, on the other hand, thought I was in labor on 2 different occasions and was sent home from the hospital both times. But being that I ended up having a C-section, I tell ya, it's the way to go. I'm glad for her. She's got the baby room set up and the carseat in the car. Now, she just needs the baby!! I remember washing baby clothes, folding baby clothes, putting away baby clothes and taking them out and doing it all over agian, just for something to do. All you think about is baby. All you talk about is baby. All you dream about is baby. All you feel is baby. And all you want is to HAVE A BABY! But before you know it, that baby is suddenly getting the popcorn bowl out of the cabinet, and after running around with it on his head, he hands it to you and says "popbub" (which of course means "popcorn") and wants you to make popcorn, even if it's 6:30 in the morning. He's watching "Veggietales" and singing along. He's trying to put his own shoes on. He's saying "kitty" with a big smile, and then running over and giving the cat a hug, even if she doesn't want one. He's attempting to brush his own hair. He is climbing on his own into his highchair, into his carseat and into his stroller. He's leaning in and giving you a hug when you request one. He's eating with a spoon (okay, he's still working on that one, but he's getting there). Time zooms by in a flash. I can't believe Mason will be 18 months in 22 days. He's my little boy now, not my baby boy.

So, my biggest and most important piece of advice for my cousin was to take lots of pictures and try to always remember when your baby was a baby...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Two weeks from today

My friend and her husband are coming to visit!! I am so excited!! I haven't seen her since the week before Mason was born. They live across the country and they're taking a week-long road trip to come for a visit and to meet Mason. It'll just be so nice to be together again, since there was a time in college (has it really been 6 years??) when we were inseparable. And our husbands have never met, so that will be a good time. We were planning on going to our 10-year high school reunion while they're here, but I found out yesterday that it's $75 a person! Yowza!! We don't have that kind of money just laying around--or sitting in the bank, for that matter! We might still plan a night of a nice dinner and maybe dancing or something, but it sure won't be amongst our high school comrades, unfortunately. Oh well, I am not that disappointed, since I didn't have that big of a social circle. I'm just happy she's coming!! I know she'll love Mason and he'll love her. It's too bad they'll only be here for the weekend, but it will be worth it still.

The day after they leave here, we head to California for the week-long vacation with our church. What a whirlwind. We're really excited about it, since we don't know that many people from church, and we get to relax and go on vacation, without worrying about the stresses of everyday life.

Needless to say, the next two weeks at work, I'm gonna be really anxious and hope the time passes fast. But if it's anything like my first week of work, it'll go by before I can say "A peanut butter eating yaaaak" :)

Friday, June 02, 2006

The cutest boy ever!!!

Mason and I were playing around earlier, and this is one of the pictures I took. Isn't he the cutest boy you've ever seen? Okay, that's really all I had to say. I just had to share this picture with the whole world!! :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

So pooped

I'm whooped. Today at camp we went to a lake. For two and a half hours. During the hottest part of the day. It was fun, because we played a couple of games (a version of hide-and-seek amongst the trees was one of them--which was the most fun), but it was too darned hot "for a penguin to just be walkin' around." (Sorry, a little "Billy Madison" for ya...) We only had 7 kids today, so crowd control is pretty easy at that point. Pretty Girl can be a handful though, because she's a little flirt and gets the boys all riled up. Spice Boy very obviously has a thing for her. He insults her, throws things at her, and chases her down during games. Couldn't be more obvious. Ahh, early hormonal kids are so funny. Silly Girl is my favorite, as of now. She's really sweet and is always smiling. The Follower is just that--a follower. She reminds me a lot of myself at that age. She is quiet and is always watching others. And she waits to make a move or say something until after someone else does. She's sweet, but hasn't found her confidence yet. I'm sure it'll show up somewhere after puberty has settled her down and she can grow up and not care so much about the decisions other people make.

Anyways, that was my day. Very busy. Very hot. And I'm very tired. Tomorrow's Friday!! Yahoo!