"This was my very best day!"

That's what Cam told his Grandma as he left the Magic Kingdom today. He was SO happy and excited to be there. He woke up at 5:00am to get there and he lasted until 9pm to enjoy a bunch of rides and other experiences that would blow any 4 year old's mind. I just have to type a couple of moments before they get lost. I promise many wonderful pictures are to come.

1. "Mom, Buzz Lightyear ROCKS!" - Told to me right after Cam got to meet Buzz in person in Tomorrowland
2. "But I don't know where I'm going" - Told to his dad after he was asked why he didn't take the steering wheel on the race car in the race car speedway ride.
3. "The Buzz Lightyear ride is fantastic!" - Announced after leaving the Buzz Lightyear ride for the second time in the day.
4. "I don't want Zurg to think I'm Buzz Lightyear!" - On why he removed his new Buzz Lightyear gear from his arm before going on the Buzz Lightyear ride.
5. "I'm having a really good time." - As we walked through the park.
6. "Stop dancing Mom, there isn't any music."
7. "I have to write Santa a letter to thank him for letting me come to Disney World!" - Announced as we walked towards another ride near the end of our day.

I'll try to remember some others. But I just have to say that my idea of taking Cam to Disney for a day was a success. Cam had very few breakdowns, Jordan was a star (and we got to celebrate her brithday a day early) and Cam is EXHAUSTED. We can only hope he can make it through our big drive home. (Wish us luck)


Why is it so hard?

Cam had such a fantastic day with us today until the end. He woke up with cuddles, he got to hang out with a babysitter... And during that time he even shared some of his breakfast with Jordan! He went to the mall with Jordan and I and he was helpful and sweet. Not to mention, he finally got a pair of Crocs... He's wanted a pair for quite a while. I think I passed on my love of shoes to him. I let him get a pair of yellow shoes. He really wanted them and I am happy to let him figure out his own sense of style... Although I think he picked up his love for the color yellow thanks to the soon-leaving-the-Wiggles lead singer, Greg.

Anyway. After shopping and a visit at the newsroom, he took a nap. It was a solid nap because he woke up all sweaty and groggy, but a bit whiny. But he helped me with a nativity scene craft -- we made a nativity scene out of foam cut out pieces. He helped me make cookies (the pre-made kind). But then dinner came. I made lasagna (the frozen kind) and veggies. Jordan and I gobbled it up. Cam decided lasagna is worth throwing a HUGE fit over. It was silly and I sent him to his room. But he dragged it out so long that he was finally eating while I was putting Jordan to bed. In the end, he only really ate 4 pieces. It was so exhausting and silly. I don't know what he thinks he's going to accomplish with insanity like that.

We are doing something cool... When we went shopping, I bought him a copy of Charlotte's Web. I told him that we'll read that book together before he can go see the new version of the book in the movie theaters. So we've read 4 chapters so far and he's so excited. The last thing he told me before going to bed (on try number three) was how he can't wait to read more about Charlotte. He also says he likes spiders now... We'll see when he comes face to face with a real one.

One other Cam moment. While we were in the mall, he noticed a movie poster hanging from the rafters. He said: "Mom, look: Eragon." I look up and it was right. I don't even know what Eragon is, but my boy read it and I'm guessing her pronounced it properly. I asked him how he knew about it, he shrugged, "I don't know. I read it." How did he read it? He's really figuring it out! It's incredible. His reading knowledge is growing so rapidly. What fun!


He was on FIRE

Cameron and Jordan were in a Nutcracker performance tonight and Cameron was AMAZING. This picture only tells a portion of the story. I have video, but I'm too tired to try and edit that. Let's just say Cam shook his booty, jumped up and down with all of his might and I could tell he was having a BALL. It made me proud and happy.

After the show, we got to hang out with Cam's best friend and her family. It was SO nice to hang out with other "grown ups." I'm around so many people who are involved in the news business or the higher journalism education business... It's so wonderful to have friends who don't have anything to do with that. It's important. That may be one of the wonderful blessings about kids. They help you expand your world... One friend at a time.


Happy Holidays

Cameron is so into the holidays. He randomly just starts wishing people "Happy Holidays!" Fun stuff.

So I haven't updated Cam's world in quite a while. The day after our first evening of snow play, we got hit with a massive snow storm. I worked a lot and Cam played A LOT in the snow. I think today may be our last day of snow. I expect a minor break down when he realizes it's gone.

But on the upside, we have Christmas lights up inside and outside the house. Cameron is officially on Jordan patrol when it comes to the ornaments. It was so funny to hear him scolding Jordan about how ornaments are "decorations." That is exactly how I told him why he couldn't touch certain things when he was young.

There are so many things going on with Cam... too many to write. But the strangest issue we had this past week was over Cam's tongue. Yeah. That's right. His tongue. At some point on Tuesday night, he bit his tongue. He complained about it at a normal level at dinner time that night. I mentioned just as a side comment that if he ate vegetables, it might heal faster. By the next morning, he was obsessed. That tongue HURT and it was the end of the world. He kept picking, poking and obsessing... whining and crying. By the time I picked him up from school that Wednesday, every teacher was asking me if I told him his lack of vegetables caused his tongue to hurt. He was telling everyone: "My tongue hurts because I don't eat vegetables." Ugh. After calling the doctor's office and a couple of popsicles, I think he'll be fine. It's exhausting when something so little blows up into something crazy!!! But that's my boy. Drama. I really have to get him into a theater program.



It's taken us almost a year to finally use Cameron's (and Jordan's) very special snow sled! SO even though it was dark outside when we came home today, Cam and I went outside to play. He had a BALL and didn't want to come in for dinner. He demanded to go back out after dinner even though we said it was way too cold. About a minute later he came in and told his day: "You were right, it is cold out there."

I was so excited about the snow that Randy and I went to the store before picking up the kids to buy Cam a new pair of snow boots and snow socks. Very exciting stuff. So he was ready to go out and use them the moment we got home. Cam was so sad when he went to bed when he found out tomorrow wasn't a "family day." I promised him that he could play in the morning and Daddy would pick him up early from school so he can play in the afternoon. That seemed to ease his concerns.

I'm as excited about the snow as he is!!! It's been so long!


Tasmanian Devil

That's exactly what Cameron is when he loses control. Last night was probably the worst yet. He didn't want to go to bed and started being disrespectful to everyone... Even his grandparents. When his Grandma walked out of the bedroom before reading Cam a book because he was not respectful, all hell broke loose. I took over the bed time process and it was ugly. Think about The Exorcist. It was very similar. I won't go into the details... But Cam expected his grandparents to save him. And when he realized that wasn't going to happen, we were finally able to make ground on calming down.

When Cam woke up this morning, he apologized to his Grandma... Unprovoked. I know there's a wonderful kid underneath the insanity. I just pray for the strength to help get past the insanity.


Corny cornbread moment

I caught this moment between Randy and Cam as they were preparing Thanksgiving bread for our big newsroom feast.

I'm happy to say this is video proof that we're moving out of his insane anger mode and into a more loving, sweet mode. (Can I hear an amen?)


Tall socks and Santa

Santa and Cam
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
Cam got to see Santa over the weekiend. He was happy to tell the jolly guy about all the toys he wants... Including the Cars movie, a talking car from that movie and a Dino Mountain toy. We researched the dino toy and found out it's really good at breaking right after you build it, so we know that Santa will not want to buy that for Cam -- the boy who freaks out every time a toy collapses to the floor.

Anyway... funny story this morning. He was putting on tall white socks and announced: I have super hero boots on! Maybe you had to be there. But it made Randy and I laugh.


The beast needs taming

In the last week, Cam's tantrums and disrespect kicked into an even higher gear. It's bad enough that Randy and I were snipping at each other. No fun. None at all. So I'm trying to step away from Cam's craziness and try to look at life with his perspective.

Mommy is caring for Jordan all the time. Jordan is doing all kinds of cute things and everyone wants to talk about her and look at her. I want that kind of attention.

So... I'm trying to let him know that I understand. I've been the older sibling. I know that when you're older, you just don't attract the same kind of attention that babies do. It's hard to accept.

Tonight, Cam lost it over something... Lord knows what. But then he just started throwing around disrespectful words, screaming, pounding and begging me to do whatever is opposite what I just did or didn't do. It is mind-bending exhausting. Tonight I had Cam screaming and Jordan so hungry that every time I walked away from her high chair, she screamed. I'm trying to just let Cam break down away from me so I don't let him get me mad. Anger won't help. I need patience. I need new ways to help him calm himself. I need Cam to get the heck out of this new phase.

Some cool developments: He's learning Italian at school and teaching me new words every week. And he's taken up the game of Memory. He's kicking our butts. He has a very clear memory and he LOVES winning. The cool thing about playing Memory is he doesn't cheat. He just plays. And if I win, he congratulates me and we play again. It's a sign that there's a maturing kid in there... somewhere.


Worst part about a sick day

Cam and I are sitting in the basement taking it easy... he's eating a bit more and we'll see how he tolerates it. But here's the worst part about a sick day: Commercials.

Everytime something new and cool shows up: "Mom! Get that for me!" "Mom I want that!!" "I know! I'll ask Santa for that!" "Mom, get that for my birthday!"

He must be feeling better.


I never knew I'd be happy about that

So I was at school feeding the baby when Cam's teacher walks in to tell me that Cam had a fever. Poor buddy. So I went to the lobby to find him crying. He just felt crummy. I carried him to the car and he was so sad and icky feeling. I was about to go home when I realized that all of my work stuff was still at work... I could keep working at home if I had my computer. So I quickly drove to work to grab the computer. The moment we got there I realized Cam was going to throw up... The big question was when. So I ran in, grabbed the computer and yelled to Randy to let him know his son was about to spew.

I ran back to the van and he had just started throwing up. Poor buddy. I tried to clean him up a little and clean the van a little and we headed home. Cam started commenting about how great he felt. But it wasn't just a few minutes later when he started looking bad. Really bad. So I pulled over to try and help him. Then I realized, I was just prolonging the obvious. He was going to throw up again in the van... Nothing I can do. SO I ran into the van and drove home as quickly as I could. Poor buddy threw up again. I just tried to tell him he was going to be okay. But here's the killer moment. I was making sure he was okay when he said: "I'm sorry Mommy."

You're sorry? Poor baby. I made sure he knew I wasn't mad, there was nothing he could have done. I just wanted to hug his soggy, stinky little body.

And what was going on in my mind the whole time? I'm lucky to be dealing with my throwing up baby. After going to the funeral of a 17 year old yesterday, everything I do with my children is a gift. Even throwing up. I tried to hold onto that perspective during the van clean up as Cameron took a nap.


First basketball game

I tried to get pictures... But Daddy forgot he had the camera. Anyway. Yesterday Cam and his Dad went to the boy's first college basketball game. From Dad's report, Cam had a great time eating the food, playing with the seats and watching about half of the game. They stayed until the Tigers hit 100 points. It was a pretty big blowout.

When Cam came home he told me that the Tigers ate the bad guys. I'm not sure what that means. Very strange.

Today I tried to have fun with the kids while Dad took a bunch of students to Kansas City. Instead, most of the day was spent with Cameron complaining, whining or being sent to his room. I'm pretty bummed about it. I'll be honest, a cloud of sadness is hanging over me while I try to ingest the death of our general manager's teenage daughter. I'm deeply sad for him and want to just hold my kids close. Then Cam continued to be rebellious and disrespectful throughout the day. I'm lucky to even have a bad day with my child. But it was extra exhausting today.

A good moment that I hope I'll keep in my mind for a long time: Cam was showing Jordan how to play with a drum when Jordan just scootched into Cam and they ended up having a cuddle hug. Cam wrapped his Buzz Lightyear arms around her and gave her a squeeze. It was so sweet. (And yes, Cam wore the costume for most of the day)


Halloween isn't over!

Cam isn't ready to let go of the Halloween excitement. Last night when I put him to bed, he told me: "Halloween isn't over. Tomorrow is Halloween two." I think he's seen too many sequels.

I decided arguing with him wouldn't be worth it, especially when he needed to go to bed. So I just moved on... But he woke up this morning telling me how Halloween isn't over. I explained that it's November now. Cam decided "that isn't fair!" He was unhappy that the candy wasn't sitting around for breakfast and he was very unhappy that he couldn't wear his costume to school. I actually had to peel him out of it right before he left because he just HAD to sneak up to his room and wear it a little.

Ahhhh. The let down after Halloween can be so rough.


Getting ready for Halloween

I bought Cam's outfit for tomorrow about two months ago... But I didn't pull it out for Cam to enjoy until tonight. It fits great, he's thrilled about it... And he looks really cute. Honestly, he almost looks just like his Buzz Lightyear toy.

Since I returned from Houston, Cam has been incredibly obstinate. He had some major breakdowns while we were in Kentucky visiting our friends. In between having fun with our friends, he was challenging our authority and having a rough time with the lack of napping. It's obviously hard to be the youngest amongst bigger kids. He so desperately wants to be bigger than he is. It's hard. It's also hard keeping my cool around him. I just take a big breath and try my best.

I'm really happy to be home and I'm ready to watch Cam get WAY too sugared up. Tonight, a "phantom ghost" appeared at our front step. A friend and her Dad dropped off a bag of treats and a story about a phantom ghost who appeared. It was very cool. And Cam was thrilled.


Having fun

Cam got to go to his second homecoming parade this morning... And he had a blast eating candy and sugar and waving at people and playing with his friend Camryn. When we first got to our float, he was very, very upset because Camryn wasn't there... So I was relieved when her family arrived.

So I dragged Cam and Jordan out to eat with some friends and alumni last night. Cam was wonderful... Enjoying the conversations (with a lot of talk about Buzz Lightyear) and running around having fun on campus.

He also said a really funny thing yesterday: I told him I was going to dress up like a Mommy for Halloween. He said, "you already wear that costume!" Really? Interesting. So I asked him what I should dress up like. He told me: "Princess Layer." But what he really meant was Princess Lea -- From Star Wars. How he knows about Star Wars, I'll never know since he hasn't seen it yet and he certainly isn't old enough to watch it.

Although -- I seem to remember dressing up like Princess Lea when I was little and I sure as heck hadn't seen the movie since I was too young. Silly pop culture... Kids figure it out without truly participating in the event.


He was "on" when she was "off"

Cam and Jordan had their first pro photo shoot together today. It didn't go incredibly well since Jordan was upset at the beginning... But that's when Cameron was awesome. He smiled, he had fun. But by the time Jordan finally warmed up to the experience, Cam was tired and wanted to go and get some food. It was EXHAUSTING.

Did I mention how tall Cam is getting? It just seems to obvious lately. I just felt like mentioning it again.

Tonight, Cam's prayer was very general. He started with praying for God, all kids, all parents, all baseball players (go Cards by the way) and all the people in the world... And God bless Cameron Lee Reeves. Amen.

Wow. I think he prayed for EVERYONE.


Doing pretty well

Cam was upset with me because he isn't on a T-ball team yet. It's hard to explain that he has to wait until nexxt year when the season starts. He is so in love with baseball, it's awesome to watch his excitement about the game on so many levels. From the Cardinals (by knowing almost all of the players' names) to practicing in the backyard (he hit a line drive into Randy's chest yesterday).

Today I was looking at him sitting at the kitchen table and he looked to huge. He was upset about Jordan getting bigger than him because she eats vegetables and he doesn't. It will be really hard for this tiny little girl to ever beat him on size... but I'll do anything to try to get him to open his mind to healthy food. Anyway. He's huge. He's skinny. And he's so 4 and a half going on 15.

We have a big Christmas picture shoot tomorrow. Wish me luck. I just want ONE nice photo of both kids at the same time. One. Is that too much to ask for?


Busy week... Loopy boy

I went to Cam's big field trip to the pumpkin patch this week. You may remember how earlier in the week, Cam was thrilled how I was going to join him on this trip. I was kind of excited too. I didn't get to go on this trip with Cam last year. So I'm not quite sure why Cam was so miserable during the majority of the trip. He complained, whined and got really snotty. Most of the time he was saying: "I hate pumpkins. I hate hay rides. I want my Daddy." Wow. Okay. He threw a couple of tantrums. It wasn't fun. And honestly, in between the jerky stuff, I think he did have fun. But it was a bummer for me. He and I have fun all the time. But the pumpkin patch trip just wasn't working for us.

Cam is back into a very rebellious mode. But this time, he's rebellious in a more subtle way. I ask him to do something and he whispers "no, I don't WANT do" (the want is the dominant word). He doddles on purpose... Even when it's something he wants or needs to do. I sat him down and asked him why he's disrespectful. I asked him if he's mad at Mommy and Daddy. I can't figure it out. I do know it's exhausting. We had another morning of him fighting the toy pick-up process. Lots of crying. Lots of screaming. Honestly, he really does cry more than Jordan.

I think my skepticism about Cam has grown since Randy and I discovered how our son is more conniving than we realized. One of our babysitters has been watching Cam's friend Camryn. She told the babysitter that she and Cam have talked about ways to get out of going to bed. Cam apparently told her all his ways. Really? So that doddling stuff isn't just a doddling attempt... It's a planned out attempt to delay bed time. So what else is a scheme? I'm wondering this every time he pulls some type of attitude if it's a scheme. So I tested that theory yesterday. Cam and I had a bit of a blow-out at bedtime the night before. I announced to him that he wouldn't get his Friday McDonald's dinner. (Honestly, we don't go every week... but this week he had earned it until that point) So when I picked him up on Friday from school, he tried to throw a FIT in the van. I called him out on it. And about 5 to 10 minutes later, it was over. I broke him. It was a scheme to try and break me. It didn't work.

Jordan has a cold, so she slept most of the day. So Cam and I got to play and be silly outside. We ran around and giggles on the swingset for quite a while. I pushed Cam on the swing, he pushed me... We kept taking turns. It was very silly. After Jordan's longest nap of the day, I took both kids shopping for a little bit (I had a coupon that I didn't want to lose -- it was going to to run out tomorrow). We bumped into one of Cam's friends in a store... So when I got to finish up, Cam went with his friend to play on the mall playground. So that was cool. I found a sweater for the big Cam/Jordan Christmas photo shoot that I have planned next week. It's just at Sears, but I've never taken Jordan to a studio (other than the school version from last week). I've wanted to get both kids in front of a camera together. So we'll see how it goes. I have a sweet outfit for Jordan and I think I have a coordinating outfit for Cam. We can only hope for the best.


Let's try that again

This morning was nutty. I was scrambling to get Cam out in his big deal dress-up outfit for picture day, pack his swimming clothes because Tuesday is swim lesson day and make sure his check was filled out for his pictures. So I put the picture check and form into his swim lesson bag so nothing got lost.

I send Cam off to school with Dad.

Dad calls me when they got to school saying that Cam will either go to swim lessons or get his picture taken. So obviously I picked the pictures. I was unhappy with that choice, so I called to check if there was any way I could get Cam's picture taken early so he could go swim. But they couldn't do that. Oh well.

Fast forward to the end of the day: I grab Cam's unused swim suit bag and find the photo check and order form still in the bag. It turns out Cam never had his picture taken because no one thought to look through his stuff for his picture order form. I got Cam's hair cut and outfit for him to stand in a group photo... that's all. He should have just gone to swimming. But if he'd done that, they would have found his dang order form. So he'll have to bring the sweater and shirt to school tomorrow... so I can get the picture I wanted. But we'll have to scurry -- he has a school field trip, so the picture will have to happen before we leave.

I'm so annoyed. Not happy one bit that the teacher or any of the staff members didn't question that Cam wasn't getting his own personal photo. Especially after the fuss I made about swim lessons.


Big deal haircut

So... I had to do it. We weren't going to drag Poppy into town just to cut Cam's hair, so I took him to a haircut place for the first time ever. Yeah. He's 4 and a half. So Cam, Jordan and I went to a place that does haircuts in a sports environment. ESPN is on the TV. There are TV sets all over the place and there are lockers instead of shelves. Stuff like that. Cam thought it was very cool. And it really did make him feel comfortable during the haircut. Honestly, I think he just liked looking at himself in the mirror and watching TV at the same time. Since I'm a crazy Mommy, I had the woman who cut Cam's hair consult with Poppy to make sure she did it close to Poppy's style. (That's right, I had her talk to him on my cellphone) The cut ended up being pretty good -- Not like Poppy's fine work, but Cam was proud.

He was so proud that Randy tells me that Cam freaked out after his bath tonight -- his hair was wet and he cried that Randy had "broke his new haircut." Poor kid. He calmed down once his hair was dry and back to its previous look.

So why the big deal? Tomorrow is picture day! I even ran to Target to find a new sweater for the picture -- I checked Cam's drawers and ALL of his sweaters were too small. Bad planning on my part!

So here's a sweet side moment of the day: I stopped by Cam's classroom today on my way out from feeding Jordan (who fell asleep in my arms for a good 20 or 30 minutes by the way). His teacher told me Cam was telling everyone how I was going to his class field trip on Wednesday. Really? Okay. So I told folks at work that I wouldn't be attending a meeting... Made sure I would be at the field trip. So this evening before dinner, I told Cam I'd be at his field trip. He was so excited, he ran to me and gave me a HUGE hug. Now all I can hope is the rainy weather will stay away long enough for us all to enjoy the pumpkin patch and hay ride! Either way. Just getting Cam's reaction was worth it.


Fall fun

Cam and I played outside in the leaves after a grocery store visit... Here's the funny part. He ran into the pile of leaves and asked me to get the camera. That's how I have programmed my child. So, I took a few pictures. The best part was once I got the pictures done. Cam and I had a leaf war... And I think he won. I found a leaf in my hair 30 or 40 minutes later during dinner.

The fun wasn't over just because the sun went down early. I turned on some Disney music and we just danced and danced. Jordan was eating dinner in the high chair and she giggled and watched us. At some point, I told Cam to pretend we were all merpeople like the Little Mermaid. We all waved our arms in the air like we were swimming -- Jordan included. Cam kept dancing and dancing and eventually we pulled Jordan into the dancing. Then Cam pulled Daddy into the kitchen to watch us. I swear, even Jordan was performing. It was classic. Both kids obviously love to boogie.


Super excited

Super excited
Originally uploaded by Jen Reeves.
Cam was really excited in this picture... But you know, today was pretty exciting for him as well. Maybe not as dramatic as this moment when he was at a party over the weekend.

Anyway. Cam had a fun day. At school, he was really good and he showed me an amazing picture he drew! It told a story -- the first picture I've ever seen him do that had ACTION. He had a monster with planets in the sky and he wrote CAMERON across the bottom of the page. He really is growing up. Then, after school, I took him with Jordan and I to the newsroom. Along the way, I told him I loved him. HIs response: "I know!" (funny guy) He got to play on nickjr.com on a newsroom computer -- which he LOVES. Then we went home and found "Uncle" Gary visiting. So the boys all went out (along with Miss Jordan) and played baseball and "tossed" the football around. (Cam's version of tossing is really just dropping and chasing after the ball) After all of that good stuff: I made pancakes for dinner. Heaven.

I gave him a back scratch after his prayers tonight. The last thing he told me before he went to sleep: "You did a really good job."


Pause that

We live in a Tivo world... And Cameron has never known it any different. I think we got Tivo the year before he was born. So tonight I was reading him a book when Bubba scratched on the door to come in. So Cam jumped out of bed to let Bubba in... And told me to "Pause the book."


Another story that I've told a few people but didn't write down. Cam is getting over a cold. It hasn't been bad enough to stay home. But it's annoying to him. (And I'm tired of telling him to constantly blow his nose) Anyway... I went into his classroom on Monday to say hi. His teacher told me that the first thing Cam did was walk into the room and tell her that her felt "ucky." But then Cam corrected her: "No I didn't. I said "I feel ICKY." With an "I." Ih, Ih (making the sound of an I)." I couldn't believe he was being such a smart-butt. His growing knowledge with language is going to rapidly get him in trouble!!


So funny

Almost every time Cam opens his mouth, he makes me laugh. I can't always laugh in his face... But I giggle inside.

Tonight he decided he would spell M-I-Z-Z-O-U on the fridge in honor of his time at the football game this past weekend. He didn't seem to be that happen when we were there, but man... It's the only thing he wants to talk about. It was great.

I just had to post the picture online before I headed off to bed. I didn't want to forget about this one.

Oh... And you know how I said Cam was throwing fewer tantrums? He threw one off and on all evening because he wanted to go somewhere for an ice cream cone. And we have a rule in this house -- if you cry for it, you don't get it. So he just kept digging himself deeper and deeper into the no-ice-cream hole. He gave it up and had apple sauce after a chicken burrito dinner.

Growing so fast

Cameron is a big kid. Everything he does these days seems to be so grown up. And he loves to brag about it to me. "Mommy, aren't you so proud of me that I can read?" "Mommy, aren't you so proud of me that I can hit the baseball?" And he continues to love the heck out of his sister... Cooing to her, giving her sweet hugs. "Mommy, when Jordan gets bigger, I'm going to give her HUGE hugs."

It's awesome.

Cam's temper tantrums have toned down. His teacher at school says he isn't having the big outbursts anymore. He even puts himself in the "safe area" when he feels angry. How grown up.

This morning he did a sweet thing. He woke up early because Daddy needed to get out of the house early. As he was putting on his Tiger socks, he told me he had to wear them, because he was going to play "the Tigers" at school. He got to go to the football game this past weekend and now he's been playing pretend football with his friends. Those socks were important.



Okay. So this week, Cameron's education seems to be clicking in. He finally started writing words... going beyond his standard C-A-M. He started writing MOM and DAD and CAMERON and all kinds of other words. It's so wonderful. I'm as proud as a mom can be.

Tonight was the clincher. We were sitting in a restaurant and he looked up at a poster on the wall. He points at it and says: "That says chips!" We spent the rest of the time reading and learning about all the words on the walls. Very fun. And I'm VERY proud.

His Grandma and Poppy are here today. They're taking the fun car back with them for a while. Cam got to play inside the car a little... And he noticed for the first time that there's a Cam plate in the front of the car. He LOVED it. So we got him to pose with the car. He still hasn't been allowed to go for a ride in it yet. I'm crazy... But just want him to be safe.


Family day fun

It was a really great day today. Actually, the morning started off rough. I tried to talk Cam into not waking me up until 8am by tempting him with pancakes for breakfast. So when he woke me up at 6:44, I gave him one more chance... Go to your room and play until 8am and then I'll make pancakes. By 7:00am all he could do was whine and cry. And after he woke up the baby, had a HUGE cry over the fact that he didn't get those pancakes... our day was great. We were outside most of the day playing baseball and t-ball. Cam is picking up a pretty mean swing!

To add to the day's excitement, I bought him a real t-ball tee. He had a toy one... so this one changes height, has a ball attached to the "home plate" with a long elastic string, 1st, 2nd and 3rd plates... and a net that he can use to practice his throwing skills. He LOVES it. By the end of the day, he was hitting the ball into the fence. Cam is also not incredibly modest. As I was putting Jordan to bed, I mentioned to him that he's an awesome big brother. And he replied: "And an awesome hitter! And catcher! And thrower!" We'll work on modesty later.

Speaking of Jordan. Cam just dotes over her. She got a new exersaucer today and he just loved showing her what it could do and playing with it with her. He tries to cheer her up (she's really, really clingy to me and not afraid to cry if I'm not close enough to her liking). He sings to her. He hugs and kisses her. Overall, he is still very gentle. He did try to pose with her outside and gave her a hug -- and the hug was a little too rough for her. He kissed and cooed to her to help her cheer up. He calls her "sweetie" and "cutie." I know this will change when she is mobile. But I just LOVE it right now. His only issue with Jordan is the amount of time it takes for me to feed her. He will HOUND me asking me if she's done eating every 30 seconds. It drives me batty since everytime he talks while I feed Jordan, she stops eating to look at Cam and smile at him. So his hounding actually makes the feeding process take TWICE as long than if he would just wait patiently. Love him. You just have to love him.

Tonight we played with his dinosaurs... Until my dinosaur mommy was eaten by a t-rex and Cam had the baby dinosaur standing over the mommy going "Mommy! Wake up! Wake up mommy!" It was very sad. So I switched to Legos. Cam built a lion all by himself a couple of nights ago... and it's AWESOME... He did such a good job that I created a few more lions like his design. Then I made an alligator, giraffe and a sheep. It was a fun way to end the night.

Oh one other funny thing Cam said. I was reading an article about Grand Rapids in the New York Times website. I mentioned the article to Randy when Cam says: "Grand Rapids? That's where you get babies!" And I agreed. That is where we "got" Cam.


200th Blog About Cam!

200 different postings about Cam. Fun stuff. Well, Cam has been really busy lately. We took another fast trip to St. Louis. He got to play with Shelbe and even go to another Cardinal's game. This time, he was really good and got to be friends with a girl who was sitting in the same section named Kate. I'd guess she was around 9 years old. The two of them got along really well... As you can see in the picture. Cam also got ANOTHER MLB ball from a Pirates player. Lucky boy. When Cam came home that night, he looked so grown up in his baseball hat. He told me: "Mommy, the Cardinals losed the game! The Pittsburgh Pirates winned the game. I'm so sad." He wasn't that sad. I think he was tired and was just looking for a reason for a Mommy hug.

Cam and Shelbe played so well again during this visit. For a little girl who is three whole years older, she really is willing to hang out with Cam and teach him everything she knows... Including her Game Boy. Of course, Cam wants one. I told him he'll have to wait until he gets older. For now, he gets to play with his super-cool Leapster toy. We also went to the Magic House again... And Cam had a ball. Only this time he was a little hoggy with some of the play areas. I realize it's the age, but I had a hard time getting him to share. I did get him a kid's membership so he can go as often as he wants.

We got back home late last night, Cam passed out in the last 30 minutes of the drive. So now I'm struggling to get him to take a nap to help make up for some of the lost sleep. I could use a little bit of that sleep myself (but I think that's been the case ever since Cam was born -- possibly before!).

Cam, Jordan and I had a really nice picnic outside at our nearby gardens for lunch today. It was a perfect day. Cool, blue skies and the bugs left us alone. Even Jordan joined in by eating some little snacks. Cam and I played "I Spy" for a while. It was just so pleasant. It was a nice moment of calm in this crazy non-stop life.


First day of Pre-K

Cameron was VERY proud to start Pre-K today. He was so proud that when I picked him up this afternoon and took him to the newsroom... He told EVERY person he met how today was his first day in Pre-K. What a big guy.

Cam also spent a good portion of his time in the newsroom using the computer without needing any help. It gave me time to work and take care of the baby. He's so grown up... It's amazing.


Loopy party

Cam decided that a good nap just wouldn't be enough to let him have fun at a birthday party today. I wasn't there until after the worst of it... But Randy says the moment they got there, Cam was ready to complain and freak out about everything. He threw a fit about putting on his bathing suit, walking on grass without his sandals, sliding down a slip-n-slide, drying off... the list goes on. What a bummer.

His Poppy and Grandma are here... So Cam got a really nice looking haircut. He was getting shaggy... And not in a good way. I'd like to grow his hair out eventually, but I don't think this is the time of the year.


Last day of class

Today is the last day of Cam's preschool class. He moves into his Pre-K class on Monday. I think he's really excited about being one of the "big boys" at school. What really blows my mind is how this is the last school year before he goes to elementary school. My simple life of two children in one school will end. Not to mention, I've started looking into possible soccer or karate or t-ball stuff. I don't want to overbook him, so I'm trying to pick out the best option.

I'm thinking we might start karate now... Until a soccer class opens up later this fall. Then I'll sign him up for t-ball in the spring. One activity... but different ones throughout the year. That way he can get a taste of them all and we'll see which one he likes best. I was talking to a parent who has a four-year-old in gymnastics, karate and swimming. That sounds exhausting. I just don't have that kind of energy to drive my child around like that. Okay, I don't have the funds either. But hopefully I can find an activity that Cam likes.

Oh. And he just started asking about Halloween costumes. That's right. Let the costume project begin. I think we're headed into another superhero theme. It will probably be Superman or Spiderman or Batman or Buzz Lightyear. Only time will tell what outfit he ends up picking out.


No sleep, but awesome fun

We took a 24 hour trip to Uncle Barry's house so the grown ups could see a concert. (An amazing one by the way. I strongly recommend getting to know Alejandro Escovedo.) And today we took Cam and Jordan to a children's museum that was amazing.

First, I have to say that Cameron perfected a new scam with our friend Christine. She kindly watched the kids... And Cam talked her ear off, said the FUNNIEST stuff to her and he ended up passing out on the couch at 11:30pm. That's hours past his bed time and we expected an interesting day with him today. Christine told us so many funny stories about what Cam said during their time together. So many that I can't even document them well. But I'll just say that when we got home, we were all rolling in laughter. He did tell her each step of his night time process like this: "My mom says I have to pray." My mom says I have to bless people." "My mom says I have to wear socks." He kills me.

So this morning he woke up really early. So did Jordan. So I was exhausted. I got both kids to nap. I got a nap. Randy got a nap. And then we got up and went to the museum. This museum was AWESOME. This place was a child's heaven. Cam's favorite spots included a pizza restaurant where he got to serve and cook plastic pizzas. He also loved a construction zone that had foam "bricks." He was moving all over the place and hard to capture in photos. For a boy who was so tired, he expelled all of the energy he had left.

Which is why he crashed at the end of the night. We were up watching our local little league team playing on t.v. and Cam was ordered to clean up his toys. That led to a big crash and burn of crying fits. I ended up holding him tight and talking him down. When I finally got him breathing again, he told me he was ready to return to cleaning when he says: "Mommy, I'm tired." I hugged him and took him to bed instead. No complaints. He was ready. We read our book, we said our prayer and blessings... And he got my standard lullaby complete with a back scratch. He's living a good life.


Fun words

Cam has been pronouncing some things in a very funny way. So here's his latest:

Commercials: "Come-er-shin-als"

We gave him a frisbee to play with for the first time. He isn't very good at it. Actually, he's kind of dangerous.

Frisbee: Rizzbie

(I'm not sure where the "f" goes)


Risking it for competition

Cam's friend Eric came over to play yesterday. It was a good time for all since Eric has a sister who is a year old, so Jordan had someone to play with as well. Anyway, the two boys were running around like crazy. They were loud (so loud that my ears felt like they went to a concert later that night) and they had a ton of fun. While the Moms and babies were inside, the boys were outside playing. That's when Randy watched Cam jump from the top of his treehouse (on the ladder side) to the grass while the two boys were chasing to get to a toy.

My boy who is nothing but safe jumped off something high.

So apparently his desire to compete overrides his fears.

Very interesting.


Old video... but worth posting to this blog

I love the video I put together for last year's Maine trip. So here it is:

If you can't see it there, watch it here.

Playing with technology again

I keep finding new ways to post video online... I've tried Motionbox and Google just released an embedded link. So I had to give it a try. This is a piece of video I caught a couple of months ago of Cameron dancing. But it gets even better. I added music that I know Cam has never heard or danced to. But man, this is fun stuff when you mix the two together:

Have fun. If you can't see it here, you can watch it here.


My incredible boy

Cameron spent the entire day wearing his Incredibles costume... It really doesn't fit him anymore. But he wore it all day long... Picking wedgies out of his butt. So I had to capture some video of it.

Cam was lucky enough to be in the front yard to see a neighbor kid walking by wearing a Superman outfit. So they played in the backyard for a little while. Very cool.


Aunt Jan and Uncle Chuck time!

We had a great day hanging out with Aunt Jan and Uncle Chuck. We took it easy for most of the day... and after Cam took a monster nap, we packed up the crew and went to a small town nearby that has a winery. We were going to eat at our favorite place when they were basically booked and weren't serving food for a while. So we went down to the local nature trail and enjoyed a really great walk. It was a little too hot, but it was so nice to enjoy the scenery. Cam had a lot of fun on his bike... Unfortunately it was a little ugly getting him into his bike helmet and we worried about his steering skills as he looked up the bluffs periodically. But it's so great to watch him speed down the trail figuring out his balance.

We went out to dinner at a different favorite restaurant. Both kids sat next to each other and Cam kept stealing the one toy that Jordan is really into right now. It was driving me batty... Which is why he probably continued to take it away from his sister. I have to work on my reactions to him. I need to be more positive and try to find new ways to work on adjusting his periodically obnoxious 4 year old attitude. In between the obnoxiousness is amazing energy and excitement. I don't want to kill that. So I need to chill out.

A new friend

Cam made a new friend today... A little girl who lives a few counties away who has an arm that is a lot like Jordan's. I told him this morning that we were going to have lunch with a 5 year old and he was very excited. I never said anything about the little's girl's arm because that isn't who she is... It's just a part of her. So when we got there and he met her, it was so cool to see him not make a big deal about it at all. He asked when she could come over and play at our house. They talked about things... Not many since they were just meeting. But by the end of our time together, they were getting along and wanted to sit next to each other.

Even after we left town, he just said how he was so happy to meet her. (I'm not saying her name just in case her parents don't want too much information about her out in the web world) So, when we got back to school, his teacher went on and on about how he got to meet a little girl with an arm like Jordan. So now when Cam is asked about meeting her he says very matter of factly: "I met ******* and she has a little arm like Jordan." And he moves on about how he got to eat ice cream with her. I pray I can continue to introduce him to kids who look a little different but are SOOO obviously just like him. It's important to me.


New change

For the last 3 years, Cam has been a soy milk drinker. Of course, Cam calls it "soil milk." Last week Randy had finally had it with me and my need to continue to buy soy milk. So when Cam when grocery shopping with me this past weekend, I announced to him that we were going to buy milk for him. He was very worried he was going to drink "Mommy milk." I tried to calm his concerns.

So this morning was the first time I cracked open the organic skim milk for Cam. I've been drinking the expensive cow milk the moment I found out I was pregnant with a girl (I'm a little hyper concerned about girls maturing too quickly). So I pour Cam's milk and he didn't notice. But when I poured the milk into his Cheerios, he noticed. He didn't want "Mommy milk" in his cereal. So I told him he could either eat it or not. I didn't care. Suddenly, he liked it. But he asked it this was Jordan's milk. And I explained that he wasn't drinking "mommy milk." He was drinking the kind of milk that I drink. I'm not sure if he really got it. But he did drink it.

I've kind of held onto the soy milk thing because he doesn't eat anything healthy. We spent a good hour battling over his dinner choice tonight. I got him to take 3 bites and it was a miracle. I guess I'd just think to myself... At least my kid is willing to drink soy milk.

I'll get over it.

I'd have to say Cam's behavior lately has been pretty challenging. He's throwing fits and not listening to us at all. A simple request becomes a battle and/or a crying fit. I'm sad that I haven't found a solution to help him through this phase. I have to say it exhausts me and I worry that I jump to anger too quickly.


Barnyard fun

I went on a field trip with Cam today... To the local county fair's petting zoo/children's barn area. The kids got to see cows, horses, goats, sheep, chicken, ducks, tires full of soy beans, wheat, corn and a bale of cotton. Cam had fun and he got to play with his closest friends.

I think he was really happy having me around. I had to leave after lunch to go feed the baby... And Cam was okay with me leaving. He gave me a big hug and said good bye: "See you when you get home!" It was sweet. His teacher and I talked and she thinks he's actually made improvements with his ability to get over anger since our vacation.

He's a scammer. I can't tell you the many ways he tried to delay bed time tonight. But I can also tell you that this evening we spent most of our time together with him on my lap as I read him stories with the Wiggles playing in the background. Oh! You should see him dance to the Wiggles. He's getting really good.

Too self-reliant

So here's our normal morning process: Cam wakes me up. I ask him to go get dressed. About 30 minutes later I get up and ask him to get dressed. Then we go down and get breakfast and Daddy feeds the dogs and gets them outside.

Today I woke up and found Bubba running around the house. He's a loaded cannon if he isn't taken directly outside to go to the bathroom. So I had to get out of bed in a fright at least 15 to 20 minutes early. Because Cam has learned how to get Bubba out of his cage. Dudley doesn't live in a cage, so once the basement door is open, he's free too. I ran through the house begging Bubba to get outside. Fortunately that worked and prevented any gross clean up somewhere in the house.

I'm not ready to put the feeding the dogs responsibility on Cam yet -- the dogs get so excited, and I'm afraid of him getting hurt.


The highs and lows of being four

He loves her.
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
Cam's emotions amaze me. He can go from raving crazy and out of control to sweet and cooing to the baby in a matter of seconds. It raises the question: When he's out of control... Is he really out of control?

Last night he was totally losing it because he was pretending to be hungry. He delayed and delayed trying to eat his dinner again until it was time for bed. That's when he was suddenly interested in eating again (of course). He cried and cried and cried. Until it was clear that wasn't working. So he asked for a hug, and suddenly everything was fine. I read him a book and he went to bed without any complaint.

He's a sneaky guy.


Fun day outside

After a long stretch of really hot, crappy days, today was cool and enjoyable. The sun was out, there was a nice breeze... And a thousand reasons why we needed to be outside all day. Right after breakfast, Cam, Jordan and I hopped outside to enjoy the treehouse. Buzz Lightyear and Woody were major players in the day. They were part of many of Cam's stories. I got to be Woody a few times, but Jordan kept grabbing Woody and chewing on his cowboy hat, and although Cam and I thought it was funny, he kept that toy away from her as best he could.

We also visited the "jungle" and the "waterfall" (which is really a water fountain). That always makes Cam's day. For most of the trip, he claimed to be the leader of the group, telling us where to go and make sure he was in front of the line as we looked at plants and flowers. He and his dad enjoyed staring at the water fountain and getting sprayed by the water that was carried by the wind.

We visited the grocery store, we picked up some pizza and we all took a nice afternoon nap, but the rest of the time was spent outside. Cam even ate his dinner in his treehouse. The night ended with Cam actually wanting to go to bed. I'm not sure what that was all about. But he clearly used up a lot of energy enjoying this day. (And he didn't even ask to watch movies much!)


Slammed door

Cam had a chance to get the last car in his Cars movie collection. All he had to do was turn off the tantrums and treat me with respect. When he couldn't do that, I told him he'd have to earn it for another week. That led to an all out tantrum that included a door slam.

A door slam?

Isn't that the most teenager thing you can think of?

So yes. Today Cam completed his first true step towards life as a teenager. He slammed the door. The great thing? He calmed himself down behind that door. When I had the baby put to bed for the night, he was on his floor, reading a book. He came downstairs when I told him dinner was ready. We didn't have anymore tantrums and we stopped talking about that car.

Maybe he'll be able to earn it next Monday. Only time will tell.

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. But threatening to take things away doesn't work. So I'm trying to give him opportunities to earn things. I think it's a more positive light on modifying his behavior. I'm not reading any books about how to raise a boy the proper way. I'm just trying to find ways to be positive and reward the good things he does and try to not make a big deal about the negative stuff he does. I haven't found the right way to make this work yet. But we had a pleasant night time. We had fun at dinner. He and I had a nice talk as he got ready for bed. He even told me he loved me before he went to sleep. So hopefully I'm figuring out a system that is at least bringing out the good kid in Cam.


Earning stuff

Cam worked very hard today to earn things. First he earned a new bubble blower -- it's just like the bubble blower he named "Bubbly Bubbly" last year when we were in Maine. To earn this, he cleaned up his room... And he did a really good job. The only thing I had to do was help him get the books into his shelf... Since that's kind of hard. He picked up all the toys, clothes and books. I keep walking into that room and smiling because it looks so good. He also earned some sandbox toys by picking up things in the basement. He earned some smiles from Jordan when he danced around and acted silly for her. He earned some hugs from me when he quietly watched a movie while I mowed the lawn and took a shower.

He did try to scam me into scratching his back before bed time. I told him he could earn those scratched if he does a good job sleeping tonight.

We had a friend of mine bring by her sister-in-law and her niece and nephew to play. Cam kept talking about them all day. Just before bed he told me that he missed them and hoped they'd come back to play. It was very sweet.

Oh -- That picture. Cam, Jordan and I made a quick stop at the store to pick up some AAA batteries for Cam's transitor radio. He wore it on his pants for the rest of the day and he was very proud... As you can see in his pose. That's the radio just above his right hand.


Home again, home again

Cam is home... He's been here a little more than 24 hours. And things are back to normal. I can't think at times because Cam is so loud. He is already treating me with the same smart mouth and attitude as if I never was away from him.

But he is listening to me... And he is SO happy to be around his sister. And he's so happy to know that I missed him terribly. He was especially amused when his Grandma read him my last blog posting about how the house was quiet.

I took Cam and Jordan to a swim party today. It was hotter than hell outside... But Cam had a blast in the pool while Jordan and I socialized out under really huge umbrellas that protected us from the sun. Cameron had so much fun and it was great to give him a chance to hang out with all of his friends from school after he'd been away from them for two whole weeks. Of course I think he left his brand new sunglasses that you can see him wearing in this picture at the pool. Dang it. He's going to notice that tomorrow. I'm amazed I remembered to bring both kids home after the party since it was so hot and muggy out. Anyway. He looked really cool with his new glasses and hat his Grandma and Poppy got him.

Cam challenged the heck out of me before his nap and bedtime... but he's sleeping and hopefully he'll sleep late enough for Mommy to feel rested as well!


It's quiet here

With Cam out of town, my home is very quiet. I sleep later. I read books. And it's too quiet. Don't get me wrong, hanging out with Jordan on my own is great... But she goes to bed really early and she wakes up late. And I miss the way Cam talks about everything and plays and makes up amazing stories and adventures and challenges my every move. I can't wait for him to come home!!


"I'm sad I'm leaving Maine"

Cam didn't want to go home when we left Maine yesterday. And on the whole, he was an incredible helper as he traveled home. It was just the three of us... And he was such a trooper when we had to wait to go potty after we dropped off the rental car, got our bags checked and went through security. He was so sweet when people would walk over and see Jordan. Imagine Cam talking with a very matter-of-fact tone:

"That's my sister Jordan. I'm Cameron. We went to Maine. But now we're going home to Missouri."

I also learned a new way of measuring "coolness" among boys. We were walking to security when the boy ahead of us in line had a "Cars" movie backpack. Cam had to compliment the boy on his bag. I'd say this boy was 7 years old at the most. Cam was so thrilled, he had to pull out his Leapster and show him his "Cars" game cartridge. Then the boy says: "I have a Game Boy" and pulls put ten or so game cartriges. Cam was ohhhing and awwwing and I had to stop him from pulling out his games.

Now he's off on another adventure (Or as he pronounces "E-venture): He's spending most of the week at his Grandma and Poppy's house. He talked to me on the phone today and sounded very excited and happy. I miss him already.


Mommy, you made me mad.

Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
Oh darling Cameron. If 4 years old is a peek into what you will be like when you are a teenager, I better start stocking up on valium now. Because I don't know how I'll stay composed when you are like this and taller than me. Today was obvious that Cam is behind on his sleep and in an environment where he knows he can push his limits. In between being adorable -- See the attached picture... Cam was horrible. We had fun and got to go on a cruise around some of the islands. Cam had never been on a boat before! So this was a big deal to him. But when he was told to follow directions, he'd throw a grunty fit, start calling us names or just stomp around and say no. I won't have it. His dad won't have it. We have to find a good solution to resolve the rude and disrespectful behavior because I really hate spanking.

Isn't vacation time fun?

We did have fun today. We really did. The ferry trip was great. We had fun playing and he really enjoyed a new toy for his Leapster. He and I giggled and were silly. But it was a rough day overall for him. I look forward to getting his world a little more under control in a week or so. In the meantime, we're in deep with this bad attitude problem.


Ups and downs of Maine life

Strong menCam is having so much fun... But all of this one-on-one stuff is leading him to some of his very bad habits. When he's unhappy with us, he grunts... Like he's constipated. Uh! And if he's really mad, he'll call me a baby. "You're a baby mommy." Today he took it up another notch: "You're a baby pee pee." I told him he had to take his mouth to the bathroom since that's where those words belong.

Anyway. He's enjoying the rocks and the water and getting his grandparents and uncle to read books to him. He's digging art projects that I brought... And he even helped his uncle with a couple of projects... You can see it here.

He's also so dang funny when he opens his mouth. He notices every last detail and asks the most amazing questions. But my favorite today was when I was playing one of my favorite playlists off my iPod in the rental car. Cam heard what he calls his "favorite song: "Passionate Kisses" by Lucinda Williams. He asked me: "How did that song get in this car?" He was thrilled when I explained that I brought the music with us on our vacation.

He had a great time last night with the fireworks for the 4th of July. He was impatient and exhausted by the time the 10pm show started on the island. So he was tired today... Tired enough to take a 3 and a half hour nap. And when we put him to bed tonight, he actually went to bed. Which is a great idea. I think I'll give that a try.


"It's a beautiful day!"

Cam woke up and looked outside our massive glass window to the ocean view and was so happy. The sky was blue, the ocean was blue... And he loved it. It was a wonderful start to the day. All was well until he realized that he didn't get to choose which Little Einsteins episode to watch. We don't have Tivo in Maine. He didn't want to watch "Tall Totem Tale." He wanted something different. This spiraled into whining and then crying... And since he was already crying and whining, I allowed the insanity to take a step deeper into madness and I turned off the television. We shouldn't watch TV anyway. It's too nice out. But I had this desire to take a nap on the couch and thought a 20 minute show wouldn't hurt. Well. When I turned off the TV, it set the day's theme of crying, whining and pushing every button in the book that gets Mommy angry.

Almost every outburst happened while the baby was sleeping -- so I was extra sensitive about it. No fun.

In between his whining and mind games, he had a ball. He went down to the cove a number of times to play and climb and throw rocks. He even met another 4 year old who is in town through Wednesday named Spencer. They played a bit and showed off their ability at pratt falls. Cam was not happy when I told him it was time to go and take his yearly rock pictures. The rock pictures started 4 years ago. And we keep putting Cam on the same piece of rock every year. This is his 5th time on the rock for the picture. It's amazing how big he's gotten in so little time. Cam is also getting really comfortable at climbing the rocks. The only part that he's nervous about is the climbing down part.


On to level TWO!

I am thrilled to announce that after taking swimming for six months, Cam has moved out of level one! We celebrated with ice cream we were so proud. He starts level two in a couple of weeks. Randy says Cam is really starting to get comfortable with the water. He even jumped into the deep end yesterday!! Woo hoo!! I guess going to class twice a week is actually making a difference.


Scamming and swimming

Cam has been taking a swim class twice a week these last few weeks. I'm happy to say that this week is the first time he's started taking little risks in the pool and MAN is he proud. He has another class tonight, I'll let you know how tonight's class goes.

Last night we had a babysitter while Randy and I went to an outdoor concert. Cam did a new scam: doddle and after you're in bed, sneak down and spook the babysitter... and run back upstairs. By the time she got up to him in his room, Cam was sitting in his bed grinning. Stinker.

He also scammed his way into watching an episode of Power Rangers... which is a bit too violent for my tastes. But Cam couldn't stop talking about it. Obviously, he's at a phase where he'll tell you EVERYTHING.


Look what God made!

A couple of days ago, Randy was driving Cam home from the pool when he noticed how the sun was setting and making a wonderful set of colors in the sky. Cam yelled out: "Look what God made!" When he got home, he ran in to tell me all about it as well. Very sweet kid moment. He's been asking me about God a lot lately. I told him that God was in his heart. So one day he was eating and he asked if when he swallowed his food if it was going to his heart so he could feed God. I told him his food goes to his tummy, but love goes to his heart and help feed God. He's a bit confused about that. But we'll just keep going to church and hopefully he'll start piecing things together in his own way.


A couple of funny things

So, the kids in Cam's class are already talking about Kindergarten... And it's still a year away! He asked me a couple of days ago if he will have to go to a new school for Kindergarten. I said yes. Then he asked me if we'd had to move our house. I said no. Then he asked if I was going to have to work a different job. Once again, I said no. Kindergarten is obviously this vague anomoly that no one is quite sure about. And boy is Can focused on this fact already.

Yesterday I was driving when Cam asked if I had both hands on the wheel. I did. We were stopped at a light, so I turned around and said: "I have both hands on the wheel. Do you know how to drive?" Cam says no... And then tells me to turn because the left turn light had turned green. Ah, that kid.


What a day!

Cam had a super fun day. He woke up kind of early... but played for a while so Mommy and Daddy could sleep longer. Then we went to the local kid pool -- an outdoor wading pool with slides and spraying water. Cam had a ton of fun. We also stopped by a nearby jungle gym.

After he took a nap (and Mommy took one too), we met up with his friend Camryn and her family to see the new Cars movie!!! HOORAY. Cam has been talking about this movie for almost a year. He's been looking forward to June for the last few months just because he knew Cars was coming out this month. He is so funny. He had a blast. It was a really wonderful movie and I think it was worth the wait.

After the movie, Cam got to play with Camryn. And even though it rained, the two of them hit the new treehouse/swing set. They had so much fun... Especially after Camryn discovered that if you slide down our very wet slide, you can also slide down the mud in the grass. She was covered in mud, Cam was covered in mud. They had a quick bath before they could have dinner -- that's how messy they were.

Anyway. They had a blast. Randy and I were thrilled to have friends over. It's really amazing when we actually do something social. It isn't hard to do. But for some reason, it just doesn't happen enough.

Honesty is the best policy

Cam's teacher told me an interesting story yesterday. When he was playing in the playground at school, his teacher told him to stop throwing the pieces of tires that cover the play area. She said that if he did it again, he'd have to sit next to her for a while in time out. Ten minutes later, Cam came up to her and said: "Ms. Carole, I threw the black stuff again. I have to sit next to you." She was very proud of him for telling the truth -- Since she never saw him throw the black stuff.

Go Cam!


Success... Except for Daddy's Back

Cameron and his Dad actually did sleep in the treehouse. At one point in the middle of the night, Cam said he was cold and crawled into Randy's sleeping bag. He actually fell back asleep. In the morning, Randy and Cam were getting up when Cam noticed a pool of drool on Randy's sleeping pad (the thin buffer between himself and the hard wood floor of the treehouse). Cam actually apologized for drooling. Very cute.

The funniest thing happened the next night. I had to get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby. I ended up falling asleep in the bed in Jordan's room... But around 4 in the morning I woke up to find Cam sleeping next to me. I asked him what he was doing and he said he wanted to sleep next to me... He has never done that before. Any other time he's cuddled up with a parent in bed, he just made that an opportunity to talk. The camp out showed Cam how cool it is to cuddle. Very cute.

But I made him go back to bed. There's no way he would have gotten a good night's sleep if he stayed with me. He ended up sleeping until 8am. That's really late for him.


Asleep in a tree

Right now, Cameron is trying to fall asleep in his tree house. It's a camping under the stars night for he and Randy. Daddy is already conked out. Cam has come inside two times to go to the bathroom. I told him that if he needs to come in again, he'll have to go to bed in his bedroom.

We'll see how it all goes. The grandparents are sleeping in the bedrooms that fit two people. Randy and Cam are outside and I'm sleeping in Jordan's room just in case Cam needs to come in and sleep in his bed.


A New Tree House!!

Cameron is the luckiest boy in town. His Daddy and Poppy built this! It's a tree house swing-set! There's a slide, a ladder and a swing on each side: One for Cam and one for Jordan. Under the cool platform that's built around a tree in our backyard -- A sandbox! Cameron arrived home from school to find it ready for him! And he LOVED it!

He said it's cool, cool, cool and he even said it's "perfect." Of course we were so excited to see him so excited.

I snapped a bunch of pictures and even a little video on my phone... Since that's what was in my hand when we got out of the car after a long day at school/work. He was thrilled. He played right before dinner and then went back out to play before bed. He rolled balls down the slide, he played catch with me up on the tree house and down with Daddy on the ground. He sat on his swing, he rode the swing like a super hero... He was so busy and happy. Right before he had to go in for bed, Cameron told me that when Jordan gets bigger, she can swing on his swing. What a great sharer.


Another busy week

I've noticed I'm just not posting as much as usual these days. Now that I'm also teaching a class along with my normal work load and Jordan's many appointments, blogging is getting a little less attention. Heck, I haven't updated my Flickr site in a couple of weeks!

Anyway. Cam had a busy week... It ended with a field trip to a local honey farm. He got a chance to make a beeswax candle. We burned it today as we at a yummy grilled meal that Daddy made. Cam was very excited to burn the candle as part of a "special" dinner. We grilled Cam up a corn on the cob... But once again, he wouldn't risk eating that yummy treat. He also won't eat pizza. Or drink juice. He turned down a juice box yesterday when we were all at a friend's house for an informal party.

This morning, Cam threw a minor fit when I told him he couldn't watch a show. He had to play outside. The good news: Once he was outside, he wanted to stay outside for most of the day -- even if it was hot and sticky. I took him to the hardware story, the local farmer's market and even to the grocery store. He was good most of the time. We played hide and seek... And baseball and other silly games outside through the day. Heck. We even got him to clean up his disaster of toys in the basement. We can see some of the floor!

So overall. I'd say we're doing okay in the Cam department here. We're still working on the emotional outbursts. But most of the time, we can get him breathing and calming himself down.


Elmo, Cookie Monster and Boogie Time

Cam had a great weekend. He had a chance to eat lunch with Cookie Monster and Rosita from Sesame Street. He also had a chance to see Elmo's Coloring Book -- A very cool big arena show full of pre-school songs and dance and colors and a lot of commercialism at every turn. When we got to the event, Cam had a chance to walk in holding Cookie Monster's hand. It was very sweet. At the end of the show when everyone was about to live happily every after and singing a final song, Cam boogies in the silliest and sweetest and uncoordinated way. I wish I had a video camera at the time. I only got a picture of the moment.

We also had a lot of fun going on a walk while Cam rode his bike. He's really getting good at balancing on that bike. It's awesome to watch him gain more and more confidence. We also went to church. He threw a fit during a prayer. But during the children's church portion, Jordan kept grabbing at Cam's back and rubbing on his face. He looked over at her, smiles and said: "She knows how to tickle!" It was awesome.


He got a ball!

Cam and I went to see the Cards in the new Busch Stadium. I won't go into a ton of details, but I gassed Cam up with a crazy amount of sugar, we giggled, we cheered an dhe asked if we were going home often But in the endm he told he had the greatest time EVER! That's because I scored a game ball from an outfielder for Cam. He was so excited, he slept with the ball that night.

One other funny story, before he went to bed that night, he told me he couldn't go to bed yet, he "had to play Jim Edmonds." Then he proceeded to roll the ball on the floor and say: "Get the ball Jim Edmonds!! Okay! I got it!"

Very funny.


It's my birthday and Cam can cry if he wants to.

Yeah. So Cam was thrilled it was my birthday today. In the middle of almost every bite of breakfast, he looked up at me and said: "Happy Birthday Mommy." It was kind of strange. Anyway. When I went to school later in the day, a couple of teachers asked me if it was my birthday. Apparently Cam was telling everyone he saw about it.

So when Randy and I picked him up from school, Cam was really, really excited. He asked if we were going to my birthday party. He just assumed we were going to make the same big deal about my birthday like we do for him. I would have loved it. But that wasn't in the works. So when I told Cam we weren't having a party, he was disappointed. Then he asked if we were having birthday cake. And I told him were weren't. That's when he lost it. He wanted to eat Mommy's birthday cake. And he just kept crying and crying. Once I finally got him to calm down about that issue, he wanted to get dinner from Burger King. I didn't think he needed that kind of food, especially after the fit he had just thrown. So I knew if I just flat out told him "no," he'd throw a fit again. So I just decided to not drive by the restaurant. The moment I drove by the exit that would have taken us to the Burger Kind, Cam lost it. He actually knew which exit goes to Burger King. My son has a better map of the Columbia area in his head than half of our reporters.

I can't say the tantrums made this a good birthday. Randy did end up getting me a birthday cake. I think Cam was more excited about it than I was. Cam asked Randy if he made the cake. Randy said yes (even though it came from a grocery store). Then Cam asked if Randy went to work, went home to bake the cake, then returned to work and then picked Cam up from school. He had to understand how Randy could have even been able to bake that cake for Mommy. Funny kid. He had to logically figure out how Randy could have baked my cake... And still gone to work.


Hey Am-Bruce!

My friend Ambrose is driving across the country. We were lucky enough to have him stay the night here last night. He's spending this year as a clown for a travling Cirque de Soleil show... and he is as funny as I remember he was back at Syracuse University. Cameron LOVED him... Even though he kept forgetting to call Ambrose the right name. He kept saying: Am-Bruce. So here's the basic conversation that had me rolling on the floor everytime Cam would try to get Ambrose's attention:

Cam: Hey Am-Bruce!

Ambrose: It's Ambrose

Cam: Hey Am-BROH-SS!

Ambrose: Gimme five! (hand slap)

Cam: Ha ha ha! Hey Am-BROH-SS!!

Ambrose: You said it right! Gimme five! (hand slap)

Cam: Noooo! Hey Am-BROH-SS!!!

Ambrose: Yeah buddy! Give me five! (hand slap)

Cam was so flustered that Ambrose wouldn't just say: What? And Cam couldn't figure how to get out of the cycle of high fives. I was on the floor laughing so hard watching Cam's confused face.

Cam went to school before Ambrose was up and ready to go this morning. Cam kept wanting to wake him. He was so thrilled to have a "new friend." Ambrose actually stopped by Cam's classroom to say goodbye when I dropped Jordan off for her school day. You should have seen Cam's face light up when he saw my tall, skinny, large-haired friend walk into this room full of short 4-year-olds.


Busy day

Cam's Grandma and Poppy surprised him with a visit yesterday. They got to play with him today -- in between his busy day. First, he had to wake his grandparents up and play with them. I am grateful for the extra sleep. Then he had swim lessons. Right after that, he had to eat lunch and get a nap before his next event. Of course, he fell asleep 10 minutes before I had to wake him up to get dressed to the The Jungle Book on stage at a location on campus.

Cam was not well rested.

So we get to the show. He saw a few people he knew and we met up with Shanley and her Mom. They were engaged and ready when the show started... But it was acted by a bunch of kids who worked really hard... But the pacing was pretty slow. Keeping 4 year olds engaged when they can barely hear the action through the cries and whines of children was not easy. But Cam LOVED the experience after he got to talk to a few of the actors on the stage after the show.

We ran around together on campus for a little while and I got him a scoop of ice cream. He showed all kinds of reasons why he hadn't slept enough, but we had fun.

Dad and Mom got to go out to eat tonight. We even went to a movie. It was nice. I have no idea how night time when with the grandparents, but I do know that everyone is asleep since we got home.


Good sharing

Cam hopped into the car with Randy this morning on their way to the dentist's office. Cam asked Randy if my "old car" was his "new car." Randy said yes -- since he's driving my car now that we have the mini-van. Cam said: "Mom is such a great sharer!"

What a sweetie.


Funny things

So... Cam continues to say funny things.

Last week as we drove up to the TV station, he said: "The tower is hurting the sky!" If you haven't seen the station, the transmission tower is right next to the building -- and yes, it is very tall.

Yesterday morning, Cam told Randy: "Mommy has pointy legs." Randy asked him what he meant and Cam said: "Sometimes, when I wear shorts, her legs feel pointy." Meaning, I haven't shaved enough for my son's liking.


I'm starting to figure out the trend

So Cameron has been a huge challenge lately and I'm trying to figure out how to put a stop to it. He's a smart kid. And my theory behind the smart thing is we can communicate our way out of this annoying funk. But talking him through his insanity during a tantrum is impossible. So the only way is to catch him before he spins out of control... And I don't always have the energy to put a stop to it.

So then I have to figure out why he's doing this. Here's my theory -- He thinks he's always gotten what he wanted. It's not true. But for some reason, he thinks the tantrum system will work. So I created a system where he has to earn TV time. If he throws a tantrum, he doesn't get TV time. That worked for a while, but he doesn't seem to care anymore. So I have to find a new way to encourage him to be good. You know; I don't even care if he isn't good as long as he doesn't continue this defying authority and screaming junk. I keep hearing 4 years old is a preview into the teenage years. If that is true, we're going to have ugly teenage years.



He threw a tantrum for an hour and a half over meatballs. He didn't like them... Even though he hadn't even tried them. He wanted meatballs you find in spagetti-ohs. I was a mean Mommy. He stuck his tongue out. He screamed and ranted. He was in time out, he was almost going to have to go to bed at 5:45 in the evening. I actually walked out of the house and into the garage just to restrain myself.

He's sleeping now. I pray he will get enough rest so we can have a better day tomorrow.


12 hours wasn't enough

So... Yesterday we went to church and Earth Day because Cam was acting much more human. But even though he had 12 hours of sleep, he was MOODY. This picture tells it all.

In church, I had to take him out of the sanctuary to get him to calm down. At Earth Day, he decided to pout for a while after throwing a tantrum.

Good news. After his nap, he only threw a MONSTER tantrum. It was so bad, I took him outside to let him scream it out in the fresh air. That fresh air eventually did what I wanted it to do... Get him to want to play. We drew with chalk, made up fantastic stories under a tree and ran around in the grass. He considered taking his shirt off, but he told me he didn't want anyone to laugh at him. How he became modest and concerned about what people think about him, I'll never know. But from there on, he was a sweetheart. And he continued it through today. Thank goodness.


Poor guy

What a bummer. Cam woke up in the middle of the night last night with the croup -- the barking cough that makes you feel so bad for your kid. He has a cold that is a bit uncomfortable for him. So when we woke up this morning, I assessed the situation and decided that he could still go to swim class and a swimming birthday party. We may have pushed it with the birthday party.

He continued to cough through the day. No barking. But unhappy coughing. He took a good nap and I decided the party was a go. He had a ball. But in the end, he wasn't hungry for dinner. He wanted to go to bed. So my boy actually went to bed 15 minutes before his sister.

That's a sick little boy. Poor buddy.


Really good

Cam's teachers told me today that he's been amazingly good at school. He's listening and not throwing big tantrums. Today he listened really well while the rest of his friends were crazy. They think he's doing better because of the consistency of me returning to work. I really don't know why. It could be because he's growing up. That's very possible.


"I love my new van"

Cam loves his new van. Someone told him it was his Mom's van... And he disagreed. Someone else told him she liked his new car... He had to remind her that it was a VAN! Funny kid.

Not only does he like the van, it's become this awesome play place while we're visiting his grandparents. It is a jungle gym. It is a cool place to buckle up. It's a really awesome place to pretend it's rocket from Little Einsteins and go on a mission. The wonderful thing is Cam's "cousins" Lindsay and Hunter played along with him and enjoyed the trip on "rocket." Good thing Cam and Lindsay buckled up, just like the characters do.

It's fun to watch him boss them around... And they are so kind enough to listen to his demands. He's a lucky little boy to have so many people who care enough to play with him... Even when he's bossy. It's really great to watch him running around outside being silly.


A great day

Cam decided that today was the greatest day ever. He got to play outside, help wash cars, dye Easter eggs and ride his bike. He climbed around in the minivan and he and I pretended we were the Little Einsteins.

Anyway. He decided that we have "the greatest van," he was having "the greatest day" and he was SO happy he got to color those eggs.

He's so funny.

I did forget to mention on Wednesday that as we drove up to his grandparents house to visit them he said: "They'll be so happy to see me!!!"

They were. He was right.


A fish tale

Cam got to go fishing for the first time ever... He got to throw a line out on a pond at his Great Uncle Larry's house. And can you believe, Cam was the only person to catch a fish.

Did they have a camera with them? No.

SO I grabbed the video camera and asked him about the experience when he returned from the pond. I'll post it on the site once I edit it. I asked him what happened. He told me he caught a fish... and it was THIS big (he held his arms out wide). The men in our family were quick to teach him how to tell a fish tale.

We also took a big step into the family transportation world: We got a minivan today. Yup. A minivan. The vehicle Randy and I promised each other we wouldn't get before we got married 8 years ago. But it's everything we need and I think we're going to take more road trips because of it. I'm also a much more credible Mommy with a minivan. Because having 2 kids isn't enough credibility. ;-)