Wii are having fun

Cameron loves his new Wii. LOVES it. Did I mention how he loves it? I'd say that if he could play it all the time and win that entire time, he'd play it non-stop. He's an incredible bowler. In his first day playing, he bowled a 178. Wow.

He's enjoying that, but he did have a really hard time with his sister's birthday. He felt so dang jealous of how she was the center of attention. Poor kid. I know how hard that is... It's a big part of growing up with a sibling. At one point he went to me and said: "I'm feeling jealous." So we talked it out. I'm not sure it helped... But we did find a little time in the day to get away from it all and go for a little walk/run around the neighborhood.

On the whole, this time off from school has been good. I think he's enjoying the family time away from school. He gets some extra family fun for the next few days. My parents are up from Florida to watch the kids while Randy and I travel for work. They should have fun watching Cam and I know he'll enjoy the Grandparent time.


Merry Christmas!

You gotta love it when your son is as excited about books as the new Power Ranger helmet he got for Christmas.

Cam didn't want to go to bed tonight before he got a chance to try and bowl on our new Wii. He immediately threw a bowling ball into the crowd of people at the bowling alley. He seemed a bit distressed about that. I told him we'll work on it. By next week he'll be a bowling pro.

Cam had a hard time waiting for present opening time. He was the oldest kid in the bunch this year. I think that was a little different for him. But he did write a sweet note to Santa. I expect Cam will find the four cookies and glass of milk will be a hit with him. I'm not sure how much longer we'll enjoy Santa with Cam, so I'm eating it up this year. Next year, Jordan will probably buy into it. That will be fun to see.

Holidays together

Cam and Jordan have been a lot more "together" these days. Sure, it's mostly because they're stuck with each other while we all hang out for the holidays. But they're also just playing together more. They're also fighting and arguing and bothering each other. But that's all part of being siblings. I just think it's cool to see them coming together and sharing their attention with each other. They chase, they hide, they scream, they giggle. It's fun to watch.

Right before school let out, I helped out with the holiday party at Cam's school. The teacher made it a craft-themed party. I decided to make "crafty" food. I mixed a bunch of frosting different colors so kids could decorate cookies. I also brought bagels and raisins for the non-sweets kids (those actually exist). It was fun to watch the concoctions they came up with. The kids had fun playing and eating at the same time.


Sledding fun

Cameron is starting to really enjoy his sled... And living with a really cool, steep road next to our house makes things really fun -- With parental supervision of course.

That little giggle of his as he's sliding down the hill is fantastic.


Figuring things out

The holiday season is interesting as Cam gets older. He's always kind of understood why we celebrate Christmas and he's always been much more excited about the Santa stuff than the God stuff. But recently, he started seeing through the Santa stuff. He announced to me:

Cameron: "Mom, Santa is already dead. There's just people pretending to be him."

Me: "Hmmmm. Interesting theory."

I didn't really say much more than that... But I think he's starting to see through the ruse. I haven't spent a ton of time trying to keep him from coming to the conclusion that Santa is just from our imagination... But I have a feeling this is the first crack in the Santa foundation.

Other than the Santa think, Cam's teacher and I are discussing ways to help direct Cameron's attention to constructive work when he's done with the class assignments. Apparently, his teacher finds Cam dwelling on super heroes when he doesn't have to do work at school... And we've seen a bit of a correlation between super hero obsession and violence against his friends. So we're trying to limit his time dwelling on superheros. So instead, his teacher is thinking about giving Cam a "six-year-old's" research project. Cameron and I are going to pick out a topic and Cam will get to go to the library, look up books and work on a research project. I think that's pretty great. It will give Cameron a new challenge and help him focus his time on something more constructive. Pretty exciting stuff.


He loves the snow

We had a great snowy morning to enjoy yesterday. Cam hopped into bed around 6:50 and I said: If you get dressed quickly, we'll eat a fast breakfast so you can go out and play in the snow. That boy was fast. I had both kids fed and dressed by 7:06. They were bundled up and out by 7:10. To top it all off, Cam got a new sled! He loves it. I'll be honest. I've never bought him a real sled before. I always think of it before it's too late in the season. We have a really sweet sled, but it's a classic sled, not a fast sled. So this year, he has one. It's a cheap piece of plastic and it's exactly what my boy always wanted. He had a BLAST sledding down the slight hill in our backyard. It's a great starter hill.

We got to play for an hour before packing up for school. We walked to school with all of the neighborhood kids and they were all high on snow excitement. It was great. The thrill of snow isn't exciting until you've spent a good 10 minute walk up and down steep hills with super-hyper kids (ages 5-10) trying not to throw snow. It was fun. The whole morning was fun.


New World

So I'm trying to de-violence Cam's world... We're focusing less on super heroes and more on positive things. I'm thinking about leaving Tae Kwon Do and moving Cam's attentions to piano lessons.

So a funny thing as I try to make these changes. I walk into Cam's afterschool program and there he is in a Spider Man costume running around "fighting" someone. I immediately found the director of our program and talked to her about Cam's recent violence issues. She's so cool and responsive that she's willing to take the costumes away from all of the kids to help restore my boy's grip on reality. I think that's super kind. She seemed impressed that I wanted to talk about Cam's problems... I think it's important that every person who watches him is on the same page. As Randy mentioned: It's in her own best interest.

So true.



Questioning my ability as a mom

Today went really poorly and all of those gut issues I've had with Ben 10 came to a head today. It's gone. Cartoon Network is gone. Ben 10 is gone. I'm sad that the deep pit of my stomach told me that he should have never watched the show in the first place. I should have never encouraged or allowed it to continue.

The big issue: Cam is so grown up on some levels, but so immature on others. I realize no one can know how role play and games can affect a child, but Cameron can take it too far. He took it too far today. And I blame myself.

I feel pretty rotten right now.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Cam enjoyed a delicious meal for Thanksgiving with his Uncle Jon and his boyfriend Erik. We're lucky to have enjoyed a yummy meal thanks to Erik's expert cooking skills. Even Cam enjoyed the turkey and Daddy's dressing.

Cam's been really good during his time off from school. He's reading up a storm and playing every single video game on the Cartoon Network's website. I'm not a gamer type (Until we get our Wii up and running after Christmas) so I think it's amazing to see all of the games Cam has figured out how to play without ever asking for help. He has an interesting mind.


Updates on the boy

Okay -- First a few little comments Cam said in the last week that I have to remember forever:

1) Jordan finally started saying Cameron's name. When she said it, Cam announced: "She said my name in her REAL voice!" I guess you had to be there but apparently Jordan's real voice is only when she uses understandable words.

2) I was walking down the street with Cam last Friday when he had the day off from school and got to follow me around at work and on campus all day. He was incredible, patient and so grown up. So I asked him when he got so big. He immediately responded: "Because I can read." And it makes sense. The world opened up to him in an instant when words made sense to him. He can surf the web (yikes), he can read signs and books and notes and shirts and whatever he finds. I told him that math can do the same when numbers and information start working together. (I'm trying to make sure he gives math as much love and attention as he does words... JUST to see if we can lead him to a more lucrative career as compared to journalism)

Other updates -- Cam is growing so dang fast it makes my head spin. He still has emotional outbursts at home and at school... But he's learning and dealing more often. He's also MADLY in love with drawing and writing and learning. He's asking SO many hypothetical questions these days: "What would happen if kids didn't have parents?" (He decided that kids wouldn't have money and then I asked him if that was all I was to him: a source of money. He said yes.) "What would happen if there wasn't a world?" (I told him nothing would exist and everything would be black) "Why do people die?" (That was a toughie) I could go on and on. He isn't being annoying with the questions, he really just wants to talk about the things that are rolling through his mind. It's really amazing.

Another thing: Cam's really into Ben 10. It's a cartoon on Cartoon Network. I'm not a fan of the network, but I've let him watch things on cartoonnetwork.com and now he's a HUGE Ben 10 fan. Ben is a kid who finds a wrist-watch-type-thing that is now permanently attached to Ben's arm and it lets Ben turn into ten different aliens. It's like every boy's dream show. It's an animated show, it's too violent for my liking and I can't figure out a way to help Cam "quit" the show. Kids are going to pretend and run around and "fight" things... There aren't any guns, but some of these aliens can throw fire or heavy things and hurt "the bad guys." I guess I'm just kind of torn between letting Cam enjoy boy stuff and pretend things and keeping him away from any ideas of violence. And I say this as a mother of a boy who is in Tae Kwon Do where they use weapons. I guess it's all a moot point.


Santa Visit

Cam and Jordan visited Santa on the first day he was in town. Why you ask? I'm crazy and I just like getting it over with. The local mall had a fund raiser for Habitat for Humanity to have "breakfast with Santa." They had crummy food options but the carousel was free so we went on that a bunch of times. We saw friends, we smiled and giggled a bit and then I made the kids get in line for Santa before Santa even got there. Yes. We were the first ones in line because I just wanted to make sure we got it done before both kids lost patience. Is that bad? Unfortunately, Jordan doesn't like Santa so I had to sit with them. But hey - Cam got to pitch hit top toy picks of the year: A Ben 10 watch (it's not really a watch, I can't even explain to you what it is) and the Power Rangers Mega Mission Helmet. Big deal stuff.


We're funny

So... I'm trying really hard to make sure I make time for the boy. When he and I got silly tonight, we pulled out the computer and made funny faces again into Photobooth. It's great for giggles.


Fall, glorious Fall.

Today was gorgeous. So I grabbed the kids and headed out for a hike. Cam is a fantastic hiker... Except when he forgets to watch his feet. Not long into today's hike, he starts running, trips on a rock and falls flat on his face. No injuries, but a great reminder that you have to watch your feet. He was great the rest of the time and actually quickly recovered from his fall. We admired the trees that are past the peak color so we admired the leaf covered hills, we admired a piece of bark that became his sword for the rest of the trip, we had fun taking pictures (yes, that's my official Fall pic of the kids for this year), Cam bravely climbed across a huge tree trunk a couple of times, we checked out a cave and Cam was BEGGING to go deeper into it (but I couldn't since the baby was on my back in the backpack and I didn't want to bang her head on the cave ceiling)... It was just a great time.

As we drove home, I asked the kids if they had fun and they both yelled: "YEAH!" Then Cam said: "Thanks for taking me out on the hike!" He said the same thing as I closed the door after putting him to bed. So dang sweet.

When we got home, the kids and I had a leaf fight. We chased each other with leaves and giggled a lot. Jordan kind of chased around with us. It was great.

These are the kind of days I live for as a Mommy.


Official Kindergarten Picture

I paid the extra 15 dollars to get Cam's Kindergarten picture on a CD -- so here it is. His official picture proving that smiles on demand are just a little too much for some 5 year olds.


Another awesome Halloween

Cam had a ton of fun today. He had a really cool school party, followed by a quick visit at Jordan's school party, followed by a quick dinner and a REALLY long trick or treat session in our neighborhood. He was INCREDIBLY patient as I asked him to wait for his sister to walk up to each door with him.

He's a great big brother and a fantastic superhero. Picture will come soon. I promise.


My hands smelled like pumpkin all day

I got to spend the morning with Cameron and his class. We carved pumpkins! Now the first response is -- Good Lord! Kindergarteners with knives? That's nuts! Well, this was a chance for me to learn about ways kids can carve pumpkins WITHOUT knives. It was pretty great. The kids used mallets and cookie cutters. Cameron wouldn't help us get the seeds out of the pumpkin... But he and his friends were all about hitting the pumpkin with a mallet. The end result looks strange, but it was a fun time for all.

I went straight to meetings on campus and smelled VERY pumpkiny.


Ready for Halloween

He's ready folks. Introducing my boy: The Flash! Cam finally got to see his new costume. He's a little loopy when it comes to these cool outfits, so we hide it until he really needs it. We had a neighborhood party today, so he got to enjoy this new superhero look. He already told me he plans to wear it when he gets home from school tomorrow.


Pumpkin fun

We had a great time carving pumpkins a couple of weekends ago... Unfortunately I forgot the rule I had given myself a number of years ago: Carve at the last possible weekend. So now Cam's current alien pumpkin is rotting. I made sure he got a picture with the pumpkin before it totally decays. It was rough explaining to Cam how this pumpkin won't make it to the 31st. Fortunately, we have another weekend to carve more.

I also found out that Cam's class only had one volunteer to help with the class Halloween party next week... So now I'm offering to help. I'm bringing cupcakes and some small pumpkins. I guess we're going to create "centers" so the kids have different games to play so groups of kids can go nuts in smaller groups. I'm also going to bring Jordan so I can visit her class party for a short time and then we can run off to Cam's big day.

Seems complicated for a fake holiday don't you think?


Homecoming excitement

Cam had a ton of fun today thanks to Homecoming. He and his Dad walked with a float to celebrate Cam's after school program. Cam's group was way ahead of Jordan's school, so he and Randy walked with our float a little at the end.

Cam had all kinds of fun handing out candy and seeing some of his old friends from around town.

After a quick lunch and nap, we went to a football game... It was the first for the whole family this season. It was so fun to watch the game and hangout as a family. I think we're seriously considering saving some money on the side to do season family tickets next year (there's a family section). Fun times for all!!! Hooray for Homecoming!


What a guy

How can someone drive me NUTS one second and the very next I just want to hold him tight and never let him go. That's the kind of relationship I have with Cam these days. He is READING up a storm. It's incredible. His teacher keeps sending home new books to read and Cam just roars through it. I love it.

Today the whole family played at Cam's after school program. We got to watch him run around with his friends in the gym and out in the playground. He was having a lot of fun -- but he's not one to dangle along the monkey bars. He did seem to have fun just running around and screaming.


Hiking pro

Cameron continued to show his hiking prowess. We hiked close to 2.5 miles AND then we hiked another mile to visit a really cool cave. Cam barely complained and he actually was interested in exploring inside the cave! I didn't bring a flashlight and I didn't feel very balanced to really go in with Jordan on my back. But it was really great to spend so much time outside with the kids.

After the big hike, we got some ice cream and enjoyed it at a really great park where I saw a bunch of people who have kids at Cam's old school. Cam climbed to the very top of the tallest piece of playground equipment and went down the tunnel slide again and again and again. It was amazing. Of course he screamed REALLY loud every time. Funny stuff.

After dinner, Cam even got a chance to meet up with a pre-school friend at the local indoor kid playground place. We were there for an hour and it was great to see the kids play again. But man, we packed a TON of stuff into the day. Hopefully Cam will sleep really well.



Food. It's an aggravating topic. Cam has made big strides this year in the types of food he'll eat. But lately it's just been a struggle to keep him in his seat and open his mind to at least try ONE BITE.

So this week, I stumbled upon a couple of interesting things. First there's this article from the New York Times. It claims my child's eating problems stem from genetics. From what I know from his father and my brother-in-law, I can blame them. Unfortunately, it doesn't really help us solve the problem of Cameron's bad eating habits.

So my Mom watches Oprah and found a possible solution thanks to Jerry Seinfeld's wife. Yeah. Jerry Seinfeld's wife. She wrote a book called Deceptively Delicious. It's a theory where we should puree veggies and fold it into food without the kids knowing it. Sounds like a possible idea. I'd also like to see if there's a chapter for working moms on where to find time to puree veggies and cook all of our dinners from scratch. Either way, I'll probably give some of her ideas a try. Anything to get healthy stuff into Cam's body.


Reading and Reading

Cameron and I got a chance to go on a field trip together to the local pumpkin patch. Last night we prepared by reading a really great book: The Pumpkin Circle. What shocked the poopy out of me was watching Cam read almost the entire book on his own and we haven't read it since last Fall. It's amazing.

So today we went on our trip. I got to meet a bunch of parents and I was able to start placing names with faces. We picked out tiny pumpkins and I told Cam we'll get a big one tomorrow. In the meanwhile, Cam has decided he wants to be the guest reader in his class by bringing in his Pumpkin Circle book. I'm trying to not put pressure on him to do it after he thought of the idea... For now, the idea is exciting to him and he can't wait to read the book. He's even decided to grab every book he can find to help him "practice." Hopefully we'll have some time to work on reading his pumpkin book. I'm so excited that he's this excited about reading.

Woo hoo!! I'm physically too exhausted to upload the pictures I took at the pumpkin farm. I promise I will this weekend.


Fun and family time

Cameron had a pretty good time while I was out of town last week... But this weekend has been a big family bonanza. His Grandma and Poppy are here and so is his uncle and his girlfriend Beth. To makes things even more exciting, Cam came along to meet up with some folks who went to school with us. Afterwards, we walked over to a new park that has a great playground area AND this really fun water play area. The sprayers pop up when you least expect it. In the end, Cam got totally soaked and it was SO worth it. He has so much fun. We had a great time giggling at him.

Cam is writing up a storm these days. Today he took a piece of paper and started copying sentences from a new Dora book he got. He's reading a ton... He drawing really great pictures. He even wrote a birthday note with a drawing for his Grandma today. It's just great. His ability to draw and write are improving a TON since he started Kindergarten.


Weekend excitement

Cam got a chance to hang out with a friend from pre-school. We met her family at an art festival downtown. It was a lot of fun. There were all kinds of art projects for the kids and we got to eat yummy food. Best of all, the kids really enjoyed hanging out together. Even Jordan seemed to have a bit of fun (even though I kept her in the stroller so I could keep her contained).

I ran around with the iPhone taking great pictures of the kids drawing and painting and eating.

Where are the pictures you ask? Well, I went to sync my phone with my computer and found there was a new update for the phone. So I sync the phone, but it wouldn't connect with my photo program. So I figured I'd deal with it after the updating process.

Except during the update, my phone crashed.

And I lost my cool pictures.

And now I'm sad.

At least the kids had fun. That's more important than pictures. But pictures rock and I'm a bit disappointed.

Oh! Speaking of pictures, Cam had picture day at school last week and we almost didn't get to school on time because we had to fight over Cam's outfit and his hair. He was VERY angry with me as I tried to comb and style it. So who knows what it will look like. We can only hope for the best.



Cam started getting a homework folder sent home for us to finish each week. I have quickly found that any homework Cam works on, he wants me to watch.

"Mom! Watch me write an upper-case 'L!'"

"Now watch a lower case one!"

"Mom! Are you watching?"

"Mom! Aren't you proud of me?"

I'm not sure what is the proper balance: How much should I watch and how much should I require him to do on his own for the sake of my own sanity and his ability to do work on his own? Tricky, tricky, tricky.


Big roller day

I'm out of town but I had to mention that Cameron had a big day today. This morning he got a chance to go to a rollerskating rink for a birthday party. He's NEVER skated before and to be honest, his Dad and I figured it would be a disaster. You know, because Cam is always SO careful about his physical safety. But Randy prepped Cam by letting him know that he'll fall down and get up A LOT and that it will be super fun. Apparently that worked because Cam LOVED it. He loved it so much that he decided that he wants his own pair of skates. I'm so proud of him and I'm so glad he had a ton of fun.

I'm back home tomorrow... I'll get to sneak into Cam's room and give him a kiss while he's sleeping.


Playing a lot in the neighborhood

Cam is getting to know some of the kids in the neighborhood. One of the boys (a 4 year old) who lives up the street -- on the same side -- Keeps knocking on our door to play. So Cam has him over or Cam goes over to his house. Either way, they seem to play pretty well for an hour or so at a time. If it gets much longer, they start a power play over a toy or over who is in charge. I think it's great to see Cam running around pretending to fight the bad guys. Tonight the neighbor's older brother (who is a year and a half older than Cam) came over too. I couldn't really figure out what game they were playing. They were earning points or something and they needed to get stuff from a "garage sale" that was in our basement. Either way, the boys were climbing up the treehouse and down the slide... up and down... up and down. It was funny to watch.

Jordan wanted to play "ide." That's how she says "outside."

SO I think Cam is ready for another week of school. I won't be here for most of the week, but I think he and I need a little time off. I get him worked up, he gets me worked up. We spent a lot of time drawing pictures today. Oh! And Cam read some amazing books to me. He's really comprehending and sounding out words. I love it.


We had a bad day yesterday

But after a lot of talking and a loss of his favorite book for a while... And a good talk with his Tae Kwon Do instructor, I think we're going to work this out.

He's growing and learning.

And he's SUCH a boy.


Growing, learning... Testing

Mister Kindergarten has talents that he's never exposed before at home. Look at this picture! It's his self portrait. It's awesome.

Cam has been REALLY busy since Kindergarten started. He has a whole bunch of friends and he's been pretty darn positive about everything he talks about at school. And I finally got Cam interested in riding his bike! On Sunday, I finally reached him as he started screaming, "I can't! I can't!" That's when I announced to Cam that I won't bike ride with him unless he changes his attitude to "I can." It worked pretty well. Instead of driving to the nearby parking lot, I got him to walk his bike up the hill we live on and then ride it almost all the way to the parking lot. We rode like crazy and I almost got him to ride all the way home on the bike. The best part: He asked to go out biking after dinner. So we did. I hooked the bike trailer to the back of Randy's bike and had Jordan join us for the ride. Cam had very few "I can'ts" and Jordan even wore her helmet the whole time without protest. It was fantastic. I'm SO thrilled to have more excuses to enjoy outside time with the kids. The best part: As Cam and I were riding down our street he looked over to me while he pedaled and said: "I love being outside." It was awesome. Then we talked about our great camping trip. It makes me all warm and fuzzy.

Of course he's still testing me. Food continues to be a big challenge. But that testing is normal stuff... And the crying and craziness is not as crazy as it has been. The funniest stuff is Cam's complaining as we walk towards school. He is a bit more motivated each morning when we walk with our neighbors. That's been an added plus to the morning walks: Grown ups to talk to!!


I blame the iPhone commercials

I have an iPhone. Yes. I'm that kind of nerd. Cameron knows how to use it. I haven't shown him a thing. He knows how to do EVERYTHING.

I had to institute a no-touching policy on the phone.

If only I could convince the baby to keep her hands off the thing. Every time she sees it she yells: "MINE!"


What a guy

Cam has been a really good kid this weekend... Some of the normal issues... But we've had a good time hanging out. Cam has been talking more and more about his new friends and fun games at school. Apparently some of the guys in his class are his "Super hero friends." I guess they play super heros during recess. On the whole, it sounds like he's having fun and recovering pretty well during setbacks in his day.

What's super funny about Mr. Cam these days is how everything is to the extremes. I'll talk to him at one moment and he'll say: "This is the best day ever!" Something goes wrong and instantly it's "the worst day ever!" So dramatic. My boss is pretty sure Cam has a future in theater. Who knows.

Oh! We've started reading "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." I've been waiting to read this to him. I think he's going to really enjoy it. Apparently he had to brag about it to all of his friends at Sunday school today. I didn't realize he was that excited. Aren't books fun?

By the way, we haven't watched a movie over a weekend since we were on vacation and stuck in the car. Any time Cam asks to watch a movie, I take him outside. It feels better... And I have ALL KINDS of bug bites.


He's figured out my computer

Computers are so intuitive for my son that I opened my computer and found this picture and many, many others. He's figured out how to take his pictures and do silly things with the camera using a program called PhotoBooth. He's also quite good at turning on iTunes and playing some music. He's figured out how to start a slideshow and play music with it. It's NUTTY.

So I got an iPhone. I know. How much nerdier can I get? But here's the funny thing. He's totally figured that thing out without ANY training. He's figured out how to turn it on, use the camera and play music. It's crazy. But to add to the crazy stuff. Even Jordan can unlock the phone. Nutty.


During the church service

"Mom, how does a baby come out of your belly"

"Is God a boy or a girl?"

"Where does God live?"

My answers:
"We're in church!"

"God is both."

"God lives in our hearts."

Randy had sinus issues this morning so I took both kids to church. Having Cam in the pew all by myself has never been so exhausting!


He did great!

Here's an email from Cam's teacher:

Cam had a great first day of school! He made several friends and seemed to be happy all day.

Looking forward to tomorrow

Hooray Cam!

My little boy is a big Kindergartener

I just sent my boy of to his first big day of school! He was excited... Until he realized the walk includes some hills that can be a little tiring. I'm really happy that we can walk there... We met up with some neighbors along the way who are coordinating an official "walking school bus." The idea is you get enough grown ups and kids together that it's a safe and coordinated effort to get to school. I like that. We were already committed to walking to school so why not make it a social arrangement!

Cam was with us at work yesterday when one of our students asked him if he was excited about starting school. He said: "Yeah I'm excited. But my mom is REALLY excited." Dang that's funny. He had spent all day yesterday telling me how excited he was about going to school... I'm wondering if he was just humoring me.

By the way -- no tears from Cam... And I didn't cry either. On my walk home I got a bit nostalgic about my little baby boy. I'm proud of how he's growing up. I'm a little overwhelmed with the concept of my involvement in the public school system for the next 16 years. But I'm also excited to work with Cam's new teacher and help him build a good solid base for his education.


Some things work out... others don't

Today was insane. I woke up with the kids and ran right out of the house and trained people for almost seven straight hours. Cam was so good. He kept himself busy, he got really good at printing things out. We were very excited about Can's big day. He got to meet his new teacher in his new school. He also had his cool HSM 2 party.

So we ran out of work, I cooked up dinner super fast and the whole family ran out to the elementary school. We walk up to the school to see the class list. I immediately discover that Cam got the teacher I wanted. We grab material and head to the classroom. It turns out his classroom has AIR CONDITIONING!! That's pretty exciting. The school doesn't have air but I guess a few classrooms do. So not only did we get the teacher I had hoped, we got air conditioning. Wow.

Because I'm a little loopy, I've been keeping in touch with our new school since last Spring. I sent a number of emails that I wanted the new teacher to receive before the school year started. So when we met her tonight she already knew why I think it's really important to get to know Cam and make sure we're all on the same page. I can only hope we're making the right choices to help Cam calm down, relax about his world and enjoy life. Cam's teacher said she planned to call us this weekend and set up time to meet on Monday.

After the big-deal school meeting we ran home for Cam (and my) big High School Musical 2 party. We had a nice little turn out and a lot of fun watching the show. By the end of the movie, Cam was incredibly exhausted. I took him to bed and he crashed.

Suddenly I sit down for the first time and realize we forgot an important day. I feel horrible. Just horrible.


Yeah, it's silly

But we're going to have a High School Musical 2 party this Friday. How silly is that? We're kind of excited anyway. Having friends over (young and old) sounds like fun and a great way to warm up into our big school year.

The trick: Getting the house cleaned up. I have a feeling that's not really going to happen. I'm swamped preparing for another semester.

Plus, Cam is going to work with us this week and that cuts into my productive time. He starts Tae Kwon Do tonight -- he had an introductory session on Monday. He seems interested. Our goal: to help him learn self-calming skills. I hope it helps!

When Cam got back from his grandparents, he announced that he takes showers now. I had NO idea how much faster bed time can be with a shower instead of a bath. I'm almost considering getting Jordan to take showers!! SUPER fast! No one told me that!


On vacation

The boy is with his grandparents this week... And just like last year, the house was strangely quiet. I realize the girl is a lot louder these days, but there's an energy that he gives the house. It was kind of strange.

So now I'm leaving town... Off to speak on a panel at a conference in Washington, D.C. It should be pretty cool. I have a couple of really good friends there AND I get to stay at Uncle Jon's place! How cool is that?

Updates on Cam will resume when we all get back in town on Sunday.

By the way... So far on his trip, he took his first shower (and hopefully he'll be a shower taker from here on) AND he asked for us to kiss his sister when she wakes up in the morning. I think that's pretty darn sweet.


Growing pains

I think I've figured it all out... With the help of a big vacation, it has become clear that a lot of Cam's recent behavior is directly linked to his jealousy of his sister.

He's never been jealous before and I guess I didn't see it coming.

A year and a half down the line seems a bit late, but I guess it had to happen at some point.

Oh, by the way... Cam's old website is down... You know, the one I built with the help of Yahoo when he was a baby. Those were the days when I didn't know how to build web pages on my own and it wasn't easy to have your own server space. Anyway. I'll post the old site up online again someday.


"It tastes like french fries"

We took the kids to one of our favorite sandy beaches in Maine: Reid State Park. Cam's been there a couple of times before. This time was certainly the best. He was SUPER brave and went right into the ocean to enjoy some really great waves for the Atlantic. He smiled and giggled even though his parents were not in the least bit interested to get too wet in that FREEZING cold water. When Cam was telling his grandpa all about it, I caught Cam telling him how the water "tastes like french fries." Wow.

I can say our vacation is finally winding down... It's become quite obvious that Cam is very jealous of the attention his sister is taking away from him. I wish I could really help him. The best I can do is tell him that I understand. I've been there. Living like as the older sibling is HARD! Sharing your parents is HARD! I've also asked him to look for ways to get my attention without total mental breakdowns. We can only hope my advice to him helps!


This is a heck of a vacation

This has been a hell of a vacation. Cameron was a hell of a camper. He was a hell of a hiker: 3.2 miles up a mountain and back on our first day in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. He helped with his sister, he tried not to get aggravated with us too much. He was pretty under control emotionally! But the best part of taking him camping was watching him respect and enjoy nature. It was so awesome to hear him say: "Thanks for taking me here." We saw beautiful lakes, river gorges, waterfalls, animals... It was great. We had some rainy days and Cameron (along with the rest of us) got really good at sleeping in our tent to the sound of rain (which becomes pretty peaceful after you get used to it). Now we're in Maine and Cam is taking his mountain enjoyment of nature to the ocean. He's throwing rocks and skipping stones and climbing all over the place. Today he got brave and ventured into the water to reach a "rock island" in the cove. We're tired and still catching up on sleep from our four day camping adventure. Cam asked to take a nap and go to bed tonight. He's EXHAUSTED. But we're having a really good time. This much family time is just what we all needed.


Could this be love?

We've had a whirlwind trip so far... And the best time so far for Cam was probably when his met his new friend. They had fun. They went to a art event and played in a fun water area. They held hands and walked and talked together. They played and fought (because they are almost IDENTICAL personalities) and they even...


That's right. You read it right. Cam had his first kiss. He was proud of it. I thought it was kind of sweet. Her dad wasn't so amused.

Today was a great day as well. Cam got to go to all-day event for limb different kids and their families. So Cam saw more kids with little arms than EVER. He wasn't phased although it took a while for him to warm up to the event. Then he had to warm up to the pool and using floaties. Then he had to be convinced to get out of the pool. The list goes on... But he had fun and even won a few fun toys. It was a big day.

To wrap up the day, I'm writing about this big trip from our hotel room. Both kids are sleeping. Randy and I are both sitting in the dark tinkering with our computers. I think it's kind of funny.


Booked weekend

Big grins in the stands
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom
There's nothing like a weekend that starts with walking the field at Busch Stadium and ends with going to a Disney/Pixar movie with two of your closest friends.

So Cam got to go to the Cardinals game and walk the field. The seats were crazy high in the stands... We've been so spoiled. This was Cam's third or fourth game this year. It's amazing.

The next day he had a big pool party... He LOVED it, even though he's still a bit skeptical of of actually getting his head under water. He really wanted to stay and swim for the rest of the day. We'll make sure he gets more pool time soon. I'm sure of that.

Today he got to see Ratatouille. We planned to go with Camryn, but they also bumped into their friend Eric... So they all got to sit together. It was the perfect day for Cam. Two of his closest friend, popcorn and a really good movie. What a day.


Zoo fun

Last weekend Mr. Cam went with the rest of us to the zoo... And he had a blast. Honestly I think this was the best trip for him. He isn't afraid of the animals... Except for the penguin room. He still has issues with that cold, dark area.

He had a relatively good week... A couple of ugly fights over food this week. We had a nice fourth of July that included a lot of play time in the sand box and he went to the big fireworks show in town.

Today he's going to the little league night at the Cardinals... He's even getting the chance to walk around the field. Exciting stuff if you ask me.

Have you noticed how the majority of the pictures I take of Cam are of him wearing a red shirt? I think we've gone overboard with the Cardinals this year. What do you think?


Oh my gosh

My poor baby. He was in the pitcher position during his final t-ball game when the final batter hit a line drive right into Cam's... um... private area. I took a picture of the moment right after it hit. The poor kid. I ran onto the field. I had to... Although the dad/coach told me there was nothing I could do to help and he helped Cam walk it off. No fun. And his team was SO concerned. The kids kept asking Cam: "Are you okay?" Apparently Cam is okay. But I think we just lessened the chance he'll be able to have kids 20 to 30 years from now.

On the upside: Uncle Barry and Beth came to see the game. Cam loved seeing them. We all did! We're planning to hang out again this weekend.

So the t-ball season is over. Cam says he'll play again next year and he's still talking about playing in the Little League World Series. We have major attention issues to attend to first... A little coordination work... But he's only 5. If he really wants to work towards that goal, he could make it happen.


A good weekend

Jumping through
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom
We had one of those Saturdays where everything fell into place. Cam woke up in a sour mood, but it didn't last. His grandparents were in town! They brought this plastic ring that fills up with water and sprays out. So we decided to set it up... But not before Cam got to spend pre-school graduation money to buy his first real water guns (I'm trying to be open minded and allowed the purchase) -- Super Soakers -- and a new bubble blower (it doesn't spill!!).

So we started out with the water ring. It was crazy fun. Jordan was a little skeptical, but Cam was all over it. The water gun and bubbles came out and he LOVED it. Then his Poppy arrived with new sand for the sandbox that's built below the treehouse. That's when life got very messy and extra happy.

There are many adventures to be had in that sandy box. The hard part: Sharing with Jordan and Jordan sharing with Cam.


Second base out!

In our second to last t-ball game, Cam made an out! It's pretty exciting. He's proud. Plus some friends from the tv station came to watch... Which was very special! As usual, Cam is a lucky kid.



Negative talk

My husband says this blog has taken a turn for the negative... So I'm going to take some time off here. Hopefully Cam's challenges during this transition time will wear out and I won't feel so worn down.


Crying that doesn't stop

I won't get into the details, but Cam's crying needs to stop and I'm starting to think that I can't help him. I'm too aggravated and I'm afraid that exhaustion and aggravation makes me the wrong person to guide him. I just want it to stop... But we really need to get to the reason.

Here's my theory. After talking to Cam's new teacher, he's upset about anything he does wrong. He's hyper-sensitive to negative input... Nomatter what it is. We have to try and figure out a way for him to feel better about himself, but it's all just so hyper-focused in his world. I wish I could make it easier... But I think my aggravation just makes it harder on him.


Some trouble there

So I called in this afternoon to hear how the day went. I heard that Cam got into a pushing match. The later at home Cam lets out that he was sent to the office. He says some kid hit him really hard and then Cam hit back. I understand, but he needed to tell a teacher. I can't imagine that the playground rules are as simple as they were at the Academy. So we had to really talk to him about getting a teacher involved before Cam tries to take things in his own hands. That's all we can ask for!

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little easier for him!


Pressuring himself

So it's a lot harder to guage how the new school is going. I didn't realize how lucky we were in pre-school to get a little note about my child's day or the quick conversation with the teacher on a daily basis. So I kept asking Cam about his day all evening long. Little pieces of the day came through. But it all came crashing down as we were going to bed.

I asked him what his teacher told him to work on... And Cam just started crying. He started talking about something that didn't make sense. He was really upset. I think I boiled it down to the fact that he couldn't remember what he needed to work on. So I told him the best part about Kindergarten is how you get to work on the same thing a bunch of times. That seemed to calm him. So Randy and I are going to focus on how Kindergarten is fun since he's clearly putting a ton of pressure on himself all by himself. We don't need to encourage stress.

Cam also told me he was shy at school. I tried to understand why. But I just told him that as long as there's one friend who he feels comfortable around, he doesn't have to feel shy. It's the first step towards feeling okay around everyone else. I don't remember feeling shy... So I don't have a ton to offer in that department. Randy says he thinks he can relate and may be able to help him. We'll see. I just want to hold him and tell him that he'll be okay and he'll never have a rough time. Wouldn't that be great?

BTW, I upgraded this blog -- It looks similar, but a bit different. Randy was giving me hell for not creating a new banner for Cam's blog after what I did for Jordan. Mission accomplished.


First Day!

My boy is on his way to becoming a full fledged Kindergartener. Today I took him to school, walked him to his class line and just waited until it was time to move over to his classroom. We talked about Jordan's arm with a bunch of kids and I even got a few moments to chat with his teacher. I was the only crazy parent to just hang out... But I don't see anything wrong with it. I'm just lucky enough to not need to rush off.

There was a wide range of kids in the class. My favorite analysis of the group was watching the difference between the girls and the boys. The girls were congregating and talking about who knows what. The majority of the boys were just sitting there, wiggly and wanting to move. None of them really talked to each other. I got Cam to say hi to a couple of people, but he didn't really strike up a conversation. He knows one other kid at school who is in a different class. They'll get to play out on the playground together. Cameron was really excited about that.

We have a t-ball game tonight... Hopefully we'll have a good report at the end of his day. I know he's going to be exhausted!!


Open House

We took Cam to the open house at his new school this evening. He's pretty excited and doesn't seem to freaked out by it all. The interesting part was when we went into the classroom. We met his new summer teacher and he and I immediately found the circle time carpet. There was a little piece of tape at the top of each color. We found his color (green) and Cam quickly proceeded to find a book and plop down into his spot on the rug to read. I chatted with the teacher and felt like we're going to be okay with her. Another child came in and I was humbled by how fortunate we've been to educate Cam so much. This little boy had a very poor language ability and it was clear he hadn't spent a lot of time in a classroom before. Cam's going to be in a classroom with a wild range of kids... That's how public school works. I knew that, but I'd never actually seen it in action.

Then we went outside to the playground... And all I can say is THANK GOODNESS we went to the playground at Barry's nearby elementary school. We pushed Cam to play on apparatus that he hadn't played on before and that helped him ease up on his nervousness over this new school's playground. He did AMAZING things on parts of the playground. I'm thrilled for him and how he's not going to be as freaked out as he used to be.

"I had a busy day!"

Cam had a busy weekend! He got to spend a bunch of time with Uncle Barry and Beth. They took him to the Shakespeare Festival while Randy and I went to an awards ceremony. He proved his keen ability to negotiate anything... From taking a bite of his sandwich to going to bed. I've figured this out and can put a stop to his negotiation before it really gets rolling.

Cam also got to play with Uncle Barry and just enjoy standard hang out time. They played and played on a nearby playground. I love this picture because you can see Cam's admiration. You can't catch that kind of picture every day.

Cam and his Dad got to see the Cards beat the Angels. Two different home runs from Pujols! Even Scott Spiezio hit a home run. Cam just couldn't stop talking about it. He's really starting to catch on to the game and how it works.

We drove home tonight and Cam mentioned what a busy day he had... We read a book, I sang him a lullaby... And as I walked out, I felt like we're really transitioning into a new lifestyle. Tomorrow Cam goes to work with us and then Camp Kindergarten starts. I will be in charge of getting the boy to school since it starts at 8:30 and Randy has to be at work by 8. That means Jordan's schedule will change too. I'm going to kind of miss the quiet morning time I had with her. But I also look forward to getting the kids a little more time together in the mornings. I'm also starting to wonder if I need to feed Cam more food. He'd eat at home AND have a morning snack at school. That morning snack was a lot like a second breakfast. He won't have that in public school. So that's a new thing to fret about. I'm also trying to think how we'll be able to bring swimming lessons in his world along with whatever other activity he's involved in. I'll miss that ability to send him off to swimming while he's at school!! So many little things. But hopefully there will be all kinds of exciting and good things that will come with his start in public school. The best so far: Much much much much much less expensive!!