My boy, the graduate

It was so dang sweet to watch Cam and his friends graduate from pre- kindergarten today. I spent a small portion of the day preparing -- I bought a little window paint to decorate the van and advertise his graduation. I bought a little sign announcing his graduation. I got him a new outfit... And finally some dressy shoes (since he hasn't had any that fit him for a while). Of course I grabbed a few balloons. All of it was exciting because I knew Cam would love it.

The ceremony was sweet. The kids performed a couple of songs... I brought a camera that will give me a chance to edit it down a bit. But the greatest moment was a slideshow of pictures that included photos of the kids since they were little babies at the school. Cam started there when he was 17 months old. There were so many pictures of him! His head was SO huge! Anyway, the best moment was when the kids got to see a baby picture of each friend and it dissolved to a picture of their friend now. They would squeal to see the "before" and "after." That may be the best part of the video... But you probably had to be there to really enjoy it. Randy caught some pictures of them squealing. It was so sweet to see how excited those kids were.

Thanks to my friends in the J-School's convergence department, I was able to test a new Nikon D-70. It was AMAZING. Now I have to figure out how to own one of my own. It's THAT good. I figure my computer will spend the entire night uploading all of the photos to Flickr. I only do that so friends and family can see and download as they see fit. BTW - The thousands of kid pictures are protected on Flickr just for friends and family. If you want to see graduation, you have to become my Flickr friend.

Now Cameron thinks he's supposed to start his new school IMMEDIATELY. I told him he's going to have to wait another week. Then we'll see how it all goes.


By the way

We put this little video together in honor of Grandma Lee's big birthday today. She's already seen it, but I figure sharing it with the general blog world will just rub in her grand new age.

Love you Mom!

2 weeks left

Cam officially has two weeks left of pre- kindergarten before he moves over to the public school for "Camp Kindergarten." I'm excited for him. But I'm also a little nervous. I wonder how I can help him enjoy the transition. I wonder if he'll be an emotional wreck. I wonder if I worry too much and that will just make it worse!

Anyway. I dropped by and took a few pictures of Cam and his friends. This one has Cam and Erick hamming it up... Noah was in the background being silly as well. This was a really small class. I wonder if that was a hinderance for my boy. But either way, he's reading, writing, spelling and figuring out math on his own... Not to mention he likes speaking in Itallian! I can't complain about his education.

I'm getting a little nostalgic about the almost-three years he's gone to this school. He was a tiny chunk of a kid when he started. He was just starting to talk, loved colors and needed to get better at socializing with other kids. Now he talks a ton, loves learning and gets better at that socializing thing by the day. He's a thousand feet taller (at least it feels that way). He's way skinnier and he finally fits his head. He's goofy and cuddly and he still loves his Mommy.

Cam graduates from Pre-K on Thursday. It's silly. The kids wear purple caps and gowns and get a diploma. I plan to take a ton of pictures because I have to. It's a parental requirement of an event like that. I do plan to do my best not to cry... Not until I drop him off for summer school for the first time. That's when reality sets in.

So that's why we stay home most days

It was a holiday... The kids got to stay home but I had to work a bit in the morning and this evening. Either way, I had the middle of the day to play. Once the kids napped (Cameron kind of half-napped, half-threw a tantrum), we set out to take a bike ride. Cam and Randy had bikes, I pushed Jordan in a stroller. I have yet to set up the baby bike trailer, but that will happen soon.

Anyway. I crave getting out on our local trails more. So I was looking forward to it even though I was a bit cranky from the challenges with Cam and my long day. The start of the bike ride/walk didn't go so well. Cameron was instantly freaked out about falling down, losing control or anything else he could cry and scream about on his bike. I know he's a careful guy, but we really want to push him to trust in himself. Pedaling isn't a death sentence!

About a mile and a half, he calmed down, pedaled hard, whined less and even went down a hill fast enough to get back up the next hill. It was exhausting. I just wish I could come up with ways to skip the screaming and crying and go straight to relaxing and having fun. It's the same thing with food. When he gets past the screaming and belief that the foreign food is horrible, he often likes it. It's a pattern I can't seem to beat.


Play time!

For the first time, Cam and Jordan played together! Cam was so proud of himself. They played baby basketball in the living room. They giggled and made a lot of noise. It was wonderful. Both kids were happy. I got to cook dinner. It was a simple moment that bought our family closer together.

When Jordan was little, it felt like we had to do so many things separately. Cam didn't get left out, but there were separate patterns and habits in each kids' lives. A little moment of playing together helps bring those patterns closer together.

Cam also got a chance to play out on a farm after church today. He had all kinds of fun meeting cows, running around with friends and eating all kinds of food. The only mishap was after he stepped into a cowpie. He wasn't happy with the smelly mess on his shoes. He calmed down after it was cleaned off.


Silly day

Silly family
Originally uploaded by Camera Cam
Cam got to bed late tonight because we let him play with the Photobooth application on our new Macs. I had Photobooth on my old computer but I never seemed to have the energy to pull out my iSight camera. Now our new computers have cameras installed so there's no need to plug something in. I haven't heard Cam giggle with such happiness in a while. It was fantastic.

Anyway, we played outside this morning... Lots of chalk time. Cam was covered in chalk. Big mess. He's starting to discover the demands of a more mobile little sister. She wants everything he has... She yells: "Wa-wa! Wa-wa!" Maybe she's saying "want want." Who knows. But she's really asking is GIVE IT!! Cam has done a really good job giving stuff to the needy baby. We read "Me Too!" tonight. It's a book about a big brother who has a sister who is always saying "Me Too!" Cam decided it was really important to read that story and talk about how his world is just like that. I gave him really big hugs and thanked him for understanding Jordan's "Me Too" moments.


Getting there

My big boy woke up with crazy hair this morning. So crazy that I just grabbed a handful of water and dumped it on his head. It worked!

Cam is not just reading these days... He's spelling! He and I were playing with chalk on Sunday and he just starts spelling. I'm thrilled to watch him soak in language so thoroughly... And without any need for badgering. I pray he keeps this love of learning. Every time he announces something he's learned, I congratulate him. Then we talk about how the more he learns, the stronger his brain gets. He really gets that idea these days.

The temper is still there... The crying is still there... But yesterday we had a cry-free day. It was wonderful. Since Jordan is stepping up her tantrums, I'd really hope that Cam tones his down.

Only one crazy kid at a time please.


To infinity

Cam and I have been talking about infinity a lot. About a month ago I told him about how infinity means a number that never stops. He was really confused, but the more we talked about it, the more he understood.

So now our big thing is to say: "I love you to infinity."

It's very sweet. But now at bedtime he'll say "I love you to infinity." Then I counter with the same. Then he says "I love you to one hundred." And he expects me to say the same... even though infinity is more and he's just downgraded his love of me by infinity. But apparently 100 still has its merits in Cam's world.

BTW - His last t-ball game went WAY better. Not a lot of crying. Barely any. Fortunately one of the other parents made Cam the team "leader." And with that responsibility, Cam took on the job to not cry, cheer on his team and pay attention. It helped him a lot.

Oh... One other number thing. Recently I was working on something in the yard when Cam was begging to go inside for something. I told him to count to one hundred thinking that would take a while.

I was wrong.

He sped through the numbers and hit 100 and expected me to drop everything at that very moment.

I'm trying 200 next time.


Cross your fingers

Tomorrow is another "big day." That's what Cam calls each of his t-ball game days. I'm asking you to cross your fingers because Cam hasn't gone through a game without at least one major emotional breakdown. He thinks he has to catch EVERY ball. He doesn't get this whole team concept. I don't expect him to. But man does he beat himself up.

On Wednesday's game, he either had an emotional breakdown or went the complete opposite way and played with dirt instead.

So just keep your fingers crossed.


Play ball!

Fielding the ball
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
We had a very busy day... Cameron got to play in his first t-ball game. It was opening day in his league. So not only did his team play against the Reds, his team had pictures and a bar-b-que.

He had a huge cheering section while his dad coached: Mommy, Jordan, Grandma, Poppy, Uncle Barry and even Beth! Very exciting. Maybe too exciting for our boy. He wanted to be in the infield... He wanted to be in the outfield. He wanted to catch the ball... He missed the ball... He hit the ball!! He got to run the bases.

There was one kid on the other team that looked 10 years old. He was a hearty player. He was probably six. Dang.

It was great to hang out with other parents with kids close to Cam's age. We're all dealing with similar behavioral stuff. Cam's are a bit more pronounced... I think having his Dad running the team has a bit to do with it.

Who knows.

I do know that the boy books are open and I'm delving into better understanding the basics of boy emotional development. Hopefully that will help. Maybe it won't. I'll try anything at this point.


The big game!

Silly face
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
Tomorrow's the big day! Cameron's first t-ball game is tomorrow. His planned Tuesday game was rained out! What a big deal. It's such a big deal that his Grandma and Poppy, Uncle Barry and Beth are even coming. Very exciting. The little league is also having a big bar-b-que event as well. It should be fun and interesting to see the little league community. It's our first year and this goes on for seven years!

I'm hoping Cam really likes it and wants to stick with it. Randy is really into the coaching experience. I also think it's very cool that we get to meet a whole new batch of people.

Tomorrow is a big day on the photo site I belong to. It's called 24 hours of Flickr. I'm hoping to document the day. I was actually scheduled to speak on a panel tomorrow, but canceled so I could enjoy the big t-ball event. I'll certainly put together a much more enjoyable photo set at the baseball game!


Hmmm. Interesting strategy.

I came home prepared to do battle over dinner. I was ready because I wanted to cook up one of my favorite meals: Sea scallops sauteed with shallots and portobello mushrooms and risotto. I was in the mood to eat a real dinner on a work night... Even if it meant the baby was going to bed late.

I was almost done cooking when my parents called. I was almost fully done cooking when Cam started whining about the food. I immediately told him to stop whining. I wouldn't have another night of whining over food or he could go to bed. Moments later as I was spooning food out, Cam arrives in the kitchen in his pajamas telling me good night. Oh really? Okay. He came down once after that to say good night to Dad when he got home from work. But that was it. He went to bed. Even though I told him he'd have scallops for breakfast. Going to bed won't get him away from eating dinner. But this is an interesting development.


I need to consult the "raising a boy" books

I've mentioned before how Cam has been strangely weepy lately. It's exhausting because I don't know the right way to put a stop to it. But things got out of hand this evening. I went to pick him up from school and he immediately started whining about how he wanted to stay at school and it wasn't fair. Then he wouldn't help clean up. Then he got disrespectful to me and the teacher. I wasn't happy. So he cried and cried as we got into the car and most of the way home. Then he whined that he wanted to listen to music. I just quietly drove home because I didn't want to get mad while I drove. No music. As I pulled into the garage he says: "I didn't get to listen to High School Musical.... d****it!"

He used a bad word. It took him 5 years, one month and one day to use a bad word and I'm so sad.

I stopped the car, turned around and looked at him with my death-ray eyes. He started screaming. All out screaming. He started yelling "I didn't know!" "I didn't know!" I threatened the end of favorite toys if he ever used a word like that again and sent him to his room.

Things didn't get better. Dinner was miserable and he'll be eating his broccoli at breakfast tomorrow morning. He ended up going to bed straight from the whiny dinner table to bed. It was all kicking and screaming and disrespect. I won't have it.

I think I need to pull the books I started reading a couple of years ago and really read them. I feel like we're at a turning point developmentally and in how I react to his outbursts. I don't want to put an end to Cam's emotional displays, I just want them to appear for good reason.