Sniff. Sniff. Its quiet here

Our house is quiet. The kids aren't fighting. Cam isn't running around wanting to watch a show/play Wii/play outside/complain about his sister/wanting my undivided attention/complaining about my food/giving me hugs at many random and sweet moments.

On Sunday he went off to stay the week with his grandparents. I know he's having a great time. I talked to him and heard that he's skinned his knee, elbow and ankle from riding his bike and falling off. I think it's amazing how he's learning about his limitations on a bike and continues to get back up and ride again. I'm very proud of him.

We're going to meet up with him for the weekend, so he really won't be away from us for a long time... but it's long enough for our house to feel very strange and lonely. Even Jordan is feeling it. Tonight she looked at me and said: "Where Cameron at?" I reminded her that he was with her grandparents. She responded: "OH YEAH!!"


Vacation memory: Skipping rocks

Cam has seen us skipping rocks for years. It's something we like to do when we visit Maine. For most of Cam's life, he's enjoyed throwing rocks into the water. It's a great pastime. But this year, he wanted to master the skill of skipping rocks. His first attempts were while we were camping. His uncle offered Cam some tips on skipping rocks. But I promised him, his Grandpa would really show him how.

I was right.

Cam and my dad went down to the water and the lesson started. My dad is good. He's really good. What made it even cooler was watching Cam's reaction. His jaw dropped as my dad skipped a rock 15 times or more across the harbor. It was really cool. Then the lesson started. It didn't take long for Cameron to pick up the skipping skills. He went from a kid who could double skip to a kids who could skip 8 to 10 times! It was pretty amazing.


All good things must come to an end

We're packed up and getting ready to leave Maine in the morning. I'm bummed that we're leaving, but I know we're all looking forward to getting back to our lives. Cameron had a really fantastic trip. He got to know his new friend Charlie... They had a blast and Cam really got to play hard with a friend without a lot of the drama that seems to happen with a couple of kids in our neighborhood. It was pure boy stuff. Cam and Charlie climbed and explored and rode their bikes and played soccer and MAN is Cam bruised up. He has scratches and cuts from his head to his feet. Some of those injuries included crying, but a bunch of them didn't. It was pure boy fun. They even created a spy club... Something Cam's been dying to do with a friend.

What made it even better was the fact that since we're on a really quiet street and on a really small island, we were able to just let the boys run around between the two houses. They could ride their bikes, run outside and have fun. It was very cool. The only bummer: Cam had to write Charlie a goodbye note since they weren't home on our last day in town. We left my email and Cam's email so hopefully that will help them stay in touch. We're going to be in Maine later next year, so it may be less likely they will get to hang out next year. I'll hope for the best!

By the way, the top picture is Cameron at L.L. Bean's newest extension to their main building in Freeport, ME. It's a cool dome inside a trout aquarium. Super cool. Both kids really thought it was exciting. Okay. I thought it was pretty exciting too. I'll admit, I went inside it too.

Cam and I also explored the Giant Stairs after biking along the island together. It was a bit scary for a mom: there are no sidewalks so we had to ride against the island traffic. That's a little scary, but Cameron did pretty well. He did skin his knee at one point when he slide from the side of the road into some sand, but he ended up surviving that experience. In the end, he got a new bandaid and a really HUGE popsicle, so I think he didn't mind. After that experience, we rode over to the Giant Stairs: HUGE boulders at the edge of the ocean that look like they are steps. Very cool. Cam got pretty brave and started climbing around. We ended up going the next day with both kids and with my friend Eryn and her boyfriend (who is my new friend) Rick. There are just so many beautiful things to see.

On our final day, the waves were rocking outside our view from the house. The water near the rocks at the edge of the harbor were crashing. It's rarely that active when we visit so it was a great show. I pointed it out to Cameron and mentioned how we wouldn't need TV ever if we could watch that view all the time. He watched for a while and told me: "It's even better than super heroes!" I thought that was pretty cool.


Some very big news

As of yesterday, Cameron can officially....

(drum roll please)


Check it out:

We took Cam and Jordan out along a bike path in Brunswick, Maine this afternoon. All of this exciting bike bravery came about because of our next door neighbor Charlie. He's five and started really riding his bike a week or two ago on the road behind our coastal houses here in Maine. With Charlie riding on a bike nearby and a push of Cameron's bike by Dad to get it all started, Cameron was rolling. In less than 24 hours, Cameron was getting the bike moving on his own. During our bike trip this afternoon, Cam even steered the bike around without stopping. It's been an amazing transformation.

HOORAY! I can't wait to get out on the bike trails at home with my boy!


Enjoying the heck out of our vacation

Cameron is living it up on vacation... Of course we've had our periodic emotional outbreak. But on the whole, he's had some amazing experiences. I think I'll work our way backwards for all of the excitement.

After driving to New England for two days, we spent five days in New Hampshire camping in Crawford Notch in the White Mountains. Now we're on the coast of Maine. It's our third day here and we decided to take advantage of a sunny, warm day to visit a beach. It is so fun to watch Cameron get excited about water and running around in the waves. His sister is still wary but Cam had a BLAST. Not only did he spend a ton of time in the 53 degree water, he also spent a lot of time rolling around in the sand. It was SO messy but that's why God made showers. I let it slide. And Cameron did slide and climb and roll and dig and giggle in the sand. It was great. I still haven't been able to convince him to eat seafood, but we finally have a beach loving kid!

Before the beach, Cam was happy to climb around the rocks on the cove. He's so certain and confident, it's hard to tell him no when he wants to go down on his own. I'm not ready to let him go on his own. Maybe next year once his swimming skills are better. His climbing is great - I watched him do things on the rocks while wearing Crocs that should have never taken place. He somehow found a way to grip onto the rocks with those plastic shoes. I should have known better than to let him go down to the rocks with those shoes on! But he did great and he had all kinds of fun. He's also learning how to skip rocks! I can't wait for his first rock skipping time with his Grandpa. My dad is very good - he has decades of rock skipping practice.

Cam got some great rock skipping tips from his uncle while we were camping. Uncle Barry hung out with us for three out of the five days we were camping in Crawford Notch. We had a wonderful campsite that was right next to the Saco River. We had all kinds of fun throwing (and skipping) rocks. Cam, Barry, Randy and Jordan even floated down the river a number of times. Cameron got so good at it, he started floating on his own! That was so fun to watch. Our floats were so big, Cam had a hard time steering! There were so many amazing highlights of the trip. Cam got to bike with me on the Franconia Notch bike trail, swim near The Basin in Franconia Notch, visit The Flume, ride the tram up to Cannon Mountain and hike the Ridge Trail, ride the 8 mile auto road up to the peak of Mt. Washington, hike up a mountain to see the largest waterfall in New Hampshire and even got to cook hot dogs over the campfire! So many cool experiences. I really think he likes camping and I love that.

We have a bunch more days here in Maine and we're sure to have some more fun experiences. I'll try to take some time out to post a few more stories here.