Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Button, button, who's got the button?

(ten points if you know the movie the title comes from!)Lately, Cameron has become obsessed with money. We give him $2 a week for doing some basic chores, and he is constantly counting it and asking how he can earn more. Thanks Grandma and Jeff for helping this obsession grow while we were away. My mom actually told me that she found Cameron up in his bed with a fist full of money, sound asleep and smiling. Greedy little guy! Anyway, I'm not sure this new love is very healthy, so we came up with a new system and the beginning of summer was the perfect time to implement it. The two boys can earn buttons for doing tasks around the house, or schoolwork. For example, Cameron can earn two buttons for reading me a book, and Gavin can earn two for helping to set the table, etc. Then, they can turn the buttons in for special things, like 30 minutes of screen time (computer, TV, or video game), or a sweet treat, or a special activity like a craft or baking with mom. We are only on day two, but I am pleased with the short term results so far. Maybe this will help me keep my sanity with three little boys at home all the time in the coming months!

Friday, June 19, 2009


On Saturday, Jeremy and I celebrated out 10 year anniversary (not really until August) by going on a cruise to Bermuda! Neither one of us has ever been on a cruise so it was a new adventure for both of us. My mom and Jeff were AMAZING and took off work to watch all three crazy boys- even after the puking incident with Gavin the day before. We left early in the morning to make the trip to the port in Norfolk, and got on the boat just in time for the rain. It rained the rest of the day and most of the next, but there was planty to do on the Grandeur of the Seas. I am more of a lay back and relax kind of person on vacation and Jeremy wanted to do everything, so as any good couple should do, we compromised and did a little of both. The ship had really fantastic shows- comedians, a magician, this gaucho show, and surprisingly great singers and dancers. We watched karaoke, participated in some trivia games, and hung out in the pools and hot tubs. The food was always there, and neither one of us even had the chance to feel hungry the entire trip. The workers on the boat were super friendly, and Jeremy was very outgoing and had made friends with half of the people on the boat by the end of the trip. Seriously, everybody gets along with Jeremy.

After a day and a half on the water we made it to beautiful Bermuda. The water is really turquoise people! It was so gorgeous! That first morning Jeremy and I did something called snuba- kind of a mix between snorkeling and scuba, you dive about 15 feet below the surface with a respirator that is hooked to a tank that floats on the water. I had a hard time adjusting to the breathing part and I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but after I relaxed it wasn't too hard and we saw hundreds of beautiful, colorful fish, coral, and anemones. After that we got to go kayaking and then headed off on a bus to see more beaches. We went to Horseshoe Beach, the most popular and since the day we were there it was a holiday, it was kind of crowded, but still breathtaking. The sand did have pink in it and we saw people diving off of the rocks into the ocean. After that, we did some shopping near the pier and then headed to the boat for the night. The next day we only had part of the day to be in Bermuda, so we went to the city of Hamilton on one of the famous pink buses. We got up close and personal with the natives and for an hour we drove during rush hour to the little town. We did some window shopping and then caught the ferry back which took about 1/4 the time. We spent the rest of our rime in Bermuda at a small beach near the boat and tried to catch some sun even though it was pretty cloudy. That afternoon we set sail for home.

What an amazing vacation. It was so great to not have to plan anything, we could pick and choose what we would do each day and it was all included. We gained some weight with all of the food available and met some great people. It was my kind of vacation. We definitely want to do it again, but 5 nights was just enough. We were ready to get back home to the kids and our regular life. It was the perfect anniversary get away. Love you Jeremy!

Cameron Graduates from Kindergarten!

Last Friday Cameron had a picnic and party at school in anticipation of his kindergarten graduation. It was a big luau and the kids put on a performance, made some crafts, and ate lots of food. Jeremy was able to come to the show, but had to leave to get back to work since we were going on vacation the next day. Mason was great, but Gavin wasn't feeling too well. The other two boys had been sick earlier in the week with a high fever and a sore throat and it seemed Gavin was getting it as well. I had to stay to help out with the grass skirts the kids were making, and Gavin was getting worse by the minute. He had a juice box and right afterwards started crying that his belly hurt. I asked him if he felt like he had to throw up and just as I did, he puked all over. It was terrible and had gotten all over the classroom reading carpet. Gavin has never thrown up before so he was frightened by what had happened. Needless to say, we did not stick around for the rest of the party, I scooped up the younger two and we headed home so I didn't even get any good pictures of Cameron. Thankfully, Angie got a good one. We are so excited for summer vacation and it will be so nice to have Cameron home.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cream of the Crop

I just added some links in the right hand column of my favorite blogs that I check pretty much daily. Just try them once and you too will be addicted. I am in awe at the talent of these people.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wet tent

I love going camping. It brings back fond memories of my childhood when we world head up to Skyline Drive and stay at one of their campgrounds. Plenty of hiking, wildlife and s'mores- good times. Jeremy does not share this sentiment. He tells me that years of camping at KOA's as a child to save money has ruined the whole experience for him, so he never wants to go. We've only gone once with the boys, but it was to a local campground that was far from authentic, so since the weekend held no big plans, I presented the camping option. Earlier this week they were calling for rain this weekend, but Friday night when we checked the forecast, it showed nothing but sunny skies- perfect! After much arm twisting I finally convinced Jeremy that we might actually have a little fun and he gave in. So Saturday we packed up our tent and sleeping bags and headed out into the wilderness. We did not let the sibling squabbles in the back seat dampen our moods and once we got to our campsite, we put up the tent, which was surprisingly easier than the last time, and went on a little hike just around the campground. We saw several deer, one right beyond our tent and even saw a black bear from the safety of our car. We cooked up a healthy meal of hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and baked beans and watched a movie in the back of the car. When it was finally dark we curled up in our sleeping bags and passed out. That's when the fun began.

At 2:30 Jeremy and I were awakened by thunder. Then came the rain, harder and harder. The lightning flashed so bright in one instance and the sound of thunder so loud and immediate that I was certain a tree was bound for our tent. I prayed that the rain would stop and soon it did. I had almost fallen asleep again when the second round of storms hit, just as hard and strong. This is when I started to feel the drops on my head. I pulled my arm out and felt that my sleeping bag was covered in dampness. Our tent was leaking! Who the heck makes a tent that is not waterproof? I remembered that I had put two picnic blankets in the tent and used one to cover up Mason's pack and play and one to cover up my head, and I just hoped that the boys on the other side of the tent were dry. It rained the rest of the night and I contemplated numerous times how much rain it would take for me to wake up Jeremy and tell him we just had to get out of there. Amazingly enough, the kids did not wake up, even with that loud bang of thunder. Mason did get up early, but early enough that I just put him in my sleeping bag and he fell back asleep. I cannot say the same for myself. I didn't fall back asleep all night. I worried about the kids and about what we had left out all night, like the firewood we had purchased for our breakfast. At about 5:30 Cameron woke up freezing because his shirt was completely soaked. Somehow I managed to get him his sweatshirt and get him back in bed and asleep but soon Gavin was awake and needing to go potty. Our wood was useless and my spirit dampened by the turn of events. Why did we come camping? Jeremy was right all along. We were dirty, we were wet, we were cold and we had no food because we had no fire. My clothes were the only ones that were in a puddle in the corner. I wanted to go home, I was exhausted. But Jeremy didn't let me give up. We snacked on some pop tarts and when the store nearby opened we bought some more wood and made our pancakes. The sun came out and started to dry things off and warm us up. We went on some walks, played some games and then packed up our stuff so we could go hiking. The boys were troopers and hiked two miles to a pretty waterfall. We drove along Skyline drive and were in awe of all of the green that the recent rain had made possible. It was breathtaking. At 4 we met up with 7 other families from church that had planned to come up for a picnic in the woods. It was great fun and the kids just ran wild. Cameron and I even got a glimpse of a baby deer that had just been born and his mother. We ate great food and enjoyed great company. I was glad we stayed, but man oh man it will be a long time before I get that camping itch again. Like a really long time.