Friday, July 31, 2009

He's baaaaack!

See this cutie-patootie? He's my first born. He game me the name "Mom." He is my guinea pig. I love him to pieces.

And he's back.

He decided to leave me for 4 1/2 days so he could go to Cub World camp. What could he do there at camp that could possibly be better than what we do here? What's the big deal with archery, BB guns, swimming, Native American village, Fort Friendship and Webelo Woods?

This was the first time any of my children had left me for more than 36 hours. I had practiced crying a week or two before he left, and felt pretty sure that I could hold it in -- until we got in the car to come home without him. In fact (she said, patting herself on the back.) I didn't cry at all when we dropped him off, nor did I cry when we left the camp with one less monster in the back of the van.

And, in fact, Monday didn't feel weird without him. Monday night didn't either. Tuesday was OK, too. But after that, I started to *really* miss him. He's probably my cuddliest kid, and I missed that. I missed hearing his voice and hearing him say, "Hey, Mom, did you know that...." So, Wednesday was *really* hard -- I think that's when I started counting down the hours until Thursday at 5pm.

Picking him up, I was a little nervous as to his reaction to us. Did he miss us enough? Did he have so much fun he wouldn't want to come home? Even Luke and Levi were very excited to see him. We approached his den's tents to find him............

...not there. Just his pack of dirty duds. Thanks.

We grabbed his gear, walked back towards the dining hall, and eventually saw his den....but not him. Even more saddness.

Finally, one of the little boys saw him running into the administrator's office. I started walking over to him, and just a few seconds later he cam out of the office and gave me a big stinkin' hug.

He missed me! He missed us! Yea!

We ate dinner together, he showed us around the facilities, and told us about all the fun he'd had, all the rain they'd endured, and shared with us a bunch of silly songs and jokes he'd learned. His smile was huge. He was very dirty; some say he stank. But I didn't mind. My boy is back.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Acadia National Park

Our first vacation this summer -- over the 4th of July holiday -- took place in Acadia NP. We've been unseasonably wet and cold this summer, but God answered prayer and held the rain for the evening hours.

We were packed to the top with gear. Fortunately, an LL Bean outlet was on our way, so we stopped and picked up a soft-sided Thule car top carrier. This made a huge difference in the comfort level of the van!

We arrived at the campground *really* late, and it had started to drizzle, so we quickly started setting up the tent. Luke and Levi were the Stake Men.

This is our second trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain on our 1st day at Acadia. The first trip was overcast. After a ranger guided hike, the sun came out, so we had our fist view of Desert Island (pronounced "dessert").

Acadia is unique in that it was acquired piece-by-piece by regular (OK, rich industrialists) people who saw the beauty and uniqueness of this part of Maine. It was then turned over the the US government as a gift for future generations. Thank you; it is georgous.

This is called Bubble Rock. It is a natural rock perched on the edge of a precipice. You cannot tell from my smile, but it took a bit of convincing to get me to where you see me in the picture. The older I get, the more I cannot stand heights (not that I liked them a whole lot 20 years ago!).

Here we are on July4th, waiting for the fireworks in Bar Harbor. It was a wonderful evening and we had fun picking out our favorite explosions.

We've been camping annually since Luke was in utero, and I can tell the difference between camping with a baby and camping with The Boys. No diapers, Pack-n-Plays, strollers, etc. While these trips have always been fun, it is getting enjoyable now that we are over the baby/toddler hump. I am looking forward to more trips to new destinations that we can explore together.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Peanuts & Cracker Jack

Tonight, all five of us enjoyed a few hours at the legendary Fenway Park (sorry for the stock photo; I forgot my camera). The Cape Cod League All-Stars played tonight, and for $10 a person, we just couldn't pass up such a budget-friendly night.

The drizzly night saw only the requisite four and half innings, but we filled our bellies with Kayem Fenway Franks, Cracker Jack, soda and Sour Patch Kids. The kids helped pass the wave around the stadium, watched for home runs and pop-ups, and enjoyed people watching.

It doesn't get much better than this.