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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nature vs. nurture

We had a horrible night. Once I cleaned everyone up and had them settled back to sleep, my stomach began to churn. By morning, I was the one hugging the toilet bowl.

The kids were up and ready to go this morning though. There was no sign of the belly bug that plagued them last night. And mom's don't get sick days so rather than stay in our cramped, smelly, germ-infested room, I chose nature. I did my best to rally for my family's sake and we went skiing.

I figured there would be nothing better than some cold, crisp mountain air to settle the retched feeling in my stomach. But I was wrong. Bending over to put on my ski boots made me dizzy, skiing with Camryn in between my legs brought on the sweats and practically carrying her up on the tow rope had me exhausted. After a few hours, I realized I really should be on my A game while attempting to teach my three year old how to ski.

So screw nature! Camryn and I went back to the hotel so I could nurture myself back to good health. A nice long nap certainty helped but I'm still on the queasy side. And my family knows I'm not exaggerating my discomfort level because they have left me behind while they go visit two of my favorite Vermonters, Ben & Jerry.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ski Trip??

I'm writing from a dark hotel room with only the glow of my I-pad as light.
The day started out exciting. We jam packed the car and headed to Vermont to ski for a few days. The drive was long because we took our time. We stopped at the Country Store for some penny candy, visited the lake house where I spent my childhood summers, grabbed lunch and finally swam in the hotel pool. We retired to the room for some games before an early bedtime to rest up for a full day of skiing in the morning.

That's when it all went downhill. Dylan hasn't been feeling 100% for a few days now and it showed when he went to the bathroom. But tonight he threw up. Ok, so the little guy is fighting something, I'll get him back to sleep and see how he feels in the morning.

Suddenly, John makes a mad dash to the bathroom and the sounds of him getting sick make it hard for all of us to keep our dinners down. Great, two down. So I quarantine the sick boys to the pull out couch and hope Camryn and I can get some sleep.

What sounded like a cough was easily recognized as throw up from the smell it produced. Camryn now getting sick has covered her clothes and the sheets.

With John down and out, I struggle to clean the mess and try to make room for her on the cleaner of the two beds.

I return to my Kindle ready to jump into action when Camryn summons me. This time we luckily made it to the toilet....followed by John who was forced to use the sink.

The bathtub is full of dirty clothes and sheets, the entire room has that unforgiving stench of vomit and I'm stuck just waiting for the bug's next victim....which is inevitably going to be me.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The character game

Keeping Camryn awake in the car is no small task. Especially around five o'clock, when it's too late for her to nap but too early for her to go to bed. So I have to pull out every trick in the book to engage her. The easiest is the character game. We take turns thinking of a character, a hard one to stump the other passengers while they ask questions to try to guess who it is...you all know how it goes. Well Camryn doesn't exactly play by the rules. She often changes her mind halfway through the questions process. And I'm not convinced she even has anyone in mind so much as she just loves to answer "No" to our questions and tell us our guesses are "not even close." She usually tells us it's someone that doesn't even match any of her answers or someone we guessed at least five times already, but we play along.

But tonight on the way to skating practice, she must have been really tired. Dylan and I had rounded her character down to a girl, who wears green and is in a movie. We exhausted every character from Tinkerbell to Shrek. When those failed, we moved to animals, characters in books and even made up some of our own. Frustrated and a little defeated, we gave up and asked Camryn who she was thinking of. This made her cry. I tried to reason with her and tell her we tried our best but just couldn't figure it out. "So Camryn, tell us who you were?"

In between sobs, she said: "I don't know...I stumped myself!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hair Gel

Now that I have a job, John has to do the morning routine. Let me re-phrase that...John has to drop the kids at school. By the time he usually rolls out of bed, I'm showered and ready for work, the kids are dressed for school and eating breakfast, lunches have been made and are already packed in their backpacks. I'm not patting myself on the back, all moms get it, we just do what needs to be done. But I have to admit, I find it amusing when after I leave, things go awry. I enjoy that he has a taste of chaos that is parenthood. And this morning Camryn indeed threw him a curve ball.

I left my picture perfect children eating their waffles at the breakfast bar, thinking his morning was going to be a breeze. The rest of the story is as told to me by my husband:

After getting Dylan on the bus, he came in to get Camryn's shoes and coat on. When he looked at her he could tell she had done something to her hair. It was slicked back and shiny.

"Camryn, did you find mommy's hair gel?" (Now anyone that knows me, knows I don't own hair gel...I'm lucky if it's washed and blow dried!)

"No daddy, I used my syrup!" He stood in disbelief and then panicked when he saw the clock. There was no time to give her a bath and get her re-dressed in time for school. So he handled it the old fashion way. He dunked her head under the kitchen sink. As he tried to rub the rapidly hardening syrup out of her hair she squirmed with discomfort.

"Daddy, I don't like this kind of shower...stop getting me all wet."

He did the best he could and hurried out the door to school. I was not hiding my amusement when he relayed the story over the phone. It's these moments that he will remember forever and I'm glad they happen to him.

However, I was embarrassed when I picked her up from school and discovered her hair matted to her forehead with a light brown hue. But it didn't inhibit her from having fun in the least, so all was well...but she did have a proper shower shortly after I picked her up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Cards

Every year we scour Family Fun magazine for the cutest Valentine card ideas. And this year's winners are:

The Caped Crusader that says: You're a super valentine.

Dylan drew, traced and cut out all the capes. But after he finished writing about the fifth one he asked: "Mom, why can't we just buy valentines like all my friends?"

Camryn's were a little more work for me...ok all she did was pick the flavor lollipop but aren't they cute!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Party Foul

Dylan was invited to a good friends birthday party to watch Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D. He absolutely wanted to go but had reservations about the movie. He scares easily at movies! The darkness of the theater, extreme volume and anticipation of what is going to happen has his heart beating a mile a minute.
Luckily, the mom is a good friend of mine and I alerted her to the potential disaster on her hands. He was confident the day of and assuring me that even if he was scared he wasn't going to let anyone know. I was worried he would be terrified inside while putting on a front for his friends. So my friend promised to look for signs of his discomfort and I left him at the theater knowing she would call me if I needed to come get him.
Then I proceeded to go to the store and upgrade my phone....not realizing it would be out of service for almost an hour while it updated all the information from my old phone. What kind of mom leaves her number in case her son needs her and then basically shuts her phone off? Panic started to set in while I anxiously watched the green bar slowly fill as the updating progressed on my phone. The absence of any voicemails or texts once the phone finally turned on relieved my stress. I did show up early to pick him up from the party and am happy to report he did great. He asked a lot of questions and even covered his eyes at one point but made it through and was glad to be a part of the party. Dilemma avoided!