Sunday, October 28, 2012

September Highs

So Michigan ended in early September. Then we had Seren's first day:

Then we visited Howell Living History Farm and learned about school in the 1900s.

Then we met up with my mom and Dad and played with costumes at a Make Believe event!

Then we celebrated 66 and 39 years old!

Then Wyeth went to his first day of preschool!

Then we went camping!

The following weekend we went to Sesame to say hello to Fall Sesame.

Zoey is the best!

The following weekend we saw an old friend, Nancy. Nothing better!

And then we had a picnic lunch with old friends as well! Friendships that go back more than 10 years? Sweet.

September was awesome! Full of fun! Full of social events! It was an amazing month!

Sad to see some moments go

I knew raising a boy would be different. I immediately freaked out when they told us we were having a son. I was excited, of course. But how to deal with all of that 'boy stuff'?? Like the gun phase. Or the super hero phase, or of course, the teen boy phase. And we haven't hit any of it yet. But I know we are only about 12 months away from the guns and the capes. If that. I don't have too much problem with it; it is just who some boys (and some girls) are.

But I'll be sad to see this phase go. This phase where Wyeth is still all about his stuffed turtle. Webby. Webby who calls me up to give me hugs at night. Webby who pretends things with Wyeth. He may look like a stuffed turtle to you but this turtle has big dreams. Webby 'feels' for Wyeth. "Webby is scarred of all of that noise. Webby doesn't like the noise." 

Wyeth also is just adorable with compliments he gives me.  Last weekend I took him to his first bday party where he was the guest- not big sister. He was so excited for CAKE! Of course. So I got dressed for the party. He insisted I wear the necklace, the 7.00 one from the thrift store, to the uppity party. No problem! He loved when I put them on. Then he said, "Mom! Where is your party dress?"

Wyeth is into fashion a bit. Last weekend, Sam purchased about 150 worth of used clothing for the kids. We are done! The entire wardrobe is now purchased! Sam noted that he got something a bit special for Seren. He pulled out a velour dress for Seren. And Wyeth's big bottom lip started to push out. And then the quiet tears. I asked him what was wrong and he explained he didn't get a dress. Oh my sweet love. We would look for him at the next sale. He dropped the issue after  a bit more encouragement but to see that lower lip quiver over a dress?

Everything he says is a riot! Well, not everything. But it all comes out in a crazy way. He explained that Blue Baby, his doll is still his baby. " I still sing to him and rock him and give him a bottle. The problem with babies is that they poop."

True dat!

Anyway, perhaps it is still the new school year, or the fact that I"m a romantic to begin with, or the fact that America keeps loosing it babies to violence, but I keep holding out to as much as I can. I already see that age 6 is one of defiance, limit testing and at least in our house, some attitude. Which isn't to say that Wyeth is peachy keen. He can throw a fit like the rest of them! But that little boy innocence? The one that wants only me to put him to bed, who talks all of the time with a stuffed turtle and who gets very scared when there is conflict in stories or shows? That isn't going to hang around. Not at all. So I'm just going to hold on and ride this ride while I can!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wyeth's feelings

Age three is a tricky one. There are tantrums. And lots of anger. And frustration. And there are sweet moments too. Parts of summer were really hard. The last two months have been much better. He seems happier. More even keel. I remember these ups and downs with Seren. Heck, we still have them! But Wyeth feels more strongly about these things. Or at least it seems like it.  And whereas I could say 'no' to Seren, Wyeth is a tough one. No doesn't quite mean no. It means he is ready to bargain. And cry.

Last night we had a knock out fight over dinner and dessert. I was holding my ground. He said to me, "I don't like when you make me mad. I don't like when you say those rude words to me. Your words are making me very very mad."

So he is in touch with his feelings. That much is good, right?

He is also making new friends in school which is a huge thing for us. WHEW! He started off not being comfortable in the classroom and already we have noticed a big change in how he talks about schoool and his friends. That makes me very happy to see.

So with the tantrums and yelling and crying comes the sweet. Tonight, as I tucked him in and he did his usual stalling he said, "Can you come in here and snuggle and tickle me?"

I KNOW my 13 year old son isnt going to be asking me to snuggle him.

So I snuggled right in and tickled him silly.

Camping 2012

Last summer, in 2011, I decided that summer 2012 would be the year that the Angus family dusted off our camping stuff and just do it.

Sam and I fell in love with each other and camping in N. CA. What is not to love? Cool nights. Beautiful surrounds. No humidity. No bugs.  WE camped a fair amount in Wisconsin too. But have a baby and then a second? Suddenly the bed looks SO much better than the ground.

But this summer, we would conquer it! So we did!

Our good friends, Whitney and Nano and their two children were up for it too. Mid September, we headed out to Hickory Run State Park here in PA. It was only about 2 hours North of us. And we had a blast! 

The first day we basically set up camp and then had a great day walking to this really pretty mountain lake. In the shade, it was cool. In the sun, it was hot. So the kids 'waded' in the water. Which turns into being drenched and then essentially swimming in their clothes. Awesome stuff!

The night fell and Sam and I made a horrible meal. It was just gross. The meat wasn't appetizing. The couscous was odd and the zucchini needed spices. Other than that? It was awesome. Our friends pretended to like it. The kids happily munched on warmed up pasta. No microwave in sight- just tin foil over the hot fire. Crazy fun!

We all sat around the campfire drinking wine and trying to stay warm. While the day time found us in shorts and tshirts, by 8 pm, I had pulled out the winter hats! We knew it was going to be cold but holy shoot! It was a low of 42 degrees! Considering the day was in the mid 80s, it felt freezing! We all wore our winter hats! Ugh.

I took the three older kids to the bathroom for 'one last trip'. Seren was so scared of the dark! She was gripping my hand and walking tentatively.  Wyeth said to her, 'It is ok, Seren, we are just looking for nocturnal animals.'

HA! Nocturnal animals!

Seren's reaction was equally funny, "That's the problem Wyeth. I don't want to see any nocturnal animals! I don't want to see them!"

We don't have a tent that is big enough for all four of us. So we split our family up. Wyeth chose me and Seren chose Dad. (not unusual). We each tucked in our assigned respective kid. Wyeth, at home, sleeps with this 'glowing turtle' which projects the stars and constellations on the ceiling. It is part of his nightly routine. So despite the fact that we were actually sleeping under the REAL stars, he brought out his turtle, turned it on and promptly fell asleep under the 'stars' that were projected into the walls of the tent. So funny.

The parents stayed up talking and freezing by the campfire. We all turned in early and passed out. Wyeth continued to wake up time and time again due to the cold. I would silently shove him back down into his sleeping bag. At 4 am he leans into me and says, "Mommy? Poop."

Sure enough. Whew.  So then I start the process of getting my ass up and out of the sleeping bag. Of course our tent didn't have any wipes. So I find the closest flashlight I could find. Which was Wyeth's. The one that didn't "really" work. Because the odds are kinda slim that the 3 year old would be walking in the dark alone. But now that I was the one walking outside the tent in the dark, I kinda wished I had a flashlight that actually functioned.

I make it to the car with my crappy flashlight. I then root around in the car looking for the wipes. I'm freezing. I'm in my PJs! I find the wipes. Close the car. Walk back to the tent. Take off my shoes. Unzip the tent. Get in the tent. I turn the flashlight towards Wyeth to change his pullup.

He is dead asleep.

Now other parents, worried about the safety of their 3 year old son's soft and delicate skin may have woken up the child to change his diaper.

Me? I zipped myself up into the bag and closed my nostrils shut.

At 7 am Wyeth and I finally woke up. Or, woke up for the last time. Seren stood outside our tent in her Daddy's long sweatshirt, her winter hat, her jeans over her pjs and said, "Momma! It is COLD."

It certainly was.

But we had a blast!  My three take aways from our less than 24 hour trip.
1)I totally underestimated how much time and effort it takes to do all of the cooking, prep and clean up. I thought the kids would have more to 'do' but with 4 adults holding tent poles and trying to cook, that left 4 kids a bit understimulated.

2) When it is 6:15 or 7 in the morning and it is only 42 degrees, it would be good to have something for them to do. And it is good to brew the coffee/tea first.

3) Next time we are going to go for longer than one night. All of that packing isn't worth it for just one night!

But we were so grateful our friends decided to brave it with us. We really had a great time. And the kids loved it! Beach, tents, campfires, smores and playmates. What isn't to like?