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A Good Start

This morning, when my 3-year-old and I woke up we were fortunate enough to have a quiet house. The baby was still asleep so I didn’t hurry getting out of bed. Eventually he decided it was time to go out into the living room to play. I told him I needed a kiss to wake up.

Excited, he said, ‘Just like Sleeping Beauty!’

He climbed up on the bed and gave me a sweet little kiss. I opened my eyes and he grinned, ‘It worked!’

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Up to Snuff

Last night we put on some music and let the boys run around and dance before bed. Our 3-year-old determined where the stage was and together, he and his brother put on quite a show.

After a while he came up to me, very seriously, held his shirt out for inspection and asked, ‘Mommy, I have a pretty dress for dancing?’

‘Yes, it’s a very pretty dress, just right for dancing.’

‘Yes. It is.’

And he continued to rock out to the Beach Boys.

The fact that he wants to get all the details right in his pretending is adorable. If mommy wears a pretty dress when she dances, then damn it… everyone should!

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Flaw

I would really love to reorient myself and train myself to focus on the beauty of life, the happy moments, through meditation. People always talk about their success in achieving a calm, blissful life when they start doing regular pracices of meditation or yoga. Take up a hobby, they say… Let your mind be free of the clamor of the world and just think about the simple task at hand. Teach yourself to crochet or paint, do pottery. Do this little thing just for you.

This is bull.

When the hell would I have time to sit down and hum to myself?

The people who tell you that there’s an easy fix to achieve a blissful life -are not- parents of toddlers. Too bad they didn’t mention that little flaw in the system.

Let me tell you what works for me to focus on the happy moments, the joy in life…

Laugh right out loud when you fart. Or when your kids fart. Or your partner. Just laugh. Cause that is some funny shit!

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Around His Little Finger

My 19-month-old has a new favorite game. Hold mommy’s finger and lead her around the house. Walk three steps. Stop. Walk backwards. Stop. Walk in a circle. Stop. Walk three steps. Stop. Run. Stop.

If only he’d hold my finger when I want him to. Like in stores, parking lots and crowds.

Hey, it’s a start. We might take two hours to walk down to check the mail this way. But it’s a start.

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Bonding

While we were camping we had several kids to keep us entertained. Not only did they keep each other happy but one of them also brought a smile to my face because of a very sweet notion.

She needed to go use the potty and mommy wasn’t very close by. I was, so I offered to take her. She accepted. On our way back to the campsite from the bathrooms she told me that I’m really nice and I should come to her birthday party.

Aww.

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Yeeeeap. That went well.

Well…. I guess I’m not surprised by the outcome, but the events we encountered were not the anticipated hurtles.

Camping for kids means running around, getting dirty, staying up a little later than usual and plenty of people around to get attention from. These things make camping fun for me. I like that my kids can be free and play with the other kids, explore and discover.

What I don’t like is when they constantly injure themselves while they’re doing it.

We had multiple tumbles, scrapes and owies. Fortunately they did not seem to acquire any bug bites. Those were left for mommy. I got no less than 28 bites, some in very inconvenient places. Okay… so we’re camping by a creek and there are bugs. I can deal with that. What I had a much harder time dealing with… a leaking tent.

Every morning we woke up to wet blankets from getting dripped on most of the night. At first I thought it was because I hadn’t tethered the rain fly to be pulled tight. It would touch the mesh of the tent roof and condensate, causing it to drip on us. So I tethered the rain fly.

Nope.

We still got dripped on.

And then it rained overnight.

This is when we found out that the tent itself is not leak-proof. All the seams were seeping water. This meant that the whole rain fly was simply taking the water from the top and funneling it to specific places. This is a surprise considering the tent is less than 4 years old.

We used a little tent heater to dry our things out each day and then survive another night. And then we opted to leave a day early because rain was again in the forecast.

On a positive note, our 18-month-old slept pretty well! He bunked in the trailer with grandma and grandpa, so he was always warm and dry. Well…. until he wandered off and was found standing ankle-deep in the creek.

If I had gotten better sleep I’m sure things would have been a bit better all around. We still had fun, and the boys in particular were thrilled to be outside for four days. But there is always a supreme joy in coming home, taking a shower and sleeping in your own warm bed with a solid roof over your head.

The best thing of all in coming home was that I finally got to sleep at night for more than 30 minutes at a time. Bliss!

And you know what the really crazy thing about all this is? We’ll do it all again next year.

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Here we go again…

Yep, we’re gluttons for punishment. We’re going camping.

It’s an annual event that we’d never miss out on, but with our 18-month-old it’s never a guaranteed success. If you recall our last attempt at camping… It was just in the back yard and he only spent a total of about 2 hours in the tent before he had to be brought inside to sleep.

We’re hoping that the complete change of scenery, plus mulitple nights, will cure him of his aversion to sleeping somewhere other than his crib. That and the presence of grandma and grandpa should help. Should… Dear Lord please let it help!

I’m sure I’ll have plenty of stories to tell when we get back, but in the meantime, I’ll be out of internet range and so silent on the blog front. I look forward to updated you on all of our adventures upon our return! Assuming I’m still cognizant…