My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

June 29, 2004

Yes, that was quite a ride. Two weekends ago we gathered up our courage and took the boys camping, all three of them. (3.5, 2.5 and 1 yrs old) It was a whirl wind trip. We went up Friday aternoon and back Saturday morning. It was at a close by campground up one of the nearby canyons, only about 20 minutes from home. But, this was our first attempt or trial run, we weren't about to go too far from our comfort zone. We set up camp and the fun began. We realized we had forgotten the baby stroller and decided we better get it. Cameron took Isaac back with him and I stayed at the campground with the other two. See, it proved wise to be close to home. I sat in my chair and looked up toward the sky. The sunlight was filtering through the rustling leaves of the tops of the tall narrow aspens stretching for the heavens. I took a deep breathe and took it all in. A quiet moment. Then I was pulled away to go explore a nearby dried riverbed. Which was just as pleasurable.

The older two boys had a blast with the bugs. In fact they collected a colony of snails and adopted them. Later that afternoon upon returning from exploring my oldest son was quite upset to find that they were broken! Some how some one (most likely several some ones) had stepped on them. Edison (2.5) insisted they needed batteries while Everest (3.5) was very saddened that his new camping companions were disassembled and was distressed that now he had to go and find new ones even though he really liked his old snails.

Once Isaac (1yr) figured out there was a road leading up to our campsite he was all there and only there. He had plenty of romping room to explore around the campsite but only wanted to play on the little paved road. So finally we caved in and took them for a 'hike' on the paved road. No animals to be seen, just snails. Although Cameron promises he saw deer and squirels. Apparently they saw us before we saw them.

Dinner proved that it's better to be over prepared. As I was preparing the hamburger before the trip. I thought three will be plenty. They boys will split one. Well maybe I should bring an extra one, Isaac can eat an entire hamburger by himself. Well there's only a little meat left, might as well just bring the rest. By the end of it all we had six total and only two survived the fire. It all worked out, the boys were more content to eat pickles and cheetos.

As night began to fall upon us a few other campers pulled in and set up camp around us. At first it made me nervous then I was releaved as they pulled out baby strollers and toddlers too. Now I won't feel so bad if our children stay up all night. Which brings us to the real ride of the trip. It was past Isaac's bed time so we just laid him down in the tent and zipped it up real fast. He can never go to sleep if we rock him, he likes to be left in his bed. So it was the closest thing we could do for him. The rest of us sat around the fire and listened to him struggle on and off. Surprisingly it didn't take that much for him to settle down and go to sleep. Meanwile Everest was poking the fire with his large walking stick and wondering why we were afraid he was going to start a fire as he waved his smoldering red hot tipped stick around.

Well it was that time, we all brushed our teeth camping style and got ready for bed. Just as we got in our sleeping bags Everest informs me has to go to the bathroom. So we tromp off in the dark to the latrene. EEEEEuuuuuueeeeee it STINKS! was his reply. It took some convencing and I had to demonstrate how to cover your nose go pee and run like the wind. He decided to give it a try and back to the tent we went.

Finally after many stories and running around the tent with sheer excitement we were all fast asleep. Well most of us that is. I was pretty sure I was on a slant and that my feet were hirer than my head. Sure enough I had to keep scooting my sleeping bag back down. Soon Isaac was awake in the middle of the night and realizing he wasn't on his turf couldn't go back to sleep. It took some time and adjusting. We tried changing his location and rubbing his back, and talking to him. Finally after flopping around and fussing for quite awile he settle down between Cameron and I and was back to sleep after he groaned and moaned. Thank goodness. However, a short while later I was awakened by a rock beneath me and found that Isaac had managed to take over the entire sleeping pad and I know was wedged literally between a rock and a hard spot. "Is it morning yet? Are we there yet?" were my only thoughts. Not to mention my mothering instincts kept me awake as I was worried about the boys being warm enough. I had to keep checking on them and covering them up. Some how by some miracle I managed to get some sleep only to be awakened yet again by Isaac sitting inbetween us all waving his arms up in the air as if on a roller coaster chanting WWWHheeeee! WWWWhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeee! whhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!. However, this time there was light outside the tent. Yes, that was quite a ride, Isaac, quite a ride.

June 16, 2004

Puddles at the Park
My sister-in-law and her little boy dropped by for a visit. We decided to take all the boys to the park down the street to break up the daily routines a little bit. So we loaded up the strollers with yes, bikes and scooters and other toys and then they wondered where they were going to sit? hhhmmm. When we finally did make it to the park I realized the sprinklers must have been broken, because they were on last night and on again this morning. Sure enough we were up to our ankles in water before even reaching the playground. The boys were in heaven. Before I could say 'Everest, please (too late) don't get your shoes wet. He was already running and stomping in the massive puddles. However he did very thoughtfully take his shirt off and hand it too me, asking me to keep it dry.

At any rate Karissa and I just sat down on a bench and let the boys be boys. They are just at that age where it's really begining to bring back memories. I love it, I love viewing life through a child's eyes and I love remembering what it was like to be a kid. Isaac (who just turned a year old last week) was right out there in the middle of them splashing and kicking and laughing. He didn't miss a beat. They ran and slid and jumped and stomped. Edison and Everest even played a little game of soccer in the marsh like bogs. I actually had a hard time restraining myself and now that I think of it don't know why I didn't just go jump and stomp and slide with them. I didn't want to break up the fun, but knew they would be getting sun burned with there bare little backs and tummies running around.

So, despite the loss of enormous amounts of water during yet another drout season the boys made sure the water was put to good use. And I did call the city about the broken sprinklers. It was fun while it lasted.

Somewhere in the Big Book of Rules to Live By I'm sure it says NEVER place bottles, sippy cups or the like in your purse. Truthfully I have not had a purse for years, at least four or so. I've just used the diaper bag, it is like a limb to me. it goes where ever I go. Obviously I have other things to worry about than fashion statements. More like I just don't want one more thing to keep track of or hang on to. However a few weeks ago I tried purchasing something and the casheir insisted I take advantage of the "buy one get one free" sale. I had what I wanted I just wanted to go. Yet, I saw the purses next to the check out and asked if it included them. Yes, well then I guess I'll take that one. So it's come in handy on those rare occasions when I do make it out on my own. I'm not juggling a wallet, a cell phone, keys.... Until one afternoon when I thought I could just slip the bottle into my purse run in the store with my kids and not have to lug a diaper bag in behind me. Think again. When we got home and I unloaded everything my purse was leaking. LEAKING! I must have missed that page in the Big Book of Rules to Live By. I ruined the check book and the purse but managed to save the pictures that were ready to be mailed to my parents. The purse stunk so bad it smelled like something died in it. I don't know why I thought airing it out would save it. So, now I know from experience Never, NEVER put bottles, sippy cups or the like in your purse.

Yesterday a rather humorous memory came to mind. One that will prove to bring a hardy laugh for years to come. We were at a local department store looking for shoes for our three year old. He really really wanted the soccer cleats and why not. I mean who wouldn't after watching their superstar daddy play soccer every Saturday. I can often find the boys trying on his soccer shoes, socks and shin gaurds. However, cleats were just not on the practical side for this shopping trip. We were stressed and tired and wanted to go home. So in order to distract him from the super cool cleats my husband grabbed a whoopi cushion that was conviently misplaced. This seemed to do the trick and Everest and Edison had their very first whoopi cushion experience. By the time we arrived at the cash register we had aquired another one and now both of them were having the time of their life. In fact they had invented the whoopi game. Object being to see how many different ways of using the whoopi cushion were possible. While one placed the cushion on the floor and banged his head against it, the other tried resting it on one of the display cases while using his shoulder to 'whoopi' away. Then there was the foot stompin' hoe down and let's butt heads with the whoopi cushion in between session. And so it went using every part of their body and every available surface to see how many different ways they could make the famous fffllllltttttthhhhhhhhhpppppppppp...... I've never seen or heard so many variations of the whoopi cushion. It took talent I say. We were watching art in it's rarest form, almost music to my ears.

Amongst their nonstop laughing Cameron and I were caught up in the moment and we had tears running down our cheeks along with our own boisterous laughter. Not to mention I've never witnessed a crowd of complete strangers engage in so much unified amusement. Everyone at the check out registers including the cashiers and even passer byers were stopped dead in their tracks laughing and smiling. Seriously time had stopped and no one was moving. Every one had forgotten the task at hand. It literally brought out the inner child in everyone. Eventually every one sighed a big sigh and smiled as we parted ways almost saddened that the fun had to end. I think it's safe to say we were all 'edified' that night, we went home in better spirits, no one had that 'mindless end of the day I have to be at the store for what? stare' any more. We had been reminded of things forgotten, simple but valuable things. It's often the child who is the teacher rather than the parent or adult. Needless to say it was theraputic and just plain good to slow down and enjoy the moment with each other (and a few others).
Oh, and yes we did purchase the whoopi cushions.

June 05, 2004

On My Own Again
Ok, so I'm on my own most of the day most of the time. However, whenever Cameron is gone in the evenings it's hard. By that time I'm worn out from the day's activities and the boys are just getting their second wind or is it their third, forth, no maybe it's their fifth... and they need daddy to wrestle with. Since becoming the president of the Young Men's organization of our church he's gone quite a bit more. Weekly meetings, scouting campouts, youth conferences.... This weekend is a youth conference, they've been camping and doing service projects and other fun things. I must admit there were a few times I had wished I could trade places. Then again watching over a three year old, a two year old and a one year old might not be so bad compared to a bunch of teenagers. Thankfully my sister-in-law twisted my arm into letting her take Edison for the night and to let Everest go to his grandparents. I kept Isaac. Once I put Isaac down to sleep I thought I'd work on some art. But, I couldn't get to my art table with all the boxes of stuff that needed to be put away or filed. I didn't want to waste the evening away watching TV. So, I cleaned and cleaned way into the night. And when I woke up this morning, or when Isaac woke me up this morning we cleaned together. He helped me organize the toy closet down stairs and the toys upstairs. It feels good. I can now walk into the office and actually sit at my art table, let alone see it. I'm not embarassed if someone goes upstairs, it's not toy mania. The kids can actually access toys from the closet again. Yes, that's what I did with all that time. But, now I can just relax and focus on having fun with the boys when they get back.

Space Cadets
Yet another shopping adventure... never a dull moment! We were in Target looking at laundry baskets and apparently I was taking too long. Everest and Edison decided to check out the merchandise. They found waste baskets, the ones with the round tops that have the slide back lids to throw your garbage through. "Look mom! Helmets!" They had placed the lids, er I mean 'helmets' on their heads and were pretending to shoot monsters. Quickly they became space men with cool state of the art space helmets. Little did I notice the crowd they were attracting. When we had started we were the only ones on the long lonesome isle of plastic bins. Since becoming a strange far away place of space creatures and capsles quite a few people had stopped to witness this rare phenomenon that was taking place right in the middle of Target. One little old woman was chuckling away so hard that I thought we might need medical help. Maybe it brought back memories of her own little space cadets. They were putting on quite a little performance and everyone seemed entertained. OK OK not all of them were admiring the creativity and imaginations of my little boys. I'm sure one or two were really truly wanting to get through to get their own space helmets.
As for my laundry basket, I forgot to pick one out. And still to this day need a new one.