Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Busy, Busy Wednesday

Today I had three kids here, including my own.  We were in full swing by 8am and after breakfast and a little free play time, they sat down at the table with July 4th summer packets full of word games, coloring pages and other fun activities meant to keep their little brains working through the summer.  After about 30 minutes we popped some popcorn, chose snacks, got our water bottles and headed off to the Hollywood Theater to meet up with friends and see Flushed Away, a free summer flick offering.  Dakota and I had never seen it before and he loved it!  I, however, was less enthused.  It was fun for them, though, and afterward we came home and the kids played outside while I made lunch.  They ate,learned a little from me about why we celebrate July 4th and then spent some more time on their packets and outdoors.  About 1:30 we had craft time outside on the picnic table.  It was a gorgeous day and the craft involved glitter, so there were two pluses there!  We used glue and glitter on black paper to make easy fireworks that they really loved.  Afterward, I put up the bounce house and they had a blast playing there and running all around until about 4:00, when they stopped for popsicles and to wait for the parents to arrive.  I am hoping all days follow our schedule as well and go as smoothly, but I know that will not happen.  I'll be please with today, though, and cross my fingers for tomorrow. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Getting into the swing of summer

Yesterday we got into the swing of things with our summer fun activities that included our friends.  I will babysit at least a few days each week.  Some days I may have four kids, including Dakota, some days any mix of the four, but always to include Dakota :-)  Yesterday we had a field trip to Port Discovery and I had Dakota, his cousin Mariah and his buddy Wyatt.  All of them will be seven really soon.  We arrived at Port Discovery at 9:45 and the kids played near the fountain while our group gathered. We went in at 10 and they spent three hours playing, pretending and discovering.  There was a Tinkertoys exhibit, mystery house, Egyptian "tomb", three story playground, water fun room and more.  They got along great, stayed together and didn't fight the entire time.  After we left we ended up waiting outside for 30 minutes for our ride and I got them an ice cream and they giggled and talked and kept themselves happily busy until we got home.  After lunch they played in Dakota's room, played outside in our play area and made their own visors.  When they went home we celebrated my husband's birthday with dinner, cake and ice cream and then called it a night around 9:30.  Very productive, if I must say so myself.  Today was more calm with little structure.  Dakota spent alot of time playing with his Daddy and I cleaned off my desk, got planning done for tomorrow and went to run some errands.  Two friends again tomorrow means another busy day.  I'm ready!  Bring it on!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The last Sunday in June

Today is the last Sunday in June.  Summer is here and before you know it, school will start and it will be Christmas.  I know that it's all going to go by that quickly, but the good thing this year is that if July flies by, my daughter and granddaughter will be home forever and I won't have to miss them anymore. My heart is very, very tired of missing them.  I am sitting here on my deck this morning watching the ospreys in their nest at the park, checking my computer, sipping coffee and really enjoying the quiet in my life.  My husband and teenage son are camping and my little son is sleeping still.  There is no humidity in the air this morning and it's a tad bit cool, the birds are active and noisy and things are good.  Today I really want to stay home.  I have work to do for my job, the house to clean and I bought stuff last week for Natalie's room/the playroom and I want to get it ready before she comes home this coming weekend to meet the rest of the family and to be smothered with love by her Nana.  However, Dakota belongs to the Dugout Club and we have not been to a game yet and, of course, there is a game at 1:35 today.  My mother in law has offered to take him, but after yesterday's fiasco where she was missing for an hour with him, I'm really not feeling sure about him spending time with her.  She's done this before, but each time you wonder if this is the time something is really wrong.  My sister in law took me to lunch at Chili's (my late Christmas present) and my mother in law took Dakota to the library near our house for a Lego Fun activity.  I asked her to take him to McDonald's first because when I left it was 1:00 and he hadn't had lunch.  She said she would.  Then we were to meet back at the house where we would all get in my sister in law's car and go to see Cars 2, which my sister in law and I were pre-purchasing tickets for because it was the opening weekend.  The lunch and the company were awesome.  We always have such a great time talking and laughing when we are together.  We have been friends since middle school and it's wonderful to be family as well.  She is the best aunt anyone could ask for to my children and a wonderful daughter, sister and sister in law to all of us.  Anyway, she and I went to lunch and chatted.  I had fabulous chicken fajitas!  Afterward we walked the mall a bit, stopping at the new Yogurt Mountain to get a sundae.  We headed home and talked on the phone at 3:45 to my mother in law first and again a minute later to Dakota.  They were just leaving the library.  We told them both that we were meeting at the house, leaving at 4:30 and the movie was at 5:20.  Now my mother in law is a very kind, supportive woman and she loves my son beyond words, but she is flighty and does stupid things often and I have spent countless hours over the past few years worried and scared because she isn't where she said she would be, won't answer her phone and is late bringing him home.  Today I really didn't see the room for error.  Her travel distance was about a mile and my sister in law and I traveled the same path, supposedly right behind them.  At 3:45 they were leaving the library.  We arrived at the house a little after 4 and they weren't there.  Okay.  Maybe they weren't in the car, but still in the library when they called?? Didn't think so, but.....  4:30 comes and goes.  We have blown up her cell phone with calls.  No answer.  We tried her house phone.  Maybe she thought "home" meant hers and not mine?  No luck.  Finally, about 4:45, we decide to backtrack along her path to see if they are still at the library.  Nope.  Maybe they went to the movie to meet us there.  We SAID home, but you just never know with my mother in law.  Nope.  They are not at the movie.  By now my sister in law is frantic and I'm starting to get scared...but remember, she's done this to me again and again.  We head back towards home, still calling and calling.  Nothing.  She never answers her cell phone. Says she doesn't hear it, but she sure does hear mine in my pocket, ringing low.  The movie is supposed to start at 5:20.  At 5:10 she calls....from my house....happy as a clam and telling us they are ready for the movie.  My sister in law is livid and I don't even want to talk to my mother in law.  I just want to see my son.  Where were they?  McDonalds, because she didn't take him before the Lego class (the poor kid must have been starving!)  Did she realize we were going to be late for the movie?  Nope.  She's oblivious.  She gets in the car all smiles and my sister in law and I are trying to breathe and not scream at her because Dakota is sooooooo ready to see this movie and doesn't want to miss it.  Thankfully they were only doing the previews when we arrived and it was not crowded at all.  We got to see the whole show and it was cute and clever, but a bit "crowded" in the story line. 

So now today, I would love to ask my mother in law to take Dakota to the game.  She volunteered to take him.  But I'm afraid.  I know she loves him like crazy and I know she does her best, but I just can't keep taking chances with him.  One time it's not going to be something stupid and she's going to have him hurt or worse.  I don't understand incompetance.  It's not in my radar.  Especially with children.  I am diligent with mine and everyone elses.  I can't, in good faith, let her keep taking him out.  As she left last night she told him that she would take him to see Mr. Poppers Penguins later this week.  Only if I go.  She can come visit but I think it's time to start limiting his time alone with her.  It's not worth the risk.

So today, on this absolutely gorgeous Sunday, I want to stay home, but I may just end up at the O's game.  We shall see.  Time to do my work and email it in so that's out of the way.  There's a birthday cake to bake for tomorrow for my hubby and lots and lots of cleaning to do.  Better get to that!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scout camp, day 4

Today was a tough one at camp.  It was very hot and muggy and the kids were definitely feeling the pace of the 4th long day in a row.  They are young, just turning 7 or not quite 7, and I think 7:45 to 4:15 is a really, really long day for them.  I stayed to help this morning (herding kids, cutting off behavior issues, stringing beads, supervising lines etc) and we did opening ceremonies, games, nature, fishing, archery and skills before lunch.  Koda's personality is so strong.  It was actually very eye opening to see him interact with this large group (14 kids) over the last few days.  He's gotten in trouble at least once a day and he is definitely one of the more physical of the kids.  He is quick to cop an attitude and get in a snit, but he's also confident and friendly and gets along really well with the kids.  He seems to be doing extremely well socially. 

After lunch today, the fire truck came to spray their hoses and the kids went wild running in the water and having a great time.  They were drenched from head to toe, but they were invigorated and refreshed and ready for their afternoon.  I left for home around 12:45 and big Brian was set to visit from 2 to 4.  I found it very amusing when he called asking where he was supposed to sit (on the grass) and what exactly he was supposed to do (help!).  He was completely out of his element and hated every minute.  I came back at 4 and we did the long, boring closing ceremonies for the day and then Koda and I got in the car and headed home.  We stopped to get snowballs at Three Bears Creamery, made a deer run down the park and then he got his bath, we had dinner and each of us relaxed, watching tv and doing our own thing.  He was asleep in minutes after I tucked him in at 8:30. 

Tomorrow is another very long day at camp.  There are supposed to be shortened stations and then what I hear is a long and boring closing ceremony.  I will just be glad when it's over.  Brian and Brian are going away on their man's weekend so tomorrow night Koda and I will have a repeat of tonight and then we have a busy day planned for Saturday after sleeping in.  Sunday is supposed to be a Dugout Club game at the O's, but we will have to see if we can handle the pace. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wouldn't it be strange.....

Yesterday when I was bringing my six year old son and his buddy home from camp, the little friend said "Did you know my mommy grew up in your house?"  I knew this fact, but my son did not.  I went to elementary and high school with the little boys mom who, indeed, did live here where we live now.  We were friends. Today she is my brother in law's neighbor and my son and hers play often together and are at in the same cub scout den.  Wouldn't it have been strange, all those years ago, if we knew, as we were sitting in the fourth grade, that one day we would be mommies of little boys born just three weeks apart and that I would be living in her house and she would be bringing her son there to play?  Got me thinking about how things come together like that.  Strange but very cool! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cub Scout Camp

Today I took Dakota for his first summer camp experience.  He is a Wolf Cub Scout at the Four Rivers District Scout Camp this week and he was very excited.  I did orientation on Sunday so I knew basically what to expect.  What wasn't expected, however, was the rain that was steadily coming down when we arrived.  We made the best of it and I spent the first two hours as an aide helping Koda's den and taking some pictures.  We had 13 boys in our den, but besides the leader, we also had four adults helping.  Our first station was the bb guns and I could tell from the look on Dakota's face that he wasn't sure what to make of this.  He's been told over and over here...NO GUNS!  No gun games.  No pretend guns.  And here I am standing beside him as he gets the safety precautions told to him by the station leader.  He looked incredibly young sitting there, with his camo hat and gold shirt, just like the 400 other boys and some girls there.  After the talk, he got to shoot the gun twice.  First, however, he had to don safety glasses and then lay on his tummy on the tarp in the puddles and dirt.  He was not happy about any of that, but after he was good and wet and dirty, he didn't mind getting wetter and dirtier.  After the second station I decided it was my time to leave.  Usually I lead all his group, coach his sports and teach him and I thought that this was a great opportunity to teach his almost seven year old self a bit about independence.  He gave me a hug and sent me on my way. 

Coming home I was a little apprehensive.  What was I thinking leaving my boy alone with a woman I barely knew in a sea of 400 other children with no one looking out for the safety and welfare of my little boy above all others?  I knew, though, that this was the right time and the right place and the day held so many fun activities for him, I was sure (pretty sure anyway) that he was going to love it.

I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy my day.  It was incredibly quiet.  I got to take a little nap with Brian since he's working nights this week.  Brian David was in his room doing his summer thing.  I got some of my transcription done.  Did some laundry.  Surfed on the computer.  It wasn't bad!  At 3:15 I took Brian David to get a snowball and then I headed back out to Crownsville to pick Dakota up.  He didn't see me at first, but I got a huge hug when he did.  Another boy, however, tattled on him that he got in trouble.  The tears came fast and hard because he knew he had been warned.  The leader told me it wasn't a huge big deal.  He had picked up a rock off the path and thrown it...not AT someone, but it almost hit someone.  He was reprimanded and he cried a bit.  She said he had a few minutes of tough times missing me, but all in all, he did well.  I stayed with him for his skit (which was embarrassingly awful) and closing ceremonies and then I took my tired, dirty, happy boy home.  Later in the evening he brought me a bath towel and proceded to teach me how to fold the United States flag.  Pretty cool!  Now tomorrow I get to get him up at 6:45 and do it all over again.  And again.  And again.  All week long. I know he is enjoying the activity and I'm sure he's learning some important physical, mental and social skills, as well as practicing his independence. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saying goodbye to tball

Today was our last game for Dakota's 5-6 Phillies.  They had come such a long way and during the last bat today, not one of them had to use the T.  Watching them grow and change over just the few short months that we had them, only seeing them twice a week, was inspiring.  They all grew up alot....most of them five and just a few six.  Some of them came to us not even knowing how to hold a bat or put on a glove.  All of them left as confident little ball players capable of making a play to the best of their ability.  Some of them had talent, some did not.  Some of them were high energy.  Some were low key.  Some lacked focus.  We had few tears, however, and no quitters.  All ten kids came to just about every game and they did as they were told and left with happy faces. Watching them concentrate so hard to connect with the ball was priceless and seeing them shine when they hit it or made a big play....that I won't soon forget.  In a few years, as we gather for the team huddle, these little boys will be strong and confident, tall and proud.When they yell their team name, it will be deep and loud.  Now, for just a very short time, they are very small, looking up at you even as you crouch down to talk to them, and they put their little hands in and yell the team name loudly in high, squeaky little voices.  Their favorite part of the game is getting snack and if you are very lucky, you'll get a big hug or a sticky kiss before they go home.  Thanks, 5-6 CYLB Baseball for giving the Baublitz family the opportunity to spend a few months with a really terrific group of kids.  I wish them all the best as they grow and change and I hope that one day in the future I have teh pleasure to coach them all again.

In a funk

Summer is my least favorite of the seasons.  I am a self proclaimed "heat hater" and I thrive on structure and routine, which summer does not have at all.  I find myself unsatisfied.....  What are we going to do that I, personally, am looking forward to?  My guys are going to a Nationals/Orioles game for Father's Day and they are so excited.  I am setting up for Koda's cub scout camp and going to orientation.  Not that I want to go to the game, but I want to be excited.  Next week Koda has camp all week and I have all week at home without him, but no plans of my own.  The following weekend the older son and husband are going on their yearly "man's weekend".  Again, they are so excited!  The little guy and I will be home and he has lego fun, an O's game and Port Discovery.  Again, he is very excited.  I am not.  My sister in law and I are going to lunch.....I love her and I am happy to be in her company....but not really an event (don't misunderstand, Di!)  The following weekend is July 4th and I AM looking forward to my daughter and granddaughter and son in law coming home for three days....but I know I will only see them for several hours and they will go back......maybe for only a few weeks, maybe for two more months.  Sigh.  There is no vacation this year because we used our vacation money to go to NC to see the baby born.  I want something on my calendar that I can count down the days to.  It was going to be July 29 when we were bringing my daughter and granddaughter home to live, but now that date is up in the air AGAIN so nothing to look forward to there.  Busy, yes.  Fulfilled. No.  Not even a little.   Got the winter blahs in the beginning of summer.  I'm all out of whack.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good Company

For the last few days my little man has been really good company.  We've had alot of conversations and he's just been more mellow than usual.  Today we were at the house together, did our work on the deck and then we all four had dinner together.  After dinner Dakota and I dropped off Brian David at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover and he and I headed over to Arundel Mills to do some shopping.  We walked together, talking and browsing in the stores.  There was no fussing over what he could and couldn't have.  We got some pretzels, picked up a few things here and there and then I let him play in the Lego Store until Bri called and it was time to pick him up.  The boys and I went to ShopRite to get things that Bri needed for football camp tomorrow and then we all came home.  Dakota put together his new mini Lego kits, Brian made a pizza and did some of his summer reading and I watered the garden and got the bird feeders together.  It was really nice not to have to deal with the antics and the screaming and the juggling the battles that normally go on.  I don't know if I'm getting lucky or if maybe he's growing up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Long day today

It was another cool, beautiful day again today and I started it out on the swing enjoying a few quiet minutes before the rush of the day.  We had a meeting with our new co-op members at church at 10 and I was feeling especially blessed that Pastor Mike is the new leader there.  He is the most genuine, kind man I think I have ever met and he has a great southern accent as well.  I really love him.  Afterward Dakota and I went home to pick up Brian David and his friend Ronnie and we all met friends at the bowling alley.  My friend Mindie has five kids and one on the way, but every time I see her she's so calm!  The kids are all adorable and Dakota enjoyed having friends to bowl with.  (The teens did NOT bowl with the little kids lol.  They bowled on their own lane.)  Our "free" games of bowling ended up costing me $40 with lunch, drinks and shoe rentals, but the kids, both young and teen, had a great time.  I had a little time to work up the new co-op schedule this afternoon and then it was time for dinner and Brian took Brian David to his umpiring in Annapolis and Dakota and I went to Catonsville for our game.  The little ones on our team were tired and distracted today, but Dakota was well behaved (2nd day in a row!) and he played well.  Afterward I gave them certificates and bubbles and trophies and got hugs from them and compliments from their parents.  They have really been a great group of people and I am surely going to miss those kids.  Still waiting now, at 9:45 for Brian and Brian to get home.  I'm exhausted and can't wait to climb into bed and snuggle with the hubby.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Croquet anyone?

Today started our Summer Fun weekly activities.  It was a little more loosely planned than I had anticipated, but we had a good day anyway.  Dakota had a friend over for awhile so we played our game of the day, croquet, with him.  The boys absolutely loved it and they played outside for at least an hour, whacking the ball with their mallets and trying so hard to get them through the little wickets!  After lunch our friends went home and we did four pages in our summer bridge workbook, which is colorful and different from what we normally do and therefore "fun" work, according to Dakota.  Then we did a Father's Day craft...an easy heart picture frame.  Fathers is supposed to be our theme for this week, but that's all the theme work we actually got in.  Afterward Dakota discovered he could do a 100 piece puzzle all by himself and he was so proud!  He and I had dinner together since Dad and Brian had football practice and then we took our novel, a new concept for Dakota, out to the deck swing.  We read eleven chapters of Kung Fu Panda 2, snuggling and giggling and then came inside at 8:45 and called it a night.  I really enjoyed my little man today (except for those 15 minutes of sass and tantrum this morning :-p).  I hope tomorrow goes smoothly as well.  We have alot on our plates all day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday, Sunday

Today we had a nice family Sunday.  Dakota went to his last Sunday School class for the year and then I took him to spend our Toys R Us rewards bucks.  He chose a Power Rangers Samurai sword and played with it all day long.  The three guys played some video games while I worked and then we had crabs together with Keri and we all went in the livingroom to watch our favorite show, Wipeout.  Everyone got along well and we enjoyed each other's company.  A dessert of brownies and ice cream and a night cap of Planet's Funniest Animals and we all called it a night.  Tomorrow starts our first week of Summer Fun themes and Dakota seems excited about it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Little Slugger has a meltdown

Baseball has been going very well this year.  When you have a strong willed, emotional son, however, you just never know.  Tonight all started well.  Dakota was easily catching pop up balls I was throwing him, an improvement over moving out of the way, which he did until this very night.  He warmed up with the kids and was excited to start the game.  This was a make up game from a rain out late in May and it looked as though we may not get it all in tonight either.  We started with only five players and Dakota had anticipated batting all day because it was his turn to bat last and "hit the homerun".  (The last batter in the tball line up gets to run all the basis and we rotate the kids so everyone gets a turn).  Just before Dakota got his turn to bat, however, another player showed up, so he wasn't last and he was disappointed.  "Next inning", I told him.  The next inning the same thing happened....he was actually at the plate and another player showed up....no batting last again.  By the third and last inning, Dakota was in a full blown mood and he wanted me to know it.  He was kicking at things and grumbling and being demanding and after trying to reason with him, I decided he would not be batting last because of his bad attitude.  Well, that set all the balls in motion and the tirade started.  I warned him that there would be no tears on my bench, but he ignored me so I removed him and put him back by the trees so he could cry it out there.  That darned little rascal got up and returned to my bench and then was making a scene, crying and tantruming....so I told him he was out of the game completely.  Oh Lordy!  That really set him off and he went on and on, crying and whining and pleading.  I had to take him aside and give him a stern talking to...which helped not at all.  This whole episode probably took only five minutes, but it felt like an hour to me and I knew I was being judged, probably harshly, by the other parents, but I firmly believe that if you have said you will or will not do something, you have to follow through.  After several minutes of continued tantrums, I laid down the law....not only would he not play tonight, but he would not be allowed to come tomorrow morning to our game with our friend and her son, who had offered to bring him since my husband and I would be out of town.  That really put him over the top!  Thankfully, the rain started, the thunder boomed and we all grabbed our gear and headed for the cars.  I heard alot of pleas on the ride home, as well as alot of "I'm sorry" and "I wish I had been good", but by the time I had run his bath and plopped him in, he knew his fate was sealed and he had admitted defeat.  My hope from all this is that he thinks it through and the next time he is faced with making a wise choice instead of a bad one, he'll do the right thing and we won't go through this again.  Live and learn.  There really isn't any other way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kindergarten Graduation

As this homeschool year came to a close, Dakota was wondering how he would know when he was no longer a kindergartener and was officially a first grader.  We decided to have a celebration and called a few close friends to come to our house for a playdate where we would celebrate Dakota's graduation, as well as the graduation of all the children present from the places they were in their young lives to the places they would be going.  Four families arrived at 10am and the ten children couldn't have been better behaved.  They played in the bounce house, played blocks, tag, make believe and played in the hose.  We parents got to chat and relax, which is always welcome, especially for homeschool moms who have their kids 24/7.  Most of the older children were girls and Casanova Dakota was happy to let them fuss over him and cater to him and he, in turn, played the macho male who strutted his stuff and grinned sheepishly when we caught him in action.  Each child received a certificate, a small slinky, a bead necklace and a small ball.  They were happy and we, as parents, were happy that they were getting along and not requiring much from us!  Finally, around 2:00, the last of our friends left and we went inside to cool down and relax before baseball.  Dakota gave me a hug and told me how much fun he had.  Today he's already asked me if we can do it again next year!  I definitely think we will.  Why not?  It was a wonderful day with terrific friends and you can never have too much of that!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Music in the park

Yesterday my husband and two sons went to Downs Park to wander around, look out over the water, hunt for wildlife and walk some trails.  We didn't know that their summer concert series started yesterday, but we decided to grab our coolers and chairs out of the car and hang out to watch the Navy band play contemporary tunes.  It was a wonderfully cool evening the the band was surprisingly good, engaging the audience and playing music that my teenage son listens too, which won him over quickly.  I loved spending the evening this way and I think that we will make it a Sunday evening tradition this summer. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Senior Year

Today was my oldest son's first football 7 on 7 tournament as a senior.  7 on 7 is a passing league, no equipment and no tackling.  I couldn't help but think today as I watched him, about the years before when he was starting out playing football at just six years old and 42lbs, the years he quarterbacked, confident and sure as he led his team or the year his 13U team won the AA County Championships and he leaped into a friends embrace with a smile a mile wide.  He was so small then and now, even though he surely isn't a giant, he is strong and lean and has a gift for reading the quarterback and knowing where the ball will go.  This will definitely be a bittersweet year for me.  Over the past twelve years, nine of them coached by his father including this one, I have watched him beat the odds, almost always the smallest kid out there, but definitely not the least talented.  He has always had to play twice as well and work twice as hard even to be noticed.  When you are 5ft 5" and 130lbs out on a field with guys literally twice your weight and more than a foot taller, you have to be tough...and he is.  I am so proud of him.  Watching him play football has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life and it seemed that it would always be so, but today, at age eighteen, he has officially begun his very last season of football as a "child".  He won't be able to compete at the college level with his size, something he has long since come to terms with.  At this point, I don't think he is even bothered by it.  I, however, will miss this so much.  He is a beautiful boy, both inside and out, and seeing him in action is always exciting.  Good luck, son, in your final year.  Enjoy every single minute.  Thank you for the wonderful memories you have given us.  We have gone places, made friends and done things that we never would have if we hadn't taken the path you led us on.  I love you.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Brotherly Love

Today my older son, eighteen now, but always a bit young for his age, really wanted to go to the Oriole game.  All his friends were busy and the girl he wanted to go had a dad who was saying "no way".  So my son offers to take his little brother.....the same little brother that he can't be in a room with for ten minutes lately without bickering.  Little brother is ecstatic and begs to go.  Big brother says "I'm an adult now.  I can handle it."  What's a mom to do?  I gave it some good, hard thought.....then called Dad to get his take.  He agrees it's a good bonding experience so I say okay and off they went.  So now, in my very, very quiet house, I am sitting and hoping that they really do bond tonight, that my older son will be mature enough to handle any outbursts without caving to his little brother's level.  I am praying that little brother is feeling so proud and priveliged that he is a little angel......that's really a stretch, but one can hope, right?  Stay tuned tomorrow to see how the evening went.  Will the boys make it through nine innings of baseball?  Will one of them lose it on the other?  Will they have fond memories of a wonderful night spent together as brothers or will one or the other (or both) consider the night a disaster, vowing to never do it again.  Only time will tell!!

Back to homeschooling/summer fun

I have been avoiding this site because I wanted to write all about my granddaughter's birth, but I just don't have the time, so one day I will, but for now, I'm getting back on task with daily thoughts and homeschooling/summer fun ideas.  Yesterday was a gorgeous, breezy late spring day that came after a week of high humidity and heat indices over 100.  I let Dakota do his thing in the morning and then we had lunch on the deck and broke out our summer bridging book, some reading books and his journal.  We chatted, worked, read and he played for hours out there, enjoying the afternoon.  I freecycled a single person mini trampoline that is now in his play area and in between working he would stop, run over to it, and jump about 15 to 20 times.  He loves getting out his energy that way.  What a find!  After a simple dinner of open faced roast beef and french fries for us and pbj and pudding for him, Daddy and MomMom joined us and we used our Groupon for 2 free movie tickets and 2 free medium popcorns at the Hollywood Theater in Arbutus to see Kung Fu Panda 2.  It was cute and, of course, Dakota loved it.  He was chopping and kicking for the rest of the night!  Afterward we went to the huge new Arbutus library to show MomMom and Daddy since they had never been.  Dakota showed them around and gather 21 books in the process that he just had to have....not "kid books" he was quick to point out, but big kid books (Level 2 readers) and even a Kung Fu Panda 2 chapter book!  When he had given everyone a demonstration of how he could do the computerized check out all by himself, we headed home and rode down to the park with high hopes to see the deer, herons and other small critters that sometimes show themselves there. We were rewarded with one deer, one heron and 30 minutes of quality, laid back family time.  A very tired little boy was happy to get on his pjs, look through his stack of books and drop into bed a little while later.  All in all, I considered it a very successful day!