Sunday, September 6, 2009

As has been the tradition for the past several years, each summer we go on the Flemign Family Camping trip where all of Rod's brothers and their families and us try our luck in the beautiful outdoors. Because Randy's wedding in Hawaii took the place of last year's camping trip, this was to be Reagan's first camping experience and ours with camping with two kids. We all headed to Pearragyn lake near Winthrop, WA. for three nights. I have to admist - my nerves were a wreck thinking of all the challenges we may have to face. However, my worries were needless because we ended up having a fantastic time. Some things we experienced that are worth mentioning:

* Brock, who had just finished his second round of swim lessons and who loves the water, is not a fan of the 'icky' mud that made up the ground of our little beach on the lake. Thankfully cousin Darren didn't mind getting his feet dirty and pushed and pulled Brock around on an intertube all day long. What a great cousin!

* Reagan wasn't shy of the water but with her not being very 'sure-footed', she would often fall and get soaked which she would get very upset about but then start the whole process over, and over, and over again.

* We learned that Brock is definitely not ready to give up naps. Because his cousins no longer take naps, and because napping in a tent for a 3 year old is rough, Brock didn't nap the three days we were there. No napping mixed in with a child living the 'treerible three and 1/2's" was a bit rough for everyone at times. Thanks to everyone for grinning and bearing the fits.

* Reagan is an escape artist whose only mission is to run into the campground road. We had 8 and 1/2 adults at our site and she still managed to scare us a half dozen times.

* Camping while there is a fireban isn't all that bad. Once it's dark, there isn't all that much for the kids to do so they didn't really fight bedtime.

* Changing diapers in a tent can do havoc to your back.

* Brock tried the rope swing where you let go and land safely in the water. Maybe next year he'll actually let go of the rope.

* Mom tried the rope swing and loved it. Didn't love the incredibly painful torn arm muscles she experienced throughout the following week.

All in all, it was a great trip and we look forward to camping next summer.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hablas Espanol?

I originally started this post with thoughts of sharing the frustrations Rod and I have with our very emotional three year and 1/2 year old but who wants to read about our stresses when they have their own? Instead, I thought I would post a few 'funnys' the kids have done recently that can make me smile even during the chaotic stressfull times.

1. I discovered that my son believes he knows a lot of Spanish by a conversation we had in the bathroom. While going potty Brock tooted. He started laughing and said "Mamma, I farted". I was surprised he used that word because Rod and I haven't yet introduced that word to the kids. I replied to him saying "Oh, you mean you tooted". Brock replied matter-of-factly, "No mom, I farted. It's Spanish for tooted".

2. Almost anything Reagan does makes us laugh these days, even her temper tantrums. She gets so mad if we take something she wants away from her, (usually because she isn't supposed to have it in the first place). She will stand in one place, stomp her feet and scream until her face is red. Then forget all about being upset in the next five seconds.

3. Brock was showing his neighbor friend Jeremy his new bike the other day when he took a turn too sharply and crashed. I know that if it would have been just me in the yard with him, there would have been tears and drama. But since Jeremy was over he popped up, brushed himself off and said "Just doin my job".

4. Similar to the story above, Brock fell off his bike again in front of a friend and this time busted out with a ' Just part of the Plan'. Where he comes up with this stuff - I have no idea.

5. Brock wanted to tell me a story the other night (one of his antics for delaying sleep time). He story went as: "Jesus was in his big-big house (we heard the Big-Big House song earlier that day on the radio), and he started to get scared because he couldn't find his people. He didn't know where they were but then his mommy and daddy came and he wasn't scared anymore".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July fun

In the beginning of the month, Rod and I packed the Durango full of what seemed like everything but the kitchen sink and loaded the kids in for our trip to Walla Walla to visit my parents. For any of you who know me, going to Walla Walla is such a treat for me. Not only because I get to visit with my parents (who I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like) but because nearly everything about the town feels refreshing to me. Things just seem to move at a slower pace in Walla2 - something my family could really use a large dose of. Although it is not in the cards for us to move to Walla Walla, I am so thankful it is a place we get to visit and a place I can still call home.

The kids had a blast with Grandma and Pappa. Brock especially liked helping Pappa mow the lawn (a tradition Pappa has started with his grandchildren). Reagan isn't old enough yet to help with the lawn but she loved escaping the heat by playing in the pool. Actually, Reagan loved just about everything to do with Grandma and Pappa and their house. While we are usually struggling to keep Reagan entertained at our house, I don't think she ever stopped exploring my parents house or yard while we were there. She also surprised us all by signing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (or at least her version of it). Since then we've noticed that she sings almost all day long. Perhaps we have a prodigy on our hands!

One of the most special times we had during the visit was getting to meet and spend time with the kid's new baby cousin Cash. What a tiny bundle of love! He did so good throughout the weekend. I was able to get my baby fix for a while (much to Rod's relief).

Although Reagan couldn't stay up for much of the fireworks, Brock got to enjoy the fourth of July in all it's glory. The fireworks his cousin Xander shared with him were about the coolest thing since sliced bread. We even let him stay up late enough to enjoy the town's firework display show. He was a little uncertain about the big fireworks at first but ended up really liking the whole experience.

Boz also loves going to Walla2 and now my parents actually have a dog who will play with him!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sibling Bonding

The other day the kids were in the back yard while I was trying to throw something together for dinner. I kept waiting for the yelling, fighting or wining that would pull me away from the task at hand but all I kept hearing was laughter. Then all of a sudden it hit me - my kids were actually outside, playing with each other and having a blast! I stood in my kitchen and watched them out the window and just enjoyed the moment. I was getting a little glimpse of what I know is to come - hours upon hours of brother and sister entertaining each other in play (I pray). It seems like every day since then Rod and I are getting longer moments of peace and laughter with the kids playing happily together. In fact just tonight Rod and I watched Brock and Reagan play a game of peek-a-boo/tackle that had us all grabbing our stomachs with laughter pains. There's no better laughter than laughing with your kids.

Brock's funny quote of the week:

On a family walk Brock sees an American Flag and says: "Look mom and dad - it's the American Idol Flag!" We're still trying to figure out how he came up with that.

Some of Reagan's 'Firsts':

Reagan is walking full time now. Her waddle is so cute to watch and she is so very proud of her new skills. She also is talking up a storm! Goodness this girl is vocal! Words she has down pat now are: Thank you, Please, Ball, Book, Bottle, Juice, Bozzy, Tree, Mamma, Dadda, and just the other day she got Brock down. She had been calling him bubba but now she goes through the house yelling 'Brock' whenever he's not in sight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The End of the Rock Era

Most of you know our son Brock bypassed the normal security items such as a blanket, binki or stuffed animal and instead became dependent on rocks for self-soothing. From the time he was 14 months old, it was rare to find Brock without at least one rock in his hand. Of course it couldn't be just any rock - that would be too simple. They had to be smooth and/or shiny rocks. I can confidently say that there are absolutely no smooth, shiny rocks left to be found on our property.

Most of the time Rod and I would get a kick out of our son's choice of security item. It was pretty endearing to watch, especially when friends and family would show up with a rock they had spotted and give it to Brock who would be so genuinely thankful for the gift. However, there were also times Rod and I cursed Brock's love for rocks as we searched the couches, toys, cars and all corners of the house for a special rock so Brock could take his nap. We also didn't like how Brock would only suck his thumb when he had a rock in his hand.

It was the thumb sucking that was the rock era's undoing. Brock looked at the big bump on his thumb that he has from sucking his thumb and asked Rod: 'Daddy, why do I have this owie on my thumb"? Rod answered: "That owie is from when you suck your thumb". After a minute of reflection Brock stated: "I don't think I need rocks anymore". And that was it. It's been close to three weeks that our little man hasn't needed or asked for a rock. Sorry family - rocks will no longer due for gifts. :-) Here's a few pictures to reflect on the 'rock era':

Rod and I have been going through the house collecting all of the rocks to redeposit them in our yard. Upon our recent trip to the beach, I decided to hold on to them for now.....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Watch out for Mother Bear

My mother is a WONDERFUL mother but I think my sisters and I would agree that she is not the 'calm, cool and collected' type - especially when it comes to anything and anyone who might hurt one of her children. Although I truly appreciate her passion and devotion to us, I have tried to teach myself to keep a cool head in uncomfortable or stressful moments. I'm definitely not always successful but I do try. I really want to be a parent that doesn't react on emotions before thinking things through.

I got a big helping of humble pie the other day (and a new appreciation of my mother's willpower), when I picked Brock up from pre-school and upon asking him how his day was, he responded with a tear in his eye "I'm sad because Sean told me I wasn't his friend anymore". It's a good thing little three-year old Sean wasn't within arms length of me at the moment because Momma Bear's claws were out! I was surprised at how emotionally and physically upset I got. Logically I know that kids from 3 to 18 are in friendship fights every other day but emotion blanketed logic and I was absolutely crushed that Brock's feelings were hurt. Tears stung my eyes and I had to take a few breaths before I was able to comfort him.

Boy do I have my work cut out for me! This is just the beginning of fights, hurt feelings and misunderstandings between my children and their friends. I need to somehow learn to reign in Mamma Bear now! (Note -Brock and Sean were back to being best friends the following day).

On a lighter side of things - Brock had plenty of fun things to say last week though. Here are some latest 'BROCKISMS':

Too Much Info

My neighbor Rhonda and her daughter were coming over for a play date with Brock. When they arrived at the house my husband happened to be using the facility. As our guests were entering the house Brock came running to greet them and proceeded to yell:

'Stop! Don't go into the bathroom. Daddy's going Poo Poo and he needs some privacy!!

Needless to say, we couldn't help from bursting out in laughter when Rod joined the play date.

Cruel Honesty

Brock gave me the incentive I needed to continue on my diet the other day. I was changing my shirt and Brock came up to me and patted one of my love-handles and said:

'Wow mommy - that's really big. Look at my belly, it's flat'.

With that...I'm off to the gym.

Monday, March 23, 2009

To Blog Or Not To Blog

As usual, I am not one to jump on the band wagon of any trend until it appears to no longer be a trend (i.e. capri pants, pointy shoes, online social networking, and I have yet to get an ipod). And, truth be told I'm not sure if I'll really end up being a Blogger or not. I have enjoyed many of my friend's blogs although all are much more talented writers than I. I especially enjoy those who write wonderful experiences and thoughts about their kiddos. After hearing a coworker of mine who writes a hilarious Blog say that writing a Blog can be one of the best things you do for your family, I was immediately filled with guilt that I was not doing the best by my children (an ever-present worry).

So now I sit at my computer, where I already spend 8 hours of my day, to start my journey in the blogging world and hopefully feel like a better mother today than I was yesterday. In all likelihood this blog will be added to the long list of projects that I started with the best of intentions but end up abandoned. Who knows -maybe I'll surprise myself.

First thing first - here we are. The Fleming family consisting of myself, my husband Rod, our 3 year old son Brock, our 1 year old daughter Reagan and our 4 year old dog Mr. Bosworth (BOZ). Yes - the average American family and I will be the first one to acknowledge just how blessed we are.

My goal is to update my site once a month. A pretty high goal but we'll see how it goes.