This Moment – Selfies with Mama

Whether at home or on vacation, don’t forget to be in the pictures with your kids! Continue reading

These Moments – Camping

A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

So, today’s This Moment picture is actually pictures, plural. Our family camp out was wonderful, and there are too many good pictures to just pick one. 

Sibling Wars

“Don’t touch me!” “Stop looking at me!” “Get away!”

They usually get along pretty well, but we do have our share of squabbles. Car rides are prime places for the grumpies to emerge, especially when The Boy and The Dancing Queen are seated side by side.

To be fair, our last trip was really long and they did great for hours, but the strain was too much, and eventually the bickering began.

As parents, our response is about as predictable as their arguments.

They start with the angry outburst – “Scoot over, your squishing me!”

We respond with, “Okay guys, let’s speak kindly to one another.”

It escalates to the whiney – “Stop it! I said stop it!”

We try a firmer voice – “Hey, you two. That’s enough.”

The peak is usually shrieking or tears, depending on the offending party – “GET ON YOUR SIDE! STOP TOUCHING ME!”

And, of course, we match it with a frustrated – “YOU TWO STOP FIGHTING RIGHT NOW!”

In a short car ride, we’d be home by now, but on this trip the peak hit with an hour to go and we knew that didn’t bode well for our sanity.

That is when The Man had a stroke of genius. “Okay, guys,” he said, “You are going to do dishes for three days – together. It is time for you to learn how to get along with each other.”

Silence.  After a time, it started up again, and The Man responded calmly with, “Okay, that’s another day of dishes.” They had a week by the time we got home.

That was almost two weeks ago and I have an amazing tale to tell!

When it comes to my kids, if there is a fight it is usually between The Boy and The Dancing Queen. They are like oil and water and have never really gotten along. Oh, there has been the occasional truce, short interludes of peace and companionship, but they were few and far between. I have wracked my brain trying to think of ways to get them to love each other, to play nice together, to just get along, for crying out loud!

Well, we found the answer.

After a week of working together, they are getting along splendidly! They really learned how to communicate with each other. They learned to respect one another and they found something to like in each other. It is amazing! It took a few days. It took a few fights. But there were a lot of dishes to wash and a lot of messes to clean. As they worked together towards a goal, they found out that they really make a good team. Now, I find them reading to each other on the couch, playing with each other outside, building forts together in the living room. It is like a miracle!

The day after they finished their sentence, they had a little spat. I calmly looked up from my knitting and said, “Oh, it looks like you guys need another day.” And they did the dishes that day, too.

But I don’t think that they will be doing it again. And if they do, I have a plan. A plan that works beautifully.

Highlights

The first camping trip of the summer was a fabulous success. I want to remember…

… when we pulled into the campground and The Munchkin said, “Is this Dinky Cweek?”

… The Fraggle aquired a whole new color – dirt.

… we played at the creek in the icy water and the warm sun.

… s’mores! (we also tried a new campfire treat. It was way yummy and definitely a new tradition for this family. Check it out here.)

… glow stick Ninja with the Bigs.

… waking at sunrise to the happy crew and eating breakfast in the cold morning air.

… all the happiness of just being together.

… cramming back into the car to go home.

As good as it was to get home and take a hot bath and sleep in my cozy bed, I can’t wait until our next camping trip! Oh, and I almost knit an entire sock while we were out, too! See?

That’s my boring sock formula with sport weight on size 3. The jury is still out on if I like it or not… The yarn, however, is awesome! It is Family Pendragon Spellbound Limited Edition Sport in the May 2012 Club colorway, Heartwood with teal trim. love(1000)

Ketchup

So, I have a camera again.
Just in time for vacation.
Yippee!
And what did I do on my vacation?
Well, in addition to camping, boating, hiking, playing, s’more making, eating, eating, eating, and enjoying my family, I did this:

20110920-062729.jpg

In the next few days (weeks?) I will play ketchup here and show you all the things that I have been making while the camera was at the camera hospital. (Well, to be accurate the camera died and was replaced with a better one. Thank heaven for warranties!)