Cameron also claimed a pink, plastic snake that can be clipped to your clothing. It was good for a lot of laughs.When we later logged our finds, though, we saw that many people had commented on the rampant poison ivy in the area . . . uh oh. So far, we are all rash-free and holding our breath that it stays that way!
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Cameron has recently begun paying attention to the radio in the car. I usually listen to NPR and he's started to make frequent comments on the weather. In fact, I just said to Cameron, "Wow, it's really cloudy. I think it is going to rain." He looked at me with pity and said, "Yeah, mommy. Didn't you hear that guy on the radio? He said there would be storms and showers in the afternoon." He'll also respond to the weather predicitions. This morning, the weatherman said, "Currently, it's 76 degrees out." Cameron replied, "Whoa, that's a little bit of hot!"
Cameron also has a budding interest in public health issues. When he first noticed someone smoking he asked me what they were doing. I told him that some people smoke, but it is not healthy. He will now loudly point out smokers and say, "Oh, NO, mommy! Do you see that? Susie's grandma is SMOKING! That's not healthy!" One day he told me, "Some grown-ups smoke. When I'm a grown-up someone might say, 'You can smoke!' but I will say, 'No, I can't. My MOMMY said so.'" As much as I'd like to believe that a teenage Cameron will still value my opinions, I kind of doubt he'll be telling people his mommy said so when he's that age!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
This morning, I confidently took Cameron to camp expecting another happy goodbye. After all, if the first drop-off went so well, why in the world wouldn't the second? Fool! When will I learn? I left Cameron sobbing and shouting, "NO, Mommy, don't leave!" It was HORRIBLE! I had a hair appointment for which I arrived ten minutes late with red, puffy eyes and a migraine. Now, of course, when I picked Cameron up he was grinning from ear to ear and couldn't wait to show me the cookie he had baked.
Here's hoping that tomorrow morning goes more smoothly.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
- When Cameron was about 20 months old, we went to an outdoor concert. Sitting near us what a girl with lots of tatoos and piercings, including a lip and nose ring. Wide-eyed, Cameron turned to me and signed, "Scary! Hurt!"
- At 18 months, Cameron spotted a VERY large dog at the park. "Scary horse!" he signed! (Of note, Cameron went through a signing phase in which he got a LOT of use out of the sign "scared!")
- I had a chance to use "scared" myself when sitting on the floor playing with Cameron one day. He seemed very excited by something he saw near me. A toy or favorite blanket, perhaps? No. Cameron thought and thought, then signed, "Butterfly." Butterfly? I thought? Then, with a look of triumph, he corrected himself. "Spider!" he signed, and pointed next to my leg. And right he was!
And here are some signing photos. First, Cameron tells us he is all done.
In this photo, Cameron very helpfully points out that he is dirty.
Cameron asks for milk. Note that even at this early age, Cameron had a remarkable ability to pair a traditional piece such as a ringer-tee onesie with a suprising fashion choice like Mommy's shoes.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
In the evening, Grandma Linda and Grandpa Frank had offered to entertain Cameron while David and I went out. Although excited at the idea of a night out, I, as usual, dreaded the drama of leaving a clingy Cameron. I had underestimated the appeal of watching "Higgleytown Heroes" with Grandpa, though, as Cameron blithely waved goodbye. David and I enjoyed a delicious dinner complete with Kahlua cheesecake for dessert. But that wasn't the perfect ending to our night -- coming home to find Cameron already asleep was! Grandma Linda told us that Cameron had been a little angel, although he had attempted to convince her that Mommy always gives him a popsicle after dinner!
Today, after spending the morning with Grandma Linda and Grandpa Frank, we had Jess and Pat over for lunch. As usual, our time together was filled with witty banter and intellectual discourse, as evidenced below.Well, actually, the witty banter was a Superhero show starring Batman (Cameron) and Robin (Pat) with David as the "talker" and Jess and I as the audience. While Cameron was an impressive Batman, Pat stole the show, demonstrating a refreshing, youthful exuberance and an uncanny resemblance to the Boy Wonder.
Cameron, no doubt spoiled by the constant attention of his doting grandparents and indulgent friends, had quite a tantrum after Jess and Pat left. He has recently begun to "use his words" as I have encouraged. It's a bit disconcerting when you hear your three-year-old using YOUR words. Some of Cameron's recent expressions when unhappy have included:
"Well, I don't like YOUR behavior!"
"That's not acceptable."
"I'm dealing with a situation here."
"There's going to be a consequence for YOU!"
and one he most certainly did NOT get from me, "Well, then, you're not my favorite anymore."
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
And here is a photo my grandma just sent me. I'm 3 1/2 years old - the same age as Cameron - in this photo. Once again, I am reminded that Cameron's superhero obsession is apparently a family trait! Cameron loved this photo.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
And here is Cameron at 3 1/2 years - again signing "wet"!
We walked down Navy Pier and Cameron was absolutely astounded by the funny mirrors. He spent about 20 minutes jumping up in down in front of them and laughing hysterically.
Cameron was actually the one to suggest that we visit the Children's Museum and kudos to him for a great idea! We spent the whole afternoon there. Cameron's favorite activity by far was the water area, where he managed to get completely drenched despite his raincoat.
In the evening, we walked around Chicago with our fantastic tour guide, Stacy, and watched the throngs of Indepedence Eve revelers. Stacy took some incredible photos of Cameron (which I will post when I get them from him!) and was also approached by tons of people who asked him to take their photo. Sounds weird, right? I mean, no one has ever asked me to take a photo of them with MY camera! I think the large camera bag, the impressive camera and the ID badge Stacy was wearing had more than one person thinking he was part of the press! I even heard one of his subjects say to a friend, "We're probably going to be in a magazine!" No, but maybe on my blog . . .
Before the fireworks started, we walked back to Stacy's where we could actually see the display from his 51st floor window. Now THAT, my friends, is the way to celebrate 4th of July. It was an awesome way to end our vacation!
Day 9: Chicago to Cinci
We woke up super early, but our plans to get on the road were foiled by technology. At 5:45am, David went down to get the car from the garage. When he hadn't returned by 6:15am, I was fairly certain that he had been accosted by parking lot bandits. A few minutes later, to my immense relief, he appeared in the doorway unharmed. Turns out the automated machine that you pay had eaten his credit card! After much effort, he had retrieved it. I won't bore you with the details of our long car ride. Suffice it to say that there was plenty of coffee and an ever-exciting viewing of "Rescue Heroes -- The Movie" as well as other assorted DVDs. Can't complain about technology too much, I guess, even if it does occasionally try to take your MasterCard . . .
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Our first stop of the morning was the New Glarus bakery, where we each selected a decadent and decidely unhealthy pastry for breakfast!
Next, another visit to the playground and the statue. Here, Cameron demonstrates one of his always impressive Superhero moves.
Cameron was having fun putting on more Superhero shows and didn't really want to consider any other activities. Here, he protests leaving.
After enjoying the Belgian Red so much the previous evening, we were excited to read that the New Glarus Brewing Co. offered tours. We thought that Cameron wouldn't have the patience for the audio tour and tasting option, so we decided to opt for the free walk-through. As it turned out, Cameron was FASCINATED. This may well have been his favorite part of our whole vacation . . . well, maybe second to the Tommy Bartlett show. He was glued to the windows watching the kegs move down a conveyer belt and the bottles being filled. It was very reminiscent of Laverne and Shirley. After about 45 minutes of marvelling at the inner workings of the brewery, Cameron still wasn't ready to go. David headed to the gift shop while Cameron and I stayed in the observation area. We bought more Belgian Red (it's THAT good, and I'm not a beer drinker!), a limited edition Bourbon Barrel Bock and a baseball cap for me. We reluctantly bid farewell to the brewery to hit the road to Chicago.
I can't imagine more disparate locales than New Glarus and Chicago. It was a bit of a culture shock! We decided to frequent the most kid-friendly restaurant we could find and ended up at Rainforest Cafe. It was a superb choice -- Cameron's mouth actually dropped open in astonishment when he saw the waterfall and aquarium. We were seated by the elephants and enjoyed a thunderstorm. The food was also pretty good!
Shortly after we got back to Ellen and Stacy's condo, where they kindly allowed us to stay, they arrived with Chase, Alex and Kevin. We all were amused watching Cameron and the boys. Cameron held an X-box controller and apparently believed that just by holding it he controlled the game. Chase was actually playing, but everyone would cheer for Cameron when "he" made a good move. He was very excited to find that he was such a naturally talented player despite his lack of experience!
Friday, July 6, 2007
After the hike, we moved on to our next destination -- New Glarus, WI. It is known as "America's Little Switzerland" and one of David's ancestors was an original settler. Karen had made reservations for us at the Glarner Stube where Cameron cried, kicked, laid on the booth, spilled his apple juice and loudly proclaimed his hot dog dinner smelled "stinky." Finally, some bread with lots of butter and the distraction of waiter breaking a glass improved his mood. The food was incredible, especially the roesti (kind of like hashbrowns with Swiss cheese) and the Belgian Red -- a cherry beer brewed at the local New Glarus Brewing Co. Thanks so much, Karen and Tim, for a fantastic dinner and for putting up with a cranky preschooler!!! We couldn't have asked for better tour guides!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
After berry picking, we decided to go on a train ride. There were two options but I was sure the Riverside and Great Northern Railway was the way to go. When we arrived, Cameron gasped appreciatively at the miniature train. "Mommy, are we going to ride THAT?" "No," I chuckled. "That's just a model. We're riding on a real train." But as we looked around the station, it slowly dawned on me that there WAS no "real" train. We rode the mini-train, which actually turned out to be kind of neat. After the Moosejaw Pizza disaster of Day 2, we wisely decided to allow Cameron a nap on this day. We went back to the cabin, grilled a delicious dinner of salmon and made a peach and raspberry cobbler with our fresh berries.
After dinner, we bribed Cameron into going fishing on Devil's Lake by offering the best fisherman a prize -- a cookie. At the lake, David fished, Cameron threw rocks in the lake and I held his pole. Cameron did occasionally take over his pole when my arms got "too tired" and I needed his "big muscles." The prize was eventually changed to a "best listener prize" which was awarded to Cameron.
Back at camp, we made a fire. Our neighbors had left but Cameron quickly made friends with a little Polish girl who spoke no English. She was fascinated by Cameron's light-up tennis shoes and Cameron loved that she allowed him to talk non-stop. When we explained to Cameron that she spoke another language, he quickly developed three signals to communicate with her -- a wave for "Hi" or "Bye," a shrug for "What? Where? When? Why?" and taking her hand gently for "Please, join me at our campfire."
The next cache was on the West Bluff Trail, on the opposite side of the lake. We trotted optimistically across the parking lot to the trailhead. Cameron spotted the aptly named "Tumbled Rocks" trail shown in the photo below and instead wanted to check it out. We walked down Tumbled Rocks away and then David said, "Maybe Tumbled Rocks meets up with the West Bluff and we could just do a loop." I consulted the map and said, "Yeah! This trail is 1 mile and then it meets up with West Bluff, which is 1.5 miles." No problem! Cameron walks that far at home all the time, we thought. We neglected, however, to note the descriptions of trail difficulty at the bottom of the map . . . (Note ominous foreshadowing.)
In the evening, we went to the free and very small Oschner Zoo where we saw goats, a bear, prairie dogs, and monkeys. As we left, we saw a buck and doe that had four fawns. In this photo, Cameron and a fawn check each other out!
We ended the evening with a well-deserved ice cream.
Tune in later to hear about Days 5 and beyond!