Thursday, January 21, 2010

The mind of my boy

Recently, I was talking to R about something he wanted to do. It went something like this:

Me: "Blah, blah, blah, blah ... not without supervision."

R's eyes got huge with excitement and hope as he exclaimed: "Super vision?!?!?!!"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thinking about summer

Yes, summer is on my mind, and not just because it was only in the 20s here this weekend. It's already time to sign R up for summer camp - gah!

I've been freaking out about the prospect of summer camp for him. Partly because it's my nature to freak out about things like this. But mostly because deep down I don't want to send R to camp. My own limited childhood experience with camp, both day and overnight, was not good. SO not good. I liked spending summers at home with my mom and sisters and being bored out of my skull. I liked the laziness of that time. Of going to the beach nearly every day, of blueberry-picking in the woods near our house, of going to the library's children's events. Of doing nothing!

But R doesn't have that luxury. So, we have to find him a camp for at least seven weeks of the 10 he'll be on summer vacation. And, as I've discovered, camps around here aren't cheap! In fact, when I figured out how much we'll need to pay, it made me a little nauseous. Oh, and most of the camps run from 9-3. If they offer extended hours, that's extra. And, most of the camps aren't in our town, so we'll either have to drive to pick up/drop off in the opposite direction of our work commute or pay for R to take the camp bus (if there is one).

So it's a bit of a challenge. I want this to be a great experience for R, so I want to find him a really good camp that we can afford. Yesterday, we went to one camp's open house. Some of R's friends from his old school went there last year and loved it. And, there's a bus stop for it just down the street from us. It sounds great, although it is on the more expensive side. Everyone was so nice at the open house, the director made a point to come and meet us even though we weren't in his tour group, and R LOVED it. Now, he's basing his love on the fact that he got to play in the gym for half an hour, they gave him a free frisbee, and there's a waterfall on the camp property. His standards aren't that high. :-) But it is a beautiful campus (on the property of a private boarding school), and R was very excited that they offer swimming twice every day, once for lessons and once for free swim. I think it also helped that we ran into three other families that we know during the open house, even though the camp is three towns over.

This weekend, there's a summer camp fair that we're hoping to attend to check out some of the other camps. But we can't take too long to make a decision because, apparently, if you don't get your application in before the end of January for most of them, you end up on the waiting list. Isn't that crazy? I know we can make a decision by then, but sheesh. I don't need this kind of pressure! :-)

p.s. Last week during my afternoon off with R, I hurt my tailbone. Here's a clue how.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cool things that have happened recently

Because I can't seem to keep up with posting, I thought I'd make it easier on myself and just write about random good stuff that's going on.
  • R learned to play a plethora of new games over his school/holiday break and at his after-school program. But I was most excited when I took him to the bookstore to get some new books and he picked out a kit about medieval knights that included a book AND a chess set. A taught him to play chess, and R's been gung ho about it ever since. Yay! At our town library on Thursday afternoons, they have chess classes/sessions, so I may get him into that since he already knows some kids who participate.

  • R is really reading! At our parent-teacher conference, R's teacher talked to us about the types of books we could look for to help him. (He was doing fine and was at a good reading level - I just wanted to know how to encourage him further.) I found a set at the bookstore that includes 10 books, a poster, a certificate of achievement, and stickers to put on the poster for each book read. I bow to the power of stickers. Getting R to read before was a struggle, so I didn't force it even though I knew he could actually do it. But hand him the mini books and the stickers, and he was so excited and wanted to read several of the mini books each night. He hung the sticker poster over his bed, suspended from the ceiling.

  • We took R to his first real concert! Just after Christmas, Bim Skala Bim, the band that is the reason that A and I met (my friends and I used to go see them all the time and A is friends with the band) got together for a reunion show at the House of Blues in Boston. It was an all ages show, so we decided to bring R because we were afraid that he'd never get to see them play otherwise. We had so much fun. Everyone was so excited to see Bim again, the guys dedicated a song to A, and R really seemed to enjoy his first concert, although he did spend a lot of time playing under the merch table. It was surreal for me to be dancing next to my friends' kids (15 and 13) because I've known them since they were wee (2 and 0, respectively). And, it made me a little sad for the old days. I missed my friend who used to take me to their shows all the time. But still fun - yay!

  • This week, I bought tickets for R and me to go visit my family in Florida over the school break in February. We are so excited! After 10+ days of Christmas break, during which we were often housebound because of the frigid cold and snow, I checked airfares to see if we could afford to escape from New England for a little while. Although we made the best of it over the holidays and we did get outside as much as possible, it was still difficult being limited as to what we could do, and most of R's friends were away so there weren't any playdates to be had. So, we're heading to Florida in a few weeks - woohoo! I haven't been to my mom's house in years, and I'm so thrilled for R to see my mom, stepdad, and his aunt and uncle and cousins. It'll be my first time traveling with R but not A, so that will be interesting, but R is so easy to "handle" now that I'm not worried. And, he loves to fly.

  • One of my friends from work bought me two books that are written from Captain Frederick Wentworth's perspective. (He's the hero from Jane Austen's Persuasion.) So, I've been continuing my Jane Austen-ish obsession - and enjoying every minute of it! :-)

  • A bought me an iPod Nano for Christmas (the purple one!). So I've finally caught up to the 20th century. Hee hee.
 OK, I've written something. Phew!

Happy 2010! Everyone seems hopeful that this is going to be a better year. 2009 didn't end up being too bad for me and my little family, but I'm excited for a new start, too.