Sunday, November 6, 2011

This boy stole my heart and he calls me....Mommy!

Happy 9th Birthday Gage. (I think a birthday is reason enough to update an age old blog). Gage stole my heart 9 years ago today. What a remarkable gift. It was his birthday but it was a day he gave me the best gift in the world. A son! It is funny how he continues to get older and have birthdays but I stay 29! haha. Gage was a beautiful baby with a head full of dark hair that had blond streaks running through it here and much so that the L&D nurses accused me of running out to have highlights added to his hair.

Each of my children hold a special and unique place in my heart. Gage is my first born. He allowed me to learn how to parent, he allows me to fail as a parent while I am learning and loves me just the same. He was a tiny tiny baby at birth 6lbs 7oz. Nine years later he is a whopping 52 pounds with a head full of blond hair. Funny thing though, I still see my mini munchkin.

At age nine I want Gage to remember that....
Is as active cub scout.
Serves on the Flag Patrol at his school, where he raises as lowers the American flag each day.
Is an avid reader (like mommy)
Still calls us "Mommy and Daddy"
Spends a decent about of time working on getting his hair to look "surfer-like"
Discovered Abercrombie and Fitch clothing but more importantly this year their cologne!
Was MVP for his age group on his summer swim team.
Swims year round for the Gaston Gators.
Won Best Sportsmanship Award for Pinewood Derby.
Has started piano lesson as a means to learn guitar.
Surfed in Costa Rica for the first time.
Attended his first week long overnight summer camp, Camp Seagull!
Found a passion for Zip-Lines.
Enjoys white water rafting.
Still sleeps with his "bear-dog" that he received as a new born.
Is a very loyal friend.
Has lost 8 teeth.
Would rather be fly fishing or swimming or playing in the ocean.
Says he will either be a chef or a MD when he grows up.
Is clueless about girls (lets keep it that way)
Loves English and Science.
Hates Math.
Went deep sea fishing in Costa Rica.
Spoils his youngest brother.
Is annoyed by his middle brother.
Likes to ride bikes with friends.
And loves to eat...anything and everything.
Became obsessed with roller coasters while at Disney this year.
Is learning that being a big brother might just be the most important job he will ever have.

Gage you amaze me daily. You are a wonderful mixture of the Clouds, the Goodwins, the Adcocks and the Roberts. In 9 years you have taught me many things. But most of all you have taught me unconditional love. Thank you for being a wonderful son. Happy Birthday. I can not wait to see what this year has planned for you.

Love you, Mommy

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eat My Bubbles

Summer swim team is here! I enjoy the laid back fun of summer swim! Again this year Davis' meets are at a different time than Gage's. The 6U meets are so funny! I love watching the little ones swim down the pool by grabbing the lanes and pulling themselves down. They are always so thrilled by the time they make it to the end of their 25M.

Davis has really enjoyed these last few Saturday meets. He likes to compete. And he likes to win. But he also likes to stop and see where the other swimmers are in the pool, which isn't so good! I think he is learning though that stopping equals losing time. Sometimes I think Davis believes he is Superman, he likes to get a running start off the wood block.

I love to watch him "prepare" for his swim while he is on the block. He does some little jig that cracks me up!! He swam his little heart out today. Pushed as hard as he could, even after a week of camp and notsamuch sleep he was able to improve his time in all 4 of his events. Which is all a proud mamma can ask for!

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Friday, June 17, 2011


As in Thank Goodness It's Get My Kids From Camp Day!

The week has flown by! I am shocked. As I sit here snuggled with Truman in the hotel bed watching Elmo I hate to tell him that in a few hours his week as an only child will be over. I know he has really enjoyed having 100% of our attention. But I think he has really liked having control over the remote as well as all the toys. Sure he has missed "Bro-durs", but it has mainly been at bedtime. All three of the boys share our bonus room as a bedroom and this week bedtime has been particularly quiet and lonely for him.

One of the highlights for Ward and I this week besides the letters (We got a few more from Gage yesterday that included the actual sharks teeth he had found and of course information about the food he has been eating - burgers and chips!!) has been the pictures of "camp life" that bunk1 post. I have loved that Gage is shirtless in most of his pictures with his hair wild and crazy. I love that Davis is being "Davis" his vibrant personality shows in his pictures which tells me he is having a blast and enjoying himself!

My friends keep asking if I have missed my boys - and I have - it's been a learning curve for me and I have found comfort in keeping busy! I am ready to get them back and hear all their stories. I am sure we will cover a few over our 6 plus hour drive home today.

And I am sure that within a few hours they will begin fighting and I will be dreaming of the quiet times I had while they were at camp. And tonight when I am pulling sharks teeth out of their pockets, making them brush their teeth for the 1st time in a week, and trying to see if there are any clothes that can be salvaged I will hear the giggles of 3 "bro-durs' sharing a room and I will know that I will be thankful they are all under my roof once again!

Future Seaguller!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011


My Facebook status yesterday referred to waiting around at the mailbox for camp letters. Over 15 years ago, long before wide spread emails, social networking and cell phone packages there were letters in my life.

Ward and I lived many miles apart and he was a non paid - hard working - over worked - never a minute off medical student. Sure we talked on the phone when he was near one and had a few minutes, but it was also way back when you still paid for each minute of those long distant calls (oh my... some months my phone bill was more than my rent). While I loved the phone calls I cherished the mail carrier bringing a hand written letter. Sometimes the letters were half a page long other times they were a dozen pages long. The pages were quickly worn as I would read and re-read over and over until the next one would arrive. I believe I probably even had a special box that would hold these letters.

I have been a letter or "note" writer for as long as I can remember (at least prior to the addition of the 2nd child) - Ward still teases me that I have boxes of letters from my high school era in my attic. Maybe I do, it's been a while since I have been up there myself but I'll take his word. I am not sure high school friends or sweethearts even write notes in class anymore given the texting options now, but it is such a shame. The thrill of not getting caught while passing a note, or the giddiness (is that a word?) of waiting by your locker for a note from the 15 year old "love of your life"! Anyway, as usual I am off subject.

On the boys list for camp "Stationary, Addressed Envelops and Stamps". I was thrilled. My boys would learn the art of letter writing in an era where text over shadow emails and stationary is a thing of the past. (I always stockpiled beautiful stationary.) In the days before camp I found them cute little blank colorful note cards and addressed the envelops to family. Davis is still very young and just learning to write and spell. Gage being older and my detailed child loves to journal so I figured he would enjoy the letter aspect of rest time at camp.

Fast forward a few days into camp. Truman and I am waiting for our mail carrier. She brought us 3 brightly colored letters. 2 from Davis which read:

"I got a white band" along with a picture of a white band.

Took me a few minutes but I figured out he was telling me about the level he had passed on his swim test. haha

the next letter from Davis read

"I love camp" and showed a picture of a stick man at an archery range.

(I can only assume that he had just finished at the range)

Gage's on the other hand was a little longer as he described what he had been eating, his new friend Spencer, what he had been eating, how many turtles he had seen, that he had loved the fried chicken, and that he was loving camp and the food!!

Neither of my boys signed their names or added what day it was.

Their grandmother said she had received a letter from davis that read something along the lines of

"I am at camp" - no name either....

At the end of the day I was thrilled - hand written letters from my boys who were having a blast. I was so excited and could not wait to sit down and email them their "bunk note" for the day! haha

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Learning Curve...Summer Camp

I must admit, I was always way to chicken to spend the night away from my parents until I was about 15 or 16 years old. I would give it a try and then about midnight when the crank calling boys was over and the parents had called for lights out, I would get "sick". The gotta call my mom to come get me kinda sick! Bless my mother, she always did no matter how far or how late/early am it was. I never could go to spend the night camp because I suffered from the "only child gotta be with my parents homesickness". I did not want this for my boys. They have been allowed to spend the night away from an early age. Gage from time to time will get a touch of my sickness but Davis...never! But when Ward and I suggested they think about a starter camp where they would spend the night for a week this summer they were ready to pack and it was only September! We chose a camp that is an all boy camp, that offered a wide range of activities as well as a range of camp options. It also happened to be a camp that I grew up hearing about and having friends attend the all girl sister camp. (Not me though, ya know, homesickness!!)

We work hard to allow our boys to experience many things in life. As parents we both want them to enjoy the chance to do things without us hovering over them. And I will freely admit that in September...I too was excited. But the closer we got to June 11th - the more scared I got.
The!!! kinda scared.
The entire week before camp I did not sleep.
During the day I rushed around to purchase items on their packing list, address envelopes for them to write to family and friends, make sure they had the right fans, sheets, towels, toothbrushes etc...
I was inches away from pure insanity,
even joking with my good friend who is also my family DOC that I was going to need to spend the week medicated.
And then at night I would wake up... with my whatif's
Davis doesn't eat (He doesn't at home why would he at camp?)
an adult doesn't go down the zip line first each day?
Gage forgets to wear shower shoes?
Davis picks his nose and starts a boogie collection on his bunk.
What if...they go away and have the time of their life.

I have been reading a book by a Christian author 5 Conversations you need to have with your son. One of the focus points is helicopter parenting - I realized this was my chance to step back and give our boys a chance to put into place and act upon some of the principle that we have been teaching them. And what a better place to do it than at a Christian camp that has been in existence since the early 1940's. They have dealt with far more whatifs that I could ever imagine, even at 3 am.

When it came time to drop the boys off Sunday am I felt an amazing peace. This camp knows it's stuff. While I unpacked Davis and got his stuff situated Ward took G to his cabin (so that he'd be able to get a top bunk!!). Within 5 minutes of me unpacking D he had taken off with some of his cabin mates. Only to track us down at Gage's bunk to tell us goodbye and that he was heading off to go sailing.

Gage took his time helping us unpack and in making his "top" bunk. He had met one of his cabin mates the night before at the meet and greet, which was really nice. Some of his other cabin mates were from New York, Virgina, and North Carolina. Then soon after he was unpacked he took off to go play basketball.

I quickly realized that while my boys may miss us, and while they may forget their shower shoes, start a new booger collection, and even fail to brush their teeth, they will have the time of their life. And that when I go to pick them up this weekend, all of us will be just a little bit more mature!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

As a Mom of 3 Boys.....

I long for the days of toilet seats being down. Some days I think I live with animals!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Surfing in Costa Rica

These next few post will be videos for the boys Grandma from our recent trip!

One of Gage's goals while in Costa Rica was to take a surf lesson. I was kinda of unsure if he would go through with it once we go there and he saw the size of the waves. We found a great local guy to give both he and Ward a lesson one afternoon. We were able to surf at an amazing low key beach, Playa Avellanas. There were only about 25 - 30 surfers at best vs 100 or more on some of the more public beaches. It is a beautiful 8k drive down a dirt road. The trees along the road held holler monkeys and gave us some of the best sights of our vacation. Brian our surfer instructor has surfed since he was about 4 - or "all is life" as he said. To say he was amazing is an understatement. He rocked. He had Gage up after about 10 minutes. No kidding. Now, Ward on the other hand was a different story. Don't get me wrong. Ward did well, he was up 2 or 3 times. I am sorry, I really didn't get a chance to get it on the Flip. (And I promise it wasn't because the moment he got up he fell!!). Gage enjoyed it so much that he did not want his lesson to end. We were able to get the next afternoon with Brian as well. Gage loved it. He has been researching to top 10 places in the world to surf after his Dad told him Costa Rica was in the top 10. I have tried to explain to him that Myrtle Beach is really one of them, even though it's not on any of the list. So far he isn't buying it! Davis was more interested in watching the other surfers on the beach and looking for Loyla the pig rather than take a lesson. It was a great place to people watch!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pinewood Derby

As usual I am way behind on blogging. I think Facebook is to blame. It is so much easier to just post pictures there. Many times I go to update and I either 1. get called away by a little bit or 2. I find myself holding back on what I really want to say and getting frustrated. If you could see my non-published stories/opinions you'd laugh. Maybe one day ---.

Anyway. Pinewood Derby. Gage's scout pack held their 1st Annual Pinewood Derby last month. Because Ward has so much spare time (yeah, right!!) he agreed to lead the derby. Lucky for us our back door neighbor is an award winning pwd man! Mr. Gene has written many an article for Scouts Life on the topic and has built many state winning cars. All apparently really cool details if you are into that kinda stuff. Ward is what I would call a perfectionist - so he managed every detail of this derby for 1-4th graders like it was the superbowl of pinewood derbies! He spent many of his nights working late on how he would run the double elimination tournament (see the photo below!) and let me just say, the NCAA basketball bracket had nothing on him! But enough on the that!

The morning of I had 4 boys waking up early eager to race. Check in was huge, we had 34 of our 40 boys participated (then a few parents as well!) I laugh because a good friend of mine said she brought a magazine because she thought it would be "really boring". She later told me she never sat down! It was wild, it was crazy, parents were cheering and children were screaming. We had the best time ever! It was crazy! Gage was outed in the 3rd round. He was beaten by the car that went on to win so he was pleased with his results.

There were trophies for first place, runner up and best car design. Then the Den Leader gave out 2 very special awards for Sportsmanship. For the scouts the main of focus of the Derby is to promote sportsmanship. These 2 awards were special because the cub scouts had no clue it would be given. Their leader listened to the boys interaction as she started and ended each race. Ward and I were very proud that Gage was the recipient of one of these awards. Scouts has been a very rewarding experience for Gage. He has learned that hard work pays off. And that people are paying attention to what you are doing and saying when you might not think they are.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Greetings From Centre America!

It never fails to amaze me how long it takes to prepare for a trip and then it's over in a blink. We decided last year to spend a week with the boys in Costa Rica. They are getting to the age where they really enjoy researching the area prior to our trips. Gage and Davis spent many hours looking online to see what we might find. Animals, type of land, climate etc... They each had their list of things to do and see. Monkeys for all of them, then fishing for Gage and zip-lines for Davis. Truman just wanted to swim and skip naps. Most of our trips we just relax and enjoy the beach or the pool. This one has been a little different. We rented a car and have been able to travel around (down many dirty roads) which has been very rewarding. We have seen monkeys, beautifully loud birds, tons of various lizards, and Davis even spied an Anteater with our neighbor. It is the near the end of the dry season so everything is brown and crunchy off the property. (Our property does water some so there is a tad bit of lush trees and grass). Our villa sits on the ocean and we have spent many evenings on the porch watching the sun "fall into the ocean". It happens each day at 5:30 and you can actually see the sun fall off - it takes less than 10 minutes to set. It is about the only time of day that the boys truly stop talking.

I think everyone has accomplished their vacation goals while we have been here.
Gage caught his first beautiful tuna, and learned the basics of surfing during his different lessons.

Davis and his need for extreme sports went on 2 canopy tours.
Truman swam swam and swam some more and skipped many of his naps.
I took Gage and Davis on one of the canopy tours and completed my goal of letting go and riding upside down and managed to keep my eyes open both times. I have a huge fear of heights but the views and the rush is so amazing, I just try not to look down!

Ward caught a few fish of his own during their charter and even attempted a surf lesson. I think he did a great job! There were a lot of times that his feet managed to stay on the board rather than over his head!!

We all managed to learn a little more Spanish.

I am only sad that after the 2nd day here Ward too a long swim with my waterproof camera in his swim trunks. Needless to say - while it is waterproof - it is not meant for long period of submersion. Thankfully we had our Flip for a few videos and my phone stepped in to help with a few pictures. But as Gage said - the pictures would never be as good as what he has in his head.

We end out trip with an afternoon sail where we return as sunset to see the sun drop into the ocean one more time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Saying goodbye to Pampers!

In November of 2002 we introduced our home to Pampers for just over 8 years they were a constant staple to my weekly Target list! With Gage I changed them every hour on the hour his first year of life. Even at night (maybe not every hour but if they even looked wet). Davis came along while Gage was still in Pampers so for a period of time in 2005 we had 2 sizes of Pampers to love. I still changed them often, just not as often! Fast forward to 2007, Truman came along just as the Pampers were about to make their way off our list. I will admit I saved more on pampers with Truman. I changed him a lot less. Some days only 1 time. It is not that he didn't go...he did...I just figured out how much those expensive little burgers would hold!!
But in December of 2010 we said goodbye to our friend Pamper --- 8 years of pampers. Ward keeps saying that he wants to have a diaper free party. Maybe we will soon. But before New Years we celebrated with cupcakes. Did I shed a tear? No not really, sure T is my last baby but honestly I am looking forward to a little extra change in my pocket each week. I figured in we had 8 years of diapers with a rough estimate of $12 a week on diapers (give or take with sales and years we had 2 sizes) that is 416 weeks of purchases @ $12 which puts us right around $5000 on diapers!! And for Truman he said goodbye pampers hello mickey mouse! We told him if he would go in the potty he would visit Mickey - he had been going in the potty off on and on since summer but Mickey helped it click! He is thrilled to go meet his friend, while I am thrilled to be diaper bag free! (For those of you that know me well know I haven't carried a diaper bag in over a year, but now I will have more room in my purse!!

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