Although there’s always some culture shock when I come back from Family Camp, it’s nice to be here, in a lot of ways. And nice that thanks to my smarty-phone, my email inbox (though largely neglected) is not in complete chaos, and I was even able to post you a li’l post with a pretty picture in it.
Now for the list.
- On July 27th, right before E and I left for Camp, Sean’s and my new niece – E’s new cousin – was safely delivered! Congratulations, Auntie A and Uncle R. 🙂 Can’t wait for our girls to play together!
- Camp was awesome. I missed everyone as soon as we left: the wise, wonderful mamas – and daddies (though fewer of those); the kids (more than 20 of them this year!); my dear friends who live far away and whom I wish I could see more often, because somehow, Camp is never long enough. Those readers of you who were there: I loved seeing you, I loved the awesome conversations… and I wish we could have lots more time! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR. Yes.
- I also miss the food that magically appeared every meal, especially luscious raw veggie platters, homemade granola, pasta worth writing home about, and the best (vegan) chocolate cake ever. As this is only my second Family Camp in 20 years NOT in the kitchen, I know exactly how much work it takes to get those meals on the table. Merci mille fois, kitchen staff!
- Also magical was the kids’ program. So many cool crafts, fun activities, and in the case of E, wonderful distractions for those times he was determined to find his mama while she was determined to participate in work period. Muchisimas gracias, child care staff!
- We were really lucky with weather. There was only one day where OMG I fervently wished for our air conditioning – thank goodness we had a lake to get wet in. The rest of the week was mostly gorgeous.
- Speaking of gorgeous weather, Meeting on the hill was simply breathtaking. Or perhaps I should say breathgiving. Sitting in dappled shade each morning, listening to nature talking, looking at the lake, really thinking about how the breeze feels, basking in the silent presence of good friends… If we could all do that for a few minutes each day, all year round, the world would be fine.
- Speaking of the lake, E had a breakthrough in his water skills. He’s been enjoying our free swims at the Y, but still kinda nervous and clingy at any depth past his thighs. Same thing happened on the first day in the lake – he was still pretty stuck to me after being a bit under the weather the day before. Then, somehow, the next time we went, he was suddenly fine – walked right in, up to his chest, bounced around, got his face wet, managed to get over it even when he coughed on water a few times… I had to make sure I was right there, because he was comfortable enough to let go of me and wander around! He even braved one really wavy day near the end of Camp, and learned to hold his breath when a big wave was coming. So proud of him!!
- He also was insanely popular. As in, one preteen boy was reported to ask, “Who’s that blond kid? You know, the boy everyone loves.” His friend knew exactly who: MY KID. It’s crazy. People want to take him off my hands and go play with him. They feel compelled to give him things – even special things that belong to them. I mean, I know he’s cute – to me, he’s the cutest, most entertaining and charming little guy in the universe – but I’m completely biased. I can’t expect others to be as smitten with my son as I am… and yet, apparently, many of them are.
- If he can continue in life being “the boy everyone loves”, simply by being himself, as he does now… I will die a happy mama.
- About halfway through Camp, I got very much… pregnanter. My bump was pretty big and sometimes unwieldy already (Sean and I refer to it as a “geological event” when I have to roll over in bed with my knee pillow), but suddenly people were saying, “I think your belly grew overnight!” Also, my feet and ankles swelled up (a first for me) and I’m pretty sure I started waddling.
- Good thing my most intransigent pregnancy craving is ice cubes. I craved them during last summer’s pregnancy, as well. Not just the water, but the tactile sensation of crunching on ice when it’s half-melted. It’s weird.
- Now that I think of it, the tactile thing is a theme. For example, there were several times when I had the irresistible urge to get my bare feet in the sand – and it was the same feeling as satisfying a food craving: awesome beyond reason. Good thing the new play structure is surrounded by the province’s biggest sand pit.
- In honour of Hiroshima Day, August 6th, many folks made paper cranes (and sundry other creatures) during the week. I had to re-learn how to fold an origami crane, which is weird, because I made dozens of them for my wedding, also on August 6th, seven years ago. I guess that many years is long enough for even muscles to forget. One camper arranged (and did much of the work) for all the multicoloured cranes to be hung on strings from a star mobile made of branches. It was truly beautiful to see. (Sorry I didn’t manage a photo!)
- That day, August 6th, was the last day of Camp. Sean had arrived on the 3rd, so we got to spend a few days as a full family before our anniversary. At breakfast, we were presented with a big floral bouquet and a little plate with twin hearts made of food (E ate up the chocolate chips almost before we could blink) – and after most everyone had left, we got to have dinner with some of our favourite people on a sunny restaurant patio on the lake. ‘Twas pretty awesome. (We also had a mini-walk down the pier.)
- PLUS: Sean showed me the Power Point presentation he had made chronicling “The Great Carpet Clean Up 2012: One Man’s Journey.” (Sean rented and used a Rug Doctor as an anniversary gift while I was away – it was a ton of work, including all the furniture-moving. Some of you will understand how romantic this gift truly is.) It was an epic presentation with video footage and soundtrack, and it meant that when we came home that night, we were welcomed by carpets cleaner and puffier than we have had for, well, all the years we’ve lived in this house (which is five). Thank you, honey. You’re the best.
- Much as it’s always sad to leave Camp, I did LOVE my bed that night.
- The next morning (yesterday), we were right back into the real world: ultrasound at the hospital. Baby scored perfect once again on her biophysical profile, and the sonographer told me, “You have either a dancer or a soccer player in there.” (I think she’ll be both.) She has also moved around a lot since her last scan, and her head is closer to the down direction than before – so we’re just hoping she’ll hit the sweet spot in the next couple weeks. Come on, baby. Find that cervix.
- Oh, I have so many blog posts brewing. When shall I write them all? I need to give my organizational skills a pep talk.