I'm so much quicker with the video camera this 2nd time around. I realize that one day she'll wake up and the baby voice will be gone. One day, she'll belt out her ABC's perfectly as if she'd been doing it all her little life. So, I pick up my Sony Bloggie (like the flip, only better - love that device) and I press Record...because a few years from now, this cuteness will be a long lost memory.
We went to the pumpkin patch on Saturday....you know the same one that I lost Cam at last year. I couldn't help but think of that situation as we pulled in to the parking lot. I said to my girls, "Now, listen. This is the same place where I lost a kid last year. We are all going to stay together and hold hands. No running ahead." Cam piped in and said, "Yeah! You lost ME!!"
This year, I didn't lose any children and we had a great time. The weather was chilly and actually resembled true fall. I'll get a few photos up this week (I really didn't take many) but for now...I'll share this spectacle with you. After she was done, an elderly woman came up to her and said "God sure did grant you with rhythm my child."
Back in August Camdyn attended horse camp at the ranch. She loved every second of it and has been pining to go back ever since. After having a solid week of "STAR" and "Double STAR"
behavior, we rewarded her with a semi-private horse back riding lesson.
For her first lesson she chose to ride her best friend, Molly. Camdyn loves this horse, and she talks about buying her one day. It took the instructor, Camdyn, and the two other little girls in her lesson, the better part of 45 minutes to tack their horses.
Here Camdyn leads Molly into the lesson arena. She leads the horse around as effortlessly as one would lead a puppy on a leash. She seems so small to be guiding such a large animal.
Camdyn is learning to ride English. This was not my choice for her. I thought she would have a much easier time riding Western, although it was not my call to make. Camdyn is interested in dressage and therefore riding English is necessary. Amazing to me, that at 5 3/4 years old she is planning for the future.
Now, my knowledge of horse back riding is limited to several years of trail riding while camping, so feel free to correct my mistakes (LeeAnn). Cowboys ride Western, their saddles have a horn, and they steer the horse by holding the reigns (which are knotted together) in one hand. English saddles don't have a horn, and require the rider to hold the reigns in two hands and steer the horse more like a car, as Cam is doing below.
Cam thoroughly enjoyed her first lesson. She sometimes gets frustrated with the terminology (which is also new to me) and figuring out her left from her right which for some reason is more difficult from the perspective of the saddle. For example her instructor will say "Camdyn drop your right lead and move that horse to the rail." What? Yeah, I can barely figure out what that means, so for a five year old, it's a lot to process. But, she'll get there and she's loving every moment of it. Much to my surprise, she even enjoys the barn work (sweeping and mucking stalls) which she is required to do after her lesson.
When I watch her lesson there is that piece of me that just can't get comfortable. There's that nervous energy that I feel about the unpredictability of animals and the reasoning/judgment skills of a 5 year old. But, there is also that swell in my heart, as I watch my little girl do something that she genuinely loves. Her toothless smile is bigger when she's in that saddle, her energy level peeks as we head to the barn, I can see that this is her passion.
What I once viewed as a fleeting fascination, that would dwindle just as her adoration for elephants and Shrek has, is now becoming a piece of who she is. This is no longer a phase that she will out grow.
Camdyn can not fathom a world without horses, especially a horse, named Molly
A few weeks back the Hubs celebrated a birthday. I happened to order his cake on a day that Camdyn earned double stars for her behavior at school. Her reward was that she got to pick out Daddy's cake. We sifted through the book of options at the bakery and then she chose this:
Two days later the Baker snickered as she handed me the cake, and then said "That is the best cake I've ever frosted."
What daddy wouldn't be over the moon happy about a unicorn cake?
He surely was. He loved that unicorn cake because our little girl loved that unicorn cake.
This is one of the simple joys of raising children.
This tank was sent to my by my girl Jennifer from Circle of love and the craziness around it. Our kids are about the same ages, although she's raising boys and I'm raising girls. I absolutely adore her and whole heartedly envy her craftiness. Thanks for the tank, Jenn! I have a feeling I'll wear it until the fabric gives out!
Where have I been? What day is it? What's my name? How did I get here? Yes, yes, I ask myself these questions often. Life is a whirlwind. Lovin' it and surviving it!
So, it's time to post some CELL phone photos in this MisCELLaneous post as well as a few deets on what I was doing last week, when I wasn't here. Here we go!
Last Saturday, we decided to convert Chloe's crib in to a toddler bed. I was hella reluctant about this. This is my second go-round here...I know better than to be EXCITED about this milestone. I know that it inevitably means she'll get out of bed whenever she wants to, I know it will mean procrastinating bedtime and bedtime struggles at some point in the future. But, the child needs to be able to get out of bed to use the potty, so in an effort to complete her potty training we converted her crib. So far so good. She has yet to get out of bed by herself in the middle of the night (which by the way, was supposed to be the point of converting her crib). She is still sleeping well and still asks to go to bed at night. But, I'm not declaring victory. I know that this will be short lived. ::Le Sigh::
I've purchased numerous items on etsy; headbands, knitted hats, tutus, hair band holders, leotards, but this is my biggest etsy purchase. I purchased a dining room table from Modern Rust on etsy. This farmhouse style table is made from reclaimed wood (I love you mother earth) and was made to order in 6 weeks and delivered from Virgina to Florida quickly. Yes, it looks like someone put a picnic table in my living room, but that will change soon. I am very pleased with the table and with the fact that the pink playhouse is no longer in my dining room. Now, I just need to finish this naked room.
On Friday, I took the day off of work. I attended an event at Camdyn's school in the morning, and then met up with Liz for some shopping, lunching, and a pedicure that didn't turn out like I visioned. It was relaxing and the company was fantastic, but the polish on my big toes has this white ghosting across it. I'm miffed enough about it to post photos of my "spoon toe" or "potato toe" as the hubs likes to call them on the interwebs. Really, my big toes are so round...like perfect circles. It's weird. I guess I'll have to go back so they can fix it.
These were delivered on Friday and made me forget all about the botched pedicure. I hear this show is fantastic, and I can not wait to take Camdyn to her first concert. Of course, I paid way too much money for tickets to this sold out show, but I don't have buyer's remorse over it at all...this something we are looking forward to!
On Friday night, we packed the suitcases and loaded the kids in the car and took them to Orlando for a weekend get-away. Our hotel room was upgraded...we ended up with 2 beds, 2 baths, and a loft style game room. This was more space than we needed, but we weren't complaining. It ended up raining the entire time we were there, so we spent a lot of time at the hotel, and the space really came in handy. The girls enjoyed playing upstairs and watching movies in their room.
On Saturday night, we met up with LeeAnn and Rylie and attended the Arabian Nights Dinner Show attraction. The girls, all 3 of them, were so well behaved. We ended up having front row seats and an unobstructed view of the action. The dinner was a smidgen above average, but the show was fantastic. When I asked Camdyn what her favorite part of the show was she said, "I don't have one. I loved all of it!"
Because of the rain, we cut our trip short and came home earlier on Sunday than we had planned. My house looked like a bomb went off in it, so I set to cleaning. While I was mopping floors, I caught the hubs doing this...completely on his own accord. Reason #652 why I love this man.
**note that the playhouse is not going to be permanently located there and the big brown box contains a new chandelier that needs to be hung
I hope y'all are having a great Monday!!
Sometimes my girls will fall asleep on a short car side, say in the 7 minutes it takes to get from the grocery store to home. I feel like they deserve at least a 20 minute nap, and so I drive through the country side, aimlessly. I take roads that I've never taken before.
That's how I happened upon this canopy covered lane, the trees arched over the street, moss dripping from the branches, and holes of sunlight peeking through like a moth eaten bed sheet.
On Sunday, I asked my oldest girl to come with me to the lane. "It'll only take a minute and you can wear that pretty new dress that is hanging in your closet."
To my surprise, she agreed, and willingly came with me.
Together we went Down the Lane.
She hopped out of my truck and asked me where she should stand. She followed all of my directions. This isn't the first time she's been in front of my lens, but really it was.
This is the first time that she played to the camera.
"Momma do we need to worry about cars since we are standing in the street?"
"No, love. This is a dead end street, there shouldn't be many cars coming our way."
"What if I pick up this pine cone and hold it? Remember that? Remember at the park?" I do remember that...so I let her call the shot.
And then I called this one.
And in less than 15 minutes, we were back in the kitchen. I didn't need to take photos for an hour...just for a spell. Just long enough to get a shot, and to test out that vision that was rolling around in my head.
I found inspiration. I found motivation. I found that creative "thing" that was missing. And the best part is...that my little girl helped me find it.