Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

More Preschool August 27, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:58 am

I dropped Mason off at her last day of summer camp this morning and headed over to her preschool orientation by myself.  While I would have loved for Mason to see her teachers again before Monday’s first day, I didn’t want to take her away from her last field trip at camp.  Besides, she knows who the teachers are and where her class is at the school, and she is super excited for Monday!

As I walked into the elementary school, though, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy towards all the parents bringing their kindergartners in to meet their new teachers for the first time.  The school was crawling with parents and kids.  Some kids looked nervous as they walked into new surroundings, new people, new activities.  Some looked excited as they greeted old friends with smiles or hugs.  I could see the pride and anxiety in the parents of kindergartners, some who may be leaving their child for a full day for the first time on Monday.

Kindergarten is a big deal.  It’s the realization that your child is officially entering the 13-year school program.  It’s the understanding that they will now have homework and field trips and friends you don’t know.  They will be in school more hours than you actually get to see them.  They will be being molded by teachers and other children.  It’s a big step.

So while I am a bit jealous, I know we made the right decision to keep Mason in preschool for another year.  She’s going to grow up and learn so much this year, and by next fall, she’ll be so ready to start kindergarten and embark on the 13-year journey.  And while I’m sure I’ll be one of those anxious parents, I’ll also be a proud parent, eager for my girl to make her mark.

(It will be quite a different story in 3 years when I take Cooper to his orientation, though.  Oh man – my baby going to kindergarten?  Don’t even get me started!  Thankfully I have three years to prepare myself.)

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Trying Something New August 23, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:25 pm

I think I may have mentioned a few times that I am not as fearless as I once was.  I admit that I am not usually jumping at chances to try new things, whether new things are food or activities.  So when my sister-in-law mentioned that she wanted to go whitewater rafting and wanted others to join her, I quickly said I could stay home to watch the kids while others went.  But Jeremy talked me into it, and after the fact, I am so glad he did.

I loved it!  Yes, I was super nervous, but after I was signed up, I knew it was a challenge I had to conquer for myself.  Unfortunately, the intro video did not help.  Basically they have to legally tell us about the risks, which include death!  Of the over 2 million people who have rafted with them, only 16 have died, and they were usually because of other medical problems.  We were supposed to feel better having known that, I think.  Ok.  Then we get to the training portion of it to make sure we understood hand signals and what NOT to do.  The key thing they told us was that if we fell out of the boat, do not let our feet touch the bottom because of entrapment at which point rescue is basically impossible.  Ok.

THANK GOODNESS we got a boat with a guide.  Granted, we paid extra for it, but I am so glad we did.  There was no way I would ever do this without a guide in my boat, no matter if we were on a trip with other guides in other boats.  I was so glad he was in OUR boat.  He told us exactly when to paddle forward or backward or to lean in or get in the back or whatever was needed to make our ride go smoothly.

On the other hand, our guide was there to scare us!  He kept talking about Dimple Rock like it was this big ominous thing ahead of us.  He had us practice our “dimple paddle,” which was basically a fast and frantic forward paddle to get us through the rapids around Dimple Rock and not get tipped over.  He built up this rapid like it was the bane of our existence.  You can only imagine that it got me more and more nervous.  What had I gotten myself into?  As we got to Dimple Rock, we saw warning signs on the shore.  “Warning – Dimple Rock ahead!  Consider alternate routes or portage.”  Ok.  I built up my adrenaline as we saw other rafts go through the rapids first.  We watched a couple flip and saw other guides jumping in from the rock to help them get back into the raft or to get them out of the water.  Talk about intimidating!

But with our “dimple paddle” and trusty guide, Ed, we made it through!  In fact, our entire group of 7 boats made it through the rapids without flipping!  Quite a feat!  It was such a rush, and I loved it (after the fact, of course!)  All in all, we went through four Class 4 rapids and several Class 3 rapids.  They got easier and more fun as we went on.  And having Ed in our boat allowed us to do some things other boats without guides didn’t get to do.  It was really cool.

Besides Dimple Rock, my biggest fear was falling out of the boat.  My sister-in-law and their cousin fell in at one point early on in the trip.  It was scary since it was so early on, and we didn’t have our confidence built up.  Luckily all was fine, and they got back into the boat without much problem.  It was crazy to see that it could happen so easily without warning.  But soon after them falling in, I had my turn.  Going through a rapid, I fell right out.  You really don’t even realize what is happening until you are in the cold water.  We were still going through some rapids, and it was shallow where I was, so all I could think was “Don’t touch the bottom! Entrapment!  AAAGHHHH”  My feet brushed along the rocky bottom, and I heard Ed yell, “Get her in!  Get her in!”  I was back in the boat within 30 seconds, but it was scary and quite a rush.  On the good side, though, it let me know it was ok if I fell in.  I could handle it, and it would be ok.  But man oh man!!!!

In the end, I am so glad I challenged myself and tried something new.  I would definitely do it again, although I’ll stick to the Class 3’s and some 4’s.  Jeremy and his sister are already excited about the next level, but I certainly won’t be joining them.  To give a sense of comparison, our trip (Lower Yough) had an average drop of 18 feet per mile.  The next challenge for them will be the Cheat River, which has a 40-50 foot drop per mile.  And what they are building up to is the Upper Yough, which has an average 150-180 foot drop per mile!  Um, no thanks!  I’m good.

 

Wet, Wild, Wonderful August 18, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:46 pm

When I was younger and living in Littleton, CO, my family and friends frequented Water World.  It was quite a place then, and from the looks of the website, it seems to have gotten bigger and better in the 25 years since I’ve been there.  My sister and I will never forget the day our parents took us out on errands, saying we had to go look at furniture or something lame to any kid at the time.  We drove and drove, and all of a sudden, my dad pulled into the parking lot of Water World.  They pulled back the cover in the trunk of our Subaru wagon, and lo and behold, all the stuff we needed for a day at a water park was there.  It was the greatest surprise!!  I have so many fond memories of that place, but had never been to another water park (at least that I can remember because splash parks don’t really count) until a few weekends ago.

I’ll be honest, I was a little scared of them.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more fearful, more worried about germs and just more… you  know…  uptight, I guess.  Water parks were no longer at the top of my list of family adventures.

I will bite my tongue, though, now.  We had a great time at the Massanutten WaterPark.  It was a true family adventure with Meema, Jerry, Jen, Scott, baby Hayes, and the four of us.  My mom had gotten a nice package deal that included passes to the WaterPark while staying in one of the condos there nearby.

The view from the deck of our condo. It was a gorgeous summer morning in the mountains!

After gathering everyone together, we headed over to the large indoor facility.  From the outside, you see the huge atrium and tube slides coming out of the building, snaking around each other, and then going back into the building.  Mason was excited just seeing those!

Wowzers!

Once we got through the line and got our bracelets, we were let loose in this massive water park!  The majority of it is indoors with a lazy river, splash zones, kid slides, grown-up slides, huge buckets of water dropping at unknown intervals, a Pipeline for surfing, a baby area with tiny slide and sprinklers, a huge hot tub, and then a smallish splash pool.  That does not even include the huge arcade and bar area on a different level.  There is also water stuff outside including a large wave pool, splash zone, smaller pool with basketball hoops and floating crosswalk, and a huge speedy racing slide.

Not knowing where to start, we let the kids decide.  They pulled us up to the indoor splash area, and we immediately started going down slides.  Mason had measured in as tall enough to go on anything she wanted.  Cooper was not so lucky.  We started going down some kid slides with him in our laps, but were quickly told that was not allowed.  Thankfully Cooper manned up and was able to do the slides if he was holding our hand in the slide right next to him.  The kid is pretty fearless, so it was hard to tell him he couldn’t do everything.  Mason, on the other hand, was ready to roll.  She quickly convinced her dad to go down one of the huge tube slides on a double raft.  Cooper and I stayed behind while Jen, Meema, and Jerry did one of the fast tube slides with no raft.  It took awhile to meet back up with Mason and Jeremy, and I was concerned the line was super long.  We later found out that they had not been waiting in line, but had been down the slide 3 times!

Next it was lazy river time!

This became the family favorite!

Especially when Jeremy would make sure we all got dumped on!

We had a blast in the little time we had at the park in the morning.  We went back to the condo for lunch and some quick naps for the kiddos, but then it was back to the water park in the afternoon.  This time, Hayes even got to join the fun!

First dip in the water!

Mason and Cooper practiced safe swimming with their life jackets. They were good examples for Hayes.

We did make it outside, but it was still pretty chilly in the mountain air.  Meema and Jerry really wanted to try the speed racer slides, and their enthusiasm rubbed off on Mason.  Unfortunately when she got to the top and looked down, knowing she would have to go down face first, she started screaming.  Honestly, I think it was for the best, but knew she had to make that decision herself rather than me saying no.  And to tell you the truth, I was glad to have an excuse to bow out and walk back down the stairs with her.  It looked scary!  Maybe she’ll be up for it next year.

Mason enjoyed bonding with Meema and Jerry on the ground rather than on the steep slide!

After more fun in the afternoon, it was time to gather our things and head back to the condo to get ready for dinner.  But all in all, it was a great time.  Jeremy is already looking for more water parks to get to, and I can tell this might become a yearly tradition.  While the indoor nature of this water park still had me a bit uptight about all the germs and such in the humid air, I was able to let go of it and enjoy time with the family.  Maybe next time I’ll even get to build up my fearlessness a bit and go down one of the big slides with Mason!

 

How Did We Get Here? August 11, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:49 am

I remember, just a few months ago, reading articles and other blogs about the silly bandz craze.  I remember thinking how “silly” they were.  Why are kids going ga-ga over these things?  I remember when Mason came home with her first silly band that a friend at school had given her and me thinking, “oh no.”  I remember seeing emails going back and forth about where one could get silly bandz because they were being bought like crazy and selling out within hours of new shipments coming in. I remember thinking that I would never buy silly bandz.

Then I remember being at a store at Union Station and seeing lots of silly bandz and wondering if I should get a pack – just for fun.  People were buying them up like hot cakes, so surely there is something to them, and here they were right in front of me.  I remember keeping myself in check.  I would never buy silly bandz.

If I remember all this so clearly, how in the world did we get here?

It’s all coming back to me.  I remember taking Mason on a bunch of errands and being at Strosniders after a slew of other places.  Mason had been a trooper.  We saw a pack of princess silly bandz.  I remember her asking (not begging) if we could get some.  I remember thinking she deserved a special treat, so why not?  I told her at that time, “This is the only pack of silly bandz I am ever buying you.”

And yet, here we are.

62 silly bandz!

I bought one pack of silly bandz that fateful day in June.  When I told Jeremy, he gave me a look that said, “Here we go.”  I have since bought two other packs (one for Mason and one for Cooper – he needs to be in on the craze too!).  They have since received several other packs as gifts from family and friends.  They have traded and shared with other kids.  They have been strewn around the house.  They have been sucked up by the vacuum.  They have broken.  They have been threatened to be taken away due to behavior problems.  They have been coveted.

And that is the story of how we got here – 62 silly bandz at last count!

 

Back Seat Conversations August 8, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 3:46 pm

Mason:  Cooper, do you want me to smack your butt when we get home?

Cooper:  No!

Mason:  Ok.

Cooper:  I smack your butt when we get home.

Mason:  Do you want to smack my butt when we get to Target?

Cooper:  Actually, no.

 

New Toys, New Joys August 5, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:00 pm

Last week we were gifted some pretty exciting things.  All for the kids, of course!  Needless to say they were eager to get them opened and set up.  Yes, they both required some set up.  One was disappointing and one proves to be a winner.  Let’s see if you can figure it out. 

Um, Mom? Where's the water going to come out?

Water snake! Give us some water!

Oh well. Back to the lawn sprinkler. Now, there's some water!

Ok, we're all dried up. Time to....

Face the tickle holes! Oh, and JUMP, of course!

If you could not tell from the photo montage, the bouncy castle is a big hit.  Sadly, Mr. Water Snake did not give the kids enough excitement.  As per the warning on the box, “water pressure may vary by city.”  So true!