Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jack O'Lantern

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Back in Black

My dear husband made arrangements for Cameron to hang out with his Aunt Sarah and Uncle Carey this past Saturday so that we could both go to the OSU/USC game in Corvallis.

We've been buying season tickets since the fall of 2002, with the intention of making weekend trips to the valley every fall and spending time with Jeromy's Grandma in Albany. Usually it works out pretty well, but last fall and this fall with the house being built and with a lot of touch-up needing to be done, our games have not been as much a priority as in years past.

It's been at least two years since I've been able to go to an entire game, with just adults. It's been so long, I don't remember the last time I was inside Reser Stadium for more than fifteen minutes. Cameron doesn't tolerate the games very much, and with three of us occupying our two small stadium seats, Jeromy doesn't tolerate it for very long either. So I usually stay at home with Grandma while Jeromy goes to the game, but in the past few weekends I've opted to stay home and play catch up while he goes to and from Corvallis.

Which is why this weekend was extra special, what with Jeromy making plans so that the both of us could actually go to the game. Together.

Then, the Beavers did us one better by beating USC in what turned out to be a nail-biter, but a win nonetheless.

We Beaver fans were just a little bit excited.

There was even post-game tailgating.

Me: Still SO going to try and talk you out of going to the Civil War Game the day after Thanksgiving. Jeromy: Not on your life, sweetheart.

The last Pumpkin Patch this Year. I promise.

There's nothing like spending a morning with more than two dozen three-year-olds to help put work and life in general in perspective. As in... think you're stressed at work? Think you've got it oh-so-rough in the adult business world? Try being in charge of three of these guys on a beautiful Friday morning:

Um, yeah... heeeeere's the rest of the line:

Heh Heh Heh, fair parent chaperones. We are a swarm of cuteness just waiting to get lost in the hay bales. Zip-lines and giant slides? Child's play. Bring on the petting zoo and e-coli. We are not afraid.

Ethan and Cameron

Ethan and Cameron, later, planning a Giant Pumpkin Heist:

They work remarkably well together "in the field," do they not? Mmmm Hmmm. I'm the one who got to break the bad news that they only got to keep one pumpkin each.

But all in all, a really great day. Okay, I admit it. It was fun.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Elk: The Picture

Thought some of you might like to see this!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

too. tired. to. post


So, I have this great new job.

Great, until one of my staff calls in crazy and just decides to not do her job anymore. Which means my three-quarter time job has now become a one-and-a-half-time job. Note to self: whenever a job pays WAY more than you've ever earned in your life, there's probably a good reason for it.

I complain because I know you guys bothered to check what's new at Cameron's Castle and have stayed with me this long to listen.

You're the best.

And I have TONS of new material on my brain, but alas.... too. tired. to. post.

I'll leave you with this little diddy, which I discovered on our non-laptop computer now that it's finally hooked up and operational again.

This is Cameron, 12 days old, but his first full day home from the hospital. I am still shaking my head at the wonder of it all.

And below, a sideways picture of Jeromy's mom holding Cameron that same day. Because I accidentally uploaded this one to blogger and now I can't fix it and I'm going to bed. So there you go. The End.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Can Cameron Come and Play?

When your yard looks like this, you have to get creative when it comes to playing outside.

I especially love the Head-Wound-Waiting-to-Happen pile of concrete curb in our backyard. Thank You, city of Redmond, for making us cut out and then re-pour the same curb. Twice.

A close second? The dead trees. We're pretty sure there's a snake or two living in there.

So a big shout-out to the Mawdsleys, whose yard looks like THIS:

And who invited us to come and play last Friday.

Clearly, we were having so much fun and, after having fallen in love with a particular tractor and trailer, we were not. going. anywhere. I just had to get this picture because, you know, I was already writing the blog in my head.

Because you can never have too many pictures of your child holding a chicken

Or Rooster. I don't know excatly. I just know it required copious amounts of Purell.

Number of times we've been to the Pumpkin Patch this year: 3

Number of times we're planning to go again before Halloween is over: 2

So, be watching for more chicken pictures, peeps.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Elk Camp Update

Jeromy got an elk yesterday.

Not just any elk, however.

A 5x6 bull elk, a big boy, relatively young, according to the teeth. (side note: I don't understand the whole teeth-reading thing, but I guess that's why girls aren't invited to this party)

Now, where's the number for Sears so I can get a new freezer?

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Perils of Public Transportation

Bend has joined the big leagues, people.

Bend has a bus system now.

Well, it's not so much a "system" as it is four recycled Dial-A-Ride short busses and two new, sparkly big busses... all of which follow only six routes that take you to the four corners of the city limits. And that's it. Not to Redmond, not to LaPine. Certainly not to Prineville.

I guess it's a start.

So! I thought it might be a good (and fun!) idea to take the kids on the new BAT busses (Bend Area Transit, get it?) between the time that Cameron and I picked up Bailey and when I had to pick up Courtney from gymnastics practice because we were going to have a big sleepover on Thursday night and then lounge around the house Friday morning eating cinnamon rolls until it was time to go to the pumpkin patch. Again.

At least I thought it would be a good idea. When it comes to lofty goals, especially involving the kids, I tend to get a little glass-is-half-full and all romantic about things.

I was going to teach the kids about public transportation! Hang with other users-of-public-transportation. Hey kids! Let's save the environment! We started out all excited and energized... picking out our route, deciding which side of the street we were going to have to stand on that corresponded with the route that we chose... it was very fun. For the first ten minutes. Because, as it turns out, when an Area Transit system only has six busses to complete six different routes, you have to wait a while for the bus to complete its route before it gets back to you.

This was lofty-idealism-ruining moment #1 for me. We waited for 35 mintues for the bus to pick us up.

But once we got on the bus, we were all smiles. The irony that it was one of the short, recycled Dial-A-Ride busses was not lost on me, however, because again! lofty idealism and I really, really wanted one of the new sparkly busses. Nevertheless, we began making plans and talking loudly and in earnest about them. We were going to have dinner at Johnny Carinos, get dessert at Coldstone and then make it back just in time to pick Courtney up. The perfect early dinner and dessert!

As it turns out, it's a good thing we were talking loudly and in earnest because one of the other passengers overheard our "conversation" and asked me if I had even bothered to look at the bus schedule for the day.

Me: (thinking to myself... Ummm, there's a schedule?) Why, no! I thought the busses ran until at least the evening.

Strange, but increasintly helpful, Man: No, no, no. The last drop off is somewhere around 6:00 and could someone get this poor woman a schedule please?

Me: (looks at watch) Oh, it's 5:25. Okay, kids! Change of plans!

You may have already recognized this as lofty-idealism-ruining moment #2 for me.

About this time, Mr. Bus Driver, in response to Strange Man's request to get me a schedule, hands me a four-foot by four-foot "Riders Guide," cleverly folded up and looking like a map of Oregon, Washington AND Idaho. Glancing at it as if to say, "look, pal... I have two kids here and won't have time to even figure out how to open the rider's guide no matter how shiny and pretty it is" I stare at Mr. Bus Driver squarely in the face and tell him I have two kids under 6 in short sleeved shirts, and when will you be back to pick us up?

As God is my witness, I swear he told me to be back at the North Entrance to JC Penny's (aka the "Robal Road Stop" along BAT's Route #4) at 6:00 pm. Sharp.

Our change of plans involved having dessert before dinner, so the kids were thrilled. One trip to Coldstone later, we were anxiously awaiting the return of the bus to take us back to downtown Bend for some real dinner. The three of us were standing at our pre-arranged meeting place at 5:55.

And we waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Anyone notice that it's getting darker? The kids didn't... hopped up on chocolate and cotton candy ice cream, as it were.

Finally, at 6:35, I called the fine folks at this company to rescue us:

Can you see the top of Cameron's head in the back of the carseat-free cab?

As my friend Lyndie put it:

Cost of bus ride to the Cascade Village Shopping Center, $1.00

Cost of cab ride back to perfectly-good-parked-SUV, $14.00

Cost of learning the perils of public transportation? Priceless.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Elk Camp Widow

After several years of trying to hunt Elk In Oregon, Jeromy has thrown in the towel and fled to the mountains of Idaho. He's joining my dad and "that group" for several days in some mountain Shangri-La, where apparantly (or so I've heard) there is running water, a great group of conversationalists, and a better chance at bagging an elk than anywhere in Oregon.

My husband's luck being what it is, I won't hold my breath.

Besides, we really have no freezer room for an entire elk. Seriously.

So while Jeromy is having his fun in another state, Cameron and I will hang out here at the house. It will be so great to continue our mother/son bonding experience so that I can milk every second out of his three-and-a-half-year old existence, store it in my permanent memory forever and daydream about it while at work.

Um, yeah.

First order of business: Mom's Night Out. Once I learned that my friend Tamara's husband was out of town this weekend too, I basically bulldozed through any plans that she might have had for tonight and begged for wine , dinner adult conversation.

She took pity on me. She's a good friend. She's hosting the kids, the babysitter AND buying their dinner. My agenda for this evening consists of the afore-mentioned

1. Wine
2. Dinner
3. Adult Conversation

And Finally,

4. Scone mix from World Market, on account of my secret love affair with my scone pan.

We're only going to be gone for about four hours. We might think of the kids once or twice. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Snack Bucket

Tomorrow is Cameron's day to take the Snack Bucket to Pre-K 3. It is also, not coincidentally, his last day at Trinity. (I can actually hear all three of you collectively groan because, you know, here we go again.)

So, yes: short version... yadda yadda yadda... Cameron gets "beat up" at school (my exaggeration) yadda yadda yadda... Cameron is nearly fed peanuts... yadda yadda yadda... Jeromy actually voices this statement: "man, there's a LOT of kids in there when I go to pick him up"...


I think I'm in the anger phase right now because I really don't want to leave. But it's the right decision to make.


Anyhoo... did all of you know that it is now S.O.P in (at least most schools in Central Oregon) for the children in lower-grade classes to alternate and bring a snack into class once or twice a month? I'm all GET OUT because when *I* was a kid, after walking three miles uphill to school in the snow, we didn't get any snacks. In fact, there wasn't even a cafeteria in my school and so I had to go home for lunch every day. Which was fine because all the kids who were bussed in had to sit in their classrooms and eat and who wanted to be one of them?

Another bonus: Days of Our Lives was on every day from 12-1. Which also just happened to be the lunch hour. So here I was, in all my 11-year-old glory, eating my lunch (which my mom had prepared the night before, put on a plate in the fridge, and saran-wrapped until we were ready to eat it) and watching questionably age-appropriate TV in the middle of the damn day. I thought it was great.

Cameron's sticking to the school cafeteria, because God knows what's on TV these days during the lunch hour.

Good bye, awesome school. Don't give up on the Millers just yet. We'll try again in a couple of years. We promise.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

At the Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch today. Cameron napped late and so we got off to a late start. Once there, we had enough time to just pick out our pumpkins before they were starting to close. I also, apparantly, had just enough battery left in my camera to take these pictures.

We decided we needed to take another trip out there, since we didn't have a chance to get lost in the hay maze, we didn't ride the pony rides, we didn't go up the hay castle and we didn't ride the tractor train. Maybe I'll even remember to replace the batteries in the camera before Friday.

bad hair day

Heh Heh.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Things I love about my house. Or, to put it more accurately, IN my house

We are having more drama at school again.

Not of the Amish-schoolhouse-variety, but drama nonetheless. I know I should count my blessings and be glad for every day that doesn't go horribly wrong, but on Thursday? When I was picking Cameron up? During snack time?

The director of Trinity's extended care program was handing out miniature chocolate bars for snack and she allowed Cameron to pick two, and he just so happened to PICK ONE WITH PEANUTS and one without.

For those of you who don't know, Cameron is allergic to peanuts. We don't exactly know what would happen (since he's pretty much never been within a five foot radius of peanuts in his life) but we're pretty sure it wouldn't be good.

So.... yeah. *Angela sighs and rolls her eyes* We're still deciding what to do.

Which has my thoughts terribly preoccupied and so I thought I'd take a picture of my coffee maker.

Hello, Lovely Coffee Maker.

When Jeromy first told me that you made "really awesome coffee" I didn't believe him, but only because I didn't think that spending $169 on a coffee maker would actually make really awesome coffee.

Boy, was I wrong.

I will never doubt you again. Your pre-programming feature makes it so easy for me to wake up to the smell of rich, dark Starbucks French Roast every morning. That is, if I remember to get it ready the night before but that's another story. I also love how your carafe keeps our coffee warm well into the late afternoon or early evening, just in case we need that extra pick me up to get us through the rest of the day.

Your gold filter gleams with the promise of a shiny, buttery cup of soul-warming coffee each and every morning as we drive to school and quite honestly I don't know what I would do without you. I probably should have wiped the fingerprints from your gorgeous satin exterior, but I wanted The Internet to see how much you get used by your loving family.

Thanks, Starbucks coffee maker. Even if you do cost more than most people's car payment, you're the best.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Quick Question

Is it just me, or does everone's car look like this at the end of the day? I'm just wondering.

Family Pictures

An afternoon in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard, and an evening spent in Pioneer Park in Walla Walla. A great time was had by all.

Fall Reunion Weekend

Ten years ago, (give or take a few months) I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from this fine place:

I can't say I've actually used my degree per se, but the education that I received definately prepared me for what would come later in my professional life. So it was nice to get together with a few friends this past weekend to catch up, reminisce and reflect on ten years well spent.

Very well spent.