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Choosing Sides

Sunday, July 31, 2011
*Just want to note before you read this post that I have no real reason for writing this on today. There hasn't been a bad experience recently or anything else... it's just something that I've thought about for years and thought I'd just ramble on about it here. :) 

I remember a day when I used to know it all. I used to feel confident in every decision I made. I knew exactly what I would do in any given situation. 

Then, I became a mom. 

And, all of that went out the window. In the effort of full disclosure, I will say that I'm still pretty strong-headed. I, like all moms, have doubts in my abilities as a parent from time to time. I, like all moms, wonder if I really have a clue about what I'm doing. But, I also, like or unlike others, feel confident most of the time in my decisions. And, once I make them, I commit that they are my choice and if they are wrong, I don't care to admit it. I am human. I am a mom. And, there is no reason in the world to think that I am going to go through parenting without making mistakes. I have made them all my life... I didn't immediately become perfect when my daughter took her first breath. 

With that all being said, things changed when I became a mom. Things that I thought were simple and easy choices weren't necessarily that easy. I wondered if I would ever feel as confident about my choices as I did before I had a daughter. I wondered why it was that way for a long time. And, after my daughter reached her first birthday, I started to feel like I was gaining my old confidence and I began to slowly realize why.

I was an avid reader of all things parenting when I first became a mom. I was among the first of my close friends to get married and to have a child. Most of my inner circle of friends were not yet mothers, so I had to rely on other resources for information. And, these resources were wide and many, I will tell you. I can remember reading articles after articles... most of them just being confirmations of what I felt or thought or completely disagreed with. :) Yet... there was one article that I read that stands out in my mind. I wish I could find it. It was so compelling. It stuck out in my mind at the time for several reasons... and it really put a lot of things into perspective for me. 

It was an article about moms... all moms and their relationships with each other. It had nothing to do with actual parenting. It was about moms judging one another for their choices. It hit home for me, because one of the hardest things for me to deal with as a new mom was the bombardment of advice that I received from other people. Again, many of my close friends were not yet mothers, so other people, particularly moms, felt as if they really needed to share their wisdom with me. 

I'll never forget the woman who told me in line at Old Navy that I really needed to clip Bailey's fingernails before she scratched herself. My jaw literally almost hit the floor. I was caught so off-guard that I don't even remember what I said to her... but I remember thinking of all kinds of things that I wished I would have said later on. :)

Now, in an effort to not sound like an unappreciative brat, I want you to know that I absolutely cherished so many of the conversations that I had with other moms. I can tell you that there are certain people that really helped me make decisions, to trust my instincts, and to just feel like a normal person for wondering how in the world to do these things. There were even friends who were not moms who helped me by reminding me that I was allowed to make my own choices and not feel pressured by everyone else to do what they were doing (that's totally a shout out to you girls at UC!). :)

Yet, there were the moms who decided to tell me what they thought by saying things like, "Oh... well, you just have to breastfeed. It's only natural. Bottle fed babies are usually overweight and unhealthy." Or you had the other, "Breastfeeding is the biggest hassle. You will never be able to do it. It's too much work and you are so confined to the child. Just don't do it." 

So, here I was, a new baby on the way, and people just forcing their opinions on me... not in a constructive way, but in a very matter of fact and judgmental way. I felt attacked... as if whichever decision I made would be choosing a team or a side. The article that I read that made such an impact talked about how mothers seemed to be on teams. That there was this way or that way... and that only one way could possibly be correct. The article went on to talk about how moms, if they stopped alienating each other by making them feel judged, could be a force to be reckoned with... a strong, united group of people who could help each other through situations, good or bad, right or wrong, and find the best solutions for that individual. It said, quite simply, that moms could be a new mom's worst enemy... and that moms did this to themselves. And, it made the case for women to stop judging each other on everything from breastfeeding to working versus staying at home, and to, instead, start supporting each other and celebrating each other's differences. 

Now, I can assure you that I don't ever think I have attempted to sabotage a new mom by sharing with her my opinion. That's not to say that I haven't though. I am quite certain that I have, even as recently as the past year, said something to the affect of, "Just don't do this..." to my best friend. Thank God she knows me and could easily have said to me, "Oh really..." and I would have cracked up at myself for being that mom. I can also assure you that I often want to look at a mother who wants to give me advice and say, "Did I ask for your opinion?" Haha. It's much easier to feel that way after two kids who have survived (by some miracle) through the toddler stages and are now entering the very scary, school-aged world. 

I also can assure you that I think it is natural for women to align themselves with other women who make similar choices. I have to admit that I have an easier time talking to someone who has kids that are interested in the same things as mine... that I had an easier time talking about my challenges with breastfeeding to other moms who also struggled with it. There is just a natural progression about that type of relationship... and there is not one single thing wrong with it, until... you alienate someone else. 

Why do we feel the need to judge each other? To make each other feel like they made a choice that was wrong? Why do we as parents feel like we need to confirm that our way is the right way? Does it really have to be this way or that way? No. It doesn't. 

Each child is different. Each parent is different. Each situation is different. We should embrace that... not try to streamline it.

For example, I have been on both sides of the stay at home versus working mother fence. Each time, I've been treated like I am making the wrong choice by some other mom. As a working mom, I've had moms make comments about "Don't you feel like your kids are spending more time with their sitter/day care teachers? I just couldn't do that to my kids." As a stay at home mom, I've heard, "Don't you ever get tired of being at home with kids all the time? I don't see how you can stand just doing the same thing over and over all day." 

Really, ladies. We need to support each other more. To lift each other up for our differences and celebrate each other's confidence to make our own way for us and for our kids. 

Each and every new (and old) mom is looking for reassurance that they are doing a good job... that their beautiful baby is thriving because of their love and care. None of us get into motherhood with the idea that we want to be told we are doing it all wrong. Help each other... don't force your opinion... listen to each other. I know that it can work. I have it with my friends now. Sure, Dawn, Rebecca and I agree on a lot of things. But, each of us have different birth stories. Each of us have different experiences with breastfeeding. Each of us have different ways to get our kids to sleep at night or had different ways of sleeping with them when they were infants. You know what? All of our kids are happy and healthy. All of our kids can get themselves to sleep. All of our kids (except Jake, haha) eat. 

Go forward and support each other... women's liberation wasn't created so that we could divide ourselves into two groups of this way and that way. We just keep knocking ourselves down by forgetting that. 

A routine

Thursday, July 28, 2011
School is about to start back in our world… and that brings lots of sadness to our home, especially as it relates to my son, Jake. He is not interested in the least in returning to his preschool – or any preschool for that matter – and he is going to make sure we all know it. Sigh. I don’t know what to do to change that for him. We have tried everything we can think of to make it exciting, but when Jake decides he isn’t buying something… well, he just isn’t going to change his mind easily. So, we continue on this path of hoping and praying that he’ll eventually find a passion for something at his school and that we’ll be able to use that to get him excited about going. Until then, we have school supplies to purchase, new clothes to pick out, and new backpacks and lunchboxes to look through. And, even if Jake isn’t excited about going to school, we are ALL excited about the shopping. 

We are also a bit sad about school starting back, because it really brings to an end our lazy days of summer. We love the slow speed of our summer mornings, where the kids lounge in their pajamas until lunch time (most days), watching their favorite shows, swinging on their swingset, or jumping on their trampoline to pass the cooler hours. We love the coolness of the pool when the temperature gets too hot and the tight feeling of our skin after a long day in the sun. We love to lay on the couch, curtains pulled to make it nice and cozy, with a soft t-shirt, wet hair, and a bag of popcorn, watching our favorite movies. Oh, summer, how you force us to cherish you. 

Yet, summer seems to end as soon as August hits; as soon as school begins, life shifts from a steady humming buzz of busy to a full throttle of overdrive. We become less sporadic and more routine. There is homework to be done, papers to be signed, and lunches that need packed. This year is sure to bring even more difficulties as Bailey transitions into the first grade and has a wonderful (but very tough) teacher. I imagine that the days of me cooking dinner while Bailey works on her homework will be less this year, as she will probably need more instruction at home. We are up for the challenge, though… I love to see my kids learn and excel at what they are doing. And, Bailey has all the energy and enthusiasm in the world when it comes to doing her homework. So, we’ll keep on using that, because one day it might run out.

There is something to be said about a routine though… it does seem to help me. I know that many of you often think I have lost my mind when I say we have signed up for something new or are packing one more thing into our schedule. But, I can honestly say that we all seem to do better with a schedule  (when I say that, I mean me and the kids… our schedule and Brad’s don’t always mesh, so I’m not speaking for him here). The kids and I seem to find ways to do more and enjoy more things when we are busier. It’s probably because I’m more mindful of our time when there are so many things to pack into a day. When we have to be at an activity at 5:30, I’m much more likely to come home and cook dinner as soon as I get there than I am when we don’t have to be any place until 7. I look at it like I look at money. If you have a lot of it, you waste it. If you don’t, you budget it wisely. :) 

And, so it goes. Here's to hoping that our new routine will embrace us with soft and patient arms... because while Bailey, Brad, and I might go easily... Jake is going to come to this routine kicking and screaming... now or later. :) 

Fighting... the urge to throw up.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
As I might or might not have mentioned a few times on here, I'm the daughter of a former professional boxer.

I have spent so much time watching boxing matches that I honestly could probably qualify as a judge. I might or might not have a habit of counting punches when watching a fight. If you don't watch boxing, you probably think that sounds crazy. But, after watching it for my entire life, it just comes with the territory. 

As an adult, I would pick my favorite fighters based on the best fights. And, really, I never have had an all-time fighter, unless you count my dad or brother. :) But there are always certain fights that stand out in my mind. The Gatti vs. Ward fights are probably my favorites. As much as I love the story of Micky Ward, I have to admit that I always rooted for Gatti. However, I type this as I watch The Fighter. :) Being raised in a boxing household also requires that watch and re-watch boxing movies repeatedly... Rocky IV. Ugh. That's all I'm saying. Thank God for Mark Wahlberg's determination in creating a new boxing movie. And, while I'm rambling on that topic, I have to say that The Fighter might very well be the most realistic boxing movie I have ever seen. Watching boxing behind the scenes is kind of similar to watching sausage being made. :) The Fighter really hit the nail on the head with most of it. :) 

Anyway... the reason for this post is not to ramble about why I love boxing or to discuss the merits of boxing movies or to determine which fights were the best. Instead, I'm talking about my son's newfound interest in the sport.

A couple of weeks ago, we spent time with my parents in eastern Kentucky. My dad decided to give Jake a boxing lesson. It was mainly just to play with him, but it ended up being more. Jake, who is known for his short attention span in sports, sat mesmerized as my dad instructed him. He watched in amazement as Colt and Brad, and admittedly, his mother, hit the mits.

Normally, I would be thrilled to see that he has the attention span for any sport... but this one was different. I was sick to my stomach watching this little boy fall in love with a sport that will make me want to throw up every time he "plays" it. Of all the sports in the world, this is the one that I probably did not want him to pick. 

Don't get me wrong... I love boxing. I mean, I really and truly do love it. It's an incredible sport that takes so much physical and mental capacity. It takes courage, work ethic, and the ability to keep your wits when all you want to do is tackle your opponent to the ground. Learning to box (and when to actually use it) can make you feel safe, strong, and confident. All things that are good for kids... all things that were good for me. I never remember feeling like I couldn't defend myself and that was because I knew the right way to throw a punch and I knew the right way to duck (or when to run... haha). Yet... 


... watching a mere friend in the ring can make me kind of sick and shaky with nervousness.

... watching my brother would make me a nervous wreck, hands trembling, sweat dripping, and voice cracking with every yell. I cannot tell you the number of times that I've actually contemplated climbing the steps to the ring and punching the crap out of one of my brother's opponents. Or just grabbing him and holding his arms down so that my brother could hit him. Seriously... adrenaline + emotional female = scary.  :) 

... watching my son in the ring... I probably would have a nervous breakdown... or I could actually kill someone. :)

So, of course, Jake is in love with that sport. And, as fate would have it, he's probably going to have the genetics to make him good at it. He's cool, calm and collected. He's thin. He's tough enough to take a punch from his 6-year old sister, bare-fisted, to his eye and not even cry. He understood the instructions that my dad gave him, almost immediately. I was so excited and yet so sick. I was beaming at how good he was doing, but feeling the need to pull him away and bundle him up in a baby blanket for fear that he was going to really actually want to box. 

These days, when I ask Jake what sport he wants to play, he says he wants to be a boxer. I might be losing the battle to keep him out of the ring. Instead, I might have to put on the big girl panties and actually suck it up as a mom and let my baby bird fly a little. Just don't expect me to do it without throwing up first. 

For those of you interested in seeing my little guy (and girl, since Bailey took a lesson, too) in action... here you go. :) 

What I Love Wednesday

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Over on Our Cups Runneth Over, we have a little project, where we have linked up with This Kind of Love, to celebrate a great idea they had... What I Love Wednesdays.

Now, I try my hardest to keep this blog separate from my OCRO posts, because I don't want to be redundant and boring.

Today, though I have to just go ahead and post this. You see, when I started writing my portion of our combined What I Love Wednesday post, I could have written about 40 things (I might or might not be exaggerating). :) Since I was trying to keep it to 5 or 6 things, I started thinking it would probably be fun to do the full list (or almost full list) here.

So, here ya go... :) I'm so loving these things this Wednesday: 

My new Facebook page for Life with the Ootens! Hit the like button on the right column (if you are reading this on our actual site) or just click on this link and go to Facebook to like us, if you haven't already! And, THANK YOU for all of you who have already "liked" us. It means so much to me to have you all reading and supporting our blog!

Mahi mahi. I never loved fish. I never really liked fish. But, these days, my tastes are a-changing... and I love mahi mahi... so much. I fixed it this week for the first time... and now all I want is fish tacos. I think I'm going to have to go and buy some more fish tomorrow to make fish tacos this weekend. 

Pedicure night with Brad and the kids. I love a good pedicure (preferably from someone else). I routinely do them at home, since you know, they are a bit cheaper at home. :) And, the kids celebrate pedicure night. I mean, they truly celebrate it and love it. Brad does, too, although he might have a hard time admitting that when hanging with the boys at the basketball court. 

New and old TV shows... lately, I'm loving Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Criminal Minds, and How I Met Your Mother reruns. Although, I have to say that Gene Simmons and his show is really making me a bit emotional. I thought I was going to have to turn it off at one point this week. 

My baby brother. I'm a big sap when it comes to my brothers. I love them so much. Watching Colt grow up has always been a favorite pastime of mine... but seeing our relationship evolve from that of a maternal-son relationship to a buddy relationship has been pretty awesome. I love that he takes the time to really be interested in things I'm doing... he was so intent on making sure I could ride the bike that he has "loaned" me. :) So freaking cool to feel like he's taking care of me instead of me taking care of him. But don't worry... I still had to help him order his college textbooks and take care of his college financial aid package. Haha. 

Listening to Bailey sing the song from Beauty and the Beast... Be our guest... :) It's absolute perfection. 

Jake's adorable "I love yous." I'm not sure if Jake is insecure or if he just doesn't want me to feel left out when we go to the pool (or any place, really). If he makes a friend, he talks and plays for a minute... then he runs over to me and says, "Mom... mom, mom... I love you." He follows it with a kiss or hug and sometimes just hangs with me and sometimes goes back to his friend. I keep telling him that he doesn't have to hang out with me, but he always does this... Always. I would discourage it more, but I can't help but love it... and I know that it won't last long. 

The kids' desire and hope that we will one day move to Ohio and live next door to Dawn, Brandon, Jackson, and Carson. They believe that would be great... but not perfect. It would only be perfect if we could also move all of our entire family and friends to go with us. But, Ohio, it must be. Dawn is probably psyched about that... I'm lobbying for something closer to the beach. :) 

Back to school time. I hate it and love it, but I'm so pumped about getting to shop for some back to school clothes. SOOOOO exciting. :) And, my diva girl is totally excited about it too. Jake is in denial that school exists for him any time in the near future. 

Good news from doctor's offices... no changes in my SSB levels in the past year, a normal white blood count, and no Rheumatoid factor. Shew. What a relief.

Running. Again. Regularly. Finally.

Two-hour long conversations with my mother-in-law. Yes. You did read that correctly. I am so lucky to have a mother-in-law who I can laugh with, cry with (although, fortunately that doesn’t happen much), and just ramble about everything with. She loves me, my hubby, and our kids so much… and I could NOT have found another mother-in-law in the world as awesome as her. :)

Impromptu time with friends… a spinning class at the Y, followed by grilled hot dogs, Miller Lite, and an action movie with Rebecca and Paul. A pizza and cinnastix (thanks, Dawn) while processing photography orders with my bestie, Cilla, and her hubby, as we impatiently await baby Steffen’s arrival. A few minutes laughing with Dawn and Brandon after we moved out the last of her things as she makes a move to Ohio. A few quick moments in time… all so important in making my life so full.

Lexington’s Farmer’s Market. Fresh green beans. Corn on the cob. Wandering around the market with my mom, Bailey, and Emily… all a perfect Saturday morning.

Riding a bike… a real bike… on a road, not in a class, for the first time in nearly 20 years. The wind in my hair… the pain in my butt… the sweat pouring down. And, seriously, I only rode one block, people. LOL.

My husband. We have our moments. We are a real married couple. We fight. We want to kill each other some days. Yet, on the good days, things are great. And, those days are the ones I love. Waking up together and not being in a rush to get out of bed… to get to cuddle up and talk about everything under the sun (especially how bad the other one’s breath is – whew!). Mornings like that at our house are few and far between, but on Sunday, we had that. And, within 10 minutes, both of our munchkins were in the middle of the bed, cuddling with us. Some days just start out perfectly. :) I want to hold onto those little moments more than anything else in the world.

Summer days at the pool… we have spent some quality time at the pool over the last very hot week. The water has been perfect. The kids are all over the pool. Jake is even becoming braver and putting his face in the water. With goggles on. Once each time we go to the pool. But no more than once. Baby steps, mom. :) Bailey, on the other hand, is hard to keep up with because she spends more time underwater than above. All very good, very happy things. :)

Happy Wednesday, I hope you find lots of things to love today! 

Running amuck...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Ten descriptions of the past few days.


Yes. We have had fun. We have been going full speed. We have been enjoying life and living it to the extreme. Life is full... that's not even close to being the right description. 

As I blogged on Thursday, I had seven kids at our house for a sleepover. The kids did wonderfully. All seven of them were great (well, except a few times when Bailey ignored me and forgot to listen). They had so much fun. I think I enjoyed it as much as them. They were so cute. And, I was a little emotional... maybe because I knew that the babies weren't babies anymore. Or maybe because I knew that this was just the beginning of a lot of long nights of shrieking girls and wild boys. I think a lot of it was because I was reminded of my own childhood and I realized that so many things in life have come full circle. I'm now the mom who is giving the rules and letting them get broken for a sleepover. I'm not the little girl pushing the limits anymore, but am dealing with my little girl who is. :) Brad and I sat on the couch for a few minutes while they all played and talked about how nice it was that we knew they were making some of the best memories ever. The funny thing is, I'm not sure if they will remember it as fondly as I will. I hope and pray that we have many more nights like this in our future... that the kids will always love to hang out at our house. 

Some photo highlights for your viewing pleasure: 

On Friday, I braved the pool with all 7 kids. Sorry... no photos. :) I am sure you understand why. Haha. They were excellent and we had a great time. Actually... I do have one. :) 

That evening (yes, we are crazy for packing any more into that two-day period), we celebrated at the house with Dawn and Brandon, who recently sold their home and will be moving away. I say celebrated because I know that they are happy about this opportunity. However, I would be lying if I said that I felt anything like celebrating this move. I have mentioned it before that I moved around a lot as a kid. That means that I'm used to saying good-bye to people that I love and care about. It usually isn't that tough for me... not because I'm a cold-hearted bitch, but because I know that change is inevitable in life. Yet... I am not looking forward to them leaving. I mean, I totally support my friends in their move and I am so happy that it has worked out for them. BUT... I am so going to miss our evenings on the back deck, our impromptu get-togethers, and simply knowing that if I need someone to help me with anything, they are just down the road. Our friendship will not end, I know, but I know it will change some, too. And, that just makes me a little bit sad. Dawn, Brandon, and the boys are a big part of our lives... and we all consider them a part of our little Lexington family. It is so rare to meet a woman that you just love to death and then have her husband and your husband get along well... and the kids enjoy each other, too. We love you guys all so much... and hope that we all do what we say and visit each other a lot. :) 

On Saturday morning, we got up and the kids went to tennis lessons. Then, we straightened up the house, packed a couple of bags and headed to eastern Kentucky. We spent the evening with Brad's mom and her boyfriend. It was a nice relaxing evening. We were all exhausted when we left to go to my parents' house that night. 

On Sunday... we were all geared up and ready to go to the wonderful, incredible, amazing Camden Park. Now, if you don't know Camden Park, well... you just don't know what you are missing. :) It's a little bit rundown. It's a little bit old school. But it's the same old Camden Park that I remember when I was just a little girl. There's still the Hot Cat. There's still the log ride. There's still the Big Dipper. We all had a great time. The boys acted like big babies... getting sick over the spinning rides. I have to admit that age has done the same thing to me, but I could suck it up. Colt and Brad were just big wimps.... as these photos show. :) 

The kids had a blast. Bailey loved the Big Dipper. She will try anything at least once... although she assured me that the haunted house would not be visited a second time. Jake, on the other hand, is typical Jake... he had to warm up to the bigger rides and still refused to ride the Spider, despite his love for it in years past. Corndogs, funnel cakes, ice cream, and icees... oh, how I do love the carnival food. :) 

On Monday, we crashed. I mean, the kids and I did. We spent nearly the entire day inside. I didn't get up until almost 9. I did, however, clean up the house, did some laundry, and then actually made time to go for a run. Thank God... I finally got over the hump of never wanting to run again... and I ran 3 miles. The bug is back... I think. :) 

What does the rest of the week hold? Hmmm... it's too early to tell. But, I have to say... I love this summer. 

Just Call Me Snow White...

Thursday, July 14, 2011
... because tonight, I will have seven little dwarfs at the house. :)

That's right. Tonight is the first official Ooten sleepover night. Bailey is having three little girls over and Jake is having two little boys over for their first sleepover/slumber party. Hmm... what do YOU think will happen? I am guessing lots of sugar... lots of "I had it firsts" and "The boys won't leave us alone" and "NO boys allowed (followed by slammed door)" and "The boys aren't letting us be the princesses." :) It's going to be so much fun! :) Actually, I'm super-pumped. I know they are going to have so much fun. If only my camera was working. I guess the camera phone will have to do.

Seven kids.

Let's hope that I don't need a prince to revive me after this one. Although, I can imagine that sleep will be much needed this weekend!

Here's a good reason NOT to tell your kids that it is sleepover night. I've had these two little dwarfs on my heels all afternoon, asking, "When do they get here..." over and over. As you can see... they are excited. :)

Camping with two kids...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Hi ho, hi ho... a camping we will go... 

:) Well, we did it. We had a camping trip. Kind of. It counts as the first one, but I'm sure that there will be another more "official" camping trips. You see, I kind of know my kids. I know that they are young for camping, despite their confidence and desire to camp. I know they are young to really appreciate camping... to really enjoy the "wild." 

We contemplated what to do. Yatesville Lake State Park has a wonderful campground that I have really been wanting to try out... especially since Brad and I camped there a few times when we were dating in college... before the property was officially a campground. Yes, we were trespassers... who never got busted. :) Anyway... I found that there are boat-in sites to set up camp at Yatesville and I thought it would be perfect for us since we'd be boating. But, there was the catch... we had to rent for three days in order to go. Since, that didn't make much sense, we figured it really would be better to just camp on some of my parents' property. 

I thought and thought and thought... and figured that it made a lot of sense to just camp out near the woods behind my parents' house so that we could have quick access to the house if it rained (it was calling for thunderstorms) or if the kids got scared (much more likely the case) or if we needed the bathroom (we did a few times). 

And so... we, being me and Emily (Colt's girlfriend), set up the tents and the camping area. We were eaten up by mosquitoes. We covered ourselves in bug spray and long sleeves. We roasted hot dogs. We roasted marshmallows. We hung out and talked and enjoyed the evening around the fire with my parents, Colt and Emily, and the kids.

There were no photos. 

There were NO PHOTOS. I know. I suck as a parent who blogs. I should remember these things, right? 

I lived in the moment.

And, I had my hands slightly full, since Bailey decided to be completely exhausted and crawl into my lap to fall asleep (she weighs nearly 60 pounds, so this wasn't that easy). 

Around 11, we crawled into the tent. Had it not been for the thunder and lightning, I would have left the tent unzipped so that the wind could blow through the screen. But, if it rained, well, we would have ended up soaked. So, we sweltered. Our body heat plus the heat of the evening equaled a night of very uncomfortable, sweaty sleeping. At about 2 a.m., Bailey woke up. She was scared, despite her arguments that she wasn't. I heard her wake up and I watched her as she watched the shadows. I watched as she looked at her dad and scooted as close to him as possible, despite the heat. I watched her sit up and lay back down about five times. Then, she said, "Mom... I have to go to the bathroom." She was trembling. I thought it sounded like it was raining. I had been listening to the wind and it was blowing hard. I told her that it was raining and to go back to sleep, but she wanted to go in. So, I woke up Brad and told him to get Jake and we would go in, since it was raining. Well, lo and behold, we crawled out of the tent and it was just wind. There was no rain. We could have went to the bathroom and come back to the tent and they would have made it. But, we didn't. We took them on in, curled up and went to sleep. 

The end. :) 

P.S. Bailey says she doesn't care if we go camping again. I'm so glad we didn't pay to go some place. I'm so glad we were close to my mom's. I think we'd be able to get them to go again and they would be fine... especially now that they know what to expect (and we know what to expect from them). :) Repeat... soon? We'll see.