Family Friday - Nov 30

12 Weeks Old

This was a HUGE week for Cameron - she is hitting some new milestones and is sleeping through the night!  She is a week shy of being three months old and I'm amazed at how much she has changed in the past month.  It is so exciting to see this once helpless baby start mastering new things!

She learned to roll over!  At 11w5d, Cameron rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time.  I was shocked by the first roll so of course we tried it again... with my iPhone focused on her.  I caught the second roll on video.  She rolled a couple more times after that before she got tired.  She knows just how to kick that little foot to get herself turned over!  The amazing thing is that as soon as I took the video, I sent it to Johnnie who saw it minutes later - isn't technology amazing?  It made me realize that I'm documenting Cam's life (and posting it all here) more than I think I normally would because I don't want Johnnie to miss a thing.  The technology available is helping him watch his little girl grow and change despite being on the other side of the world.  I'm so thankful for that!

She has slept at least 8 hours straight every night for the past week!  On Thanksgiving night I swaddled Cameron in a blanket that a sweet friend made for her.  That was her first night of an 8 hour sleep and I thought it may have been a fluke.  Much to my delight, she has continued sleeping through the night since then.  Evenings leading up to sleep, however, have gotten fussier.  From 5pm until she goes to bed, it takes a lot of effort to keep her from screaming.  As an acting single parent, it's a very tiring thing.  I go to bed myself shortly after she falls asleep.

Cameron's new "magic blanket" is simply a 42-inch square of thin cotton flannel with some decorative binding (that matches her nursery!) sewn around the edge.  It's the perfect size (larger than our other blankets) to swaddle this growing baby in and the thin flannel is the perfect warmth for cool nights or air-conditioned houses like ours.  It's a great gift for a new mom that is simple to make yourself.  It's definitely a future gift idea to keep in mind :)

She is starting to show coordination!  Normally Cameron simply hangs out and waves her arms around randomly like babies do.  However twice in the past couple days, I've seen her intentionally (slowly and smoothly) reach for something to touch or grab it.  She still has a looong way to go on this milestone but it's exciting to see the change starting.

She is smiling and laughing!  Cameron's smiles used to be somewhat random but now she smiles at me and at Dulce all the time.  She has a little conversations with me (especially after she's been fed) with the biggest smiles and the sweetest coos.  She actually laughs at Dulce when they're together on the floor!  Baby giggles have got to be one of the best things in the world :)

We started jogging again!  Cameron, Dulce, and I have been running 3 miles every other day.  I have a carseat adapter for my Bob Revolution SE stroller since Cameron is still too small to sit in the stroller.  Our Chicco carseat latches onto the adapter and there is also a red restraint belt attached to the stroller that provides extra security holding the carseat in place.  Please note that the Bob company states that the carseat adapter is only designed for walking and they recommend that your baby be 8 months old before running with them in the stroller.  I understand that but I've made the personal decision to go ahead and jog now anyway.  The Bob is very smooth riding, we jog on smooth blacktopped roads, I have a head support that keeps Cam's head from moving, and we run slowly.  We start running when she's ready for a nap in the morning and the gentle motion puts her right to sleep.  Running with a stroller is a different experience because you can't swing your arms and you have the constant resistance of pushing something but I do like having a place to put my phone and bottle of water!  It's a good workout for sure and I think it will help me become a stronger and faster runner for when I'm not pushing the stroller.

It's been a great week.  New milestones for Cameron and more sleep for all of us makes for more enjoyable days.  When I was pregnant and people would say "You're going to love being a mom," they must have been talking about from this point on.  Honestly, the first month of new parenthood is pretty much awful and only fun when your cute baby is sleeping.  But then (thankfully) things start to get exponentially better each week.  I have loved Cameron since before she was born, but in the past couple weeks I've really fallen "in love" with her.  It's amazing.  She's amazing :)

Snuggling with my sleepy girls :)

"I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure"
~Diane Warren

Family Friday: Happy Thanksgiving!

11 Weeks Old

Happy Thanksgiving!  Cameron and I celebrated with neighbors and had a lovely time.  The only thing missing was Johnnie but we are lucky to be able to video chat with him often.  Our dinner was a potluck style get-together so there was a great variety of food.  I made a pumpkin pie and dinner rolls... and I'm still not sure how I found the time to do that!

Johnnie and everyone deployed with him had a Thanksgiving dinner complete with decorations and ice sculptures!  It's not the same as being home for the holiday but it's a great effort that hopefully made the men and women there feel some holiday cheer.  My heart goes out to all those who are separated from their loved ones during this holiday season.

Pumpkin pie is my favorite and the one I made for dinner came out perfect.  I used the McCormick's Signiture Pumpkin Pie recipe and added an extra teaspoon or two of cinnamon.  I actually made my own pie crust only because I couldn't find the Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts and I didn't want to use a frozen crust.  I used leaf cookie cutters to add pie crust decorations to the top.

The dinner rolls are my new favorite roll recipe.  I've made them three times now and they come out perfect every time!  They're quick to make and taste great even days later.  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  They are One Hour Rolls from  If you try them, you won't be disappointed :)

I bought Cameron's "My First Thanksgiving" onesie over a month ago so my project this week (nothing like waiting until the last minute) was to sew a skirt to go with it.  I purchased the Ruffled Circle Skirt pattern (a PDF download) from the Etsy shop, Whimsey Couture.  I didn't have any colorful band elastic so I added a waistband and threaded wide elastic through it.  It was so simple, relatively quick, and so cute that I will definitely be making more skirts for Cameron soon!

Cameron has been refusing pacifiers this week.  She sucked on one only twice all week and that was when she was really tired.  She prefers sucking on her fingers and an occasional thumb.  I don't mind this at all because breaking a child of a pacifier addiction when they're older can be a harrowing experience.  Her fingers are always available so she can self-soothe herself as needed.  Last Sunday night, we had ourselves a mommy-daughter date of fist sucking.  Yes, this is my new idea of "fun" :)

This is one of those two times she took a pacifier.  She was so tired that she fell asleep within minutes of me cuddling with her.

We're starting to work on moving up bedtime this week.  She was going to bed around 11pm.  Tonight she was in bed by 9:30.  Earlier this week she was in bed once at 7:30.  Going to bed earlier means waking up earlier but that's probably a good thing... there were many mornings when we stayed in bed way too long :)

Cameron and I went grocery shopping for the first time together alone.  (hmmm... together alone... you know what I mean!)  I wore her in the Ergo carrier so that I could push a cart and fill it with groceries.  She was very alert at first, looking around wide-eyed at everything, but she was fast asleep by the time we hit the end of the second aisle.  I know there are people around me who would be happy to babysit but I actually enjoy taking her places with me.  She's generally really well behaved and I know that it will get her accustomed to being out and experiencing new things.

Cameron has finally left the "newborn" phase and is getting old enough where she's actually fun to hang out with, take shopping, and visit friends.  Babies are a lot of work but it's getting better every day :)

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them,
is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
  ~W.T. Purkiser

Family Friday: Nov 16

10 Weeks Old

We are finally transitioning to larger clothing and diapers!  The newborn-size diapers are getting snug but the size 1 diapers are still a bit too big.  However, we've had a few major blowouts with the newborn-size lately so on to size 1 it is.  I've packed the rest of the newborn diapers away for our next baby.

We definitely needed a bath after some of the diaper blow-outs!

Cameron is still wearing her newborn-sized onesies but is suddenly now fitting into some of the 0-3 month things we have.  Another week and I'm sure the newborn clothing will have to get packed away as well.  Cam pretty much only wore onesies for the past two months so I'm excited for the variety of things she has to wear in the 0-3 month clothing!

She wore a little jean skirt to a squadron Thanksgiving potluck lunch this week.  I've been waiting for her to fit into it!

I don't think there is anything more cuddly than a baby in footed pajamas :)

Cameron is getting very good at bringing her hand to her mouth.  She loves to suck (very loudly) on the side of her index finger.  She will still suck a pacifier but at times prefers her finger instead.  I'm so proud of her growing ability to self-soothe!

Cameron gets a little fussy in the evenings and eats her last few meals very close together.  Regardless of that, she is actually easy to put to bed at night.  When her belly gets full enough, I change her and put on her pajamas, partially swaddle her with one arm free (so she can suck her finger), put her in her bassinet, turn her Sleep Sheep sound machine on, and she puts herself to sleep.  I feel very fortunate that she makes bedtime easy!

Cameron's hair may have gotten a lot thinner but her eyelashes are definitely growing!

Cameron's eye color is finally changing!  Her eyes will definitely be some shade of hazel or light brown, just like daddy :)  They will be beautiful, whatever color they end up being!

Dulce had a fascination with Cameron's socks the other day, poking them with her nose and sniffing them which made Cam kick her feet.  I turned my back for a minute and this is what I found:

Dulce the sock stealer!  She must have taken it off gently because Cam didn't make a sound and she didn't seem to mind missing the sock :)

Johnnie's parents left this week.  They had been visiting since before Johnnie deployed.  It was certainly nice having the extra help while they were here, allowing me to get caught up with some things on my to-do list.  I'm glad they had the opportunity to see Cameron while she is this young and small.  However, it is also nice being able to settle into our own schedule and groove now that we have the house back to ourselves.  It's relaxing not having to worry about making too much noise at night and being able to nurse Cameron on the couch while catching up on my favorite TV shows :)

The night before the in-laws left, we all went to the Aulani Disney Hawaii Resort for an evening of food and drinks while watching the sun drop into the ocean.  It was a beautiful evening with a warm breeze that reminded me how lucky we are to be stationed here.

"When babies look beyond you and giggle, maybe they're seeing angels."
~ Eileen Elias Freeman

The Dog and the Baby

There is a special bond between Cameron and Dulce that is growing every day.  It all started once I hit the third trimester of the pregnancy.  Baby G was moving around a lot in my big belly and Dulce suddenly loved to cuddle with her!

I know there are a lot of articles and advice out there about preparing your pets for a new baby but we didn't do anything to prepare Dulce at all... at least not recently.  When we first adopted Dulce over three years ago, she was a little skittish and growled at small children.  So I began doing things to her that a small child would, without hurting her of course: I would pick her up suddenly from all angles, grab her tail and ears and legs, hold and carry her awkwardly, touch her mouth and face, and grab food and toys away from her, all with the intent of desensitizing her to those sorts of things.  I actually still do some of that now in a playful way :)  The desensitization did work because now she is awesome around children!  She is always getting petted, poked, pulled, grabbed, and carried by people known and unknown, young and old, and she stays calm and passive (as long as she's not being hurt or threatened).  When she's had enough, she walks away.

Dulce is fantastic around Cameron.  We still watch her carefully when they're together but I'm trusting her more and more every day.  Dulce gets very close to Cameron and sniffs her all the time, but she doesn't lick her and rarely touches her.

Dulce had never been around a new baby before so she had no idea what Cameron was when we first brought her home from the hospital.  Here is a video of their first time meeting:

During the first two weeks after Cameron's birth, I was recovering from the C-section and didn't move around very often.  I rarely went downstairs for anything.  Dulce was a huge help during this time!  She would carry things downstairs to Johnnie from me, and bring things upstairs to me from Johnnie.  For example I would send my empty water bottle downstairs with Dulce, Johnnie would fill it up, and Dulce would bring it back up to me.  She also carried things like packs of diapers, bags of wipes, baby things, snacks that were packaged or in ziplock bags, mail, etc.  Some of those things were pretty heavy but she managed to always get them up the stairs to me!

Dulce is still a big help around the house, like an extra set of hands at times.  If I drop anything, Dulce picks it up for me.  This is particularly useful when I'm holding Cameron or nursing her and can't bend down to get it myself.  Dulce also keeps all the drawers and cabinets closed in the kitchen.  If something is open, she'll push it shut!  The cutest thing (though but not particularly helpful) is that Dulce searches out pacifiers and the suction bulb and brings them to me when Cameron is fussy!  She has learned how to get these things off the top of the dresser, off of my nightstand, and wherever else they may be.  It's so sweet and amazing that she knows to bring a pacifier when Cameron cries, but I can't exactly use it once it's been in her mouth.  I suppose it's the thought that counts :)

When we first brought Cameron home, Dulce got anxious and whined whenever Cam cried but she grew accustomed to it after a couple weeks. The first sign of acceptance was when Dulce offered her rawhide bone to Cameron when she was napping in her bassinet on the floor next to me. Cameron wasn't interested so Dulce took it back and chewed on it herself. It was still a sweet gesture :)

Dulce is a cuddly lap dog so she does get a little jealous at times when the Cameron is being held.  She used to try to join Cam on our laps but now she waits until our laps are empty so she can get our full attention.  Smart dog :)  Unfortunately, Dulce hasn't been getting the same amount of cuddle time and attention as she used to so there are times that she gets very needy, clingy, and whiny.  I try to give her extra loving when I can.

Dulce is very curious about Cameron and the things we do to her.  If we do anything at her eye level, she is right beside us sniffing and watching carefully.  The first time I gave Cameron a bath, Dulce went crazy whining, barking, and pulling at things; obviously upset that the baby was in the water.  Now she watches calmly, maybe understanding that the baby is not being harmed.

Dulce checks on Cameron often when she's in her crib, especially if she hears her making noises.

Dulce often plays with her toys beside Cameron when she's on the floor. She'll offer them to Cameron once in a while and seems disappointed that Cam won't take them.  Soon enough, Dulce, soon enough! Cameron really seems to enjoy watching Dulce whenever she is near.

These two are going to be the best of friends :)

"A dog naps so much because it loves so hard!"

Happy Veterans Day!

THANK YOU to all those who serve and have served in the United States military!  

Especially to those I have the privilege of knowing personally through all our past assignments and to those who surround me here now.

And most of all, to the amazing man I'm so proud to be married to!  Happy Veterans Day!

There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.
~John 15:13

Family Friday: 2 Months Old

9 Weeks Old

Cameron had her 2 month wellness check-up today.  She now weighs 9lbs 2oz (a 3lb 5oz increase since birth) and is now 21 inches long (a 3 inch increase since birth).  She got four vaccinations today!  One was a liquid done orally, the other three were shots in her thighs.  The doctor had me hold her arms but she stiffened them so tightly against her body that they weren't going anywhere regardless.  Her whole face turned purple in one of those "silent screams" and then she wailed for about two minutes before falling asleep!

It's hard to believe that Cameron is already 2 months old!  She has changed so much already although I know it's nothing compared to the changes that are still yet to come this year.

Cameron is very aware of everything her now and turns her head to look around, especially towards sounds and moving objects.  She maintains eye contact with me now during feedings, changings, and baths.  She is gaining good control of her neck, holding it steady when we hold her upright and lifting her head high if she's on her tummy.  She has also increased her "vocabulary" from cries and squawks to include sweet coos and gurgles.

Her schedule (on most days) is really good and allows me to get a lot more accomplished.  After every feeding during the day, she has active awake time for about 45 minutes.  During this time she lays on a quilt on the floor and has a great time kicking her legs, stretching her arms, and looking around.

The Boppy Tummy Time Pillow really helps her lay comfortably on her belly.  Just look at that height... and that drool!  Dulce is doing her usual sniff check of her baby sister :)

After her active awake time, Cameron is always ready for a nap and usually falls asleep without a fuss.  She naps either in her crib upstairs or in her swing downstairs.

Cameron almost always goes 4 hours between feedings during the day.  In the evenings, she eats her last two meals only 2 hours apart, fueling up for the night.  At night she does a 6-hour stretch, a feeding, and then a 4-hour stretch.  She currently sleeps in a Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper bassinet on our bed.  I'll keep her there for another month or two, or until she starts sleeping through the night.  It's so convenient not having to get out of bed for that nightly feeding, or to reach a hand in to comfort her if needed.  However, if Johnnie wasn't deployed, I would transition her much sooner so that we could have our bed to ourselves again :)

“I don't remember who said this, but there really are places in
the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child.” 
~Anne Lamott