Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

On June 22, we ran the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon!  This was my 5th half marathon and Johnnie's 2nd.  Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Races are extremely popular and hotels fill up fast.  Therefore, we planned this trip, signed up for the race, and booked a room last year.

10 Reasons I love to run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series races:
  1. There are thousands of people who run, creating an exciting race atmosphere
  2. There is a big health and fitness expo in the two days before the race
  3. You get a technical t-shirt and medal for participating
  4. The races are well organized
  5. There are bands and cheer squads all along the course to keep you motivated while running
  6. There are drink stations all along the course to keep you hydrated
  7. There are medical stations along the course if you need them
  8. There are many photographers all along the course to provide you with photo memories
  9. There is a festival and headliner concert after the race
  10. You get a special extra medal if you run two or more races in one year

There were an estimated 20,000 runners signed up for this race!  Everyone was organized by corrals, corral 1 being the fastest.  We were waaaayyy back in the corrals so it took about an hour before we even reached the starting line.  Johnnie had signed up for a faster pace than me and my running partners so he started further toward the front, crossing the starting line a little under 20 minutes from the first corral.  Everyone gets an electronic tag to wear on their shoe so your race time doesn't start until you actually cross the starting line.

It was a chilly morning so Johnnie and I both wore a shirt that we were willing to part with.  Near the starting line, there were places to discard any clothing you didn't want to run in.  All of this clothing was donated to a good cause after the race.  It was so nice to have something to keep us warm until we started running and great that we didn't have to run with it tied around our waist.  Once we started running, it was the perfect temperature for shorts and a tank top.

My running buddy and I each have goals of running a half marathon in each state, and hope to run many of them together.  Whenever we do run a big race together, we coordinate our outfits... for this race, we picked purple.   I always run races in running skirts because they are comfortable and cute.  Running skirts have tight shorts attached underneath so you don't have to worry about flashing your underwear to anyone.  I loved the hidden pop of yellow under the skirt I wore!

The race course was great!  We ran on the streets of downtown Seattle, along streets of quieter neighborhoods, through some residential areas, along the shore of a lake, through two tunnels, on the express lanes of the highway, and on the viaduct above the waterfront.  There were many hills on the course but most of them were gradual inclines/declines.

There were a lot of water stations along the course.  Every other drink station also had Gatorade available.  There was one GU station around 8.5 miles.  The drink stations were manned by companies or groups.  This station was manned by Alaska Airlines - they had fun airplane hats!

This drink station was manned by pirates... Arghhh!

The course took us on the tree shaded boulevard along Lake Washington.  This was so beautiful!

This road was lined with members of the Wear Blue Run to Remember group which is a running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military.  The road was lined with photos of military members who died in combat and dozens of people holding American flags.

We ran through the I-90 Express Lane Tunnel.  It was slightly uphill but very neat to run through!  The GU energy gel station was inside this tunnel.

The end of the course took us down the scenic Alaskan Way Viaduct which follows above the Waterfront area.  The Seattle Great Wheel is a new permanant ferris wheel on the Waterfront.  It is the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall.

The weather was perfect and the course was beautiful.  This was a really fun race that we will definitely run again someday!

Another finisher's medal to add to our collection!  This won't be our only one for the year.  I plan on running two more half marathons this year and Johnnie will running his first full marathon.  We are running fools this year :)

"It's very hard to understand in the beginning
that the whole idea is not to beat other runners.
Eventually you learn that the competition is against
the little voice inside you that wants to quit."
~George Sheehan

Family Friday: June 21

41 Weeks Old

This is the first time that a Family Friday post has been more than a day late!  We flew to Seattle last week and we've been so busy that I'm only getting short bursts of time on the computer.  This week's photo needed a lot of Photoshopping which took extra time.  The lighting in the house was great for the photo but there was no way to get my leg out of the way while I stood directly over her.  I was able to "erase" my leg with some Photoshop magic but that was way more work than I wanted to do.  We will be back in Hawaii this coming weekend so I will be waiting to take this coming Friday's photo at home so Family Friday will be a few days late again this week.

Cameron was teething multiple times in the few months but each time the teeth were visible and about to break through, they regressed.  This week her two bottom teeth finally broke through!  She actually handled it really well.  She had a few random screaming fits that didn't last long and she never got a fever.  It's pretty funny to watch her constantly run her tongue over her new teeth with a perplexed look on her face :)

She is not walking yet but she is getting more brave.  She loves to stand and pulls herself up on everything constantly.  This week she even pulled herself up on Dulce and then stood there pulling her ears.  Dulce never moved or flinched as Cameron grabbed handfuls of fur and she even seemed to enjoy the ear pulling :)  Dulce is such an amazing dog around children but I recently had a realization of a downside to this.  Dulce is very patient and gentle, tolerating whatever Cameron does to her (I always supervise them together just in case).  Because of this, Cameron might be assuming that all animals are like this and not know appropriate boundaries.  This may prove to be a difficult thing to teach her.

On Wednesday evening we left Hawaii on an overnight flight to Seattle to visit Johnnie's family.  This was a 5½ hour flight so we got Cameron her own ticket so that we could leave in her in carseat to sleep.  While we were waiting at the gate to board our flight, Johnnie got called to the counter to find that we all got upgraded to first class for free because of his Platinum Elite SkyMiles status!  How awesome was that?!  We love flying Delta :)

Nine months old and already flying first class... she has me beat by 30+ years!

Night flights are the way to go with an active baby!  She fussed for a short while we taxied but as soon as the plane lifted off the ground, she went out like a light and slept almost the entire flight.  We landed in Seattle at 6am which was 3am Hawaii time.  It's only a three hour time change so it only took a couple days to adjust.

We scheduled this visit to Seattle to coincide with the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon that Johnnie and I both ran!  This was my 5th half marathon and Johnnie's 2nd.  My running buddy came up from Texas to run with me and we all had an great time.  The race course was beautiful and the weather was perfect!  I will try to get a post about the race up this week.

Johnnie and I left Cameron with his parents and spent two nights at the gorgeous Edgewater Hotel in downtown Seattle.  We had an amazing waterfront room with a balcony and it was within walking distance of the race.  It was a romantic little getaway in this beautiful city :)

"You can learn many things from children.
How much patience you have, for instance."
~Franklin P. Jones

Johnnie and Dulce Reunited

If you follow our blog, then you most likely saw the photo post of Johnnie's Deployment Homecoming in April when Cameron and I met him at the airport.  Dulce had to wait at home to see her daddy again but that allowed me to get it on video!  I really thought that Dulce would whine or cry when she saw Johnnie but she was completely silent the entire time so I added music.

I originally edited the video with the perfect song but ran into copyright issues on YouTube... rightly so I guess.  After doing some research, I found that YouTube has royalty-free music that is free for anyone to use.  I uploaded the video and added a royalty-free song from YouTube... problem solved :)

Here is Dulce seeing Johnnie again after six months apart:

A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than
his owner can express with his tongue in hours.
~Author Unknown

Family Friday: June 14

40 Weeks old

Cameron has been using her Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker for just over a week now.  She uses it on her own a lot every day.  She is getting very good at pulling herself up on it and walking around with it.

This week she started to balance on her own while standing!  She will suddenly let go of whatever she is holding onto and put her hands in the air.  She is very proud of herself for learning this new skill.  All she has to do now is take some steps while balancing.  She is going to be walking very soon!

Cameron also finally decided to hold her own bottle this week.  It's not that she couldn't before, it's that she didn't want to.  She was too busy touching everything around her while she drank.  She will feed herself a couple of her bottles each day but she still prefers us to hold some for her.

Some of Cameron's favorite toys aren't even toys at all.  It is the little things like this that I want to remember years from now so I have to document it.  Here are Cameron's favorite "non-toys":

  1. Mini frying pan - this is a real pan.  She loves putting her mouth on the metal and scraping her fingers on the ridges on the bottom.
  2. Small metal bowl - it's shiny and round... fascinating :)
  3. Plastic scoop from baby formula - it has a tiny hole in it so she blows into it and sucks on it.
  4. Bamboo cooking utensils - she likes gumming the end of the handles.
  5. Plastic Easter eggs - left over from Easter.  She loves sucking on them, whole or in pieces.
  6. Round plastic cookie cutter - she likes scraping it against her tongue.
  7. Gatorade shaker - bottle washed, dried, dry rice added, and the cap superglued back on.

We used to always sit on the back porch for a while every day but Cameron wants to crawl and she goes straight for the grass and dirt every time.  Our back yard grass is very rough and the soil is actually contaminated (yikes, right?!) so I don't want her crawling around in the yard.  This week we switched our outside time to the driveway in the front of the house.  There is some shade all day, a lot more space for Cameron to explore, and no exposed soil.

Cameron does not like the feeling of cement under her knees so when she crawls off of the blanket, she crawls on her hands and feet.  It's a good sensory experience for her :)

This week Cameron and I went to a Change of Command ceremony for Johnnie's squadron.  This is a ceremony where the outgoing commander officially hands over command of the squadron to the incoming commander.  Ceremonies like this are always neat to watch, although the speeches can get a little long.  Cameron added her thoughts (loudly) a few times :)

Johnnie was the lone guy standing in front of a large group formation.  He was the one in charge shouting orders for the group to follow.  I never knew he could project his voice like that!  I rarely get to see him working... I'm always impressed with his skills when I do :)

We checked out some of the heavy equipment after the ceremony.  Cameron wasn't very impressed.

And in case you were wondering... still no teeth :)

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."
~Charles R. Swindoll

Family Friday: 9 Months Old

39 Weeks (9 Months) Old

Cameron will be 9 months old tomorrow!!  Seriously, how is she growing up so fast?  She now weighs about 19 pounds (officially passing up Dulce) and is wearing size 6-9 month clothing.  We are finishing up our size 2 diapers and moving on size 3 after that.  She still doesn't have any teeth.

Cameron is crawling on all fours like a champ, can pull up to standing on anything, and walk along things while holding on.  She's even starting to let go of one thing to reach for another.  It won't be long before she'll be walking around!

Just this week we bought Cameron a Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker.  All of the buttons and moving parts on the front of the walker fascinate her, even with the sounds and lights turned off.  She can actually walk while pushing and holding on to the walker.

She is starting to throw tantrums now when she doesn't get what she wants.  If I move something she is trying to get or if I take something away from her, she starts screaming.  Sometimes there is even some arm and leg flailing if she is really upset.  Today she started screaming when I closed the laundry room door... she was at least six feet from it but apparently planned to go through it.  How dare I close it! :)

She loves to look out the windows... sometimes with Dulce and sometimes at Dulce :)

Cameron loves to eat and I still make all of her baby food.  I make fruit and veggie purees with our Beaba Babycook.  Other things I cook for us and save some to coarsely blend for her such as oatmeal, rice, quinoa, ground turkey, or fish.  Her solid meals consist of either a fruit puree mixed with oatmeal, or a veggie puree mixed with rice, quinoa, meat, or fish.  She eats very thick and chunky blended food now.

Cameron still likes to feed herself.  I put food on a spoon and hold onto the end, and she grabs it and puts it in her mouth, letting go when she's finished.  Although she is great with a spoon, she will not eat small pieces of food with her fingers yet.  I recently got her some Baby Mum-Mums which are large rice biscuits that quickly dissolve and she does love eating those.

Cameron has grown a lot physically up to this point but that is nothing compared to how fast she is growing mentally now!  It is so fun watching her develop a mind of her own and formulate new thought processes about how the world works.

"The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention
is to sit down and look comfortable."
~Lane Olinghouse