Ballard Sunday Farmers Market

The Ballard Farmers Market in Seattle Washington, is open every Sunday, year round, from 10am to 3pm.  It is open regardless of the weather!  It is located on historic Ballard Avenue NW between Vernon Place NW and 22nd Avenue NW.

Johnnie, his father, and I stopped here the day after our 1/2 marathon.  This was one of the best farmers markets that I've been to in a long while.  There was a huge selection of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, fish, baked goods, prepared food, flowers, plants, and crafts.  It's hard not to smile walking through the market.  Your senses are overtaken with the fresh scent and bright colors of fresh produce and flowers, and the sound of street musicians and people happily enjoying their afternoon :)

"Life is not merely to be alive, but to be well."
~Marcus Valerius Martial

Family Friday: July 26

46 Weeks Old

This week Cameron had her first swimming lessons!  It was a four-day course for children aged 6 months to 3 years.  There was about 10 babies with their parents in our class which was held at a pool on our military base.  I held Cameron in water that was chest-deep on me and we practiced splashing, kicking, going after a floating toy, and dunking under water.

Cameron loved it!  She wasn't afraid and seemed comfortable in the water.  She splashed her hands and kicked her legs like a frog.  She didn't mind water poured over her head (we do that in the bath tub) and she didn't even cry when she got dunked... though she did look a bit shocked!  She was certainly the loudest baby there, clapping and yelling when we sang songs as a group.

Johnnie came with us on the last day so we used my waterproof Olympus Tough TG-1 camera to take some photos in the pool during class :)

Here is a short underwater video of Cameron kicking her legs.  She's a natural!

Cameron wore a variety of stylish swim suits this week :)

The pool is about 3/4 mile from our house and parking is limited so we took the bike and bike trailer every day.  Two weeks ago we tried the bike trailer for the first time without success.  This time, I moved Cameron over to one side, sat her on a small pillow to lift her up, and adjusted the seat straps behind her head to make more room for her helmet.  Thank goodness it worked!  We rode to and from the pool every day and she did fine.  I won't be taking her for any long rides soon but we at least we can start using the trailer for short trips on base.

Cameron is progressing well with her walking skills.  At first she would only walk toward one of us but now she has the confidence to walk in any direction.  She is still slow and unsteady but her balance is improving daily.  I know that Cameron's grandparents and relatives are eager to see her walking so we've been trying to capture some of her efforts on video.  Here is a little montage from this week!

"Don't wait for your ship to come in... swim out to it."
~Author Unknown

Family Friday: July 19

45 Weeks Old

Cameron took her first steps this week and it was all thanks to Dulce!  When Dulce gets into "playful puppy mode", Cameron loves to watch from the safety comfort of my arms.  On Monday, Dulce came running into the kitchen tossing a toy around and Cameron (standing near me holding onto a bar stool) squealed and quickly took four steps to get to me.

She can usually take three or four steps at a time before falling.  The most she has done at once was five steps.  She gets excited and claps for herself when she walks.  The clapping is another new thing she learned this week but it's not quite right yet.  She claps with one hand open and the other in a fist - like she's getting ready to punch someone out :)

Cameron loves to eat and she seems to like everything she tries.  I am going to do my best to expose her to as many flavors and textures as possible in hopes of preventing her from becoming a picky eater.

This week Cameron tried pieces of cantaloupe, honeydew, tomato, and orange.  Two other new foods she tried this week were tofu (pictured below) and greek yogurt.  I bought organic medium-firm tofu which is firm enough to easily pick up but mushes apart in your mouth.  The greek yogurt was plain and unsweetened.  She first ate it plain one day, enjoying the creamy texture and tangy flavor.  Another day I mixed it with mango puree and cinnamon which was also a big hit.

Last Saturday was the annual Korean Festival held in Kapiolani Park.  Johnnie was away on a short trip so Cameron and I went by ourselves.  There was some great entertainment, very similar to some of what we saw in the Folk Village in South Korea.  The food was awesome and the main reason why I wanted to go!  I had spicy rice cakes, yaki mandu, and a sweet bun filled with red bean paste - it was all very authentic and a joy to eat!

These two young Korean guys were enamored with Cameron!  They loved making her smile and helping her dance.  Cameron had her picture taken many times that day by different people :)

Johnnie returned from his trip the evening of the festival.  The girls were very glad to see him :)

Cameron and I spent a day this week in Kailua with a friend for lunch and shopping.  She is so pleasant to take out in the afternoon, relaxing in her stroller and taking in the sights.  After walking through the town, we stopped in a quaint little coffee shop and enjoyed some iced coffees while Cameron relaxed with her bottle.  She cracks me up sometimes :)

Dulce's 4th birthday was this week so we took her to the beach on base to celebrate.  We watched the sunset while she ran around, dug in the sand, and chased after crabs.  She loves the beach but usually stays out of the water.

Coming up in this next week... swimming lessons for Cameron!  She loves the bath tub but hates the ocean.  I'm anxious to see how she does in a pool :)

"To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while."
~Josh Billings

Happy 4th Birthday to Dulce!

Today is our sweet Dulce's 4th birthday!  She is such a blessing and an amazing family dog.  Dulce is a Rat Terrier that we adopted from Ratbone Rescues when she was four months old.  She is well trained, has free reign of the house at all times with a doggie door for going outside, likes to sleep in late and go to bed early, loves going for car rides, and will do anything for food (including wearing a birthday hat and posing for photos).

We used to have to crate Dulce at night to keep her off of our bed but this year she finally learned to sleep in her own bed all night without disturbing us.  Dulce also used to destroy her toys, especially anything with stuffing.  This year she stopped doing that - perhaps she finally learned that ripping apart a toy made it disappear forever.  Dulce seems to have matured in the past year :)

I make Dulce a fake cake every year for her birthday photos.  This year her "cake" is a can of peanuts with a birthday candle hot-glued on top, covered with frosting and sprinkles.

Dulce loves the little bit of frosting she gets to lick every year.  It doesn't take her long to get to the container underneath... just long enough for some photos :)

Happy Birthday, Dulce!  May you always know how loved you are :)

"No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
~Louis Sabin