Nights in the Burgh

While we were in Pennsylvania, Johnnie and I snuck away to Pittsburgh for a couple nights and left Cameron with my parents.  They were more than happy to have her all to themselves and we got a relaxing little break.

We drove to Pittsburgh and stayed at a Hampton Inn in The Waterfront area.  This is a nice area with a couple hotels, a movie theater, restaurants, and shopping.  It is also close to Sandcastle Water Park and Kennywood Amusement Park.

After relaxing in the area around the hotel for a bit, we headed over to PNC park for a baseball game between the Pirates and the Mariners.  Johnnie is from Seattle and is a huge Mariners fan so we were pretty excited that this game coincided with our trip.  To get to the stadium, we caught the bus just up the street from our hotel and had to transfer once.

Pittsburgh is the nearest large city to where I grew up but I never spent any significant time in it.  I was impressed with the little bit we saw while walking... impressive and intricate stonework on old buildings, an eclectic mix of architecture, and countless bridges crossing the river.

We had awesome seats for the game... right behind the Mariners dugout and first base!  I don't care for baseball on TV but I do love the atmosphere and excitement of actually being at a game :)

Ballpark food is a must at a game!  We had it all: beer, hotdogs, peanuts, pretzels, and more beer :)

After the game ended, we stayed and relaxed while the stadium cleared, the field was groomed and equipment was packed up.  The videographer in front of us tossed us a baseball that was used during practice before the game :)

We left the stadium and had a drink at an open-sided bar just down the street before catching a taxi back to our hotel.  It was nice knowing that Cameron was in good hands with my parents and that we could take all the time we wanted to enjoy the night.

The next day, we went shopping!!!  We started at REI (none of those in Hawaii) and hit up a few other stores near it in the SouthSide area before heading back to the Waterfront area where Johnnie went to see a movie and I continued to shop for many hours.  There is no sales tax on clothing in Pennsylvania and the prices cheaper than in Hawaii so I had a great time!  I bought some summer clothes to wear year-round here in Hawaii and I also bought new running shoes and running clothes.  Our suitcases were packed to the max on our flight back to Hawaii!

After the long day of shopping, Johnnie and I walked to a nearby restaurant, Mitchell's Fish Market, for dinner.  We had some great seafood and ended with a special coffee drink and a ginormous piece of carrot cake (literally 8" high and 5" wide) which we couldn't finish despite our best efforts.

Our nights in the Burgh were a fun little getaway in the middle of our trip and a nice little break from parenthood... at least a break physically, not mentally :)

"A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz."
~Humphrey Bogart

Stars and Stripes 5K

Yesterday we ran a Stars & Stripes 5K here on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.  These 5K races are free to join, occur almost monthly, and take you through some scenic areas on base.

This was the fourth 5K race that I have done since Cameron was born and she has done all of them with me.  Johnnie joined us for this race and pushed the stroller.  After six months of running with a stroller myself, I was very glad to hand it over to him!  I sped up my pace, Johnnie slowed down his, and we finished this race three minutes faster than the last one I ran.

It was a beautiful morning for a run and a great way to kick off this holiday weekend!  Happy Memorial Day everyone!

"That's the thing about running:  your greatest runs are rarely
measured by racing success.  They are moments in time when
running allows you to see how wonderful your life is."
~Kara Goucher

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Family Friday: May 24

37 Weeks Old

Happy Memorial Day!  Remembering those who have died in service to our country this weekend.

What a character we now have!  Cameron seems to suddenly be progressing by leaps and bounds lately.  Her blossoming personality, antics, and abilities have us laughing and/or amazed every day.

First of all, she seems to understand now that talking is used for communicating and she's doing more of it with different sounds.  She used to let out long one or two syllable sounds but now she rambles off entire sentences with great inflection and each syllable a different sound.  Her sentences and syllables get especially complex and fierce when she is upset.

One sound that she says often in her ramblings is "da".  I don't think she connects "da da" specifically with Johnnie yet because a lot of things are "da da" right now.  Sometimes Cameron actually says real words - but are they really real words or just coincidental baby babble?  She has said "hi", "hey", and "help" multiple times but the kicker was a few days ago while she was reaching for my phone and said "need that" plain as day - I kid you not!  I know it was most likely pure coincidence, but it was amazing regardless.  So now I'm wondering... with all the sounds that babies make (and some sounding like real words), how do you know what a baby's real first word is?

A huge accomplishment this week is that Cameron is now pulling herself up to standing!  She started off balancing on low things... such as my yoga block:

And then she moved to higher things.... such as her toy basket:

And then one day we suddenly found her standing upright holding onto her play yard fence!

Cameron pulls herself up to standing on whatever she can now and she is quickly becoming more stable and confident.  She's starting to often let go with one hand, take steps while holding on, and can even bend down to pick something up and then return to standing.  This girl will be walking before we know it!

We are starting to branch out and try new foods now.  This week Cameron had a cherry/blueberry blend which was super messy but she seemed to enjoy.  Her favorite meal this week was definitely turkey (cooked then blended) mixed with yams and goat cheese - she loved it!  I craved goat cheese while I was pregnant so it was fun to see her enjoy it so much :)

Yesterday we spent the day at Bellows Beach for a squadron function.  This was Cameron's first trip to a beach other than the Hickam dog beach.  Bellows is so gorgeous and deserves a post of its own with all the photos I have to share.  Here's a sneak peak to hold you over until I get it done :)

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
~General George S. Patton, Jr.

Small Towns and Back Roads

"Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care"
~The Monkees

Family Friday: May 17

36 Weeks Old

We are back in Hawaii!  We left Pennsylvania at 6am Wednesday and arrived in Honolulu at 3pm the same day.  That's technically only 9 hours but that's because of the time change.  The trip actually took 16 hours.  This trip was longer and little rougher than the trip out but we survived.  I'll write about our
journey in another post soon.
Cameron is adjusting much faster to this time zone than she did when we flew to PA, proving to us the phrase "west is best" for time zone changes.  I kept Cameron awake until 7pm that first night (which was 1:00am to her) and she slept for 10 hours straight.  Last night she slept for 10.5 hours.  She normally sleeps 11+ hours so we are almost there.  She was so happy to be in her own crib again!  The first night we put her to bed she looked around with a huge smile until we turned off the lights :)

We picked up Dulce from the kennel on Thursday.  She was so excited to see us as I'm sure you could imagine!  On the drive home, she sat up front with me for the first mile but then jumped into the back and sat next to Cameron's carseat for the rest of the trip.  I think she missed Cameron!

Don't worry... I snapped this photo while we were completely stopped at a red light :)

It's hard to tell if Cameron remembered Dulce or not (how good are baby memories?) because she smiles and laughs at all dogs.  Regardless, she is having a great time hanging out with her old pal :)

Besides overcoming the jet lag, we have a little "damage control" to do.  We don't see family often so I'm okay with them spoiling Cameron when we are together.  However now that we're home, she has to readjust.  She was held and/or played with every waking moment in PA (which was wonderful and she loved it) but she is expecting the same thing now.  She wants picked up constantly and is not happy when we don't comply.  She'll probably get over it just in time to get spoiled again when we head to Seattle next month.  That's right, we have another big trip coming up!

Our trip to PA was a great time that I'll do a separate post about it soon.  We saw all of my family, some family friends, and my best friend and her son.  Johnnie and I went on a motorcycle ride with my brother and sister-in-law and we spent some nights alone in Pittsburgh.  We ate a lot.  Johnnie got to mow my parent's ginormous yard with a zero turn lawn mower.  I got to play the tambourine on stage while my brother sang during a fun night out on the town.  We experienced warm weather, cold weather, and snow!  Cameron experienced great love and attention from everyone who met her.  I was reminded of how much I miss my family, how great shopping is back on the mainland, and how much I appreciate the weather in Hawaii :)

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes
home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ” 
~Lin Yutang