Family Friday: Aug 30

51 Weeks Old

Only one more week left!  I can't believe our baby is almost a year old.  This year flew by but also lasted forever all at the same time.  It was not easy and I feel that it's almost taken the whole year to really recover, first physically and then mentally.  I will be celebrating Cameron turning one year old and also celebrating the fact that I survived the first year of motherhood :)

Tonight begins three weeks of houseguests.  My mother arrived tonight and will stay for just under two weeks.  Johnnie's parents and sister arrive next weekend arrive next weekend and will stay for just over two weeks.  They overlap for about a week - it will be interesting fun :)  I'm really excited about having live-in babysitters guests for the next three weeks.  The last time family was here, Cameron was very young and I was still breastfeeding so I only had short periods of free time.  Now there is no limit.  I have been making a list of things I want to do and I'm going to cram as much in as possible!

We cleaned the house today in preparation for our houseguests.  Cameron and Dulce had fun playing on a pile of blankets before they got tossed in the washing machine.  To clarify... the blankets went into the wash, not the kids :)

This week Cameron started successfully eating from a plate!  I tried a plate when we first started finger foods but she was more interested in banging the plate on the table than eating the food on it.  Now she focuses on the food and leaves the plate alone.

I started making things for lunch that I can share with her.  This forces me to eat healthy whole foods so it is a win-win situation :)  For example, one lunch we had this week was salmon and green beans.  I'm avoiding salt because salt is not good for babies so we experimented with curry seasoning and garlic powder on the salmon - it was actually quite tasty and Cameron loved it!

We still go outside every evening and play on the driveway.  This week I pulled out some toy beach shovels and buckets.  I filled one bucket with water and she loved dipping the shovels in it!

Next weekend is Cameron's birthday and she has gotten a few gifts in the mail already.  We opened one gift already from our good friend, Linda, who insisted we do so.  Twist our arms... :)
Before learning about RIE parenting, I would have opened the toy and played with it along with Cameron - showing her all of the features, what all the parts do, and how to ride it.  But I do know about RIE and the power of the magic word... WAIT.  You must read this article on Janet Lansbury's website - The Parenting Magic Word and 10 Ways to Use It.  I have taken this information to heart for raising Cameron and it's amazing to see what she is capable of.

I opened Cameron's new toy, inserted some batteries, set it on the floor, and waited.  I sat back and soaked in the excitement that Cameron exuded each time she discovered something new.  She pushed the car forwards and backwards, tried pulling it sideways, pressed all of the buttons, and even discovered the hidden compartment under the seat... all on her own.  I know she felt proud of herself, something she wouldn't have felt if I simply did it all for her.

"Observe more, do less. Do less, enjoy more."
~Magda Gerber

Family Friday: Aug 23

50 Weeks Old

There was a time when taking Cameron's weekly photo was easy.  I would quickly snap 7 or 8 photos and we would be done.  For the past couple months, her weekly photo sessions have grown more frustrating and challenging each week.  This week's photo exasperated me!  I had to take 134 photos over the course of the entire day to get the one above.  Every time I made Cameron lay down, she started crying and tried to stand up.  I am so surprised that I finally got one of her looking at the camera, in focus, and actually smiling.  I worked hard for this one!

This "52 Weeks" photo project is almost finished.  The end result will be amazing and I will cherish each photo but I cannot wait to be done with these weekly photo sessions!  Only two weeks left!

Cameron smiled right away for some close-up shots to start with... such a tease!  She now has four teeth - two center teeth on the bottom and two lateral incisors vampire teeth on the top.

I first gave Cameron a sippy cup 7 weeks ago.  I've been sitting a sippy cup full of water within her reach at every meal since then.  She would mostly just grab it and bang it on the table, occasionally taking a sip.  This week she has started taking big gulps from it daily!

Cameron has definitely made the connection between "ba-ba" and drink.  She has been crying "ba-ba" when it's time for a bottle for a few weeks now.  This week she cried "ba-ba" when she was thirsty and wanted a drink from her sippy cup after outside play time.

Cameron now gets food 3 times a day, along with her normal 4 bottles a day.  I usually give her finger foods at two of her meals and blended food for one meal.  Blended foods that she eats includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, chicken, turkey, quinoa, brown rice, and plain greek yogurt.  I often add in spices to the blended food such as cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, or Italian seasoning.

Photos from left to right:
1) tofu and grated apple
2) grapes (cut into small pieces) and steamed broccoli
3) cheese shreds and steamed potatoes
4) baked tilapia and steamed carrots
5) goat cheese crumbles and egg yolk

This week Cameron and I have gone outside every evening.  There is so much to see and Cameron gets so excited taking it all in!  The neighborhood kids are all home from school and outside riding their bikes and scooters, their parents are all coming home from work in their cars or on bicycles, people are out walking with their dogs, and jets are usually flying low overhead as they prepare to land.

Cameron walks all around our driveway, always holding a rock in each hand :)

"A little girl is sugar and spice and everything nice... especially when she's taking a nap."
~Author Unknown

Spartan Race Hawaii

On August 17, Hawaii had its first ever Spartan Race.  The race was held on Kualoa Ranch which is the extremely scenic, undeveloped area where many movies (Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Godzilla) and TV shows (LOST, Hawaii 5-0) were filmed.

Spartan Races are obstacle races that are held worldwide.  They combine running with physically challenging obstacles that include a lot of water, mud, barbed wire, and fire.  The course was over 3 miles long (up and down many steep hills) and had 15 obstacles to complete.

I joined a group of ladies from my neighborhood to run the race.  We actually trained for this and prepared matching costumes.  We went as a group of Spartan Cheerleaders from the Saturday Night Live skits.  The outfits, bought from Amazon, were polyester disasters so we did a lot of alterations to make them work for this race.  I think we looked pretty good... especially with that incredible view behind us!

The parking lot was 1.5 miles from the start of the race... it was a nice warmup on the way there but not so much fun on the walk back after the race.

We had some gorgeous views near the end of the trail!  This is the East side of the island - so beautiful!

The few first obstacles we encountered included walking through a chest-deep river, walking through three mud pits of varying mud consistency, and crawling through mud under barbed wire.  We were wet, smelly, and dirty for the entire race.

Seriously... the view was incredible all around us!  In case you are wondering, most of this island does not look like this.  It was such a treat to be surrounded by such beauty.

I successfully completed all of the obstacles except for the last one... a rope climb.  I was going to at least try but changed my mind after seeing muscular people struggle and fall into the waist-deep mud under the ropes.  Two of the girls in our group tried and one actually made it very close to the top.

The scenery was a-maz-ing the entire race which made up for some of the race's downfalls.  This was the first year for the race and it definitely has some improvements to make for next year.

It was disgusting, it was smelly, and it hurt... but it was fun and we all feel pretty badass for finishing :)

"What mattered was the joy, the fun, the sheer thrill
and the accompanying realization of 'I did it'!"
~Jessica Bellofatto

Family Friday: Aug 16

49 Weeks Old

Cameron has just about stopped crawling.  She can walk and that is the only way she wants to move now.  She can get to her feet from a sitting position so every time she falls (which is often) she gets right back up.  Sometimes it takes her a few tries to get up but she never gives up.

She has also figured out how to move the baby fence blocking off the kitchen to escape.  When she does escape, she moves her little legs as fast as she can to get away - it is hilarious!

She loves climbing the stairs and is very good at it.  Thankfully this is the last thing on her mind when she escapes the kitchen - she goes after the instruments, Dulce's toys, and our shoes instead.  Still, we may soon get a gate for the bottom of the stairs (there is one in the hallway upstairs).  I am also going to teach her how to slide down the stairs soon.

Cameron loves music and anything that makes a sound.  She recently discovered my djembe drum and loves to bang on it when she gets the chance.  Thankfully she hasn't tried pounding on the cello or guitar yet... I have plans to get instrument hooks to hang them on the wall out of her reach.

Cameron still loves playing the piano and that, like the drum, can take a beating.  She used to sit on my lap to play but this week I lowered the stand so that the keyboard is at her height.  She loves to dance while she pounds on the keys!

Cameron really doesn't seem like a baby anymore.  She is so active and can do so much.  She wears me (and herself) out every day but I'm very thankful that I'm able to be a stay-at-home mom and watch her develop and grow!

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow,
yet we forget that he is someone today."
~Stacia Tauscher