Family Friday: Sept 27

This past week was quiet.

It was very quiet.

We had family visiting for three weeks and everyone left last weekend.  Johnnie was even gone on a work trip this week.  The house belonged to only us girls this week.

It was wonderful having family visit and spend quality time with Cameron.  She had a blast interacting with everyone and soaking up the constant attention.   With all the extra helping hands, I was able to get a few things done and even took a trip to Japan.  With everyone suddenly gone this week, things quickly returned to normal.  I was glad to turn the guest room back into my craft room while Cameron got back into the routine of playing independently.  It was a very relaxing week.

Cameron had her 1-year doctor appointment this week.  She is perfectly average as far as her height, weight, and head circumference.  She scored well above average on the ASQ Assessment of her motor skills, communication, problem solving, and social skills.  Babies develop normally at such different rates - at their own rate - so I don't feel that assessments like this are entirely fair.  I view it as a simple guide, not a definite judgment.  Cameron is healthy, happy, and growing and developing at a steady rate... that is what is most important.

Cameron got four vaccination shots at the doctor.  On top of that, she cut two new teeth (top front) on the same day!  It was a rough day for her.  We spent a good portion of the day wrapped up in a blanket and cuddling on the glider in her bedroom.  She had no ill effects from the shots or teething other than a very slight fever and needing held more than usual.

Cameron's helium-filled birthday balloons finally sank this week.  She had a fun time battling with them as they bounced around within her reach.

Dulce, on the other hand, did not like these strange shiny things floating close to the ground.  She growled at the them constantly.  Finally she attacked... the slippery balloon put up a good fight but was no match for Dulce's prowess and determination.  After she killed one, she decided to let the other two balloons live :)

“Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to
climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
~Albert Einstein

Family Friday: Sept 20

If you follow us on Instagram, you'll know that I went on a trip this week :)  Some of my friends and I took an impromptu trip to Japan!  We flew Space-A which means we got a free flight abroad a cargo plane that was headed to Japan.  Space-A is the privilege of flying on a military craft that has any extra space available for military (or other eligible) passengers.  Flying Space-A is an adventure for which you have to be extremely flexible.  You don't know if you actually have a seat until right before the flight leaves.  You also don't have a guaranteed flight home and may end up waiting for days/weeks or having to buy a commercial ticket.

We flew on a cargo plane which was not the most comfortable flying experience but it was free so I can't complain.  We strapped ourselves into the cargo net seating along the sides of the plane until we reached cruising altitude.  For the rest of the flight we were able to sit or lay wherever we wanted.  This was my first Space-A experience and I was not prepared for how cold it was!  I had a coat and extra socks but other passengers were prepared with sleeping bags and blankets... I'll keep that in mind for next time.

I got to sit in the cockpit for the final approach and landing!  Looking out of the front of the plane while soaring above and through the clouds was an amazing experience and having a front row seat for the landing was definitely a highlight of the trip.

I was in Japan for five days and then had to buy a commercial flight to get home in time for Johnnie to leave on a trip.  Yes, we do travel a lot :)  My friends and I were on the go constantly in Japan so the trip was physically exhausting.  However, being away from the responsibilities of a baby was incredibly mentally rejuvenating which is something that I really needed!  I really loved experiencing Tokyo but to be honest - some of my favorite parts of the trip included reading an entire book on the flight there, getting long nights of uninterrupted sleep, not having to constantly worry about another tiny human being, and watching two movies on the flight home (with a nap in-between).  I am very thankful to Johnnie and his parents for looking after Cameron while I gallivanted across the ocean on an adventure :)

We had a fantastic time in Tokyo!  We filled our days with as much as we could, taking the subway and walking everywhere we went.  At night we slept soundly, recovering and preparing for the next day.  I hope to get some separate blog posts done about some of the places we visited but with my current long list of blog drafts, it may take a while.  Here are the highlights of our trip...

We went to the Sensoji Temple...

and to the Tokyo Skytree for a panoramic view of the city at night.

We walked through many shopping areas and found some "not quite right" things :)

We spent a day at DisneySea theme park which was more of an adventure than we planned it to be.

On the day I flew home, my traveling companions went on a day-long tour so I went to the Shinjuku Gyeon national garden by myself

and also to the Meiji Shrine.

I was very excited to get home to my baby girl!  In a few years she'll be old enough to come on adventure trips with me - I can't wait to show her the amazing world that we live in :)

The last couple weeks Cameron would play with an empty bowl and spoon, pretending to stir something up then have a taste, it is so funny watching her!  This week I decided to let her try it for real and see how she does.  I gave her some plain greek yogurt in a bowl with a spoon.  She actually did pretty well!  The yogurt sticks to the spoon so there is nothing to scoop - she simply dipped the spoon in the yogurt and then ate it.  Johnnie captured some video:

She switched hands often and did well getting the spoon in her mouth.  She was ready to stop eating once her hands (and face) got covered with yogurt.

A yogurt covered baby - that is the normal life that I came home to, the normal life that I desperately missed while I was away.  It's good to be home.  No matter where I am, Johnnie, Cameron, and Dulce are constantly on my mind and in my heart.

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm,
and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that
we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."
~Jawaharlal Nehru

Family Friday: Sept 13

I bet that some of you come to this blog today just to see what I would do now that Cameron's 52 week project is finished :)  Whatever your reason for stopping by, we're glad to have you!

I am no longer taking a weekly photo of Cameron.  Honestly, I am very relieved to be done with that project!  However, I am going to continue our weekly "Family Friday" blog posts.  I will be posting photos and highlights from our week.  These blog posts are a journal of our life that we will cherish forever.  They are also a way for all of our family to watch Cameron grow since we live so far away from everyone.

Johnnie's parents stayed at the Hale Koa military resort in Waikiki for a few nights while my mom occupied our guest room.  We all went down and spent the day with them at the pool.  Cameron had such a great time playing in the water and walking around!  I had a great time relaxing in the sun with my eyes closed knowing that the grandmas were watching Cameron :)

Another activity we did this week was hiking!  We hiked the Aiea Loop Trail with Cameron in her hiking backpack and Dulce tagging along at our feet.  The trail is almost 4.8 miles long and was a good workout with a few scenic vistas to stop and admire.

Dulce had the time of her life!  She loves to hike and is incredibly well-behaved on the trails.  Cameron enjoyed the hike but was fast asleep by the end of the trail.

We have had Cameron's stacking rings since she was only a few months old.  They are one of the most used toys that we have.  Cameron has chewed on them, banged them together, and crawled with them under her hands.  This week, she finally began to stack them!

Never stacked the same way twice :)

Johnnie caught some Instagram video of Cameron stacking all of the rings:

Cameron's imagination has exploded in the past two weeks and she has started pretending!  She pretends to drink from a toy teacup, she stirs and eats pretend food in a bowl with a spoon, and she pretends to talk on a toy phone.  Cameron was cute as a baby but now she is cute and fun... I love having a one year old :)

One of her birthday gifts was a toy purse filled with purse items such as a toy phone, plastic credit card, and fake lipstick.  She loves the lipstick... more specifically, she loves to put the lipstick in her mouth and hum loudly.  She also likes to put lipstick on Nana's lips face... good thing it's not real lipstick :)

Nana left yesterday, having stayed for just about two weeks.  It was so nice having the extra help to get things ready for Cameron's birthday.  Johnnie's parents are still here for another week.

We are a long and expensive plane ride from all family so Cameron mostly sees her grandparents on Skype and FaceTime.  Having them here visiting is so important for her - all kids should feel the loving embrace of their grandparents :)

"Children will not remember you for the material things
you provided, but for the feeling that you cherished them."
~Richard Evans

Cameron's 1st Birthday Party

Happy 1st Birthday, Cameron!

Cameron's early birth one year ago was unexpected and a little chaotic - we weren't prepared, Johnnie was away on a trip, and nothing went smoothly but somehow everything worked out with the most perfect timing.

The theme for her 1st birthday party was the book, "On the Night You Were Born," to remember and celebrate the adventure of her birth.  It was a small party that included us, our visiting family, and a few neighbors and friends who played a part in her birth story last year.

We decorated our dining room for the party using the fabric from her 52 week photo for the backdrop, balloons, ribbon, and homemade star streamers hanging from the ceiling.


Cameron has never had food with added sugar or artificial colors yet so I didn't feel comfortable letting her fill her belly with a "normal" birthday cake.  Since she doesn't know what she's missing yet, I didn't feel bad making her something healthy!  Her favorite food is carrots so I made her a healthy vegan carrot cake.  Don't worry, the bit of icing on the top is a regular sugar-filled buttercream icing so I didn't totally deprive her of a sweet birthday treat :)

The vegan carrot cake only contained whole wheat flour, carrots, water, applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder.  No oil, eggs, or sugar!  It actually wasn't bad tasting, it just wasn't sweet.  Cameron seemed to enjoy it and ended up eating about half of it.

The original recipe (found here) also called for currants and salt, both of which I left out.  I made the cake in a small 6" cake pan and then cut it into a star to match her party theme.  I painted and bejeweled a cheap birthday candle for the top.

There was no cake smashing - Cameron ate her cake in small bites like a little lady :)  The sweet buttercream icing was a new flavor for her and I'm not sure how much she liked it.  She ate it while making faces and then drank a ton of water from her sippy cup.  I ended up scraping most of it off so that she would continue to eat the cake.

Cameron was lucky to have both grandmas, a grandpa, and an aunt here for her party.  The rest of our relatives were certainly in our thoughts that day!

"On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered
'Life will never be the same.'"
~Nancy Tillman