Family Friday: April 18

My friend and running buddy, Laura, arrived about two weeks ago for a long visit (she's still here and her mother joined us a few days ago as well).  She came to run the Hapalua Half Marathon with me and since she works a full-time job via internet, she is able to stay for a while.  Having her here has been helpful in giving me the freedom to run errands during CC's naps and having an extra hand to help get dinner ready.  It's also nice having a friend to talk to everyday as well :)

I have a ton of photos of CC but not very many of her and I together since I'm the one always holding the camera.  I'm thankful that Laura has been snapping some photos of CC and I together in the past couple weeks - they are already some of my favorite photos!

See more on Instagram!

CC has decided this week that she loves vegetables again (but still not potatoes) after a month-long dislike of them.  I'm glad that was just a short phase!  I offer her a fork at every meal and this week she has started using it correctly for about half of what she eats.  It has been a process for the past couple of months that she has been figuring out.

We had a well-visit with the pediatrician this week.  According to the evaluation, CC is very advanced with her physical abilities and fine motor skills but lacking with her language because she has a small spoken vocabulary (her sign language words do not count).  We're not worried about that at all because we know that her level of understanding language is very high and that her spoken language will come when she's ready.

This past week CC has been babbling up a storm.  She has very animated conversations with us and is now "reading" her books out loud to herself... but all in her own language.  This week she started saying up and can clearly say Laura (which is her first spoken name).  She points and yells excitedly when airplanes and helicopters fly by our house and we just realized a few days ago that she is actually yelling "There it is!" when she sees one.  I guess that with all the words we say (airplane, plane, el aviĆ³n, glider, helicopter, Coast Guard) that it's easier for her to simply say that phrase.  That is officially the first time she has put words together into a sentence or phrase.

I became friends with Laura when we were living in Georgia over five years ago.  She has known Dulce from the time that we adopted her and spent a lot of time with her, often watching her during our frequent out of town trips.  Dulce hadn't seen Laura in over three years but she absolutely remembered her!  Dulce cried and cried when she saw Laura and even slept on her bed with her the first night.  A dog's love obviously knows no time or distance :)

Dulce loves chasing sand crabs and has discovered recently that she can catch them if she digs very deep holes.  Every morning she digs holes as deep as her front legs will go and actually catches at least one crab a day.  They usually survive but with some battle wounds.  Dulce luckily hasn't gotten her nose pinched... yet.

This past week had fun times on the beach...

a long overdue date night...

and evenings of drinks on the lanai watching the sun set into the ocean.  I am so thankful for every day :)

"True friendship isn't about being inseparable,
it's being separated and nothing changes."

Family Friday: 19 Months

This month Cameron and I went with a friend to Waimea Valley to take her photos.  It was so helpful having my friend along to help get Cam's attention.  Cameron was running everywhere until my friend asked her dance... genius!  She stopped in the middle of path and started dancing for us long enough for me to get a good photo :)

Waimea Valley is on the North Shore across from Waimea Bay.  It is a beautiful area with a gift shop, cultural events, and a farmer's market held every Thursday.  For a fee, you can hike the 1.5 mile round-trip paved walking path to Waimea Falls.  It is a beautiful walk through lush scenery to a waterfall at the end.  There are many dirt and gravel paths that veer off of the main path to lead you through different gardens, an ancient Hawaiian living site, and along a stream.

At 19 months old, Cameron is wearing size 4 diapers and size 5 shoes.  She wears mostly size 18 month clothing but some 24 month and 2T things are starting to fit.  I can pick out her outfits with little fuss but she wants to choose which shoes to wear.  She can put on most of her shoes by herself now.

Cameron loves reading books (with someone and by herself), listening to music and playing her instruments, and dancing (if she hears any music, her hips start swaying).  She love all animals (especially dogs), shoes, necklaces, purses, baby dolls, her truck, and her shopping cart.  She loves getting baths and playing with water (I give her beach buckets full to play with on the deck).  She loves rocks and picks them up everywhere we go and she also loves taking Dulce for walks and holding the leash.

Cameron will now usually give hugs and kisses when we ask.  Sometimes her kisses are her lips mouth pressed against ours and other times it is only the kissing sound "mmmwah" in our general direction.  Sometimes she surprises us with heart-melting random kisses, hugs, and cuddles.

Cameron's hair is growing and is still as curly as ever.  Every morning while she eats breakfast, I spritz it with water and comb it.  It dries into perfect little ringlets and curls.

Cameron wanted to help me push the stroller through the park instead of riding in it.  She loves to help me around the house and do whatever she sees me doing.

Cameron seems to understand almost everything she hears but her vocabulary is still limited.  I imagine that she is simply absorbing everything right now and will start spitting out complete sentences some day.  Her most said words are this and that.  She is constantly pointing at things saying "This?" or "That?" and we tell her what it is.  When we say something that she doesn't understand, she will say "What?" with perfect clarity and a little attitude.

Cameron sleeps at least 12 hours each night with a bedtime of 7:30pm.  She takes 2+ hr nap during the day, usually in the afternoon.  At our old house she slept in footed pajamas because of the air conditioning.  It is a lot warmer here so we recently got her some new big girl pajamas - the cute little matching sets of tops and bottoms.  On cooler nights she wears a sleep sack over her pajamas.

We always put her to bed with a doll, a couple of board books, and a couple of pacifiers.  She will often look at the books before falling asleep and in the morning she happily plays her doll and reads until we go in to get her.  She still needs the pacifiers for falling sleeping, both at night and for naps but we don't use them during the day unless we go out somewhere.

Last month Cameron was on a vegetable strike but this month she has willingly eaten a small variety of veggies and I discovered that she loves veggie burgers.  She still won't drink milk but she likes drinking smoothies so I'll make her one a few times a week to have with breakfast.  Her most favorite recent smoothie consisted of oranges, pineapple, banana, kale, pineapple juice, and milk.

Cameron is a sweet, independent, and curious little girl who is (usually) a lot fun to be around.  Life with a baby was extremely difficult for me so I am thankful that babies grow quickly.  Life is exponentially easier and more enjoyable this year and keeps getting better each month.  This is is my absolute favorite age yet and really makes me love being a mom.

"These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this"
~Trace Adkins

Family Friday: April 4

CC is becoming such an independent little lady and is consistently doing more and more things for herself.  She spends time each day practicing putting on her shoes (and our shoes).  She insists on washing herself in the bath with a soapy washcloth and actually does a good job with some spoken directions from us.  She mimics many things that she sees me doing such as "cooking" with a mixing bowl and a whisk (that she gets out of a kitchen drawer herself) and putting on my makeup and deodorant (with the cap and lids on).  She is also starting to have opinions about her outfits and decides which shoes she wants to wear.

The book "French Kids Eat Everything" (love that book!) says that if a child doesn't like a food it's only because they haven't tried it enough times yet.  I keep that in mind for CC and her new dislike for vegetables.  I continue to make and offer different veggies despite the fact that she doesn't always eat them.  This past week she actually ate (and enjoyed) grilled zucchini, portobello mushroom, and carrots!  The carrots were in a Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup that I made which she couldn't get enough of... especially the carrots in it.

CC still doesn't like drinking milk but will drink smoothies now.  Johnnie and I drink smoothies often and CC will usually drink a small cup of her own.  We blend together milk and banana with other fruits of choice.  We always have large bags of frozen mango, pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries in our freezer for smoothie making.  Sometimes we blend in other things such as yogurt, fruit juice, kale, spinach, or spirulina powder.

The pearls and the shoes were completely her own choice for this evening walk and she insists on holding the leash :)

Some of our other struggles are becoming easier.  CC used to love brushing her teeth when she was a younger but for the past few months it has been a challenge.  Lately she has gotten a little more cooperative.  While she sucks on the toddler toothbrush that she holds, I ask for quick turns with the toddler toothbrush that I hold and we end up with a pretty good brushing.

Hair washing (or actually the rinsing part) has always been a struggle that CC is also getting more cooperative with.  She now lies back voluntarily in the shallow water so I can quickly rinse the suds out.  She still doesn't like it and whimpers but at least she no longer screams.

Love those curls!

CC has such a good time playing with Dulce every day and Dulce usually appears to enjoy the attention.  Dulce is an extremely patient dog with CC and puts up with almost everything she does to her.  CC is getting better at being gentle with Dulce although we still occasionally have to remind her not to grab her tail or hit her with things.  One of these days I'm going to see Dulce run past me wearing a dress :)

This past week I bought an Olloclip 3-in-1 Photo Lens for my iPhone and I am loving it!  The lens fits onto the corner of your iPhone and has a wide angle, fisheye, and macro lens.  Although I have a pro DSLR, I tend to use my iPhone most for everyday photos.  The Olloclip takes phone photos to the next level and is so fun to use!

I always edit my iPhone photos with apps on my iPhone before posting them online.  By the way, I'm still going strong with my 2014daybyday challenge on Instagram!  My two favorite photo editing apps are PicTapGo and Afterlight.  Sometimes I only use one of those apps, while other times I use both.  Afterlight has some neat filters but is best for for cropping, straightening, sharpening, and adjusting specifics.  PicTapGo allows you to layer filter upon filter (and adjust the opacity of each one) to create some fantastic looks.

"The whole point of taking pictures is so that 
you don’t have to explain things with words."
~ Elliott Erwitt