Thursday, October 23, 2014

Camden Lately

Pretty soon, my little Hammy Boy will be two years old.  Two!  It's safe to say that I have been terrible about documenting the little man he's turning into, considering I haven't briefed you on his latest achievements since he was 18 months old.  Lucky for you, that's about to change.

Here's some Camden Lately, at 22 months.

- Has started taking gymnastics class on Saturday mornings.  This boy loves to run, climb, jump, and say "ta-da."

- Thinks me zipping up his footie pajamas is hyst-erical.

- Will say "bessou" (bless you) after I sneeze.

- Can repeat the ABCs (this is not to be confused with saying/singing the ABCs on his own) and always gets stuck on "H" and "O."

- Has established a borderline-unhealthy relationship with his pacifiers.  Yes, I said pacifiers, as in more than one.  He discovered he has two (Franky the Frog and Ducky the Duck) and thinks having both at the same time is totally necessary.

- Has miraculously started answering questions with either "no," or "yeah."  This makes trying to figure out what he wants/doesn't want infinitely easier.

- Has started tossed out a few defiant "no's."  A few gym classes ago (I don't think he was feeling 100%), after asking him to (gasp!) follow the coaches directions, he pointed at me and repeatedly said, "no!"  It was one of those times that I knew I shouldn't react to the behavior but I was laughing, laughing, laughing.

- Is semi-obsessed with trains - especially Thomas & Friends, but he only knows Thomas and Percy (which sometimes, with his little lisp, comes out sounding more like something else....... I'll let you guess).

- Also loves cars, trucks, tractors, and boats.

- Loves his daycare and will randomly say his daycare lady's name and those of his friends.

- Sometimes eats great, and other times not so much.  I try not to stress about it.

- Speaking of food, would eat an entire box of graham crackers if I let him.

- If you ask him what color something is, it's always "blue." Even oranges. 

- His favorite thing to do at swim lessons?  Jump, unassisted, into my arms, and sing/dance along to "I'm Going Fishing."  His least favorite thing to do at swim lessons?  Get dunked under water.

- Loves to curl up in my lap and have books read to him - especially train books so he can repeat the "whoo whoo" sound.

- Still loves Bubble Guppies and requests "Bubble Cow," every day. His favorite episode is titled, "Have a Cow," and it's all about farms and the animals that live there.

- Has now been on 10 airplane flights and to five states.

- Sometimes calls me "Mom," instead of "Mommy."  I'm going to push this "Mommy" thing for as long as I can.

- Learning lots of animals and their names with some amazing flashcards I got out of the Target dollar bin. Pronunciation is fun. Fox sounds like "fock" which sounds like....... I'll let you guess.

- Couldn't even begin to list the number of words he says.

- Says "please," and "thank you."  I tell Ryan that if nothing else - this boy will have manners.

- Says, "sorry."  A lot.

- Likes to throw his toys (and anything else he's not supposed to throw).  This may or may not have something to do with why he says "sorry," so much. 

I love this kid more everyday.  Except when he throws his trains at me.

 That's all I can think of now.  You're welcome.

Take Luck,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

This year we decided to try out a different, less crazy pumpkin patch.

For as much as I think Camden is an "all boy" type of kid - he surprised me when he had no interest in touching pumpkins that were dirty or having dirty hands.

Cam tried to kick a few pumpkins, threw a few (small and "dirty") pumpkins, and he was was mostly interested in the little slide they had set up (shocker) - but overall I'd say it was a successful trip to the patch.  Sadly, I don't think I'll never look at a pumpkin patch/farm the same after visiting Gust Brothers Farm.

Last year I made some guesses as to what this year's patch experience would be like with an almost-2 year old.  I thought he'd be hard to wrangle and insist on jumping in the bouncy house.  I'm happy to report that Hammy was easy to wrangle and I can guarantee that if we had gone to the patch with the bouncy house - he would not have touched it with the tip of his chubby little finger.

I'm thankful my mom came along so she could take some family photos.  I loathe asking a stranger.

Take Luck,

Friday, October 10, 2014

California (Part Three)

Welcome to a very anticlimactic finale.

Our last full day in Newport Beach was spent on the beach.  It was perfectly slow and easy-going after our full, busy day at Disney.

Hammy was still pretty unsure about the sand, but his uncertainty faded much quicker than the previous day.

Ryan even got him to "play" in the ocean by getting him to kick the waves.  Such a smart man, I married.

He eventually got brave enough to venture out without me or Ryan.

We had a safe trip back to Seattle.  Ryan's parents, and his sister, with her family, all followed so they could come to Ryan's Apprenticeship graduation ceremony.

My wonderful Mom made a taco bar dinner for everyone Wednesday night after we arrived home.  I may or may not have eaten my weight in chips and sour cream, while Webb may or may not have eaten his weight in Mexican Lasagna.  I can't blame him - there is no denying it's delicious.

Thursday we ventured over to Seattle.  Cara had never been on the ferry or into the city.  We went through Pike Place Market, had lunch at the Crab Pot, and took a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel.  I may or may not have started crying a tiny bit when they stopped our car at the very stop (175 feet above Elliott Bay) and just let us dangle and sway there for awhile.

Camden had been running a fever since Tuesday and it continued through Thursday night when it reached 102.8 and he fell asleep in Grandma's lap - sitting up.  I have ever been so thankful to have family in my house.  I was freaking out because he was lethargic (hence the falling asleep sitting up) and it was the highest his temperature had ever been.  They all were really supportive and reassured me that 1) he would be OK and 2) I should not hesitate to call his pediatrician to ask questions, and to get some reassurance and peace of mind.

I ended up taking him to the doctor Friday morning to make sure it was nothing more than a pesky fever - and it wasn't.  So, since Camden wasn't feeling himself - we all just hung out on Friday and enjoyed the last bit of time together before heading to Ryan's graduation.

Can you believe I took all those pictures while we were gone and not a single one once we were home?  Fail.

I can't wait to see everyone again - hopefully around New Year's.  Ever since they left, Camden has asked for Meeum (Liam) and Thomas and Percy (Liam's trains) every. single. day.

I think it's safe to say he loves his cousin.

Take Luck,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I have been meaning and meaning to share my (OK, Cara's) spaghetti recipe, but I couldn't find the word(s) to say what made it so damn good.  That changed today.

Tiff and I were discussing a recipe she found and made, but was disappointed with because it was super bland.  It was then that I realized what made this spaghetti so special - that it is far from bland and full of flavor.

Without further ado.

Ingredients for sauce (because I trust you can boil water and cook spaghetti noodles):

- 1 lb. mild pork sausage (or hot if you are feeling fancy)
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 can spaghetti sauce (our preference is Ragu's Chunky Tomato, Garlic & Onion)
- Optional: small can of tomato paste


1) Brown pork sausage
2) Stir in diced green pepper
3) Add spaghetti sauce and stir
4) If you desire a thicker sauce, add in tomato paste

In addition to the tomato paste, Cara also taught me a trick with boiling the noodles.  She said to put a little vegetable or olive oil and some salt into the water before boiling to help keep the noodles from sticking together.  This probably isn't news to most, but it was to me and it's made a big difference.

Let me know if you try making this and what you think.  Enjoy!

Take Luck,

Monday, October 6, 2014

California (Part Two)


I told myself from our initial trip planning that I was going to try really, really hard to set my expectations really, really low for Disneyland.  I had no idea what he would think of the characters or the rides, and I figured I was asking for trouble thinking he would sleep in his stroller in that environment.

In their coordinating shirts, the boys were ready.

So, expectations low and armed with snacks - we set out for the Happiest Place on Earth (a lovely 30 minute drive from Newport Beach).  And it did not disappoint.  I'm pretty sure I said to Ryan, "I. Am. So. Excited!" about 100 times and that was before we were through the gate.

The Webb's and Ryan's parents went to Disney World earlier this year so they had a good idea of what Liam enjoyed and what was worth passing over.  We followed and crossed our fingers that Camden wouldn't lose his s-h-i-t.

We started out with Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and I can say without a doubt that Camden clung to me like never before (at least up until that point).  I tried to let him shoot the gun and kept my voice at a scary-high octave, to help let him know that he was safe and it was supposed to be fun.  I'm pretty sure Ryan had more fun helping Buzz Lightyear defeat the aliens and The Evil Emperor Zurg than Camden.

Next up: Alice in Wonderland's Mad Tea Party.  Our group split up into two tea cups.  One that would spin to their hearts' content (Webb, Ryan, Grandma, and Liam), and the other that would do zero spinning (Cara, Camden, and me).

It's a Small World's line was nice and short (can you guess why?) so we hopped on and I think it was both Liam and Camden's favorite ride.  By the end Camden was clapping and dancing along to the seriously obnoxious music.

Liam insisted that their strollers be side-by-side so they could hold hands.  I just can't.  There are no words.

We only got close to two characters (Captain Hook and Pluto) during the entire time we were there and Camden was more than fine with it.  Captain Hook was a giant a-hole and Pluto tried to give him a high five, allowing Camden to disprove my previous "clung like he has never clung before" comment.

We rode Storybook Land Canal Boats, Pirates of the Caribbean (where Camden promptly clung again like never before and passed out in the Ergo), Jungle Cruise, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Disneyland Railroad, and Dumbo (where Camden promptly pooped the second we buckled ourselves in).

I'm pretty sure he's still pooping in that picture.

Liam went ahead on the carousel while we changed the bomb and took a little break for a photo op.

Of course, we waved to Liam like maniacs every time he passed by.  After the ride, he got off and ran right over to Camden, put his arm around him, pointed to the carousel, and told him all about it.

I knew I couldn't go to Disneyland and not go on some adult rides, so Ryan and I snuck off to ride Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain (but not without a pit stop in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle).

It was soon time for the parade.  The timing was perfect because I think we were all running out of gas.  We grabbed some seats right outside of Starbucks (amen, hallelujah) and purchased some java to get us through the rest of the night.

I may or may not have been really, really excited for the parade.

Remember when I said that I set my expectations really, really low?  Well, it turns out that I didn't need to.  The boys did fabulously and our day at Disney was truly magical. 

Was Camden too young?  Yes, probably - but he still had a lot of fun and there was plenty that he could do and enjoy.

I already can't wait to go back when he's a little older and can enjoy it even more.  And not become catatonic in front of characters or on rides.

Stay tuned for a final beach shenanigans post.

Take Luck,

Saturday, October 4, 2014

California (Part One)

Yes, I'm alive.  I've just been busy knocking out a crazy September.  Hammy and I went to Michigan, I went to Thailand, and we all just returned from a getaway to Southern California with Ryan's family. You'd think I turned into a travel blogger or something. 

Moving on. 

We flew down to La La Land on Saturday morning to meet up with Ryan's parents (who had just gotten back to the states from a 24-day cruise to Australia) and his sister.  After meeting up and enduring a very irritating rental car experience at Hertz (think video chatting with two different customer service representatives who couldn't hear me, and a third who's computer crashed after going through the whole process), we made the hour drive to Newport Beach.

We arrived around dinner time, so didn't have the time (or the energy) to do much else other than stick our toes in the sand and venture out for something to eat.  Cara found us the most amazing accommodations at a rental beach house and they did not disappoint.  No kidding - you took a step out the front door, turned left, walked 10 yards, and boom.  Beach.

I was a little worried about how Camden would do with such a beach-intensive vacation.  My parents tried taking him to a sandy beach in our area earlier this summer and it sounds like it did not go well. He didn't like the feeling/texture of the sand and was generally miserable the entire time.

We took one step onto the (gorgeous) beach, he immediately stopped walking, and looked up at me as if to say, "You are crazy if you think I'm going any farther."  Liam and Grandma were already long gone, so I tried to be nice/calm and coax him out further, tried holding his hand and walking with him.  Nothing.  This child wasn't going anywhere.  Finally I gave up and started to slowly walk away and said, "OK, I'll go play with Liam in the sand.  You stay here."  His response?  "Meeum (Liam)!" and his previously cemented feet were on the move.

I did happen to get this gem of a photo after Liam took a fully-clothed dip in the Pacific.

Sunday was a much needed, lazy, beach day.

Liam was (again) so excited to be at the beach, so by the time Cautious Camden and I made it to where the family had set up camp, he was knee deep in sand and playing with beach toys.  Hammy was unsure at first, but he eventually joined in the fun with only minimal boo-hooing.  Liam would have dove headfirst into the ocean and stayed there all day.  Cam was much more content to sit on a sand-free beach towel and just point to the lifeguard trucks, birds, and water.

The theme of this trip with these two could have totally been "monkey see, monkey do," because whatever one did - the other followed.  There was lots of precious hand-holding and hugs that lasted too long for Camden's liking.

After getting a good dose of California sunshine, we headed for a pre-dinner walk on Newport Pier.  Both boys had no fear and were more concerned with running ahead and trying to fit their big heads in between the pier railings than sticking with the group.

Stay tuned for Disneyland and more beach shenanigans.

I know - the suspense is killer.

Take Luck,
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