Monday, December 29, 2014


It took Camden sprinting back and forth through the living room and kitchen about three times last night before I said to Ryan, "He's getting really antsy."

I suggested we take the little rugrat bowling.  So, we did.

The bowling alley was quite crowded and there weren't any kid's ramps available, so we took his little six pound bowling ball and found our lane.

Hammy caught on to the concept of bowling really fast, and only after a few frames in did he insist on carrying his own ball from the ball retriever to the top of the lane.  It also didn't take long for him to show us that he did not enjoy waiting for Ryan and I to bowl and for it to be his turn again.

After each roll (push of the ball) he would jump up and down, clapping for himself and run to either Ryan or me for a high five.

His first game he bowled an 83 and even threw a spare.  This was achieved, of course, with some help from the bumpers and Mommy and Daddy. 

The family bowling next to us ended their game so we got to use a ramp about two frames into the second game.  It was also around this time that his patience between turns was really wearing thin.  So, I would bowl my first turn and then let him finish for me.

After two games and with a sweaty and hungry little boy on our hands, we felt it was time to call our successful bowling outing a night.  

Someone didn't want to part with his "ow-ange" ball just yet.

Take Luck,

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Farewell, Franky

Even before Camden was born, I secretly hoped that he would be a pacifier/binky baby.  I had read how sucking on a pacifier reduced the risk of SIDS, and as a new mother, I wanted every reassurance that I could have - even if it meant a pacifier might form a habit and be something we would eventually have to take away.

My wish was granted.

Fast forward two years, and clearly - Camden has formed a loving attachment to his binkies, Franky (the frog) and Ducky (the duck).

The binky was wonderful to have when Camden was sick, or when he was crabby in the car and we were trying to make it home in one piece. But it was time. I've been talking about getting rid of the binky for literally months.  September was crazy, and knowing that we were going to be doing lots of flying and staying in unfamiliar places - I didn't want to be without it.  I had my mind set on a long weekend in October, but was newly pregnant, exhausted and nauseated, and had zero will power to fight the binky fight.

We had made a big stride when around his 18 month birthday, we took the binky away during the day, and it only stayed in his crib so he could have it at nap time and bed time.  He would still ask for it during the day, but we were able to distract and redirect his attention to something else.  The funny thing is that with our trips to Michigan and Disneyland, that rule pretty much went out the door and he had that thing in his mouth almost the entire time. Not one of my prouder moments, I assure you, but I didn't want to rock the boat. 

Daycare was another issue.  I didn't want to send him to daycare without his binky and leave his daycare ladies to deal with a crazed toddler at nap time, screaming for his Franky. Maybe that's their job and that's what we pay them for - but it just didn't sit right with me.

Anyway, after much deliberation and self talk, I decided that Christmas Day night, we would take it away for good.  Merry Christmas to Camden, right?  Ryan and I both have some vacation from work - so we figured that if it was a rough experience that led to loss of sleep, we could at least catch up and sleep during the day.

Several weeks ago, the actual binky/nipple part of Franky started to rip, and we used that as sort of a stepping stone to elimination.  He still clung to the thing for dear life and would put it in his mouth - but you could tell he wasn't really sucking on it and that it was there for comfort.  We checked it every day to make sure the rips weren't becoming a choking hazard, and kept our eyes on the Christmas Day prize.

Between the ripping stepping stone and the fiasco that was Christmas Eve night, I wasn't sure how traumatizing it would be for him. He didn't nap well Christmas Day so come nighttime, he was so incredibly exhausted that we hoped it wouldn't be a big deal.

While I got him ready for bed, Ryan cut the entire binky off of Franky and handed it to Camden in preparation for his bedtime story. The poor kid turned Franky head over feet five times and was totally confused - clearly looking for the binky. Both Ryan and I had to hide our laughter and assure him that it was still Franky. 

We put him to bed with extra hugs and kisses and held our breath as we closed the door.  And wouldn't ya know? He was absolutely mouth-open-knocked-out before we even made it downstairs.

We breathed a sigh of relief and kept our fingers crossed that he would stay asleep. He woke up at 12:45 that night and was pretty upset. I went in, hugged and rocked him a tiny bit and laid him back down - only to have him scream bloody murder for about 10 minutes. I was watching him on the monitor and he finally laid himself back down and fell back asleep. Amen, hallelujah. 

I was so excited and proud of him but in the back of my mind I knew that the next day's nap and bedtime could go disasterously since he was so incredibly exhausted at the first try. 

Guess what? They didn't go disasterously but went incredibly smooth.  No fuss, no tears, no nothing. He did fake cry for about two minutes last night but it was the fakest cry ever and apparently it was only worth two minutes of his time. 

Part of me is sad that this part of his life is over. It's another scratch off the "things that remain of baby Camden" list. But, I knew in my head and my heart that it was time. 

I suggested to Ryan that we let him pick out a stuffed animal to keep in his crib. He was quick to say, "Lauren. Franky is a stuffed animal." Touché. 

For the record, Camden has had a death grip on Sir Franky at each sleepy time since we took away the binky. 

I guess we'll have to settle for some celebratory fro-yo.

Farewell, Franky.

Take Luck,

Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Christmas

Since we spent Christmas in St. Louis last year, this year we were able to stay home.

We spent Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family at my aunt and uncle's house.  It was a really enjoyable night and Camden had a blast entertaining his aunts and uncles.

He was also wearing his new Minnetonka booties from his Aunt Tiff for the special occasion.  All the women in the room were swooning over how cute they were.

He spent the evening chasing Buster the cat, eating crackers with sour cream, playing with Buster's cat toys, and stealing my dinner roll.

We had planned to stay the night at my parent's house so we could all be together Christmas Eve and wake up together Christmas morning.  Camden has spent the night there several times (sleeping in a pack-n-play), so I was very optimistic that it would be a normal night for him - just that Ryan and I would be sleeping in the bed next to him.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

We put him down after getting home from the Christmas Eve party, while the adults stayed up playing dominoes.  After heading to bed around 10:30 and getting cozy, we heard Camden start rustling around, and soon - he was standing up and crying.  I didn't think much of it and brought him into bed with us - thinking that he'd snuggle up and fall asleep.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

From 10:30 to 3:00 in the morning, I rocked and bounced him, laid with him on my chest, tried to let him get himself comfortable, and tried putting him back in the pack-n-play.  All big fat failures.  He wasn't even totally awake during all this craziness - just this zombie child that could not and would not fall asleep or lay still.

I have no idea what the problem was, but at 3:00am he finally fell into a deep sleep, laying horizontally (of course).  It's too bad we didn't have a video camera recording because someone, somewhere would have gotten a real chuckle out of seeing the position I was able to finally sleep in - curled up into a little ball, next to Sonny, at the bottom of the frigging bed.

The sleep didn't last because at 5:20am, the wild beast was awake and asking for Papa and Grammy.  Many a swear word went through my head, but I got up with the little booger.  I'm sure you're shocked to hear that we were the first ones up, so we waited for the rest of the house to rise (Grammy wasn't far behind us) and open stockings and presents.

This train loving child got tons of new Thomas trains, cars, clothes, books, and other fun toys.  Mommy wished there was a drive thru Starbucks in her stocking, but alas, there was not.

In my Taking Stock post I said I wanted Christmas Day to pass by slowly.  And holy shit did it ever.  It was completely wonderful and completely exhausting all at the same time.  Definitely a Christmas we'll remember.

Even though we couldn't physically be with Ryan's family, we communicated all day through texting and were able to FaceTime in the afternoon.  It was really nice to be at home and not travel for the holiday, but we missed being with them.

I guess we can start counting down until next Christmas, when we'll be traveling to St. Louis with a 3-year old and a 6-month old.  I'm pretty sure that Mommy will be wishing Santa brings her a beer helmet or something else that allows me to consume large amounts of alcohol.

Just kidding.  Sort of.

Merry Christmas to all!

Take Luck,

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Taking Stock / 02

It's been awhile since I last took stock.  With it being two days until Christmas, why not reflect upon the crazy?

Making: Puppy chow.  Not the puppy kind, but the human kind.

Cooking: Ryan's grandma's sausage rice for Christmas Eve.

Drinking: Lemonade.  Lots of lemonade.

Reading: The First Family by David Baldacci and Thomas' Tales of Discovery.  Over and over and over.

Wanting: Christmas Day to pass by slowly.

Looking: at my growing belly.

Playing: "Ready, Set, Go!" with Camden.  This is where he backs himself up against his kitchen, and when I say, "Ready, Set, Go!" he runs into my arms and I lift him up into Superman.  It is exhausting.

Wishing: Camden didn't like "Ready, Set, Go" so much.

Enjoying: the holiday season in all it's crazy glory.

Loving: that as of Thursday, I will have seven days off work.  Amen, hallelujah. 

Pondering: whether this little baby is a boy or girl.

Considering: baby names.  So many baby names.

Watching: Christmas movies.

Needing: stretchier pants. 

Wearing: a comfy, cozy sweatshirt.

Following: @itsahuntlife on Instagram (tales of me and the husband) and swooning at pictures of her new squishy baby. 

Noticing: Camden's weekly gymnastics class is making him brave and adventurous when it comes to climbing on and jumping off things.

Admiring: the Christmas jammies I found for Cam.

Sorting: Christmas gifts. 

Buying: last minute gift cards and stocking stuffers.

Getting: really, really excited to see Camden's face on Christmas morning.

Bookmarking: tips on transitioning a child from a crib to a toddler bed. 

Disliking: the fact that Camden will no longer be confined to his baby cage.  I kid on the baby cage part.

Feeling: unlucky when sneezing.  If my bladder is even remotely full - I'm in trouble.  Too much?

Snacking: on anything and everything.  This mommy is hungry.

Coveting: next year's matching Christmas jammies for Camden and his baby brother or baby sister.  Which one will it be?!

Wishing: it was January 5th so we would know the sex of this babe.

Helping: myself to as much puppy chow as I want.

Hearing: this song and getting the chilly chills every time.

Take Luck,

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stuff My Two Year Old Says

I still can't believe that Camden is two.  I've talked a lot about how much he talks, but the things that are coming out of his mouth lately are a hoot.  I may be slightly biased because I am his adoring mother, and I may be the only one that finds these funny.  Regardless, I need to document.

- Sings Jingle Bells as "Jingle Balls."

- Will yell, "No! Stop!" (with his hand held out emphasizing his desire for you to stop) when you are singing a song he doesn't like.

- Sometimes if both Ryan and I are in the car and trying to sing a song to/with him, he will yell, "Guys! Guys!"  Also an indication that he would like us to stop.

- Very recently started requesting "shake shake," when in the car.  It took me awhile to figure out what the heck "shake shake" meant but it finally dawned on me that he wanted to hear Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off."  He especially likes the "mmmm hmmm's."

- Will point and ask "What's that?" literally 25 times over the course of each book you read to him.  Try ignoring the question and he will just keep pointing and asking.

- Apparently knows how to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

- Woke up from an epic three and a half hour nap on Friday and I asked him how he slept.  Expecting him to say, "Good," he shocked me when he said, "I wun (run) fast!  I swing wope (rope)!"  I think he was dreaming about gymnastics class.

- I had the audacity to close the bathroom door while trying to pee in privacy and he was standing on the other side, knocking, saying, "Knock knock, Mommy!"

- Trips or falls down and will say, "You're ok!" (instead of "I'm ok!")  Wonder where he's heard that?

Aside from the tantrums (most of which I don't even think he knows why he's upset) and newfound defiance - I am loving this age.  For now.

Take Luck,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Camden is TWO

What the hell, time?  Did you drink a bunch of Red Bull or something and decide to literally fly by?!  I thought the first year of Camden's life went by fast, but looking back at how quickly the second year went by - I am proven wrong.  It feels like last week (OK, maybe last month) that I was reflecting on his first year of life.

Now, my little love is two and I can hardly believe it.  Two!

(Photo Credit: Meghan Granito Photography)

I know that every mother thinks their kid is special and wonderful and all, but inside I feel like the frigging president of the proud mommy coalition - today especially.

Cam is one special little guy and I get very emotional thinking about the fact that I get to be his mom and just how much that means to me.  It has been amazing to watch him grow and learn this last year; to see him develop his own likes and dislikes, and start voicing his thoughts and opinions.  That last one has been both comical and a test of our patience.  

I shared some Hammy Cammy details back in October, and it's incredible to look back at that post and think about how much he's grown and changed in just that short time.

- Has finally started to say, "I love you."

- Will tell you he has to "go potty."  He really just wants to wash his hands.

- On the way to daycare a few weeks ago he told me, "Mommy! You booiful (beautiful)." I about died.

- His idea of playing with his kitchen is pulling out all of the fruits, vegetables, silverware, plates, etc., leaving them in a heap on the floor, and then walking away to play with something else.

- Will do the most random things and then say, "I funny!"

- Can count to 14.  Why 14?  Because we have 14 steps from the main floor of the house to the upstairs and someone insists on walking by himself.  Counting keeps him from doddling.

- Is slowly learning the ABCs and can recite small sections of them on his own.

- Loves to sit in a "special chair" when we stop for a coffee (for me) and scone (for him) from Starbucks.

- Has started to sing along to "Wheels on the Bus."

- Speaking of "Wheels on the Bus."  At the end of the song, he yells "Mommy!  Shark!" and that's his way of telling me that he wants me to sing "The shark on the bus goes chomp, chomp, chomp..."

- Will tell me, "Mommy! Wook! Moose!" or "Mommy! Wook! (Insert random animal)!" while we are driving down the road.

- Has recently discovered movies and requests Monsters University by pulling the DVD off the shelf all. the. time. 

- If he wants to tell me something "important," he will put his hand on my shoulder and look me right in the eye and say, "Mommy..."

- When out in public, has started saying, "Hi," and waving to anyone that looks in his direction.

- He officially has a timeout corner, because the child gets at least one timeout a day.

So, I get to be the mom of this awesome little human.  Don't get me wrong - we have our challenging moments (and days), and I am always ready when it's time for his nap and bedtime, but I feel very lucky that Camden is ours and we are his.

We had his two year well check up today.

Height: 32 1/2 inches (7th percentile)
Weight: 23 pounds 13 ounces (13th percentile)
Head Circumference: 19 inches (45th percentile)

I didn't know just how much I could love someone until he came along.  The love I feel for him just multiplies every day - even on the rough days when he's living up to the "terrible two" cliche and giving me a hard test in patience.  I cherish our nighttime routine and the few minutes we share after our nightly book, sitting and rocking in the dark, where nothing else in the world matters (to me, anyway).  In those moments, everything is quiet and snuggly.  I hope that someday he will understand even a fraction of how much his dad and I love him and how important he is to us.

It's hard for me to look at him and see him as a big brother.  I see him as my baby.  I suppose I always will, even when he's not the baby anymore.

Happy 2nd Birthday, my squishy man cub.  I am so lucky, and so proud to be your mama.  You've made me a better person, a more grateful person. I love you to the moon and the stars.  You, my little love, are my greatest achievement (at least until your brother or sister comes along and then you'll have to share that title).

Take Luck,

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Big Brother

On Thanksgiving morning, I made a special announcement on Facebook and Instagram - that come this spring (end of May), our little turkey will be a big brother.

He's thrilled, or at least seems to be when lifts up my shirt, pats my tummy and says, "Hi, baby!"  We'll see how his feelings change when he says hello to a real life baby that doesn't leave his house.

I am 15 weeks along with my feet firmly planted in the second trimester.  Amen, hallelujah.  Much like my pregnancy with Camden, the first trimester was rough and felt never-ending.  I didn't have the textbook "morning" sickness, but more of an all day funky funk that got worse as the day went on.  By 3:00 in the afternoon, I was pretty much done-zo and bordering on miserable.  

I'm very thankful to be feeling much better and to not have my expanding, water retaining ass permanently glued to the couch.

My official due date is May 31st and we will find out whether this little bear is a boy or girl on January 5th.  I think it's another boy, and until recently, Ryan was convinced that it was a girl, but is now thinking it's a boy, too.

We found out I was pregnant right before our trip to Disneyland, so were able to share the exciting (albeit very early) news with Ryan's family face-to-face.  The greatest part was that Ryan's sister had some news to share with us as well - they are expecting another little boy in April!  Squeeeeel!

I am now kicking myself for not blogging more about my pregnancy with Camden or just taking better notes in general about how I felt each week.  The biggest difference is (clearly) that I'm chasing around a wild tornado toddler this time around, and not as able to be a couch potato.  Swim lessons and gymnastics class during weeks 6-12 were really enjoyable.  What super-nauseated pregnant woman doesn't like spinning in circles, tossing their kid in the air, and jumping up and down on the trampoline?

Ready or not, we're on our way to becoming a family of four!

Take Luck,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Camden's Second Birthday Party

We celebrated Camden's second birthday party on Saturday morning.  As you might have imagined, it was totally Pinterest worthy, complete with a Thomas the Train Engine table cloth and balloons... And, that's about it.  Much like his First Birthday Party.

Per my usual style, I kept things simple.  We had some Thomas decorations and a brunch-like spread of food.

Because I know how much everyone loves to be at a two-year old's birthday party - we didn't dilly dally and got right down to food, gifts, and cake.

Cam got lots of wonderful gifts from family and friends, but his favorite was hands down, the balance bike and helmet he received from Grammy and Papa.

We've been practicing singing "Happy Birthday" for the past couple weeks, and his little face just lit up when everyone was singing to him.

Swimming lessons and blowing bubbles in the water are totally paying off because he was even able to blow out the candle all by himself without getting too dangerously close to the flame.  Much like his first birthday party cupcake, he couldn't have cared less.  Why this child doesn't capitalize on his opportunities to eat super sugary treats is beyond me.

We wrapped things up (and took off his frosting-filled shirt) and he got to business playing with some of his other gifts - including this tee ball set from his dear old mommy and daddy.  He said his thank you's, gave his hugs goodbye, and then it was nap time.  For him and for me.

His actual birthday isn't until Thursday, so I'll save the hysterical dramatics about how I can't believe he's two and wah, wah, wah, until then.

Take Luck,

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cam Meets Santa

I'm really becoming a poor excuse for a blogger lately.  And the fact that I have to preface every post with that sentiment is telling me that I need to buck up or stop.

This past Friday was my day off so after Cam's nap time, I pulled his literally little man clothes out of the closet and we made our way to see Santa.  

Based on his reaction to the Easter Bunny, I found myself (again) setting the expectations bar very low for this experience.  When we got to Santa, we were behind two other families, and I was happy to be.  I hoped that would give Cam a chance to look at the big guy from afar and see that it wasn't so scary.  Well, it became our turn and my little guy who had just been "ho ho ho-ing," and pointing to all the trees and balls (ornaments) was not moving, and had a death grip on my hand.

I sat down next to Santa with Cam on my lap first, asked the photographer to take a photo, and then promptly handed off, got up, and ran behind the camera saying, "Go! Go! Go!" to the cameraman.  The jerk (not really, I'm just being dramatic) only took two photos and this was the "best."

Don't get me wrong - I love the crying-babies-with-Santa-photos, but I was hoping for better.  Maybe more of an sad crying face?  Does that make me a bad mother?  Either way, it's another good future blackmail tool.  And don't worry - the lip tucked back in and the tears stopped as soon as Santa gave him a sucker.

Ryan likes to point out that this is a complete waste of money, and I can't say that he is incorrect, but I hope this is a tradition that we can continue for a long time (even when we have to bribe Camden to get up there) and compare that photos over the years.

It's hard for me to believe that this is Cam's third time meeting Santa.

Last year I'm pretty he was overall clueless and didn't realize what was happening until it was already over.

The first time, when he was only four days old and out cold, I was so worried that Santa was going to drop him that I didn't even want to ask him to try and prop him up a little more.

Here's to traditions and traumatizing your kids.

Take Luck,
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