Saturday, July 31, 2010

Growing up

In the past week Cameron has shot up at least an inch. DH and I have both commented that we feel like we can actually see her growing. Aside from her gains in height, Cameron has also picked up a lot of new words. She's been saying Mama, Dada and uh-oh for quite some time. She's now added bye-bye, hi, more, ball, woof-woof, vroom-vroom and lee for Charlie. Cameron also calls Charlie woof-woof.

Cameron has gotten good at picking up after herself too. I credit daycare entirely for this one. If we're in a store and she picks something up I just tell her, "Cameron put that back" and she does! I have no doubt that this is just a phase but I'm glad of it. She also likes to imitate me while I'm doing chores. When folding laundry I take an article of clothing and snap out wrinkles before folding. Cameron will reach into the dryer and once she has a shirt or really anything she will attempt to do the same thing. Unfortunately this doesn't extend to actually folding the laundry but I can already see her doing her own clothes in a few years. Yeah, right.

DH and I were in stitches this morning with Cameron's dancing ability. I use the word dancing liberally. She likes to squat down and bounce a bit and sometimes throws arm movements in. It's absolutely hysterical.

I also saw my first example of Cameron engaging in imaginative play. We bought her this awesome KidKraft kitchen. It's not fully stocked yet but I put some cheap plastic bowls in one of the cabinets. Cameron took them out and pretended to eat out of them, complete with "yum" declarations.

Cameron has also learned (kind of) how to give kisses. She usually aims for the legs or a stuff animal. She's tried to kiss Charlie but he's a little wary of her still so he usually runs away. I kiss and hug her all the time so I'm excited she is close to being able to really return affection.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation picture overload

I have 1800 photos from our family vacation/reunion in Nags Head, NC. There was lots of family, friends, fun, sun and of course drinking. Need I mention that DH and I both burned the candle at both ends (kids don't respect hangovers!) so we were fairly sleep deprived. It's a good thing that the beach is the perfect cure for hangovers. Too bad that Cameron really only had one good day at the beach. She was definitely afraid of the waves and didn't like the water in general. I'm putting it down to a phase and hope that next summer will go better!

Here is the first of potentially many picture posts from our vacation. The photos aren't exactly in order but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

The cousins (my generation) and their parents enjoyed a go-kart tournament. My uncle Chip even had trophies made up. The most coveted was the Toilet Bowl which Jared and Christopher won.
This is the Lazy Lizard, the house that my family stayed at. 3 levels, 8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and still somehow not enough room for 17 people (mostly because of the 6 kids under the age of 4 - 5 of then under the age of 2).
Cameron was obsessed with her cousin Finn's backback. She carried her body weight in Matchbox cars here.
This is what my sister Allison referred to as the congregating and pooping corner.
Ned and Penny have started showing real affection for each other.
We decided on matching outfits for our professional photo shoot. I decided to give Cameron 2 naps that day since the shoot wasn't until 6:30 PM because of lighting. She did OK but most of the other little ones had major melt downs.
Despite all of her cousins around, Cameron got a lot of quality time with her parents. I think it contributed to a really easy drop off at daycare today.
All of the little girls had matching outfits for the photo shoot. Independently my sisters Allison and Kristin found the same dress for the girl cousins. Too cute for words!
Me hanging out with my grandfather (his and Mimi's 60th wedding anniversary!) and my brother Andrew. It was great to see everyone after so long.
Cameron and her cousin Lucy bang on the glass doors to the porch. The kids smiled so much that week!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The summer is a tough time to blog, isn’t it? I find it hard to find the time. Although I do also have to blame the fact that I can’t blog at work anymore. True, there are the evenings but once bedtime and dinner are done DH and I usually watch a show (Leverage is a big favorite these days) and then I go to bed. I hope to post more regularly next week once we are on vacation but considering it’s a family reunion (33 of us!) I’m not sure how feasible it will be. In the meantime here are some updates.

I’m attempting to de-clutter. We must have 10x as much stuff as we did when we first moved it. A lot of it is Cameron’s of course but I still hesitate to sell her baby equipment. Instead I’m focusing on getting rid of clothes that are too dated or big (down 2 whole dress sizes so far – or is it considered 4 because of how women’s clothes are sized?) and crap that we haven’t used in more than a year. Included in that list are all of my MBA books. I figure that if I haven’t used them after 3 years at BigFinance I don’t need them and they are taking up an entire shelf in our library. I’m in a Women in Technology & Operations not-for-profit group at BigFinance and they are running a book drive. The goal is to collect books that will help women re-enter or enter the workforce. It’s a great idea and a great way for me to get rid of all of those accounting and finance books. I’ve made two trips so far with one more to go. Damn, those textbooks are heavy!

Cameron has started running. It’s not real running in the sense that she still doesn’t know that she should bring her knees up higher to get more momentum. But she is moving much faster now and with much more purpose. It also seems as though she has inherited my clumsiness. While running through the parking lot at the JCC she took a face planter. It resulted in a nice scrap on her face and her knee but they’ve mostly faded already. I find myself needing to grab her arm or hand to keep her moving at a more sedate pace, especially around sidewalks or uneven ground. The number of falls has increased dramatically over the past week. I only see that getting worse when she hangs out with her older cousins next week! And now I understand how so many kids get Nursemaid’s elbow.

The temper tantrums are back. They don’t usually last long but any little thing can set them off. Cameron usually plops down on her butt and then rolls over and moans and cries while kicking her feet. It would be funny if it wasn’t also annoying. The biggest driver of tantrums is if we take something away from her. We usually try to redirect with another more appropriate toddler item but Cameron wants nothing to do with “safe” toddler items. She wants to take everything out of mommy’s purse or wallet. Or basically play with anything that isn’t a toy. We aren’t planning to bring too many toys with us on vacation. Between us, my siblings and their 5 kids I think we’ll have enough to go around, don’t you? And why do I find myself still buying toys when she clearly prefers “real” stuff instead? I guess I’m just holding out hope that that perfect toy will occupy Cameron for more than 2 minutes and I can go to the bathroom in peace. Too much to hope for?

Work has been kicking my ass lately which is another reason I’ve been so remiss in blogging. I have been trying to get lots done before vacation. I am hopeful that by putting in longer hours now I can avoid anything work related while on vacation. I’ll still bring my Blackberry but will only check the urgent messages and then just pass them off to my teammates to follow up on. It doesn’t help that I’m also sick. I’ve got something sinus related and I’m pretty sure I can point the finger to Cameron for this one. It’s not as bad as when I had my sinus infection earlier this year but I still wake up with crusty eyes (no, it’s not pink eye, thank goodness) and sinus congestion. Cameron had the same thing about a week ago and she’s fine now. So here’s hoping I bounce back and can enjoy vacation to its fullest.

Have you noticed I mentioned vacation like a million times? It’s the first time DH and I have gone anywhere for vacation since last August. We took a week off in mid-December but it was a staycation. The logistics of coming up with a detailed packing list and then actually packing the car are obsessing us. We have a list of about 150 items that need to be packed. Guess how many of those relate to Cameron? If you said most of them you would be right. We’re bringing Charlie with us too since the rental allows dogs. It’s the first time he will be at the beach and we’re hoping he isn’t wimpy about it. But I’m not holding out much hope for that one. Wish us luck fitting everything in the car!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vampire fever hits our household

No, I'm not talking about the latest vampire movie or TV show (although Vampire Diaries is fabulous and I highly recommend it), but rather Cameron's recent habit of biting every other kid in her daycare. I now have THAT child. In her defense Cameron is getting all 4 canines at the same time (one popped through, three more to go!). I've asked daycare to let her have her pacifier more often to avoid the number of "accident" reports going home with other kids.

Another big fun item is the continued hitting. We've started saying, "no hitting" and then "one" or "two" depending on the situation. We aren't doing time outs yet (more redirection or removal from the situation) but we're trying to lay the groundwork. It's super fun when she gets something taken away from her (for hitting usually) and then she throws herself down on the ground and screams and rolls and pounds her feet. Ah, the toddler time has hit our household hard!

Cameron loves to wear too big galoshes and whatever bib strikes her fancy. I have no doubt that she will want to dress up in my clothes, shoes and jewelry very soon.
Would you look at that hair? This child will not let me put anything in it. Even the teeny tiny elastic bands are no match for her questing hands. But I refuse to get a haircut. I'd rather wait it out.
DH taught Cameron how to put socks and shoes on her hands. Guess what she wants to do all the time now?
The fireplace is strictly off limits unless Cameron is sitting on it nicely. No standing or crawling aloud. I'm actually impressed at how she listens when we tell her "sit" if she starts to climb up on it.
Cameron's hair is tamed due to a bath. She is all dressed up before we went out to a BBQ with our neighbors.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Struggling with daycare decision

Internet, I have good news and bad news from the daycare front. The good news? Cameron was accepted into the JCC pre-school program I mentioned in earlier posts. The bad news? I’m not sure I want to move her out of her current daycare. I’ll pause here for gasps of shock. Yes, I have turned into that wishy-washy parent that can’t make up her mind. Let me lay out the pros and cons and ask you, my dear Internet friends, to weigh in and help me grow a spine and make a decision.

Pros – Structured as a “school” during the year and camp in the summer. There are tons of enrichment activities offered (art, music, gym, library, swimming lessons, etc.). It is closer to our house but commute-wise I don’t think it will really make a difference (maybe 10-15 minutes less). Of course I say that during a summer commute time which is always easier. I also like the religious aspect of it, not that either of us is religious. It’s more about the teaching of morals, history, etc.

Cons – It will cost $350 more a month (but will also give us year-round access to the community center). We have to provide Cameron’s food which is annoying but doable. The price does not go down as Cameron gets older and the ratios go up. It is a religious school so they do not have to adhere to the same daycare standards as certified daycares. It’s all white kids. Seriously, zero diversity aside from religion, of course. Being a Jewish program they follow the conservative Jewish calendar for holidays which means there are 12 extra days we will need to find other daycare for Cameron - many of those consecutive days. That means an additional cost of approximately $500 (even assuming we can find a drop-in place!). Not to mention the stress of having to change the routine up for those days and asking Cameron to be flexible. This might be the biggest con for me and DH.

When I started frantically looking for another daycare it was because the Assistant Director and Director both left our current school within 2 weeks of each other. But the transition seems to be going OK. My biggest concern about our current place is what they will be doing for education and enrichment activities. Education is less of a concern but they don’t offer any music or language or structured gross motor/fine motor activities. The other thing for us to think about is that in either situation we will have to find new care for Cameron when she starts pre-K or Kindergarten. I don’t know enough about full time vs. part time K programs but I assume after school care will be required. Our current daycare does pick up but not at the schools she would potentially attend. Of course at that point, after 5 years on the waiting list maybe we’ll finally get her into my first choice?

There it is. My dilemma. Any words of wisdom out there? Or questions I should be asking myself or the schools?

Friday, July 2, 2010

15 month stats

We had Cameron's 15 month doctor's appointment this morning. She took her shots like a champ and charmed the doctor and other parents in the waiting room. Here are the numbers:

Weight: 21 pounds, 12 ounces (29%)
Height: 31 inches (62%) - maybe she won't be a shortie like her mama!
Head: 47 cm? (78%) - I'm assuming this measurement is in cm because a 47 inch head would be ginormous!

We are looking forward to a nice long weekend with fun in the sun, lots of errands and a BBQ. I hope everyone reading this is able to knock off work early and enjoy your holiday weekend! I promise lots of pictures and a picture post to come in a few days.