Anatomy of a Boy

No no no no, not like that. I think everyone knows the true anatomy of a boy. What I mean is… there are some moments in Cam’s life where I can’t help but think he is such a classic boy.

This photo captures one of those moments.

Such a Boy

Here’s the anatomy of my little boy:

  • pajama top
  • no pants
  • rain boots on an unseasonably warm day
  • filthy nose
  • pizza sauce around the mouth
  • bed head
  • brandishing a stick-like object, in this case his beloved broom
  • acting out some imaginary situation
  • not a care in the world!

I cherish these moments and hope he will always be a silly and free little boy.

DGO is 7 M.O.

Demi Grey is 7 months old, oh my!

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This month I left town twice for work, the first time for 2 days and the second time for 4 days. The first trip was okay, but the second made me miss my kids so much! Even when I thought I would have time to facetime and catch up, I couldn’t because there were too many activities crammed together. So, while I missed out on some things this month, I’m glad I didn’t miss any major milestones.

  • She sprouted her 2 bottom teeth a couple weeks ago and she’s had a bit of a time with it–low fever, runny nose and fussy. (This is one of those milestones that hits me hard–no more gummy babies, ever 😦

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  • She still has an iron grip and often pulls out strands of my hair, but she has started playing with our hair sometimes too, twisting her fingers around the backs of our heads when we’re holding her.
  • She took her first big girl bath with her brother. Both of them were amused.

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  • Her favorite part of any toy is the tag
  • Dad and brother make her smile and laugh and kick her feet around, but generally speaking she is still generous with her smiles
  • A few months ago she would let anyone hold her and while she may not smile, she also didn’t fuss. This past month she developed some sense of stranger danger, which mostly applies to bearded men, but if she’s tired may apply to anyone that she doesn’t see regularly.
  • She’s eating more solids and getting the hang of opening her mouth for a spoon. Sometimes she tries to show us she knows how to chew, but sadly, we’re still on foods that don’t require such skills.IMG_7684
  • I realized somewhat recently she no longer gasps for air at night. Thank goodness she grew out of that!
  • She is very interested in crawling and has started lunging for objects, going split-legged and falling forward. Alas, she is a big girl and I think it’s going to take some more practice and muscle before it actually happens. This photo shows both her split-legged stance as well as her poop face. Ha!IMG_7135

And here’s a random assortment of Demi cuteness over the last month (and no, she is not pulling herself up to stand. I totally cheated and propped her up against the couch)…

Cam’s Birthday & Open House at Preschool

Cam’s preschool does a celebration for each kid’s birthday. I was out of town with work, but Joe, Demi and the grandmas attended. They reviewed photos of significant events in Cam’s life and had him walk around the sun, one time for each year. Then the kids got to enjoy a special treat. Ralle, Cam and Joe made fruit snakes on silly straws and the kids gobbled them up!

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But you know the saying…. every party has a pooper. Yes, this really happened. The Olanoffs really know how to make an impression.

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Then, on Friday, his preschool hosted an Open House. Since I don’t get to drop off or pick up, I was a little too excited to have him show me everything. We followed clues around the school to visit all the major areas and he showed me his favorite things. I was impressed by the organized way they play with everything. He’d take an activity tray from the shelf, find a desk, play with the activity start to finish, clean it up, push his chair in and return the tray to the shelf.

I was also impressed by his motor skills. The activities required concentration and coordination and he was really good at doing each activity like pouring sand from one small container into another small container.

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Last, but not least, I almost fell over dead of excitement when he DREW 2 LETTERS! Cam hasn’t been very engaged by pens, crayons, pencils in the past. He’ll scribble for about 15 seconds and then move on to the next activity. So I assumed writing the alphabet was many months away. But he was playing with a letter bubble where you push it and the dice pops around. It landed on a lowercase j. Cam said, “Look! J for Joe!” and proceeded to go to his tray, draw a dot (while narrating “first draw a dot”) and then a curved hook underneath it. Then he pushed the bubble again and a lowercase l popped up. A lowercase l isn’t quite as impressive of course, but he drew a straight-ish line in proportion with the j. *Proud mama moment*

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I also loved how I told him I was excited for him to show me things and he took my hand and led me around telling me all about it. Listening to a 3-year-old explain what’s going on is one of my very favorite things.

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Neighbor Kaya was also at Open House so we got a cutie little photo of them together. One funny thing is that during Cam’s birthday celebration he got to pick a person to come up and look at the photos with him. He chose Kaya and Joe said that 2 girls started crying. Then, at Open House, a little nugget named Elizabeth (who informed me she is also 3 years old) exclaimed “Camman” when we arrived. She ran over to hug Cam and he ran from her. Again on the way out Elizabeth came to say goodbye. Turns out Cam isn’t ready to hug Elizabeth. As best we could get him to explain, he just doesn’t know her very well.

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Camden Cruz is 3 Years Old!

A Portrait of the Boy as a 3 Year Old

He knows his ABCs, although when he sings it, ‘S’ is ‘X’ so there are two Xs (exes? X’? Exi’?). He has recognized “C” on the computer keyboard for a while as well as a few other letters like J for Joe and X (I’m realizing his favorite letter is X). He also has said, “Look at that stop sign! It has an O next to a P and a T and an S!” He can count to 20ish pretty consistently but when there are a lot of things in one place he says there are a hundred or a million of them. He recognizes many numbers like 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8. He knows his shapes including spheres (pronounced ‘spears’) and cylinders and semicircles.

He has been able to get his bottom half undressed for a while and recently started pulling off his shirt. He can get his pants on now and it’s fun to watch him concentrate as he does it. He is not potty trained but he wants to be. He’s excited about his Paw Patrol underwear and would prefer to wear them though he’s often too absorbed in what he’s doing to recognize he has to go to the bathroom. I think that being at school makes him want to ditch the diapers too because it’s the cool thing to do.

He just started getting into music. Usually after the bath he dances around his room and asks to hear certain songs. He always has another dance move (“Did you see my new dance move?!”).

Favorite books:

  • Goodnight Moon
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Give a Mouse a Cookie series
  • Clifford

Favorite color: red
Favorite show: Blaze and the Monster Machines
Favorite school supply: tie between scissors and glue
Favorite activities:

  • Going swimming
  • Going on “the cation
  • Building and smashing everything
  • Playing store with a giant box in the garage or in the toy box in the playhouse at Poppy and Inny’s
  • Filling buckets, moving buckets, emptying buckets, repeat
  • Chasing imaginary monsters on our night walks
  • Pretend picnics in the yard or the house
  • Blowing and chasing bubbles
  • Wasting water disguised as washing his hands or watering plants or filling buckets or cleaning dishes etc

Favorite toys:

  • His hammer
  • Hot Wheels racecar track
  • Marble Maze
  • Blocks
  • Anything that lights up. His flashlight, “beary,” his elephant that projects stars on the ceiling
  • Dad’s tools

Favorite movie: none. I’ve discovered that every Pixar, Disney and classic starts with something dramatic. He’s typically in tears within the first 15 minutes and we shut it off.

Favorite foods:

  • Peanut butter and jelly toast, not toasted
  • Every fruit on the planet including loquats, pomegranates and persimmons which all grow in the neighborhood
  • Pizza
  • Cupcakes
  • Salad (this video cracks me up, he’s so excited)

Low points from the last year:

  • Going to the dentist
  • Staying overnight at the hospital when he had his infection
  • When he ate _____________ (fill in the blank with your favorite item below):
    • floss (twice)
    • Chapstick cap
    • licorice from the Vons parking lot
    • hunks of grass
    • sea snail eggs (yes, we called poison control) … sorta can’t blame him. They look like candy.
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    • a stranger’s gum off the ground (this was followed by croup and a trip to the ER… I swear it was the germs from the gum)
  • Tantrums, 50% of the time over milk, 25% of the time over wanting something sugary and the last 25% misc. Even though it’s normal at this age, that doesn’t make them easier or less sad.
  • Starting preschool

High points from the last year:

  • Vacation in Palm Desert
  • Bringing home sister–he had a little gray bunny ready as a gift to her
  • Starting preschool
  • Gymnastics and pool time at the YMCA
  • Going kayaking and paddleboarding and paddleboating
  • Going to Disneyland
  • Riding the train to Oxnard
  • Moving into a new bedroom with a big boy bed

Cam's Big Boy Room & Bed

  • His birthday! If the point of celebrating a birthday is to make someone feel special, then we nailed it! On Saturday, he had a Paw Patrol-themed party with his best buddy Morgan. On Sunday, we went apple picking. On Monday, I took the day off, we went to the lake in the morning, to Urban Jungle in the afternoon and had a BBQ at Poppy and Inny’s house with all his favorite people and all his favorite food. He was genuinely having the best day ever. As a mom, this is all I can hope for.

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Half a Trip Around the Sun

My sweet little poonum pie is 6 months old! She is just a delightful little lady showing off her chubby smile any chance she gets. In fact, she’s so charming I almost lost her to a Home Depot employee who wanted to babysit her “forever.”

She had her 6-month check-up scheduled for this afternoon and so, when I finished up with work, I grabbed a couple diapers and wipes and ran out the door with her. Well, shame on me for thinking that’s all I’d need. When I got there, I took her out of her car seat and discovered a slimy trail going up her back. She blew out her diaper and had poop all over her back and onesie. What’s a mom to do?

I changed her diaper, bagged the onesie and wiped her down. Then I put her shorts back on because they were in good shape and then I made a baby blanket halter shirt for her so she didn’t have to show up naked. Très chic! You can get your own soon when I open my Etsy store.

As for the check-up itself, she got 4 shots and 1 oral vaccination. She cried for about a minute and then was back to her happy self. She also got weighed and measured and, let’s just say if it were a competition (which it isn’t, I know), she’d be winning.

Weight: 21 lbs, 98%ile
Length: 27.5″, 96%ile
Head Circumference: 17.7″, 98%ile

At least she’s proportionate!

For the sake of comparing my babies, I looked up Cam’s 6-month numbers. Here they are:

Weight: 21.87 lbs. 96%ile
Length: 27.8″, 85%ile
Head Circumference: 18.1″, 94%ile

I think because Cam didn’t have a neck he looked a lot bigger, but according to the numbers, they’re practically the same!

Other fun things about my Demi Grey:

  • She went from sitting up assisted to sitting up unassisted in about 2 days. She has a nice sturdy base. She also sits and plays with toys for up to a half hour perfectly content.
  • She can wave and say “hi”… she even did this for Dr. Vu today who made a note in her chart. “Hi” by the way, is officially her first word.
  • She also says “blah blah blah” (typically when adults are talking) and “dadadadada” but not in reference to Joe (yet).
  • She rotates her hands and feet vigorously throughout the day.
  • She’s eating a few solids: avocados, bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes. She loved sweet potato the most.

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  • She loves beer.

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  • She loves baths now that she can sit up (hated laying in the sling).

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  • She absolutely loves watching her brother. He still makes her laugh the most.

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  • She goes to bed around 7:30 and wakes up twice for a little milk. Then she wakes up in the morning smiling and waving hi.
  • She’s wearing 12-18 month clothing… and got to wear my childhood bathing suit a couple weeks ago. Farrah Fawcett eat your heart out.

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  • And she’s recently discovered her furry sister. She’s curious but not too curious. Mila on the other hand wants to protect the littlest member of her wolfpack.

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  • And finally, she shows us her determination daily. She knows what she wants and will work hard to get it.

Dinner with my Monkeys

Since Demi hasn’t really been into solid foods we haven’t had a dinner where all of us were eating at the same time. She’s usually on my lap lunging, grunting and reaching for every bite that bypasses her on its way to me.

But she’s starting to get into it and her gag reflex is getting better, so last night I set Demi up with some avocado while Cam and I had burritos with avocado.

It was more like dinner and a show. Highly entertaining.

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Cam Says, Part III

Here we go again…

Joe put some rubber/spongy tiles in the garage, the kind that go together like a puzzle, and the edges are kind of useless in my opinion. We don’t need the edges to be flush and they are skinny and flimsy and always coming apart. They’re basically a tripping hazard. So, I placed a few of the loose ones in the small trashcan by the side door.

Well, a couple days later we were in the house making dinner and Cam turns to me and says, “You know, mom, it’s not nice to throw things away that other people are still using.”

Mini Joe.


We’ve gone through the Starbucks drive-through enough times that Cam gets the concept of saying your order through the window of the car and then pulling forward to pick up the order.

Some days I order him ice water, some days we splurge on lemonade. He enjoys asking for his drink through the window and getting it from the cashier.

Today after I picked him up I decided to go to the Mexican food drive through for lunch. He asked me for lemonade, but they don’t have any. So I told him I would get a horchata to share. But then, as I was trying to tell the woman my order over a very crackly speaker, he spotted a picture of flan on the menu, which looked just like an unfrosted cupcake.

He started shouting “..A CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE!”

“AND A CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE!”

I laughed and tried to repeat the end of my order because she couldn’t hear me. And he yelled again “A CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE!”

I gave up and pulled ahead to the window to place my order because he kept shouting, not wanting to give up on that dream.

Luckily, she found it funny and Cam loved the horchata. But my goodness, this kid loves cupcakes.


Aaaaaand a totally unrelated video of Cam enjoying a mid-summer squall.