On this day, 2 years ago

This photo/memory popped up in my facebook feed today. CE9B9747-9E67-4D8B-BF29-C660E2FF0D27

Of course I see the cutie patootie Cam-bone in his rainy day gear in front of a perfect red fence not long after he learned how to walk.

Buuuuuuuuut I also see the scab on his nose.

Want to know what it’s from?

It’s from a couple days prior when we were at the bagel shop with Regina and Morgan. Cam was playing peek-a-boo by hiding behind one of the wooden pillars and pulling his head back out.

He did it several times in a row and then he bent his knees down while his head was between the wooden pillars and his head got wedged. Stuck.

He immediately panicked. As did I.

But I grabbed him and pulled him up and out, dragging his face along the wood, leaving scrapes and splinters on his nose and forehead.

The fact that he hasn’t gotten his head stuck in anything else since then (knock on wood, har har!) means we’re all doing something right.


Real Stat: 50% of Life with Cam is Spent Talking Like a Character

For at least the last year, Cam has wanted us to be the voice of his stuffed animals, bath toys, action figures, and really anything with a face and a mouth. I still remember how he used to tell us to use a voice: “he talk.”

It used to be mostly in the bathtub where we would create stories with his magnetic fishes or the Dory figurines. We’d play hide-and-seek with the otter saying “hello!” when Cam found him under the bubbles.

More recently, this has picked up steam and I estimate that approximately 50% of our communications with Cam go through his toys. Sometimes when he is being difficult or defiant, we can get him over the hump by talking like a toy. Seriously.

Just this evening when Cam said “I’m still hungry” after he’d already eaten a few different post-dinner snacks, we told him to have some of my lemon chicken. He said he didn’t like lemon chicken. And so I told him that Iron Man loves it and said like Iron Man “I love lemon chicken, yum yum yum.” Cam immediately popped up and shoved a big piece of lemon chicken in his mouth.

I especially love when Cam gets used to Joe doing a particular voice and then he asks me to make Spiderman talk, but when I do he says (totally straight faced, totally serious), “that’s not his voice.”

While it’s ridiculous sometimes, most often he is expressing such rich imagination that it is so fun to listen to. It makes me smile. I love hearing him teach his animals how to brush their teeth and why it’s important. I love listening to him talk about his plan to build a cannon to launch the cannon ball into the alien guns. I love hearing him consult monkey on whether or not we picked the right bedtime books.

Side bar: he is obsessed with Joe’s childhood action heroes. Cam doesn’t even know where they come from and has never seen a movie or even a YouTube clip of them. He calls them “the superheroes” and takes them on our walks, takes them into the bathtub, props them up in a circle and gives them game pieces for a round of “Candy World” (Candy Land). It has been a few weeks now and the novelty hasn’t worn off. I think these guys are here to stay.

“See superheroes, this is how you brush your teeth.”


I think I’ll be asking Cam to finish his dinner with Captain America’s voice for the foreseeable future. And that’s okay with me.



The Wild World of a 3.3 Year Old

CamO is such a complicated guy. But, I think it’s a three-year-old thing and totally natural. Talk about highs and lows and more highs and lows all in the same day. In addition to that, he’s exhibiting definite signs of being a “three-nager”… he’s got sass! I even had to talk to him about sass because he left me wide-eyed with his comments.

Highs: Cam is so smart and creative and entertaining. I love watching him think and draw and create and talk and ask questions. He came home from school and told me all about Mercury and narwhals. Evidently, Mercury is a rocky planet with lots of volcanoes and narwhals sometimes get their horns frozen in the ice. Here he is just talking and talking and talking in his imaginary world where he enjoys tea time with superheroes and bandits steal cake from his bedroom:

He can also be so sugary sweet. Just melt your heart sweet. Look at this little angel face!


Lows: He gets so into whatever he’s doing that he has a tough time transitioning. If he’s coloring, he doesn’t want to stop coloring. If he’s playing in the yard, he doesn’t want to stop playing in the yard. If he’s bathing, he doesn’t want to stop bathing. Etc. And this can turn into a tantrum, like today when Joe and Cam were leaving the Stadlers’ house. He had so much fun playing with Morgan that when it was time to go, it was a 5-alarm meltdown.

He also seems to have a few good weeks with no real moments and then a tough week filled with defiance and tears and tantrums. It’s so hard to figure out how to handle an upset, irrational kid who is normally able to tell you exactly what he wants or needs.

And then there’s the sass. Here are a couple gems from the last week:

Me: If you can’t be nice to your sister, especially in her own room, you need to take a moment to yourself and leave the room.
Cam: Fine! “B” is for BYE!
*Slams the door*

Me: Please stop throwing things, you could hurt someone.
Cam throws something else across the room as he looks at me.
Me: Since you’re not listening to me, I’m going to have to put away one of your toys.
Cam: We’ll see about that.

Joe and I left for the weekend and came back on Sunday, so I barely got any time with him before it was already Monday and time for work. I missed his sweet face so much I think I kissed it 150 times by the time he got into bed tonight. He might be complicated but he’s the best little bug.

Pint-Sized Celebrations

Cam is 3 years, 3 months and Demi is 10 months… the result? A countdown at about 7:00pm, Martinelli’s, a dance party with neighbors and sparklers on the street. Truth be told, Joe and I barely made it to midnight.

Cam and Kaya cut a rug and then we cheersed to the New Year with our plastic champagne flutes. We asked Miles to sit next to Demi for a picture and he sat on her lap. He may be several months older but they weigh about the same–ha!

Our neighbors down the street always have sparklers, poppers and small fireworks so we hit the street and played with fire for a bit.

Happy happy to all! Looking forward to watching these monkeys grow in 2018!

Celebrating the Holidays

Pre-kids, Joe and I went somewhat easy on the holidays. We would put up a menorah, lighting it only a few days, and put up a tree (fake). We didn’t even really make a big deal of gifting anything to each other.

Now, with the kids, and Cam understanding more and more what the holidays are about, we are starting to do it all.

Hanukkah happened largely thanks to Grandma Monkey and Jeanne who made multiple dinners, provided gifts on gifts to the kids and lit the menorah, sometimes bringing it to our house to make sure it happened each night.

Cam loved lighting the candles and every night struggled against his desire to blow them out immediately. Cam also loved opening gifts so much he coaxed Grandma Monkey into letting him open all of his gifts by night 4. Demi, predictably, was a bit more interested in boxes and bows than in gifts, but she scored some cute outfits and fun new toys.

We put up a tree and stockings and some other standard Christmas decór.

We brought out the Elf on the Shelf, this year abiding by the actual rules. We named him Elfie Magelfie and he traveled with us on a family trip to Bend, Oregon and to great grandma’s house in Bishop so he could keep a close eye on things. We also decorated cookies (followed by a day of throwing up the gallons of sugar Cam consumed), and put out cookies, milk and carrots for Santa and his reindeer.

Some highlights:

  • Demi getting her two front teeth (round 1) for Christmas–how apropos that they popped through just in time
  • Cam meeting his second cousins Cohen and Brynn and having so much fun playing with them. Despite the overabundance of toys, Cam sourced rope from Great Uncle Chuck and kitchen supplies (he kept specifying “cylinder shaped”) from Great Aunt Bonnie to build and re-build and re-build monster traps.
  • Great food, long naps and walks in cold mountain air.
  • Generally just seeing Cam engaging with the various traditions, asking questions, anticipating events
  • Having DGO join our holidays for the first time. Baby’s first Hanukkah and Christmas is so very special.