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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