Recording as many little moments and Camden-isms as I can, knowing that he's growing too fast.
This kid is talking tons, learning like crazy, and making me laugh like I couldn't have ever imagined I would.  

He's totally into pulling faces and making funny sounds.  He thinks he's hilarious.

He's an extremely cautious kid.  At the zoo he loved the animatronic dinosaurs and couldnt stop talking about them, but wouldn't get too close.  He still talks about the one that "spit" at him.  {Spewed water.}

Sings along to songs in the car, and will often ask me to stop singing so he can belt it solo.

When he sees other kid his age he says, "Oh! A little friend!"

When he says hi to someone he always starts with "Oh!"  Like, "Oh, hi Mama!"  Like it's the biggest surprise to see me.

This truck is a current favorite.  Camden likes to pretend to go to the station to fill up on gas.  Except for some reason he calls gasoline "milk."  Is it bad I don't have the heart to correct him?  "Truck need milk, Mama!  Fill up the milk!"  {Also, I love that he pronounces it mee-lk.}

Lately the big, hilarious thing is to make up words like, "Goo-ka-bah!" and "Hachi-ree-ba-doo!"  No one makes him laugh harder than himself.  {Takes after his mama.}

And then there's the way he says, "No thank you please."
Like, "Camden, it's time to go to bed."
"Oh, no thank you please."
And then I'm stuck there like, "Well that was too cute and polite to argue with, my dapper little gentleman."

Being this boy's mom is the best.  We have our "terrible two" moments for sure, but he is such a sweetheart, and smart and funny… just the best.  And his dad?  Again, the BEST!  How did I win the life jackpot?  Love my family.

Cousins For Days

Welcome to the world, Lucas and Zooey!  

This summer my sister-in-law and her husband have found themselves blessed with three kids under the age of two.  You read that correctly: three under two!  Of course, we couldn't be more excited, we are all about the cousins!  I hope they keep coming two at a time, that would just be loads of fun!

But, admittedly, loads of work for the mama.  Camden and I headed up to Utah for a couple of weeks to see if we could help out with the transition.  Aaaand also because I had an unquenchable desire to overdose on newborn snuggles.

Oh those babies are sweet; it was love at first sight.  Being an aunt is incredible.  While the little ones did a lot of sleeping and eating and burping, Danny was ready for some adventures.  Leah and I took turns on toddler duty and baby duty, always outnumbered, but always having a good time.

Our adventures included the Zoo {with animatronic dinosaurs, I must add}, the Museum of Natural Curiosity, playing at the Tietjen's house, Wheeler Farms, splash pads, swimming pools, parks with duck ponds, and train rides up to Salt Lake City.  All six of us got out of the house for some fun almost every single day.

Unfortunately… my phone pictures were accidentally deleted the other day. :-(  So you'll have to take my word for it.

I did document cookie-making.  Leah made probably six batches of oatmeal peanut butter cookies while we were there.  And I probably ate half of each batch.  So.  Good.

Usually I'm not on team daylight savings, but there was a major perk this summer.  When Camden was waking up at 5:30am our time, it was 6:30 in Utah.  Somehow it made me feel better.  Early mornings consisted of shooting hoops in pajamas, eating "crunchy crunchy cereal," as Cam started calling it, and baby loves.

By nine we were usually out of the house.  
At Wheeler Farms Cam wanted to wear his favorite hat.  Danny thought it was funny, and Cam was all like, "I don't care, I'm a cool kid."

Still a cool kid...

Way, way too cool to smile.  {Meanwhile Danny has a smile that could melt your heart.}

Don't be fooled by the cool face, Camden was thrilled with the farm experience.  I had to learn how to simultaneously make sure a goat didn't bite Cam's fingers and Danny Jay didn't run into the river.  Otherwise Leah was going to have to ditch her stroller full of babies to rescue her little sprinter.  That may or may not have actually transpired.

Riding the train to Salt Lake City was a huge treat for these boys.  Every time the train paused to let passengers on/off, both boys simultaneously objected.  They never wanted the ride to end.

Side story: With only an hour left in our long trip up to Murray, Camden suddenly shouted, "Temple!"  Sure enough, there was a tall, white, beautiful temple that we could see from the freeway.  Beaming, I said, "That's right, that's the temple!  Good eye, Camden!"

Then Camden said, "I go to the temple and say hi to Jesus?"

Ah!  My heart!  I told him that someday he could go to the temple together, but "someday" never sits well with toddlers.  The rest of the trip he was asking to go now.  Seeing the big ol' Salt Lake Temple was something he was pretty excited about, but he was disappointed that we couldn't go inside.  As we walked around he started talking about Aunt Alexa, and I assumed he was remembering her wedding day.

Leah and I decided to take a quick tour of the Conference Center across the street, guided by the cutest little old man who wanted to show off the twins to all of his tour guide friends.  "Come here, look!" he would say, moving aside the blanket for the other white-haired guides to peek past.  They were basically celebrities.  Really cute celebrities.

We hit up a dinosaur play place, and ate lunch from a couple of food trucks.  There was chasing and laughing and snoozing babes, and all the while I found myself pining to live in a huge city again.

Once everyone napped, we spent most afternoons on the lawn in front of their place.  The toddlers proved that splash pads are just torture devices, so the little pool came out.

We got to meet up with Uncle Mason a few times.  {Again, pictures are gone forever!}  We got to go check out Mom and Dad's new house and use their pool.  On one of our last days Kirsten showed up, alive and well from her crazy Alaskan adventures.  

Camden called Leah, "Mommy" and me "Mama."  Could have been confusing for people…
Point is, Camden got to see so many people he loves.  If we hadn't missed Daddy so much it would have been really hard to leave.

Pssst… I have a secret.  I'm going to poop on Auntie Ell's pants today.  Hehehehe!

My favorite part of the trip was watching Danny Jay and Camden develop a friendship that is going to last a lifetime.

Happy Moments of Summer

This post is coming to you from beneath a pile of plastic dump trucks, tractors, and race cars.  One of them is singing in my ear, dangerously close to having it's batteries ripped out.  Camden has had me trapped in his idea of Jenga for over ten minutes.  Thank goodness for smartphones, where I can write in these kinds of situations.  Cam doesn't mind.  I'm not allowed to talk to him because I'm supposed to be "sleeping."  I can't move, or else a vehicle will become displaced.  So.  Smartphone it is.  Don't judge me.

Kids are funny, and Cam is getting funnier by the day.  And sweeter.  That's the word I get most often when people are trying to describe him.  His sweet, concerned personality is really starting to shine through.  He's a cautious, logical, friendly, expressive, snuggly, trampoline-jumping bookworm, and he's just the best.

Now that summer is officially here, we've been hitting up the pool a lot.

One of our favorite people ever came all the way from California to swim with us!

For about two days after Lynn left Cam was asking for her, or throwing up his hands and saying, "Oh!  Where Lynn go?!" like we forgot her at the store or something.

Understandable, since this girl is just fun.  At night we relived our jr. high days with ice cream and Disney movies.  Ok, ok, and our high school and our college days.  We're so mature.  At least we aren't eating straight out of the carton anymore.  I call that a grown-up win!

Considering the kind of heat we are used to, it's been enjoyable summer weather.  Still hot enough for a popsicle and some swimming, but not so hot that you need to dump ice into the water.  In Tucson I felt like I couldn't leave the house unless it included swimming.  But here we are still able to hike, which is one of Cam's favorite activities.  Last hike we went on he kept saying, "Mama, mama!  I love hiking."

He treats it like a mission.  Whenever we go with other toddlers and their parents Cam is practically running at full speed to the top of the hill, leaving behind the bug-spotters and grass-pullers.  Sometimes I wish he would slow down like the others, you know, enjoy some nature, but I also kind of love it.  This boy sets his sights on a goal and you better watch out, 'cuz he is going for it!

Buuuut on the way back he pretty much wants to hitch a ride with the longest pair of legs.

A few other happy things in our lives as of late …

Memorial day with my family.  My parents are moving soon, so we try to appreciate the last moments we get to visit the house I spent most of my teenage years in.

Of course we went swimming because… Tucson in June.

I love this guy--he's just my favorite.

Our new little trampoline is a huge hit around here.  Great exercise for Camden {who basically wants to live on the tramp} and also it does great things for my hair.

This boy and his great grandparents.  He really has a special bond with them, and asks to see them all the time.  Hate the distance. :-(

My sous chef these days.  He doesn't always wear pants, but he does a fantastic job pouring and mixing.  Sometimes we even try cutting.  With butter knives.

His favorite game is "hide from the lion!"  My favorite game is when he falls asleep hiding from the lion.

Camden loves church.  Last Sunday when we went to pick him up from nursery he yelled at us to go away.  "No go home!"

This is one of Cam's best little buddies.  We sure love hanging out with him and his mama.  Frozen Franny's is a special favorite, and the frozen yogurt only plays a small part.  The boys are obsessed with the working train set, little cars they can sit in, and this wagon that you can rent to walk around the square.

DIGGERS!  All day every day.

Have I mentioned that Cam is in a stage where he refuses to smile for pictures?
If I hold my phone or camera out in front of me, he scowls and yells, "No take pichas!"  Although it's certainly frustrating at times, it's also a fun challenge.  Pictures have to be sneaky, and catch the true emotion of the moment.

We have a lot of happy moments.