We are back in Hawaii! We left Pennsylvania at 6am Wednesday and arrived in Honolulu at 3pm the same day. That's technically only 9 hours but that's because of the time change. The trip actually took 16 hours. This trip was longer and little rougher than the trip out but we survived. I'll write about our
journey in another post soon.
Cameron is adjusting much faster to this time zone than she did when we flew to PA, proving to us the phrase "west is best" for time zone changes. I kept Cameron awake until 7pm that first night (which was 1:00am to her) and she slept for 10 hours straight. Last night she slept for 10.5 hours. She normally sleeps 11+ hours so we are almost there. She was so happy to be in her own crib again! The first night we put her to bed she looked around with a huge smile until we turned off the lights :)
We picked up Dulce from the kennel on Thursday. She was so excited to see us as I'm sure you could imagine! On the drive home, she sat up front with me for the first mile but then jumped into the back and sat next to Cameron's carseat for the rest of the trip. I think she missed Cameron!
Don't worry... I snapped this photo while we were completely stopped at a red light :)
It's hard to tell if Cameron remembered Dulce or not (how good are baby memories?) because she smiles and laughs at all dogs. Regardless, she is having a great time hanging out with her old pal :)
Besides overcoming the jet lag, we have a little "damage control" to do. We don't see family often so I'm okay with them spoiling Cameron when we are together. However now that we're home, she has to readjust. She was held and/or played with every waking moment in PA (which was wonderful and she loved it) but she is expecting the same thing now. She wants picked up constantly and is not happy when we don't comply. She'll probably get over it just in time to get spoiled again when we head to Seattle next month. That's right, we have another big trip coming up!
Our trip to PA was a great time that I'll do a separate post about it soon. We saw all of my family, some family friends, and my best friend and her son. Johnnie and I went on a motorcycle ride with my brother and sister-in-law and we spent some nights alone in Pittsburgh. We ate a lot. Johnnie got to mow my parent's ginormous yard with a zero turn lawn mower. I got to play the tambourine on stage while my brother sang during a fun night out on the town. We experienced warm weather, cold weather, and snow! Cameron experienced great love and attention from everyone who met her. I was reminded of how much I miss my family, how great shopping is back on the mainland, and how much I appreciate the weather in Hawaii :)
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes
home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ”
When I saw military camouflage fabric in Fabric Mart, I knew that I had to make a dress for Cameron for her daddy's deployment homecoming! This pattern matches the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), not an exact match to the official Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) that Johnnie wears but it's very close. No military uniforms were harmed in the making of this dress :)
This was a no-pattern, figure-it-out-as-I-go project so I'm amazed that it came out as well as it did! I traced the bodice from a dress we already had and used rectangles of fabric for the rest. It was fairly simple and took two days of Cameron's naps and some playtime to finish.
To make the top, I traced the bodice of a dress that I knew fit her well, adding a 1/2 inch along the top and adding a few extra inches along the sides and bottom. I cut out 4 identical pieces. I put the right sides of two pieces together, stitched along the top, and then flipped it right side out to make the panels for the front and back. I didn't want to bother with a zipper or buttons so when I stitched the sides together, I made it just big enough to pull up over her body to put on.
The bottom of the dress is a simple rectangle of fabric, twice as long as the circumference of the completed bodice. I ruffled one side and sewed it to the bodice, and then I attached a ruffle and lace to the hem. The lace was an afterthought - something I had in my sewing stash and decided to add.
If you sew at all, you probably know the whole "use a long stitch and then pull the thread to make a ruffle" thing. I always found that method to be a pain so I avoided ruffles... until I learned a new trick. Setting your sewing machine to the highest thread tension and the longest stitch creates an automatic ruffle as you sew... no thread pulling required! Try it - you'll be amazed :)
When making decorative ruffles like on this dress, I cut a loooong rectangle of fabric (at least 2 times as long as what the ruffle will attach to) and then I press it in half and stitch along the open side. This eliminates the need for a hem along the bottom of the ruffle.
I made this dress so that it could be pulled up over Cameron's body without needing zippers or buttons. Therefore, I needed straps that either stretched or tied so that I could get her arms through! I opted to make them elastic. I took a rectangle of fabric and sewed it into a tube. The tube ended up being much wider than the elastic (wasn't using a pattern, oops!) so I stitched two parallel lines the width of the elastic for a better fit. It ended up creating a cute ruffle effect! I love when mistakes turn into something unexpectedly good :)
I sewed a sash out of the same fabric I used for the bottom ruffle. The sash is simply a very long rectangle, sewn into a tube, and pressed flat. I attached it to the dress on the sides and on the bottom center to keep it in place.
The fabric flower was also an afterthought. I had some extra lace (that was used around the hem) and I knew I had some fabric flower tutorials pinned on Pinterest (intending to make some for wreaths). The flower is simply made of circles of fabric folded and hot glued together with a button (left over from a nursery project I'll blog about soon) hot glued on to cover the center. Check out this great tutorial on OneProjectCloser on how to make a variety of fabric flowers. All of the fabric and hot glue made it a thick little flower so instead of trying to sew it onto the dress, I attached it with a safety pin.
I had enough fabric left over from the dress to make some bloomers to cover Cameron's diaper. This was actually a little more complex than the dress so I did use a pattern for this (most baby girl outfit patterns seem to come with this). Following the directions, it wasn't too difficult and they came out well.
A few extras for the day: I made Cameron a matching pacifier clip (click for tutorial) and I used safety pins in the back of one of Johnnie's hats to make it small enough to fit her head.
I also painted the "welcome home" sign you saw in the photos of the homecoming. I squirted shades of yellow acrylic paint on an art board, blended it with a large brush, and let it dry. Then I printed out the letters in the size I wanted on normal printer paper and then traced them on to the yellow board using transfer tracing paper. After that, it's just a matter of painting within the lines.
We are still in Pennsylvania... thus the camouflage fabric in this week's photo. Western PA to me is small towns, big yards, country music, hunting, pick-up trucks, and light beer :) It took Cameron exactly one week to adjust to the six hour time change. I'm glad we have this second week to enjoy her normal schedule before we have to make her adjust all over again.
At 8 months old Cameron is about 17 pounds, wearing size 2 diapers, and wearing size 6 to 9 month clothing. She is a very happy baby, is super active, and loves to explore. The only time she sits still is when she is strapped in her carseat or stroller. She is quick to move around with her "army crawl" but still doesn't crawl on her hands and knees. She gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth but flops onto her belly to move forward.
Cameron is starting to climb! She balances with both arms up on low things like a wipes container and the lowest rung on barstools and chairs. When we sit on the floor with her she will climb on our legs and can even pull herself up to standing. She has great balance and strength so I anticipate that she'll be walking before her first birthday.
Cameron is still on a great schedule that we have had established for a few months now:
7:30am - wake
8:00am - bottle
9:30am - nap (2+ hours)
12noon - wake, bottle
3:00pm - nap (1 hour)
4:00pm - wake, solid food, bottle
6:00pm - nap (30 min)
7:00pm - bottle
7:30pm - bedtime
Cameron is no longer swaddled for night or for naps. She moves around a ton while she sleeps and usually sleeps on her side or belly. She loves her pacifier and needs it to fall asleep. Throughout the night she finds it and puts it back in her mouth. Sucking a pacifier while sleeping greatly reduces a baby's risk of SIDS so I am gladly supporting Cameron's paci habit for the time being :)
Last weekend we had a cookout at the house and Cameron got to meet all of her aunts, uncles, and first cousins. She also met many of her great aunts, great uncles, and first-cousins-once-removed. She was not put down all day! She was happily passed from person to person and had a great time getting to know everyone.
Cousin Faith (age 7) did a great job feeding Cameron a bottle!
Cameron met her great-grandmother and namesake: Margaret Cecelia and Cameron Cecelia
Johnnie and I spent a couple nights in Pittsburgh this week and left Cameron with my parents who were more than happy to watch her. We stayed at a hotel, went to the Pirates vs Mariners baseball game, had some nice meals out, Johnnie saw a movie, and I went shopping. I'll do a separate post about our nights in the Burgh... it was a nice little getaway :)
The long trip to PA was smooth and easy but now we are all jet lagged because of the 6 hour time change. Normally it would only take a couple days to overcome but having a baby is making it more difficult. I wake Cameron up at 8am and follow her normal schedule all day. She does perfectly with eating and naps, no problems at all. Night time is a different story. We put her to bed and she falls right asleep... but then she wakes up around 11pm as if she was just napping. She stays awake until about 1am (which is 7pm bedtime in Hawaii) and then goes back to sleep and sleeps until morning. Things are normal other than those two hours at night, so I'd say we're doing pretty good. We've read that it can take 3 to 14 days for babies to adjust... hopefully it will be sooner than later!
Cameron has met a few of her relatives so far and she loves everyone :) We are having a big cook-out on Saturday where she will meet many, many more. We even have relatives driving in from out of state to meet her and to see us. These are 3 out of 5 first cousins that Cameron currently has:
We are having surprisingly great weather here in PA so Cameron spends some time outside each day with her Nana enjoying the fresh air. The grass here is a treat because it's thick and soft. In Hawaii, our grass is actually too rough and jagged for us to enjoy. My family lives in a quiet, rural area so there is a lot of country life for Cameron to experience here.
Post-partum hair loss left me with stupid new baby bangs and crazy thin hair. My long hair accentuated both of those so I desperately needed a new style. Luckily my sister-in-law is a hairdresser so I was thrilled to have her work some magic as soon as we got to PA. We went short with layers around the bottom and on the sides. We also moved my part to the opposite side to better hide the baby bangs which grow more in that direction. She cut a lot of hair off but I really love having short hair again (it's been a while!) and I'm thrilled that the cut makes my crazy hair look normal!
"Jet lag is your soul trying to catch up after flying."