Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why I am Mom of the Year....

So I was perusing Camden's pictures that I took on the day of his party, just glancing through to see which ones turned out, which ones I want to frame, etc. His birthday party lunch, his nap, smash cake.

That is when I happened upon this beauty. It took me a second to realize what he is grabbing for in this shot. Come to think of it, I don't remember if I was the one that made him stop before he CUT someone or himself, or if it was someone else who stopped him, but this picture is hilarious. Shows how fun it can be to chase around a toddler!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Memory Walk.

This past Saturday we had a Memory Walk here in town. It raises money for the Alzheimer's Association and it seems to be growing by leaps and bounds each year. My work is always involved in this since that is what we do, is work with people who have dementia. I didn't get to be overly involved last year since I had Camden just a mere 6 days prior.

This year was a special year for us, as I got to participate as well as recruit some fellow walkers (my mom and Janelle) and I managed to raise 300 dollars, largely in memory of my Uncle who passed this April after a hard fought battle with the disease.

This year I got to bring Camden, and my Mom and I both walked wearing pictures of her brother, and My mom brought along her BFF Janelle who has a mother suffering from the disease. Below are a few pictures from our day, I apologize they are all iPhone pics, and just like the awesome scatterbrained-ness that I am, I forgot to take a picture of us walkers together AND of Camden. Fail. Anyhow, a few pictures that I DID managed to snap.

The promise garden was an area of flowers where families could write messages to loved ones.

This is a picture that I took of the promise garden. The purple flowers were written in honor of someone who had passed from the disease. The yellow ones are in honor of family members still living. And the blue ones, the blue ones amazed me. It seemed to me that there were SO many. The blue ones stood for those that were present and walking that are currently living with the horrid disease.

Janelle and my Mom with the flowers, including the one from me for my Uncle. And that are both wearing the pictures of their loved ones. So sweet!

A close up of Janelle's flower.

A close up of my Mom's flower.

I wish I had taken better pictures, but it was so scorching hot that all I could focus on was finishing that walk and getting some water and AC. But it was incredibly touching to see all of the community come together to fight this disease. I was so glad to see it! They are still collecting money and tallying things up but it appears that our community has raised over 200k so far. This is amazing and it is so desperately needed, especially as the baby boomers continue to age and need this care.

Thanks to all those who donated!!

Monday, August 29, 2011


A taste of birthday fun....

Saturday, August 27, 2011


So I have yet to acknowledge how fantastic my trip to Oz was. I have a few different posts that I want to do about them, and I will work on those and hopefully have them up in a week or two. It was so much fun to explore a whole new continent with some amazing friends! Here is just a taste of the beauty...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ears, Part II (Alternately titled: Hand, Mouth, Foot...What???)

Well, we went to the ENT. Little C was ADORABLE while he was there. He had napped well and just had a snack so he was a good little booger. He played in the play area then they called us back for a hearing test.

First thing they do is put this little rubber stopper in his ears and get a reading for the amount of pressure in the ear. This showed fluid behind the left ear, the right ear was okay at the time.

Next, he sat on my lap and they shut the door, and then played sounds out of speakers on either side of the chair. It sounded like a heartbeat when it played and if he looked the right direction he was rewarded with a monkey that would light up and play the drums. Ohhhh boy did he find this game FUUUUN! He thought that by waving he was setting them off. So he would stare intently at one and flail his arms around trying to set them off. He was babbling and GAH GAH GAH-ing and it was adorable. There were plenty of times when it would go off and he would completely miss it until she set the monkey off on the other side. So then he would snap his head around the other direction and continue waving to get it's attention. He didn't do so well with the quieter noises but he did really well turning to his name.

In the end, he had mild hearing loss. We met with the doctor who was very nice and explained the risks and benefits of tubes. In the end, we decided to go for it and we set up an appointment for Monday the 29th. I was pumped because Camden has still been waking up at night and crying out, so I knew something is still off, so sooner was okay with me.

Fast forward to today. I get a call telling me that my insurance wants pre certification so they had to push it to NEXT FRIDAY. (sad face). And I had already done a twenty minute pre-op with the other location for Monday! Boo.

In conclusion, a week we must wait.


So I picked up Camden from daycare today and noticed that what I thought was a diaper rash had spread to his legs/arms and hands. EW! I called the pedi real quick to get a once over before the weekend, especially after I noticed what appeared to be little blisters on his fingers. OW!

Turns out it is Hand, Mouth, Foot Disease. What is that you ask? Me too, cause I didn't have the FAINTEST idea. It is a highly contagious viral infection. It is something that you cannot fix but also cannot prevent therefore he does not need to be isolated or kept home from daycare. There is nothing extra I can do either except Caladryl and monitor. Then he said "It is likely to get much worse before it gets better". Awwww, that is no fun!

This leads me to my next question....CAN WE PLEASE CATCH A FLIPPIN' BREAK?? Lol. Poor kid has had it rough lately!

Cheers to a better week next week!! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well it is no secret that we have been having ear issues at our house. We got our first ear infection in April and since then it has been a vicious cycle with varying antibiotics and poor sleep habits. I have done some research for different options on how to fix this problem. Chiropractor? ENT?

Hm. Chiropractor you may ask? Well, Mommy groups out there swear by having a chiropractor work on your baby and you won't even need tubes. The story is that the neck gets turned from being in the birth canal and this causes fluid build up in the ears.

Say what? Sounds interesting doesn't it? Well, I did some research and found opinions but not much real written literature regarding this. So, I turned to good old Facebook, and proceeded to message an acquaintance from high school that is now a chiropractor in town. He told me the benefits of his profession and went on to explain that he didn't know much about using chiropractic care on little ones to reduce ear infections. He gave me different scenarios and options. In the end, he actually spoke against it, which rather shocked me. He said that he didn't feel that he could recommend it as there hasn't been enough peer-reviewed empirical research regarding treatment and babies. WHOA. He also said he did not know of anyone in the area that works on little ones that he would recommend.

So, thus leads us to our ENT appointment. Today. I am sure hoping that this doctor will be able to give me some insight and we can get this straightened out. I do feel that tubes are the best option for us at this time, and I feel better knowing that I did research my options.

Now can someone please fix Camden, and quick? I am so tired of seeing him holding his ears, sticking his fingers in there and fussing, and even grabbing them while sleeping. Surely that means something is fixable, right?

More to come.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthday Boy: A Letter

Dear Camden,

Today you are a whole YEAR old. I am shocked and amazed at how quickly this year has passed, and how overwhelmed with joy I am when I wake up every morning to your smiling face. It feels like just yesterday that your Daddy and I were holding this tiny 7 pound 4 ounce bundle in blankets, looking down into your handsome blue eyes and just picturing what the next year would be like. At that time we had spent the past nine months dreaming and imagining and wondering and praying about what was to come.

I remember hoping you would inherit our blue eyes and my blonde hair. You definitely succeeded in having the handsomest baby blues in the tri-state area and your hair grew lighter a few months after your arrival. Daddy also swears you got Mommy's double chin. You also inherited quite a bit of both of our personalities. You are a busybody and always on the go like your Daddy, you have to be doing something, or learning how things work when you are awake. Mommy can't wait for the day when you will actually sit still for more than three minutes. And just like your Mommy you are excellent in knowing what you want how to get it. ;)

I can look back on this past year and I am amazed at how much has changed. You are so big now. During those first sleepless nights I remember thinking you were NEVER going to get the hang of sleeping. Just the other day as I laid you down in your bed and said "night night", I was amazed at how quickly you cuddled up. You tucked your little hands under your belly, turned your head to the side and gave a big contented sigh. Gone are the days of rocking my sweet baby to sleep, but at the same time I love how easy it is to put you down for the night.

I remember all of the sickies. Those times where you would cry out and hold your ears, or when you couldn't breathe through your adorable little nose. I remember that feeling of helplessness, that feeling of hurt that I can't do anything to make it better. But I have cherished those times when I get to cuddle, hold and doctor you with extra TLC in an attempt to get you to feel better. There's nothing quite like knowing that you still need me.

We love watching you grow and learn new things each day. My heart swells with pride when you mimic something that Mommy or Daddy has taught you. Watching you learn and take in this whole new world is nothing short of amazing, and I thank God daily that he chose me to be your Mommy. You taught us how to be parents. You taught us the ups and the downs, with a few bruises and scrapes along the way. We learned that you have to always be prepared, you can't ever pack too many extra outfits, diapers or wipes. We learned that we can't let you play in Grandpa's truck, you are surely to take a fall, and that wherever there is a corner, your forehead is sure to find it. At the same time we are learning that we can't protect you from EVERYTHING. Boy, is that a hard lesson to learn. Thankfully, your heavenly father will take care of you when we can't!

Camden, I am so blessed to be your Mommy. You are intelligent, witty and ornery. I have loved every second spent with you, even the sickies. And as sad as I am to see this past year pass so quickly, I am so incredibly excited for what is to come.

Love you to the moon and back,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

12 Months: A Letter

Dear Camden,
You have been a very busy boy this past month. You managed to perfect walking and you are constantly on the go. Mommy and Daddy took a holiday to Australia for two weeks of this month and as much as they enjoyed it, being away from you just killed Mommy. We set up multiple skype dates so that we could see you while we were overseas.

The morning we left we woke up to find you covered in vomit in your crib. (ew). Daddy gave you some of your morning bottle and you managed to vomit that all over daddy right before leaving for the airport. We had to send all of the mess with your Grandma to get cleaned up! We called to check in on you multiple times and they said you were doing better. By the time you got handed off to your CiCi you still weren’t feeling tip top and threw up again with her. She took you to the doctor and it turns out you had a double ear infection. We finally got a referral to an ENT and our appointment is in a few days. We will see what that will bring!

CiCi said that while we were gone you had gotten so good at walking that you can just hold a finger and walk beside her. How is it possible that you got this big so fast? You were able to take a good 30 steps or so without falling around July 29th. So at about 11 months and a week you were a mover and a shaker, for good!

You are still wearing a size four diaper and are wearing 12 month onesies and mostly 12-18 month pants or outfits. You can fit in onesies as small as 9 months but your pants usually have to be bigger. Your shoe is a size three.

You are eating about three ounces of food each meal and are still drinking lots of milk. Milk is your favorite! We tried to switch you over from breast milk to whole milk cold turkey and you were not having that. So we have been slowly mixing to try and get you to switch. You have become quite the picky eater lately. You want to feed yourself and if we feed you something you don't want, you will spit it out at us. And when I say spit it out, I mean it's like blowing a raspberry at us - that food gets some distance. You are currently a big fan of crackers, cheerios, avocados, apples. You have been difficult with all veggies lately. Oh well.

When you are not dealing with a double ear infection your sleep has been pretty regular, two naps a day and a long sleep overnight. This will change soon when you move up rooms at daycare which is now scheduled for the 29th. We will have to see how you do switching to one long nap a day! There have been a few random days where your nap time is only TWENTY MINUTES. This is definitely not enough! And my son, for initially seeming like a thumb sucker you sure have taken a liking to your pacifier. You always seem to find it and it works best if you have it to sleep! Mommy and Daddy are going to try and get in the habit of going into your room and pulling that pacifier out of your mouth at night like we used to do! :)

This month you have started to wave bye, point at things that you are interested in and are even getting the hang of saying Momma and Dadada. It's adorable! We are still practicing your sign, I wish we were more consistent with it. I think if you were, you would have it down! We will keep practicing though! You absolutely LOVE to look at pictures of yourself on the "birthday wall" at daycare. Every morning we go in and look at our pictures, and you get the biggest and goofiest grin!
{your wall at daycare}

You hate having your diaper changed. You wiggle and roll and usually scream and cry. As soon as it is over and we sit you up, you forget what you were fussing for. Silly Camden!

You are still a HUGE fan of bathtime. You splash and play and continue to drink most of the tub water while you are in it. No wonder you aren't thirsty anymore after bathtime! A few nights ago you felt that your bath time wasn't long enough so you helped yourself to splish-splashing in Pearl's bowl. What a mess you made!

Well Camden, I can't believe that you are turning ONE. It was such a fantastic year! I want you to slow down a little so that these fun stages last longer, but at the same time I can't wait for what is to come!

I'll love you forever and like you for always, as long as I'm baby you'll be!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

{Pouty Eyes}

I know my vote doesn't count cause I am biased, but I think my baby boy has some gorgeous baby blues. (For fun, click the picture and look at it big. Don't you just get drawn in??) My favorite color to put him in is blue, and we painted his wooden high chair a deep blue to offset his eyes for his upcoming pictures. I am a sucker for those baby blues and a pouty lip!! This is no professional photo here, but I figured, what the heck, I'll enter it for fun. I love this picture because it captured how he felt about his first boo-boo perfectly! Not to mention that the bruise stuck around for a good two weeks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

11 month outtakes

Who knew it was so hard to get an eleven month old to hold still for ONE picture? I thought I'd share a few of the outtakes with you...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Courtney vs. Teeth

Well, I promised more of a story behind my horrible luck with teeth. Have I mentioned that I am a full grown adult and I still have to use flouride after I brush like you used to do as a kid at the denist twice a year? Yep, that's me.

My teeth are constantly staging a revolt against me. It's like one tooth goes bad and so it turns all the others against me as well. There is a little tooth army in there and their weapons are plaque and sugar. Yum.

Well to explain my teeth I must go back to what, first grade? In first grade I was in the process of losing my teeth like every other young child in America. Unfortunately for me, I was super late at losing my teeth. By the time I hit second grade I had only lost 3 teeth or so on my own, and my permanent teeth were coming in behind my baby teeth. I was literally going to look like a shark if they didn't do something, with my baby teeth in the front row and my permanent teeth growing in behind.

So, thus began my many trips to the dentist. I started having teeth pulled. It was a regular occurance, just an ordinary thing to go to the dentist and have them give me shots and nitrous and then for them to rip my teeth out with a root the length of half my pinky finger. I remember the cracking of my teeth as he would literally grab pliers and yank my jaw around by my tooth in an attempt to dislodge the stubborn piece of enamel. I think if my parents' had been all sentimental and kept all of my baby teeth they would have had a hard time losing them. I seriously think they were an inch long, they looked like bear teeth. Or talons. I would then spend the next two days biting on gauze to stop the bleeding, eating soft foods and only chewing on the other side. (They usually pulled a matching top and bottom tooth on the same side so I could have a little area to chew.)

So this continued all through second grade until they decided I needed braces partway through my second grade year. Yes, braces. On only my two front teeth. I couldn't believe it. I remember coming back from the orthodontist and running out to the playground to find my best friend, Spring. She was hanging upside down from the monkey bars and all I could do was run out there with my hand over my mouth. I remember her asking me if they had knocked out my two front teeth, so I uncovered my mouth to show off my front teeth in all of their new shiny metal glory. I don't know for sure, but I think she may have been a little jealous. This was when braces were still "cool" and you would unfold paperclips and put them in your mouth pretending you had a retainer. Well, I got the real deal. And at the time, they were cool. It was later on when they weren't and you got called "brace face" all the time.

They continued pulling my teeth out through the years. I only lost my first three and my last four molars. I had my braces off in 3rd grade and then put back on in fifth and I kept them all the way until 8th grade. During that time I had a headgear, which i vividly remember the searing pain that would cause my jaw and face, as well as a lip bumper (designed to do the same thing a headgear does, just all the time instead of a night only thing). I never had the rubber bands, which I secretly wanted. I do however remember getting to pick rubber band colors to go around the braces. That was the cool thing to do. You know, pick orange and black because it's almost Halloween, or pick red and blue because it's near Independence Day. The possibilities were endless.

By the time I hit eighth grade, my bottom teeth were so far forward that they were worried that my teeth might possibly fall out the front. I guess they might have continued to stage an upheaval and just jump right off. So, I went in for gum surgery. To do this they literally cut some of the tissue off of the roof of my mouth, and transplanted it to the front part of my bottom teeth to 'reinforce' it. Then to get the bleeding to stop on the roof of my mouth they burned it. Awesome, huh?

After I finally got my braces removed, I had retainers. For a long, long time, those retainers were my arch enemy. At least they were clear molds but it was harder than heck to talk with them in. Not only that but the first thing I would do in the morning would be to take them out and sit them on my nightstand. I would forget about them, but our schnauzer at the time, Angie, did not. She would chew them up and I would be forced to return to the orthodonist with my tail between my legs to get new ones.

I am finally to the point where I don't need braces, retainers or teeth pulled anymore so you would think I'd be good, right?


In the past few years I have had an insane number of cavities. At one point I had SIX in one visit. I left crying, because I was going to have to get two crowns in just that one visit alone. I figured at the rate I was going I would be in dentures by 35! In an effort to save my teeth, my dentist (who I LOVE despite him pulling recommended that I buy the over the counter flouride toothpaste and use that after each brush and floss, in an attempt to make sure I am getting the flouride I need.

And it has helped! Since I have started using the flouride, I have not added a crown yet! I have been holding steady with my four crowns, all up top. I have had a few random cavities filled (when I say random, I even mean one that was making a hole in the back part of my front tooth-I'm telling you, my luck sucks.). I am a constant work in progress, because I have been slacking ever since Camden made his appearance. It just seems like I flop into bed exhausted and the last thing I want to do is follow a seven minute tooth routine before going to sleep.

So here's hoping that come October, I don't have to get more crowns! And that I will start using my flouride religiously again!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yes, this really happens.

So, as everyone knows, we have been in an extremely radical heat pattern, everything is parched and dry. Husband started insisting that I save as much water as possible, because he needs it to water the garden and his 'poor grass'. So, the pictures below detail his brilliant idea.

Yup. I have to save Camden's bath water. We have a new addition to our nightly routine. We save the bathwater and after Camden is dressed, together we open the door for Dad who is carrying out the water to his precious grass. Husband swears he can hear the grass sizzle when he tosses it out, and promises that the little patch of grass is thankful for that water. Whatevs, hubby, whatevs.

I guess this gives new meaning to "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"!