Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good Things A-Comin

Over in the Land 'O Corn (aka Illinois), where the streets have no names (okay, well they are numbered in a grid-like fashion so farmers can find themselves amidst the summer corn crop), we are doing AMAZING things...

I stole the computer just long enough to jot out this quickie post to let everyone know:

A.  I haven't fallen off the face of the planet; the Internet just blows in rural IL.
B.  Christmas was AMAZING (more to come).
C.  I made a blanket.  Yes. It's true.  The no-sew fleece kind that get pinned and sliced and diced and then tied into knots.  It rocks.  Just sayin. 

But mainly...

It does my heart good to see her surrounded by her four cousins who adore her, and treat her like a human doll.  They love her up and squish her and it makes me grateful for these extended visits.

1.  I am telling you, there are two teeth ready to poke through way in the back...2011 watch out!!!
2.  On Sunday night, Grandma and Papa had Cameran sleep in their room.  The next morning it was announced that little miss can PULL TO A STAND in her Pack N Play!  Yay!!!!!!!
3.  She is standing for even longer, and looks so determined as she tries to keep her balance. 
4.  Constant smiles and babbles.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

(Pictures to come...just not worth uploading ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Fellow blogger Kelle Hampton recently has blogged about family traditions, how she feels as the matriarch in charge of said traditions here. 

It got me thinking about this whole living in the moment mantra.  In some ways, I feel like Cameran's delays are an excuse for me to cop out of going balls to the wall in terms of festivities and such.  At times I catch myself thinking, "She won't remember this [Christmas] anyway", or "I bet she still won't be interested in unwrapping gifts again", or "Do I have to bake REAL Christmas cookies?", or "We don't need a real tree this year because Cami's still little", or "We don't have to freeze at Dutch WinterWonderland this year because Cameran can't walk so we can put off going", and even, "I am too tired to finish decorating the tree."  In fact, that last statement is still true.  I lugged the tree out of the basement and assembled the whole thing while Cami played next to me on the floor.  I even strung the lights and wrapped the ribbon.  However, except for the 6 or 7 ornaments I received from this year's church ornament exchange, the tree is ornamentless.

And then I feel horrible and guilty.  If I am honest, sometimes I feel downright jealous of other friends and family members whose same-age and sometimes younger children are already walking, talking, and enjoying the beginnings of such traditions.

So, instead of procrastinating, I am resolving to apply the mantra of living in the moment to family traditions starting today.

Tonight the tree will be decorated.  We will walk around and look at Christmas lights.  Heck, maybe we will still go to Hershey or Dutch Wonderland to see the lights. 

If I am the matriarch of traditions, then I had better get started.


I have some traditions to cultivate.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

123 ABC ASD ...PFO

Confused already?

My life is filled with acronyms.  Between life as an educator and life as a Down syndrome parent, there are more acronyms than spaces in my memory to store them. 

Luckily there will be some overlap in Cameran's future, so I have a head start over parents who perhaps are not in education or psychology job fields.


IFSP, PT, OT, SI, SLP (wish that one stood for sleep)

And then there's the added medical jargon, also chock-full 'o acronyms...


It's a wonder I don't go crazy with all of these abbreviated terms!

Anyway, Cameran is feeling a little better.  Her fever topped out at 101.6 on Monday night.  I was hoping and praying that we wouldn't need to cancel the cardiology appointment.  Thankfully, Cameran slept through the night and woke up all smiles and fever-free.

I was able to leave work in order to backtrack to C's daycare and then turn back around to trek to Harrisburg for the appointment.  Traffic was horrendous along the main roads in H-burg, and we arrived a few minutes late.  Luckily they didn't mind, and we went back within ten minutes of our 2:00 appointment.

From there, Cameran was weighed (19.6 lbs..the kid won't gain weight) and measured (21 1/4 least she's getting longer).  We then went back for an ECHO-ultrasoundy kinda thing.  The tech was awesome, and he sang to Cameran while he did his thing.  You know how techs are not allowed to "interpret" images?? Well, this dude rocked.  After singing Cameran's praises for cuteness factor (I agree) and mellowness (a word??) despite feeling sick, he said that things looked good, and things were small enough that he couldn't get a measurement.  We then proceeded to wait for what seemed like an eternity before Cameran was hooked up to her EKG.  Overall she did well, only crying when the sticky tabs were pulled off.  We ended with a blood pressure check and the wait...

We waited and waited.  A PA came to speak with us while we continued to wait for the doctor.  She explained that everything looked fine, and that Cameran does not have an ASD like they first suspected, but instead has a PFO.  Her Branch Pulmonary Stenosis has resolved itself. 

So instead of this...
where an actual piece of tissue is missing and needs to grow shut....

Cameran has this instead...

...which is actually pretty sweet because it was so small (less than 4 mm) that they could not even measure it!

Apparently 1 in 4 people has a PFO, and they often resolve themselves, or cause pretty much benign irregular heartbeats and sometimes mild murmurs.  In any case, it is continuing to improve, and it is AWESOME news that it is a PFO.  Even if they were still thinking it was an ASD, it still would be just a case of monitoring. 

We are very blessed.  This was an excellent early Christmas present!

Sayonara Cardiologist (until next December)!

Oh the Possibilities...

The link for the full news article is here.

It makes my heart swell to see how teenagers can rally with love and support amidst the sea of cliques and popularity contests of high school.  This school district is a neighbor to my home district and my teaching district.  This is just one of multiple examples of how our schools provide inclusive environments to our students with special needs. 

It is stories like these that put my mind at ease when my brain enters the "what if..." realm of future worries.  Just another reminder of how we need to make the most of each moment.

But it is kinda cool to picture Cami in a cute little cheer outfit ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sick but thankful

Cameran is sick.  No surprise here.  She has had a nasty lingering cold for a month now.  It seems to be going deeper into her chest, culminating today with the dreaded 100.2 temperature.  Thank you daycare, for not calling me after she vomited due to a coughing jog.  Thank you Lord that her temperature did not climb to 100.4 where I would be called from work to come rescue my child.

Tomorrow she has her annual cardiology appointment where they will check to see that the hole in her heart is still closing.  I fear that they will not be able to hear because of her chest congestion.  Hopefully the EKG? EEG? (You'd think I'd know by now, but she gets EKGs, EEGs, MRIs, and Xrays like they are a common occurence) will show that there is still improvement. 

Even if they cannot tell for sure, I am grateful that Cameran is not in the range where surgery appears to be needed.  For that I am thankful.  My prayer is that the former is true, and also that Cami does not have pneumonia.  She went to bed at 6 after a not-so-constructive PT/SI session.  She has been asleep since.  I have a strange suspicion that she will be waking up in the middle of the night once again, therefore bedtime for me needs to happen ASAP.  Three hours last night was not nearly enough.  If when she wakes up, Vicks Vapor Rub is getting slathered on, followed by Motrin going down the hatch.

Tomorrow morning-repeat procedure-and hope and pray to make it until it is time for the cardiologist!

Merry Christmas from the Gerbers

(Disable sound before viewing our spectacular moves.)  Enjoy.

Not so much into rap?  Try this 80s version...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Major Award

You know how in A Christmas Story Bob, the dad, wins the leg lamp as his "Major Award"?

Well, it's Christmas time, and I feel like I have won my own "Major Award", except it's way cooler than an ugly lamp.  I get to share my personal experiences of life with the coolest person ever--my daughter Cameran--with even more people!

Jessica over at Four Plus An Angel decided to do a Friday feature, unveiling a new mommy (or daddy) who is traveling her (or his) own personal journey through life as a parent of a child with special needs and wants to share the journey with others.

So thank you, Jessica.  What a fabulous idea.  I love my Major Award, and I am honored to be your first Friday feature, showing that even though there are a few added challenges to the daily schedule of the Gerbers...


If you have a minute and are not already familiar with Jessica's blog, stop on over and say hi!

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Tunes

I am totally stealing this idea from my high school friend.  In no particular order are some of my favorite Christmas/holiday songs.  Some are traditional classics while others are more contemporary.  If you wish to listen, be sure to pause the playlist at the bottom.

and another...

And my favorite (apologies for the grainy version---the official TSO's sharing and embedding is disabled.

There a tons more songs I could add. These are just a few I am digging this year in particular.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Snowy Berry Branch Holiday Card
Create photo new year's cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Last night was rough.  Ryan, Cami, and I said a relucant goodbye to Jasmine, our 6 1/2 year old Boxer. 
 She had been growing sicker since mid-November.
Apparently dogs hide pain from their companions as long as possible.
I am convinced Jasmine did just that.
Four weeks in a row we trekked to the vet, beginning with belly pain.

The first week's x-ray diagnosis was arthritis.
She got prednisone.
She did not get better.
The second week's x-ray showed nothing unusual, but Jasmine's coloring was pale and blood samples were drawn.
She showed signs of anemia.
Without an ultrasound nothing more would be known.
We went back for more blood samples and improvement was shown.
We were leaving for Florida the following day.
Thankfully my parents took Jasmine so she was not in a kennel alone.

After Florida, Jasmine seemed perky at first, but then she started backsliding.  Her third blood sample showed a decrease in oxygen levels.  A third x-ray was taken.  There were hints of a shadow in her abdomen.  Tumor? Maybe. 

Three alternatives were given. 
1.Let it ride, knowing that more than likely her anemia was caused by some sort of internal bleeding.
2.Get an ultrasound to figure out what we were dealing with.
3.Do exploratory surgery. Risky, but could solve the problem and potentially increase lifespan by 3-12 months.

We opted for the ultrasound.  Ryan drove Jasmine the whole way down to Gaithersburg, Maryland after taking off early to do so Friday, December 3. 
Unfortunately the US was inconclusive because part of the spleen was hidden.  A sample was taken for the belly that confirmed internal bleeding.  Surgery was recommended.  We declined.

Saturday was a good day.
Jasmine and I went to Petco and got doggy pictures taken with Santa.  Jasmine was afraid of jolly old Saint Nick.  We loaded up on treats.  I bought her FAVORITE treats ever--stuffed pig hooves.

The rest of the day she went from bone to bone, eating and munching away happily, stubby tail a-wagging. 

See evidence is below.

 Sunday to Tuesday flew by. 
Sunday and Monday Jasmine seemed in good spirits.  However, she was growing pale again.  Tuesday afternoon she seemed very pale, and was more reluctant to eat.  Ryan left for class.  Mom, Cami, and I left for Park City to Christmas shop. 
When we came home, Jasmine was having difficulty breathing and seemed dizzy.  She alternated from wanting to be near us, to trying to find a place on her own. 
Ryan called the vet and was reassured that Jazzy would either pull through, or that this was indeed the end.  He said that internal bleeding causes a shock to the system and that the disorientation that comes before the last breathe makes it painless.  I opted to spend the night downstairs with Jasmine, since at this point, she could not stand up, let alone lift her head, and was lying on a Pier 1 cushion-turned doggy bed.  I didn't even get my makeshift bed made when she took her last breaths.  She died at 11:00 pm.
We took great care to say goodbye.  Ryan had to pull me off of her, as I lay sobbing in her fur.  She is being privately cremated, and we will receive her remains, at which time we will decide what to do with them. 

I know it sounds silly to be going into detail about Jasmine's last days with us, but Jasmine was special.  One of a kind.  Impossible to replace. 

Because of this, although I love the boxer breed, I doubt we will ever have another boxer.  None can replace Jasmine. 

Jasmine was the largest female in a litter of puppies that Ryan and I impulsively went to see prior to leaving for our honeymoon.  Ryan picked her out.  She was the calm amongst the storm.  The only puppy to be calmly sitting amidst her chaotic siblings, yet when we scooped her up she looked at us with such love that there was no other choice. We picked her up the day after we came back.  I named her, thus beginning the Disney duo that would become Jasmine and Nala for four years.  Giving Nala away to a loving home was difficult, but seeing Jasmine leave this earth was heartbreaking.  

I will miss my...

Jasmine Turquoise Sky Princess (AKC name)
Batu-Batu (Ryan claims this means "Swift Feet" in some random tribal language)

I will miss Ryan singing, "She's a good girl. She's my friend. She's a Jazzy-Jazzermine."

I will miss watching Cameran dangle over the edge of her high chair in search of Jasmine.

I will miss watching Cami figure out how to pet Jasmine.

I will miss Cameran using Jazzy to push off of in an attempt to stand.

I will miss Jasmine's docile nature.

I will miss her love of the outdoors.

I will miss saying "Car, walk, outside, Pappy and Nanny, treat" and seeing her head cock to the side.

I will miss her nudging open the bathroom door and backing herself inside for a Botu-belly rub.

I will miss her butt-wiggling almost as fast as her nubby tail.

I will miss her Tigger-like four foot vertical attempts at any door.
I will miss taking her for rides with her muzzle sticking out of the window. 

I will miss my instant dishwashing pre-rinser.

I will miss having the unconditional love of my first four-legged child.

I will miss burying my face in the nook between her eyes and nose.

I will miss sleeping like a contortionist while Jazzy made herself comfortable in bed.

I will miss our little Peter Pan-Nana wannabe.

I will miss being greeted at the door by the being most excited to see me arrive home from work each day.

I will miss Jasmine.  Always.

Nana Botu

Blizzard early 2010


I love you Jasmine. Forever.

Monday, December 6, 2010

'O Christmas Card

By now you have surely read multiple blog postings about Shutterfly and their Blogging holiday card special.  If not, then wait no more....

Right now, and through the holiday season, bloggers are eligible for 50 free photo cards once finished writing a post about Shutterfly and their awesome offerings! 

We took our homemade Christmas picture during Thanksgiving.  Believe me, it was an ordeal in and of itself.  Somehow, with the help of lots of editing I can get it to look great in the middle of one of Shutterfly's many holiday cards.

For those who like to write a year-end wrap up letter, these story cards provide beautiful displays for you to show off your family while adding 2010's highlights.

Not only that, those who like to add personal touches to wrapping paper also can try your hand at photo gift tags!

I have used Shutterfly for Cameran's birth announcements, as well as trying my hand at a photo book, for which there are many easy to use pre-made layouts.  When ordering regular prints you can also pick them up in as little as an hour from stores such as Target.  I am super excited to try out the holiday card special, and hope you are able to take advantage of it as well!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful: Part II, Florida edition

It is easy to lose sight of what God has provided to each of us. Sure, every family has their share of hardships. And to each family, those particular hardships, whether monetary woes, diseases, family strains, job losses, or what-have-you, have the ability to rock us to the core. Yes, life is hard. Yes, life isn't fair sometimes. But if we are able to remove ourselves from our own bubble in the game of life and look at the bigger picture we just might be able to see that we have it better than billions of people who inhabit third-world countries who have no Thanksgiving day. There is always someone, somewhere whose plight is insurmountably worse than our own.

Cameran has made me very conscious of living in the moment. I sometimes struggle to use my time wisely, okay--I'm not gonna lie, I am a procrastinator, piler, and cleaning loather at heart, but I make sure that my time at home is with Cameran and Ryan. It is okay to just simply BE. Sure, I would love to go to the park more, and take more trips to the library, but sometimes snuggling and playing at home in-the-moment is alright.

Right now I am still in Florida with my husband's family, having just showered after reflecting (okay, mostly relaxing and tanning) by the pool. It is our last day, and our super-early flight tomorrow will find us back to Pennsyvania where cold weather abounds, and that is okay too . Right now I am here in Florida, in the present, thankful that I am able to BE here.

More about Florida to come...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful: Part 1

Yesterday we traveled down the interstate to my parents' house for the first Thanksgiving feast of the year. Typically we "do" Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, and go out of state to visit Ryan's family for Christmas vacation (this is where it is extremely convenient for us both to be on a public school work schedule). In any case, R's family recently purchased a townhome in Ft. Lauderdale where his younger brother, Dustin, attends college. We decided that Thanksgiving would be a perfect time to visit D and check out the new pad. I am blessed with very accommodating, flexible parents who don't give us a hard time about mixing up holiday plans to go out of state to see R's family.

Poor Cameran was not satisfied with her toddler version of Thanksgiving dinner, and was a horrible eater. In any case, she still had fun playing with Uncle Bubba (dog), Pappy, and Nanny. As always, it was a relaxing time, spent with those I love the most.  No sooner did we get in the car to leave did she start coughing and sneezing and blowing ginormous snot bubbles from her nose. She was downright miserable for the next few hours, and finally went to sleep around 10:30. Not a happy camper. Thankfully, she woke up this morning seemingly a bit better.

Here are a few pictures from the iPhone (of course).

On our way to Nanny's and Pappy's house

I <3 Budda Bellies

We attempted Christmas card pictures and hundreds of frames later I am hoping to get one edited and sent off to Shutterfly to take advantage of the blogger special! 
Potential Christmas card minus editing.  (Picture of the pre-edited picture.)

Cameran beating up Daddy.

I wonder what they are talking about?
Blessings as you make your way through this holiday week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Daddy knows how to get Cami to laugh...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Early Intervention Personal Perceptions

I am not one the parents with children who have extra needs who dislikes Early Interventions (EI).  In fact, anything that may help Cameran I am all for.  I am at a place where I neither feel jilted nor jaded by the EI system.  In fact, reading other blog posts has actually made me aware that we have it pretty stinkin' good in Pennsylvania.  One hundred percent is covered, AND therapists come to our house.  It is a win-win.  I have posted before that I think Cameran being our first child has helped because we have no basis of comparison.

And it's true.  The amount of evenings we dedicate to EIs and appointments is our "norm".  Even though it is sometimes annoying to need to rush out of work to get home in time to beat Cameran's therapists to the front door, it still is for the betterment of my daughter, and I couldn't live with myself thinking that I didn't do everything possible for her.  She is at daycare during the day, and they are wonderfully accomodating of all of her special needs and therapies.  In fact one way accomodate our schedule to fit in her therapies consisting of a Special Instructor (SI) similar to a play therapist, Occupational Therapist (OT), and Physical Therapist (PT) is to have them go to daycare one week, and to our home on the alternating week.  We have done this a variety of ways.  For a while, at home we had entire weeks off and Cameran was seen at daycare three times.  Now, for example, we have PT and SI at the house the same week that OT goes to daycare, and the next week it is just OT at the house and PT and SI go to daycare.  It really varies, and everyone is quite flexible.  I know it is also not that easy for everyone.  Our experiences have been exceptionally positive.  All three therapists are punctual, and if they do get stuck in traffic, always call or send a text message.  When sessions are missed due to unforseen circumstances on either end, we are quick to communicate, and make-up sessions always follow.

That stated, I also have not jumped on every bandwagon/homeopathic treatment available.  There is a lot to be said for NutriVene and other supplements being able to enhance individuals with Ds and their potential, however, because of Cameran's involvement with Western medicines due to her infantile spasm seizures, GERD, etc., I do not feel putting more foreign substances into her little body is of benefit now.  In the future, who knows?!

Basically I have found families fall into one of several camps when it comes to EI:
-those who are all for it, and if it helps, great, and if it doesn't, then at least it is one more person positively interacting with said child (This is my crew if you couldn't tell.  Would Cameran have been sitting up at X month without intervention? Who knows, but she did, she can, and EI surely did not hurt her.)
-skeptics who try and later bail, whether for financial reasons, personal reasons, or scheduling reasons
-larger families who have enough family members to keep the LO with special needs movin' and groovin' without the need of therapists
-those who think EI is bogus/waste of time either because they had bad experiences or just plain found it inconvenient
-those who are all about vitamins/supplements/alterna-therapies

I am sure there are more, but these seem to be the main sets of feelings regarding EI.  One is not more correct than the other.  I am sure if I had a family of six, and stayed at home I might feel differently about the value of someone coming into my home x times a week/month,etc.  In fact, the social interactions of a larger family alone are reason enough to rationally justify not needing a SI.  However, hubs and myself like to do parent-ish (I know, I know, English teacher using a non-word) things with Cami, and not always worry whether or not we are interacting in a way that is engaging her gross-motor skills, etc.  Sometimes it is nice to know that we can snuggle and kiss and hug her all evening long, and the PT will be out tomorrow to work on x,y, and z skill sets. 

Am I articulating well?  I am not sure. 

Bottom line: EI works for us.  It isn't for everyone.  I am not a judgemental person by nature, so to each his own.  Ryan and I have forged relationships with each of Cami's therapists, and respect them as teachers/therapists/sounding-boards-confidants/friends.  They have provided us with excellent connections and resources in the Ds community that we would not have known about otherwise. 

Cameran loves them.

AND THEY LOVE CAMERAN.  (Who doesn't want people doting on their child, expecting the best for him/her?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hope for the Future

We parents of kids with special needs live in the present, mainly out of survival. Dwelling on the future leads to nothing good. However, every now and again there is a news story worth sharing that represents glimmers of hope amidst our sea of uncertainty.

Have you read it yet? 


About two weeks ago I toyed with blogging about a work-related "incident" where I temporarily lost my composure after a student, without thinking, decided to entertain my homeroom with said student's version of "I'm a Little Teapot" with some alternate lyrics containing the r-word and some not so nice hand gestures.  Thankfully I teach in a building where name-calling, derogatory remarks, slurs, etc. are not tolerated.  Suffice it to say that this poor child learned his lesson.  I am not proud of my over-reaction to student's antic; I simply chalk it up to my Mama-bear alterego kicking in.  Yeah, yeah, now you are all wondering what happened...Basically I told Student it was not nice to say that word, and that I was the last person Student should say it to/in front of before other students chimed in and reminded Student of my daughter prior to me running out of the room and bursting into tears. 

For a number of other unrelated indiscretions this student found the way to suspension.  All I can think is that Student's display made me think about how strongly I reacted knowing that Cameran is going to someday have to survive middle school and ignorant comments such as this.  It made me sad.  Not so much angry, but sad and hurt. 

And again, I thought about posting two weeks ago when this happened.  But I didn't.  Until now, and for several reasons.  I am now able to make it a short anecdote and not an emotionally-charged tyrade as I fear it may have been had I posted when it actually occured.  Mostly though, because tonight at parent-teacher conferences, Student and family came in together for a conference with the team.  Student was very subdued, and very quietly on the way out, Student made his way over to where I was sitting and apologized.  And it was sincere.  And, in true Jen fashion, I cried.  But, it gives me hope to know that maybe, just maybe Student learned a lesson and will be one lesson individual cracking jokes at people with special needs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now...

Last night we (Nanny, Great Granny, Cameran and I) headed off to Mechanicsburg to pick out new frames for Cameran. 

An hour and $198 later I decided upon these:

Not quite sure...

Poor Daddy was at his grad class all night, so I had to text pictures of about 5 different pairs to him.  It was quite entertaining deciding which frames to choose via text messaging.  In the end, I listened to Ryan and bought a neutral pair decided to pick out a funky, bright blue color.  At one point Ryan agreed that he liked them, so hey, it counts, right?  I am hoping they come in this week, but have a feeling they won't be in until next week.  I am so excited to see them fit properly!  Who knows, maybe Cami will be an all-star Einstein and keep the glasses on instead of ripping them off her face like at the optician last night...  She did so well with her first pair, so I do have high hopes, but we will just have to see (pun intended).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet November

Now that Halloween is over and November has begun, the beginning of crazy season is officially upon us.  No more leisurely trips to Toys 'R Us without the maddening Christmas crowds fighting over the three Kinect Xbox consoles the store may or may not have, along with all the rest of this season's hottest toys, gadgets, and gizmos. 

Gone are the browns and oranges and reds of "fall", instead, replaced with reds and greens of Yuletide joy.  Last time I checked Thanksgiving was an official American holiday, completed with the same corn husks and hay bales and pumpkins sans jack-o-lanterns of Halloween, but hey, if you are in retail, jumping right to Christmas is the "in" thing. 

I refuse to let go of my November.  My AUTUMN November.  My decorations will stay orange and brown and red until our plane returns from sunny Florida and the calendar changes to December 1.  Maybe by then I will be ready to give up my sweet November. 

In other news, Cameran is giving Tigger (you know, Winnie-the-Poo's annoyingly energetic striped feline friend?) a run for his money.  She has been (for about a week) bouncing around as a mode of transporation.  She also enjoys hurtling herself forward to get into "crawl", as opposed to a graceful descent, but hey, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and I am completely owning my complete and utter lack of grace and coordination.  Way to go Cami.

I feel like November is the month.  She pulls to a stand by readily grabbing onto Ryan's or my hands, and then proceeds to wiggle and pivot and check things out.  She will stand against the sofa for extended periods of time before bending her knees and collapsing. And I know that she should be crawling or army crawling or something like that, but dammit, that girl hates the four-point (unless it's her idea, in which case she looks like a sprinter ready to leave her block at the start of the race but then never bothers leaving the block).

Did I mention round 2?  Of glasses that is.  Tomorrow we will embark on our round two journey to procure glasses for little Einstein.  Apparently her eyes are improving, but there is astigmatism of the right eye, and so she does not begin to aggressively favor the other eye to compensate, the doc. wants her to "try out" a newer prescription in hopes of balancing out both eyes.  Of course her original glasses that she wore for all of four months prior to her seizure diagnosis don't fit and are the wrong prescription anyway.

Merry Christmas, Cameran.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Picture Madness and Baby Boyfriends

Okay.  So I must've been living under a rock, thinking that I needed an awesome camera/editing software to create embellished picture. SOOOO not true.  I am sure has been around for quite a while, but my silly self JUST -as in over the weekend- discovered this program.  And now I am hooked.  So, the header may not look quite right and may change every day, but that is the way it is going to be.  And thanks to my friend Karen over at Tales of a Library Lady for helping me figure out how to make a collage that would actually be an appropriate header size!  Her son is super cute, and is one of Cameran's many boyfriends.

Speaking of boyfriends--Cameran's identical twin boyfriends from daycare celebrated their 2nd birthday today.  Cameran took part in the festivities and apparently even went to town on a cupcake!  Now, when I pick P up, the boys run over and say "Cammin's mommy! Cammin's mommy!" and actually request to give her hugs.  They were practically pushing me out of the way while I was trying to put her jacket on to get to her.  Even though they are now two, they get to stay in the 1s room until Christmas when there are openings in the 2s.  I am glad because they definitely give Cameran the interaction that she needs.

Along with interactions--tonight Cameran got across the entire floor in her walker going forward!  She also tracked my voice and came toward me as I bribed her with her puppy.  It worked!!!  Not only that, but Cameran finally imitated clapping for the first time!!!!!!!!!!! She is still munching away on everything that is NOT a teething ring, but her efforts are still fruitless.  Someday.  If not, maybe they make baby grills dentures ;)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

31 for 21: Halloween

Welcome to Cameran's 2nd Halloween.  Last year we went all out and dressed as a peapod AND a kangaroo.  This year we went for simplicity....Pumpkin Cheerleader...

 We started off the evening at our good friends' house.  Their kiddos are Phineas and the two black kitty cats in the back.  Next to P is a very adorable spider, who just happens to belong to another friend who happened to capture these photos!
 And who can forget the two identical, itty bitty twins flanking the outside of the picture?!  Too cute.
 Getting everyone to cooperate at the same time was hellacious wasn't happening.
 But if you scroll realfast it almost looks like they are all looking at the same time.
 Miss Cami actually did quite well considering all the photos I took of her... 
 ...Although here she is not looking to thrilled...
Daddy and Cameran were big hits at each of the houses!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Favorite Time of Day the hour and a half after dinner that we spend together as a family.

I love watching Cameran and all of her new communicative expressions, like eyebrow raising and frowning. I love how she sits Indian-style and tries to bounce up and down. And let's not forget about how she tracks Jasmine like a hawk. Anytime Jazzy walks nearby, Cameran is trying to reach out and grab pet her.

But best of all is the love I have for Ryan when I catch glimpses of him smiling at our daughter, reading his mind, knowing the type of awe we hold for each and every nuance of her being. I can't describe this smile, and probably will never capture it in its purest form on camera, other than to describe it as one of pride mixed with euphoria. Nothing lights up Ryan as much as watching and interacting with Cami, and I love that about him.

He reads to her with a mix of tenderness and silliness and dry-added humor only those who know Ryan can understand. Tonight six books were read aloud, followed by some bouncy-walker time. Bed time routine follows, and then it becomes couple time if Ryan hasnt already passed out on some non-bed surface.

Good night.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Giveaway over at Treasured By Holly

Here is the link to a giveaway over at Treasured By Holly, a collection of adorable crocheted items for babies, toddlers, and above!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Weekend in Pictures

Catoctin Colorfest on Oct. 10th.  Nanny, Cami, and Mommy

Saw these at Target and couldn't resist!

Cameran loves Violet.

"Oh, I love my squishy, purple puppy."

Daddy and Cameran storytime

Pappy makes me smile.

A lot!

Hi, Blog friends.

What? You think I'm cute?  Why, thank you.

Here's my model pose, just for you.

What?  Daddy likes the Packers.  I can't help it.

Come on, Packers, don't lose!
There you have it. A weekend in pictures, plus a few forgotten ones along the way.

Life is good.  Now it's time to soak up the remaining few hours of the weekend.

Good Night.
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