Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Camden and the Dog" - a photo essay

Somehow my previous post disappeared. So I am trying again. I apologize to anybody who navigated to this page and found half a post.
mentioned before how Camden likes to chew on the dog's toys and I let him. I'm so up for mother of the year. Here, in all it's glory, is the story.

*Getting out cartoon announcer voice*
In today's episode of "Camden and the Dog," our fearless hero attempts to steal the evil Shih Tzu's toy and, (drum roll please) chew on it. Will he be successful? Will the dog thwart his efforts? What about that mother figure? Will she interfere? Read on to find out!

First comes the innocent look. "I'm not doing anything Mom." Uh huh. Right. Like I believe that.

Camden gives the toy to the dog to chew on first. See how well he shares? And only 9 months too. *Beaming with motherly pride right now.*

Tai Beaux (the dog) gives Camden a few licks, telling him how much he likes Cam. Cam thinks the licks tickle, hence his semi smile. What Camden doesn't realize is the dog is really telling Camden how much he wants the toy and that if Cam doesn't hand it over, his fingers are in danger of being nipped. The only thing stopping the dog is that I am in the room. Tai knows better than to bite the hand that feeds him. Or bite the hand of the one Mommy still nurses.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Camden inches the toy closer to his mouth. The dog places a warning paw on Camden's hand. Mom, perfectly aware of the immense danger a 12 pound Shih Tzu represents, watches on. Who needs safety when you have a great photo op?
Success at last! The toy is Cam's! And it goes (as most things do) straight into the mouth. Yum Yum! Doggy germs!
Toy in hand, Camden falls to the floor, laughing and taunting the dog who remains on the couch. Tai stares at him and wonders, " How much trouble will I get in if I pounce on Camden." The answer, my dear pup, depends on how hard you land on him and whether or not you make him cry.
To add the final insult, Camden puts the toy back in his mouth with one last laugh. Our hero has conquered again!
And that, my dear friends, is the end of our story today. Join us next time for more adventures of "Camden and the Dog." (cartoon announcer voice again)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Simple Pleasures Monday

I'm starting a new Monday blog and I hope some of you will join me. I call it "Simple Pleasures Monday" (not very creative I know, but hey, it is Monday morning). Each Monday, choose a topic, any topic, and post about the simple pleasures in your life related to that topic. I know I need to count my blessings more and this will help me to do it. It will also help me slow down and notice the simple pleasures in the little things in life that I am often too busy to notice. I hope some of you will join me in this weekly posting! If you do, please leave me a note in the comments and I will be sure to check out your blog!

So for my topic this week:

Simple Pleasures of a sleeping baby (And early morning feedings)

Nothing is quite as beautiful as a sleeping child. Whether Camden is asleep for the night, or just a nap, I love to watch him sleep. His long lashes, his rosy cheeks, the way his mouth moves in a slight sucking motion as he sleeps - it's pure beauty. I love the way his little hands go to little fists and lay by his mouth as he curls up on his side. I love the little noises he makes in his sleep. It is one of my favorite things, one of my most simple pleasures, to walk in his room and watch him sleep. Only the fear of waking him up makes me leave the room.

I also love having some "me" time! With work and such, I feel guilty taking time for myself if Camden is awake, so his sleeping is my time. I either take a nap, read a book, play on the computer, or, if I really feel the need (and my house shows a need - which is often!), I clean. I love having a little break and indulging in a few things just for me. Of course, if Mark is at home (not working or at school), I love the time with him! Time to talk, time to cuddle, and sometimes, even time for sex! (which is the best use of the time.) And the best part about Camden sleeping is sleeping myself. Saturday's and Sunday's are guarantee nap for me when Camden naps.

As strange as it may sound, I also love feeding Camden in the night. I didn't in the beginning - I HATED it! But now that we do one feeding a night, usually in the early morning, I enjoy it. It's the only time anymore that Camden doesn't fight me on breastfeeding - he'll actually latch on and feed for more than 5 minutes. I love how his little face turns to me, seeking the comfort and nourishment that is best provided by mom. I love how his fingers run aimlessly through the bottom of my hair. I love the power of breastmilk. He'll be wide awake at the start of the feeding, but by the end he is slipping back into slumber. I love watching how his little eyes start to close and that contented look comes across his face as his belly is full again. It's also so fun to cuddle him in the night when he is not wiggling. Sometimes I linger a few extra minutes to give a little longer snuggle before putting him back in his crib for purely selfish reasons - because I love to have him near me and know these feedings won't last much longer.

Simple pleasures. That's what life is made of.

(And how many times did I say "love" in that post? A virtual plate of brownies to anybody who cares to count. I realized after that as an English teacher, I sure did use the same word a lot.)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Random of the day

I read in one of my baby magazines today that the average parent loses 700 hours of sleep in the first year of a child's life. That's 58 hours a month or almost 2 hours a night. Wow. I knew I was sleeping less, but didn't realize it could be that much.

So, question of the day - How many of you are feeling that sleep loss today?

Luckily enough, today I am not. Camden slept through for the first time in a week. Yay!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What a way to start the day

Some mornings are just crazy. The kind that makes you want to climb back in bed and just stay there. Today was one of those mornings.

My son is funny. Or at least he thinks he is funny. Or at least he does funny things. When he wakes at night, he doesn't cry. He just lays in his crib, talking to himself and playing with his pacifiers. Last night was 0ne of those nights. Camden decided to do that "talking to himself" thing from 3 am to 4 am. He was fed, warm, and comfy, but didn't want to go back to sleep. Of course, as his parents, we try to sleep, but those little giggles keep waking us up and almost make us giggle. Almost.

That wasn't funny enough for him. Next he decided to start the day at 5:45 am (I was up already). Not really a problem, but it does throw off the rest of his schedule and means Mark has to be awake to watch him while I get ready.

To add to the fun, he then he refused to nurse, which meant I had to make him a bottle. Again, not a big deal, but just enough to throw off the schedule a bit. Plus it snowed last night, so Mark was out shoveling and I was preparing to take Camden to daycare on icy, slippery roads.

Just as we were ready to leave to daycare (mind you, I was already running a bit late from the nursing refusal and the snow), Camden decided to have one of his famous poop explosions - one of the worst yet. It was all up his back and all over the cute outfit I had him in. So we had to change him. I had the fun task of washing off his back and his bum. Mark had the fun task of washing the chunks of poo of the clothes (hope you are not eating breakfast as you read that).

Finally, I had him ready again and we headed out the door. The driving was slow because of the snow, but we made it to daycare safe and sound. I dropped Cam off, gave him a BIG kiss, and headed back to work. I made it to work just as the 2nd bell was starting to ring. My 1st hour class was waiting in the hall and hoping I wouldn't show up (Poor kids - get their hopes up and then I DASH them to pieces! Muhaha!).

It can only go up from here right?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Forever Infertile

I’ve recently discovered a world of infertility related blogs out there – some LDS, most not, some with people adopting, others who are pg, and others who are still trying. As I found this hidden world I thought, “Where were you when I was going through this?!?!” During my infertility, I did have the support of a few others going through something similar. We found each other on an LDS board and posted together quite a bit. Then one by one they got pg and I was almost alone out there in infertile world. It was a very lonely feeling.

I’ve been thinking a lot about infertility these days, specifically all we went through to get Camden. Infertility will always be a part of my life. It played such a significant role for 3.5 years of my life and, just because I have one child, it doesn’t mean that I am still not infertile. In spite of having a baby, I still see myself as infertile. I sometimes call myself a recovering infertile because it is still so much a part of me, even though I have been blessed with one truly magnificent child.

I think this is on my mind so much because Camden is now 9 months old, which means we’re getting closer to when we want to start trying for another. I realize how blessed I am to be able to have even one. I know there are others out there who have none and envy me for my one. I know there are some who might say I should be content with just one. And if all I ever had was Camden, I would be so grateful for him. But I do want more. I want him to have a sibling. I loved being pregnant so much and love being a mom so much that I want to do it again. I want Camden to have a brother or sister close in age. I want him to have that special connection that comes with a sibling. Camden completed Mark and I in so many ways. He took us from two to three and made us a family. I want to add to that.

As the time draws closer to trying to conceive, I get a bit scared. I wonder what it will take this time to have a baby. My secret wish is that we’ll get really lucky and conceive on our own in just a few cycles. But having wanted that before and being denied it, I wonder how long it may take this time. Will it take years or will it be just a few months? Will we have to use expensive medications or will my body work on its own? I don’t know and it scares me. Having Camden, I can say the previous trial was worth it. I would do it again to get another child. I am willing to do it again to have another baby. But I would prefer not to if at all possible. I would prefer an easy conception this time around.

I don’t think that fear will ever go away completely. No matter how much faith or trust I have that things will work out for the best (and I do have that), it’s scary to contemplate going through again. Infertility sucked the life out of me last time. It took me to the darkest place I’ve ever been. It took me to the edge of losing my testimony and back. I don’t want to have that happen again. I know I can just look at Camden this time and know that miracles happened. It happened once before and it can happen again. I would just like this time to be easy.

Because of what we went through before, we won’t tell people when we start trying or that we are trying. It was too hard last time to have so many people analyzing me and watching every thing I did. If I was sick, people automatically asked if I was pregnant. If I missed work or did anything out of the ordinary, people asked if I was pregnant. My secret hope, beyond getting pregnant easily, is to be able to announce a pregnancy with very few people knowing we were actually trying.

I hope as the time gets closer, I can let go of this fear that is steadily building in me. I pray that this time will be easier. But no matter what, I have something this time that I didn’t have last time – Camden. He is my living miracle. He is proof of the blessing and miracle I received once before. He gives me the courage to try again, knowing how worth it he was and how willingly I would go through it again to get another baby.

Revamping my resolutions part 2

Tracking what I ate was certainly illuminating. I knew I had some diet downfalls, but this woke me up to reality. I did ok on last weeks goals, but failed miserably on the whole chocolate/sugar thing. So in addition to keeping last week's goals, my goals for this week are:

1. Watch portion size. Increase veggie and fruit portions and decrease the rest.
2. Snack sensibly. Eat healthy snacks and premeasure snacks to prevent overeating.
3. Analyze why I am eating - because I am hungry or because of being tired, stressed, depressed, etc.

New update next week!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Another poopie post

You may remember my discussion of the jet propulsion properties of Camden when he poops. Well, the boy scores again! Mark just called and told me that Camden pooped through another diaper. But this time the smart boy missed his own clothes and aimed the extra towards Mark's clothing. Mark looked down and wondered what he got on his sweater. Then he realized what it was. Yup, this time Mark has to change Camden's diaper and then his own clothes. What a good boy I have. Good aim Camden!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

All things Camden

Camden is 9 months old today. Where does the time go? This boy is light of my life. I am so in love with him, so in love. And he has such an awesome dad! I love to watch the two of them together. I can ell I am going to have my hands full with the two of them as Cam gets older. They will conspire against me. I've had a lot of random Cam related blogs floating around in my head lately, so in honor of his 9 month semi-birthday, I am going to post them all at once.

Names I call Cam - This kid will be lucky to ever know his real name
Cam Bam, Camaloo, Cammer Bammer, Bam Bam, Little Man, The Boy, Chubba Bubba, Tubbers, Worm (short for silly worm or wiggle worm), Wiggles, Big Guy, Bubba, Cowboy, Cama Lama Ding Dong, Cama Lama, Cammers, Calabama, Goose, Moose, Happy, Smiley, Handsome, Handser Pandser, and the most common - Cam.

Kid Funny
Cam says a few words very clearly. The other day I was cleaning his room and putting away his mountain of clothes (the boy has a ton because Mom is an eBay addict). I just bought him all the 12-18 month stuff because he is growing out of all his 6-12 month items and I didn't realize quite how much I had bought until it was all together in this pile. I was talking to him as I folded this Mt. Everest of clothes and I kept saying, "Who bought you all this stuff?" He looked at me and clear as day said, "Mom." Mark, in the other room, busted a gut because it's true. It's all Mom's fault that this boy has enough clothes to clothe a small country.

Changing - All the time changing
And not just his clothes because he pooped through them. He's starting to eat more solids - not baby food (veggies and fruits yesterday). He's really trying to crawl. He's sleeping better again (not through the night yet, but waking only once - knock on wood so I don't jinx myself). He's so happy. He smiles, giggles, and talks all the time. His new favorite way to be carried around the house is in what we call the Superman position - perched on Mom or Dad's shoulders with his legs kicking behind him while his hands fly in front of him. He loves his bath. He is becoming very vocal about what he likes and doesn't like. If he is enjoying something and you take him away, he cries for a bit. He's just a ton of fun!

To end with - new pictures of Cam.

Camden and his Christmas stash

Happy Smiley Cam. My brother says he has never seen a picture in which Camden doesn't look happy. Those pics are rare.

Camden just chilling out.

Thanks for indulging me in all things Camden this morning!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Revamping my resolutions

I pretty much suck with New Years resolutions. I already failed at the whole diet thing and we're barely 3 weeks into the new year. So I decided to take small steps instead in terms of weight loss. I really need to get the weight off, not just for vanity reasons, but for getting pregnant reasons as well. I ovulate better and respond to fertility medications better when I am eating well and losing weight. Since we're starting to think about ttc again, I need to get back to eating healthy. I fail when I try to change all at once, so here are this week's goals (sure it's Wednesday but my week starts the day I go back to work which happens to be Wednesday this week).

1. Track EVERYTHING I eat. If I taste it, I write it down.
2. Eat at least 2 fruits and 2 veggies each day.
3. No chocolate and limit sugar to one small tiny serving each day (instead of a whole ton).

Stay tuned for next week's goals!

Monday, January 16, 2006

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by the most awesome Shelah. I'd link you to her site, but it's ultra private. You have to give a pint of blood and two chocolate cookies before you can get the secret password.

Seven things to do before I die:
-Visit Italy
-Try to get a book published - maybe a whole series!
-Have a few more children
-Go to Brazil with my husband and see the places he served his mission.
-Learn to be a gourmet cook - or at least some really cool recipes that will knock the socks off others
-See my children raised and be successful
-Get out of plus sizes once and for all

Seven things I cannot do:
-Not go more than a few day without checking my boards
-Eat any form of salad dressing, mayo, or miracle whip without gagging
-Do a cartwheel or any gymnastics
-Be graceful
-Go to bed without a glass of water on my night stand
-Not embarrass my husband with what he calls my "soft spokeness" (much sarcasm there)
-Love the city I currently live in

Seven Things that Attract Me to My Spouse(not necessarily in this order!):
-His height (the man is 6'8"!)
-His strong spirit
-Those guns!
-The way he made me feel
-My spirit recognized his spirit
-Those lips!
-The way he made me laugh

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
-Freaking awesome! (Mormon cuss words here)
-Oh my hannah
-I love you (to my husband, baby, and dog)
-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (to my junior high classes to get them to be quiet)
-It's ok (consoling Camden at various moments, especially right now when sick)
-Oops, Uh-oh, Yikes (as I trip, fall, spill, etc. with my uber-gracefulness)
-Dumb butt (in reference to my dog and whoever else annoys me)

Seven books I love:
-Harry Potter Series
-The Work and the Glory Series
-The Giver
-Jane Eyre
-Ender's Game
-The Book of Mormon
-Shopaholic Series

Seven movies I could watch over and over again: (I'm not a big movie watcher, so this is hard)
-Ever After
-Phantom of the Opera
-Tommy Boy (Thanks Mark for that one)
-Secondhand Lions
-Miss Congeniality
-Most Disney cartoons

Seven people I want to join in:
-Sara (whose blog I've never been allowed to see)
-Mark (start a freaking blog already)
-Emily A (you too - start a blog!)
-Nikole or Nicoel (my two friends who both have their names spelled wrong and who both need to start a blog)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Where is my Magical Mother Wand when I need it? And other ramblings

My little man is sick - sicker than I have seen him in his short life of almost nine months. He started coming down with a cold on Wednesday night and it has just gotten worse. He has such a hacking cough, stuffy nose, hoarse sounding voice, fever, etc. He is miserable and sounds so pathetic. He isn't sleeping well and will hardly eat a thing. He just cries pitifully every now and then, and a few times, I have cried with him to see him feeling so bad. I am scared to death of anything bad happening to my son, and so am watching diligently for any sign of RSV or croup.

His getting sick is one of the things that sucks about having him in daycare. Since he has been going to daycare, he has caught one cold after another. On Monday when I went to pick him up, another mom was picking up her baby. At our daycare, they have children separated by age, so all the babies are in one room. The baby she was picking seemed fine, but her other son (who is not in the baby room but does expose his brother at home) had a distinctive seal-like cough. And I was thinking, nice, expose my son because you aren't responsible enough to keep your child at home with a cough like that. And now Camden is sick.

Besides being irritated with that lady, I'm a little mad at my breastmilk. Why? Because it's supposed to protect him from things like this! One of the many reasons I chose to breastfeed is to provide my son with as many antibodies as possible, especially since I knew he would be entering the daycare environment. He had exclusive mommy milk for almost 6 months for that reason. I've had to supplement as he's gotten older, but he still gets mainly mommy milk. Apparently those antibodies in my milk suck. He caught his first cold at 3 months old, before even going to daycare, and has since had so many I have lost count.

I hate to watch him suffer. It's one of those mommy things I didn't expect - that it would hurt me to see him hurt. I would take his illness upon myself if it would spare him. When I was going through the infertility, my mother told me on more than one occasion that she wished she had a magic wand that she could wave and take away my pain and my trial and make it all better. She couldn't, but with all her motherly love, she wanted to do that for me. I understand that now. I wish I had a magical mother wand I could wave and take away Cam's sickness and pain.

I realize a cold is small in the realm of sicknesses that can afflict a child. I think it bothers me so much because we worked so hard for him, waited so long. And I don't want anything bad to happen to him. My husband lost a son from his previous marriage. I watched my husband go through that loss before we were engaged. And I know from watching that and from having Cam, I doubt I could handle such a loss. So even a minor illness still freaks me out (it's the new mommy syndrome). Hopefully one day I will get over that fear, or at least get a better handle on it. But for now, could somebody please return my magical mother wand or at least tell me where to get one?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

National Delurking Week

In reading other blogs, I have discovered it is "National Delurking Week." Don't know who started it. I just know it's out there. So if you stumble upon this blog, please delurk and leave a comment!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Is this a compliment?

One of my best friends just told me that, "You are facinating in a side show freak sorta way."

Should I take that as a compliment?

I'm being stalked

By my own husband!

He just called me at work questioning some comments I had made on other blogs. Apparently he followed some of the links on my side bar to other blogs I visit. He knows me well enough to know what kind of entries will get me to post a comment. So following his instincts, he read some of my comments and now I need to clear the record.

First of all, not all men are stupid. Just some of them. My husband is not one of them unless he is blog stalking me or watching movies from the 80's.

Second of all, he, NOT ME, put up AND took down all our Christmas decorations all by himself. I was too busy shopping on ebay to be of much help.

Now I have set the record straight.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Randomness of the Day

I'm such a good mom.

My son is sitting here chewing on one of the dog's toys and I am letting him. Yup, that puts me up there for Mother of the Year. It's actually kind of cute. Camden chews on it for a minute and then hands it over to Tai Beaux (our Shih Tzu) and lets him chew on it for a minute. It's great how he's learning to share at such a young age.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Who taught my 8 month old to read?

Ok, so he can't really read, but somebody must have read him my "Melancholy Mother" entry because he has decided to start doing everything I said he wasn't yet doing.

For example, he is finally eating Gerber Puffs and not making a face of death. He puts them in his mouth himself! While he doesn't love them, he will eat them. That's progress on the solids front.

He finally rolled from his back to his tummy. Yup, 8.5 months old today and just barely doing that. He's rolled from tummy to back for months, but only this week has he started making it back the other direction. Now he does it repeatedly, entertaining himself for hours by rolling back and forth.

He's trying to army crawl. He can't quite do it, but he is sure working on scooting around. He's also trying to pull into a standing position and get himself into the sitting position by himself. Overnight he turned into a little gymnast who loves exploring what his body can do.

I think he might actually be getting some teeth. Again, 8.5 months old and no teeth. But he is being fussy and his gums are bulging, so maybe in the next few weeks we'll actually see teeth. Then we'll see how fun breastfeeding becomes!

I guess somehow Camden must have found out a bout my last entry about him and is now out to prove me wrong and grow up even faster. Maybe just posting about what he is not doing here makes him want to do it. Let's try an experiment. Camden doesn't sleep through the night yet. Will whoever read him the last post read him that line and see if he'll prove me wrong again? One can always hope.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hand over the Chocolate and nobody gets hurt

I'm three days into the new year and my resolutions and right now, I'd almost kill for some chocolate. One of my resolutions is to lose weight and so far, all I can think about is chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. This is not helping my weigh loss efforts. I just tore my classroom apart looking for an elusive piece of chocolate - all of which I cleared out before the break - so my craving goes unfulfilled. It's all Camden's fault. Lest you think badly of how my angel boy must be acting in order to make me crave chocolate to such a degree, let me explain.

Before getting pregnant with Cam, I went on Weight Watchers and had lost 15 pounds when I found out I was expecting. Because I had been doing Weight Watchers, I had totally kicked my sugar addiction. The first trimester of pregnancy, any processed sugar made me sick, so it was easy to keep eating healthy. Then the holidays of last year hit and along with that, a sweet tooth like no other. Along with that sweet tooth came a new found love of chocolate. You see, before pregnancy, I didn't like chocolate all that much. I ate it occasionally, but it was something I could live without. I know that is shocking to many of you chocolate lovers who cannot go a day without it, but for me, chocolate was just there - something to eat a small piece of now and then.

During the third trimester, all of a sudden, chocolate became life to me! I couldn't go a day without it. Before, if we had chocolate, I'd eat a little and Mark would eat the rest. Now I was wrestling the chocolate out of his hands. My favorite excuse was "The baby wants it." I thought the craving would go away after delivery, but nope, it didn't.

While pregnant with Cam, I gained 20 pounds and I lost 30 after his birth. I thought I was doing pretty good, until the cravings wouldn't go away. Tired combined with no will power, causing me to gain back 5 of the pounds I lost. As I realized that, I once again vowed to break my sugar and chocolate addiction with the new year.

I knew it wouldn't be easy, so I made sure to clean out as much sugar and chocolate from my house as possible. I also promised not to beat myself up if I couldn't stop cold turkey in the beginning. And I've had a few pieces of sugar here and there over the past few days when the cravings get bad - mainly Lifesavers candy. But no chocolate.

And so I sit here at school, wanting chocolate. One of my teacher friends across the hall has a stash, but I am keeping myself from going over to ask for some. I am going to make this resolution work. I will break this addiction. Surprisingly, writing this entry has taken a bit of my craving away. Maybe I should try this whenever I get a craving!

Side note from Mark: So if you should hear or read a news story that speaks of a masked woman rampaging through the chocolate aisles of the local grocery stores just smile and nod and HAND OVER THE CHOCOLATE!!