Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cookie Monster

Last Sunday my Mom came over and we decided to make some homemade chocolate chip cookies. Cami LOVED the entire process and she couldn't have been more helpful. She began by checking everything out.

She then took on the responsibility of 'stirring' up the dough. She took this job VERY seriously!

Once the dough was stirred Cami decided to take it upon herself to make sure the cookie dough tasted a-okay. She gave the ultimate approval by eating endless amounts of cookie dough - THAT'S MY GIRL! :-)After Cami ate endless amounts of raw cookie dough she decided she was a bit thirsty. She came to me and very clearly said, "Cami thirsty, Cami want milk". Let's be honest - who doesn't enjoy a good glass of milk after eating cookie dough?
When the cookies were finally finished baking we enjoyed them for days to come. Cami LOVES chocolate chip cookies and we LOVED making the memories of making chocolate chip cookies for the first time with the help of Cami. We look forward to doing it again, and again, and again, and ( get the point).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Photo Montage Update

I know that I haven't updated much lately and I REALLY am going to try and change my ways. In order to catch you all up on what's been happening with Cambria since August I decided to do one post with a photo montage of what has been happening. Here goes nothing...

Late August Cami was admitted to Fairfax hospital for the 3rd time in her short little life. This time she was admitted due to a strep infection that became resistant to all oral antibiotics and they had to admit her to administer IV antibiotics and also to come up with a plan for how to handle future strep infections. The ENT came to the hospital each day she was there and it was determined that although risky for her age, we NEEDED to have her tonsils out for fear of another strep infection that would NOT clear up even with IV antibiotics. The two photos below are from Cami's hospital stay during this escapade.

Because Cambria's surgery was scheduled for 4 weeks after we were released from the hospital we had to be EXTRA cautious about germs for fear that she would get strep again before her surgery. We did not want to end up back in the hospital again and have to postpone surgery and even her ENT didn't have a real clear idea of what we would do if she contracted strep again before surgery. Needless to say, the next month was stressful for all of us and included a lot of laundry, hand washing, hand sanitizer, clorox wipes, etc.

In between hospital stays Mommy and Daddy managed to escape for a MUCH needed weekend away to the Outer Banks for Jon and Crystal's wedding. We were so thankful to have the weekend together and to relax by the ocean, laugh together and just enjoy eachother's company without other stressors added in. Thanks to Gimi and Gipi McNamee for taking PERFECT care of our girl while we were gone!

We did sneak out to have some fun the weekend before her surgery thanks to Gimi and Gipi (Grandma and Grandpa McNamee) to attend Yo Gabba Gabba Live at the Patriot Center. As you can see from Cami's face below she was in total shock and disbelief that her favorite TV characters were actually live in front of her. We had a fun night and we couldn't have asked for a better stress relief for Cami and Mommy and Daddy the weekend before her surgery.

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 Cami went in bright and early to Fairfax Hospital to have her tonsils and adenoids removed and her ear tubes replaced. We were SOOOOO nervous for this surgery because of how risky it was for a child her age and the risk factors associated with bleeding, her SVT, etc. Cami was in surgery for just over an hour and we were so relieved when the surgeon came into the recovery area to let us know that all went perfectly. He told us that her tonsils were large and that her adenoids were blocking more than 75% of the back of her throat and that he was really glad he made the decision to do the adenoids too. We couldn't wait to get back to the recovery area to snuggle our girl and get recovery underway. Here are a few pictures from Cami post-surgery in the hospital.
The two weeks after Cami's surgery was a painful recovery for all involved. I (Mommy) took off work for the entire week after her surgery and boy am I glad I did. We had 5 nights of no sleep, 2 full weeks of gagging and vomiting, endless amounts of tears and pain, numerous bottles of tylenol and prescription pain relievers and LOTS and LOTS of rocking and snuggling. When Mommy had to go back to work Daddy took a few days and Gimi McNamee was an angel and took 2 days off of work as well to take care of our little angel. Although we were stuck at home dealing with a child recovering from surgery for two weeks we managed to get some Halloween preparation underway. We somehow managed to carve a pumpkin and roast pumpkin seeds (please excuse the bags under my eyes, my non washed hair and my sweatshirt that probably has throw up on's the glamorous life of being Cami's Mommy).

Almost two weeks to the day from her surgery Cami turned 2! On her birthday she was definitely feeling better and had more energy than she had since her surgery. I went out and got fresh Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast and she devoured an entire chocolate donut (don't worry - I made darn sure there weren't any rough edges on any pieces to harm her throat). She got 3 balloons and you would have sworn she had died and gone to heaven and she celebrated with having vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and caramel sauce since she still had to have a soft diet. Although we didn't have a party for her this year, we are thankful she will never really remember this and we promise to make it up to her anyway next year when she turns 3. :-)
Here's the birthday girl after her chocolate donut...

And here is our little 2 year old at her 2 year pictures. I can't post all 73 pictures but they all are AMAZING!
After surgery and birthday celebrations we really started getting into the Halloween spirit. Cami was a butterfly and she had an amazing time trick-or-treating. She would knock on the doors and we will work for next year on waiting until someone answers the door to say "trick-or-treat". We will also work on being less nosey about what is going on in other peoples houses when they answer the door with treats. Numerous times Cami was heard saying "ohh - they watching TV" and "look at the dog" or "they doing laundry". Ohhhh our girl.

Two days after our fun Halloween Cami spiked a fever and was feeling miserable. She developed a hoarse voice and awful cough and after a late night Pediatrician appointment it was confirmed that Cami had a bad case of croup. On the bright side - they also did a strep test at the Dr. because her throat was red but the strep test came back negative. Thank god - the surgery appears to be working! It was our first negative strep test in over a year. They gave Cami a dose of oral steroids in the Pediatricians office because of her labored breathing, I took off the next 2 days to snuggle and care for my sick girl and she appears to be back on the mend tonight. She still doesn't have much of an appetite but she is getting a bit more energy each day. Here she is snuggling on the couch with her big brother.
Okay - I think that about catches us up to today. Now hopefully I can post as things happen rather than waiting for another marathon photo montage post. Thanks for hanging in there and catching up with us!! Here's to Cami's third year of life being the healthiest thus far!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Look Who's Two!!!

Dear Cambria,

Wow - two years old! I can hardly believe the time has passed so quickly. When I look at this picture above of you in your new two year old body I am overcome with so many different emotions: an immense amount of love and adoration, sadness, fear and never ending amounts of joy and happiness. Let me explain...

Love. You are my definition of love. Every time I look at you I grow more in love with you. I think everyone that comes in contact with you loves you just as much as me. When we had your two year pictures taken (the photo above is one from this shoot) the photographer even said that you "stole a piece of her heart". You have that way about you. You are sweet, funny, caring, inquisitive, strong willed and becoming more and more independent by the day. There's really no other way to describe how much I love you. I just want you to know forever that I will love and adore you just as much in the future as I do today.

Sadness. Although I love to see you grow and change it makes me a little bit sad at the same time. In the two years since your birth our little family has been through a whole lot medical wise. Between taking care of your Daddy and you I feel as though I may not have enjoyed every moment with you as I should have. This makes me a bit sad. I wish I had a rewind button and could go back to relive and cherish every moment again and again. Also - as I'm sure every Mom agrees, it's just plain hard for me to watch my little grow up. Can't I just freeze you and keep you little for a while longer?

Fear. Look at you - you are ADORABLE. This scares me. Some day some boy is going to think the same thing and Daddy and I are going to be in trouble. I also fear that as you grow you will encounter mean people and things in this world and I want to save you from all of that. I fear that you will be let down and encounter sadness as you grow and change. Although I know its a normal part of growing up this gives me, your Mom, great fear. I NEVER want to see my little girl sad, hurt, broken hearted, etc.

Lastly, never ending amounts of joy and happiness. Look at your smile - you are the definition of joy and happiness. Despite all of your hospitalizations (SVT, cellulitis, strep infection, ear tubes, tonsils/adenoids removed) you are so happy and content. You are the most resilient and trusting two year old I know. You see the good in people and already at only two years old you show caring and compassion for others. Whenever someone needs a smile you are right there to offer one. It brings me so much joy and happiness to watch you learn new things. You LOVE to read and explore nature outside. Although you are becoming more and more independent you are still most happiest when Mommy and Daddy are close by. You have brought more joy and happiness into my life in the past two years than I ever could have imagined.

Cambria, thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching me so much about life and love in the past two years. I could not have asked God to have given me a more perfect daughter. You are my WHOLE world! Happy 2nd birthday - I love you!!!