Friday, December 5, 2008

I learned something today...

I learn something new about being a mommy just about every day. Today I learned that if your child is on an antibiotic that makes him have diarrhea, no matter how much he wants to, the jumperoo is just not a good idea. Combine poop that is quick and abundant in its arrival with all of that jumping in the harness...it doesn't matter how quickly you react, that stuff is everywhere in a matter of seconds. Just thought I'd let you know what I did this afternoon. :o)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Family Traditions

First, I have to say thanks to Ryan for that sweet post on 11/25. I am eternally grateful to have the opportunity to stay home with Camden and I so appreciate his willingness to work hard and to make those little sacrifices to give me the chance to do so. Having come from a job where I had formal observations on a semi-regular basis, it's been a change for me to be in a "job" where I may not know the results of my performance for many, many years. Hearing from him that I am "at or above expectations" was very gratifying...so thanks.

Thanks for indulging me...now, for my post.

Every family has their holiday traditions. You know, those things that you have to do during the holidays. For my family growing up, it was White Christmas. Every Christmas Eve we would all sit down and watch the movie together - reciting many of the lines as the movie played and of course, my parents would always sing the "Mandy" song to me and Maria and I would always sing the "Sister" song - it just wasn't Christmas until we had seen it.

When it comes to being sentimental, I am not a "things" person. Perhaps it comes from living in an apartment where space is a highly valued commodity, but I am not into tchotchkes, I don't really collect things, I read magazines and newspapers ASAP so I can get the clutter out of my house (that I come by honestly from my Granny Wagoner) and I don't need a trinket from every place I travel to remind me that I went there...that's just how I am.

In the last few months (i.e. since Camden's arrival) I have been slightly more sentimental...but only slightly. I still don't want Precious Moments figurines scattered all over the house, but I am keeping a few things to put in his scrapbook and I've decided that if it's sentimental and it can serve a purpose - not just sit around and help me earn my "professional dust collector" title - then it can stay.

Another thing I have learned about traditions is that when you have a baby, traditions have to be flexible because they have to change. Since Camden isn't really old enough to remember all of it this year, we've decided to go to NC one last time for the big day. Next year, we'll stay home and do Christmas morning and the whole Santa thing at our home and then head to NC after the holidays. While it's exciting to start thinking about what we'll do as our family traditions, it did just dawn on me that next Christmas will be the first one in my then 32 years on this earth that I have not seen White Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve. I know my parents will be flexible and that even though they'll still watch it on Christmas Eve, they'll watch it again with us when we get there. It is a little sad...but at the same time I am excited about what will be our family traditions.

One tradtition that has been ours for the last few years is Rudolph. I don't know why that choppy, clamation story has been so important to me, but if I don't see it...it's just not Christmas. And for some reason, even though I have it on DVD, I still have to see it on TV with all the commercials. Ryan found out when it was coming on a few weeks ago and it's been on the calendar as a night that he couldn't work late...he too knows the significance of this night.

So last night, we sat down as a family and started what will be one of our family traditions. We watched Rudolph together. Okay...I mostly watched Camden watch Rudolph...but still, you get the picture.

In the years ahead, I am looking forward to watching Camden perform in the children's program at church, waking up at the crack of dawn to see what Santa has brought and eating Christmas tree shaped pancakes on Christmas morning...but I don't want to hurry those things...right now, I just want to enjoy my baby's first Christmas - which can officially happen now that we've seen Rudolph. :o)

Merry Christmas to all of you and whatever it is that "makes it Christmas" for you, enjoy it. Enjoy also the time you'll have with friends and family as we celebrate what "makes it Christmas" for all of us...the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Tribute To A Wonderful Mother

This being my first blog post, I thought I would devote it to a very important topic: what a great mother Mandy is to our son. You'll have to indulge me and let me brag about my wife a little. I had always thought she would be a great mom; she's funny and silly and very compassionate. She's also very patient. I've never seen her lose her cool, even when Camden is at his fussiest. She's flown by herself with him several times and she's had 3 hour layovers in Chicago and Denver. She's always well prepared for these trips, with toys and books packed to keep Camden occupied. She and Camden breeze through airport security better than most business travelers. She keeps this blog updated and uploads pictures to CVS, so that our parents in NC can pick them up at the store. She takes him to all of his doctor's appointments and has gotten him on a nap and eating schedule. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Camden and I are both very fortunate to have such a wonderful woman as a wife and mother. Mandy, we both love you very much and are very proud of you.

Ryan and Camden

Thursday, November 20, 2008

These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

Camden and I just returned from a trip back to Omaha...and those changes in latitudes introduced Camden to cold weather and multiple layers of clothes. There really wasn't a change in attitude...I still don't like the cold. I was relieved when we landed in Dallas last night and it was 78 degrees! :o)

We went back to visit friends and to have Camden's pictures made by the same fabulous photographer that did his newborn shots. The church we used to attend was having their Thanksgiving dinner the night we arrived so we were able to see and reconnect with lots of people. I hardly saw Camden the entire evening. He kept getting passed from one person to another all night. Fortunately, he's just on this side of having "stranger anxiety" so he was okay with not being in my arms...but he made certain he could still see me no matter where he was in the room. I did manage to escape for a moment and go to the restroom...only to return and find him licking chocolate icing off the fingers of "Uncle Brian" - I would have been concerned except for the fact that "Uncle Brian" is the doctor that delivered him and was his doctor for the first few months of his life...so I guess if the doctor doesn't think it'll hurt him then it probably won't. Although, since Brian became a grandpa this summer, I am quite sure that he had slipped out of the "doctor" role and into his newly acquired "grandpa" role for a moment...

Camden and I had lunch with friends on Monday, stopped by my old school and see everyone and go out to lunch with a friend from there on Tuesday, swung by a friend's house and visit with her and two of her kids Tuesday afternoon and then I was able to go Jazzercise by myself (thanks Emma!) at my old - and greatly missed - class and then out with the gals from class for dinner. Between friends at church, lunches and working out, it was a great trip and it made me miss the friends I have there...but I still don't like the cold weather. :o)

While we were there, we stayed out on the hobby farm of our friends Roger and Denise Friesen. This is the family that always kept Millie when Ryan and I would have to travel. They also opened their home to us while we were in the transition stage and had closed on the sale of our home in Omaha but weren't yet able to head to Dallas. When we stayed with them back at the end of June, they had just had some baby chickens hatch and we took Camden's picture with one of the baby chicks. While we were there this weekend, Camden and the chicken were reunited and we took more pictures of them together...it's kinda cute...




























They've both grown quite a bit in the last few months!!!

On a side note...I am flying alone with Camden in December because we've already laid those plans...but that may be my last solo trip with him. He's entering that stage between being a baby and being a toddler...I've heard it called "destructo-phase" and I am starting to agree. Luckily I had empty seats next to me on three of our four flights this time...but that last leg last night was rough. I exhausted every item in my "bag of tricks" and we tore through half a Sky Mall magazine and a banana but it still wasn't enough to keep the screaming at bay. I'm either going to need Ryan's help or pack a few doses of Benadryl in my bag of tricks next time. :o)

Friday, November 7, 2008

A new spin on an old fairy tale

So you've all heard the story about Little Red Riding Hood and how she met up with the big bad wolf with his big ears, his big beady eyes, and his big sharp teeth. Well, this is our new version...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Once upon a time there was a "not so little 'cause she still needed to lose a good bit of that baby weight, red-headed (not hooded) princess" named Mommy for short. She lived in an enchanted apartment covered with a fine layer of dog hair with her handsome Prince Ryan. Every morning she would get up to spend her day caring for the really big, but not-so-bad, monkey (see pictures from Halloween post if you don't know why he's a monkey) that slept in the bedroom down the hall.

Each morning she would enter the room where the monkey was sleeping and as she would peer over the side of the crib, the monkey would greet her with the biggest smile you can ever imagine...what a great way to start each day.

And, every morning, Mommy would say to the monkey, "My, what big ears you have...you must have gotten those from the Wagoners." The monkey would just keep smiling back at her and think, "Better to hear you and obey you when you ask or tell me to do something every time, every day my entire life long, my dear". (Hey, this is my fairy tale...I can write it with a wishful heart...)

Then Mommy would say, "My, what big, beautiful blue eyes you have!" The monkey would smile again and think, "Better to bat at you when I don't do everything you ask or tell me to do so that I can get away with it, my dear." (Wishful, yes...but I am in touch with reality too...)

And that's usually where the story would end...with a diaper change, outfit for the day, and they'd be on their way...

But this morning, when Mommy looked at those smiles, she saw something she'd never seen before. This morning, Mommy said, "My, what big TEETH you have!" The Monkey just smiled back at Mommy and thought, "Great, bring on the sirloin...that runny baby food crap is disgusting, my dear!"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Yep, you read it right, Camden has teeth. He's been really cranky the last couple of days and whenever I'd touch his gums to check, he'd pitch a fit so I knew they were sore and that it would only be a matter of time... They are just barely through so, unfortunately for him, the sirloin is still a long time coming. And because they are just barely in and because he won't hold still long enough for me to get a good look, they are too hard to get a picture of. However, I can definitely feel them when he bites me. :o) And even with just a little bit through, it makes him look like a different baby.

For those of you family members that are reading this, I am sure by the time we get home for the holidays they'll be easy to see and will probably accompanied by a few more, but if they are in to the point that I can get a good picture between now and then, I'll make sure to post one (and if I can get said picture, I'll send one to each of the grandparents as soon as I have a chance ...no need to remind me).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
So Mommy spent her day giving the really big, but not-so-bad monkey frozen washcloths to chew on a little Orajel to sooth the pain...and they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little Man

I just wanted to share a couple of pics of the most adorable kid on the planet. I know, I know...all my mommy friends just took the defensive knowing that their kid is more adorable...but you have to check out these pics before you make your final decision. :o)

We joined a church here in Dallas today and since we knew that we'd be presented for membership to the church body, we made sure to dress in our Sunday finest this morning. I don't know why we even try anymore...Ryan and I could have been wearing potato sacks as we stood up there today...with a kid this cute, no one even noticed us. And I can guarantee everyone will be asking us our names again for weeks to come, but everyone knows Camden for sure. Wait, they won't need to know our names...we're just "Camden's mom and dad"...we don't have names anymore! :o)

Our Little Man...


















Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat!!!

We just wanted to share a few "treats" from Camden's 1st Halloween. He wasn't able to stay in his costume too long...the monkey suit wasn't really meant to be worn when it's 82 degrees outside! It hard to believe that Halloween was canceled a few years ago in Omaha because of all the snow...what a change being a few states south can make!

There are also a couple of pics from our pumpkin carving play date last weekend.

On a side note...Ryan and I were quite under the weather this week, but we think we've managed to get through it without Camden getting it too. Hopefully we won't wake up tonight with him being sick...that would take Halloween "tricks" to a whole new level!

Happy Halloween!



Ryan and Camden carving a "baby Jack"



















Mandy and Camden carving pumpkins











What a cute little monkey!!!















Camden at our church's fall festival













Camden and his pal Zachary...two cute little monkeys!

Monday, October 20, 2008

B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Okay...so all my mommy friends cautioned me about introducing the fruits before the veggies for fear that Camden might not take to veggies if offered the sweet fruits first.

We've had peas, carrots, and green beans. Thinking that some sweeter veggies would be a great transition to the fruits, we've also had squash and sweet potatoes. How'd Camden do with those you ask? Take a look at my kid...he obviously has no trouble eating.

That all changed with the bananas. Not a big fan of those...

Bananas from Mandy Jo on Vimeo.

I'm not complaining...I'd much rather face a future of trying to get my kid to eat his pears than to eat his peas.

Just because it's hilarious...

This is what you get when you have a kid with three chins that doesn't mind if you use them to entertain yourself and others...


Three Chins from Mandy Jo on Vimeo.

Dorothy said it best...

There's no place like home.

And that's where we've been for the past couple of weeks. Ryan, Camden and I left Dallas on October 3rd and headed for North Carolina.

Our trip began with a Saturday at our alma mater, Western Carolina University, for Ryan's 10 year college reunion Homecoming game. We went with Ryan's mom, my parents and my sister. We tailgated, we watched the Catamounts lose, we listened and watched the phenomenal band, and we burned in the fall sun. We celebrated Ryan's birthday there and then went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant from my college days...okay, my favorite one that wasn't delivering pizza at 3 a.m.

The day after the game, Ryan, his mom, Camden and I headed to Holden Beach, NC to spend a week with Ryan's brother Derek, his wife (my sister-in-law-in-law, or SILIL for short) Jen, their son Jay (who's only 20 days older than Camden) and Jen's family.



It was Camden's first trip to the beach and I think it went well. He ate about 3 pounds of sand, but he doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear so I'm not worried about it.






We had a fabulous time. Jay and Camden were pretty much the source of entertainment for the entire week. When they weren't just playing on their mat and being cute, they were posing for pics on the beach being even cuter.

Between the book reading, the junk food munching, the cards and board game playing, and the walks on the beach, there's no way I can complain about a single moment of the entire week. Okay...one complaint, Ryan had to leave on Wednesday and go back to Dallas. We all wished he could have stayed longer. But...with Ryan gone, and the kiddos with the grandparents...Jen and I even managed to escape for a day to go shopping and out for lunch without babies in tow.

After the week at the beach, I headed to Elkin to spend a week with my family. It was a great week there too. I got to be with my entire family one day to celebrate my youngest brother's birthday and then the rest of the week was spent just hanging out - a day in the mountains with Mom, Dad and Maria - hiking near the viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway - a day shopping and eating out with Mom, a day with my grannies...sometimes the best times are just being with family...and not doing much of anything.

After a couple of weeks at my favorite place...home...I am reminded that the best things in life aren't things.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Busy...busy...busy...

Oh my goodness...where does the time go? I just turned around today and it was OCTOBER! I can't believe that Camden is over 6 months old now. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital - so much has changed since then - where we live, where we work, the size of our kiddo...

At Camden's 6 month check up he weighed in at 18 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces with a length of 27 inches. Both of those are in the 60th percentile - a far cry from that less than 3rd percentile he was in at 2 months old! This past Saturday (9/27) marked this 6 month milestone and with it we added peas to the menu and he also rolled off the couch. He dislikes the peas way more than he disliked falling off the sofa! :o)

We've also done a lot of exciting things these past few weeks. Our previous post told you all about the Children's Museum in Boston but here are a few other shots from our Boston trip...



In Boston Commons reading
"Make Way for Ducklings"
with Aunt Doody







In line with the duckling
statues in the park -
Jack, Kack, Lack,
Mack, Nack, Ouack,
Pack, Quack...and Camden







Dinner...where everybody
knew our name...







We got back to Dallas late on Wednesday night so we rested up for a few days because on Sunday, Ryan got to use his first Father's Day gift from Camden...his tickets to the Cowboys vs. the Redskins game at Texas Stadium.

We had a great time. Our tickets weren't nearly as "nose bleed" as I had anticipated and the crowd around us was a nice mix of fans from both teams...so we didn't fear for our safety as the clock ticked away to a Redskins victory...


Camden in his Redskins romper.
A Cowboys fan behind us kept
yelling "child abuse" and calling
for Child Protective Services to
come take us away...
very funny :o)




Two of the cutest guys on the
planet enjoying a Sunday
afternoon of football







A happy family celebrating
the Redskins victory!






We're headed to North Carolina this Friday for a week at the beach with the Foster family and a a few days in the mountains with the Rogers family. We're anticipating lots of fun times that we'll look forward to sharing with you as soon as we get back!

Oh...I almost forgot...after posting Camden's 2 and 3 month "measurement pictures", several of you requested that I continue to post those monthly shots...here are the 6 month ones:



With Freckie...Ryan's old Pound Puppy from his childhood days











With his dog that Oma and Papa
gave him...we're still trying to
come up with a name for him...

Monday, September 22, 2008

You're never too young...or too old...

Camden and I spent the morning at the Boston Children's Museum. Camden enjoyed it a lot more than I thought he would - I feared it would be a little too "old" for him, but the temperature is only 59 here today so we were looking for something to do indoors. I was pleasantly surprised with the museum. There were several "exhibits" that catered to the "younger crowd" and he really got into a few things. Besides, I loved playing in the bubble room just about as much as he enjoyed seeing all those bubbles. Here are a few pictures from our day...unfortunately, I am not talented enough to make the bubbles and take pictures at the same time, but there are shots from some other exhibits we enjoyed.

We're still in Boston, so the post with all the info about this exciting journey will come later. I just had a spare moment while Ryan's at a conference session and Camden naps to post these...

Enjoy!!!






On our way in to have some fun!!!










Camden enjoying a pinwheel at
the wind station.










Playing with a puzzle...he's really good at getting the pieces out of the puzzle, but he wanted to put them in his mouth, not back in the puzzle! :o)







Tummy time on the "city map"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Through the lips and over the tongue...watch out tummy, here it comes!!!

Today marks a momentous occasion in Camden's otherwise short life...solid foods!!!

Camden really started showing signs this week that he was ready for foods...reaching for my fork while I was eating, wanting to hold his own bottle, watching my every move as I ate, etc. But I wanted to wait until we were back in Dallas so that Daddy could participate. After I returned from NC late last night, we began to prepare ourselves for the big event:

High chair...check
Cute little bowl...check
Ergonomically correct spoon...check
Box o' rice cereal...check
Warm formula to mix in...check
Video camera charged and ready...check
Millie on standby to clean up messes...check and double check...

By the time we got everything set up and ready, Camden was beyond waiting on us. As soon as I tried to start feeding him, he wanted to wrestle the spoon away from me and do it himself...Mr. Independent rears his little head!

I held on to the spoon for the most part and he actually did a pretty good job. Most of the food went in his mouth. What didn't make it there was mainly b/c I did give in and let him have the spoon every now and then - when I did, he would bang it on the high chair tray to notify me that he would like something more on that spoon, and what little cereal that remained on it would go flying...but, as you can see from the checklist, we did have Millie on standby and luckily she seems to like rice cereal almost as much as Camden does.

Here are a couple of videos to show how things went. The first gives you a taste of what we heard from Camden if I didn't get the spoon reloaded quick enough...

Yummy yum!!! from Mandy Jo on Vimeo.

The second is a little clip of Millie getting in on the action. She was more than willing to clean up those hands for him - which he thoroughly enjoyed. I think she would have been thrilled if we let her clean up his face...but I should probably draw the line somewhere.

Millie gets in on the action from Mandy Jo on Vimeo.

Since taking the video and getting it set up to post, we've now had lunch and Daddy did that feeding. He did a better job than I did of getting it all in Cam-man's mouth and Camden became a member of the "clean plate club" - although one look at our little chunk-a-muffin and you'll see why we didn't anticipate eating being a problem for him!

We are family...I've got all my COUSINS with me!

Since this one is about Jay too, I thought it would be appropriate to use Jen's "song lyrics as post title" idea for the post - with a little necessary adaptation, of course... =)

Camden and I (Mandy) left Dallas on the 3rd for a 10 day trip to NC. On Sunday of last week, Camden was able to celebrate his first Grandparent's Day with his Oma and Papa and his Granna Jane.

We also wanted to see Uncle Derek, Aunt Jen and Cousin Jay but the trip from Elkin to Raleigh was just a little too far... Lucky for us, Uncle Matt and Auntie Anne live halfway between in Greensboro and we were able to meet there - along with Cousin Jay's other grandma, LaLa (Laura). It was a wonderful afternoon spent by most playing a fun game called "pass the baby" while Jen and I were able to get some rest for our aching arms and have some meaningful, uninterrupted, adult and way overdue SILIL (sister-in-law-in-law) conversation.

As time to leave neared, we decided to get the boys together for a little impromptu photo shoot. I just wanted to share a couple of those with you...


Jay isn't usually interested in his own pacifier...but he sure was into in Camden's! Lucky for us, Camden doesn't mind sharing. Let's just hope it stays that way when it's time to share toys!!!




Quite possibly the most adorable picture of cousins ever! I just keep hearing that song from Toy Story, "You've Got a Friend in Me" over and over in my head when I look at this picture!




I'm pretty certain that just before I snapped this picture, they were just scheming about all they plan to get into during our beach trip coming up next month!!! We can't wait!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

My first...

So I think my mom started this blog so that she could share things about me with our friends and family - especially those in NC and NE that aren't around all the time. I think her intentions were and are to share a lot of my firsts...you know, first words, first steps, first day of school, etc.

Well tonight I had a first that I felt like you all should know about...my first trip to Krispy Kreme!!! It really was torture being there and smelling those wonderful doughnuts being made and not being able to eat one. I tried persuading mom by telling her that since the "hot now" sign was on they would melt in my mouth and I didn't really need teeth to eat them, but she wasn't buying it. I think she just didn't want to share her doughnut with me...

I did manage to wear the famous hat and I must say, I make it look good...











I really tried for that doughnut...it was just out of reach. Mom kept dangling it in my face but I just don't have that hand eye coordination thing down to a science quite yet...


I did manage to get my hands on those wonderful toys mom always brings when we go out...I think she calls them feet...they are great fun!!!





I did manage to get my hands on daddy's coffee though, and it was fabulous...if I'd only been washing down that doughnut!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Look at me!!!

Since I am well on my way to becoming a big boy and it won't be but another couple of weeks or so until I get my first taste of something other than milk, mom and dad decided to give my big boy chair a test run.

Mommy's constantly reading all of these "advice" books, websites, magazine articles, etc. to get ideas for what to expect in my ever changing stages of life. Most of the good advice she's gotten though has come from her friends that are mommies and have been there, done that. She's in a mommies group here in Dallas and one of her new friends recommended that she not wait to introduce the high chair and the new food all at the same time - it might be over load to my otherwise not very exposed to lots of things self. Which is a good idea - I tend to have sensory overload on regular occasion. So we're going to do at least one meal a day in the big boy chair between now and my 6 month birthday when I get to start eating rice cereal (which my cousin Jay says is fabulous!).

I wanted to share with you how well I did with the experience. Really though, take one look at me, I don't really care where I am eating, as long as I am eating. She could probably stand me on my head and as long as that bottle is in my mouth I am good to go.

I also like to kick my legs - a lot - all the time - even when I am eating. I figure...why wait until the pounds are packed on to start working out. I say, work it off as it's going in...stay ahead of the game, that's my motto!

Check it out!


I'm a Big Boy! from Mandy Jo on Vimeo.

I am sure that there will be lots of things to post in the next few weeks, but definitely check back toward the end of September so you'll get to see how I well I've learned to handle the solid food - and to see how well mom and dad have learned to feed it to me!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

At the Zoo

Yesterday we went to the Fort Worth Zoo. My Granna Jane is in town for a visit so we've decided now would be a great time to see the sites of DFW.

Since I spent most of the day in my carrier seat locked into my stroller...all I really got to see were all the different tree tops and an occasional ceiling or two when we toured an indoor exhibit.

I did get to see the bears and I loved them. Mom took a video of me and the bears but unfortunately, we can't figure out how to turn it so it's right side up. So if you'd like to see the video of me and the bears, tilt your head to the left and hit the play button below...


Brown Bear, Brown Bear from Mandy Jo on Vimeo.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We were just hanging out on the sofa today after a long day yesterday in the ER. Mommy was feeling a little out of sorts but after a good night's sleep (thank you modern medicine) and a few smiles from me this morning, she's feeling much better.

She keeps taking videos of me with her phone when she thinks I'm not aware. She tries with the video camera but evidently I like being videoed and having my picture made even less than she does. She did manage to get this one of me today and, even more remarkably, actually got around to sharing it with you. It's not the best quality b/c she got it with her phone...but I just wanted to say hi!

And I know it's not polite to talk with your mouth full...but those fingers just taste so darn good!!!

Just a quick hello from Mandy Foster on Vimeo.

Am I cute or what?

Monday, August 4, 2008

You have to see this...

Last night I was going through some pictures on my camera so I could send some to NC for Oma and Granna and I thought I would share these two with all of you...

Since Camden's arrival, we've been taking his picture each month next to Ryan's old Pound Puppy, Freckie. I thought it would be nice to have a "sentimental measuring stick" next to him in each of the pictures. I've planned to take a picture each month until at least his one year mark (but maybe until he's two) and then catalog them all in his scrapbook. I thought it would be neat to go back and see the monthly progression of his growth and development.

Little did I know that the growth between months 2 and 3 would be quite so dramatic. Take a look...

Camden at 2 Months:
















Camden at 3 months:




















My friend Judy didn't see him very much between these two shots because of all of the moving to TX and traveling to NC so when she saw him at three months, she thought I had picked up the wrong baby sometime while I was in NC and brought a completely different kid back to Dallas.

But I'm sure he's mine...he's already sporting an attitude like the one I know I had when I was a kid...I've heard the stories over and over. Most of the time he's a perfect angel - sweet like I'm sure his daddy was when he was a kid - but he has his moments and I can't even get upset with him because I know he comes by it honest. =)

I just thought I'd share the pictures from when he was 2 months old and he was below the 3rd percentile for his weight and height. Now he's over 14 pounds and all the way up to the 30th for weight and 50th for height - it's true...things really are bigger in Texas!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What I Wouldn't Do...

Back "in the day" when I didn't have any kids and it seemed that all of my friends did, I enjoyed watching how they interacted with their children and I can remember all of the times I said to myself..."when I have kids..." Many of them had wonderful ideas on discipline, scheduling, potty training, etc. and I remember taking mental notes on a lot of things.

But it's also amazing what you think you will do, what you plan to do, what you say you will never do and then what ends up happening when you're in the driver's seat.

One of the things that I said I would never do - "the bragging competition."

I remember listening to friends, coworkers, acquaintances, etc. go on and on about the amazing accomplishments of their children. It was almost like there was some secret competition going on between them and they couldn't admit they were always trying to "one-up" each other. "My kid is talking...can you believe that...only 9 months old and already quoting Shakespeare." Which would be met with the reply, "That's really amazing (cue the rolling eyes)...my child is doing really well in his Little Gym class. His teacher thinks he'll be ready for the Olympic games in 2016 - he'll be the youngest gymnast in history!" OMG - give me a break!

I had already planned all of my well timed and well rehearsed remarks for when the day came that my conversations included comments like these from other moms.

For example, when Ms. Supermommy decides to inform me how her child only drinks organic juices and looks down her nose at my Juicy Juice juice box, my response will be..."good, they'll wash down those crackers she just ate off the sidewalk quite nicely."

When "Little Joey" is talking up a storm and Camden hasn't said a word, I'll just inform the crowd that he can talk too, he just doesn't want to show off.

And when push comes to shove, I'll just ask the doting mom if she'd just like to arm wrestle for the title "Mother of the Year" and settle it once and for all.

Yes...famous last sarcastic words.

Now that Camden is here and he's doing all of these really cute and amazing things...I totally get it. Not that rolling over is such a big deal when you look at the entire picture of things he'll probably accomplish in his lifetime, but considering all he's done up to this point is lay on his back and stare at the ceiling, rolling over is quite amazing - and I don't mind telling everyone I can about it.

His new favorite pastime is to have some of his "tummy time" inside his Boppy. He loves being able to look around.

Millie will often lay down in front of him and they just lay there and look at each other. I've got to get a picture of that...


He also makes this hilarious noise with his mouth - it's combination of shrieking and blowing a strawberry and it even makes him laugh when he does it. And that laugh is just intoxicating. I thought the smile was enough to send me over the edge, but that laugh just makes me melt.

He's by no means walking, talking, or even sitting up unassisted quite yet (believe me, if he was you'd have already heard about it and seen pictures posted here) but he is spending every day being the most amazing and adorable kid on the planet.

And yes, I know that all of you other moms just had the knee jerk reaction to "one up" me on that one with thoughts on your kid...and I totally agree - and that's the beauty of it. Because each one of us is so in love with our own kid and know just how amazing they are, we all want the world to know that we are the parent of "the most amazing and adorable kid on the planet." Which means that my child will get to grow up surrounded by all of your wonderful and amazing kids...and that's definitely something to brag about.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home

(Get the tune to Green Acres in your head...)

"Dallas, Texas is the place to be....Apartment living is the life for me..."

We started all the paperwork to get ourselves a house...and more importantly, a double vanity...but the inspection came back a little less than wonderful - think Tom Hanks in The Money Pit. Okay, it wasn't that bad - and we probably could have done all of the updates and fixes it needed and still come out ahead in a few years when it's time to move on - but with a four month old now and plans to have another one within a couple of years, we just didn't think it was the right time to take on a "project" house.

So we're back to hauling everything up and down the stairs in our townhouse for now. Which is fine...although Millie would argue that's since she's still without a backyard it is not fine...but she'll live and so will we.

We are getting more familiar with our new town and I am getting involved in more and more things with Camden. Granna Jane is coming for a visit the middle of August and we have lots of trips planned for between now and the end of the year (home in early September, Boston at the end of that month, home again in October, Omaha in November and home again for the holidays in December) so we should have plenty to do to keep us busy. I don't know if I should call myself a "stay at home mom" if I don't actually stay at home very often. =)

We just wanted to let you know that our address won't be changing again anytime soon. We miss you all and hope that we'll be able to see you during one of our many upcoming trips!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Long Awaited Pictures and More...

Several of you have asked for pictures...here's a link to a Picasa Album that has some photos from our trip home to NC earlier this summer and some miscellaneous shots from around Dallas.

Click here for pictures - then just click on "slideshow" to see all of the pictures with their captions.

In other news for the Foster's, we've made and had accepted an offer on a house and now we're just waiting on the inspection, the paperwork, and the closing date.

We hadn't really planned to move again so soon, but we found an area that we love (great schools, great location, etc.) and a great house at a great price so we couldn't pass it up. After being in a house with a yard for nearly two years, I really missed having that space for Millie and the stairs involved with this townhouse were just about to kill me. There have been several days where I wore my arms out at Jazzersice - totally forgetting that I had to carry Camden upstairs when I got home. Twice I even had to take him out of his carrier because I just couldn't carry them both at the same time. So forget all that stuff I said about the great price, location, etc...we're buying a house because I have no upper body strength. =)

Ryan's just plugging away at his job. His Texas license came at the end of last week so his work load just grew exponentially but he's loving every part of it so far so we can't complain.

Camden and I have been keeping busy with Jazzercise, house hunting, and a little shopping here and there. Other than that, we just kinda hang out and make googly eyes at each other. I make sure I do all the things you're "supposed" to do - give him tummy time, interact with him, etc. I try reading to him but he's far more interested in how the books taste than what the stories are about.

Other than that, there's not a lot going on. Just check back later and I'm sure we'll have updates on the house stuff.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Welcome to the Big D


We have arrived. After a month of my mom and dad dragging me all over the southeast, I finally get to sleep in my own bed again. I am sure you've all read the last post my mom did, so I won't bore you with the details of how we got from Omaha to Dallas via North Carolina...no, my parents aren't geographically challenged although you would think so looking at the TripTik they had printed.

I will update you instead on how things are going now...

I got to see my first Fourth of July fireworks this past Friday night. Mom spent most of the day trying to get me to say "Independence Day" - what an over-achiever...I am still working on getting my hand in my mouth on a regular basis..."Independence Day" is still a long way off...

I enjoyed the fireworks. I think the parental units were a little concerned about the noise...but I quickly eased their fears when I fell asleep 5 minutes into the 15 minute show. I woke up again during the finale but slept peacefully while we sat in traffic and then all the way home.

Saturday we spent most of the day driving around town looking at houses my parents have found on the Internet. I slept through most of that too. You'd think they would just like to be settled in one place for a while, but I think the lack of space in the apartment and the fact that my "big sister" Millie has no yard is pushing them to start the house hunt right away.

Today we started the hunt for a new church. This one I chose not to sleep through...at least not all of it. Mom and I spent about half the sermon outside in the foyer while I "decided" if I was going to sleep or not but Dad got to hear the whole thing and they both liked it. I really liked the music...granted, it wasn't as good as it was with my future father-in-law Rob, but it'll do. =)

After eating lunch today with Aunt "Doody" (Judy) and Uncle Tim, we drove around and looked at a few more houses (again...sleepy time for me) and then we spent the rest of the day just enjoying being home together.

I think I am going to like being a "Texan" - Dad says I am a Husker and Mom says I'm a North Carolinian by proxy, but take one look at that picture and I'll just end with a "yee haw" and you can decide...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Wheels on the Xterra Go Round and Round

This is our take on the classic "wheels on the bus" tune...

We "officially" left Omaha on June 7th and headed to Dallas. After a 10 hour 2-day drive stopping overnight in Oklahoma City, we arrived in Dallas on the 8th. The movers were here with our stuff that same day and we started the process of unpacking.

We didn't get very far though, because on June 10th, we loaded up again for an 18 hour 2-day drive to North Carolina. We were able to spend the night with our dear friends Ben and Charrisa in Meridian, Mississippi along the way (thanks again for letting us crash at your place!). Once we got to NC, Ryan, Camden, Millie and I spent the rest of the week together bouncing back and forth between visiting Ryan's mom and my parents. Ryan flew back to Omaha for a couple more weeks of work on Father's Day...

Camden, Millie and I hung around in North Carolina and continued to bounce back and forth from my family to his. I was able to spend some time with my siblings, my grandmothers, my great aunts, my Uncle Wayne and Aunt Betty, and also so see Ryan's Mamaw and his aunt Bonnie. Of course, none of these people wanted to see me, they were mostly interested in meeting Camden.

Speaking of the little guy...he's not so little anymore. In the time that we were home, he outgrew his diapers and all the clothes that I had taken home with us. And being the frugal gal that I am and knowing that he had a ton of clothes in his dresser back in Dallas, I just kept sticking all those arms and legs into those clothes for a few more days. =) I'll post a pic of him in his current state of largeness when I get a chance to get them off the camera.

Camden, Millie, my mom, my sister and I left North Carolina on Friday the 27th (this time doing the trip in 3 days - thanks to JoAnn and Ben in Hartwell, GA and Ben and Charrisa again for letting us stay with you on the way) and arrived back in Dallas on the 29th. Ryan finished up in Omaha and headed down on the 28th - doing the 10 hours from there to here in one day...it's a lot easier to do when you don't have to stop for feedings and diaper changes. =)

We're still unpacking boxes and getting settled in our apartment. Ryan started work today at UT Southwestern and Camden and I walked around the lake, took a nap, unpacked more stuff, and ran some errands. We're still working on finding our way around out here and we'll probably start looking for a home later this month.

We'll keep you all posted on the house hunting progress and how things are going with our new jobs - Ryan's at the Med Center and mine with Camden. Most importantly - because this is really the only reason you check this site - we'll update you with Little Man and we'll post some pictures soon.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Missing out

Sometimes I think it's unfair that I get to stay home with Camden and Ryan has to go to work and often has to go away on business trips and to professional conferences. I worry that he'll miss out on things - especially the "firsts" - you know, first words, first steps, etc... But in light of the events of tonight, I think that Ryan may be the "lucky one".

Let me set up the scene for you...

Many of you know that Ryan is in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend taking his American Board of Radiology exam. He's taking the third and final oral portion of the exam. He flew out early Saturday morning and will return tomorrow morning...gone just long enough to miss all the excitement...

The scene continues in that this is also the last weekend that we will be in Omaha. The movers come bright and early tomorrow morning to pack up the house and then they'll be back on Tuesday to load it all in the truck. And, since we are temporarily moving into an apartment, I had to spend the entire weekend sorting and marking every last item in the house as to whether it goes to the apartment or to storage. I hired a sitter for the weekend and I worked for about 8 hours on Saturday and then another 6 hours today and finished up the preparations by mowing the lawn one last time and doing the last load of laundry - not a long blade of grass or dirty piece of clothing remains. Needless to say, I am exhausted. I planned to label a few last things this evening after I took the sitter home and then I planned to go to bed early...see the previous post for what I have learned about planning to go to bed early.

The last thing you need to know about the set up - which will give away where this is headed - is that Camden is on a "poop every 10-12 days" schedule. There's nothing wrong...the boy just doesn't like to poop and since we don't like changing poopy diapers, we're not complaining about his schedule.

Now...here's what happened just as it was time for bed...

We're sitting on the couch, Camden had just been fed and I had just gotten off the phone with Ryan (who feels pretty good about his performance on the exam, by the way) and we were getting ready to head upstairs for our nightly ritual of pj's, nighttime prayers, time in the rocking chair, and then off to dreamland. Camden was having a little gas, but I didn't expect any action since he just pooped this past Thursday...which means we aren't due up for more activity in the under-pants until at least June 7th or 8th. About halfway up the stairs, he let out the biggest poot I have ever heard. If he had been in a farting contest with 100 adult males he would have walked away with the trophy no question. So we get upstairs and I lay him down on the changing table...that's when the most massive amount of poop I have ever see comes squirting out both sides of his diaper, covering the outfit he had - so much for clean laundry.

I quickly whip into action, trying my best to keep it contained but it was a lost cause. As I pull the diaper off to see the extent of the damage, I am hit with a smell so foul I just about passed out - and the poop is all over him, up his back, on his legs, everywhere.

As I turned to get more wipes, he begins to wiggle around...I just thought the poop was everywhere, thanks for proving me wrong...now it's all over the changing pad, then he gets his foot in it which he then kicks me with getting poop on my t-shirt. I am pulling wipes faster than ever and think I am starting to get the upper hand. However, sixteen wipes in and poop under my nails I realize that I am really making no progress so I decide to just go lay him in his tub and wash him off.

That's when I remember that I have sorted and piled all the bath stuff on one shelf in the closet so it can get packed tomorrow. I could get it all out, but what am I supposed to do with my poop-covered child while I prep the bath? Where is Ryan again?

Since my t-shirt has poop on it anyway, I decide just to pick him up and hold him while I get the bath ready. I pick him up and we get to bathroom just in time for him to pee on me. Even though I am a first time mom, I should have better sense than to not put a diaper on him, but I was so consumed by the poop thing, I totally forgot about that loaded pistol. Now not only do I have poop on my shirt, but I am wet all down the front.

I get the bath ready and I lay him down in the tub - and I promise you, he looked at me and grinned - the little booger. I decide selling him on eBay isn't really an option, so we carry on and do our thing - the bath is dome, he's all nice and clean - diaper on - and in his jammies. I take Camden to his room - which still smells horrible so I yank the changing pad, the absorbent thing that goes on it, and his clothes off the changing table and drop them in the sink in the guest bathroom and then I try to get him to go to sleep...which is what we started up the stairs to do almost 45 minutes earlier. He's just about out so I lay him down in his crib, back away slowly and walk out - leaving the door all the way open because that smell is just so putrid.

I stop by the laundry room to grab the Shout gel and it's off to the bathroom to tackle the linens. I soap, scrub, and rinse for about 15 minutes until I get all the poop off so that I can throw of these things in the washing machine and do what will now be my last load of laundry before the move. As the machine is filling up with water I add my Dreft and start loading things into the top. This is when the changing pad drops a big glop of turd in the water filling the machine - evidently it was hidden in a fold just waiting to make my night more challenging. The poop is quickly starting to dissolve in the machine and since I don't want to wash the entire load in poop water, I immediately lean over and stick both of my hands into the water trying to scoop out the poop - which is when I find out that I forgot to close the door on the cabinet above the machine. I smacked my forehead into the corner of the open door. Really...like the poop, bath, and laundry wasn't enough already? So I got to finish scooping poop out of the machine through the tears that welled up in my eyes when my forehead made contact with the corner of the door. But I fished it all out and got the laundry underway.

I really am looking forward to being home with Camden - to go to the zoo, the children's museum, and the park; to color, sing silly songs, and all the many other fun things that we will do. I am so fortunate that it's just as important to Ryan that I stay home as it is to me and that he's willing to live a lifestyle that affords me the opportunity to do so. But tonight as I sit here on the couch with a throbbing headache waiting for the laundry to finish washing so that I can get it in the dryer before heading to bed - and not at all early I might add - I say again, Ryan may be the lucky one this time.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What I've Learned...so far...

In my short 8 1/2 weeks as a mom I have learned a lot of things - some of them about my son, some about my marriage, some about myself - all valuable lessons. Here are a few tidbits of my newfound knowledge...

* I have learned that while I didn't believe it when friends told me...the memory of the pain of pregnancy and labor really do disappear the minute you hold your new baby in your arms.

* I have learned that being a mom is a lot of work - it is the most rewarding and satisfying job I've ever had, but it's work just the same.

* I have learned that the bond Ryan and I have is stronger than ever. We have this amazing little person that's truly part of me and part of him - and while it really doesn't matter which traits he gets from me and which he gets from Ryan, I do hope he has Ryan's metabolism and not mine.

* I have learned that while Babywise and Becoming a Baby Whisperer were good resources, my own mother is the most valuable resource on motherhood that's out there - but if you'd told me when I was a teenager that I would one day make this confession, I would have thought you were nuts.

* I have learned that it is possible to wash, dry, fold and put away an entire load of laundry with only one hand...and I give myself extra credit for doing the items that go on hangers.

* I have learned that getting up in the middle of the night to feed and then sit and rock my crying child is quite possibly the most precious time I have ever spent doing anything.

* I have learned to quickly tell the difference between a good disposable diaper and a bad one.

* I have learned that I don't have all the answers and that I often don't have any idea what I am doing, but that I am trying to be the best mom I can be and that's all I can do.

* I have learned that while my child may sleep all day, I still manage to get nothing accomplished and be completely exhausted at the end of the day.

* I have learned that people are way less interested in me than they are in my baby - while I was pregnant it was all about me - I got all the attention. But, since Camden has arrived, all the attention is on him. And that's the way it should be...even I am more focused on him than I am on myself...which also the way it should be...at least for now.

* I have learned that one night of sleeping through the night doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't going to be up several times the following night...and the next...and the next...and the next...

* I have learned that watching the evening news makes me worry for my child and all children - can they really be okay in this crazy world?

* I have learned that my husband is quite possibly the most tender-hearted person on the planet. Just watching him comfort, talk to, or even just change the diaper of our child makes me melt. And when they take a nap on the couch with Camden asleep on his chest...I come completely unraveled.

* I have learned that it's okay if the majority of my conversations with other moms revolve around breasts, poop and sleeping.

* I have learned that sitting on the couch watching your baby make faces and coo at you is far more entertaining than anything on television.

* I have learned that while I didn't think I could love Ryan more than I already did, when he got the title of "dad" my love for him grew exponentially.

* I have learned that when you say "I may go to bed early tonight"...it's pretty much a guarantee that you won't.

* I have learned that nothing is better than a baby just after a bath - all warm, cuddly and they smell sooooo good. I have also learned that babies are really slippery when they get that bath and that we must need more practice...I am sure that much water isn't supposed to end up on the counter and on the floor.

* I have learned that my child knows me and loves me - even if it is almost 9 weeks out and I am no where near back to my pre-baby weight.

* I have learned that I love someone with a love so deep and intense - I never knew I could love like this - and I have learned that I would not hesitate for a moment to give my life for his if the need ever presented itself.

* I have learned that I still have a lot to learn and that it's okay if I never know it all.

I have learned that I love being a mom.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Long time...no post

So it's been a while since we've updated you all on our lives with "little man" - but we'll get you all caught up now...

My parents came to Omaha for a week just as Granna was wrapping up her visit. My Dad (aka Papa) spent the week lovin' up on his first grandson and my mom (aka Oma - who had already been here for a visit) spent the week helping me around the house. Both of these activities were greatly appreciated. My mom also spent the nights getting up and rocking Camden and putting him back to bed after every nighttime feeding - which I REALLY appreciated. After getting up each day at the crack of noon, we spent most of our time awake just hanging out. We did manage to eat at a couple of my parent's favorite places in Omaha and they both got massages while they were here. I guess you could say it was a pretty good visit for them.

On the day they left to head back to NC, we (Ryan, Camden and I) also left for Seattle. Ryan had a conference to go to for his job and we love tagging along. So - another first for the scrapbook...this was Camden's first trip in an airplane. He did wonderfully - I nursed him during take-off and landing so that his ears would pop and the hum of the engines kept him asleep during most of the flight itself. We spent our time in Seattle just sightseeing and eating at some fabulous restaurants. I even broke down and had a couple of glasses of this amazing wine that one of the members of our dinner party had ordered. I don't know if it was the wine or just the exhaustion from traveling, but Camden slept 8 hours that night...so if he has trouble sleeping in the future, I may have myself another glass...or 12. =)

I've tried to make all of these "events" learning experiences for me - learning about myself, about my son, about my relationship with Ryan...What I learned about myself on this trip is that I have totally changed my view of nursing in public. Granted, there are those that just flop it out for the world to see and I tend to be more on the discreet side...but now that he's eaten on a plane (we kept joking that there was in-flight meal service for some on our flight), on a ferry, in a car and in the women's lounge at Nordstrom's...there aren't many places left for us to try out. We're looking for a train so that we can say we've hit the trifecta - planes, trains and automobiles...

The biggest new thing for us now is that for the first time in his 6 weeks of life, we are totally on our own. Until now, I've had someone (Ryan, my good friend Judy, my parents, Jane...) here at the house with me and now it's just me and little man all day together. In some ways it's really nice...I actually get to hold my child during the day. I was teasing my parents and Jane that it was a good thing I was nursing or I'd never get to hold my child. In some ways though, it's really a challenge. I am learning a lot about him and myself right now and I will post some of those revelations soon.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Visit with Granna

The day after Oma left, Granna arrived - my child is going to be sooooo spoiled. I've already mentioned our trip to Mt. Rushmore so you know Granna was on cork duty - and did a great job with it, I must say.

Once we got back from Mt. Rushmore, we spent the remainder of the week just hanging out around the house. Millie got a new "baby" from Granna and we sent shopping at Babies R Us where Granna just couldn't resist getting Camden some new clothes.

We had a great week traveling and just hanging out. After a week here and also hearing about all of the time Granna has spent with her other new grandson, Jay, I have a feeling that retirement can't some soon enough for her. I also have a feeling that traveling is part of her retirement plan...she's going to wear a path between Raleigh and Dallas for sure!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First Road Trip

So, what do you normally do with a three week old? Feed them, change their diapers, rock them to sleep? Sure, all those things are great. But for us, we decided that packing up the car and driving nine hours to Mt. Rushmore would be a fantastic idea!

Actually, it was much less eventful than we had anticipated. We scheduled time into our travel for feedings and the fact that we were in the car most of the time meant getting Camden to sleep would be a piece of cake. His Granna Jane sat in the backseat so she was on "cork patrol" so any time he lost the pacifier, she was on duty.

We saw the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD and then stopped at Wall Drug because you just can't pass that by. We drove through the Badlands and then spent two nights in Rapid City where we saw Mt. Rushmore, drove the Needles Highway and saw buffalo, deer and wild turkey as we drove the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park.

Now we're feeling really brave and we're planning our May 2nd departure for Seattle. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Camden flies on a plane as well as he rides in a car.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Visit from Oma


My Oma came to visit last week so I just thought I would post a couple of pictures from her trip to Omaha.

We had a great time. We slept every day until noon and then we usually just hung out here at the house or went out to eat...well, mom and Oma went to eat...I just watched and waited for my turn.

One afternoon we went grocery shopping. My mom seems to want pictures of every time I do something for the first time...and since pretty much everything I do is for the first time, there have been lots of pictures taken of me. Here's one of us at the grocery store. Oma decided I should have my picture taken with some vegetarian soup...she said she's starting early on me. =)

















We also went for walks around the neighborhood with Millie on the days it was nice outside. A couple of days it rained and was cold, so we just stayed in the house and spent some quality time together.

I am glad that we spent a lot of quality time in my first house, since we'll be moving out of it soon. Mom and Dad put the house on the market a couple of weeks ago and had an offer on it only 8 days later! Now that all of the details of the sale have been worked out and there are only a couple of loose ends to tie up, it looks like they are going to close on the sale on June 6th and we'll head to Dallas.

Lots of things will be changing and going on for the Foster Family over the next 6 weeks or so, so check back again soon for more updates!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rolling Right Along

So this past Sunday, we actually got up and ready in time to make it to the 10:30 worship service at our church. Okay, so we were about 5 minutes late...but we're usually that late anyway so we were really on time by our standards.

We started getting ready as though we were going to the 9 a.m. service figuring that would get us to the 10:30 service on time. I made sure to work in feedings so that I'd feed him right before we left and then wouldn't have to do it again until we got home...things were going great. I even remembered to wait and dress him in his first outfit for church (see photo above) after we'd done all the feeding and diapering...I really am getting the hang of this!

We packed everything we thought we could possibly need for the 1 1/2 hour excursion in the diaper bag (extra diapers, clothes, wipes, etc.), loaded up the car seat and headed down the road. Halfway there, Ryan (who's driving) realizes that he doesn't have his wallet or his watch...which he never leaves home without. We decide it's not worth going back for, since we're already running that 5 minutes late, and that I will just drive home. We get to church, find a great parking spot, and head into the worship center. This is when I realize that neither one of us have our Bibles with us. Of course, Camden slept through the entire service and I spent the entire service struggling not to join him (not that the service wasn't engaging...I just haven't slept a lot lately and it was nice and quiet in the worship center...).

Our 1 1/2 hour excursion ran longer than expected since everyone we knew wanted to see Camden and ask how delivery/coming home/learning to be parents was going. By the time we got home, he was hungry and in desperate need of a diaper change, but all in all, we survived.

On the heels of this success and feeling brave and adventurous, I have since been out to the mall on my own. It was almost weird to push a stroller through the aisles of Dillards...and I never realized how narrow they were until I tried to do so. I have also braved the aisles of Target and have been out to lunch with a friend. Ryan and I even went out for dinner with some friends Friday night.

Camden is such a great baby. He rarely fusses and when he does, it's only because he needs something (a diaper change, to be fed, a little lovin' from one of us) but other than that, he just hangs out with us, content as can be. During the day he naps a little but mostly just lays next to us and looks around at the world. And since he does such a good job at staying awake during the day, he's sleeping great at night - once he even slept almost seven hours straight - but that was only because his mommy slept through the alarm she set so she'd wake up and feed him (oops). While I felt guilty about him missing a feeding, I was really well rested the next day and that was probably good for him in the long run too.

My mom, his Oma, is coming to visit tomorrow, his Granna Jane is coming the following week, and then Oma is coming back again with Papa so I am sure there'll be lots to write about while they're here and lots of pictures to post. Until then...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Learning Curve

Ryan and I are learning lots of new things about being parents. We thought we'd share a couple of those things with you...

First, much to our dismay, we learned that a baby isn't supposed to sleep almost every minute of his life that he isn't eating. This was a real bummer for us. We kinda thought he should cry a little more and be awake just a little more, but we were enjoying the peace and quiet we just thought we were blessed with. Sleeping is a big part of their routine, but being lethargic 90% of the time...not so much.

The next thing we learned, again, to our dismay, is that babies should be going through dirty diapers at an amazing rate. Our little munchkin wasn't having anywhere close to the 6-8 wet diapers in 24 hours like he should, but we were just counting that as another blessing...not realizing that it meant he might be having some issues...

The last thing we've learned is that aren't supposed to look like they have one of those bad fake spray on tans. Since we've never been parents and haven't really been around little babies, we really have no point of reference in which to compare and contrast our baby with...but we were pretty sure his skin color wasn't supposed to match the "mango tango" Crayola crayon.

All of that led us to the Internet (what people ever did before it is beyond me...) to look up these symptoms and that's when we learned what jaundice is and how it decreases the number of dirty diapers, and how it can make babies really tired and make their skin turn colors. I had been calling him "sweet cakes" but I guess a more appropriate name would have been "carrot cake". =)

So, like all first time parents, we immediately loaded up the car and headed straight for the doctor's office. After a few tests, we found out that he did have jaundice and that is was already "severe" enough to admit him to the hospital for a short stay of light treatment and observation. We also learned during this time that it's actually not an uncommon thing for babies, especially ones that are breastfed, and that as long as it's caught and treated, it's an easy thing to manage and recover from.

So after a 48 hour stay in the hospital and some bright light therapy, we've come down 8 points on the scale - we're eating like a champ, pooping and peeing like a rockstar and getting rid of that fake tan. We still have a little ways to go with it, but we're headed in the right direction and that was good enough for the doctors to let us come home.

The other thing that I have learned in this is that Ryan didn't find the lullaby I chose to sing to him as I was feeding him nearly as funny as I did...I just thought the lyrics "they call him mellow-yellow" seemed very appropriate at the time. =)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sleepless in Seattle

But not in Omaha...

I don't want to jinx ourselves or count our chickens before they hatch, but we survived the first night home with great success. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy getting up out of my nice warm bed through the night to feed and change our new addition, but the demands of our little one are like clockwork and that made it much easier on his mommy and daddy. Right now he's on the "every three and a half hours" schedule and I am thrilled about that. Between his routine and help from his amazing daddy, mommy woke up this morning a lot more rested than she anticipated she would.

I know he's still in the "sleeping" stage and that eventually he'll get a little more energized, but I am going to enjoy this while it lasts...

On tap for Camden today:
1. eating
2. sleeping
3. diaper changes

On tap for mommy and daddy
1. naps

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hello World


I was going to post our big news, but someone else made me let him do it...

Hi - this is Camden Matthew Foster and I just wanted to introduce myself to all of you. I know you have been waiting, some more patiently than others, for my arrival and now the waiting is over. I came into this world on Thursday night at 6:25 p.m. (central time) weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces and I was 21 inches long. All of the nurses seem to think I have my momma's eyes, but the rest of me I owe to my daddy's dashing good looks.

We came home from the hospital today and I got to meet my big (four legged) sister Millie who was quite excited about my arrival. She seems to be mellowing out a little now...but if I want to see her get out of sorts, all I have to do is crank up my lungs and cry a little and she'll come running and whining to see what's wrong. I think I will have her wrapped around my finger (just like I do my momma and daddy) before too long.

I am having lots of fun and doing a great job getting adjusted to this new world and my mom and dad are having fun learning to do a very difficult job with very minimal sleep. I will keep them on their toes and keep you informed about how life is going for me. Take care - I can't wait to meet you soon!!!

So there you go...that's our big news...we'll keep you updated on how life with baby is going. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers...your phone calls and emails...and your words of encouragement over the last few days and weeks. We love you all!!!