Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dear Camden

Dear Camden,

Today you turned one year old. I! I can't believe it's been a year already. It has by far been the fastest year of my life. It was also a year ago today that I found out you came with an extra chromosome. I thought I would be a blubbering mess today, but all I can do is smile. I know I was not the best mommy to you at first and I apologize with all my heart for that. I don't want to rehash all those feelings in the beginning because I feel I have done that enough. Instead, I want to tell you how much you have changed our lives this past year. Your daddy and I have always been close and I had no idea that we could become even closer. You have connected us in a way that is truly special. We have learnd to focus on our blessings and to not let the trivial things get in our way. We realize every day just how lucky we are to have you and your brothers. I've really been amazed at how much your daddy has changed. He's never been the emotional all. He's always been affectionate but he never really shares what he's feeling inside. At our first Buddy Walk last month we were given these blue Ds awareness bracelets to wear. I took mine off later that evening and assumed your daddy did the same. A couple of weeks ago I noticed he still had his on. This is very unlike him. He does NOT wear any type of jewelry. So I chuckled and asked if he forgot to take it off. He looked down at it and replied "No, I like it. When I'm having a bad day I look down at it and it reminds me how blessed I am to have that boy in my life." Then he walked away. Every evening he holds you in the "spot" (in his arms while he sits on the couch and watches tv). I watch him stare into your eyes and I can just feel the amount of love there. It's really incredible and it still gives me chills. He looks forward to that time with you every day. I also see how much Carter adores you. I try to ask him at times if he wants me to take him on a mommy date and he always says "only if baby bubba can come too." He wants to do everything with you. He tells you he loves you everyday. I love that he only sees you for he perfect little boy that you are. You two will be the best of friends. Then there's me. You have brought so much happiness and love to my life. I'm a better person because of you. I see the world differently. I see people differently. I'm more compassionate now. Before, when I would see someone with a disability I would simply smile and walk on by. Now, I often take the time to stop and say hi. I want to get to know people better. I want to know their stories. I have learned to stop being so judgemental and to not jump to conclusions. I feel I can be a better friend, daughter, and mother. Because of you I have met so many new wonderful people. I have met many new women who will be lifelong friends. These women are amazing. They have taught me and supported me through so much. You did that. That is all because of you. I feel like we have been going a hundred miles per hour for so many months and we are finally starting to slow down. I missed so much the first few months of your life because my head was not where it needed to be. Once I was able to straighten that out, it has been absolutely wonderful and ful of joy. I want to savor each moment with you. I will always be here for you no matter what. I will be your biggest cheerleader and will always fight for you. I will help you reach your fullest potential. I promise to never take that sweet smile of yours for granted. I love more than any words could possibly describe. My heart smiles when I think of you...when I see you...when I talk about you. I am so unbelievably proud of you son. Happy first birthday to you!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Feeding And Teething

I wasn't sure when Camden would get his first tooth because I have heard kiddos with Ds tend to get teeth later. I'm not sure what the reason is for that (I probably read it somewhere and forgot) but that's what I've been told. Camden has been chewing on things since he was just a few months old and I never knew if it was due to teething or just wanting to chew. Well, now I KNOW he is teething. He woke up the other day with flushed cheeks and screaming like crazy. This is unusual for him. As he was yelling and telling me all about it I saw a huge swollen bump on his bottom gums. I was so excited but clearly the boy was not! This has been going on for a couple of days now and the tooth has yet to break through. It's close though. My baby will have his first tooth soon!

Feeding has been going better around here and that's a huge relief! It feels like Camden has never really wanted to eat and only did it just to survive. We started baby foods a while ago but he was never really that interested. Some days he did good, and others he just flat out refused. We have only been doing breakfast and dinner for a while because he never seemed hungry. I guess in the last two weeks he decided he loved food and has been eating so much better! He now gets three meals a day with some snacks. He has cut down on his milk intake and I guess it's because he's eating more. He still eats mostly puréed foods because his mommy is a chicken and is afraid of giving solid foods. I'm terrified of him choking for some reason. I never had this problem with Carter, but it scares me with Camden. He has had a few bites of real food and did just fine, so I think I need to get over it. We have also been working really hard with a straw sippy cup for a while now. We do the straw because it is supposed to help with the oral muscles which is good for speech. I think that's right. I could be wrong on that too. I just know the straw is good for development. He has had no interest in this for the past few months. I wasn't sure if he knew what to do. Within the last week he has figured it out. I have to hold it for him, but he will slurp that liquid up. Now we just have to work on him holding the handles and doing it himself. 

Now that Camden can sit he is able to do so much more. We went to lunch with Kennedy and her mommy last week and he was able to sit up in a highchair for the very first time at a restaurant! We usually have to keep him in his car seat and he always gets agitated. Now he can join us at the table. He and Kenni sat next to eachother and had tons of fun even though they didn't pay attention to each other at all. 

We put our Christmas tree and decorations up this week. I know it's a bit early, but we weren't able to do this last year so we are extremely excited about it this year. Carter is at such a great age right now because he wants to be a part of everything. The look of excitement on his face is priceless. We have lots of great plans for the holidays and I'm so thankful that our family will be together this year.

Camden started up his Synagis shots this month. He will get one a month until March. As much as I don't like driving all the way to appointments, I don't mind this one because it will help to keep him healthy this winter. It's a good thing he is easily entertained and doesn't mind chilling in the waiting room!

Next week is his ENT appointment. I believe his doctor will decide if we are going to do tubes now or not. I'm okay if he does need them, but I worry about sedation and his heart. I'm sure it's fine, but you know how I stress about EVERYHTING! I hope the fluid in his ears is the reason for his lack of babbling. He still only makes the ba ba ba sound and just laughs at me when I work with him to make other sounds. One step at a time...that's what I try to tell myself. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Month In Pictures

Well I tried very hard to post every day during Ds awareness month. I did so good until the end. I only missed two days, but I was still disappointed. This past month has been so busy! I don't really feel like much got accomplished around here, but we sure have been on the go non stop! I thought I would just sum up the past month with a bunch of pictures and as little talk as possible. So, here we go!

It has been a huge milestone month here at the Hill house. Camden finally learned how to roll from his back to his belly. I was so obsessed with this for some reason and when I decided to let it go, he did it.

About a couple of weeks after the rolling, he started to sit up unsupported for long periods of time. Now he is becoming a pro at it! I'm super excited about this one because I really thought it would be a while longer. That's what I get for underestimating my boy!

Then...he started to actually move! He's been attempting to crawl! He gets up on all fours first, tries to go forward, and then always plops down. Since that doesn't work he just uses his straight legs to push forward. Hopefully I can get a video soon. Everytime I try to film him, he stops and looks at me like I'm nuts.

We also had a good weight gain month. He has been 15.5 pounds for almost 3 months and I really thought that's what he would be when he turns one year old. I guess I was wrong...again. He now weighs 16 lbs 3 ounces. He's still a peanut, but maybe he'll hit 17 pounds by his birthday!

One thing I also learned at that appointment is that it is NOT fun to give a four year old shots! This was the before picture.

We were able to make a zoo trip with our pals Evan, Stephie and Aaron. It was Camden's first time.

We also made it out the State Fair. It was a little chilly, but tons of fun. I ate way too much of course, but that's what it's all about! Right?!

We attended our first ever Buddy Walk this year. I had no idea these even existed until after I had Camden. They are held in a whole bunch of different cities and it is a way to celebrate Down syndrome awareness month. There are lots of activities for the kiddos and the actual walk part of it is short. We went to the one in Abilene because we really liked the people we have met there. One of my friends I have met on this journey was so sweet to have us over for dinner the night before. We have really connected with some awesome folks.

We went to a second walk in Arlington the next weekend. I was really excited because I got to see a few of my Rockin Mom friends and their babes.

We were visited by Iron Man and a sweet lil pumpkin for Halloween!

This mommy got to have a "me" night and did the Bad Prom Run with my girls.

All in all, it has been an excellent month! A lot of good things happened and much fun was had. November already looks to be just as busy with Pulmonology appointments starting up again, ENT appointment, Thanksgviging, Camden's first birthday (yep...already), hubby out of town for hunting season, and whatever else can be thrown in there. I'm over the top excited for the holidays coming up because last year we spent them all in the hospital. So this year we will be going overboard! Can't wait! Now I just need to catch up on my blog reading!