Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Desperate Housewife?

Check out those earrings and high heels!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone the very merriest and a happy new year! May all your dreams come true!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Camp Little Rock

Every year I volunteer at a camp for visually impaired and blind children. This past summer, I took Cami out for a visit. She had a wonderful time. These are some photos I found on the Little Rock Foundation's website. You can learn more about the foundation and see more pictures from camp by visiting http://www.littlerockfoundation.org

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where'd it go?

Now... Then...

A new Cami recently invented is "Where'd it go?"... She'll take a object, a toy, a cup, an acorn, it doesn't really much matter, hide it and then look around and say "Where'd it go?" She uses just the funniest voice intonation and puts her hands up in the air in a questioning posture. Then she'll smile that cheshire smile that most two year olds are good at and say, "There it is!"... I think she knew all along!

When I think "Where'd it go?" I am usually thinking about the time. I look at this little girl, so beautiful, so confident, so full of life and I wonder what happened to the tiny, fragile baby that I brought home from China. Was it yesterday? Or was is it a million years ago..

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Picture People

The Picture People is a children's photography studio. About the time for Camille's second birthday portraits, I received advertising from the Picture People that they were having a special promotion called New Faces. In addition to special package prices (which were still expensive) you could choose a photo from the shoot to enter in the New Faces contest. Well, wouldn't you know, we entered our favorite photo from the shoot (it was hard to choose one, they were all really good) and Cami won! We received a certificate for a free photo shoot and photo package and the photo will be entered in the national contest in the catagory of children ages 1-3. The Picture People store also used Cami's photo for their display. I've added a photo of Cami sitting in front of her photo display at the studio.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Look who's TWO!

Okay, her official birthday is not for a few more days, but this past weekend we had a party to celebrate Miss Cami Rose's second birthday. We had a monkey themed party. Grammy even made sock monkeys for each of the children at the party (there were 10 total). We had a sprinkler party in the backyard. It was simple and everyone loved it. Happy Birthday Cami! We love you!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Goodbye old friend

So as not to disrupt the spirit of the blog, I am not going to dwell on this subject matter. But it is a significant life event for our family, so I thought I would mention it. Our Dalmatian, Rockie, died today. She was 14 years old. We all loved her dearly and she will be sadly missed.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006

A special day...

Camille spent exactly 11 months of her life in an orphanage. Although she was cared for, she was still an orphan. For 11 months she had no mommy or daddy. Today June 19, 2006 marks 11 months and 1 day that Camille has been our daughter. She has known the love of a family for longer than she went without. She knows what it is like to sleep in her own bed and wear her own shoes and her own clothes. She goes to bed knowing that if she cries, she has a mommy and daddy that will immediately comfort her. She has a family, including grandparents that absolutely adore her and love her more than even they believed possible. I can't imagine our family without her, she is just perfect. People tell me all the time what a lucky little girl she is, I have to disagree. WE are the lucky ones.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I am always amazed when I read other people's blogs. Some folks can come up with interesting and anecdotal things to write every day. I seem to have a more difficult time.

So, some time has past since our last entry. Cami 'graduated' from the Toddler program into the Two's program, although she will not be two until late August. Still, the school feels that she is 'mature' enough to move up, so she did.

Actually, the graduation was quite cute. Each toddler in the class was called out by name and walked (or crawled in some cases) across the stage to receive their diplomas. Most of the tots were starstruck. Dispite the practice sessions, it was was difficult for the kids to make it across the stage. Not my kid. She came out smiling and waving as if she had just won the Little Miss NJ pageant! Gotta love it!

So today was the first day in the new classroom. The first official day of the summer program. Except for one new little girl, all of the faces in Cami's Two's class are the same faces from the toddlers. Once again, Cami is the youngest in the class. But she handled it well in the toddler program and I have no doubt that she will be fine. This morning while E... and H... were clinging to their mothers, my Cami waved and shouted "bye-bye" when I brought her into the new classroom. Yes, she will be just fine.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Today is an important day to remember a woman who Cami once knew but will never really know. A woman whom I have never met, but to whom I will be forever linked and eternally grateful. Today we remember a woman in Hunan, China who carried a child she met only once and will never get to see grow, thrive and change. As sad as sounds, it is Cami's reality. And we hope, one day, she will understand what a gift her birth mother gave to her and to us. Today, and every Mother's Day, we light a candle and remember Cami's birth mother.

In the stillness of the morning -
In the hush before the dawn -
A cry screams through the silence -
And a new life has been born.
And she wonders what will happen -
To her newborn baby girl -
How she wishes she could keep her -
And protect her from the worl.
But she knows that there are "others" -
Who would gladly give the world -
To have the chance to hold and love -
Her precious little girl.
And she prays to God for guidance -
As she holds that tiny hand -
With the desperate hope that someday -
Her child will understand.
So she bravely signs the papers -
And the tears fall from her eyes -
As she signs away her baby -
The light inside her dies.
One last kiss she gives her darling -
For the "others" have now come -
To claim the life she gave them -
Now a family has begun.
And with heavy heart she watches -
As they hold "their" little girl -
How she wishes she could somehow share -
A small part of their world.
But she knows this will not happen -
That for her it cannot be -
And always she will wonder -
About the child she'll never see.
NOW the times, they are a'changing -
And a new dawn has begun -
Soon ALL will be together -
With new hope for everyone.
~ ER Tomlin

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hokey Pokey

Today is an important day. Daddy has an interview for a job at a big university. Mommy is praying very hard that Daddy will be the candidate selected for the position. It would be wonderful for him.

Cami loves Elmo. This week at day-care, the "Hokey-pokey Elmo" was on the table when we arrived. "ELMO!" Cami squealed... she knew just what to do to operate him. She squeezed his had and he proceeded to do his dance and "shake it all about". After 3 consecutive dances Elmo said "Whew! That's a lot of Hokey-pokey... Elmo's pooped!" Cami looked at Elmo, then a me, then at her teacher. She lifted Elmo off the table and took him to the diaper changing station in the classroom. Ms. E and I laughed... Elmo pooped... Cami figured he needed a change!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

Happy May! The week was gorgeous! Cami had a wonderful time playing outside. I had no idea that a kid could get SO dirty! I think this is a just a small sampling of what the summer will hold.

We are preparing for the summer. I have purchased some summery clothing for Cami, although I am never really sure what size to buy since her growth seems to come in spurts. I bought a few things in 18 months and few in 24 months sizes. Only 2 weeks ago her 12 month size clothing still fit her fine. This week, those items are clearly too small. We still have lots of 12 month size summer clothing left over from last year. Because of her petite size and small waist, I think a lot of the shorts will be fine. My concern is that the tops will be obviously too small.

It's hard for me to believe that things have already come almost full circle. We received our referral (Cami's photo and information) on May 25, 2005... Has it really been a year already?

Cami is showing signs of interest in potty training. I am the one who is rejecting that. Take a baby out of diapers and you have a kid. I guess I'm not ready to give up my baby yet. Besides, where do you find undies for a kid who wears size 3 diapers?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Better Today

Cami is finally better today. Things have "normalized" and she acting much better. The weather is getting warmer... it's getting nicer out. Monday is May Day and the kiddies at the daycare center are having a hat parade. Our project this weekend will be to work on a hat for the parade. I'm thinking papier mache... we shall see how that goes!

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Is there anything that makes you feel worse than a sick kid? Poor Cami. She must have a bug. She made it through the day yesterday, but this morning she was still reeling from the ill effects of having diarrhea without much of an appetite. She was not interested in dinner last night and went to bed at 7:00 pm. She ran only a very low grade fever. This morning she woke up and I took her temp... 97.5F, but she seemed groggy. A bit of Pedialite and a cereal bar seemed to perk her up some, but it obvious that she is still a bit punk today. It makes my heart ache.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Rough Start

I could smell the explosion before I even got up the stairs this morning. Cami had a major blow out overnight and it made for a rough morning. After I got the poor soul cleaned up, I opened the windows to her room and put on the ceiling fan. It was a rough start to the day. I got Cami dressed and took her down stairs. I offered her a cereal bar (normally a favorite) and she simply said "No." She did drink some Fruit Splashers, which is juice flavored water for babies, and I was glad because I worry about her getting dehydrated. Cami is very petite. At 20 months she is about 32" tall and weighs around 22 lbs. But she is otherwise healthy. On the way to school this morning she was a bit whiny and I asked her if she wanted to see Ms. E, her favorite teacher. Again, the answer was "no." She pouted pathetically when I left. I hope her day gets better from here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Bubblegum Machine

Cami is a pretty cool kid. She is really not a whiner... Very even tempered; just your general "roll with the punches" type personality. I am always amazed that she is so willing to eat whatever we're eating, play with any toy that's available and participate in any activity. When it's time to move on to something else, she simply does.

So you can imagine my surprise when had an incident over, of all things, a bubblegum machine. Cami usually doesn't ask for material goods. When we are finished looking at toys in the store, I simply tell Cami it's time to put the toys back on the shelf and say goodbye and she does. No drama, no questions asked. Until we found ourselves in a small shop that had a few bubblegum and toy machines. In the store, standing in front of the the machines was a little boy I would guess to be about 4 years old. He was whining and carrying on over the machines. Cami closed in on the boy and observed him quietly. Well, I guess the boy finally wore down his mother because she handed him a quarter which he promptly popped into one of the machines, cranked the handle, lifted the door and pulled out his prize, flashing it in Cami's face as his mother escorted him out the door. At this point, Cami was intrigued. She began cranking all the handles that she could reach and lifting the doors of all the machines. Nothing. She turned her head towards me, stuck her bottom lip out as far as it could go and began to pout.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Healthy, Wealthy & Wise

I got into a philosophical discussion about the education of toddlers with my friend, Dave. Dave has 2 grand-daughters; Abby is 5 and Madison is just a few months older than Cami Rose. All of the girls attend the same school but they are all in different classes. Dave is very pleased with the job the school does in early childhood education. (He is unpleased that Abby is behind in reading because his daughter regularly gets Abby to school late and she often misses reading time, but that is another story). Anyway, Dave is very adimate about early childhood education. I like the school because it is very close to where I work and because I feel it is a safe place for Cami to be. I am happy that the school has a good educational reputation, but I am not interested in having the world's smartest 2 year old as a result. I just want Cami to be happy, healthy and safe. It was a difficult decision to place her in day-care, but I am certain it was the "right" one.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Progress Report

As I mentioned before, Cami Rose is enrolled in day-care. Both Mike and I work full-time. Cami loves her day-care program which is run more like a school for tots than a traditional day-care. They have weekly lesson plans which include vocabulary and motor activities among others. What I didn't realize is that the day-care also provides progress reports and my parent/teacher meeting was this morning. Wow! Parent/teacher conferences for a toddler? I must say, for some strange reason, I was actually nervous!

Well, needless to say, the conference was a breeze. The head teacher (there are 3 in Cami's class) simply told me what a delight it's been to have Cami in school and what wonderful progress Cami has made this year. No kidding. Cami came home in July at 11 months of age. At that time was unable to do little more than lay around and eat. She took only a bottle and gagged on solid food. She did not have enough muscle tone to even sit up. She was like a tiny limp rag doll. We took her to the International Adoption Health Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where we were advised to enroll her in the state Early Intervention program. It was hard work, but she learned the basic skills she needed to begin to catch up to her peers. She started day-care in October. She was still unable to walk, but she crawl short distances and was eating some solid foods. Now, six months after she began the day-care program, she is right on track with her peers. We are thrilled.

Anyway, because of her small size and late summer birthdate, Cami will not move to the "Two's" program until September (some of the older toddlers will move into the "Two's program in June.) So Cami will able to enjoy the summer as a toddler, and I am really glad.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Empty Plastic Egg

Sometimes I think toddlers are more creative than the best professionals in the world. Here is one toddler's creative example of what to do with an empty plastic Easter egg...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Part of the Plan

Cami Rose was adopted from China. I dislike the movement that I see taking place; Chinese adoption is becoming the trendy thing to do. Celebrities have and are adopting from China. I've even heard comments that make my skin crawl like "We're planning to adopt from China before we have our own kids." Makes me nauseous even to see it in writing.

For us, Cami Rose is not an afterthought. Her adoption has nothing to do with infertility or second choices. She is not someone we added to our family to keep up with the Jones. She was always part of the plan. I saw a news magazine program more than 20 years ago when I just 12. The program profiled the population crisis in China and the growing number of Chinese orphans, especially girls. It was then that I first knew. And when the time was right to begin building our family, the first step we took was finding the right adoption agency and filling out an application. That was in June 2004. You will find the end result in the vingettes of this blog.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Slaughtering the Fattened Calf

Well, it finally happened. Last night Cami came barreling through our family room and fell right into a tray table. It happened so quickly that there was really nothing anyone could do. She began to cry the type of cry that kids make when they are truly hurt. I rushed over and picked her up to discover a face full of blood. I was a bit shocked by the sight; it looked like someone had slaughtered the fattened calf on her face! Trying to remain calm, I called Mike for a paper towel as I held my hand under Cami's chin in an effort to collect the pooling blood. My efforts were mostly in vain as the blood dripped from her chin onto both of our clothes. As I dabbed the paper towel, I tried to assess the damage. Where was the blood coming from? Her nose?... mouth?... chin? The amount of blood made her face look as though she had been attacked with a machete. Finally the bleeding subsided to reveal a tiny cut on her upper lip. To help stop the bleeding I gave her some ice, which she thoroughly enjoyed as she is also currently cutting her first molars (poor kid!)

Today she is fine. No worse for the wear other than a slightly bruised, fat lip. It could have been a lot worse... we are lucky.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Other Kid's Parents

My husband and I work full time. Cami, who is 19 months old, goes to a wonderful daycare/preschool. It's really top notch. In her "toddler program" they have a curriculum. The children learn new words, sing songs and make crafts; lots of crafts. We love the school and Cami does too.

Cami arrives pretty early and is subsequently picked-up pretty early in the afternoon. It is unusual that I see any other parents during my drop-off or pick-up times. Yesterday was an exception. Mrs. G was picking up her son at the same time I arrived to pick up Cami. We exchanged polite smiles at which time I told Cami, who was bolting for the door, "Wait a minute, Sweetie. Mommy wants to grab a wipe for your nose." It's no secret that childcare and runny noses go hand-in-hand. So you can imagine my surprise when Mrs G looked at me and said, "Yes, her nose is pretty bad today, but not nearly as bad as it was on Friday." I had no reply. Needless to say, I was shocked! Was Mrs. G keeping tabs on my child's nose? What was she trying to say?

I realize now that this is the beginning. A new chapter in my life and my roll as a parent. It's not enough to deal with my own child or other children, as the need arises, but as a parent, I will also need to deal with other kid's parent.

Lord, give me strength...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Computer Art

Cami's computer art!