Saturday, January 31, 2009

A BIG Surprise

Sometimes it is really tough being a parent. The news is full of depressing stories and we live in fear of something ever happening to our kids. Just when I start to wonder what kind of world I actually brought my children in to, I am suddenly and surprisingly reminded of the goodness that surrounds us.

The support system that surrounds our family is amazing. We have never felt anything but unwavering love and kindness from the moment we discovered that something was wrong with our unborn baby. Since Seamus has been brought into our lives, I have worried, of course, about him facing difficulties as he grows up. But I have also celebrated the fact that he is a living example to everyone who meets him, that a kid with dwarfism is just another happy, fun-loving, regular kid.

This week we were presented with an unbelievable surprise - an envelope containing the money to pay for Seamus' lifetime membership to the LPA. A friend of my father's helped to organize a "SuperBowl for Seamus" pool, and 100 squares were sold to our family and friends without us knowing anything about it.
When I opened that envelope and realized what people had done for us, I could truly do nothing but cry. I was shocked and overwhelmed. I'm still crying now as I write this! This gift will allow our entire family to participate in LPA events for the rest of our lives. When I think of the workshops we will attend, the cities we will visit, the doctors we will meet and the lifelong friendships that will undoubtedly form, my worries about Seamus' future are dissolved and replaced with eager anticipation. I know it won't always be an easy road, but it is a road we will travel with many other wonderful LP families, all the while learning from and supporting each other.
A special thank you to Nanny and Poppy, Terry F., Poppy's friends from OMH and Kennedy's, Grampy, our aunts and uncles, and all the friends and family who contributed. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts! We love you all!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tag, I'm...Just a Little Behind

I have finally gotten around to doing the picture tag thing...while I think it is a cool idea, for some reason I am majorly slacking. But I followed the rules...4th folder, 4th picture, no editing or cropping...and let me tell you, it's a winner!

Here ya go...


Now that's some hot stuff, don't you think?

I was pregnant (hopefully that is obvious) with Seamus, and this was the night before he was born. I was wearing the pajama pants that I had owned since 7th grade, which have subsequently been thrown away and now I'm a little sad that they're gone. We were living in the fixer-upper that we had bought and worked on through my pregnancy, and would sell it soon after.

It was a hot night in July, and we had to wake up early to get to the hospital. I don't think I slept a wink this night.

Thankfully, I can now say this picture was taken the night before one of the happiest and most important days of my life.

I think most of the tagging has already been done, so whoever slacked like I did, let's see that pic!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Grace!

On Saturday we celebrated Grace's 2nd birthday!
After a week of sickness and lethargy, we were definitely in need of a fun afternoon. Grace has been excited since October for a party with "Dora cupcakes," so Dora the Explorer was the theme of the day.

Here is my little girl just home from the hospital:

And here she is as a two-year-old Birthday Princess! Goodness how time flies.

We had a very fun afternoon eating pizza and playing with friends. Then the big moment was time for cake! Grace could not wait to hear everyone singing Happy Birthday, and she sat very patiently (with her hands folded) waiting for Daddy to fast forward the video camera.

She tried very hard to blow the candles out on her own, but a little help from Poppy was all she needed!

Opening presents was so much fun! Grace got so many beautiful gifts...pretty new clothes, a doll highchair, Tinkerbell fairies, a bathing suit, DVDs, and this super-fun kitty keyboard from her best girlfriend Ava.

It was a wonderful birthday party! Thank you to all our family and friends who celebrated with us, Gigi had a fantastic day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Okay, so I totally should have known that would happen...I blog about puke, and the puke arrives. We have had quite a week here in the Camenga household. Devon was struck down with the flu, which meant of course that he practically had one foot in the grave...and we should be thanking our lucky stars that he came out of it alive! Whew. That was a close one.
The kids both came down with the stomach bug on Sunday. (And let me tell you, the Mommy Bowl didn't stand a chance.) On Monday we were at the pedi because they both somehow contracted pinkeye...even though we hadn't left the house in days. Today, it was back to the pedi for Seamus, who now has an ear infection and wetness in his lungs. The sleep study that was supposed to occur tonight has now been rescheduled.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I knew you'd be jealous.

Tomorrow is Gigi's birthday, but I will save the birthday post for this weekend after her little party. For now, I will post a video of her, because she asked me to "Take my pit-cher, Mama, and put it on the 'puter." Since it's her birthday and she's so darn cute, how could I say no?
Stop me if you've heard this one before...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Not Alone

Thank the Lord. Apparently I am not the only mom who responds to one of her child's bodily functions with this instinctive reaction. I can't tell you how happy I was to stumble upon this little gem.
Why do we do it?
I have no idea.
But the "Mommy Bowl" has certainly saved the day more than once.

C'mon, I know there's more of us out there! Anyone...anyone?
And instead of being disgusted, people really should be THANKING us for our resourcefulness! I mean really, I could just let them puke all over your nice rug, or on your dog, or in the vacuum department of Kohl's. But NOOOOOO. This Mommy is keeping the spew and keeping her cool.

So you're welcome. :-)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Show Must Go On!

The Sacred Heart School Christmas show is a big deal. A very big deal. Particularly for the parents of the Pre-K kids. Every spring at the Sacred Heart auction, one of the live auction lots is actually the front-row pews for the Pre-K Christmas show. And let me tell you, the bidding wars can be vicious! We had decided last May not to bid on the front-row seats, and instead take our chances...after all, he hadn't even started school yet, who knew if he would even get up there to sing? This is the kid who has been know to throw things in a fit of rage if he's suddenly put on the spot and realizes too many people are paying attention to what he's doing. (For instance, we were at the baptism of a friend's baby. Seamus wanted to say grace before dinner, and as he was saying it, the guests in the room turned to watch him...BAM! Breadbasket, on the floor, Seamus collapsed in a fit of tears.) So a natural performer, he is not.

So the rehearsals began in the fall for the Christmas show, and we heard the songs day in and day out. While getting dressed in the morning, at the dinner table, and in the was, "O candy cane, o candy caaaaaane...." He certainly knew the tunes inside and out, but I was still starting to get a little nervous about possibly seeing the tears flow up on stage. December finally rolls around, and the Christmas show is postponed not once, but twice due to the ice storm and another major snowfall. Now I'm really nervous, because how could he possibly get back into the swing of his performance after being on break for two weeks? But I keep telling myself not to worry, if he freaks out, he clearly wouldn't be the first kid to freak out and we would get through it.

Today, finally, the morning of the show! Devon and I talk about it excitedly through breakfast. "No, I not sing in the show!" Seamus tell us. About a hundred times.
Still, we get all dressed up and shuffle over to the church, with him continuing to tell us that he is NOT singing in the show. He's pretty adamant.
"How about Gigi go sing in the show?" he asks. While she clearly would have JUMPED at the chance to sing, we tell him that she'll go to school in a couple years and then it will be her turn.

My mother brings him to his classroom to get ready, and I sit anxiously in our second-row pew (still managed to score great seats, since my mother was there two hours prior to snag them!) I had the camera at the ready, even though I still didn't have my hopes up.

Literally seconds before the start of the show, the power goes out. Is this show cursed?? I do not have a good feeling about this! The emergency lights kick on and they manage to get some power to the front of the church, so the show will go on! Seamus' class is third in line to sing, and I seriously had butterflies in my stomach as I watched them file out onto the stage.
What is that?? They gave him a...a GIANT CANDY CANE to hold?? Oh Lord help us, he's got a weapon!

He still hadn't really noticed us yet, and I had pretty much warned the whole family to not make eye contact with him, for fear of setting off the spotlight rage. I was hiding behind the camera. (BTW, the pics are pretty dark and grainy because the power was out, and my flash was kinda weak.)

The music started, and this is what ensued:

Whoa! Not only did he sing, but he DANCED! The video is shaky because I could not stop laughing. Who would have thought?? Maybe Broadway is in his future after all!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

1. We are now a Wii family. The thing rocks. I am so good at boxing, and even Grace has managed to KO an opponent. Is boxing an appropriate family activity? Hmm...

2. Seamus has enlarged tonsils. His snoring started back up again, so we went to the ENT and it looks like they've grown significantly since his adenoidectomy in June. They are scheduling a sleep study for him, so soon we will get to experience the joy of an all-night battle with our child to "Please keep the gazillion gooey sensors stuck all over your head and body, and go to sleep for goodness sakes." We'll keep you updated.

3. My mom got Grace an ironing board for Christmas, kind of as a joke (even though you all know I'm hoping she'll grow up to be ironing-obsessed like me.) Although when I went into her room to see her playing with it, this is what I found:Oops! We remove the clothes from the baby BEFORE we iron them, honey...

4. In the bathtub, Seamus has a particular fascination with three of our foam letters. Actually, it's two letters and a number that stands in for one of the letters. He'll stick them up on the wall and say, "Mommy, look! O, O, P!" I don't know what it is about this combo that gets him so darn excited... (BTW, these pictures were taken on 3 different occasions!)

5. In trying to avoid the post-holiday slump that I usually find myself sliding into, I went ahead an applied to be a volunteer at our local Ronald McDonald House. My mom and I attended the volunteer orientation and got a tour of the House and an overview of volunteer functions. It's great because not only is there the main House, but there is also the Ronald McDonald Family Room in the pediatric unit of Albany Medical Center. So we'll get a chance to help out with both. I'm really looking forward to getting started.

6. Seamus' Pre-K Christmas concert had to be postponed twice due to the raging winter storms, but has been rescheduled for this Sunday. Be ready for some cuteness overload with all those adorable kids singing "O Candy Cane!"