Thursday, August 26, 2010

Angry at God

*I apologize for this rambling post; I have a million thoughts racing through my mind.*

My heart is hurting so badly right now. My friend, Patrice, has a beautiful 4 year old daughter, Charlotte. I have mentioned them both in previous posts. Patrice was a great friend while I was living in Boston; truth be told, she was one of my only friends there. Her little girl was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in June 2009. Charlotte has been through surgery, chemo, radiation, stem cell infusions, and antibodies treatment this past year. No one should have to go through all of that, much less a 2 year old little girl. Neuroblastoma is a very serious type of cancer. When traces of it are gone, they don't even say the patient is in remission; they give them a label of NED, no evidence of disease. They should just put a tagline of "...right now" on the end of that. Relapse is common, from what I understand. 600 children are affected by this disease every year. A small number compared to some diseases, but it is much too large of a number when you think about the individual kids and their families. The point of this post is that Charlotte has relapsed. She wasn't feeling well a couple of days ago, and a trip to the ER turned into being admitted back onto 6N, which turned into discovering a large tumor in her sinus cavity. I am so angry at God right now. As a Christian, I know there is a reason for everything, but it is so hard to understand why there are so many terrible people out there who are perfectly healthy, when this perfect little girl has been through hell and back and has another ticket there. I want to throw a fit I want to stomp my feet. I want to yell. I want to break things. I want to punch something. But I won't. I will do what I have done for the past 14 months; I will pray for this wonderful family and for the doctors and nurses that are treating Charlotte. I will pray that God will place his hand on her head and comfort her and take away her pain. I will pray for a miracle. I hope you will too.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What a difference 2 years makes!

While I was rocking Caroline (yes, she let me rock her...but only because I was feeding her a bottle!), I started thinking how much our lives have changed in just 2 years...

Two years ago, we were in Greece. Trip of a lifetime! This was our last hurrah before we had to be "real" grown-ups. John had graduated from law school and had just taken the bar exam. We had found a cute house in San Marco to rent and were in the process of getting settled in when we took off on our big adventure. We put a lot of thought into where to go. African safari? Yes! But waaaaay too expensive. Australia? Yes! But wait, our summer is their winter. Europe? That's it! But where to go? John went backpacking through Europe after graduating from the Academy, so a few places were off the list--Italy, France, England. I wasn't working back in the summer of 2004, so I spent 2 full weeks watching Athens on TV and thought what a great place it would be to visit. Greece, it was! Inspired by the Real World, we booked a trip through Contiki, a travel group for 18-35 year olds. We would spend 2 1/2 weeks in Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Ios. We quickly discovered we were the oldest people in the group! Oh well--we would still make the most of this trip. We got to be friends with the only other couple in the group--wait for it...John and Sarah! How cute were we?! They are from Australia...I should point out that most of the rest of the group was also. Best of both worlds--surrounded by Australians and their fantastic accents and slang while in Greece! We also met 3 other recent law school graduates, Cyrus, Elle, and Suzanne. It was an amazing trip!! Check out some of our pics:

Fast forward one year...we are waiting to finally close on our house. John isn't too fond of his new job, and I'm around 5 1/2 months pregnant. I don't recommend moving while pregnant (especially when it's the 3rd time you've done it in a little over a year). We are so thankful that we were able to find this house. It was the best one we looked at, by far, and fit nicely into our budget. We closed on it at the end of August and started painting on Labor Day weekend. Paint, new flooring, and crown molding, and then time to move! Here are some pics from this adventure:

Jump ahead just one more year and see our most awesome and fun and exhausting adventure yet...

I love this little girl more than words can begin to express. Watching her grow these past 8 1/2 months has brought me more joy than I could ever fathom. I have wanted to be a mommy for as long as I can remember, and it is even more wonderful than I ever thought it could be. It is giggles, smiles, spit up, crawling, pulling up, sleep deprivation (thankfully, not anymore!), worry, and sweet baby smell all rolled into one big bunch of cute-ness. John and I are so lucky to be Caroline's mama and daddy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8 months

Wow! I know I say this every month, but time is flying by! 8 months?! Where did the time go?? Since last month, John and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary (spent the day at the beach as a family and then had a date night--dinner and a movie), some of my family came to visit for a few days around July 4, and John started his new job. Good times around the Campbell house! Here are our monthly facts:

* Caroline is a crawling machine. Go around things? No way--she crawls right over them.

* She is pulling up on everything she can get ahold of...her toy table, the coffee table, TV trays (NOT a good thing), the dishwasher door, the side of the bathtub (definitely NOT a good thing!)...

* She can clap, wave, and hold her own bottle.

* She loves to bang things, chew things, pull things, and rip paper.

* She has discovered the dog/cat food and has put a piece in her mouth once. Thankfully, I saw her do it and John was able to fish it out quickly.

* I am making my own baby food, and Caroline loves all the fruit I've made but isn't so crazy about the veggies (but likes the ones in the jar).

* She can feed herself puffs and yogurt melts. We've tried diced bananas and blueberries with a little luck.

*She is starting to cruise a little after she pulls up. Maybe she'll be an early walker like her, wait! I'm not ready for that!

* She eats 4-7oz bottles and 3 baby food meals a day.

* She weighs around 17 lbs.

* We started swimming lessons on Saturday. She's the youngest one by far but seemed to have fun.

* She started making some new sounds and said "mama" tonight!

* Caroline doesn't like to rock or cuddle anymore at bedtime. When the light goes off, she's ready for her crib (where she usually changes positions about 53 times during the night). I'm not of a fan of the no cuddling!

**I apologize in advance for the shots of me in a bathing suit!!

Playing in the ocean

Pulling up

Holding her own bottle

Playing at Gymboree

Swimming lessons