Stanford Fan!

IMG_0946 We braved a huge rain storm to take Nicky to his first Stanford basketball game this week.  Even though the game is way too far away for him to see and the team is no good, he was impressed.  He did seem to have a bit more fun flirting with the people around us than watching the game but we’ll turn him into a die hard fan soon enough.    

Another Visit From Dr. Dow

Uncle Andrew was back in town this weekend for a dental class.  We took advantage of him being here to test out the theory that Nicky has officially outgrown his grunting.  I spent the last 3 weeks not eating any dairy, chocolate, caffeine, nuts or spicy foods to see if he had any food intolerances.  After slowly adding back one thing at a time with no problems, it was time to test out whether spicy foods bothered the little guy.  Instead of trying out some slightly spicy food, we went whole hog and went out to Indian food.  If that doesn’t cause grunting/gas problems, I don’t know what will.  Nicky had a great time at the restaurant and was drooling in anticipation of getting his share of the feast, and we got to have the most flavorful and tasty dinner I’ve had in weeks!  Woo hoo!  Luckily, it looks like our little buddy has outgrown his gas issues so mommy can officially eat whatever she wants again!

Later on we played the dangerous game of posing the baby on a sleeping Uncle Andrew…luckily Andrew didn’t startle awake because he’s been known to wake up swinging punches on occasion. 

IMG_0934 IMG_0935 IMG_0937  IMG_1266

Nick’s Second Month

Nicky’s second month was bittersweet.  We were devastated that Nana Arlene passed away this month.  I wish that Nicky could have had the joy of knowing Arlene, could have grown up with her as a role model, and could have heard and learned from all the stories she had to tell.  She will be missed so much.  Having Nicky here was so helpful for his dad and me – there’s nothing like a baby to help you focus on the positives in life. 
Luckily, our little flirt started smiling this month, which is the very best and is so good for lifting the spirits.  He’s also started adding happy cooing noises to his range of vocalizations which always makes us laugh.  These days he’s fascinated by anything to do with music, whether it’s his mobile or his boucy chair or one of us singing.  His absolute favorite is for us to sing along with the music from his toys while dancing…that always gets a smile out of him.  He also loves it when his daddy tickles him.  He can’t laugh yet, but his whole face lights up every time.  This month he’s also decided that snuggling is for babies and crawling is for big boys.  He’s eager to be a big boy so he’s not wasting any time snuggling.  Whenever I burp him he tries to make his getaway by crawling up my chest and over the back of the couch, operative word being “tries”.  I still haven’t had the heart to tell him that he has to wait a few more months before he’s mobile.  Assisted standing and sitting are also favorites, but tummy time is absolute torture, probably because he can’t get anywhere yet. 
Nick’s other favorite activity is growing…our little monster ended the month at a whopping 14 pounds 11 ounces and 25 inches!  We know where he gets his height from (thanks daddy!) but we still haven’t agreed on where he got his fat genes from…  He’s also earning our undying love by being a sleeping super star.  It’s not unusual for him to sleep 6 hours during the night, but he’s spoiled us once or twice with 8 and 9 hour stretches too.  What a good boy!
IMG_1175 IMG_1231

Bodily Functions

IMG_0839  The things they never tell you…
1. Every thing you own will get puke on it.
2. Baby poo can go out the side of a diaper, through a thick flannel baby outfit, through daddy’s jeans and onto his leg.
3. You will be psyched when your baby cowboy blows a huge booger on your shirt at 2 in the morning — “Wow did you see the size of that thing?  What a big boy!”.
4. When he decides to pee mid-diaper change, you don’t hesitate to block it with your hand just so he doesn’t pee in his mouth.
Ahh, the joys of being a parent…

Inch Worm

Whenever the Nickster is on his tummy he’s desperate to start crawling.  He recently discovered that he can army crawl by pushing off on our hands during tummy time.  Unfortuantely it’s not as fun as he thinks it should be since his neck isn’t strong enough to push his head off the ground, so he ends up squashing his face and getting a bit upset.  It’s fun to watch though…soon enough he’ll be crawling for real!

[flickr video=4279855694]

Celebrating the life of Arlene Hartley Camm

Arlene Hartley Camm, my mother, passed away on December 29, 2009, at the age of 58.  We will miss her so very much.  She was a mother, a student, a teacher, and a friend, a devoted wife, a doting grandmother, and a serviceable soccer coach.  She loved deeply and gave freely.  She was instinctively political, and could not resist the opportunity to debate- whether the counter-party wanted to or not!  She was a lioness who protected her children fiercely, and taught them how to thrive.  She believed in angels and dragons, and Menedelian independent assortment of genetic traits.  She had a voracious appetite for books that didn’t stop once the bookshelves were full.  She possessed deep faith and lived as true and honest a life as I can imagine.

Mom was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lung in August of 2009 following a protracted respiratory illness.  In light of the fact that she did not smoke, the doctors had been looking for a bacterial or fungal disease as the root the persistent cough that she had developed.  Initial tests for cancer came back negative.  Unfortunately, this appears to have been a consequence of poor sensitivity of the test.  When the cancer was eventually confirmed, it had already metastasized and progressed to stage IV.  Mom endured 5 rounds of chemotherapy which initially improved her symptoms, but eventually gave way to the disease.  She was as brave as anyone I can imagine under the circumstances, and never once showed a blink of fear.  I attribute this to her deep faith.

Lung cancer in never-smokers accounts for ~10% of all lung cancers.  It occurs more often in women than men for unknown reasons.  My second-hand experience with this disease exposed me the the shockingly crude therapies and diagnostics currently available.  In a sense, this means there is room for vast improvement and hope for people in the future.

Mom would rather not be remembered for the disease that ultimately claimed her, but instead for the values that she held dear: integrity, diligence, community engagement, education, and social responsibility.  Mom had a true love for life.  She was a real treasure to me.

More information about Arlene Hartley Camm’s life and accomplishments can be found at