Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's Been a While

For a while I forgot about this place. Ok maybe not so much forgot as kept meaning to post, composed posts in my head, wrote a lot, and just not any of it made it here. Some of it was a time issue, some of it was sorting out the chaos in my head and life as I finished nursing school. Speaking of nursing school, it is officially over. The challenges, the tears, the night preceptorship, graduation, the whole looking for a job thing, oh and I won't even talk about the boards. The important thing is I passed, 45 minutes of my life I never want to go through again. Three years of school came down to a 45 minute out of body experience I still can not explain, but I passed. As for the job thing, turns out they came looking for me. For a month now I have been working day shift as an RN in PCU post open heart. Me, an RN, I still can hardly believe it. Yet it all happened and now the surrealness of those moments is beginning to pass and the reality of my life and new job is coming into focus.

I have so much more to say, not to mention a full makeover to do on this site. A picture has formed in my head and I just need to figure out how to bring it to fruition.

Work, work, so much more work to be done. All I can say is it feels good to have my life back.

Friday, September 10, 2010


One of the best things about living in Central Phoenix, aside from the amazing schools, arts and theater scene, public transit, and diverse population, is the restaurants. Gone are endless chains filling strip mall after strip mall, here instead is the independent restaurant, the mom and pops, the family owned, the unique, expensive, cheap, they all make my heart and stomach rejoice. Craig and I have had the opportunity to savor many food experiences prior to and since our relocation. Some are kid friendly, while others provide us the opportunity to soak in an evening of wine, food, and conversation as a couple without a kids menu and all the accoutrements that come with our little tribe. As a homage to the eclectic restaurants we fondly enjoy I have added a list of some of our favorites to be known from here on out as Good Eats. In addition another category to be known as Good Times, a phrase uttered many times in all seriousness and sometimes in jest at our home, will offer up some of the most delightful activities CenPho has to offer.

Friday, September 3, 2010

And So It Goes...

On Monday evening I went to the airport to pick Cam up from heart camp. The young man who greeted me seemed more mature than the one Craig took to the airport 5 days earlier. This is what camp is supposed to do for him, let him grow, encourage him to be independent. All the things that break Mom's hearts. I was admittedly sad that night when I took him home and put him to bed. He shared his stories from camp and chattered about new friends, but something seemed different. The next day he was emotional, "camp letdown" I like to call it as being home and back to school is never as much fun as camp was for him. He clung to me and wanted to spend the whole day with me.

Everywhere I turn these days there are contradictions with Cam. I know it is part of the growing up process, messy, splintered, one step forward, two steps back, and on and on until he is ready to go out on his own. Most days him and I manage this well, dancing around this struggle as he slowly pulls away. There are moments I miss the little boy who held my hand, ran to my side, snuggled with me at every turn. Truly though I am so proud of the person he is becoming. Trust me he has his moments, but overall Cam is empathetic, caring, kind, he thinks of others and has a firecracker of a personality. He entertains and dazzles me, talks my ear off, and is the ringleader of mischief at our house. His counselors from camp made a point of coming up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed having Cam in their cabin, his easygoing personality making an impression on them as he has so many others over the past 9 years. I am amazed to watch him grow, but there are moments my heart aches as I go through the letting go process one step at a time. I don't think it will ever get any easier, but yet I look forward to meeting the man he will become...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Letter to Cam


It seems like a lifetime ago as well as a mere moment that you emerged from my body and entered my life 9 years ago. They have been years filled with heartache, struggle, joy, amazement, disbelief, and enough tears and laughter to fill my heart in ways I never could have imagined before you were born. You changed my perspective on the world, my goals in life, you changed everything when you made me a mom. At first, I was overwhelmed and frightened at the thoughts of what might lie ahead, for you, for all of us. Each day I spent with you showed me a love I had never thought possible, a hope for the future, and determination beyond my wildest dreams. You surpassed all of my expectations, displaying a sense of humor and inner strength that gave you the ability to move past the challenges you were handed in life. You have never in the 9 years since you came into this world allowed your heart defect to define you, while it has been a part of you, it is not who you are. You are Hammer, the boy who steals hearts with your smile, wit, and charm. There are moments that just looking at you takes my breath away and I wonder how I got so lucky, how I am so blessed and honored to get to be your mom.

In the past year, you have decided to become a writer, lost teeth, watched your hero Shaun White win another Olympic medal, skateboarded, moved, changed schools...taking it all in stride in your typical way you embraced all that life threw at you. You have made new friends and celebrated the ones you have had since you were little. You have read stories to your sisters, explored new parts of the state with us, planned future adventures such as rafting the Grand Canyon. You have built Lego's, read books, bowled, roller skated, swam in lakes, oceans, creeks, thoroughly enjoyed being a little boy. You have made great plans and come up with grand schemes. The next year will be full of auditions and play dates, stories and sports, so many of the things that you enjoy in life.

This morning you snuggled in bed with me and I told you about the day you were born and the days that followed. I spoke to you of my love, tracing your face as I related the first moments we shared together as mother and son. I know that in the next few years you will not want to snuggle with mom, that there will be moments when you will shrug away from my hands as you find yourself and become a young man. My heart will break a little when that day comes, but I know it's all part of growing up, and I can't wait to see the man you become. You are already pulling away in so many small ways, finding your independence, defying me with your words and actions. You are headstrong and opinionated, you frustrate me and make me proud, so many emotions all jumbled up together I can hardly separate and define them. In two days, your Dad and I will take you to the airport and send you off to heart camp for the second year. Five days will pass before I hear your words tumble over each other again as you recount your many magical adventures at camp. I will miss you, but I know how much you grow and learn at camp each year, how easily you find your place amongst the kids who share your experiences in life as a heart kid. When I hold you in my arms again next week, I will trace your face and be reminded again of the first of our many moments together as mother and son. Then I will take you back home and we will get back to the business of watching you grow up....


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Heart Walk 2010

Part of the reason I posted all about Cam's story is that we are walking with him and in honor of him in the American Heart Association walk here in Phoenix February 27, 2009. Team Hammer, my dad's nickname for the strongest kid he knows, is recruiting team members and donations. All money goes to a good cause with the AHA contributing to research on Congenital Heart Defects. Please help us, come out and support us, walk with us, cheer us on, our make a small donation! I have posted some pictures here of Cam after his surgeries, if you are squeamish you may want to avoid them. Our hope is that one day no child will have to go through the challenges of living with a congenital heart defect. That no parents will have to face the fear of losing their child before their 1st birthday, or 1st day of school, or before they get a chance to grow up and become parents themselves! That there will at the very least be alternatives available, such as valve replacement through catheterization rather than surgery (currently in trials in the US).

For details about joining our team or to make a donation - please click this link or send me an email or post a comment asking for more information.

Cam after his 1st surgery, emergency surgery at PCH

Cam after his 2nd surgery, full repair at CHLA

Cam 4 days after his 3rd surgery - day after he was released from the hospital happy, smiling, full of life outside his favorite place in LA, Milk