February 2008 Archives

A Tribute

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One of my mom's dearest friends passed away this week, and I just wanted to acknowledge her here.  Carol was a truly wonderful, giving person who will be sorely missed.  I am deeply saddened that Samantha won't get to meet her.  We were really looking forward to seeing her in March and I know she wanted to meet Samantha.  Carol rounded up prayers for Samantha from all over the globe when she was hospitalized, and she has been such a support for our whole family over the past year.  I know many of our friends and family look at this site; please send up your prayers and warm thoughts for Carol's family and friends who are dealing with this unexpected loss.

The Dress

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We are taking Samantha to Memphis for Easter.  It's a BIG deal. 

We leave the day after her first birthday.  It seems surreal to me that this is already on the radar screen.  It will be her first plane flight, having been cleared to fly in January.  I can't help but worry about the possibility of this somehow causing more problems in her brain, but I am told it should not. 

Assuming we all get there safely and I don't have a nervous melt-down that causes me to be escorted off the plane in Houston, Samantha will be baptized on Easter Sunday in Germantown Presbyterian Church.

We are so excited.  This church actually founded a prayer group that met especially to pray for Samantha weekly during her hospitalization, and they still meet periodically today.  What wonderful, giving people!

Here's the dress she will wear.  What a little cream puff!  She is showing off one of her latest skills in the photo as she applauds her pretty dress.   

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Here was the alternative.  Not a bad choice either, but Samantha loved playing with the soft fabrics on the other.  Also, this cotton REALLY wrinkles, and mom is a slacker when it comes to ironing. 







 We had a great time shopping.  Samantha's grandmother (Carl's mom) was with us, as well as a long-time family friend, Eileen.  We bought the dress in Old Town Spring, a really cute little shopping area with lots of boutiques in old houses, etc.  Quite a pleasure.

Avian Zombies 

Another great thing about having a grandparent in town is that there is someone other than MOM to hold the camera!  Look, here I am with Samantha in the Land of 1000 Ducks.

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More Gray Hair

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Samantha saw her first fire truck yesterday!  Unfortunately, it was at our house.  For her.

Samantha has a rather weak ability to swallow, and unfortunately got something stuck in her throat, limiting her breathing.  I will spare you the details, but in summary, there was a fire truck, an ambulance, and some sort of medical district supervisor dropping by our house for a friendly "meet and greet".

By the time they arrived, Sam was fine and smiling at everyone, including all the neighbors who came to see the fun.  We still took her to get checked out at the emergency room (not by ambulance, I let them move on to truly urgent cases).  Bless Karen, our next door neighbor, who came along to stare at Samantha while I did the paperwork so she wouldn't stop breathing.

I must have run up to her room 15 times in the night to make sure she was still breathing.  She always was, by the way.

Today, she is as spunky as ever.  Here she is in her official valentine's day outfit, courtesy of Grandma, frolicking with Bernice, the official valentine's day dragon, courtesy of Miss Karen.

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The Agony and The Ecstacy

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Samantha added another physical therapist this week.  Our occupational therapist with ECI brought out a physical therapist to check out Samantha due to her refusal to put weight on her feet. 

It's this therapist's opinion, given some other lingering reflexes that Sam still has, that her earlier "standing" wasn't really true standing at all, but a lingering standing reflex that infants have and that Sam didn't develop until 4 months.  If she's correct, all the time we had her standing, thinking it was so cute, was probably a really bad thing.

So now, she said, Samantha is learning to stand like any normal 6 month old would.  (I've actually heard this from two other sources as well, but not so definitively).  Overall, the team from ECI reviewed her skills, and placed her at about a 6 month level (she's now 10 1/2 mos).

Why does this bother me?  I am so grateful for all Samantha can do, because there really were no guarantees that she could do any of it.  I am thrilled that she is developing her skills in a normal sequence without anything missing.  I think I fool myself into thinking she is even more normal than this on a day-to-day basis, because she is such a happy, interactive, inquisitive baby, and is always developing and learning new things.  I don't know why, but this just really pulled the rug out from under my feet.

In addition, she will now see another therapist every two weeks related to the standing, while the OT starts to focus on her feeding challenges.  This gives us a total of 3 therapists, and 8 therapy appointments each month. 

Just when the overall exhaustion of all of this was about to overtake me, I picked Samantha up to put her on my lap, and she stuck out her legs and STOOD on my lap, just like she used to.  I actually started to cry.  I can't wait to tell her therapists.  

Samantha Dines Out

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Samantha ate out in a "big girl" high chair for the first time on Saturday.  The scene probably looks familiar.  It's our favorite Mexican restaurant again.  The waitstaff knows us and is really nice with Samantha, so it seemed like a safe bet for trying the highchair.  It really worked quite well.  In fact, it resulted in materially fewer toys on the floor, since the highchair provided a nice ledge.







Turtle Park

A week ago, Carl and I took Samantha on a long walk and went to not just one but TWO playgrounds.  She was completely overwhelmed.  Since we had a photo of the Gorilla Park previously, I thought we should have one of this park's key feature too.

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Physical Therapy?

Sam's therapist suggested getting her more "involved" with the eating process in order to encourage finger feeding.  Here, she is not only involved, but literally immersed.







Just Plain Cute

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Sam and Baby Matt

I thought a few of our frequent visitors might enjoy this photo of Samantha with her friend Matt Lorenz.  He (oh, and his parents) came over to watch the playoffs a couple of weeks ago.  They are actually starting to interact a little, so "friend" may soon become less of a parent-imposed concept. 

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