March 2009 Archives

We Made It!

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It's been a tough week.  Ally was scheduled for a procedure at TX Children's Hospital this week, and we bit our nails down to the last minute to see whether she would catch the nasty cold that mom and Sam had.  So far, so good, and the procedure took place as scheduled Weds.  Here she is in her little hospital "gown". 















And here she is right after the procedure, still in the recovery room.















The whole thing was pretty uneventful, but while we knew she'd be staying overnight for IV antibiotics and observation, we were not told she'd be staying in the NICU.  It was probably the right call, but I really wish I'd been prepared.  After we got out of the NICU with Sam, I was really hoping never to enter one again.



Here we are in the NICU.  Yes, that's the chair I got to sleep in...  I did catch a couple of hours "prone" thanks to the Ronald McDonald House.  My kids can eat at McDonald's whenever they want.








Here's her little NICU bed.















And here she is back home.  Ahhh... 

All's well that ends well, and Ally seems pretty happy and is recovering well.  Samantha got spoiled by Farmor and Papa G while they were watching out for her, but is otherwise unscathed as well.  Tonight we will have a second birthday party so she can celebrate with them as well.


Texas in the Spring

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Every parent I know in Texas has done this... Pull over by the roadside (ideally somewhere near your house), plop the kid/s in a clump of bluebonnets and start shooting.  I was mystified by all the people crouching in the fields when I first moved here.  Then I started looking forward to having my own little bluebonnet to plop down in the weeds.
















Sam and I enjoyed a quick 15 minute photo shoot about 1/4 mile from our house today.  The weather was gorgeous and we had a great time.  Sam is still a real ham.  She wasn't really excited about sitting in a field, but when she realized we were taking pictures, she cheered right up.  After a few shots, she said "Ah... ah...  ah... choo!"  just like Misty Green, our photographer extraordinaire, always does to get Sam's attention.  I'm not quite sure who has trained whom.
















The look of the day

I have no idea why, but Samantha has been making this face all day today and saying "teeth".  She seems pretty pleased with herself.  Maybe there's a new one back in there somewhere and she's showing off.  She's so toothy it's been dangerous to put a finger in and check for quite some time.




Samantha is Two!

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Yesterday was Sam's big day.  I can't believe it's already been two years.  The time flies, and we've done so much!

We are still laying kind of low these days.  Everybody has been sick (Sam has an ear infection, and I have no voice at all) and Ally is having a minor medical procedure next week.  So we kept it pretty simple and tried to make it a day that Samantha could really enjoy.

The weather certainly cooperated -- what a beautiful day!  My parents were in town and had fun playing with the girls while I got the patio straightened up for the festivities.















Sam was the center of attention, which she loves (of course). 






































Sam picked out all the party supplies, so we had Tinkerbell decorations and a "Little People" Farm cake.  She said "Oh boy!" when she saw the cake, and went straight for the animals on top.















It's all fun and games until somebody else wants a piece of your cake. 















And then, Cinderella left the ball while mom, dad, grandma and grandpa enjoyed cake and champagne.  Ally hung out too, but she preferred milk. 



Sam was perfectly content with this ending to the story, because she got a duck bath before bed (her current favorite thing in the world is an inflatable duck shaped bath tub from Farmor and Auntie Caroline).  She exclaims "Duck Baff" several times a day, no matter what she may be doing.



I spend about 25 out of every 24 hours trying to figure out how to get Samantha to eat.  Ideally to eat real table food herself, but some days, I'm happy just to get the calories in however they come.

So imagine my dilemma yesterday when, having exhausted all possible options for postponing nap any further, Samantha put her new found language skills to use en route to her crib.

"Pease," she said. 

"Say it again, honey?" I said.

"Pease."  Oh, she means "please".  How great is that?

"Please what, honey?"

"Pease... (adding ASL signs and an urgent, pleading look for emphasis) Eat."  Honestly, the girl could have won an Oscar.  Or is it an Emmy?  I'm not into that stuff.  Anyway, you'd have thought she was straight out of a Dickens novel.  

First-ever sudden onset of appetite, or stalling tactic?  You make the call. 

We're Cruisin'!

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The miracle continues...  Yesterday Samantha took three teeny, tiny microsteps along the edge of the ottoman while she played.  The day before, I never caught her in the act, but she was playing in standing and ended up about a foot from where she started.  And today, I was sitting on the stairs feeding Ally (don't even ask), and she tried to figure out how to climb them!


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Samantha's language is exploding!  She has actually learned to repeat all the letters of the alphabet.  She knows the order they go in, and she recognizes them by sight.  She is talking more every day -- I can't even list for you all the things she says, because she's becoming such a little parrot.

However, one story stands out.  Tonight, Samantha had one of her signature "events" at dinner.  She drank several ounces of milk, ate a pack of squash, and I challenged her with some small (breadcrumb sized) chunks of turkey.  She gagged on one and lost the WHOLE thing into her tray.  Then she looked at me quite solemnly and said "Burp".


Sam's Fancy Feet

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So, a few people have commented on the white shoes Samantha has been wearing for the past several weeks.  In the past I had mentioned that she was getting "SureSteps" or little ankle braces, and those shoes are the only ones she has that fit with them (for now).  It's not easy finding extra wide shoes for babies!

Here's a picture of the braces themselves.  Sam calls them "fancy feet" (ok, mommy suggested the name) or "fan fee" and seems to like them a lot.  They've given her a lot more confidence in standing, and she'll even take a couple of steps to come to me if I am firmly bracing her with my arms.














This seems to have sparked more confidence in other areas, and Samantha suddenly is quite insistent on putting her shoes on by herself, brushing her own teeth and such, with varying levels of success.

Check this out...





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New URL!

Vote for Sam!

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Our favorite photographer, Misty Green, does volunteer work for a charity called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  They are doing a “model search” and fundraiser, and Samantha is participating. To see the photo that Misty entered of Samantha, or to vote for Samantha (or others – but why would you?) for $1 per vote at   Net proceeds of the contest will benefit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  City winners will be chosen based on votes.  The national winner will be chosen from among the city winners by judges from modeling agencies.


This group, which was recognized in Newsweek last month, helps families who are losing their newborn children to create remembrances of them through photography, helping them to cope with their loss.  These photographers volunteer their time and talent to help families capture and provide permanent images of children for parents whose babies will never come home from the hospital. 


Having dealt with the fear that Samantha might well not come home from the NICU, I can really identify with the feelings of these parents.  This cause is dear to my heart.  I hope you’ll consider voting for Samantha and donating to this worthy cause.