June 2009 Archives

The Girls Are Sick... Again

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Papa and Michele will be here Friday night, and I'd like everything to be just perfect. Heads up guys, it won't be.  Samantha missed Mother's Day Out today (my 4 hours of focused cleaning/organizing/shopping time) with a fever of 103.  I don't know why.  She has no symptoms to speak of other than fever and severe crankiness.  Here's hoping tomorrow she feels better and is eating again.  Every time she gets a fever, she stops eating, and my stress level goes through the roof. 

Alexa, meanwhile, has been sent into another tailspin of lactose intolerance by her recent bout with the stomach flu.  She's having lots of tummy discomfort and some seriously messy diapers, and I'm now back on the no-dairy, no-soy, no-fun diet. 

Last night, I spent the hours of 11 pm to 1:30 am going back and forth between rooms as the girls woke and fussed.  It was like Whack A Mole.  One goes down, the other pops up.  Then at 4:30 I thought I heard something strange in Ally's room and went to check.  I woke her accidentally, and couldn't get her down again until...  10 minutes before my alarm went off.  Here's hoping for a better night tonight.

This follows on the heels of yesterday's morning of sheer SuperMom fun, in which I managed to take both girls to My Gym and haul Ally around in the Baby Bjorn while swinging Sam overhead and through her various gymnastic skills.  Ally laughed and laughed, and Sam got quite the work out.  Every muscle hurts, but it was SOO worth it.  I'd like to have more of those days, and fewer sick days, please.

 

Who is Alexa Grace?

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A friend who hasn't met Ally asked me what she is like.  "Other than loud," she said. 

I felt kind of bad, because that probably is the first thing I convey to everyone.  While that's true, it's actually kind of misleading.  She's grown into one of the happiest, most independent infants I've had the pleasure of knowing.  When I need to feed Samantha, or go through the mail, or do whatever it is I do when I am not single-mindedly serving her needs, she happily plays with her toys on her mat, usually for however long I need her to do so.

When I went to Misty's for portraits, I didn't take any special toys to get Ally to smile (my special trick for those happy shots of Sam).  "Just use a kitchen item and make a funny noise," I said.  And smile she did.

Today, I took her to My Gym for a class with Sam.  I hung her in a Bjorn-type carrier while we went through the class, and I could feel her laughter vibrating against my chest as she watched all the other kids play.

If I want to feed her something new, she's game to try it. See "Squash" below.

 

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The only time she really gets cranky is when she's tired, or to a lesser degree, when she's hungry.  Really, a mom can't complain.

I have great girls!

 

The Road to Recovery

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Everyone looked so perky this morning.  Ally was up early and looking cheery.

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I even took time to attempt ponytails on Samantha for the first time.  Hmmm.  Needs work.  That girl moves fast!

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Generally, we were feeling pretty chipper.  I decided to brave a grocery run.  I even tried out the front carrier for Alexa for the first time.  Sam in basket, Ally suspended in front. I felt pretty on top of things.  I didn't really even notice that everyone was commenting "Seems like you've got your hands full today," rather than "What sweet girls," or "Isn't she smiling a lot."  I did understand in retrospect when I got to the car and unfastened Ally.  Unbeknownst to me, she had vomitted all over the front of herself and the the baby carrier.  Guys, if you see someone like this out and about, THEY CAN'T SEE THE BABY.  They don't know.  Ah well.  We got groceries, so my jello and saltines streak (running at 3 1/2 days) finally broke.  I'm chalking it up as a win.

Negative? Nah.

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The last couple of weeks have been wearing.  I hope I haven't seemed negative in my blogging and otherwise.

The truth is, I am just so excited to see what miracle God has planned next for Samantha.  She has been one wonderful surprise after the next.  Two years ago, we were hearing words like "severe cerebral palsy" and "profoundly brain damaged".  Today, we hear words like "smart", "sweet", and "funny". 

The truth is, we are now managing the details.  We have hope that she will start elementary school and no one will ever know of her struggle unless she chooses.  We have had conversations about how much to tell babysitters, etc.  Nothing short of a miracle, any of it.

By the way, I think Ally is a miracle too.

Life is good, even when I'm tired.

So all y'all who got some nice socks just smile and say thank you.

WHAT a week.  Oh - let's start with something nice.  I don't have any really good pix of my own to share, but MISTY GREEN, our fave photographer does!  Sam calls Misty 'Achoo' because she always fake sneezes to get the kiddos to look and smile.

Link to Misty's Blog

We took these photos with Misty on Weds am, then headed home.  I gave Samantha her first dose of a medication we were hoping would solve some of her digestive problems.  The disclaimer was that it "can cause nausea", so we were sort of dreading the 10 days.  I figured she'd be hard to feed for 10 days, then take another month to recover.

By 6 pm, she was throwing up like crazy.  Everywhere.  Even after there was nothing really left to throw up.  Finally, we slept a few hours on the floor, surrounded by towels, like so...

 

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Don't even ask me why I felt it was necessary to try to smile.  You know, just a couple of days before, I was holding Ally while she slept and realized how quick it goes.  I wished I could remember the last time Samantha had fallen asleep on me.  That wasn't meant as a request!

The only way we finally got her to stop throwing up was by using Zofran, which is a pretty heavy-duty anti-nausea drug.  We agreed with the GI to discontinue to the new meds.

And then, about 24 hours later, *I* began throwing up uncontrollably.  Hmmm.  Worst day ever.  I was so tired I could hardly lift Sam.  Tried to take the kids to the park, and it took 50 minutes to get home because I had to keep pulling over.  At that point, I called Dad and had him come to the rescue.  The best daddy in the world came right away, with no complaints and no questions.. 

This morning, guess what Daddy woke up with!  (Hint: If you guessed breakfast in bed, you don't win the prize).

The silver lining:  On Monday we'll revisit whether to try again with Sam's meds.

Checking the Boxes

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OK.  I told myself I would absolutely get a picture of Ally on her first day at Mother's Day Out this week.  I did, but it has to be the worst picture ever taken of her.  Although you wouldn't know it to look at the photo below, she was actually smiling when I left, and when I returned.  When I got home and took her out of her car seat, though, she melted against me, snuggled in, and held on tight.  When I put her down to change her diaper, she kept grabbing whatever part of me she could reach with both hands.  She also took one serious nap.

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Sam, on the other hand, was so excited about her new classroom that she wouldn't even look up for the camera.  When we walked in she said "Wow! Down."  She didn't look at me again until I dragged her out of the room four hours later.  She's still the oldest kid in her classroom, but the toys are a lot more age appropriate and interesting for her.  A music teacher came in and sang songs with the kids, and was so excited about how engaged Samantha was.  Her teacher told me Thursday that by many cognitive and communication measures, she feels Samantha is advanced for her age.  My heart just SANG!  I learned this week that she can "sing" (doot, doot, doot) on pitch.  Pretty cool.  I'm not sure her parents can say the same.

 

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Mama's got a new 'do

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My new look -- and Ally in one of my favorite outfits!

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Ah, Summertime!

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I bought Samantha a bathing suit with bouyant foam pads built in.  She was really excited to wear it, mostly because it has a flouncy little skirt that made her think of June in Little Einsteins.

However, it was completely unneccessary for the zero-entry pool with splash toys we went to, and in fact a bit awkward.  When I tried to carry her around, it would slip up around her chin.  She never complained, but by the end she would get a sort of desperate look in her eyes when I went to pick her up.  We'll try it again at a different pool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Ally has learned to use all fours to fend off feeding time.  That girl can KICK!

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Last weekend, Samantha actually got to meet ELMO at My Gym!  How cool is that?  She was a little disappointed not to be able to share the experience with her favorite My Gym employee, Josh, but oddly enough he disappeared just before Elmo arrived.  What a shame.

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Youd.

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An actual conversation with our pediatrician:

"Well, Samantha, what do you think of your new little sister?"

"Youd."

"She's loud?"

"Yeah.  Youd."

"Do you like being a big sister?"

(Sam stares into space and does not answer)

 

A few days earlier, Sam explained her opinion to Daddy while Alexa was doing her usual evening scream-down:

"Ally.  Loud.  WOOOOO!"