December 2009 Archives

Merry Christmas!

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5 pm on Christmas.  The girls are loving every minute.  We're still not through all the presents, because we have to stop and play with everything - inclucing the tissue paper - with each gift.

It's so much fun now that Sam really gets the spirit of Christmas!

















Sam has been really making us all joyful today by insisting on walking a lot!  Here we are after Christmas brunch.























Meanwhile, both girls are enjoying a visit with the grandparents and just taking everything in.  Ally is so earnest about everything! 




Speaking of Miracles...

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Today, we had a visit with Samantha's GI doctor.  She was amazed to see Sam weigh in at 26.5 pounds!  This puts her -- hold onto your chairs, folks -- in the 20th percentile.  She was somewhere around 1.8% when last we checkegnome.jpgd.

Now, she's still working on things, and we still need all of your prayers.  She still mostly eats baby food or other purees (mashed potato, yogurt), and highly fortified formula -- but she's eating enough to gain some serious weight! 

Just yesterday, she finally mastered climbing the stairs without help.  Ally still races by her (and with not a resentful bone in her body, she cheers "Go, Ally, Go!") but she can do it all by herself.

I never updated the blog after last month's MRI, and I apologize for that. The news was good.  There was no change in her hydrocephalus, so no surgery for now.  We are now cleared from seeing her neurosurgeon again until March and her GI doc until June.  Wow!

It's really been quite a month.  For my part, I have been working hard on a web project for Blockbuster Express ( that is moving into its first test market this week.  Meanwhile, we've been up to visit Aunt Caroline and Uncle Barry in their new home, had a wonderful visit for Thanksgiving from Farmor and Papa G, and went Uncle Chris and Aunt hat_0001.jpgLeeArica's beautiful wedding.

Up at Caroline and Barry's, Uncle Barry did his best to convert the girls to Steeler fans (with my full support).









Of course, Daddy had to dress Ally up in her pink Cowboys gear as soon as possible thereafter. 



























Caroline and Barry were great hosts and we were honored to enjoy a dinner party in their new home.  They are amazing cooks and spoiled us all with terrific food and wine.









That trip was just a week before Thanksgiving, so we were barely unpacked before the holiday was upon us.  Thanksgiving was amazing.  I have the best mother-in-law on the planet.  Here she is, cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  She did the whole thing.  I just roasted some asparagus (which, honestly, didn't turn out all that well). 


I was so grateful for her help, because Ally was really sick. Carl and I were up all night for two nights preceding Thanksgiving.  Ally was running a high fever that we couldn't get down.  We were on the phone with the pediatrician at 6:30 am the day before Thanksgiving.  I'm pretty sure that if Farmor hadn't been here, we'd have eaten Lean Cuisine.

Papa G had the chance to get some time with the girls while Farmor was cooking.  They really enjoy visits with Farmor and Papa G. 

Just yesterday, Sam was bellowing "I CAN'T GET NO!" along with the Rolling Stones in the grocery store, a trick she learned from Papa G back in August. 












































Only one week after Thanksgiving, Carl's step-brother Chris married his sweetheart LeeArica, an amazing person whom we are delighted to have as a part of our family.  Sadly, we didn't get many pictures at the wedding.  That was a shame, because the wedding was beautiful and a lot of wonderful people we don't see often were there.  But the girls were tired and Sam didn't like the crowds and noise.  We took turns standing outside with her.  Thank heaven for Caroline and Barry, who took turns holding Ally so both of us at least got a chance to eat.  We missed out on the dancing and even the cake.  Carl went to Texas Land and Cattle and brought a chocolate brownie a la mode back to the hotel room for us.  At least we were smart enough to get a suite, so they slept in one room while we had dessert and chatted in the other.

While Samantha may have been overwhelmed, Alexa was in her element.  Ally was particularly enthralled with her adorable cousin Ava (4), who seemed equally taken with her.  Here, Ava is trying to pick Alexa up.  I think Ally probably weighs at least 2/3 of Ava's weight, so she didn't get very far.  I hope we'll be able to get them together again soon. 














With all of these goings-on, I just got the Christmas tree up tonight.  This is the first year that Samantha has really been able to get into the Christmas spirit.  She wanted to play with all the ornaments as I put them on the tree, and was particularly reluctant to relinquish the tree-top angel.  "She can sit HERE," Sam informed me, pointing at a spot next to her on the floor.  Sam's really enjoying reading Christmas books every night.  I am absolutely glowing with every little special moment.  Finally, something has worked out the way I pictured it.