Sunday, February 28, 2010

A True Did-Nothing Weekend

This weekend, we did NOTHING.  I did have a good photo session with Sam, though.  Enjoy.  Sam's recently learned trick list: giving kisses, petting Relo and saying 'niiiiiiiiice' (of course it sounds more like 'daaaaaaa'), pulling up on EVERYTHING without thinking about how to get back down, and climbing the first step on our stairwell.

Also, say some prayers for Sam's little friend Amelia, who after being born premature last APRIL, will HOPEFULLY be going home for the first time this Wednesday.  Please say some prayers for our dear heart friend, Emery, who will likely be placed on the transplant list this week.

~Kathy

Friday, February 19, 2010

BUSY BUSY BUSY

I haven't updated in FOREVER...we've been quite busy.  Let's start from the top...

I had my last 'full time' day at my old job last week.  In a way it was sad...these people (who didn't really know me at the time) were there for me during my pregnancy and during Sam's struggles.  Not once did anyone question my need to go to appointment after appointment, or take random days off (and weeks off) to take care of Sam.  Everytime something came up with him, my co-workers quickly stepped in and picked up my slack.  On top of that, they made themselves available to be a moral support crew.  For all of this, I can never thank them enough.

After my last day, Chris, Sam, and I drove to Mobile for Mardi Gras.  Sam took the ride like a champ, and although he didn't make it to any parades because it was so cold, he did see his third snow storm!  Chris and I went to the Striper's and Crewe of Columbus balls and saw many many friends and family.  Sam got to hang out with both sides of the fam, and got to meet his future BFFs (my friend Catherine's kids).  Naturally Sam got a cold just before our trip.  While we were in Mobile, he started running a LOW temp, but since he NEVER runs a temp, we took him to an urgent care clinic.  OF COURSE he ends up with a double ear infection!  How do we go a full YEAR without an ear infection and then get two back to back?!  He (once again) didn't show us any signs with the exception of the fever...no pulling ears or grouchyness or anything!  All is well though, and his antibiotic is working fine.  All in all, a good weekend.

I started my two new jobs...one at the pediatric therapy clinic (The Speech Path) and one (just a PRN job) at Regency Hospital (a long term acute care facility).  I LOOOOOOVE my new peds job.  You just can't beat getting to play with cute kids all day.  It will be tough for a while, since outpatient is very different than what I have been used to.  But I expect that to smooth over quickly, and I already know I am going to love every second of it.

All my other CHD friends have made mention to this, so I feel compelled to spread the word:  Snowboarder Shaun White, who just won gold for the second time in the Halfpipe in the Winter Olympics, is a CHD survivor.  He was born with Tetrology of Fallot, and had two open heart surgeries before the age of one.  It's hard to explain, but all these many types of CHDs tend to blend into each other as far as their characteristics are concerned.  Sam has not been diagnosed with Tet, but he has pieces of this CHD.  In fact, it was a piece of this CHD that went undetected, and nearly killed him one year ago next month.  I can't tell you how uplifting it is to hear about the success of people like Shaun White.  To be told at one point that Sam wouldn't live past the age of three, and then to be able to dream that he can do ANYTHING (even win Gold in the olympics) is so comforting.  I don't expect Sam to be some type of fantastic athlete or anything (he DEFINITLY didn't get the genetics for that one), but to live a life with less of a burden related to his CHD would be such a blessing. 

On a totally unrelated note, Chris and I have signed up for a half marathon in April (Country Music Half in Nashville).  We're super excited.  We're also taking offers for someone to babysit Sam for that weekend!

~Kathy

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

14 Month Birthday

PHOTOS: Sam on his 'birthday'...reclined on our king size, watching tv with remote in hand, cheetoes at his side, complete with shoes on the bed...

Sam's 14 month birthday was today. He's such a big boy. Sometimes it is hard to believe he has a life threatening condition; and at the same time it's hard to forget it. We have truly learned to live for 'today' but worries about the future are ever present. I got a great email today from a stranger that helped me. I am going to post it hoping that it helps my heart friends, as well as our own friends and family, gain some perspective on what Sam's future could be like. I hope Elaine doesn't mind!

"Good Evening: Just read your story about your little boy and I also have a child born with Tricuspid Atresia as well as Transposition of the Great Arteries. My son is now 17 1/2 years old and life is pretty good. He has had three surgeries, being the PA Banding, Glenn, and the Fontan. He is almost 6 feet tall and lives a normal life. He is graduating this year from grade 12 and even has a girlfriend. I remember when he was small I often wondered what his life would be like. He is an awesome skier and does sports moderately. Just thought I would drop you a note and let you know these kids live great lives."

~Elaine P. Saskatchewan, Canada

THANK YOU Elaine! Every 'success' story I hear gives me hope for Sam and these other sweet babies! Happy 14 month birthday sweet baby Sam!! Can't wait to share your successes with the world!

~Kathy
This is Sam's "DON'T TICKLE ME...ok please tickle me" face!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Tricks and a New Job

PHOTO: This is from today, outside of Publix. He was mad because he wanted the cart to keep moving...he's a sensory seeking kid...

Sam has added to his trick list. He has pulled all the way up to stand! I actually found him sitting up in his crib the other day (a real first)...of course, to make it a little extra special, he had somehow worked one arm out of his sleeve and through his neck hole. He can point out where our noses are. He doesn't know where his nose is, though. He can open and close doors and drawers with minimal finger pinching (so far). He climbs over everything, and seems pretty happy kneeling at toys to play. He has finally started to take reciprocal steps when supported under the arms...one step closer to walking!

video

Today, though, we had a mishap with one of our new tricks. He was reaching to pull up on my night stand, where my large, heavy digital SLR camera happened to be sitting. He caught the strap and pulled the camera right onto his head. Poor baby got a goose egg right away on his forehead. I just KNEW he was going to have a 5inch bruise because of his dang aspirin. Luckily the only damage was a quarter size purple forehead knot...and lil' Sammer's pride.

I had my orientation at my new job today! I have a REALLY big office, my own desk, and my own computer (all are MAJOR upgrades from my current job). They are getting in all the new pediatric PT equipment this week. I'll be unloading and organizing it all on my first day, February 15! Check out their web site and my staff member biography: http://www.thespeechpath.com/

~Kathy

PHOTO: Chris and Sam at 6:30am. Good Morning, Mommy!