Saturday, September 29, 2007

One Year Ago Today...

...Samantha had surgery at CHOP to repair her heart. I remember how terrified I was the day after she was born when a cardiologist (Dr. Hougen, the one we continue to see, and absolutely love) came into my room and told me that she had a congenital heart defect that would need to be repaired in 3-6 (I was waiting for him to say "years", here) months. Not like years would have been any better, but the immediacy of it was just so huge.
The night before the surgery, while staying in Ronald McDonald House, Samantha had her first all-out belly laugh. Steve had been making funny faces at her and blowing raspberries into her neck. I got a photo of it (below). I felt so guilty then, thinking about what lay in store for her in just a few hours. I was worried that maybe she would never laugh again. I'm glad to say how wrong I was! The surgery, done by the brilliant Dr. Thomas Spray, only took about 2 hours. And Sam's recovery time was very quick. We were out of the hospital in 5 days, and Samantha had to stay on oxygen for 2 weeks, but she bounced back beautifully. The photo at the top is the day of her surgery, and the one on the right was 8 days later.
We're all very, very grateful.

Monday, September 24, 2007

More Words!

Okay, I think a few posts ago I said Samantha was saying "ball" and "baby". Now she's much better at them, and you can distinguish between the two of them. She's also added "bear" (behhhh--kind of like she's saying it with an English accent, thanks to daddy), "kitty" (toto--her speech therapist said this is good--although she's got the wrong vowel, she's got the staccato sound of the "t" in kitty) and "more" (I haven't heard this myself, but Steve heard it twice the other day. This does not work when baby is hungry and impatient, however.) So, including mama (just smacking her lips together twice) and dada, this makes 7 words!! It's frightening how much of a sponge she's suddenly become.

We spent the weekend up in New Jersey visiting Mom Mom, Pops and Uncle Josh. It was nice to go up there, but it's so crazy to try to pack, even just for overnight! It's amazing how many bags we take up for Sammi--1 shoulder bag of toys, 1 diaper bag, 1 shoulder bag of feeding stuff, a pack and play for her to sleep in, and her clothes (several choices since we don't know what the weather will be like at any given moment), mercifully smushed into our own bag of clothes. And this time we returned with the addition of a rocking horse. It's beautiful--mostly cloth, covered with a hand-made blanket of sorts and a leather bridle--and was a birth gift from Mom Mom & Pops. Samantha's going to have so much fun on that when she's a little bigger!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It Figures!

London Heathrow Airport
Time Zone: GMT
Airport Code: LHR
Tel: +44 (0)870 000 0123
Fax: +44 (0)20 8745 4290
Distance from city: 24km (15 miles)

Okay, so daddy's not coming home tonight. Daddy lost his passport on the way to Heathrow. Fortunately, however, it was left on the bus that took him from Coventry to the airport, and hopefully by now they've returned it to him (he contacted them to confirm they had it). Virgin Atlantic (love them!) have changed his flight to tomorrow night so he's staying either in a hotel near the airport or perhaps has gone into the city center to wander a bit and find a bed and breakfast. Of course, I'll have no way of knowing until he arrives tomorrow. Samantha has an appointment tomorrow with her ENT, so I've taken the day off. I'm just excited for the excuse to spend another day with Sam and not have to put her in daycare. But I'm very, very sad Steve's not home. We're all seeing the humor in it, though, by comparison with everything else he's gone through lately.

Monday, September 17, 2007

First Real Pair of Shoes

I took Samantha to Shoe Train in Potomac, MD on Saturday morning to get her first real pair of shoes. Apparently, according to just about every parent on the DSANV listserve, Ed at Shoe Train is the best at fitting special needs children and at fitting shoes with orthotics. Samantha's orthotics arrived a few weeks ago, and Renee also suggested Ed. Shoe Train would best be called "Shoe Zoo." I got there only an hour after they opened, and the place was absolutely hopping. I signed in and waited about an hour to get seen by Ed, but Samantha wa as good as gold and totally enjoyed watching all the other kids there. She even got a few swipes in at other people's hair, which I deftly managed to deflect in the nick of time (yikes, what a disaster that would have been!). Anyway, the shoes are adorable and the cost was formidable, but if they help her to learn to walk, then it'll all have been worth it.

Later that day, Michelle came over with Matthew and Nate. It was wonderful to have them over, and Samantha, as usual, loved having other kids to play with, although Matthew's opinion of Sam must be getting lower and lower each time she pulls him down and grags his hair! I'm not sure hot to put a stop to this habit, but hopefully she'll grow out of it soon.

Daddy's coming home tomorrow night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

In Loving Memory of Sidney Bates

Steve's father passed away this afternoon. The decline came very suddenly, but the end came very peacefully. He will be very, very missed--he was a good man who would do anything for his family. I'm so happy Samantha had an opportunity to meet him.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Sammi Loves Her Daddy

We went to the park on the Potomac River in Old Town yesterday. It was such a gorgeous day, and Samantha loves being outside. It also presented some wonderful photo ops.
Samantha is also practicing some new sounds. We're pretty sure she's trying to say "ball", or at least that's what we're telling her she's saying! It's just so cute how she purses her lips and says, "bouwwww". Then she'll say, "bouww bouww", so we're telling her she's saying, "baby". Only time (and Samantha) will tell.