Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Parley", Part 2 (or Should I Say, #2?)

Okay, just this one last post about it, then no more blogging about poo. I promise. Samantha went to bed @8pm last night. At about 11, she woke up coughing. She's still a bit congested from the cold she had, and she's been coughing whenever the phlegm (hey, I didn't say I wouldn't blog about phlegm, though!) gets all pooled up in her throat. Yuck. She coughs until she throws it up, then seems quite happy to have gotten it out for the moment. Well, last night, in the middle of one of her coughing fits, she said "poo poo". I asked her if she had to go right now, and she got all excited, nodding, and said "yes" (it's so cute the way she says yes--she's so emphatic. She used to say "yeah", but we've been working on it with her, and now it's "ess.") So I pulled her jammies off, popped the Elmo potty ring on the toilet, and dropped her on top of it. After several minutes of concentration (and some more coughing), there it was! I was so unbelievably proud of my little girl! She was pleased, too. For that she got a big Elmo sticker, which now resides on the wall next to the toilet. I thought for sure she would never do that in the potty, since she mainly only does it when she's asleep.

I only blog about this now because I'm trying to establish the existence of a pattern with her. So now that there appears to be a pattern, I can stop talking about it. Unless, of course, she never does it again. Then I might say something. But for now, Yay for Poo!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Practicing for Pullups!

Samantha was in her crib for a while this morning, having a bit of down time. She got pretty quiet at one point, and we thought that maybe she'd fallen asleep. Nope. We walked in to this:

She had pulled a pair of pants out of her laundry basket into her crib and had gotten them most of the way on! Granted, they were inside out and on top of another pair of pants, but MAN, were we impressed! Carey, if you're reading this, I think about the time you caught Chelsea in her crib with her pants on (LOL) all the time, and have been hoping against hope that Samantha would manage that one day! Next she'll be climbing out of her crib... Actually, I dreamed that she'd done that the other night.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Parley: A Crappy Victory

Gross title, but accurate, nonetheless.

Samantha is still a bit under the weather. Although she's acting pretty normal, she's still not really eating much. Each day I just hope the next day will be better. She told me she was hungry this morning when she woke up so she ate breakfast (a waffle with a small bottle of Pediasure for good measure), and she drank two cups of juice and ate some goldfish and a yogurt during the day, but not much else. She says she's just not hungry. The last time she went through something like this she suddenly became a very fussy eater. I'm hoping she doesn't get any fussier--I don't actually think that's possible. It's not like she doesn't like certain foods, but she just won't even give them a try. She'll clamp her mouth shut and shake her head and say "noooo." Even if it's something I'm absolutely sure she'd like! Anyway, I'm hoping her refusal of food will be a thing of the past tomorrow.

This evening as we were watching tv, Samantha suddenly stood up and walked half way across the living room. I asked her where she was going and she said, "parley." I asked her to clarify and she said it again. "Kitty?" I asked (she's started saying "kirley" for kitty--definitely a step in the right direction from "dodo," which had been her word for kitty from the time she was about 11 months old!) and she shook her head no and patted her bottom and said "poo poo." Duh, "potty" was what she was saying. I'd forgotten about that one. I followed her into the bathroom and put the Elmo potty ring on the toilet, took her pants off, and plopped her on the seat. Well, a couple of times this afternoon she's patted her bottom and said, "poo poo" today, so we'd toddle off to the bathroom and have no result other than an occasional pee. She pees on the potty most times when we put her on it, but she's never pooped. This time was different. Woo Hoo!!! For the very first time ever, she pooped on the potty!! Her stomach is still a bit unsettled so it was a bit "loose," which is probably the only reason we were able to do it (she's usually so constipated!), but she communicated her need and had a very crappy victory indeed!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post-Christmas Sigh

I've been a bit lazy with my blog lately, mostly due to the hectic nature of the holidays in general. Today I am taking the day to sit back and sigh. A sigh of relief that some of the craziness has passed and a sigh of joy and thankfulness for my family. I've already decided that Samantha and I will stay in our jammies again today. I think this is becoming a regular weekend occurrence.

On Christmas Eve, as I prepared to leave work early, Steve called me and said that Samantha had begun to throw up about a half hour before and wouldn't stop. Here I was, reading everyone else's blogs where they said they had sick kids at home, and thinking, "nope, not me. Glad we're all healthy now!" I left immediately and by the time I got home, Samantha was sitting in the middle of the floor, covered in vomit and looking pretty pathetic, with Steve giving the receptionist at the pediatrician's office an earful for not getting one of the doctors to call us back. He was rightfully infuriated that he'd called them nearly an hour prior and all they'd said was that the doctor would call him back and that the doctor said it's a little stomach bug that'll pass and that it's going around with kids right now. Well, that's really not acceptable, when they would make that sort of diagnosis over the phone with absolutely no information to go on other than that our daughter was vomiting. Absolutely no more information than that. How could they possibly know that it was a stomach bug, especially given the time of year when kids are ingesting things they shouldn't, etc. They never even asked Steve any questions to find out more. Okay, so it was just a little stomach bug, but for parents of a child who never/rarely gets sick, this is a pretty big thing. She's feeling better now, but her appetite hasn't yet returned. She was okay to go over to my mom's for Christmas Day, at least.

I didn't get any decent Christmas Day pics of Samantha, unfortunately, since a)she wasn't feeling all that great and b)I just got too sidetracked and forgot to really take any! This year was particularly fun because she really enjoyed ripping the paper off the presents and seeing what was inside. We gave her a chalkboard/dry erase/magnetic easel since she now, finally, knows how to hold a crayon and a piece of chalk, and she received lots and lots and lots of books! Perfect! It seems that she's become much less interested in toys and just likes to surround herself with books. For fun last weekend I took her to Barnes & Noble so she could play. They do have a train table there, but she loses interest in that quite quickly in favor of pulling books off the shelves to sit and read. She can do that for hours. I had to drag her out of the store.

We had a very nice time over at my parents' house yesterday. As always, it was pretty decadent. I won't go into the overwhelming generosity of my mom and Ray here and now, but will leave it at that. And thanks to them and to my wonderful husband, I am now the proud owner of a new Nikon D40 digital SLR camera! I am very excited about this, and can't wait to really start using it! I took a few experimental shots yesterday, and am very pleased with the results. Here's one, not of Samantha, however. Maybe later on today if we get some sunshine I'll try to get some pics of her. It's pretty grey and dreary out so far. The pic at the top of the page is from my folks' house yesterday with my old camera.

I'll have to write more later, but Steve needs the computer to listen to a Boxing Day soccer game from England via web-radio. Typical.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

That's My Girl!!

When Steve went to pick Samantha up from school yesterday, she was playing in the classroom with one of their ride-on toys. He watched as she went to climb on, slipped, and bumped her head on the handlebar. She cried for a moment, and went over to him for comfort, then he released her as she made her way back over to the toy. "Great", he thought..."she's going to go get back on! My girl doesn't give up!" He opened his mouth to say that to the teacher, when Samantha walked right up to the toy and gave it a good, swift KICK! Go, girrrrrrl!

We went to the DSANV holiday party on Saturday, for our 3rd year. This year was particularly special because Samantha wasn't walking last year, and because I know so many more people this year. There were so many families I wanted to have time to talk to, but was glad to speak to the ones I did. A few highlights were that Sammi's little friend, Matthew (Our Roads Traveled), is walking!!! It was so amazing to see him go! We were also so happy to see Bethany (Life with Bubba, Chicky & Nika) and her family and the amazing new addition to their family, Nika. We got to meet the Fergusons (Audrey & Stella's Playground - Megan, your girls are beautiful!), and were thrilled to see our new friends (and neighbors), the Lamjavs (The Lamjav Family) there with their gorgeous little girls. Samantha enjoyed dancing to the music and helping to play bongos, and, sadly, definitely gets her dancing skills from her mama. Let's hope time proves otherwise.

I have gone out and done things with friends on my own maybe three times in the last two and a half years, since Samantha was born. Lastnight Amy L. invited me over to her house with her friends to play Wii and enjoy the cookies baked as part of their cookie exchange. It wasn't until 8pm, so I didn't have to feel guilty about not getting to put Samantha to bed, and she only lives 4 blocks away, so there was no travel time involved. It was so nice to hang out with other women and have conversation in my down time--Amy's friends are really friendly and warm. And the cookies were amazing (Amy, I told you those cookies I brought home wouldn't go to Steve--actually, two of them didn't survive the 4 block journey home...) and I'd never played Wii before, let alone seen one up close. It was a heck of a workout, and a lot of fun--thanks for making me try it!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Faces of the CNF

I don't remember if I ever posted about this before, but I suspect that I haven't. Some time either last year or earlier this year I was contacted by someone from the Child Neurology Foundation who had seen my photos of Samantha on Flickr and who wanted to give their website a facelift (literally). The Foundation felt that the images on the site were too depressing and were looking to brighten it up a bit with more positive, happy imagery. They felt that some of my pics of Samantha were perfect. As you can see above, she's on the Gifting Policy page, but when you first enter the site's main page, the main photo is actually a set of rotating photos, and there's another pic of Sammi if you wait. All of the new images on the CNF website are wonderful, and definitely a far cry from the old site. I'm so glad we could be a part of this!

I'm watching It's a Wonderful Life right now. I think I am truly the only person in America, if not the world, who has not seen this before. For some reason I'm just not a big fan of old movies. Even though I was a film major at school and sat through a fair share of old films (and enjoyed them!), I don't seek them out. But I figure it's about time for me to finally be able to say I've seen it. And yes, I am paying attention to it--I'm typing during the 30,000 commercial breaks that the network is using to break up a 1 1/2 hour film and re-stitch it into a 3 hour epic. So much for getting to bed early tonight...

I leave you with a couple of photos of Sammi taking her wooden grasshopper for a walk. She carries it to the door of our apartment whenever she wants to go out for a walk in the hallway, and it's just priceless to see her trailing her little toy behind her. Yes, I did a lot of editing to the images, but the originals were pretty awful. :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Day For Jammies Only

Originally uploaded by sammi's mom
Two weekends in a row now we have spend one of the two days home in our jammies. Yesterday was just too bitter cold and windy to go outside, and Samantha has come down with a cold. Amazing, though, how she can be as snotty as she is, sneezing, probably achy, etc., yet she was just so fun and cheerful all day! Way back when, in the pre-child days, staying home in jammies was very different--I could read, sleep, bake (hahaha)...but now it's spent trying to find things to entertain a 2 1/2 year old and following her around the apartment to try to keep her out of trouble. Oh, in a related bit of exciting developmental news, Samantha has gotten very good at blowing her own nose! We still have to use the bulb syringe on occasion, but she's able to get a lot of it out herself. She is fascinated by tissues--if you leave a box anywhere near her, she'll keep pulling tissues out and blowing her nose on each one before chucking it on the floor.

Saturday nearly turned out to be a jammies only day, but I felt guilty and wanted to get her out of the house. So I bundled her up like a snowman/child and we went into Old Town to see Santa arrive by boat on the Potomac. MAN, it was cold! But you really couldn't beat the atmosphere. As we got there it started snowing, and I
parked the stroller in front of a brass band playing Christmas carols. That kind of thing always gets me teary-eyed for some reason. I think it's that I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the fact that I'm able to share something so perfect with my Samantha. I can't remember if I ever mentioned this before, but when we found out she had Down syndrome when she was born, I had visions of a zombie-like woman-child holding my hand for the rest of my life, not appreciating things like music, art, fashion, travel, etc. And to have her bouncing in the stroller to the music in such a moving environment during my favorite (holiday) season of the year, just means so much to me.

I reconnected with an old friend on the phone last night. I hadn't spoken to her in 3 years, since I was about 6 months pregnant with Sammi. I told her, in all truthfulness, that Samantha is a wonderful gift and that I wouldn't have her any other way. We had a long, heartfelt conversation about how special life is, and without me even mentioning the crusade that so many parents of children with special needs are on, my friend said that there needs to be education among the doctors who give prenatal diagnoses to provide better facts to mothers-to-be about the capabilities of children with Down syndrome instead of putting pressure on them to terminate their pregancies. She described the Changing Lives program perfectly, without even knowing it existed! Okay, so how did my blog about staying in jammies get to this? Yikes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Different Sort of Heart Problem...

Yep, my baby is a heartbreaker. Samantha, officially 2 1/2 as of Sunday, is breaking hearts at school. Samantha and Juan, a little boy in her class, have been inseparable since the beginning of the school year. She says his name at home all the time (followed by the names of others at school), and runs to him when class starts every day. Now, I have not yet met this young man, but Steve has and he assures me his intentions are honorable. Sharing snacks and pulling hair, as well as sneaking the occasional kiss on the arm seem to be pretty worrisome to me, however.

Well, the drama has begun now that there's a new dude in class. His first day was Monday, and Samantha wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. Any attempts to get her to play with him were met with total resistance. Whenever Juan would go to play with him, Samantha, in a fit of jealousy, would run over to pull Juan away from him. The tide turned yesterday when Samantha decided that the new boy is more deserving of her attentions, and poor little Juan has been left out in the cold. While he stands off by himself, pouting, Samantha has been kissing the new boy and sharing toys with him!

I have not yet met this new young man, either, and neither Steve nor I know his name, so naturally we are very skeptical and will be keeping a very close eye on the situation. I will post more as things progress... That's my girl!

Here's another photo from Thanksgiving, beautifully enhanced in Photoshop by one of my Flickr friends.