Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything. We've been busy with Christmas coming (tomorrow!) not to mention chasing the little man around. And cleaning everything up.

The other day we had Spaghettios for lunch. He insists on eating his food with a utensil in hand. He might not use it, but he has to have it. Most of the time, he has to have 2 or 3.

A week ago he woke up and we were at Miss Amy's house when I noticed his eye. It was goopy and crusty but not pink. He'd had a runny nose for a little over a week but I thought it was closely related to the 2 front teeth he has coming in, just in time for Christmas. But the eye thing had me a little concerned. The Dr. wanted to see him so later that morning we went to visit the pediatrician. Turns out Samuel has an ear infection in both ears! Yuck! For 13 months we have avoided any ear infection that Kevin and I seemed to get so frequently when we were his age. But we can avoid it no longer. One lesson I have learned from this latest round of antibiotics: The strawberry flavoring is Samuel's favorite so far. He's not into the bubble gum flavor.

This evening we decided to take Samuel to see Santa and have his picture taken with the man in red. As it turns out, Bass Pro Shop was hosting the big guy and giving away free pictures with him. I was a bit fearful of the potential disaster this was going to be, seeing so many photos recently of children Samuel's age crying through the whole experience. But, as stated so many times before, we have a trooper on our hands. He was a great little guy, smiling and even waving goodbye!
While we were at the store, we thought we could play a little...

A little random, but this is video of Samuel eating lemons for the first time.

Last week we were blessed with some early Christmas blessings when my dad came for a week. While he was here he offered to help make my house more of a home (thank you!) and he had some help in the process. What a good helper! And what a fabulous red wall! Thanks so much grand-dad!

Laughing and playing with Grand-dad. There are some of the sweetest sounds in this video! And it's cute how he tries to copy what he sees.

And, the most requested video of late: a longer video of Samuel walking.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Casualties

As of Tuesday, December 17, there have been casualties of the Christmas variety in our house:

1 Baby's 1st Christmas hand-painted glass ornament
1 Christmas Tree

I have to go buy some super glue to try to repair the ornament. And our Christmas tree will probably be leaning against the wall until after Christmas when trees are marked down. Imagine, Christmas morning with a leaning Christmas tree!

Note: Invest in a gate to protect the Christmas tree and its shiny ornaments. And, even if you do put the "touchable" ornaments on the bottom for little hands to play with, those same little hands like to pull and will pull a tree down. This pulling down of the big Christmas tree makes all breakable ornaments up higher on the tree just further from the floor and quite unsteady.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What you've been waiting for

Buckle your seat belts. It's going to be a wild ride.

Another, just for fun. Down the stairs!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's a Boy!

Samuel is expecting a cousin in mid-April and we are delighted it's going to be a boy! Samuel can't wait to perfect his new tricks like spitting and throwing food so he can teach to his cousin. Congrats Morgan and Andy. We are all excited and know you are too.

We (sans Kevin) had the pleasure to go to Maryland for Thanksgiving. Some things just aren't right and Thanksgiving isn't "Thanksgiving" unless it's at my parent's home. It was nice to get to visit with my brother, sister-in-law, and my grandparents for a few days. Samuel was spoiled, it doesn't take long for these things to happen. It was very cold (to me). I knew it was chilly when stepping off the plane, I could see my breath.

The trip there was bearable since the flight was barely half-full. The worst thing that happened: Samuel knocked his applesauce onto the floor, including enzymes, which splattered up and onto the bag belonging to the guy sitting next to us. And on his pants too. So embarrassing. The flight back, Samuel fell asleep in the airport and stayed knocked out for MOST of the flight. The last 45 minutes he woke up and realized he needed to make up for lost time. He wanted to crawl down the aisle, which was not acceptable. When that couldn't happen, he screamed, became a noodle, and tried to get down. By COMPARISON, he was excellent. By my standards, he's had better days.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

..and he's off!

Samuel is getting brave! He's walking with one hand on the couch or the other day he was walking while holding on to my hand. Some people are encouraging Samuel to just get up and walk. These are not people who live in this house or would otherwise have to chase Samuel around the house/church/grocery store/neighborhood..whatever place would apply. But he has been standing up while leaning against the couch, face out, and it really won't be too much longer.

Last week I accidentally erased the video of him walking with his tractor. I was able to get new video of that yesterday and am posting it before I erase it this time! This is 2 minutes of him going back and forth with his tractor. He will do this for a lot longer than 2 minutes. He goes and when he can't go straight anymore, he walks to the other side and goes backward. Back and forth, back and forth.

Last time I wrote about when I dropped Samuel at Miss Amy's, I said he couldn't have cared less that I was leaving. This past Friday I dropped him off and he actually waved to me as I was walking out the door. Next week I am expecting him to get out of the car and carry his own stuff in and say, "Please mom, you don't have to come in." And then the week after that he will be driving himself there.

He's mad because I won't let him have the camera. I should just give it to him and let him finish destroying it. The buttons have somehow gotten sticky and now I have a rough time turning the silly thing on. Thankfully, Costco has some on sale now...

Still mad...If you read lips, you may be able to tell he is saying something like "nooooooo" or whining something similar.

We are getting ready to go to Maryland for Thanksgiving! Samuel and I are very excited to see all the family that will be there. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures of Samuel bundled up for the cold. That will be fun!

I just realized that he's wearing the same thing in all these pictures. It's not because he doesn't have clothes to wear, but they were all taken Saturday morning, just before breakfast. We really do change his clothes.

Signing out...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Year in review-Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe it's been a year. For over a year now, Samuel has had enzymes with every meal. That's a lot of pills! He's had vitamins everyday. He's had breathing treatments most of those days. He's such a trooper, but to him, he doesn't know that other kids don't do that. He's been really getting into his breathing treatments. He knows he can't win the fight anymore so he enjoys the silly songs we sing for him. When he sees the mask, he actually puts it up to his face for a few seconds. How fabulous!

In the past year, Samuel has had it pretty easy, considering what we are up against. He's only struggled with pneumonia once and the constant battle hasn't been anything more than keeping his weight up. He hasn't had one hospital visit or long stay at the emergency room or clinic. All in all, we've been very blessed. He is a very happy boy who loves just that: being a boy. He likes to get dirty, be in control and not sleep. He really enjoys getting into news things (i.e. trouble) and climbing the stairs to go back down them. When I look at him sleeping in his bed, it's amazing how big he is getting! I am so blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

So, what's Samuel been up to? Well, some people would like you to think he was the one who coordinated the jail break yesterday, but he told me he was trying to stop it. Miss Amy had the windows open and turned the corner to see one and a half kids out the window with Samuel holding on to the legs of the one who was on his way out. Like I said, he told me he was trying to pull him back in, but you can believe who you would like.

The high chair must be a comfortable place. When he can't even stay awake for some chicken nuggets then he must be extremely worn out.

The other day I had some great video of Samuel scooting around with his tractor. Then I went to a baby shower and was deleting old pictures and deleted the video without uploading it first! So, I have to record him doing that again soon and get it up. He looks like a little old man walking along. It's great!

We had Samuel's first year portraits taken. They turned out great! Here are just a few:

He likes high hair, just like his mommy! :)

The first pose in this collection (above)...can you see the mischief in his eyes?

We love Samuel!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Year Ago, Today...

On this day, one year ago, Samuel had his sweat test. I was a nervous new mom and Samuel was a sweet little, itty-bitty, baby.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

He's a little boy

Wow! It seems like since Samuel's birthday his personality is developing so fast! In addition to walking, with the help of his John Deere tractor, he is really starting to test the waters.

While I've been working with him to learn the sign for "finished", he will only sign that he is finished when I ask him. And I can usually tell when he is finished because he starts throwing his food in the floor. Cute at home because Lucy is eager to be on the clean-up crew, but obnoxious at a restaurant or friend's house. That being said, Sunday morning he was eating pancakes for breakfast. While he was eating, I was making a pot of coffee for myself. (Yes, a pot). I looked over to see him throw a piece of pancake overboard and then watch Lucy gobble it up. Just as he was reaching for another piece, I said to him, "Samuel, don't throw your food on the floor." He looked at me, and while making eye contact, dropped another piece over the other side. He is such a stinker!

This is his latest discovery:

He is also doing just great at Miss Amy's house. Kevin has been dropping him off more frequently that I have but I had a turn last Friday. He was so eager to play, he couldn't have cared less when it was time for me to leave. On my way to work, I called Kevin and said "He's supposed to cry when I leave! It's supposed to be harder than this!" We both knew he would adjust well, just not THIS well! :)

He has so much fun at Miss Amy's, playing and doing a daily project. I have Samuel's project on the wall in my kitchen. Soon, we won't need to paint or buy any expensive art to hang on the walls since they will be covered with Samuel's handprint turkeys, trees, pumpkins, or whatever else he is working on that day. He is so busy there, he only has time for 1 nap. Sometimes, it comes a little early. Poor guy... Kevin and I don't know whose kid this is as neither of us ever remember falling asleep while being served a meal. ;)

Kevin and I are bracing ourselves for a big growth spurt. Samuel has had a cold for the past few days and didn't sleep well Sunday night. THEN, he only had a short nap on Monday. Knowing this, we let him take a little nap that evening, starting around 6:30 or so. By 8:30 we were wondering if we should wake him up. We took our chances (after I said I would be the one to get up with him if he woke up fully rested at 2:00 am) and let him sleep on. He woke up at 3:00 am, looking for a binky. Once that was recovered, he went right back to sleep. At 7:45 Tuesday morning he finally was ready to get out of bed. Both Kevin and I were shocked that he slept that long but know when that happens, he's getting ready to grow.

Not sure if I mentioned it before, but Samuel is on a new milk now, Nutren Jr. An 8 oz. can is 250 calories. And he's supposed to have 3 cans a day. Is it any wonder he's starting to get that second chin back? It's great! Maybe we can get his weight up in the same percentile as his head (the 90th)!

Thanks for checking in. More updates soon, I promise.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Samuel is 1!

My little boy is growing up. Yesterday was his birthday and all day I kept remembering what I was doing at that moment a year ago. Samuel's grandparents (Erica's mom and dad) were able to come visit for his birthday so he got extra spoiled and didn't have to go to Miss Amy's house for a few days. For his birthday we had some friends and family over for some cake and ice cream. We watched him play in/eat his cake and attempt to play with the gifts he received. He was so sleepy by that time, there were about 2 that he was fascinated with. All in all, it was a great time. Thanks to all who could make it or otherwise shared in the celebration.

On his big day, Samuel figured out a new way to get to things he's not supposed to have. We have a lamp and some glass coasters on a table in the living room. He's not allowed to play with these things. Yesterday, Samuel figured out how to get to them in a new and exciting way: go the back way. This is him leaving the scene of the crime.

Today I saw the funniest thing. I saw a Hawaiian surfer on a John Deere tractor being attacked by a bear! Who would have ever thought?

I have finally uploaded some pictures from recent trips or local adventures. Tennessee was great and the photo ops were plenty. Some of my favorites: our golf trip.

There is a local farm, Schnepf Farms, where we took our youth group a few weeks ago. If you are looking for some great entertainment for your family or group, I highly recommend it. There are so many things to do there for all ages: rides, corn maze, train rides, hay rides, food, pig races, petting zoo...so much to do. We got started a little late but still enjoyed ourselves. Just get your tickets at Fry's Food first and save $2....always important.

Samuel has been doing great at Miss Amy's. No more tears all morning like the first few days. He's got some great friends over there in Delaney and Timmy. The other day Timmy even got up from Dora to welcome Samuel there for the day. I can already tell a difference in how he interacts with other kids, even though those 2 are older than he is. He's doing very good and I'm very proud of him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Monday

My first day back to work. It was a good day for me. I started working again. I am officially a "working mother". Not to say I wasn't before...aren't ALL mothers working? At any rate, back to the office I go. Not such a great day for Samuel. He stayed with his friend Delaney and her mommy, Miss Amy. Poor Miss Amy. Samuel cried for most of the day, wouldn't eat, refused to sleep, and from what I understand, made the other kids cry too. Is it possible Samuel will be asked to not return? Never. Delaney loves "her Samuel" too much. :)

Just an update on Samuel's health:

Last week he had a fever (see previous post). He had a chest x-ray. On Saturday evening I got a phone call that I wasn't prepared for. The technician and doctor had found something in the upper right lobe of Samuel's lung and they couldn't explain what it was. Something was there, whether a mass of tissue, fluid, or pneumonia. After worrying a little and praying a lot, we met with his pediatrician today. Doctor says his chest sounds great! And he suspects, even though he hasn't seen the x-ray, that the mass/haziness in his lung is just pneumonia. He was treated for pneumonia last week so we are already half-way through that treatment and Samuel seems to be doing OK. He still has a cough, which I am expecting him to have that for a while. Thank you Jesus! Silly as it may sound, I'll take a diagnosis of pneumonia over a "mass of tissue" any day!

I realize I've not posted new pics lately. It's not that I don't have them...We got wonderful pictures in Tennessee! Just, the camera is downstairs and the computer is upstairs and, I think you can see where I'm going with this. Maybe tomorrow.

Thanks for checking in and praying for Samuel!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Week in review

As I write this, I can hear Kevin saying "You need to go to bed!" but he isn't here tonight so I stay up and blog. :) I'll pay for this later...

I'll pay, mainly because sleep has been elusive this week. Monday and Tuesday mornings, Samuel woke up early and the only consoling he would accept was to lay in the family bed, between us. OK, fine. We just got back from a trip, I thought. He should be over this soon. Right.

Tuesday afternoon I was playing with him in the floor and when I picked him up, I immediately noticed his back felt very warm. I took his temperature and he had a low fever. I figured it was because he is getting a new tooth (#2). Being like most other moms, I gave him some Tylenol and took him to the grocery store. Later that evening, after the pediatricians office closed (it always happen like that!) his fever was higher, like in the 102's. He was really not himself and just miserable. Kevin and I struggled with the decision: do we wait until the morning and call his doctor or do we take him to urgent care? I waited until Kevin was in bed to decide that we needed to go to the clinic. Really, I didn't but it just worked out that way. Sorry, Kevin.

We got there around midnight and after 2 pukey shirts, 1 chest x-ray, 1 throat culture, 1 mid-night call to the PCH pulmonologist and a prescription for antibiotics, we got to go home. It was about 3 am. Wednesday was miserable as I struggled to give him enough fluids, clean up those fluids when they came back, then try to feed him and keep him comfortable. It's heartbreaking when he looks at me, crying and says, "ma-ma-ma-ma".

BUT, his fever broke last night, thanks to many prayers of our friends and family! And today, he's back to his old self: digging through the cabinets and climbing the stairs. In fact, today he made it all the way to the top and half-way to the office when I caught up with him. When he sees me coming, he crawls as fast as he can like he's running away. As funny as it is to watch, we are really trying to discourage that behavior for when he starts walking. I can hear you all saying "good luck" with a sly grin on your face. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What's new with Samuel

Someday soon, too soon for me, Samuel will figured out he doesn't need to hold on to the couch to get around. He's already mastered crawling and is quite comfortable climbing the stairs. Scary. (I'm sorry this is sideways - I can't figure out how to fix it. It's not long so you shouldn't get too bad of a neck cramp.)

We'll call this one "Not too big for his britches". I had put him in a new pair of jeans the other day and I went to see what he was doing...his britches were falling down! He ended up getting down and crawling right out of them! I have a nudest. He crawls away mid-diaper change as well. He's such a stinker!

Lately, Samuel has been making this funny noise with his mouth, smacking his lips sorta. The other day after lunch I thought I'd take a minute to record him doing it. He did for a little while but he got distracted and had other tasks to do. It begins at about 1 minute and I'll let you guess what it is. :)

Usually Samuel enjoys bothering Lucy and she usually leaves him alone. Sometimes they play together and it's so cute. And USUALLY, Lucy doesn't like Samuel to get in her food and bones. However, she is learning that he is very generous when handing out bones (1 for you, 1 for me) and sometimes they share food (YUCK!). But Samuel has recently started reaching for things higher in the pantry. The other day I had the door closed but not all the way. It didn't take too long...

And then...

One last thing. I finished "The Book"! It's not the best work I've ever done, but it's finished and Samuel likes it. He drags it around on the dirty floor! But I'm so glad it's finished. I'm so proud. I'll have to take a picture of it and post it.

Thanks for checking in. I'll update later in the week as we have Samuel's "CF Annual Visit" tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Potty Time!

A few weeks ago I was telling about collecting a sample from Samuel and mentioned it would be easier to start potty training. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea so last week we started. Well, I started. I was working with him every day. Friday was the day. On Friday, Samuel peed in the potty. He did on Saturday too! The first time it happened, I was so surprised! He was so slick about it and I hadn't even noticed until it was time to get him up and I almost spilled it in the floor. But by Saturday, he knew what he was doing. Then Saturday evening we tried again, just before bathtime. Not so much luck then. He peed in the bathtub. Close...it's in the same room, right? I'm so happy that we are getting a head start on this.

Not only is it Potty time, but it's Party time too! I've been working on Samuel's first birthday bash. It's not really a bash, just some friends coming over for cake and ice cream but it will be a bash to him.

That's about all that's going on around here right now. Will keep updating as things change.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A new find - This is BIG!

This is so cool and I am so excited to be able to share with you.

I'm working on something big. BIG big. Well, it's big to me. I've found this site, onetruemedia.com and I think it's fabulous. If you know about it already, just keep those comments to yourself. I want to think I was the one that discovered this on my own.

Samuel's first birthday is just around the corner and it seems like that should be about the time I should start fund-raising for Team Samuel's participation in Great Strides 2009. For a while I've been thinking about a video for Samuel and this site allows me to do it...for free. Yes, free. I love free stuff! And this allows me to put my photos, home videos and choice of music together just as I want it done.

While I'm not finished this latest project, you can be assured it will be posted here to be the next big viral video. First I need to finish "the book" (see post titled 9 months), a sweater while I'm still excited about it and this silly diaper kit I purchased a while ago. Oh who am I kidding, I'll stay up all night editing, tweaking, and rethinking my choice of music and it should be complete by 2 am. But first, for real first, I need to go make dinner. Hungry husbands aren't very sympathetic to those of us who are too creative to make dinner! :)

Stay tuned!


P.S. No, they didn't pay me to say any of this stuff about their fabulous site, but they should!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And all the medical stuff

While we were out of town we got a letter from PCH wanting to schedule a "CF Annual Visit". This is a time to meet with all members of the CF team to discuss Samuel's past year and set goals for the coming year. We should plan on being at the CF center for 2-3 hours. That appointment is set for October 7.

However, prior to the appointment, Samuel needs several tests. He needs lots of bloodwork, a urinalysis, TB skin test and a chest x-ray. I figured these things weren't going to take care of themselves so last week I started making appointments. This morning he had all his bloodwork and TB skin test taken care of. I felt bad doing this in one day, in one morning, but it's all done and we don't have to get more pokes. Samuel did GREAT with the pokes. I honestly believe he hates being held down more than he hates the sticks. As for the urine and x-rays. Well, the x-rays can be done later this week. We don't need an appointment for them. And the urine...

This afternoon we tried for the urine test but boys don't aim very well and he's even worse at peeing on que. To help this process, the lab gave me 2 collection bags. The idea is to give him a drink, lay him down for a nap with the bag strategically placed to collect what he releases during his nap. When he wakes, you empty the bag into the cup and all is done. I had the right idea, I guess. Drink? check. Lots to drink? check. Nap? check. Bag placement correct? I didn't have a diagram to follow but I'm confident that's a check. Bag 'O Pee after a nap? Not so much. See, the diaper and the bag were competely dry after the nap so I left it in place thinking "He has to go sometime!" About 1/2 hour to 45 minutes later I could smell that he had indeed peed and thought this process could be over. I laid him down to carefully remove the bag and the sample and change the diaper that had caught what was left when the bag was filled to the brim (yeah right). I was a little disappointed to find the diaper was soaked and the little plastic bag had worked it's way from the designated location. Not only that, but it was wet on the wrong side. Dry on the inside, wet on the outside. Fabulous. Thankfully, the nice lady gave me 2 bags. Now that I think about it, she probably gave me one "practice" bag and one "real" bag. If I mess up the real bag though, I'm going to have to go back to saying, "Here Samuel, just aim for the cup." I might as well start potty training.

We are still here

I know I have been very lax in my posts recently. I'll blame it on catching up after "vacation". But we are still here and there is so much to add. It might get done in several posts. I'll put all his medical news in another post.

So Samuel is now getting into everything and gets mad when I put the gate up to keep him out of our front room. Tonight he climbed an entire staircase (supervised) at Bishop Hudson's house. At our house, he's done the first 3 steps to the landing, then stopped. And, what's great is he knows how to back down them to get down. He hasn't tried (yet) to go down head-first. But he is training for the speed-crawling event for the 2010 Olympics. I'm sure he'll qualify. Last week, when he started the stair climbing, I left him for a second to get his juice and when I came back he had crawled from about 3 feet away and was sitting on the bottom step of the stairs facing the second step. I was gone for about 5 seconds I'm sure.
He's also starting to copy what he hears. Such as, I cleared my throat the other day...he did too. He was making noises, I made the same noise, he did it again. He's even trying to say uh-oh when I do. The lesson: I need to stop calling people idiots when I'm driving.

The last post I said he's got a tooth. Well, he's getting another one right next to it. He's been smacking his lips for over a week trying to suck it through. It's cute when he makes a fish face for sucking so hard!

I also told about his silly face. Well, I have multiple pictures of the silly face, or toothy grin, as I like to call it. He's such a silly!

We keep Lucy's dog food and bones on the floor in the pantry. Under normal circumstances Lucy would NOT take kindly to Samuel messing with her stuff. But there is always an exception to the rule and today was it:

While we were in Virginia, we had the opportunity to take Samuel to the beach for the first time. It was dusk but it looks like we were there in the middle of the night. Maybe Kevin couldn't see the waves coming in and that's how he got his pants soaked. Yeah, I'm sure that's what happened. :) Samuel liked the water once he was used to it. This pic is the first wave touching his feet and the second after this was captured, he started to cry. But only for a second and he was ready for more. He really wanted to sit in the sand...
Also while on "vacation" we started to have some issues with going to sleep. Thank heaven for swings! I don't know what I would have done to get him to sleep that night. I remember I put him in the swing then went in the other room with my mom. Kevin and my dad were in the same room with Samuel. I heard him stop crying and the silence turned into 5 minutes. I said to my mom, "Samuel is asleep." I turned the corner and he surely was soundly asleep.

Speaking of sleeping in funny positions... Today I went in to check on him and he had fallen asleep in some yoga-type pose. His legs were crossed and he was bent at the waist on top of them. On the way down he caught the crib bumper pad and squished it for a little pillow. I felt so bad for him being all twisted up but then remembered how much I enjoyed being in that position when I was pregnant with him. He gets it honest I'd say.

Some other fun stuff:

So much to say and nobody understands:

And this is a baby chair similar to a Bumbo. It's great because babies can't get out of it so you don't have to worry about them crawling all over the place...they just stay put!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Checking in from the east coast...

Samuel has one tooth and another making it's way in. I noticed the first one at the airport a week ago while we were waiting for our flight. Since it was delayed 3 hours and we didn't have anything else to do in the Phoenix airport, I was trying to keep him entertained and as tired as possible so he would sleep on the flight. A few days before, I thought I had heard a tooth scrape across a spoon but I could never see anything. He was also just not himself. He wasn't grouchy, just there. But at the airport, I could feel it and was so excited! I wanted to go over to the microphone at the gate and announce to my fellow passengers "My son has his first tooth! Finally!" but I just turned to another mom making conversation and shared the news with her. Thankfully, she didn't think I was crazy. Since we have been here he has started showing signs of having another break through. By the time we get back home to Arizona he should have 2 teeth.

He is also an avid crawler. He is really getting around quite well. You know your son crawls too much when the tops of his shoes and/or socks are dirty from dragging on the floor!

While we are away, I've been fortunate to have access to my e-mail while away. I get weekly e-mails regarding the growth and development of Samuel based on his age. Well, this week I got e-mails from 2 different sources regarding communication. Both sources encouraged parents to curb the baby talk. Do you hear the angels singing Hallalujah!? I believe teaching baby talk is confusing for a little one learning so much. I think of it like this: Imagine you were told the color red was actually blue and blue was orange and orange was really yellow and yellow was brown and brown was green and green was blue. You would have to relearn your colors. Well, if we always referred to a "bottle" as a "baba" then he would have to relearn this thing that gives him milk is really a bottle, not a baba. When giving him his bottles, I try to call it milk, not bottle, since milk comes from a bottle and juice from a cup. All this to say, I don't want Samuel thinking "So what else am I going to have to relearn?" I read about the importance of teaching children the difference between a cut, bruise, or scratch and not referring to all as "boo-boos". What a great idea! These sources also emphasize the importance of setting good examples of speaking properly. This doesn't mean I walk around the house saying, "Good day, kind sir" to Kevin, but, rather, just try to make sure what I say is something I want Samuel to say. At 10 months old, he is learning something new every second of the day. I really am trying to make it easier on myself to not have to re-teach him these important things later. While I'm on the subject, let me throw this out there: I'm not the best English speaker, but I'm determined to do my best.

Sorry no pictures this time. I can't get them loaded on this computer. I'll have plenty of pictures when we all get home. Thanks for checking in!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Be inspired!

Samuel has been a real character lately. He has a really cheesy grin that he likes to give and it is so funny and cute. I haven't been able to snap a photo of it yet because he won't hold that pose but I'm sure I'll get it sometime soon.

Lately we've been having to put at least 2 binkies in his crib with him. Somehow he throws one overboard and needs the other for backup. But sometimes he will have both. And when he does the show begins. He will lay in his bed, binky #1 in mouth, and hold the other one in front of him. He sees binky #2 in hand, spit binky #1 out and insert binky #2. Then he'll pick up binky #1, spit out #2, and insert #1. The process repeats until he gets bored and falls asleep or we laugh too hard and he gets distracted.

The other evening he was having a snack in the floor and finally decided to share with Lucy. He is such a good sharer but Lucy needs help with her sharing. When he realized he wasn't getting his snack back he wasn't happy at all. He has since shared his stuff with her from the comfort of his high chair (I think he likes to see her jump up and get it from his hand) but hasn't been too upset by it.

While Kevin was gone to Show Low one evening, he missed some of Samuel entertaining himself. Luckily, I was able to capture THAT on video and share with him and all of you. The hard part is deciding which video to post as he did this for quite a while.

Has anyone else been inspired by the Olympics? I have. Seeing people set a goal and work every day to achieve that goal is inspiring to me. What have I been inspired to do? Besides stay up late watching, well, gee, I can't quite say. I've done some extra crunches lately and made an extra effort to trim some money on groceries. Now that I think about it, I think that last one is more of a necessity than anything else. I guess the thought that people who raise their kids and go to school and work just like you and me can achieve some level of superhumaness (that is a word created in our junior high class and I think it is appropriate here). They can live right down the street from us and for 2 weeks every 4 years their name is on our lips like they are super stars. And they are, I don't want to take anything from them. But thinking about it, greatness isn't difficult to achieve. Whatever you wish to achieve, just set your mind and never never never give up and you will be a superhuman champion in your own right. Good luck and God speed!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Samuel's IPL

Happy Friday! Today was Samuel's IPL (Infant Pulmonary Lab) and it finally happened! It wasn't as bad as I had expected. I had told my mom "the beatings will commence at 1:00". But there were no beatings. I woke Samuel up at 7 this morning and gave him a bottle before he couldn't have any more milk. We played until about 10:20, when we went to the grocery store. I figured getting him out of the house and doing something would be less painful. He fell asleep on the way to and from the grocery store, which, luckily, is only about 2 miles away. He TRIED to go to sleep on the way to PCH, which is about 20 miles away, but Kevin and I did everything we could think of to keep him awake: rolled the windows up and down, honked the horn, sang action songs, and even did the cold wet washcloth to the face, neck, arms and legs.

If you have ever said to your child something like "One day you will WANT to go to sleep and I won't let you!" well, today was that day for me. Samuel has been fighting sleep for the past few days and today the roles were reversed. While it was funny some of the time, it wasn't a party. In the end, I felt cruel. I felt like a terrible mommy.

While at the store, he was really starting to get sleepy. I've never seen him act the way he did there. He actually laid his head down on the shopping cart and closed his eyes! Every fellow shopper commented on how sleepy he looked. However, the store employee must have thought I was crazy when I was crying in the baby food aisle. She said to me, "Boy, somebody looks sleepy!" and I replied, through my tears, "I know and I'm having a real problem with it." Surely she was thinking "sheesh, lady! just let him go to sleep!" but thankfully kept her crazy mom comments to herself.

After the morning, Samuel finally got to get some rest at 1:30. To make sure he was sleeping soundly, the doctor gave him some medicine to make him relaxed and sleepy. He was out cold at 1:35 and the test started at 1:40. It lasted for about an hour and we got results soon after it was complete.

For the results to make sense, you should know there are 4 parts to the test. The first 2 are done under "normal" circumstances i.e. no meds. The last 2 parts are after some albuterol is administered. The bad news is that his lung capacity is a little below normal. The good news is that after meds, it's excellent. While compiling the results the doctor asked if there was a history of asthma in our family. It turns out, Samuel's test results, according to this physician, are more consistant with someone who has asthma, not cystic fibrosis. I thought that was interesting and a blessing of sorts.

We left PCH with a very sleepy boy, who hasn't fought sleep once yet today, and a prescription for some med I can't remember. It's a steriod. We made sure to ask if it would get Samuel kicked out of the Olympics for doping. The nurse said it wouldn't. You can never be too careful about those things!

Thanks for checking in. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vote for US!

No, I'm not running for office. But my mom and I made* some great grab bags for a contest. The more votes we get, the better our chances for some fantastic prizes! So vote early, vote often.

Pictures are below. Vote here.


*I may have helped my mom a little. Not that she isn't capable of doing something so wonderfully fantastic, I was just trying to be a good daughter since she has other things going on in her life. I love you mom!

Too many doctors!

It's Thursday at the time of this posting and Samuel is scheduled for his 2nd attempt for a pulmonary function test tomorrow. If you are a faithful follower, you may remember we attempted this back in the spring with no luck. Samuel wouldn't fall into a deep enough sleep for us to begin the test. We have a few tricks up our sleeve for tomorrow, such as awake at 5:30 and no naps. BUT for a fun-loving boy who doesn't like naps anyway, this could perhaps be the best day of his life. This test is to provide us with a starting point. It will give us some baseline results for comparison in a few months and years.

We know Samuel likes paper at the doctors office. Well, he likes just about any paper. This is just a cute video taken at the pediatrician's office...before the 2 pokes.

I got an e-mail yesterday. The subject was "culture results". It might as well have said "We need to talk". You know the feeling. You know you are supposed to read it and eventually face the music but are a little scared of what it might say. Well, after reading a few other e-mails, I worked up the nerve to open and read this:

Hi Erica and Kevin,

Just wanted to let you know that Samuel’s culture just grew a “scant” amount of Staph aureus. It is the normal staph that is on our skin, etc. Not the resistant kind. He has grown this in the past. No change in treatment.

That wasn't so bad. I was relieved to say the least. One more culture that we don't have to worry about! Thank you Jesus!

Now on to the fun stuff. Look what Samuel can do now! Just who is teaching him all these moves? Once he is standing up, and while Lucy is barking you can hear Samuel purr. He rolls his tongue all the time. Even when screaming, he rolls his tongue. I'm glad I got it on camera.

I've also been asked to give more more more pictures. So here we go:

Samuel, nosy Samuel, as his fate walks through the door: the girls who gives the "pokes".

Posing, I promise. Big muscles!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Update on Samuel

We took Samuel to PCH today for a follow up visit. He is 28.25 inches long and weighs in at 19 pounds, 9 ounces, just at the 50th percentile. This is a slight problem as the CF team would like to keep his weight up around the 75th percentile. To help pack the pounds back on, we are going to increase his calorie intake by making his milk more concentrate. It's usually 20 calories per ounce; we will make it 24 calories per ounce. Part of the issue is Samuel is sometimes too busy playing to eat so I am going to try to feed him more frequently throughout the day.

Samuel has also been having a problem sitting still long enough for a breathing treatment. It wasn't a problem when he slept most of the time because we could hold a mask to his face for 10 minutes with no problem. Those days are no longer. We are going to use a MDI, or inhaler, along with a spacer to give him the inhaled medicines. This will take much less time than before. He just needs to have the mask to his face for about 1 minute total and should be much more "doable" than before.

Like the last visit, he enjoyed playing with the paper on the table, but was really interested in the cords on the wall. He was too little to understand he was sitting on the back of a hippo but we all agreed one day he will think that is so cool.

The hypertonic saline study has been put on the back burner again for reasons I am not sure of. We were going to wait until Samuel began participating in the study to try to complete his pulmonary function test (PFT a.k.a. IPL) again. However, since we don't know when that will be, we need to do the PFT soon. We will attempt to do this again in about a month, I would guess. We have to go visit everyone in Maryland and Virginia first!

Samuel will go back to PCH in 2 months, which I am sure will feel like 2 weeks. Just think, in 2 months, we will be preparing for his 1 year birthday! But before birthdays and PCH, we go visit his pediatrition on Monday for a well-baby check. Well-baby = shots. Throat cultures at one place, shots at the other...poor little guy. :(

Thanks for checking in. Stay tuned for more updates later.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's been 2 months

Already! It seems like we were just at PCH yesterday. But we are going again tomorrow, Thursday. Samuel is doing OK and this is just a follow up visit as we have to check in every 2 months. I'm not anticipating any problems except for his throat culture. I'm sure he's going to have some bugs in there. We'll see what he grows this time.

I will post again tomorrow with a summary of the visit. And hopefully something newsworthy will happen between now and then.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

9 months

Samuel is 9 months old today! So what are we doing to celebrate? Well, we went to Stroller Strides for the first time this morning. It was fun and Samuel enjoyed it. I have a week of free classes to decide what I'd like to do and I'm going to take advantage of it! The class starts at 8:45 which is just about the time Samuel is starting his morning nap. He wasn't too upset by that this morning. He just slept longer when we got home.

Samuel has been up to lots, lately. I'm not sure if I have mentioned it before, but he says da-da, ma-ma, he frequently sucks his thumb when there isn't a binky around. He can pull himself up with minimal help, he can feed himself small pieces of food like fruit, cereal pieces, Baby Mum-mums (yummy!). When in his bed, he enjoys playing peek-a-boo with the bumper pad. His latest act:

Yesterday we went to SanTan Village with the hope that Samuel could play in the water area they have for kids. It was a good idea but too many other people had the same one. It wasn't a problem that there were lots of kids there but the breakdown started when the kids that were there could walk, talk, scream, shove, push and generally be bratty, selfish kids...not very good share-ers. I am taking him back tomorrow when I have a little bit more people power. We are planning a play date for our kids.

It may surprise you to know I enjoy a good story about poo just about any time. Now, I have pictures to share, so be warned. Just poo, no booties. :) Samuel loves the jumparoo. It's nice to put him in there while I'm in the shower because I can see him enjoying it while I'm in the shower. This is usually how it works in our house, if I don't shower while he's sleeping. So when I got out of the shower the other day, I had to get the camera, for this is what I saw:

Yes, it ran down the back of his leg and dropped on the floor where he stepped in it while jumping, pushing it down into the carpet. When I wanted to share with Kevin he said only me and Kate (Kate Gosselin, of Jon & Kate plus 8, who takes pictures of her children with their first poo-poo in the potty) enjoyed poo so much.

In the crafting world, I have finished the bag and need to get the pictures taken and loaded so voting can begin. And now I am working on "the book". It is an activity book for kids with several pages for them to learn things like zipping a zipper, tying a shoelace, jingling bells, fastening buttons, you get the idea. I figured a book like this at the store would probably cost about $15 or so. At last check I have spent way more than $15 on supplies for this book. I had better get busy working on it or I'll be in big trouble!

I had better get back to life. I need to shower while Samuel is sleeping for fear I'll have another incident as described above.

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