Friday, October 30, 2009

Brotherly Love

Now most of you may or may not know this but.....I was really ok with just one child. After our loss, and then everything we went through with Gavin, I didn't feel it was responsible to put anohter child through the NICU, knowing how high a risk I was of having another preemie.

Until my grandfather passed away and I couldn't imagine Gavin going through that alone. My mom and aunts and uncles pulled together and made decisions, and I knew Gavin needed a sibling.

Of course, now we couldn't imagine life without our Samson! And there are often moments that just touch my heart and I know that he's meant to be here with us.

So this morning, I was getting dressed in my room and came back to the living room to find Gavin on the floor sitting by Sam (when I left Gavin was laying on the couch watching TV) and hugging him close.

When I asked what was going on Gavin said "I'm protecting Sammy from the storm".

It was raining heavily and Gavin is terrified of storms.

Seriously. I thought Gavin would be a wreck when we brought another person to invade his space, being an only child for 4 1/2 years and all. I couldn't ask for a better big brother. Gavin - way to go - we love you!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sam's 9 Month Check up

First of all, Sam does NOT have another ear infection (yay!). He does, however, have a bunch of teeth that are up right to his gums but don't want to break through. At least 4 of them. His gums are super swollen and must be the cause of the super crankiness yesterday. But good to know it's *at least* teething.

Sam weighed in at 21 pounds, 10 1/2 ounces! He's also 28 1/2 inches long. That puts him at the 50 - 75% for both stats. The nurse wouldn't even tell me the real stats (I'll pull up a growth chart later). Oh, but his head was a 75%.

The doctor thought he was doing great! I mentioned he wasn't crawling and he told me more babies are skipping crawling these days. Since the whole "back to sleep" SIDS movement, babies spend less time on their tummies and aren't as comfortable in that position. He's convinced Sam will be walking in the next month, but I don't think so. I saw give him two at least.

Sam IS mobile - he finds a way to get at what he wants (if you're not looking). If he catches you watching him, he instantly throws a fit so we'll get it for him. But if I am doing stuff in the kitchen, he gets himself all over the living room in pursuit of toys. He can get to his tummy from a sitting position and he can pull his knees under him and rock. He just can't seem to coordinate the arms and legs to crawl. He can also get from his tummy back to a sitting position.

All in all, a good appt (especially since there were no shots). We go back in a couple weeks for his second flu shot. They are also expecting the H1N1 shot by the end of November. My doctor says he's not recommending them for kids Gavin's age, but he is for the little ones. His thoughts are 1) Gavin's older and better able to fight it 2) he may have already been exposed being in school and built up some resistance. I guess it's (H1N1) running crazy rampant around here. It's nice to have a doctor that doesn't tell you every vaccine created is a must. There are risks to vaccines. If the risk of not getting it outweighs the risks in getting it, then you should get it. For babies Sam's age there is a pretty good risk of getting severely ill or dying from this flu. If he was an only child and didn't go to day care, I wouldn't get it. But since there is such a good chance that he will be exposed to this, I'm going to get the shot for him, provided it's available to us. The fact that I know two people that know families with babies that have died scares the **** out of me.

That's all I have. I can't believe my sweet little guy is 9 months old! We love you Sammy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Can a Baby fake a sick day?

Sam's been a little extra crabby for a couple days now, and while a little voice nagged ear infection, I talked myself into teething (yes, we've been teething for 6 months now). I think he's going to get a whole mouthful at once.

I've been trying to hold off the Dr. since we are going tomorrow for his 9 month check up, and well, germy Dr's offices are not someplace you want to be spending too much time in this time of year.

Today day care called, he wouldn't eat, sleep or drink and all he wanted was to be held and cry and say "mama, mama". I called the Dr and couldn't get in to our ped which meant I would still have to keep my appt tomorrow too. I took an evening appt with another dr to check the ears. I called back to day care and they insisted he needed to be picked up as he was miserable (he usually loves it there).

Got home and he took half a bottle and fell asleep. Now he doesn't have a fever and was a little extra cranky but not inconsolable. I ended up cancelling the appt since I didn't figure 18 hours would make much difference and he no longer seemed miserable. The only thing I did different was give him motrin instead of tylenol - so maybe that at least eased the ear or tooth pain. Hoping he can handle day care for the morning tomorrow so I can get some work done in the office!

Monday, October 26, 2009


"Salmon" - his new nickname for Sam
"Samurai" - my nickname for Sam, but it's cuter coming from him
"That's SO boring" - whenever we suggest that he do/watch/play something he doesn't like
"Mom, I'm allergic to chicken patties" - the first thing he said when I picked him up one day. He's now "allergic" to anything he doesn't want to eat.
"You're a genius!" - I hear this in response to a variety of things

Drumroll please....this was the best thing my tired Monday morning ears could hear today. I had packed Gavin a lunch for his field trip today. As I handed him his lunch he said.

"Thank you Mommy. I love you. You're the best - and a genius!"

And I have been walking around in a puddle of heartmelt all day = )

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm getting around to migrating our old blog news over here. So check the archives as I will back date the posts to the original dates.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Whole Mess of Pictures

You can click on any of the pictures to see them bigger. Enjoy!

My soccer boy

Racing at Pufferbilly Days
Ice Cream Face at Night Eyes

Grandpa Rui feeding Sam and feeding Gavin in May, 2005

Do NOT even think about touching my food!

They both love watermelon, Sam enjoyed it through his mesh feeder

Sam gives us his impression of "The Donald"

A rare grumpy face, but look at those blue eyes!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gavin's Red Letter Friday

There's something about parenting that can make you feel so great and proud, but also feel like a total failure.

A week or so ago, I got a note home from school that Gavin was chosen to be in a special reading support group. The school had hired a teacher that specialized in reading to work with kids that needed extra help.

Now the logical me says that Gavin was a preemie that would not be in school this year had he been born on his due date (or even at 30 weeks instead of 27 weeks). Logical me says that preemies that did not have a third trimester can't possibly come out unscathed, and this shouldn't be a shock. Logical me says he only had 5 months of preschool.

But emotional me is FREAKING OUT and yelling FAILURE as a parent.

And now I must say bless his teacher who is understanding, compassionate, and tolerant of my many questions to her. So I sent her an email asking a little more about this group, how delayed she thought he was, etc, etc. I should also mention that I had told her how premature he was at the start of the year and she told me she was glad to know about it, and would keep a close eye out for any delays.

Here is an excerpt from her email back to me:

"We have added a reading support teacher in the building and are having her pull a small group of student from each class to work on literacy things such as beginning reading, letter sounds (beginning middle and ends of words), syllables and phonemes, etc. I don’t see there is a huge gap with any development issues with Gavin – just knowing he was a preemie and that we do struggle with grasping new concepts right away, I just figured it would give him an extra boost and help build confidence. :)

His wonderful day Monday consisted of working well in a group, using manners even when he thought no one was listening, no rolling on the carpet and willingness to share with others (aka the swing at recess :).

You have a great little guy Bridie! I love having him in class!"

But that was last week. So on to the great day we had Friday. When I picked him up he gave me a tour of his classroom - he was so excited to show me everything. Then we got in the car and he gave me a shining star certificate he got for "giving up the swing to another kid even though he really wanted to stay on". He also got a pencil, and he was so proud.

But the good day didn't end there. We worked on his sight words that night - 8 flash cards with words they are working on at school. After we played a couple games with them, we flipped through them one more time and he got them ALL right for the first time! I about fell off his bed (we were on the top bunk) and he had a smile from ear to ear. Of course I was happy he got them right, but to see how proud he was of himself...SO priceless!

And then today he informed me that "literacy stations and math tubs" were his favorite part of school. I was so worried that he would be self-conscious that he was needing a little extra help, but it seems like they are doing a great job of making learning fun at his school, and not making kids feel different. I can't say enough good things about his school. And really, all teachers deserve a raise, but especially Kindergarten teachers. Especially ours.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Talking to You H1N1

FIRST you get the government and the media all worked up and they get the public all riled up.

BUT it's next to impossible to get access to the shot, or even the regular shot for that matter.

WHICH I think might be ok because we're generally healthy people. And the media is telling us it's not showing to be fatal in otherwise healthy people.

BUT THEN my friend tells me that her friend's otherwise healthy 10 month old died from H1N1 this week. Within THREE DAYS of getting sick.

I have Sam scheduled for a regular flu shot this weekend. They are only giving it to the high risk population, to kids under 3. I can't find a place that will give Gavin one - the few places that are still doing flu clinics won't give them to kids his age.

We're going to get very crazy about hand washing and hand sanitizer in my house. And if you have a hint of a cold, please don't come visit or have us over. Sam's immune system is better than Gavin's was as a baby, but he still missed out on some of that. I'm not usually a germaphobe, but I guess this year I won't be taking any chances.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Grandpa's Visit

It never fails, I was ready to post pictures and for some reason the connection to my computer won't work.

Grandpa Rui left today, and the boys will certainly miss him. It will also be a shcok to our collective system to be up and out the door at 7 tomorrow (yes, I should be sleeping).

For the most part we relaxed and took it easy. We made trips to the science center, mall, Old Chicago. Dad got to see a soccer game and swim lessons. There were bowling showdowns, coaxing Sam to stand and crawl, and some AWESOME Indian food. It was great to see my Dad, even better that the boys got to know him. Even though I worked part time last week, when I wasn't at the office, I wasn't thinking about work, and didn't fire up the laptop all weekend. It was a much needed break.

During a roughhousing match, Dad helped finish off Gavin's other front tooth that was loose. So now he's missing three teeth and I think he may need to change his Halloween costume to "hockey player". Oh, and I finally heard what his wonderful school day was, but that is another post. I also have updates on the school front, but will devote that all to a separate post. All in all Gavin and Dad were great buddies.

Sam is doing well with his exercises, and needs very little support to stay on his knees (although he still needs help getting them under him). I don't even have to get him rocking, I just sing "rocky rocky" to him and he gets going. He's even movedone of his knees forward as if to crawl. But then his arms go splat. I've been giving him a sippy cup of water and he is doing great getting it to his mouth, and can even get some water out of it once in a while! Today he started blowing kisses in response to me, well, it's more like a cluck of the tongue, but I know what he means!

I'll get some new pictures up soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sam's EI Appt

Early Intervention came today for an evaluation. Even though Sam's not technically behind, I take full advantage of these services, after all my tax dollars are paying for them. So they come every 2 - 3 months.

And here's why I like to have them come out - even though Sam's not behind, he's not crawling, which is odd since he's actually ahead of his actual (yes, actual, not adjusted) age in almost every area. Anyway after talking about some of the things he was doing and observing him on his tummy they determined he has some low tone in his hips (not a bad case). This basically means he is very flexible (which he is, he can sit on the floor and lean forward and touch his nose to his toes) and it's harder for him to get his knees under him. He's got great turn out, which he inherited from his mommy, so we just need to do some exercises with him so he can build the strength and muscle memory to get his hips parallel and his knees under him. They showed us the exercise that the PT does with kids, and also showed us how to move him from sitting to tummy. He usually just leans forward and starts rocking back and forth til he nose dives forward and onto his tummy. Since he's flexible, it works. But they worked with him to rotate his trunk to the side, tuck one leg and move onto his tummy.

It seems so simple, but I would never think to do any of this. And that's why I take advantage of these services!

In other news, Gav's teacher emailed me yesterday to tell me he had a WONDERFUL day and that she would let him tell me what happened. Well, I picked him up all excited to hear about his big accomplishment. And he said "I was at recess and let someone else have a turn on the swing". ooooook. Don't get me wrong, taking turns is a good thing, but somehow I don't think that's what she was referring to! So I pried a little and said "Is there anything else? That happened in the classroom? Did you do a really good job on something?"

To which he got annoyed with my line of questioning and said "NO! OUTside I said. That's all!"

Seriously. I don't know how that kid can remember the name of every single monster truck he owns (I haven't counted but well over 50) but can't tell me what he ate for lunch. Or remember the big crowning achievement of the day!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend Update

Well the biggest thing going on right now is that Grandpa Rui is here spending 10 days with us! It didn't take long for the boys to fall in love with him, and they are going to be so sad when he is gone. Gavin is having a blast playing with him, and I think G Rui is planning on having Sam walking before his visit is up. (For those of you not family, Rui is my dad who lives in LA).

Yesterday we had a soccer game in chilly rainy weather. They got creamed again, poor kids can't catch a break. The other team was actually giving us mercy goals. Really, the coach would have the kids stand together in the corner of the field while our kids scored. Gavin did score one legitimate goal, and so far is enjoying it. I can already tell I'm going to be the parent that is way too involved. No, not that parent that screams inappropriately at their child who is trying to do his best. The one that overreacts to all successes and failures. I just get so into it. I can't help myself! When they get older and actually competitive I'll be the one crying every time my kid scores a goal. I think this stems from 1) being a total softie and 2) in the back of my mind being always aware of how lucky we are that Gavin is a normal functioning boy that can do all these things. Never forget his precarious start. Not because he deserves special treatment, but because it's important to realize how good we have it.

Sam wants to get around but appears no closer to crawling. His day care lady (Brenda) is convinced he'll skip right to walking. He can stand holding on to our fingers, and if he is sitting close to the ottoman, couch, or laundry basket, reaches out and wants to pull up. He's making it through the night without a bottle, although wakes up and needs a paci or cuddle. Next step is getting him in the crib (we're still sleeping on the couch, although he sleeps alone on the other couch). We push the ottoman up to the couch and put up pillows so he can't roll close to the edge, and I sleep on the other couch. I wake at the slightest wimper, so don't worry he's safe! But I do miss my bed.

Today we all went to the science center. For those with kids in this area, the family season pass is so worth it. Gavin can easily spend 2 - 3 hours there. I'm looking forward to only working half days this week and to some homemade Indian food Tues night. It's been a crazy couple months at the office, so I am trying really hard to not put in tons of hours from home. It's worked, I only logged on Friday night and that was it all weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Sporty in a visor

Missing Teeth

Really? More Flashes?