Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year in Review 2008

This is another first for me. Trying to summarize our year in a one page letter, so here goes...

2008 started off with a bang at the Grelle house. On 1/4, Christy was put on bed rest due to pregnancy induced hypertension, in the morning on 1/7, she was admitted to the hospital for observation , and at 9:31pm that night, Samantha Grace arrived by emergency C-section 5 weeks and 1 day early. She was 18 inches long and weighed 5 lbs 13 oz. She was huge for being so early! Samantha immediately went to the NICU on a C-PAP machine and Christy stayed in surgery for 2 more hours due to complications. Samantha was off the CPAP by Tuesday morning and then only remained in the NICU for feeding issues.

Christy went home on 1/12, and Samantha remained in the hospital until 1/15, so that she could get strong enough to eat without having to be tube fed every other feeding. Although we desperately wanted her home immediately, we did come to realize that a bit of extra recuperation time for Christy was a huge blessing, before we had to meet the full-time demands of a newborn baby.

Our sweet little girl is adventurous, entertaining, happy, intelligent, determined (that sounds better than stubborn!) and giggly. She is our monkey, our sweet pea and our beautiful angel. We are so grateful for the gift of her in our lives.

Samantha has had some struggles this year, mostly with reflux and a lack of good weight gain. Dr. Ramirez (pediatrician), Dr. Argao (pediatric GI) and Dr Peskind (ENT) have all been wonderful in handling the challenges that have come up. This fall she has had multiple ear infections, so she had surgery to have tubes in her ears on 12/19. We are hopeful that this will stop the ear infections and we have already seen some increase in her appetite. The weight gain should be coming, we will see how she is doing at her one year appointment.

Brent has continued mountain biking this year, although he doesn’t go as frequently as he did before we had a baby. He has met some milestones this year, with not only riding in his first race, but actually taking 1st place overall for the series of 4 races. He placed in the top three for each of the races, so now we have a new collection of drinking glasses to find a spot for. He also rode in his first endurance ride recently. It was a 6 hour ride and he made it for 5 of those 6 hours, with 3 hours and 45 minutes actually in the saddle. He is still working at LSI Greenlee, and seems to be expected to take over for his boss when James retires. We’ll see what happens.

Christy is still working at Denton County as a juvenile probation officer. She enjoys this job, but looks forward to the time when she can stay home with Samantha. Although it is hard to leave Samantha with the babysitter every morning, having the babysitter was a blessing when Christy was sick and could take Samantha to the babysitter then go home and go back to sleep for the rest of the day. Between working during the day and being a mommy at night and on weekends, there hasn’t been much time for scrapbooking, but she did get to start on Samantha’s baby book in September.

We have been truly blessed throughout this year and hope that all of our friends and family have as well.

Since I started my blog in the middle of the year, I have chosen a few pictures to share with you from each month of the year. The above pictures were all from January.

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

Happy New Year! Love, Brent, Christy and Samantha Grelle

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

College Station Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

Camparison pics and surgery update

Samantha had surgery this morning to have ear tubes put in. We left the house at 5am, drove very slowly, sometimes only 20 mph, through very dense fog and arrived at the Pediatric Surgery Center at 5:25am. Samantha left me to go to the OR at 6:39am, and at 6:47, her doctor came out and said that they were finished and that we would be back together in about 10 minutes.

I never realized until today that I would actually be able to distinguish my baby's cry from that of many other wailing babies, but as soon as I heard her, I knew it was my child. The surgery went well and there were no problems. Samantha does apparantly have her mama's issues with coming out of anesthesia, though, because she cried inconsolably until we left the sugery center at 7:35a. Then she continued to whimper until we pulled onto our street, which was when she finally fell asleep. We were in our driveway at 7:45am. WOW! That was a quick morning. Everything seems to be going well. Now we are looking forward to no more ear infections and we are hoping for an increased appetite.

Since I am home with Samantha today following her surgery for ear tubes, and since she is taking a 2+ hour nap right now, I have been working on organizing our pictures a little bit more. I came across this one of me with my mom and my grandparents, and suddenly realized that Samantha does actually have some resemblence to me! I don't know exactly how old I was in this picture, but given my size, and the fact that my brother, who is 14 months younger than me, is not in the picture, I would venture to guess that I was about the same age that Samantha is now. So then I went looking for a picture of her that looks similar, but the one here was the closest I could find. What do you think? Do you see any resemblence?

I may have to keep looking for a picture that looks more similar. And I will post one of Brent's baby pics for comparison, too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bundled Up

Since it has been 27 and 25 degrees the last two mornings, Samantha has had to get very bundled up to leave the house. I thought I should you you just how cute she is as a little sweet pea...or should that be a snow pea?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas party

Wayne and Beverly had their annual Christmas party last night, and we were invited again. We love to attend. We had a great potluck meal, go to meet new people and loved spending time with old friends. The end of the eveing is a is a gift exchange with both white elephant gifts and very nice gifts. There are a few gifts that come back every year and there are many laughs as people try not to get stuck with the frog or the fish. We have a wonderful time every year, and we are grateful to be included with such a wonderful group of people.

Hannah was being very responsible by helping me watch Samantha and keep her away from the fireplace. She and Ava took turns reading to Samantha and all three girls loved it! To them, the evening was a huge success just because they were together having fun. AND they all three had santa hats. There was no planning for that, it just worked out.

What a wonderful beginning to our Christmas season.

Good news!

Brent took Samantha to the doctor on Monday afternoon and she was finally over her ear infections. Hooray! Her weight gain was not so good. Only 6 ounces since November 18. But she has had an ear infection that whole time, too. So hopefully she will start gaining more.

But the REALLY good news is that Dr Ramirez told us that Samantha does now qualify to have tubes. So she sent us to an ENT, I called yesterday morning and we had an appointment yesterday afternoon. Now I am waiting for the surgery coordinator to call me sometime today so that we can get the procedure scheduled. He said that it will be no problem to get it done before the end of the year, in fact we should be able to get it done in the next week or week and a half. Hooray!

Please be praying for this to really work out quickly and for Samantha to start gaining weight again.

Monday, December 8, 2008

almost a year

Yesterday was Samantha's 11 month birthday. Once again I am amazed by how quickly the time has gone.

This month has been a little stressful with an ear infection that just won't quit. We took Samantha to the doctor on 11/17/08, because, for once, I knew she had an ear infection. She was miserable, not eating and was screaming every time the wind blew. Sure enough she had an ear infection...and had lost 2 ounces since her appointment 10 days earlier. This was her third ear infection within 6 weeks. As soon as she gets another one, she will have tubes put in her ears. I can't beleive that I am saying this, but we hope that the next ear infection happens very soon so that the tubes can be put in and do their job of keeping fluid out and allowing her to hear and not be in pain, and so that she will eat well and gain weight. Samantha was put on antibiotics and seemed to be doing better. Until the day before Thanksgiving when she started running a fever. It kept getting higher and we called her doctor on Thanksgiving day and started more antibiotics the next day. She seems to be doing much better now.

On a brighter health note, she was approved for Synagis again this RSV season, much to the doctor's amazement. This is a shot that is an injection of antibodies to prevent an RSV infection. It must be done every month thtoughout the RSV season (October through April or May) and it has to be approved by the insurance company because it costs a couple thousand dollars for each shot. Our insurance company said yes AND our copay for it is only $40. Praise God for this blessing!!!

This month she has accomplished so much! She started crawling on 11/13/08, she got her 6th tooth on 11/14/08, and she sat up and pulled up on 11/15/08. At first she would crawl for a minute then go back to army crawling. Now it's been two weeks since we have seen any army crawling at all, and she sits up all the time. She goes all over the house, so we have to remember to keep the bathroom doors shut all the time.

She now weighs 15lb 6 oz and is 27.5 inches long. We have one long, skinny baby! But i have figured out that Old Navy has clothes that actually fit babies of this body type. Hooray! Samantha babbles all the time and might say Mama, Dada and bye-bye. But we just aren't sure that those are real words yet. She signs "more" and "eat", waves bye-bye and claps her hands. What an accomplished little one we have. :)

Besides her lambie and blankie, her favorite toys at the moment are her books. She gets very mad when I put the last book away before bedtime, and she will sit on the floor in her room and just turn the pages of a book and read to whoever is in the room. REALLY!! She is talking after she turns each page, then stops and turns the page, then starts talking again. It is so cute! We haven't been able to get a video yet, though. I am so glad that she loves books! She has even stopped trying to put them in her mouth. (At least most of the time) Hooray!