It's official! Sam is one! Unfortunately Sam spent his first birthday enduring doctors and tests. Fortunately he is currently happy and healthy.
Shortly after Thanksgiving Jackson came down with THE FLU. Poor kid had a 105 degree fever and could make it out off bed only to get to the couch and fall back asleep. Sam caught a "mild" flu probably due to the fact that he'd had the first half of his flu shot already. But then a few days later he developed a UTI which infected his kidneys and blood. We suspect that he's prone to UTIs and when his immune system is weakened it can get nasty. Sam, too, spiked a 105 degree fever and, at first, we figured it was the flu. We decided to be cautious and have his urine and blood tested anyway. That's when it was revealed that he had a raging infection. His pediatrician thought it best that he was hospitalized (actually it was his peds. brother - the same one who admitted Sam to the hospital for his last UTI). David and I had flashbacks to last year - spending the holidays in the hospital. We decided that since Sam was taking fluids and we were able to keep his fever down with Tylenol, we'd keep him at home. So that week was full of visits to the ped. for shots of antibiotics and trips to the hospital for blood tests. According to the test results, before Sam even got his first shot of antibiotics he had already fought off the infection. His strength and determination is awesome. The next step is to find out why he develops these UTIs in the first place.
In other news: Sam has started a new medication to tame his breath holding spells. It's too soon to tell its impact yet since Sam just recently returned to health and these spells are always worse when he's sick. It is looking promising, though. (Check out the pictures in the photo gallery of Sam taking his new medicine)
We had a wonderful Christmas... at home. My parents and grandparents were with us. We celebrated Sam's first birthday and his first Christmas at home. After Christmas, David, Jackson, Sam and I hit the post holiday sale at the mall down the street. Yikes! What crowds! The parking lot was a mess! And the lines were ridiculous! Yet, when we were leaving the mall, I glanced across the street at a five story building bearing a picture of a teddy bear with his arm wrapped in a bandage... and I felt so incredibly grateful to be amidst the post-holiday chaos. For just one year ago Sam spent his days and nights in that building, subjected to the prodding of doctors and midnight interruptions. I remember gazing from the fifth floor of that hospital hell at the parking lot stuffed with holiday shoppers and feeling like I was in a parallel universe; the location was familiar but the reality was so foreign.
But this year I was one of the lucky ones with Sam in my arms and David and Jackson by my side, fighting our way through the crowds.
One more thing: Sam received a little piano for Christmas. It makes a sweet, soft sound when you touch one of the keys and Sam's little face lights up when he hears it. For the past few days I've been sitting him in between my legs and placing the piano between his legs (it's small). Then I help him lift his arms so he can bring them down onto the keys. He gets a kick out of this but still has a hard time keeping up the strength and coordination to do it himself. The funny thing is, after the first day of doing this I was putting him to sleep, cradling him in my arms and he began "playing" my arm as he was drifting off to sleep. You know how you hear about babies that practice crawling in their sleep as they're learning this new skill? Well, I think that Sam is practicing playing the piano in his sleep. He's done it a few times since - playing my arm or the mattress of our bed while he's asleep. Pretty cute :-)