Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Year Another Party...

You're Invited!

Open House in Honor of Sam's 3rd Birthday

Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 12:00 PM to 6PM

Contact: if you need our address or directions.

This year we will be hosting another open house in honor of Sam's 3rd birthday and we have a lot to celebrate this year!  Cake and Ice cream served at 2:00 PM.  Non-Alcoholic beverages provided (Feel free to bring other beverages if you prefer).  Pot luck lunch/dinner, please bring your favorite dish or snack to share.

I have already received a few inquiries as to what Sam wants for his birthday.  Let me stress that Sam does not need anything for his birthday.  He is spoiled rotten by his grandparents and we could stock a small toy store with the toys in our playroom.  Last year we were able to help out a family in need by raising money for their travel expenses  and collect items for our local Children's Hospital.  This year we are asking anyone who feels that they need to shower Sam with gifts to consider making a donation to the Sam O'Connor Benefit Fund.  Sam will need to travel to Boston, MA six times this year and he could really use the help to cover some of those travel expenses.  Every little bit helps, but please do not feel obligated to make a donation.  Seeing all of our friends and families enjoying time with a healthy Sam is really gift enough.

So, what else has been going on since our last update? A lot of little things and a few big things, all good.  We have been so busy having fun, being healthy, and not being in the hospital that we simply haven't had much to update or the time to do it.  I made a new year's resolution to update the journal more regularly, but here it is February 3rd and our first post in two and a half months.

We have managed to be infection free at Sam's central line site since his replacement in November.  In fact, his site is healthier than we have seen any of his sites in the last 2 and a half years.  Either we have been really lucky or we have finally found out what the problem was and corrected it.  Against medical advice, we have thrown out the standard sterile dressing change procedures and site coverings.  After Sam had his port removed, we watched a huge gaping wound in his chest heal completely within a matter of just 10 days.  That wound was packed with wet gauze and covered with a gauze square that was taped down.  Seeing this we wondered if we could keep his site healthy in the same way.  For 8 weeks now we have been just covering Sam's insertion site with gauze and tape, letting it get air, and it has worked like a charm.  We still cover the whole thing at night with an occlusive dressing to keep stool off of the site as well.

Sam's language has continued to develop and he has a very wide vocabulary.  We still have some concerns with his language development and he has continued to do speech therapy twice a month through the birth to three program.  Which leads us to another big change.  In March, when Sam turns three, he will no longer be able to be part of that program.  Sam will be transitioning to the Early Childhood program through our school district and will be attending school a few days a week.  Although nerve wracking, I think it is going to be an excellent experience for Sam to be able to develop some social skills with kids his own age.  We have our IEP meeting on February 15th and will learn more about his evaluation and what types of services he will be receiving in school.

Other than that Sam has been just enjoying spending time as a normal healthy little boy.  He has been hitting the 10th percentile for height and weight the last few months (which is huge for him, he wasn't on the charts for a long, long time).  He is steadily gaining weight and his labs the last few months have looked great.

We are also asking for help with fundraising ideas for this year.  We will need to raise a substantial amount of money to continue Sam's trips to Boston every other month.  We do not have a lot of time on our hands, but are looking for ideas that will help us raise small amounts of money.  We are also looking for volunteers to head up their own fundraisers for Sam, but we ask that anyone who wishes to raise money for Sam to please check with us before you start planning.  We are hoping that with a few small fundraisers this year we can cover these expenses.

That is about it for tonight.  I will still try to follow my New Year's resolution and update more often - especially when we take those first day of school photos.