Saturday, December 8, 2007

Celebration Crossing Event

On Sunday November 25, we headed downtown to the Indiana State Museum for their Celebration Crossing Event. Live caroling filled the grand hall, and the decorations were delightful. It was a fun time filled with memorable moments with Santa and even a train ride with Daddy. As you can see, Marilyn was a little fussy yet all was made better with her passy.





All tuckered out...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Marilyn's First Surgery

On Tuesday morning, Marilyn underwent a Trabeculotomy on her left eye at Riley Hospital. A Trabeculotomy is a surgical procedure where a piece of tissue in the eye's drainage angle is removed to create an opening. This new opening allows fluid to drain out of the eye. This in turn will allow for a release and decrease in pressure on her Optic Nerve.

She did very well during the procedure, and we were able to leave Riley late Tuesday afternoon and return home. We were then back at Riley on Wednesday for her first of many follow-ups and the removal of her patch. The doctors indicate all is looking well and are hopeful the healing will be quick.

She currently has blood across her eye giving it a black look and has blood across the whites as well. The doctors stated this will dissipate over the next week. Our poor little one has been experiencing quite a bit of discomfort, but we are hopeful she will return to being our smiley, happy Marilyn soon enough.

We return to Riley for this procedure on her right eye next Thursday. During each of these procedures, they are only able to open about 1/3 of the canal. The next course of action will vary depending on how well her pressures react to these first two surgeries. She could possibly have to undergo as many as three total surgeries per eye, as well as monthly surgical examinations to check her progress and pressures.

We pray for her quick recovery and her return to smiles and giggles. We can only hope she will be in better spirits in time to welcome Santa. We feel so very blessed to be in the hands of such wonderful surgeons and professionals at Riley and to have the continued support of our family and friends.

Thank you for your love and encouragement, and please continue to keep us in your prayers.

A New Brenton Tradition

During our childhood and adolescence, Kate and I would spend Thanksgiving night at Grandma and Grandpa Brenton's house and spend the Friday after Thanksgiving assisting in the annual tradition of decorating their home for Christmas and having special time with our Grandparents. This treasured tradition was one I particularly enjoyed as I have a distinct love of the Christmas season and can hardly wait to sing Christmas carols and enjoy the lights of the tree.

This year, we started a new traditon of gathering at Mom & Dad's house on Friday to assist in their holiday decorating. With all seven of us gathered together, we trimmed the tree and decorated their house to the tune of many treasured classics. We even managed a wonderful family photo.

Marilyn enjoying the "real" Santa... at least as far as she's concerned!

First Thanksgiving

We spent Marilyn's first Thanksgiving surrounded by Brentons. We went to Great-Grandma & Great-Grandpapa's Brenton's house in Indy and enjoyed a fun day filled with family and yummy food. Marilyn was certainly spoiled with attention and spent nearly every minute being cuddled. Uncle Brett does such a good job of documenting our family gatherings. It nearly makes up for me not even remembering to get out the camera. Next year, I am sure she will enjoy her own Thanksgiving meal complete with her own big girl seat at the table.

Chilling with Grandpa

Disco dancing with Grandma

With my many fans...
Great-Aunt Ronna, Great-Uncle Greg, Great-Grandma Brenton

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Update on Marilyn

Marilyn was seen at Riley Hospital for Children on October 23. There she underwent an exam under anesthesia to allow the Pediatric Ophthalmologists to examine her eyes more thoroughly. During the exam, they concluded that her optic nerves were both healthy, and the pressures were normal in both eyes. They scheduled a second exam for four weeks later to check the pressures and for any changes. And that exam was performed today.

Today, we did not receive the good news we were hoping for. The doctors have determined that Marilyn has Congenital Glaucoma in both eyes. They had originally suspected it may be in one eye, but today's tests indicated it is present in both. This is a condition she was born with and thankfully has been diagnosed very early. The pressure in her eyes has increased and subsequently created growth in her eyes. Thankfully her optic nerves are both still healthy and have received no damage or vision loss.

She has been put on eye drops for the time being and is scheduled to have a Goniotomy performed on both eyes before the end of the year. The surgeries must be scheduled separately and require intensive follow-up care and monitoring. The doctors are hopeful this procedure will remedy the situation and if not, other measures will be taken.

We thank you all so very much for keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers. As we enter into a week of Thanksgiving, we feel blessed for so many things. To be in such close proximity to a renowned facility with world-class physicians, to be surrounded by family and friends and an outpouring of love, to be employed by those who put family first and to know that God has it all under control.

We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and ask you to please keep us in your prayers.

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Halloween 2007

Here is our very sleepy Sunflower. Marilyn slept through the entire Trick-or-Treat period. I sure hope she will find costume time more fun next year.

Pumpkin Fun

Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Brett & Aunt Kate gathered at our house the Sunday before Halloween for a little pumpkin fun. While enjoying the beautiful fall day, we carved our pumpkin and thought it would be oh so cute to slide Marilyn down inside. Thankfully Hunter picked out a long and skinny one, much like our little Bear.

Things were going so well, until she started to sink down inside. (and yes we did have a plastic bag inside the pumpkin) Here is Marilyn loving some quality cuddle time with Aunt Kate.

Zoo Boo!

Whew, nearly a month since an update... you can surely tell we have been busy. So here goes.

On October 20th, we picked Marilyn up after her first overnight with Grandpa & Grandma and headed out. Our family of three joined Uncle Brett and Aunt Kate for a wonderful day at the Indianapolis Zoo. It was their Zoo Boo, and the weather could not have been more perfect. Marilyn was a bit young to enjoy the dolphin show syncronized to Halloween tunes, but I am certain she will love it soon enough.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

To Grandmother's House She Goes

Last Friday, Marilyn had a very busy day. We were greeted during the day with a visit by my Aunt Ronna and Cousin Joel. While we chatted, Joel was a huge help and assisted in giving Marilyn a bottle. How fun! Marilyn was even lucky to get in some special cuddle time with her Great-Aunt Ronna.

A bit later that afternoon, Grandma arrived to pick up Marilyn for her very first sleepover at Grandpa & Grandma house. (the first of many to come I'm sure) Last Sunday was our Anniversary, and in celebration, Grandpa & Grandma offered the best present of all... a night of uninterrupted sleep for Hunter and I. It was wonderful!

Here, Mom is getting ready to leave with Marilyn while Spud offers his final goodbye.

Marilyn had a fabulous time with Grandma & Grandpa, as always! Although I fear she may have fared better than they did. We were told she is welcome back... they just need time to recover. Apparently, Mom & Dad had forgotten the joy of having a newborn at home. No matter what- Hunter and I surely appreciated it, and I only called once to check on her... with tears in my eyes. While we surely missed our little bear, the sleep was phenomenal.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Mare-Bear!

A visit with Uncle Brett and Aunt Kate is made complete when the camera comes out. I love these shots of Marilyn... what a cutie! I especially love the little dress her Daddy picked out, paired with the "oh so cute" shoes from Aunt Kate. What a joy just to hold her and marvel at God's amazing creation.

What does she go by? I have been asked that question many times recently. Well, with two middle names it may seem confusing (especially since Hunter goes by his second name), but it is really quite easy. We refer to our little love bug as Marilyn.

However, feel free to join the Mare-Bear revolution!

In Hunter's family he has been known as Hunter-Bear or the Bear. In my family, I have always been known as the Sarah-Bear, so now we have a little Mare-Bear. We have been affectionately referring to her as our Bear since we found out she was on her way, and Mare-Bear just seems like the perfect fit.

The Pumpkin Patch

Last Saturday, we embarked on the great pumpkin hunt. We headed to Anderson Orchard out at the edge of Franklin Township and had a wonderful day scouring the patch for the perfect one. Marilyn slept nearly the entire time, but Hunter and I had a blast. This will surely become a Smith Family Tradition.