Saturday, January 31, 2009

Francesca is HOME!

So sorry for the long time since my last post. My family (well, I guess my husband managed to stay healthy) have all been battling colds. Apparently my son handles colds much better than my daughter...she had been pretty miserable. She is a very happy baby normally, but man have we heard our share of crying over the last week and a half! Plus it interfered with her eating, so she was waking up in the middle of the night wanting to eat...not good for Mommy! Anyway, I think we are all getting better now, so hopefully I can get back into some projects I need to do.

Well, the awesome news that I have for you is that baby Francesca is HOME!! Maureen and Ronny were able to take her home last Sunday and she seems to be doing quite well. She still has oxygen and is being supplemented with tube feedings, but she is home where she can sleep in peace! Unfortunately, they haven't posted any pictures of her yet at home...hopefully over the weekend. Maureen and Ronny, I am sure, are happy to finally be sleeping in a real bed even though their days may not change too much. They have a lot of care they have to give her plus twice a week doctor visits, but nothing is quite like being home!

That is all for now. As usual, I have included their actual journal posts below. Thank you again for all of your continued prayers.

Posted on 1/26/09:
"Hi Everybody,

We are excited to report that Francesca was discharged to home from Children's Hospital Sunday evening!!!! Per Maureen and Ronny's report, Francesca is settling in well, and appears very comfortable at home.

After having some congestion & trouble breathing on Friday morning, Francesca had regular chest PT (every 3 hours since Friday morning) and a breathing treatment, which both seemed to help. Francesca was sent home with a nebulizer, oxygen, and a feeding tube, as well as two very trained parents (thanks to all the nurses at Children's!).

We can't thank the NICU staff at Children's Hospital enough, for their care, support, guidance, and encouragement. Francesca was really so blessed to have such great nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors...and our entire family will never forget them. In fact, I'm sure we'll see them again, but hopefully just for appointments and extended stays!

Thanks again, for continued prayers for good health for Francesca Maria!"

Posted on 1/28/09:

"HI Everybody,
Francesca seems to be doing well at home! Per Maureen and Ronny's report, Francesca seems to be sleeping well at night, and enjoying more awake times during the day...she is probably glad to rest without having to get her temperature or blood pressure taken every couple hours! Francesca has gone to meet her new pediatrician twice this week, to monitor her status. Francesca was having some increased work of breathing early in the week, so she has had to have regular nebulizer treatments and had her oxygen turned up for a bit. Maureen did make one "peace of mind" call to Children's NICU, to talk to one of the wonderful nurses and get some advice... thanks for your support Nancy! We are learning that it will continue to be a day-by-day process with Francesca, as her breathing, feeding, and weight need to be monitored continuously.
It sounds like Maureen and Ronny are glad to be home too! They seem to be a great team, establishing a routine and caring for little miss Francesca. They seem to treasure every little thing she does! We will hopefully get some pictures of Francesca at home this weekend, so we can post them on the website.

Thanks for all the prayers and excited messages for Francesca, Maureen and Ronny."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bittersweet Scrapbook Page

Wow! A scrapbook page! I know it has been a very long time since I have managed to create a scrapbook page! My group of scrappin girls have had difficulty getting together and there was a lot of times that when we did, we did something besides scrapbook! Well, we finally started back up again by attending a scrap event. Unfortunately, I only got to do about 6 hours out of what was suppose to be more like 18 hours between Friday and Saturday...darn rental house has frozen pipes, so my husband had to do his landlord duties. But I will say, it felt good to scrapbook again! So hopefully, my scrappin' girls will get back on track (I know I need to send the email out for dates ladies!!).

So these pictures were the ones taken at the hospital when my daughter was born...they actually have a professional photographer that comes in and has a small studio room. So cool! I absolutely love the pictures, but I was having difficulty figuring out what to do with them because they were so special...I didn't want the "scrapbooking" to take away from them. Does that make sense? Anyway, there a a local scrapbook store (Live, Laugh, Love & Scrap in Oxford, MI) set-up at the scrap event and she brought the PERFECT paper for my pictures...brand-new Basic Grey Bittersweet DP. Once I saw the paper, I got so excited to make the page.

Once I had the DP, combined with some Bazzill paper that matched perfectly, I found a scrapbook sketch to start from from Page Maps. I found a fellow demonstrator that had the new 3 heart punch from Stampin' Up! and I got the letters for the title cut using the Storybook alphabet cartridge for the Cricut. So combining all of those elements , I came up with a page that made my pictures stand out.
That is all for now...this post is taking me a while to write since I am trying to write it only during the commercials of LOST...seriously the greatest show EVER!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Francesca Update - FINALLY!

Sorry for the lack of Francesca updates! I had some info, but I was waiting until I got to actually visit Maureen. I did see her today...yeah! It was wonderful to see Maureen. Hopefully I will be able to see Francesca in the near future as well!!

Maureen thanked me and thanked me for the wonderful box of cards! She was so touched by all of the cards, notes, and prayers! I had to tell her how all of it came about and she just couldn't believe how generous all of you are! Please know that they truly feel that all of those prayers is what got Francesca through. The closer they get to bringing Francie home (which could be very soon...with oxygen and tube feeding, but home!!!) the more the doctors and nurses reveal how worried they really were for Francesca in the beginning. So please know that God heard your prayers and has/is healing baby Francecsa!

As usual, below is directly from their online journal. Thanks for checking in on Francecsa and for your continued prayers!

Posted on 1/18/09:

"Hello Friends and Family,

Francesca has had a very busy few days since we last updated the website…we are sorry for the long time lag. Our laptop wasn’t working, so we couldn’t log on for a few days there!

Since the last update, Francesca has done very well, and is still off the ventilator!!! She was initially getting oxygen through a high flow nasal cannula, after getting extubated. Then on Saturday, they were able to take off high flow oxygen, and put her on regular oxygen (still through the nasal cannula), which they will slowly continue to wean down.

Since she has been able to stay off the ventilator, Francesca has had her first few occupational therapy sessions, so that she can begin to work on bottle feeding. She is having a difficult time coordinating suck-swallow-breathe, and her suck is not very strong, so she will have a ways to go with her feeding (which they have been warning us about for weeks). Francesca is making progress, and mommy is doing a great job doing Francesca’s exercises and working with Francesca and the bottle feeds. We are quite proud of them both! It does look like Francesca will at least partially be tube fed for a while yet, so both Maureen and Ronny have been learning to insert her NG tube (feeding tube through the nose). They are doing a great job.

Francesca got a major promotion on Friday evening, as she was moved from the “very sick” room of the NICU, to a “progressive room” in the NICU. We were actually a bit emotional having Francesca move, as she’s had the same homebase since December 1st, but we know it’s a step in the right direction.

We are so excited about Francesca’s progress! We are thinking all the prayers said by all of you must be working! Please continue to keep Francesca in your prayers, we appreciate each and every one."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Continue the Giving Spirit

Well in my daily blog browsing...stalking...whatever...I saw that Jen (I {Heart} 2 Stamp) is having a fantastic Blog Tart Giveaway. She had a blog makeover and wanted to celebrate, but wanted to do something philanthropic at the same time. So she is asking everyone to send cards to a University in Dallas, TX that then give those cards out to the many international students there that have families far away. In return she will enter you into a phenomenal blog candy....believe there is a ton! So anyway, here is my card that I sent.

I took Jen's Sketch for You to Try layout and combined it with SplitCoast Stampers Color Challenge #201 (I am not even that late for this one for once) to create the card. Utilizing one of my Christmas presents...Circle Nestabilities...I went with a circle theme. Circles usually are not my thing. I am an engineer (well, by trade now anyway) and I tend to go for straight edges and lines. I am pretty pleased, although I probably need a little more practice. I love the look of Kraft, but I do have difficulty in using it...mostly coloring on it. What are the secrets to this??? The verse, which I love...can't go wrong with Dr. from Verve Stamps.
So go check out Jen's Blog Tart Giveaway and get your entry!!
The Engineering Details
Stamps - Pun Fun, Beautiful You (Verve Stamps); Paper - Kraft, Basic Black, Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy; Ink - Basic Black, Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy marker; Accessories - Blender Pen, White Gel Pen, Circle Nestabilities, Circles Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, hemp twine, 1/8" Circle Punch

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your Cards and an Update

Sorry that it took me so long to get pictures of all of the cards everyone has sent me for Baby Francesca, but I finally did it! Well minus about 4 that I can't seem to get off of my camera...the disc got corrupted I will get those later. I am up to 111 cards now! So thank you again to all and congratulations Deborah (yes, she did get back to me!). Please check out all of the cards. I am listing those on Splitcoast too (even though I also took pictures of them and included them with the rest) so that you can leave comments to those that made them. Also, I apologize for the poor photography on some of the cards...I wasn't checking each picture as I took them...too many pictures to take at one time. So check them out!!

Also, I finally have an update for you on Francesca. It had been awhile since I have heard anything, which drives me mind goes to the worst first for some reason. Anyway, things seem to be progressing, just busy in her world. She is still working at being weaned from the ventilator and increasing her feedings. Maureen and Ronny, though, are continuing to show what amazing parents they already are...below is copied from the online journal. The last part is a message directly from them (all of the other updates have been written by Maureen's sister's husband). As you can read, they feel the latest news to be a blessing...something they are proud the Lord entrusted them with. Not that I feel the news is bad, I just know that things will be harder for them, so I ask you to please keep them in your prayers...and thank the Lord for the amazing parents that Baby Francesca has been given.

Posted on 1/12/09:
"Hello All:
We apologize for the delay in posting an update, our Sweet Francesca has had a busy few days, slowly getting the ventilator weaned down more and increasing her feeds. Francesca is scheduled to have an MRI early tomorrow morning, and then will possibly have her second try at being extubated in the afternoon.

In addition, we have recently learned more about our angel baby, Francesca. Below is a letter from Maureen and Ronny, her very proud parents...

Dear Family and Friends,

As you know, our Sweetest Francesca is truly a miracle. God has made Francesca very special, and chosen us to be her parents – we feel blessed. She was born with Down Syndrome. We just found out this past weekend, and we want to give you time to adjust to the news, so you won’t feel the need to have an immediate response. We hope you will feel the same as we do, we’re happy and proud. We would like you to see her as we do, a Beautiful Baby Girl. We also want you to treat her just like any other baby – Congratulate US – Be happy we have a baby. We’re a family now, this is not a sad moment, PLEASE do not apologize, we aren’t sorry. We are still gathering information on Down Syndrome and probably won’t be able to answer any questions for a while. We would like to encourage you to continue to check the website, send us messages, and watch our baby girl heal and grow. She sleeps, eats, cries, and dirties diapers, just like every other baby. She’s just got an extra chromosome to go with her very feisty attitude!


Ronny and Maureen

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the Winner Is - Take 3

Fortunately for the rest of you, I never heard from Marsha Sutton of Stafford, TX, so I had to have my son pick yet another name! This time it was someone that posted something on their blog, so I have a blog to go with the name. So let's try this again....drumroll, please....the winner of my Blog Candy for a Cause II is:

Deborah Anton of North Carolina

So Deborah, please contact me by January 14 with your mailing address so I can get you the loot. Here is your reminder of what you won (at the bottom of the original winner's post)!

In regards to Baby Francesca...I don't have any new updates and the visit with Maureen and Ronny had to be postponed for a couple of reasons. Francesca was having a fussy day when I was suppose to go, so Maureen didn't feel up to having visitors since she would be with Francie all day. Plus we got like 12 inches (might be a slight exaggeration, but it was definitely over 8 inches) of snow that day and I was driving back from my sister's house. So alas the visit was postponed till another date yet to be set. They were talking about taking her off the ventilator too, so I will post something when I get an update. Thanks for the continued prayers for her!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blingy Baptism

Quick post for tonight...not feeling the greatest, so I need to go to bed early. You know Moms are not allowed to get sick! I wanted to participate in the latest Mojo Monday contest (Mojo68) and since I needed a couple of baptism cards, I decided to try that. I lent out my one and only cross stamp, so I was a little stuck. But then I remembered I had a bunch of rhinestones left over from the Baby Francesca box and card, so I decided to make them into a cross. I added some elements from the Priceless set to highlight the rhinestone cross. Can't really think of too many of the details right now, but overall I liked how the card turned out.

And since I needed another baptism card, but for a friend of ours that is an adult (I am always impressed by those that find religion later in life), I tried the same thing with a few changes. Obviously the colors were changed (this is SCS Color Challenge 200) and since my blue rhinestones were smaller and again it was for a man, I changed some of the elements that I thought were girly. I honestly am not sure which one I like better now.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of details or really anything interesting to say...just need some sleep now. Oh, if you can believe it, I have NOT heard from Marsha Sutton of Stafford, unless I hear from her tonight, I will be selecting yet ANOTHER winner of my Blog Candy for a Cause II tomorrow! Seriously, talk about a lackluster end to an awesome blog candy...whoever wins in the end, better hoop and holler some to make up for the lack of excitement! Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

And the Winner Is -Take 2

Unfortunately for Wendy, I never heard from her...fortunately for all of you, I had to pick a new winner of my Blog Candy for a Cause II. I cannot leave it open forever and if I don't get the goodies out of my house, I am going to be tempted to use them myself...I mean seriously, did you see what I have in front of me! Anyway, drum roll please..........the new winner of the Blog Candy for a Cause II is:

Marsha Sutton of Stafford, TX

Congrats Marsha! I can't wait to send you the loot...if you need a reminder again of that loot see my original winner's post HERE. Please contact me by Monday, January 12 to give me your mailing address...and like we have already seen, if I am not contacted, I will have to pull yet another winner.

While I am here, I thought I would pass along the latest with Francesca. They actually had her off of the ventilator for over 12 hours! Unfortunately, she was put back on, but the fact that she was off for a bit was incredible! So keep praying that they can get her off and keep her off of the ventilator soon!

Posted on 1/7/09:
"Hello Family and Friends,

Francesca has had a few very busy days, with lots of tests and consults. Overall, her test results have been good, with a few small bumps along the way. She has continued to be quite uncomfortable at times, as she goes through withdrawal from her sedation medications.

The main focus over the past few days has been weaning down the ventilator settings. Francesca took a giant step forward today, as she was taken off the ventilator around 10:30 this morning. She has had difficult periods during the day since being extubated, but she was still off the ventilator at 10:00 this evening, which is just amazing to us!! However, she was having to work quite hard to breathe tonight, so the doctors and nurses have cautioned us, that there is a chance that Francesca will have to be re-intubated (and thus, put back on the ventilator). It sounds like this is a very common thing, to try going off the ventilator, but then needing to go back on. We are just waiting to see what Francesca needs at this time, and we will go from there.

Francesca continues to grow more and more adorable every day. We are so thankful for the wonderful doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists at Children’s Hospital, who take such good care of our little angel…and we are so thankful for the support of our family and friends. Francesca is such a fighter, please continue to keep her in your prayers."

Posted on 1/8/09:
"Hello Everyone……

We just wanted to post a quick update about the beautiful Francesca. Last night she was struggling to breath and her blood gases were pretty bad so this morning the doctors decided to put her back on the ventilator. Francesca is now doing better and resting comfortably. They will most likely give it a few days and try again.

Thank you for all your support and prayers for Our Sweet Francesca."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Francesca Update

Hey everyone! I haven't had a chance to make anything recently, so nothing to show right now. I just wanted to pop in to give a quick Francesca update. Speaking of which...Wendy Byrd of Elizabeth City, NC are you out there??? If you are you need to look at this POST! For the rest of you, if I don't hear from Wendy by Friday, I will have to pick a new winner from my Blog Candy for a Cause II!!! So stay posted!

Anyway, it sounds as if Francesca is doing fairly and downs still. The biggest concern right now is the weaning of her sedatives. I guess she is having some trouble with that. I am tentatively scheduled to visit Maureen and Ronny on Saturday (pending how Francie is doing that day) to give them the box full of love! As always it is better to get the update in their words than in mine! So here you go:

Posted 1/4/09:
"Hello Everyone!
Francesca has had a few “up and down” days…Her oxygen saturation and blood gases have been fairly good, so they have been able to continue to slowly wean the ventilator (oxygen down to 48%, and weaning her pressure and rate down too). In addition, Francesca has done well tolerating her tube feedings, and now has a small feeding every three hours. She has lost even more of the fluid she has been retaining for so long, and has been able to be weaned down a bit on her Lasix (a diuretic which assisted her with getting rid of her excess fluid).

Francesca has had difficulty over the past two days, as her two sedation medications are being weaned, and Francesca is experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms. The doctors say this is expected, and that these symptoms could last days…to weeks. Our sweet little baby is quite uncomfortable, and it is quite painful for us to watch. Luckily, singing lullabies and feeling a loved one’s hand on her seems to calm her…a little. Let’s just say, we are singing ourselves hoarse!

Prayers for comfort for our angel baby Francesca would be greatly appreciated. We hope you all enjoyed a great New Years weekend. Thanks again for your continued support."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

And the Winner Is......

Well I am gong to make you wait just a minute to find out who the winner of the Blog Candy for a Cause II is....if you really can't wait, it is at the end of this post! First I want to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone that said a prayer, sent me a card, and/or donated blog candy. The lid to the box will hardly stay on due to the amount of cards that fill it...and I thought I got a big box too! Cards that wish Maureen and Ronny strength and comfort. Cards that wish healing for baby Francesca. Cards that simply let them know they are in someone's prayers. And as I give them this box of "love", I pray that it brings them peace and comfort during their time of struggle and healing and love for baby Francesca. So thank you all for helping me say prayers for them and helping me lift their spirits. I cannot find the right words to express how truly grateful I am!

This box was created as a keepsake for Francesca Maria Bucci (FMB) to hold all of the amazing and heartfelt cards that were created for her and her family. Maureen, without knowing if she was having a boy or a girl, decided to paint the room a pale green with black & white accents. So I went with the black & white theme and added accents of certainly celery and pretty in pink. I am so pleased with the result! I just hope the box reflects even half of the beauty that is contained inside it!

This was a large paper mache box from JoAnn's. I painted it black inside and out. Then I glued on the beautiful black & white patterned paper by Me & My Big Ideas (bought it at JoAnn's as well) to the sides, top and inside bottom. I adhered a pretty light green flower trim (again from JoAnn's) to the sides of the lid and added some pink rhinestones to the centers of the flowers. I did seal a lot of the box with Modge Podge so that it "weathers" well for Francesca.

For the lid of the box I wanted her name or something on it. I ended up with her initials out of Chipboard cutouts (from the SU! Lots of Letters chipboard). I painted them black and sealed them. Then I adhered white behind for the letters and layered it on a scallop square (Nestabilities) of Certainly Celery. Some pink rhinestones finished them off. They are raised up over top of the black embossed paper with the white strip and more of the flower trim. The saying and the flower from Verve Stamps Beautiful You set completed the box...see the details below.

Lastly, I made a card from me to go with all of your cards. I decided to coordinate it with the box, using the same colors, flower, and accents. From the same Beautiful You set, I chose the saying "There are no small Miracles". I think that might say it all!

I added a little Cotton Candy stickles to the flower this time, but I kept most of the other design elements the same. I just love how this flower looks with the patterned just coordinates so very well! And you gotta love getting a chance to use Christmas presents (I got the Swiss Dots embossing folder and the complete set of square Nestabilities!).

O.k. I won't make you wait any longer...oh actually I will. I wanted to share some interesting information from this RAK request. I received 107 cards (don't worry any stragglers will get to them!) from literally all over the world. The cards came from all over the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Australia! I had 40 bloggers post about my RAK request which helped me spread the word. And all of that comes down to one winner. After printing out everyone's name, cutting them out, and allowing my son to pick the winner...the winner is:

Wendy Byrd from Elizabeth, NC

Congratulations Wendy!! Email me your mailing address and I will get you the parts of the blog candy I have in my possession and I will share your address with the donators of the other parts to have them send you the rest. I hope you enjoy the loot!!!
And in case you need a reminder, I took a new picture of the much larger blog candy and listed all 42 items...crazy considering it started out with my measly 6 items!

1) IKEA Bygel Large Storage Basket, 2) Small container of adhesive backed blue rhinestones, 3)Glass Jar, 4) Fake Dew Drops, 5) Studio G Clear Acrylic Mini Alphabet Stamp set, 6) Scrappy Cat Clear Acrylic Baby Girl Stamp Set, 7) Papertrey Ink - Holiday Treats Stamp Set, 8) Signed Whimsical Autumn Stamp Set, 9) Tinkering Ink - Haberdasher Petite Patterned paper pad, 10) Our Craft Lounge - Tree-mendous Love Stamp Set, 11) SU! - Sleigh Full of Toys Stamp Set, 12),
Bottle of Prima Flowers, 13) Close to My Heart - Heartthrob stamp set, 14) SU! - Punches Three Stamp Set, 15) Autumn Leaves - 2 Clear Stamp sets, 16) Stampendous - Hey There Cupcake (gently used), 17) Heidi Swap - Forever Clear Stamp Set, 18) BoBunny - Aloha Acrylic Stamp Set, 19) Pink Paislee - Vintage Pop Clear Stamp Set, 20) Making Memories - Funky Vintage Ruby Collection 6x6 paper pack, 21) Studio G Clear Stamp Set, 22) SU! - $50 Gift Certificate redeemable through me, 23) Scor-pal with Case, 24) Close to My Heart - From the Heart stamp set, 25) Serendipity Kits - Papercraft kit, 26) Treehouse Stamps - $25 Gift Certificate, 27) Whimsy Stamps - Penguin and Seal Stamp, 28) JustRite Curlz Monogram Stamper Kit , 29) SU! - Shapes and Shadows Stamp Set, 30) Roll of ribbon from Michaels, 31)Studio G - Crystal Glitter Glue, 32) Studio G - Green Glitter Glue, 33) SU! - World Over stamp set (retired), 34) SU! - Event Full stamp set (retired), 35) Inkadinkadoo Brenda Walton stamp set - Somerset Expressions, 36) The Robin's Nest Dew Drops, 37) Fired Brick Distress Ink, 38)
Small photo album, 39) Darice Finishing Accents Rhinstone stickers, 40) Blumenthal Lansing Company - Button Sensations, 41) Inkadinkadoo Humingbird Stamp, 42) SU! - 6x6 Pattern Paper Pack
Whew! Not sure what this loot is valued at, but I am guessing well over a couple hundred dollars!! Thank you again to the generous folks that donated to my blog candy!

Carolyn King (My Blog By Cammie), Cambria Turnbow (Stamp a Little Love Baby and Our Craft Lounge), Stephanie Benedict, Nicole Anderson (Anderson Arts), Mary Vogel (Life and Creating), Jane Bosi (Jane's Addiction), Julie Crossley (Scrapbook Store at Your Door), Joanne Basile (Stamped by Hand), Debbie Stelton (Dolce Deb Designs), Katie Cotton (Paper Makeup), Milissa Howes (Serendipity Kits), Ashley Bowen (Treehouse Stamps), Denise Lynn (Whimsy Stamps), Monique Matthews (Heavenly Creations by Monique), Cindy Walker, Anita Autore (Cards and Coffee), Alexandra Hobson (California Stampin), Stephanie Sheridan, Mikki Madden (Mik Inks)
Please visit their websites and blogs and thank them for contributing so generously!
I plan to take pictures of all of the wonderful cards and will get a link out to all of you so you can view them in one place....probably later this week. Thanks again!!!

Can You Feel the Excitement Rising??

Alrighty! I just got the mail today and got my last few cards to enter into the Blog Candy for a Cause II! I will be entering the names into my spreadsheet, printing out all of the names, throwing them in a bucket, and letting someone in my family pull the lucky winner out! And did you see that the blog candy grew again?! If not check out the latest additions HERE. I am completely floored by the generous nature of my fellow stampers and cannot believe the response I received! I will give all of the totals and show pictures of the box I made to put them all in tomorrow when I announce the winner. I can't wait to show you the box I did...I am so very proud of how it turned out.

Anyway, that all is for tomorrow. Today I wanted to share the latest update on baby Francesca. I happy to report that she had her first taste of breastmilk...through a tube. I don't know the logistics of how she stored it all or what she did with it all, but I am so proud that my friend Maureen was able to pump this entire time to maintain her milk supply so that her baby girl could get some of that important liquid! On the bad side, Francesca had low blood platelets and they have not been able to determine prayers are still needed. Here is the post in their words:

Posted 1/1/09:

"Happy New Year and Happy One Month Birthday to our Sweetest Francesca!

Francesca woke up for the new year just before midnight, to ring in 2009 with Mommy and Daddy. Since then, Francesca has seemed to have a good day, with a couple “forward steps”. Her oxygen saturation and blood gases have been good enough for the ventilator to be weaned to 66% oxygen today. Francesca was also able to have her first feeding of breast milk, which was fed through an NG (nasogastric) tube. She appeared to tolerate the feeding well! They still have not figured out why her platelets have been so low, so we are still waiting on that.

We hope 2009 will continue on with this positive trend. We know Francesca still has a long road ahead, so we are sure to treasure each “baby step” forward she takes. She seems to be getting more and more adorable every day.

We hope you all enjoyed a safe New Year. Let’s pray that 2009 will have lots more forward steps for our Sweetest Francesca."

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