Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yum Yum

We ate out a lot when I was pregnant. Somehow, smells elsewhere were a lot more tolerable than ones in our own home. Strangely enough, going out isn't really in the cards right now. Why?

1. Babies are money zappers
2. Babies are not very good dinner companions at any restaurant that doesn't feature a drive thru

So, luckily, as I've bragged about so often on here, Tony is an excellent cook and likes to do it. I am terrible at cooking and never try it.  However, after so many nights in, we were both getting a little tired of the usuals. When Tony found out how much he liked the Pinterest app on the iPad, we were set. We've had fresh recipes for dinner for a few weeks now, and I wanted to share some of the highlights.

I didn't photograph any of them because, seriously, food looks gross if you don't know how to stage it right.  Also, I was too busy eating as fast as I can, my new hobby.  I swear Harper can sense when food is hot and begins crying right then.  I've also been known to eat while nursing, resulting in taquito crumbs found later in the folds under Harper's double chin...sorry baby...

You should know Tony never actually follows a recipe, so I can't vouch for these exactly.  But the overall idea stands.  These were all hits:

Tamale Pie (he halved the chicken and added in finely chopped veggies instead) - a new fave and portable to take to friends.  Also good for leftovers

Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken - soooo good and healthier than takeout

Baked Chicken Taquitos - not bad for baked!  Pretty easy too!  We did easy bean/cheese ones for lunch the next day too

Coconut Lime Chicken - a good mix of flavors we should use more often

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers - mmm grilled pineapple.  Good with veggie kabobs

I'll keep pinning ones he tries and we like on my Eat board :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On the Brink

That's where I feel right now.

Not in a negative, despondent way, but in a way that is challenging and inspiring and motivating.

Fall always does this for me.  I feel both renewed and nostalgic, full of big plans and bigger dreams.  The crisp air and clear blue sky is refreshing in so many ways.

And this year, I feel on the brink.  On the brink of becoming motivated and creative and active.  On the edge of pushing myself, but just not sure how to truly get there.  Tiptoes hesitant to move forward.

It's a strange transition, this motherhood.  I love every minute spent with Harper.  Truly.  Her needs are immediate, and I meet them - love, spit up, diapers, playtime, and all.  Yet it's strange to not be facing deadlines or homework or appointments.  There's both so much to do yet so little.  It's easy to push something off to the next naptime, or the next day, or the next week.  Beyond caring for my baby, nothing else is urgent, and I'm feeling a bit adrift.  A bit wanting.

The days are beautiful and tinged with spirit.  I want to embrace it.  I want to make more of it all.  I want to make more of my time and be creative and have fun and make Harper giggle.  I want to do it all.  I am on the brink of leaping into this season and this new role.

I just need a little push...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Slice of Life

Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Clubfoot Files: Brace Yourself

Last cast day!!

Tony and I are convinced that there is a reason Harper has clubfoot.  If she didn't?  We would seriously have the easiest baby ever and would be truly spoiled and think that all babies are this easy.  We might be pondering a whole brood.  Truly, if it weren't for the complications of clubfoot, we would have the easiest time.  I am so thankful every day that she's making this process so much easier on us all.

See my guide to clothes and gear during the bracing stage here

Getting casts put on Harper was the easy part, believe it or not.  Bracing?? A lot harder...

Last week we went back to the doctor. She had been in a 3 week cast to stretch her heel down (as an alternative to surgery yay!) and we were getting xrays to be sure it worked.  I was pretty confident it would work, but I was glad to get official confirmation.  

Side note: babies don't really like being pinned down to get xrays taken. And the little circle that serves as the protective apron for the rest of the body is not reassuring either ...


After a quick visit with the doctor, we went to the orthotics office.  I was really happy with this group (at Children's of Atlanta).  They took over an hour to talk with us, walk us through everything, and answer all questions.  They were in no rush and I was so grateful.  The orthotist gave me his email, telling me I could send him pictures if I had any concerns (which I did, the first night!).  He's since seen us without an appointment to help with troubleshooting, and he emailed me today to check in.  So wonderful to find healthcare providers who really are an ally and care about your child.

Harper was fitted with the Mitchell shoes and the Dennis Browne bar. I had a little freak out moment when I saw what bar we were prescribed, since I had read that the Ponseti bar was best. After a detailed comparison given by the orthotist on the difference, I'm now glad we went with the DB one.  It's a quick release, where the shoes pop off the bar, instead of being screwed on.  The angle of the feet is also already set (the cf one is kicked out to 70 degrees) - we don't have to worry about that each time.  But otherwise, it's practically the same static bar - it even says Ponseti on it!

During the marathon doctor visit, Harper did so well.  She barely fussed.  Her leg was super sensitive, since it's been locked up in a cast basically all of her life.  But even when getting poked and prodded, she only cried a bit.  Our little trooper.  We were fearing a week or so of extreme fussiness as she got adjusted to the brace.  She was up frequently the first night, but the second one??  Well she went ahead and slept through the night for the first time.  Ha!  We need to stop underestimating her.

First day with nasty cast leg.
It's amazing how tight you have to get the shoes. You have to pull until it practically feels like the strap will break.  The leather stretches over time, so it's not like you are using the same position each and every time either.  If you get them too loose, the foot can rub and become blistered, not to mention it's not doing it's job properly either.  Too tight and she loses toes.  It's a bit unsettling to be told you have to watch for her knees to turn purple to make sure that blood isn't pooling because they are too tight. Ugh. It's a two person job for sure, as it takes one baby wrangler and one shoe wrangler.

[Edited later to add: I now do it all by myself, no problem!  It will get easier, promise!]

[Edited later to add: the above is NOT how you do it.  The leather tongue strap part goes right over where their foot bends - NOT that high!  We realized that later!]

Luckily, the brace fits into the Halo sleep sacks she has been wearing to bed anyway and it's not cold enough outside yet to have to worry about pants.  I think she's happy to be able to scrunch both legs up again.  She can easily pull both of her knees up, but I haven't yet seen her lift the bar in the air. One day.  She is such a strong girl anyway, I know she will figure it out soon.

I will have to write a post later about gear that works well for this stage.  We have already figured out some things that work great and some that don't. It's not too terribly difficult, but it just takes some modifications to make things work.  You should see how I nurse her - comical!  She lies on her side so one foot is stuck up in the air, comfortable for all involved (ha!)

Baby snowboarder??

She gets one hour of free time each day to let her feet air out and stretch.  I may or may not yell out "Free Piggie Time!!!" the entire hour.  I love it.  She loves it.  The minute the shoes come off, she kicks and kicks.  And she got a real bath for the first time ever.  That was perfection - she's never been so clean!

Already, after less than a week, her foot is almost looking normal, not all gross like it was when the cast came off.  You can't even tell it's the clubbed one, besides the fact that it's a little chubbier.  I am SO happy this treatment has gone so well so far.  Her foot has responded fabulously.

This process definitely makes me appreciate Free Piggie Hour.  I don't know if I would have otherwise taken the time to enjoy every little kick she kicks, or how sweet her little feet are, or how wonderful it is to curl her up against me unencumbered.  And when she rolls over?  Crawls?  Walks?  Runs?!  ... yeah, I will appreciate those so much more too.  

Check out all of my other Clubfoot Files posts here!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Out and About

Baby pilgrim?

It didn't take long to realize that leaving the house with a baby requires a suitcase full of things, an extra hour of prep work, and the patience of a saint.  Ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but that's how it felt the first time.  By now, we've gotten into a bit of a groove, and I now know what needs to be thrown into the diaper bag for an outing out and what's safe to leave at home.  Although I still err on the side of caution - who knows what new conundrum can come up while out and about.  We try to make it out of the house each day, whether it's to Target, on a walk, or to the grandparents' house.  Sometimes we even get a little crazy and go out to eat.  Walking on the wild side, I tell you.

When we had the opportunity to go to the lake during Labor Day weekend, thanks to our dear friends Kacy and Mikey, we were a bit hesitant but decided to go for it.

I say I've learned what to bring - but hadn't learned the hat lesson yet.  Luckily a little bonnet was on hand, protecting our baby's scalp and setting her up for a life of building log cabins, planting corn, and surviving harsh New England winters.

I packed nearly every baby gadget we have into the car, all 20 burp cloths, enough clothes for both her and us for a week (she's a spitter!) - I figured, we are driving, who cares if our trunk is packed, we have the room, it's better to have it rather than not.  I thought I was being crazy, but we used every item and even did laundry.  

I didn't take long to realize that all of the packing was worth it, especially when you get to wake up to this view, on a crisp Saturday morning that hints at the coming fall.  Even with low lake levels, the scene is so soothing.

We were also excited to hang out with Harper's birthday buddy Jack.  Little Jack was born on the same day as Harper and he is such a cutie!  

Don't worry, we were parked.  She wore her lifejacket for the ride (which lasted all of 2 mins!)

 Morning hair and spitup stains?  Harper seems to be judging me, arms crossed and all.
 We spent a lot of time lounging around, playing with babies and puppies.  The dogs are so cute at the lake - there were only 6 there this time, unlike in trips past.

The best part of all??  Harper did GREAT!!  She slept better than she does at home, rarely fussed, and wasn't phased when her routine was shaken up a bit.  That went a long way in showing Tony and I that yes, you can still have a life, even with a little baby.  You have to change things up a bit, and the process takes a little more thought and effort, but it's worth it to get out a live a little.  We were getting quite sick of our couch!

I love when he's happy.

And of course, we got to hang out with our favorite twinsies, Marlee and Parks.  These kids are at such a fun age, and I don't think they are capable of taking a bad picture.

While it's unfortunate the water levels are so low, it has created this little sand bar in the middle of the lake, right down from their dock.  We took the boat over there (hence the 2 minute ride!) and everyone was able to get out and play.  The kiddos were able to run around and get in shallow water while the adults enjoyed the festiveness.  Since it was evening, we took Harper out for a bit and walked her around, but mostly she just enjoyed hanging out on the boat in the shade with us.

Harper even survived a bit of a monsoon.  Clouds began rolling in while we were down on the dock, but that quickly turned to crazy driving rain.  Luckily we were under shelter and had lots of blankets.  The babies actually were really calm during the whole thing - the rain hitting the metal roof was like a giant white noise machine.

So, overall, successful trip!  It was fun to get away for a while and hang out with some great friends.  It was also a major confidence booster for a paranoid, worrier mom like me.  With a little tweaking, life can still go on post-baby.  And honestly, it's even better.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...