Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sadie's second trip to Oregon

We made it safely to Oregon, but it wasn't easy. After today I had to pray for forgiveness for any rude things I've ever said about (or to) someone flying alone with a small child...it is NOT easy! Brian came into the airport with me because Sadie was car screaming on the way there, so I pushed the stroller with the diaper bag while daddy held the baby. I was very thankful for his help. Once we got checked in (Sadie even got her very own boarding pass!), Brian walked us to security and said goodbye...and we were on our own. TSA ushered me straight to the front of the line (probably out of sympathy) and we were all good until it was time to walk through the beeper. I even got my shoes off, the computer out, and the medicines in a baggie all with one hand (while holding Sadie with the other)! Then the lady told me I had to fold up the stroller and put it through the scanner, I looked at her like she's crazy, I think I even said something like, "ok, right, let me grow a third arm!" Luckily the guy behind me was nice, he looked like a college kid, he folded up my stroller for me (by this time Sadie is starting to cry), then when I didn't realize my phone was in my pocket, he held out one of those little bowls for me to put it in, then when i beeped again and they said I had to take off my belt, he gave me another bowl...I'm sure every person behind me was cursing me (I would have been!) We made it through finally with no beeps and I got the stroller and put Screamy Sadie in it while I got everything packed back up...and we screamed our way to gate C14.

Funny side note: Brian called just as I was putting my belt back on to ask if I remembered where we parked the car. I told him what I thought, he agreed with me, then told me the car wasn't there. What?! Okay, I love Brian, but he has such a hard time remembering where he parked. So I wasn't that worried, I just figured he was in the wrong spot. I quizzed him for a minute, "did you come out the elevators and turn right? Did you go all the way to the end of the aisle? Did you check the next aisle over to make sure?" He said yes, and our car wasn't there. So he decided to call security and I told him to call me again when he figures out what to do. We talked again when I got to my gate and he said security was coming and if they couldn't find it, we'd have to report it stolen. And we talked a minute about why someone would want to steal OUR car...seriously, it's old and there's nothing valuable in there! And we locked it! Anyway, so he called me one more time and opens with, "you'll appreciate this..." Apparently there are east and west sides to the parking structure, and the look exactly the same...and he was on the wrong side! Ha ha ha!

With the knowledge that our car wasn't stolen, Sadie and I continued to wait to board the plane. She had stopped crying, and she was happily laying on my lap being cute and kicking her legs, and I had great optimism (like I usually do). We boarded after the A group with 16 other families with small children (I felt better at least knowing that if my baby cried she probably wouldn't be the only one!), and this time when I needed to fold up the stroller, I handed Sadie to the lady behind me who asked if she could help. Because the flight was full of families, everybody was super nice and very understanding of us.

We got a great seat, third row, against the window, and it didn't look like anyone was going to be in the middle seat. It was all working out nicely! I started nursing Sadie knowing she was tired and hoping she'd just fall asleep and we'd be good, but it didn't quite happen like that... she took 3 sucks and started crying (I'm sure her teeth hurt, I think I finally feel something coming through!). And she wouldn't stop. There was this young couple and they boarded late and couldn't find seats together so he was going to sit by me and the girl right behind us, but the lady in the row behind us offered to sit by me so the couple could sit together. She sat down and said, "I figured I should at least see who's making all this noise!" I apologized in advance, but she was really nice and when Sadie screamed and whined for the next hour, she didn't say a word. She and the guy on the aisle both had headphones (which I was glad for them) and neither of them seemed bothered. And the lady in front of my kept turning around, but not because she was annoyed, because she's a mom and felt bad for me and wanted to help. When Sadie finally gave up and fell asleep, the lady in front of me turned around and I gave her a thumbs up and she just laughed, the lady next to me said, "She's way cuter when she's quiet." It was embarrassing, but what can you do? She's a baby!

Luckily she was out the rest of the flight and I was able to sleep a little, read a little, eat a little, but you have no idea how excited I was when the captain said we had 15 more minutes until we land! The lady next to me said, "the hard part is over now!" I told her, with a frown on my face, we still had to drive to Eugene.

My mom met us at baggage claim, Sadie was sound asleep in the stroller, and I was once again glad we brought it. We got her in the car(after a diaper change, of course) and got on the road. We decided first, though, to stop at the fabric store...I was looking for something specific and I thought a store in Oregon might have it. Nope. Then Sadie was hungry (she actually put her hand in her mouth and started sucking! This is the second time she's done this in about 24 hours, it's kind of exciting!!), so we nursed in the parking lot while my mom ate the lunch she brought and we made it almost an hour before the crying started!

We had decided ahead of time that we would stop at the Starbucks in Woodburn (which is about half way and a good place to stop and rest anyway), so we did, and Sadie sat and was cute and everybody oohed and ahhed over her. Then we nursed some more and she pooped her pants, so we took care of that...but then she cried for the next hour before we got home. Actually, we decided to stop to see Anna first because she lives a little north of Eugene. It was so sad, not car screaming, but it went in waves...she would fade out and just barely be crying and we thought she'd fall asleep, and then she'd get herself worked up again and scream and then she'd fade back down and do it all over again. She was so tired, but falling asleep in the car was obviously NOT on her agenda!

We had a good visit with Anna and Sadie got a little nap, she took a longer one at my mom's house, then we went to the Johnson's for dinner and Sadie was out cold by 9:00. She didn't even wake up when we put her in the car. Poor little baby was T-I-R-E-D! Goodnight sweet Sadie, i hope you have a better day tomorrow and a less "exciting" flight back home on Saturday.

Monday, June 28, 2010

butternut spaghet sauce

We have so much freaking butternut squash that we're trying new and creative ways to use it all. We so far have eaten squash: steamed, added it to soup, butternut squash risotto and made speghet sauce. Christie doesn't particularly like baked squash due to texture issues. So the most common way to eat squash we have not yet partaken. We also still need to make bread as that's always an easy delicious way to use a globe.

We got adventurous last weekend and went to Costco with the intention of finding stuff to eat - and eat samples. While inspecting items we walked by a sauce entitled "butternut squash" pasta sauce. In normal circumstances we would have immediately purchased this item, however considering we had a kitchen counter filled with squash we decided to make some our selves!

So I peeled, seeded and cubed a squash that looked particularly experimental.

And prepared the rest of the ingredients: onion sliced, garlic chopped, fresh basil (from our garden), EVOO, home-made chicken stock, wine, and something entirely new:
(Editor's Note: EVOO stands for extra virgin olive oil...yeah, I didn't know either. -Christie)

Dried Mexican Oregano! - from our garden. Yum. Once everything was prepared my wife decided she needed to use the treadmill at that moment and informed me, while cooking dinner that it was my job to watch Sadie. So Sadie, being my progeny, immediately fussed inconsolably that she needed attention and required holding. My wife pumping away on the treadmill instructed me to take care of the pile of scream.
( Editor's Note: If I want to ever see a glimpse of that pre-pregnancy ever again, the treadmill and I need to become good friends, I don't think Brian disagrees. -Christie)


we got to work. Sadie and I heated the oil. Added the onions until they browned, added the garlic until it was smelly, de-glazed the pan (and me).

Sadie inspected everything making sure nothing was overcooked. Let me tell you, oil splatters hurt me, and I was terrified for her. Her, like a nice little Sous, just took any abuse the angry oil could give her but she persevered. I am serious though, all of this was done with her in one arm - not crying.
(Editor's Note: I wish I had taken a picture of this, but I was pounding that treadmill pavement! -Christie)

At this point we added the cubed squash, chicken broth, and some fresh basil. Covered it and simmered until Christie finished her work out. On the other burners we had some brocs steaming and some whole wheat organic noodles boiling away.

Some dried oregano was added and I then added it to a blender and whirred it into sauce. It was thick and difficult to blend so I did add some pasta water in order to help it.

Finally we added the sauce to the noodles

and ate.

Our review: it was really just a big fat okay. It wasn't overly flavorful with the noodles. The sauce by itself was pretty good but apparently the noodles just aren't a great compliment to the sauce. We tried it again with another type of noodle tonight and it was still just really average. Overall it was a fun event and a very creative way to use the squash, but perhaps I should have added more salt (I rarely add salt as we get enough during the day) or had lower expectations. All in all, the highlight was sauteing items with a non-screaming baby.

I'm an awesome dad!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Unexpected Growth

Last year around this time we made a discovery. Our baby watermelon vines burned up in the scorching heat. This was especially tragic as watermelons are my wife's favorite form of nutrition. When planning our garden this year we decided against any sort of melon crop because our loss still stung too much.

We planted other successful items including this year including an apricot tree in our back and a Hong Kong Orchid for eventual shade in the front. When planting this I dug a hole. The put the trees into the hole. The backfill for the hole was a nice 50/50 mix of native soil and our compost. We compost everything that was once living but never had legs or fins.

Often times when using compost unusual things sprout up quickly and I am curious enough to not kill these items. We've so far gotten green onions and...

at least 15 more of these butternut squash. And...

three honeydew melons. Not pictured is one spaghetti squash we salvaged before its vine perished in the hot hot sun. All of the items, except the spaghetti squash (which grew from our main garden which is odd considering I put no compost there) came from the soil of our two planted trees. Roughly 10 butternut squash in the front of our house and 10 in the back. There is a slowly dying vine in our front yard below our tree that has provided us so much homegrown food. I am positive our HOA is not thrilled. I am also positive that I am thrilled and that trumps stodgy HOA prudes any day.

We're now in the process of finding new and interesting ways to use up all this butternut squash. One huge advantage of having so much bn squash is the life of the squash. It can be kept for a month or so which spaces out our consumption.

Tomorrow, a recipe...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Neurology update 6-24

Well, as usual the neurologist made me feel bad by telling me my baby is not doing great, will never be normal, and she doesn't know how bad Sadie will be ultimately (instead of how good Sadie is already doing). If we didn't have so much support, and believe in the power of God to continue to work a miracle in our baby's life, we may have left there feeling totally hopeless. Brian even called her on it and said, "you just said she's doing way better than anyone expected, so why are you telling us she's not doing great?" Whatever Dr. Jarrar says, we know our baby is doing great (because she's alive!!)!

So, she showed us Sadie's EEG and explained to us that Sadie's brain activity is suppressed and we could see that her brain waves weren't as wavy as maybe someone without brain damage. Then she showed us the spikes that she said showed that Sadie has a tendency to have seizures. She said Sadie had a lot of them and she really believed that if we took her off the phenobarb she would have seizures. She said she'd support weaning her off, but explained to us the risk of Sadie having seizures. If Sadie has a big seizure (lasting over an hour) it could really do significant damage and possibly set her way back developmentally. If she has little seizures, but a lot of them, the chemicals released can cause damage. And even if her seizures are limited, sometimes having a seizure can cause more seizures and more seizures snowballing them out of control.

Then Brian asked about the amount we give her and said it seems like the other babies we've heard of get WAY more (we only give sadie 2.5 mL once a day, many of the moms we've talked to were giving 5-7 mL!) So dr. Jarrar looked at how much we're giving her and said it's not even enough to provide a protective barrier against seizures...so essentially we're giving her medicine that's not doing anything because we're not giving her enough. That made me feel a little better because then maybe such a small dose isn't so detrimental to her development, but it also made me a little annoyed that nobody has LOOKED at this! They ask us EVERYTIME what medications she's on and how much, and EVERY dr. visit, not just the neurologist. (I mean, when she came in she asked me if Sadie was eating orally?! Do you really pay so little attention to your patients that you don't know? We've never seen Dr. Jarrar with a feeding tube.) Anyway...Brian also asked about long term effects of the phenobarb, as well as the keppra (which is what she would be switched to providing she needs to be medicated for seizures) and Dr. Jarrar told us they haven't found any side effects to keppra, but phenobarb has had tests showing it's not good for the brain and can stunt development. Awesome. I asked Dr. Jarrar why we would switch to a new medicine if Sadie wasn't taking enough to protect from seizures anyway and we haven't seen any. She said her concern is that maybe she's having seizures we can't see. I mentioned though that the EEG didn't show seizures and she told me a 45 minute EEG isn't long enough to see something like that. To find out, Sadie'd have to be admitted to the epilepsy center for a 24 hour EEG. In the end what we decided was to do this, the 24 hour EEG, and if we don't see any seizure activity, we'll taper off the meds completely, but if we do see seizures we'll start the keppra. And until we do this study we'll keep Sadie on the phenobarb. When i asked why she said it's probably helping her sleep...it was all i could do to not laugh in her face! Ha! HELPING her sleep...she's probably right though, i just can't imagine sleep being WORSE!!

And I'm okay with this solution/compromise. I definitely don't want to put my baby at more risk than she already is, and a 24 hour EEG will give us some good data to work with. And if she has seizures, it's not the end of the world... it'll just be one more obstacle of not knowing that we will have overcome.

We asked other questions, will Sadie have cerebral palsy (CP), will her vision be normal, do you think she'll be able to walk? Dr. Jarrar told us Sadie would DEFINITELY have CP, as to the severity of it, we don't know...and that they don't diagnose CP this early in life. WHAT?! She said that they will be able to see in the MRI if Sadie's occipital lobe (the vision center in her brain) is suppressed, but we won't be able to see if the connectors from her eyes to her occipital lobe are working correctly, the eye dr. will probably do a specific test to check for that (but they don't do it before 6 mos). And she told us Sadie is strong, but there's no way to tell if she'll walk or be in a wheelchair. She said that with CP, you don't ever regress, because it's based on damage done, but that you can get better with therapies, and that is the only way to make it better. I told her Sadie is only about a month behind developmentally and she made it sound like at some point she could plateau in her development, so we need to keep an eye on that and not slack off with our therapies definitely!

As we walked away from there we agreed that 1. we feel that Dr. Jarrar is very negative toward our situation, and 2. she's kind of hard to talk to about anything. I mean, at one point I asked her what the dose would be for the keppra, she told me not to be concerned that it would be calculated according to weight, I told her, but I am concerned because I'm the one who has to administer it and deal with the coughing-gagging-choking. She seemed annoyed that she had to make that calculation for me right then. (by the way, .7-1 mL 3 times a day) So, I think I will talk to Dr. Wendy (the pediatrician) Monday about maybe seeing a different neurologist.

This 24 hour EEG is a big deal for Sadie and her brain. Please pray for healing in that little noggin, we want to see no seizures, no tendency for seizures, and increased brain activity since the last time. Please also pray for the MRI that we see improvement. Sadie's last MRI was done the day she left the hospital, she was one week old. And we still need that head to grow, ie that brain to grow!! Also please pray that Sadie can overcome these negative diagnoses through therapies and that she will continue to improve and progress WAY beyond what these doctors expect. We know God does miracles and we expect one in our family.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

finding my identity

Sometimes I feel so alone in this journey with Sadie. I will hear and see all the neat things babies her age (and younger) that I know are doing and it makes me feel bad that Sadie doesn't do those things yet. I know, I know, don't compare my baby to other babies. But I can't help it. When I read about Cameron rolling over at 4 mos. and I see Nathan holding his head up so well on his tummy at 8 weeks, I can't help but think what it would be like if everything had gone according to plan when Sadie was born. And even though I know it's destructive to think like this, it's an uphill battle NOT to.

I recently found some groups of moms with babies like Sadie. There's a newborn brain cooling group, and an HIE group on facebook. I've been able to "talk" (and by talk, I mean email and IM) to other moms who have experienced similar things with their children. But no two cases are the same. And while I find similar stories, I don't find what I'm looking for: reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

Sadie has started teething, and it's sort of weird to me that even though her development is so delayed, physically, she's perfect. Her body's clock doesn't know that her hands are still in fists or that her sensory system is hyper-sensitive, it just knows it's time to start teething. So, she gets the drool, and the multiple poopy diapers daily, and the not sleeping well. But it doesn't seem fair, because she can't deal with it like a normal baby would, she doesn't have enough tools in her toolbox yet. So, while teething is fun and exciting for most parents, it's just more screaming for me (but I AM excited to see those teeth pop up...eventually)

I went on the babycenter website, where I visited MANY times daily when I was preggers, looking for I don't know what...help with sleep? help with teething? some sort of reassurance that my baby is normal even though I know she's not? I don't know why I even ever go to these forums anymore, they just make me feel bad. Babies born the same month as Sadie are laughing and playing and sitting up and rolling. But not my baby. Like I said, uphill battle.

But we don't fit into the special needs groups either. That P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. group? It's for babies with SEVERE eating issues. Those babies have g-tubes, and aren't gaining weight, and never breastfed. And those moms really have it much worse that me. Sure, my baby won't take a bottle, and she has trouble sleeping, but I don't have to push a button to release formula into a tube that is surgically placed into her stomach. It makes me nauseous just thinking that that could have been us. Sadie doesn't have down syndrome, or cerebral palsy, or even epilepsy (officially)...but she's not normal either. Where's the group for that?

So, here we hang, somewhere in the middle. We're not disabled enough to be called disabled, but we're not normal enough to be called normal. And I don't know, then, where to turn for support. I feel like my/Sadie's problems are too minimal to be wasting the time of special needs groups. They can't help me, offer me advice, give me support because they're issues are so much more severe. Yet, when I receive help/advice from people about teething or sleeping who've had perfectly healthy and normal babies, it's of no use to us really because Sadie isn't normal.

I guess we continue to hang in the balances, teetering between special and normal. I guess we continue to go to bed every night wondering if Sadie's hands and feet were more tense today because she's uncomfortable, or because her cerebral palsy tendencies are becoming more apparent. I guess we continue to wonder if she WILL have seizures if we wean her from the medicine. I guess we will continue to try to get her to sleep independently. I guess we will continue to have hope that THIS car ride is going to be different. I guess we will continue to measure her head with crossed fingers that this time the number will be higher. I guess we will continue to live life through the screaming and not sleeping. I guess we will continue to hope and pray that eventually we WILL fit in on one side or the other, just so that we can at least find an identity.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

to my husband on our anniversary

Dear Brian,

You are the love of my life and I can't imagine living without you. Sometimes people say that someone "completes" them, and they are being trite, but when I say that you complete me, I mean it. When I am down, you brighten my day. When I don't hold my tongue and sometimes what comes out of my mouth isn't nice, you turn it into a joke. When I'm frustrated with Sadie, you step in to relieve me. You remind me to be prudent with our money, with my calories, and with my time. You show me you care, not by buying me things and spoiling me, but my complimenting me, by hugging me, and by spending time with me.

I love that we can have conversations about anything, no matter how absurd. You listen to me complain about students in my class and their ignorant parents...I listen to you complain about TSA (EVERYtime you fly!!). I can tell you about my good days, my bad days, text you each time Sadie poops, and you care about every little detail (that must be why you ask so many questions!). You can tell me I'm being irrational and stupid and that you love me all in the same breath, and even though sometimes it hurts to hear it, I am thankful that you say these things, and protect me from myself.

Sometimes I lie awake in the night and wonder how I got so lucky to marry someone like you. There is NOBODY who doesn't like you. You are such a wonderful person, and you chose to spend your life with me. You, who paid off my credit cards with your hard-earned money, helped me when I had foot surgery, flew with me TWICE to visit my dad, and literally carried me while I was disgusting and having a baby. You are a good man. And you are a good dad, I can't wait to see your relationship blossom with Sadie as she grows.

When we got married, we said the words "for better or for worse," but nobody expects the worst. This year we have had many struggles that have brought us closer together, things we never thought we'd face, decisions nobody should ever have to make, yet you stood by me while I cried over my baby, and you even cried with me. You reminded me that no matter what happens you love me. I love you for being such a great man, a strong man in the face of tragedy. I love you for showing me how to love unconditionally. It's been 3 years since our wedding day, and I have loved every minute of it. You are my soulmate, my significant other, my husband, and I look forward to many many more years with you.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Developmental Special Instruction

As I understand it, Developmental Special Instruction (DSI) therapy is to help Sadie operate and function at her optimal level in her environment. Because of her sensitivity to sensory input, I imagine this therapy will help with regulating herself and knowing when to stop crying if she's tired, if the pain is gone, or if whatever is bothering her has stopped. Really though...I have no idea what this therapy is. So, I went to my trusty friend, the internet, to see if I could find out more about it!

This is how Arizona defines DSI:
• designing learning environments and activities that promote the child's acquisition
of skills in a variety of developmental areas;
• curriculum planning, including the planned interaction of personnel, materials, and
time and space that leads to achieving the outcomes in the child's IFSP;
• providing information, skills, and support to families, related to enhancing skill
development by the child; and
• working with the child to enhance the child's development.

So, I was right. DSI is supposed to help us perform and function as a family, with specialized help for Sadie so that her development stays on track ie. sleeping well, getting enough play/floor time, self-soothing techniques, etc.

We met our DSI therapist last week, Claudia, she came by and filled out some forms, talked about Sadie's goals, and gave me a lecture about punctuality and responsibility or I will be booted from the program (she obviously has NO IDEA who she's talking too!) She agreed to let me take pictures and laughed when I told her we're blogging Sadie's progress for the world to see (again...NOOOOO idea!). She explained to me that DSI is basically play therapy and that we'll be doing a lot of tummy time and floor play and things. Great! But her job is also to support Sadie's other therapies and to help Sadie reach her goals.

She also helped me read our Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), which is actually very similar to an IEP, for those of you in education, which I've seen about a million of. So, these are Sadie's goals over the next 6 months, so basically we want her doing all these things by Christmas.

1. Sadie will be able to take a bottle or sippie cup so parents can go out together. This will look like: Sadie will not choke or cough while feeding, she will take a pacifier to help calm down, or suck her thumb. (I think the goal here is to make her less dependent on ME and to give me a break!)

2. Sadie will be able to play with toys during playtime. This will look like: Sadie will hold a toy, shake and move it, look at the toy, and pass it from one hand to the other. Sadie will reach purposefully to get a toy and be able to let go of the toy to give to someone else. She will also not keep her hands in fists so often so she can use them to play with toys.

3. Sadie will roll during playtime. This will look like: Sadie will roll from her tummy to back, back to tummy, and roll to a toy or object she finds interesting.

4. Sadie will sit independently to play. This will look like: Sadie will sit independently and hold toys, she will have excellent head control and be able to turn and look in both directions.

5. Sadie will be able to put herself to sleep during naps. This will look like: Sadie will be able to sleep in her crib to take a nap and will go to sleep independently. (this one might be tough!)

Today, Sadie had her first DSI therapy with Claudia. It went pretty well. I don't know how helpful this therapy is because it seems like the same stuff I do at home with her. But, maybe as she progresses it'll get better. And also, it forces us to do it! So, here are some pictures and explanations of Sadie's DSI with Claudia:

First she got Sadie to hold on to a link.
Then because Sadie has a death grip/fist, Claudia was able to pull the link and Sadie would start to roll over.

She would pull her all the way over until she was on her tummy. Sadie DID NOT like this one bit!!

She also did a lot of trying to get Sadie to grab, reach out for, bat, feel toys. Since the dog is Sadie's favorite, we used that one mostly. She started to do it once we got her calmed down after all the tummy time! (we used Brian's trick and gave her a big "YAY!!!" when she did what we wanted)

Then we practiced some sitting.

Sadie wasn't having this at all! haha Poor baby!

Then we did some tummy time on the yoga ball, because she can't push herself and Claudia said it would help with the relaxing her legs. Sadie did okay with this, she screamed and drooled quite a bit, but I'll spare you those pictures and just post the pleasant ones!

Sadie is doing such a good job here!!

So, that's pretty much how it went. It was hard work, but Sadie did a good job. I will continue to work with Sadie on the same things Claudia did. And I'm even going to try to do it roughly the same time of day, just to keep with our schedule. I showed her what Sadie does with a pacifier and how she'll suck on it a little if I squeeze her cheeks, she encouraged me to keep doing that. She also said to try using the nipple of the bottle as a pacifier to get her used to that for bottle feeding. Sadie will sort of suck on the bottle with some manipulation, but it comes out too fast for her or something because she gags and coughs on it. She doesn't really know how to control the flow of the milk in a bottle. We also talked about the bouncy seat vs. the swing. She said keep putting her in the swing for 10-15 minutes a day and let her cry a little if she needs to while I'm close and she can see or hear me. Maybe this will let her get used to it and we can use it more...after all, once she can sit unassisted she isn't really safe in the bouncer anymore. :(

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dreaming of the day I eat a Banana

Sadie-pops' story not related to the above and below pictures: the last dog I owned, or really had any relation to other than petting someone else dog and feigning interest in the pup, was Noah. He was my parents dog who was a flood rescue dog. Get it? Noah? He was a golden retriever and smarter than just about any dog I've ever met.

When I was bored and at home I learned how to teach him tricks. Give the command. Have him do what I wanted with my assistance. Repeat each time giving a lot of encouragement for good behavior and lessening the assistance from me with each command. Noah inevitably would get it within 30 minutes. I taught him "shake" and "drop/give". Really the "drop/give" command was my own inconsistency in remembering what command it was that was taught and him just being plain smart enough to figure out what I wanted him to do - drop/give the ball so I could toss it with him bounding after - indefatigably.

Staring at Sadie this past week an idea came into my head. I wonder if Sadie can learn tricks like dogs? Give a command, show her behavior, lots of encouragement and then hope she figures it out. I decided on every kids favorite trick: gimme five.

Well, it went okay at first. When Sadie is in a good mood she sort of runs on her back with legs kicking and arms pumping. The plan went into action, she was in full happiness with legs and arms flailing in ecstasy. I started by staying "gimme five" and having her arm run into my hand. Then "YAAAAY!!!" which elicited a small grin and a coo. This went on until I was sure she got it. Triumphantly I left feeling like she achieved quite an accomplishment. A new trick!

Later in the day I tried it again. "Gimme five!" and held out my hand in the exact position it was previously. Limp, she just stared up at me. I said, "Gimme five" again and forced her hand into mine. This followed and gleeful "yay" from me. Sadie whinnied and tensed. Foolishly I tried again. Sadie went into full protest and wailed prompting me to pick her up and swing her around in effort to quell the maddening cry.

After some reflection, I came to the conclusion that my daughter is not nearly so eager to please as my previous dog. This parenting thing might be more challenging than I was led to believe.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Our Story

I am not the kind of wife that remembers and celebrates every little thing about mine and Brian's relationship. In fact, I just realized a couple of weeks ago that our anniversary is on Tuesday. So, in celebration, I thought I'd share our story.

Brian and I both went to the same college, only I was there first. I had the BEST dorm room, it faced the parking lot/main walkway to classes (it was a small college), and it was in the hallway where everyone walked to/from the cafeteria as well as between the girls' and boys' dorms. We hardly ever had the door shut, we were a social hub, and we knew a lot about what was going on outside too! One fall I noticed there was a new boy (not a freshman) who drove this really cool jacked-up jeep, so I started spying. I mean, I did my homework right there by that window, so I just kept my eye on it. Soon, I figured out that Brian drove that jeep.

I didn't know his name at the time, but I soon learned it when my roommate and I bombarded him at lunch in the cafeteria one day. He was sitting alone, we were 2 and confident, so we took it upon ourselves to join him. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Soon, Brian joined the little group of boys I often hung out with who affectionately called themselves the "not-so-pretty-people." This was because we lived in Southern California and at our school we were surrounded by above average beauty. The not-so-pretty-people weren't ugly, just normal looking, like the rest of us! ie. pasty white from playing video games all day instead of deep bronzed tan from going to the beach everyday, a little doughy from those late night runs to In 'n Out Burger (which was within walking distance, very convenient), or possibly so skinny that it was a little embarrassing to swim with no shirt on. Anyway, what these guys thought they lacked in looks, they more than made up for in personality and humor!

I graduated first (2001), but came back the next year to attend a mutual friend's graduation from Cal State Fullerton (2002). At the time, Brian lived with this friend of ours in this crazy guest house place that had a half address. Sometimes when we all get together, the boys still talk about "127 1/2"...that's what they refer to it as because that was their address. After that visit, Brian and I started to email each other daily. He had this crap job where he was done with his work by 11am and had nothing to do but play online the rest of the day. He would tell me stories about this place and had names for all his coworkers like "giant Barbie," "Dirty Old Man," and John. John was someone we knew from college who also worked with Brian. Through these emails we really got to know one another...then we discovered IM.

At the time, I was living in Oregon and just starting my Masters program for my teaching certificate. Brian was still living at 127 1/2 (although at one point he was living upstairs, so it was really 127 1/2B), and attending graduate school at Fuller Theological Seminary. We would still email regularly, and often talk for hours via instant messaging. I remember at one point having the "DTR" (this is Christian College speak, and stands for "define the relationship"), the first of many, and agreeing that we lived too far away from each other to be more than friends. But there was also an agreement that whoever graduated first and got a "real job," the other one would do his/her best to move to the same place so we could date. This agreement will be important later in the story.

As time went on, it became clear that I was going to have to move if I wanted to really be a teacher and make enough money to have my own place. My dad had recently moved to Arizona, so at the teacher fair, I checked out school districts in the Phoenix area. As luck would have it, I got a job and moved to Phoenix in July 2005 (I know...if you've been to Phoenix ever in July you understand how horrible that was!). This left me only a 5 hour drive away from Brian, and made visiting easier. I also had other friends in the area, so it didn't have to seem like I was coming JUST to see Brian. However, after a few visits, we needed to DTR again.

That fall, our mutual friend was getting married. He had moved to Merced (Fresno, really), and Brian had moved to a new place too. Brian was in the wedding party, and my friend, who I still to this day love for doing this, cornered Brian into officially making me his "date" so that I could sit with him at the head table. ...and then we were dating. This was October 2005.

I started making once a month trips to see Brian when I had 3 day weekend preferably, but sometimes just leaving right after school Friday and coming home Sunday night. We had fun. We'd go out to dinner at crazy places that he couldn't go alone or with another guy, we'd eat Little Ceaser's Pizza on the sidewalk, I'd stay up all night watching girly movies on his cable and crying until he ended his shift at 1:00 in the morning. One time I even made him dinner and delivered it to the store where he worked (by now he was working at Starbucks). There was never talk of marriage, we were just having fun...until I reminded him of that deal we made. He didn't remember that we said whoever got a job after graduating first, the other one would try to move there. I will NEVER EVER EVER live in Southern California EVER again, so Brian was going to have to move to Phoenix.

Brian had a friend he used to work with at Starbucks, who had moved into a new division of the company, a division called Food Service, and he really liked it. He got out of the store/retail, made more money, and worked from home. Brian thought this sounded like a good place to grow in the company...after all, he didn't want to do 4am shifts forever!! Plus, his degree is in Philosophy...what else is he gonna do? Soon enough, a position opened in Food Service...in Southern California. I told him if he got the job, I would move there, because I could teach anywhere, but I knew that job was important to him. And he agreed that if he didn't get the job, he'd put in a transfer to Phoenix, and move here. Well, he didn't get the job.

Veterans Day 2006, we packed all of Brian's stuff into a little U-Haul trailor and headed to Phoenix. He started working at the Starbucks at the Ritz Carlton, so he would come home and tell stories about seeing famous people (because nobody's gonna pass up a starbucks no matter how famous you are!), mostly athletes, and meeting a lot of VERY VERY rich people. But he still was working 4am shifts, and he even had to work Thanksgiving Day. It wasn't ideal. However, within a month of moving, the same job he applied for in California opened up in Phoenix. (do you believe in fate?) He talked to people, practice-interviewed, learned as much as he could about that division of the company...and whattyaknow, he got the job.

The rest is history. He proposed January 7, 2007, we got married in Vegas the following June (the 22nd, as a matter of fact), enjoyed a honeymoon in the Caribbean, bought a house, and now it's been 3 years and we have a baby. My how far we've come.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mommy's helper

As you know, I have a baby who is high maintenance so I don't get a lot done during the day. (One of Sadie's therapy goals is to sleep unassisted, this will help) I spend most of the day sitting on the couch, holding Sadie, nursing, or bouncing (we need to figure out how to make the bouncer bounce itself). I think there is a permanent indentation in the couch that's the shape of my butt. This is also why I'm on the internet all day. I've discovered blogging, crossword puzzles, slingo, and of course there's always facebook to entertain me! But my house is a filthy mess, like embarrassingly so. And whenever I get an ounce of time to myself, I want to sew, shower, or eat...not scrub toilets.

Enter Charlotte. Charlotte was a student of mine when she was in 7th grade, then again in 8th grade (I taught an advanced reading class of 8th graders who were tested at reading at a 10th grade level, Charlotte is one of those "smart kids"). She always helped me with grading and cleaning my classroom and would get me an extra banana with her breakfast so I had a snack on prep. She's a good kid, and the only one of my students who's bothered to keep in touch (although for some reason Lobo's mom emails and texts me all the time!). So, naturally I thought of her when someone suggested hiring a high schooler to help clean my house. She was happy to help, agreed to do it for the amount I told her I'd pay her, and school's out now so her schedule was wide open.

Monday evening Charlotte came over to mostly hang out, but also to hold Sadie while I taught swimming lessons. Then she stayed and we ate dinner and caught up. She's a good kid (did I say that already?). Now she's over here mopping my floors. She's already cleaned my kitchen, and next I'm gonna have her dust. I'm so thankful she's willing to help, and even do it with a smile on her face!!

Thanks, Charlotte!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Google Voice, the best thing since sliced bread

I have a problem checking my voice mail. Any of you who are close to me and call me often know that I may go weeks, possibly even months, before I check my messages. It sucked when Tanis called to tell me that her baby was going to be a boy and I had to skip through listen to 10 messages before I got to hers. (and Logan is now 15 months old, so this has been a bad habit for a LONG time!). With voicemail you have to be equipped with a pen to write down the caller's return phone number or the information they give you that's important, it's just annoying and I'd rather avoid it altogether. I just think it's easier to call someone back rather than listen to their message, especially if it's a friend or my parents, because I'm gonna want to probably talk to them anyway. And now that everybody texts, heck, even my parents know how to text, if somebody wants to give me information right away, that's the best way to do it!! Wait a minute...what if there was a way we could merge texting and voicemail so I didn't have to listen to those voicemails anymore? But there is.

Introducing Google Voice.

Google Voice does a lot of really fun and amazing things, but most importantly, it'll take my voicemails and transcribe them so that I can READ them as well as listen to them (without calling my voicemail box) All day I've been letting my phone calls go to voicemail just so I can try it out! And it works pretty well, it doesn't always transcribe exactly what people are saying, for example, Sadie's name came out "C D," but it always gets the caller's number, so instead of finding a pen to write it down while I'm listening, it's right there for me, no problem.

Google Voice also lets you route all your phones (like if you have an office and a cell and a home phone) to one voice mail and you can get all your messages in your email or as texts on your phone. You can also personalize voicemail greeting to certain people in your contact list, or group your contacts so that a certain greeting goes to friends and a different greeting goes to business calls, etc. Another thing you can do is call internationally and it charges your credit card via the website. So you may not have an international calling plan, but your husband is deployed to Afghanistan, you can use Google Voice to talk to him. But by far the coolest thing (in my opinion of course) is the widget. You can add a widget to your website (or blog in this case) and people can leave you a message on your voicemail. Of course, I need to try this out, so readers, here is what you need to do...

Have your cell phone nearby, click on the widget above for Google Voice and a little box will pop up asking for your name and phone number. Type in the information (click the "keep number private" if you don't want me to see your phone number) and hit connect. Your phone will ring and when you answer it'll connect you directly to my voicemail box I've set up especially for this post.

Now, if you're like me and leaving messages is hard because you don't know what to say (or you have to rehearse it first, like me, so you don't sound like an idiot), I will tell you exactly what to say..I need teething advice. We're upon our first teething milestone, and it SUUUUUUCKS. Sadie is fussy (more so than normal), she won't sleep (at night even!), and 3 or 4 times a day she will scream her head off and be inconsolable (until we give her those Hyland's teething tablets, those are like manna from Heaven). I know this could go on for weeks (or months) so I need lots of good remedies to choose from when one stops working. I am really hoping we don't run into GIANT difficulties with 1. her low threshold for sensory input and not being able to calm herself down, and 2. her aversion to having anything but my boob in her mouth. Oh, and we're not giving her whiskey!

So leave me a Google Voice-mail and tell me what worked for you when your babies were teething, just say hi, or sing me a little song if you want to! I look forward to hearing from you.

PS. I disabled the comments so you HAVE to call to give me advice!! And don't cheat and send me a message on facebook!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crayola doesn't make a color for your eyes

One of my favorite things about Sadie (and there are a LOT of favorite things...) is her eyes. She has the biggest, most beautiful, deep blue eyes...with a HUGE helping of eyelashes! I dedicate this song to my Sadie-bug.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


It certainly seems as though I only post about things that grow. Believe it or not I have lots of interests. Some of which include: cell phone map coverage, pool maintenance, and skin moisturizing lotion. Well actually those things happen to consume various sectors of my life and therefore they require more to be known about them.

Before Sadie was born we had a grand idea to plant her placenta under a tree. The tree would then become a symbol of her growth and maturity. As it turns out the group b strep ruined that whole endeavor for us. We had to turn in the placenta, which the midwife randomly saved in our fridge, to the lab for testing and we never got it back. Hindsight, it might have been nice to have a bit of it back, nevertheless we lost it.

We never really got an answer as to why people bury placentas under trees, but we suspect it has something to do with wild animals not being able to get to the tasty flesh if it was under a tree. Really we like our version better of it being a symbol of the child's growth.

We thought long and hard about what kind of tree to plant. By happenstance I stopped into an "exotic fruit" nursery in a slummy part of town. The gentleman, staring saucer eyed with mouth firmly agape thinly suggested we take a look at a banana tree. He happened to get out of me what we were looking for and why...no actually I told him our grandiose plan. He did mention that bananas grow well here in the desert so long as they receive proper care. He also mentioned that it takes severe neglect or acts of God to kill them.

Upon arrival to our house it was proudly proclaimed that we have found our tree specimen. Christie, in feined-excitement, "yeah?" I triumphed by exclaiming, "BANANA TREE!" In true excitement she follow up, "ooh." and then questions about their growth ensued.

We went to the nursery in our excitement and purchased the tree*. 20 bucks for a 5 gallon plant - and we happened to buy a Goji berry plant which is still alive and incredibly our best producing product. We bought these items at month 6 of pregnancy which was the beginning of winter. The Banana tree sat and I did nothing to it. The stalk that was on it withered away due to cold and I sent frantic emails to the nursery which were met with cool, "give it a chance once it warms up. And no refunds." The nursery man didn't understand what this tree symbolized in our brains! The banana received no water, no food, just sat in a 5 gallon black bucket. I was convinced it was dead.

Sadie was born. Rigamorale happened and she came home. She did okay and slowly got better. Miraculously, just as the nursery man proclaimed, once the weather heated up the banana started to sprout in the bucket. To our eager surprise we quickly dug a hole and stuck it into the ground. As Sadie has thrived, so has our banana tree. As it turns out bananas have rhizomes which are kind of like blobs underground. The blobs are the life of the plant and the stalk and *fingers crossed* fruit are the plants effort to reproduce. It was simply asleep for the cold winter months when we thought it to be dead.

We never had to worry about the wild animals, but we did find the growth of the banana tree, seemingly out of death, to be parallel to Sadie. We plan on continuing the mirrored growth by chronicling her growth with the Banana. This is our inaugural picture of Sadie and her Tree.

*For those who care (mainly me) we purchased an ice cream banana which produces the bananas that are often frozen and eaten as ice cream - only instead of ice cream it is really a frozen banana! The stalks get up to 12 feet tall which is a concern in that our winds blow west to east and it is unprotected from the west. During our monsoon storms winds can blow over a stalk ruining any chance of bananas for that stalk. The tree will be trussed shortly once it gets large enough.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. center

P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E stands for Parent Organized Partnerships Supporting Infants and Children Learning to Eat, and it is my latest find in support groups for special needs families (website here). I scoured the Popsicle Center's website and learned so much about eating that I never even realized. We don't have anywhere near the eating/feeding issues many of these moms have (and I pray we never do), but I signed up for their forum because I think I may be able to learn a lot from other moms of children with disabilities effecting their eating.

Many of you know that when Sadie came home from the hospital she was tube fed. Every 3 hours we put the tube in her nose, fed it down to her stomach and then shot a little puff of air through it while listening with a stethoscope to make sure it got to her tummy. Most people just leave a tube like this in instead of re-inserting it every feed, but I didn't want that tube/tape messing up my baby's face. And I think it was better for us to do it this way because I was more motivated to get her to nurse since I hated that tube so much!

This is the night we left the hospital.

The day we pulled Sadie's breathing tube, we watched the nurse stick his finger way down Sadie's throat and she didn't even react. No gag AT ALL. That first night was rough because she wouldn't swallow even her own saliva and everytime the nurse came in to feed her, we also had to suction her. At that point there was talk of setting up suction in our home so we could continue the care. By the next night Sadie seemed to be swallowing on her own and no longer needed suctioning. We were told (and we're still being told) that babies with HIE often will aspirate and end up back in the hospital with pneumonia, so we needed to really be listening to her lungs to make sure they were clear. They have been, and continue to be, clear, and for that we are truly thankful.

I so badly wanted to nurse my baby. I knew breastmilk was an important key to Sadie's health and was convinced that it was even helping her heal, but pumping was getting old, and I had looked forward to nursing so badly that I was heartbroken over the fact that my baby couldn't suck. I started putting the pacifier in her mouth and she would give it a few sucks amidst the biting and chewing on it, so I thought, "what if I just try to nurse her, I wonder what would happen?" Our hospice nurse had advised me against it because Sadie hadn't had a suck/swallow test...and again, she was worried about aspiration.

Of course I had no idea what I was doing, but sought some advice from people I knew who successfully breastfed their babies, and one night in the tub, with Brian there to encourage me, I got Sadie to suck!! I still remember being so happy I cried!! Then I immediately texted everyone I know to tell them the good news!

Sadie learning how to breastfeed.

From that point on we did more and more nursing until we completely stopped using the tube (I think it's somewhere under the bed with kitty teeth marks on it now...we should give it a proper burial). I didn't tell the nurse we had started breastfeeding until we were only using the tube for medicine, and by then she had checked Sadie's lungs a number of times and never heard any fluid (I was so nervous each time she would listen!). But Sadie wouldn't ever take a bottle. We tried and tried, but the same as with the pacifier...more biting and chewing than sucking. Oh well, she's nursing, right?

Now I'm starting to get a little concerned about Sadie not taking a bottle or a pacifier because I'm afraid she has an aversion to anything in her mouth that isn't boob and that when it's time to learn to drink from a sippy cup, or eat from a spoon we might run into problems. It's also hard for me that she won't take a bottle because I don't ever get a break. It might be easier if she didn't scream in the car because then I could go run my errands. As it is now, Brian gives me a couple hours on the weekends to do what I need to do, but if Sadie gets hungry, Brian has to use a syringe or a dropper to feed her. I'm sure it'd be much more satisfying for her to suck, even on a bottle.

Anyway, Sadie starts feeding therapy next week. We have an evaluation on Tuesday and I'm excited to see what the therapist does. Maybe there's a silly trick to get her to take a bottle, maybe it'll be a long process to overcome an aversion to anything in her mouth. I am still going to save the P.O.P.S.I.C.L.E. website...if for nothing else but to be reminded of how lucky we are.

Friday, June 11, 2010

For Sale!

Lately I've had an urge to create. I think it's because I sit here nursing for a good part of the day and I look through all these different craft blogs. I have so many things bookmarked I didn't know where to start. So, I started with a mei tai. For those that don't speak baby-wearing, a mei tai (pronounced "may tie") is an asian baby carrier (see example here), that's really pretty easy to make. So, I wrote down what I needed and went to the discount fabric store (seriously, it's awesome there, and they have EVERYTHING!!). The thing is, when I did my calculations, I planned for 45" wide fabric, and when I got there it was 60" wide. Since it was only $2.99 a yard and I didn't want to recalculate everything, I just bought 2 yards like I had originally planned. I got home, made my mei tai (which took a few days because I could only do a little at a time while Sadie was sleeping or with daddy), but I had a bunch of fabric left over...so I did what any crafty mama would do next, I made a matching diaper bag!

Here's my mei tai.

And here's my matching diaper bag.

About half way through making the mei tai, I realized that Sadie isn't really big enough for a carrier like this yet (the child really should be strong enough to sit up), although I could probably put her in it. But right now she hates the carrier anyway (too hot?). So, why not try to sell it? And with a matching diaper bag to boot? What a perfect baby shower gift, right?

I thought Etsy, but there're a MILLION diaper bags and baby carriers on there, why would someone buy mine? How would they even FIND mine? Brian suggested ebay, but same thing...there're a MILLION different things on there. So, I think I'll start with craigslist. It's free to post on craigslist, and when I searched mei tai, I got ONE hit. But then again, this IS Phoenix, not Eugene, and people don't really wear their babies here. But a matching diaper bag?! Maybe someone would be willing to try.

Well, then I got crazy about it and went back to the discount fabric store for more. I spent an hour picking out the perfect complementary fabrics to go with the denim/twill/heavier fabrics, an again bought 2 yards. This time, though I wasn't sure I wanted to make another baby carrier, especially out the heavy denim I bought (I still might do it, though), so I started with another diaper bag...only I changed the design a little.

Recently I've been going for walks with Sadie in the stroller. I used to be super anti-stroller, but since it's gotten over 100 degrees and my baby all of the sudden hates the carrier, I've come to think of it more as convenient. We've been taking walks in the mornings, and since the grocery store is only about a mile away, we've gone there a couple of times. The problem is, I didn't think I'd be using my stroller a lot, so I didn't pay attention to how much storage space it had...I didn't think it mattered. But when we went to the grocery store, it was sort of a struggle getting everything to fit to bring it back (and seriously, we bought bananas and tortillas and I think a can of spaghetti sauce). I wanted to make the next diaper bag in a way that I could attach it to my stroller, but still use it as a bag if I wanted.

Here's what I came up with.

(isn't Brian a lovely model? haha!) See, I cut the strap and sewed some velcro on the inside of the bag as well as on the strap pieces so they can either loop down and attach to themselves around the stroller arms, or they can attach to each other and create a regular diaper bag strap. So, if you're NOT using the stroller, or if the bag is too heavy and pulls the stroller over.

Anyway, I think I'm gonna keep the stroller bag because it sort of goes with our stroller. But I have lots of fabric to make more. I may try to put this on craigslist too. Brian thinks I'm a genius for making this kind of bag...I'm pretty sure I'm not the first one to think of it!

What do you guys think? How should I go about selling these? Would you be interested in buying one? (I'd totally ship it if you want it! Or make one out of the colors you want!) How much should I charge? I just don't know! All I know is that I don't need this many diaper bags...but I'm not done compulsively making them!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Little Victories...Big Blessings

This blog was created to share with the world how our family has been blessed and continues to be blessed. So, I thought it appropriate today to share today's little blessings. (actually yesterday's)

1. Sadie slept 14 hours last night!! Well, let's start at the beginning...Sadie was pretty upset in the evening time, we think she might be pre-teething, so it was rough to get her to calm down enough to even remember that she was tired. She wouldn't nurse, so I strapped her in the bouncy chair and let it work its magic. She eventually fell asleep and I was able to stop bouncing, but that never lasts longer than 30 minutes. So, when I saw the eyes pop open, I grabbed her, wrapped her up like a little baby-burrito and I was going to stick a boob in her mouth, when her eyes just went back closed. So, I patted and held her for another half hour and since she was out, I put her in her bed. She woke up for about a half hour to eat at 4:30, and I brought her in bed with me, then she slept until 9:15!! Amazing.

2. Which brings me to swaddling. I asked in one of my previous posts recently for tips to help with napping, sleeping in general, routines and schedules, etc. Many of you mentioned swaddling. My mom has been mentioning this for over a month (sorry, mom) and I've been telling her Sadie hates to be confined, she doesn't like swaddling, blah blah blah. But, as usual...mom's right. I "accidentally" swaddled Sadie the other night when she woke up after being put in bed, while I nursed her back to sleep and I started wondering if she does like it. Turns out, it just might be my saving grace. As I type this, Sadie is swaddled, laying in bed asleep by herself and it's only 2:00!! She stayed there and took a 2 hour nap!

3. Car screaming. Since Sadie woke up so late and so happy, I decided to venture out to a LaLeche League meeting this morning. It's held at my Bradley teacher's house and I really wanted to go, but it's so hard to take Sadie anywhere because of the car screaming. Well, it took us 35 minutes to get there and Sadie didn't scream AT ALL! We tried a couple different things. I sang a specific song about car riding as we were getting ready and until we got out of our neighborhood, then I cranked the classical music. When we were about 5-10 minutes away, Sadie started whining. Not crying, but pre-crying, so I turned down the music and specifically told her "we're at the last light," or "we're gonna make 3 more turns and then we're there," or "I'm parking the car now and then I'll get you out." I also told her a lot that I understand that she's uncomfortable and doesn't like being in her car seat for so long, but that she's doing a good job and I'm so proud of her. The whining NEVER turned into a full on cry, and when I got her out, she was as happy as could be!

4. Car screaming part 2. I was worried about the ride home from the La Leche meeting because Sadie was starting to get fussy. She had been awake about an hour, and the nap had only been a 30 minute nurse-nap, so it was far from adequate. I totally expected her to scream her way home...nope. She did fuss and whine and make little scream/squeaks, but there was no crying until literally we were pulling into our driveway!! And I'm not sure that would have even happened had we not hit some construction traffic. So our ride home ended up being like 45 minutes, but she did okay and I am so proud of her!

5. I was visiting our Bradley teacher today, enjoying her La Leche meeting and she told me something she said she's been meaning to tell me. You see, we've visited some of her other Bradley classes to tell the pregnant ladies about our birth experience using Bradley and let them ask questions. And everytime, of course, it's come up that Sadie is a miracle. She's not perfect and she has special needs, but she is a miracle. Our Bradley teacher told me today that each time we've come (and it's been 3 different times now) that we've been such a blessing because each time we've left the conversation has come up about how much we love our little girl. I don't know if people expect us to reject her or be distant from her or treat her differently because of her HIE, but somehow they're surprised at how loving we are. What a blessing to hear that we're blessing OTHER people just by loving our child. ...and boy is she loved!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Adventures in the garden part 2

Another garden post from Brian!

We had one egg plant from our garden. Not enough to make baba ganoush or ratatouille. I couldn't find a good recipe that incorporated a small eggplant so in the spirit of all people who wish-to-eat-this-damn-thing-right-now-no-matter-what I made up a recipe. I started with the eggplant.

I sliced the eggplant and salted it. Dabbed the eggplant dry on a towel while wiping off excess salt.

In order to properly season items I like to use those plastic bags we get at the grocery store to put fruit in. A Tupperware would work too. In this instance it was olive oil, salt, pepper, dried oregano and some dried rosemary. I was going for a mediterranean flavor. Once everything is in the bag, including eggplant, give the thing a healthy shake in order to coat it evenly.
Bake the rounds at 350 flipping occasionally to create an even browning. I might do this again at a higher temp as the planties didn't end up crispy enough for my liking.

At this point the eggplant can be used in a variety of ways and I decided to keep with the theme by inserting them into a whole wheat pita. I added cheese too and then toasted the thing to melt the cheese and crisp up the pita.
Me, working from home, enjoying my lunch that took an hour to create.