Friday, June 29, 2012

Insta-Friday

Short and sweet Friday post.  Heading to Outback Steakhouse tonight with the in-laws before they venture out on their month long roadtrip tomorrow.  And no major plans this weekend... I couldn't be more excited.




*****

So sad to hear about the passing of Nora Ephron.  She made the silver screen quirky, sweet and full of love.



"I have a theory that children remember two things—when you weren't there and when they threw up." –Nora Ephron.


And with that, I have some children to tend to.


Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

big boy

Things are always changing.

My baby isn't a baby anymore.  It's been like this for a while.  But it really is different now than it was even 2 months ago.  So, this is it.  A picture of a 26 month old that marks the transition from baby to boy.

big boy jamin

This week we've seen Jamin's fighting spirit shine through.  He declarations of independence are loud and, believe me, heard.

His claims to independence are through the little things.  Naptime and bedtime wars- we both come to the battlefield armed with a sense of stubbornness.  His adamant "NO!" even when he is reaching for the very thing I offered.  The "Jamin does it!" for every door that needs shut and every buckle that needs fastening.

Babies are meant to become boys who become teenagers then men.  But for the first time, it really seems to be moving fast.


There's still little moments though where I can catch a glimpse of the baby faced Jamin I know.  When he sheepishly asks "Mommy, help you" for a task he hasn't quite mastered yet.  When his eyes dart around the playground until they meet mine and he smiles.  When he reenacts the entire series of events that led to an ouchie on his "elbow, right there!" and concludes by asking for a kiss to make it better.  Momma is nearby and available and even when he doesn't want to show it, his eyes give him away.

baby jamin

*****

Now, this guy?  Well, he's still all mine in all of his baby glory.








Friday, June 22, 2012

Insta-Friday

Today I celebrate Friday by going out to a swanky tapa's restaurants with two of my girlfriends over in Tampa.  You know it's a big night out when I cross the bridge! (And when I'm not wearing sneakers and my hair up, aka, playground gear).



Momma is gonna have a margarita!

I may have done a little shimmy when I typed that.

Take care!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Goals

I like to make goals every academic season (fitting since I work at a school).  I thought I would give myself a "Spring Break" for Owen's birth and resume some goal setting once I found a new way of normal.

Yum, summer.

Let the summertime goal-setting commence!

1.  Clean out and organize drawers, jewelry box and closet.  (Note: I was inspired by yesterday being the first day of summer so I already did the drawers and jewelry box last night. It may not be Yoga, but it cleanses the soul.)


Current view of my side of the closet:

Shame.

2. Crochet something.

3. Run 3 times a week with my early birthday gift from the hubby.


4. Read 3 books.  Can't wait for Bloom!



5. Try one thing from Pinterest a week.

6. Give the blog a make-over.





There you have it, six easy-peasy summer goals.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

500 days of no nap

So, maybe it hasn't been 500 days, but the past 4 in which Jamin hasn't gone down for a nap have been long.

I won't say terrible because they haven't been.  But they are much less productive and mommy is feeling a little lack of "me" time and alone time with Owen.

My house is messy, my dinners are ill-prepared, the blog is abandoned, I'm exhausted and Owen is getting sick of the bouncy.  The household needs Jamin's naps!

Today, we try something new.

All the doors are open, music is playing in his room and we had a big "discussion" where I laid out the new groundwork for naptime.

The conversation went a little bit like this,

Jamin: "NO NAP"
Mommy: "Mommy will lay with you for a little bit and read you a book."
::Jamin willingly hops into bed::
::Book is read::
Mommy: "The end."
Jamin: "NO NAP"
Mommy: "Mommy will deedle (Nymark family term for tickle?) your back"
::Deedling::
Jamin: "NO NAP"
Mommy: "Ok, you do not need to nap if you don't want to.  But, you need to play in your room quietly"
Jamin: "NO NAP"
Mommy: "That's fine, you can play with your books, trains, or horses in bed."
::Jamin gives suspicious eyes::
Mommy: "Mommy wants you to nap like  a big boy, or play in your room like a big boy"
::Mommy leaves room::
::28 minutes later, Blogging/cuddling with Owen and Jamin is playing quietly in his room::

Will he sleep?  Yet to be determined.

Will he charge in here any moment? Yet to be determined.

Will I clean during this precious few minutes?  I sure hope so, but I seem to have logged into Blogger instead.




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy {belated} Father's Day

To my credit, I started this post on Father's Day but was unable to finish because of all the festivities we had planned- church, park time, splash park time & dinner out.  Happy {now, belated} Father's day to all the wonderful dad's out there!  A special thank you and appreciation to all the wonderful fathers and men in our family that are such strong role models for my sons. So thank you dads, grandpas and uncles!

Happy Father's Day to my husband who is celebrating for the first time with two sons. They learn so much from you and are so blessed to have such a loving, playful and involved dad.


We love you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Insta-Friday

I love Friday's.  I'm especially excited for Father's Day this weekend.  We will be taking the kids to a splash park and then out to dinner on Sunday to a sports bar (kid-friendly, father-approved) to celebrate.

Tomorrow, I hope to find some garage sale treasures, make bacon, egg & cheese mcmuffins for breakfast, and I need to work on Jamin's year 2 shutterfly book.  We got his year 1 in the mail.  Unfortunately, I discovered I had listed his birthday in 2012, not 2010.  Bad Momma.



This week I got a library card.  "Oh, how very mom of you!" Not really.  I wanted a free way to read Mindy Kaling, Kelle Hampton and this Christian Gray I have been hearing about.  Maybe I will check out some Sesame Street DVD's for good measure.




I already finished Mindy's book and I loved it.  I wanted a really light, funny read to kick off my summer reading list and I completely agree with CFC.  Her chapters flew by and I finished in one night still having time to host my dad for dinner and put the kids down to sleep.  It was a silly little book and exactly what I needed.  It makes quirkyness normal- and I dig it.


*****

So, I am still obsessed with Pinterest but I didn't log on for weeks because I was overwhelmed with ideas for dinner and delicious treats.  I was drowning in recipes and glitter pens.  So, as any rational person would, I abandoned the website, tried nothing new and actually regressed back to a macaroni and cheese from the box dinner.  I did put some peas in there for my toddler son so he would get some nutritional value.  I'm not a monster.

Well it seems I have pinned approximately 458 food ideas and 321 crafts (rough guess).  When am I going to do it all?

New initiative and lame-but-thrilling goal: One pinterest activity or food a week. (great! it'll only take me just shy of 15 years to try out all these things!)

Recently, I had success with Broccoli Bites.  And then I tried Yogurt Drops which was an epic fail.  The drops are so small they melt instantly. By the time I had given Jamin 3 to eat and was trying to ziploc and get the the rest of them back into they freezer they were a yogurty mess on the cookie sheet.  Not practical.

This week I am going to try these Pesto Roll-up's  AND frozen banana bites AND Lemon and Garlic Crock Pot Chicken.

Photo courtesy of  Pinterest


Yes, 3 Pinterest recipes in one week.  It's going to be awesome and blow my pitiful once a week goal out of the water.


*****


Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

owen and microtia; Medpor consult

Start here and here if you want to know a little history on my boy.

Last month, when Owen was about a month old, I contacted Dr. Reinisch at Cedars-Sinai in California. He is a leading pediatric cranio-facial plastic surgeon that specializes in Microtia and the Medpor reconstructive technique.  Reaching out to him was a big step for me.


Since Owen's birth I have been doing extensive research. Literally- my googling started from the hospital bed.  

I can tell you about different structures of the ear, the pro's and con's of different reconstructive techniques and when they originated.  I can give you a bio on the top 5 surgeons of Microtia in this country.  I can even give you a fairly detailed account of the actual surgical procedures.  But I was terribly nervous to take the next step...to take a leap from extensive reading and research to actually reach out to someone and have a consultation about Owen. 

With research there is a lot of possibilities; a lot of hope.  With real conversations there are a lot of potential roadblocks:  Is he a candidate?  Will insurance cover the cost?  What are potential complications?  What if surgery fails to yield good results?  

There is the possibility of hearing something you weren't expecting.  It leaves a door open for disappointment.  It's a scary thing to put your boy out there.



I have to say I have not been disappointed since reaching out to Dr. Reinisch and his team.  My long email, full of detailed questions and concerns, was answered within 24 hours.  The return email had equally the same amount of thought and detail.  They cared about my questions and gave thorough response.  Dr. Reinisch also emailed us that same day from his personal e-mail account offering a Skype consultation.  He even requested and reviewed pictures of Owen's ear before we met on Skype.

After an hour and a half Skype consultation I felt huge relief.   I didn't realize how much anxiety I had about this meeting until it was over.  Dr. Reinisch was very open to answering questions and very frank, which I appreciated.   I knew so much going into our conversation I am not sure if I learned all that much new information but the opportunity to speak live to a specialist and have interest taken in Owen was a huge blessing.



Some important, new, information I learned:

-  Recovery really is minimal to none.  Children who visit California for surgery are usually requesting a trip to Disneyland within the first 24 hours.

- Medpor is a synthetic framework that has the potential to break.  I am concerned about this because I imagine Owen will be a energetic boy who will play sports.  The percent of patients having to return to repair a broken Medpor implant: 5%.

-What is the cost, worst case scenario, if insurance will not cover the procedure.  Roughly $32,000 plus airfare/lodging.  ...wow.

There was a lot of other information discussed as well: the surgical process, timeline, after-care of a Medpor ear, contact information of families that have been through this process, etc.

It was a wonderful, free, consultation.  I would recommend any family looking for reconstructive options utilize the opportunity to discuss the Medpor surgical option with the team at Cedars-Sinai.



Our next step is to find out some more information regarding Aural Atresia repair (building an ear canal) and to find out details on that process to see if we can restore hearing on Owen's right side.  I will post updates on that as I reach out to Dr. Roberson in Palo Alto later this month.







Monday, June 11, 2012

Visiting the Scott's

With our first big vacation coming up in July with both boys we got to have a little trial run this past weekend.  We planned a mini road-trip to Orlando to visit some friends who just bought a new house and are expecting their first baby in Nov.  It's a busy, wild and exciting time for the Scott's!


Jamin was a Rockstar (with a capital R) the whole trip, naturally.
He was even a Rockstar well into the night, way past his bedtime.


Some might say he was really taking advantage of his mommy-and-daddy-are-being-really-flexible-so-I-don't -have-a- tantrum-on-our-mini-vacation freedom.

Trent, Natalia, Baby Owen and Baby Mason in the belly

A little glimpse of what the nursery will look like with a baby inside.  This is right before Owen had explosive poop.  We were just trying to help out and work on breaking in that nursery.



We went to a garage sale (also hosted by friends of ours), took a nap and ate meatloaf for dinner.  It was enjoyable.  How old are we these days?  I don't know if we acted 26 or 76, but I had a good time.


Motherhood Monday's....Baby Registry, Part 3

I started my list of must-haves for mommy's here and here.  Time to add some more essentials to the list.

10. Stroller clips.  I spent my entire first go-around as a mommy without this simple, slightly overpriced convenience.  If your stroller does not have enough space for a purse, diaper bag, packed lunch, "in case we go swimming" bag, "in case we have a poop emergency" bag and the dreaded "in case we have a tantrum here is every toy and snack you love" bag- then you need these.


I have the hook and stroll- and they work lovely.  There are a variety of brands out there that would do the job.  The point is you need them; especially when you find yourself carting around everything from this list on your shoulders.


11. Stroller Fan.  I must admit.  I don't own these.  My poor boys have flushed cheeks and are a sweaty mess all summer.  Although I haven't tried them first hand I have seen them in action.  A girlfriend has two for her babies.  They always look shaded and comfortable.  


This is not my friends child.  This is a random child in a picture from Amazon.com. But he sure looks nice and cool.


This is a picture of my children in the stroller.  Looking warm and wishing mommy would just splurge on a fan.
Buck up kiddo's- nothing like a Florida summer.




13. Boppy.  This is so obvious and over-marketed it probably doesn't even need to be on the list. But it is true-Boppy's are just brilliant.


They help you nurse.

They help prop up baby.


They help with tummy time.



They help with sitting.




They sell a variety of covers that are too cute.



They also help mommy & daddy prop up their limbs when baby falls asleep and leaves parents in an awkward-and-uncomfortable-but-too-afraid-to-move-for-fear-of-waking-up-the-baby position.




More to come!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Insta-Friday


Happy Friday to one and all!  Today we're celebrating the weekend by high-tailing it out of town come 5 o'clock!  This will be the first "road trip" with both boys.  (If you can call two hours to Orlando a road trip...)

Pray for no wailing babies on the highway- we don't want 2 hours to feel like 20. Or 200.

Looking forward to a relaxing weekend with some friends!  Have a great one!

Monday, June 4, 2012

owen and microtia; ENT consult

Well, hello there to those of you that take interest in my sweet little boy, Owen!

He's just about 8 weeks now and we have been proactive since birth about exploring options for our little man and his RMA (Right Microtia/Atresia).  Some of the greatest resources I have found in my online quest for information was the honest experiences of families documented on blogs kept by other moms just trying to do right by their children.

So, for the sake of documenting our journey, thinking out options and for all the new momma's out there that are sitting in a hospital room googling "microtia," cradling a newborn, and hoping to find info- I write this for you as well as us.

those lips!  that hair!

Well, since our surprise at Owen's birth we have had a consultation with a local ENT (ear, nose and throat Dr).  That consultation happened when Owen was 2 weeks old at the Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, affiliated with All Children's Hospital.  This Dr. was the one who confirmed that Owen has grade 3 Microtia in conjunction with the absence of an ear canal (aural atresia).

Their information was very preliminary in nature.  A lot of "we will see.." and "it's hard to tell this young...".   Looking back, I was so annoyed by this.  Also looking back, I realize I was terribly hormonal and Owen was only two weeks old.

Owen is 7 weeks old in this pic, not 2 weeks old.  He is not of giant size.


Basically, the information I got was:

-Owen will need to be older to receive a CT scan to see if he is a candidate for atresia repair (aka, build an ear canal).  So we will not know for quite some time if he will be able to have this surgery.  This ENT does the scans around 5 years old.  (However, some other Dr's recommend around 2.5 years old). Candidacy for this ear canal surgery will depend on how developed the bones and structure of his middle ear are.

The interesting thing about microtia is that although there is a deformity in the outer ear- the inner ear develops in utero at a different time and 99% of the time these children have a normal (able to hear!) inner ear.  The middle ear is the key- for some kids, its only mildly deformed, for others it is not able to be repaired.

If they can do the surgery it has the potential to restore hearing to normal levels.  Isn't medicine amazing?

2/3rds of children with Microtia sleep on their "good" ear to shut out noise.  Not our boy- he likes to hear the world!


-This ENT recommends a prosthetic ear.  He didn't really entertain my questions about reconstructive options.  This threw me off quite a bit.  My thoughts were that a prosthetic would be a last resort if an actual ear cannot be built.   His concerns about reconstruction is that he feels they do not hold their form over the course of the lifetime and are not as pleasing aesthetically.  He mostly discussed how he does not recommend rib graft (building an ear from rib cartilage) because he does not like their look.  (His opinions, not mine.)

When I brought up the Medpor technique, which is a newer method of surgery involving a synthetic implant, he did not seem to have as much information or at least not as strong of an opinion. 

Also important to know that the building of an outer ear (whether it be Medpor, Rib Graft, or a prosthetic) can be done for Owen cosmetically even if he is not a candidate for atresia repair.  The cosmetic procedures can be done independent of functionality.  

Although years away- I don't mind asking for good vibes, prayers, or wishes at 11:11 now that Owen is a candidate for ear canal surgery.  (60% are...of course meaning, 40% are not).  Never too early to start keeping fingers crossed!

I was so sad after our ENT visit.  I wanted more time to sit and discuss options, hear about previous patients and explore options (did I mention I really wanted to know about our options?).  I know this is not how Dr. visits go when decisions are still years down the road and are not life threatening. But this is my son and he deserves time and options.

But then the lightbulb.  

Thank goodness for Aha! moments.

There IS more time.  I can get second opinions (and third, and fourths if I want).  I can talk to the best specialists in this country.  I can be an advocate and researcher for my boy. I can pray and ask God to open and shut doors.

Thank God for time. and options. and Owen. I am so in love with this boy.


And you know what?  He IS absolutely perfect.  He's teaching me things too.  I knew this from day one, but so cloudy with emotions, it was hard to really feel it.  What a waste all those tears were the first couple weeks mourning his ear.  He is absolute cuddly perfection.  I really mean that.  We may cosmetically fix his ear to streamline him into what the world considers "normal" if we can help his confidence, prevent bullying, etc.  But he is so amazing just as he is.

Since that two week mark things improved greatly for me emotionally. I was never in the full throws of self-pity, but I had my moments.  My post-pregnancy hormones have faded away and instead of feeling weepy and googling worst case scenarios, I have put on my big girls pants and hit the ground running.

This past Saturday we had an hour and a half Skype consultation with a Dr. from California, Dr. Reinisch.  He pioneered the Medpor technique for microtia and is a specialist in pediatric craniofacial plastic surgery.   From what I have read on many mommy blogs- he is simply the best.  So far, I am feeling this blog may mirror their acclamation's over time.  We will see.

 More information about our conversations coming soon! 








Friday, June 1, 2012

Insta-Friday



Happy Friday everyone!

This weekend we are grilling out with the in-laws (a weekend too late for Memorial Day!), enjoying a date night out to see What to Expect When You're Expecting,  having a Skype consultation with a pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeon from LA (fancy- more on that soon!), attending a Thrasher's baseball game for family day and having my family over on Sunday for an traditional awkwardly-early-in-the-day Italian dinner.  I will be making lasagna for the first time.  I'm scared but mostly excited.  My dinner is inspired by Ree Drummond who spoke straight to my heart with this recipe a couple of months ago.

I also want to sneak in a ride with Jamin on the mini-trains at the park if I can.  Stay away rain!

Have a beautiful weekend!

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