Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going out is so overrated...

Today is my four year wedding anniversary. I never really appreciated the freedom we had in past anniversaries to go out to dinner, watch a movie, and just spend the day together without a care in the world until now. Today was interesting. Instead of going out to dinner for our anniversary I decided I would cook a big dinner and use our fancy china. I didn't take into account that I would have to tend to a cranky, teething, hungry, wanna be held all the time 11 month old...that detail slipped my mind.

I have been in the kitchen from 9:30am-5:30pm (Just like work hours for those that think being a SAHM isn't a job). Blending, cutting, trying to feed a baby, I'm exhausted. But I am so happy with the final outcome! Adrianna was a little difficult, but the way I handled it was to try and include her in some of the cooking, in her case...tasting. She spent most of the day sitting in her highchair with me in the kitchen while I fed her chocolate and apples and bagels and yogurt....anything I could to keep her full and entertained while I cooked. I think she liked watching me, she thought the stand mixer was hysterical...I should have taped it. Somehow I did survive and managed to make a few things that turned out awesome. I made a salad with a homemade ginger dressing (like the kind you get at Japanese Steakhouses), for the main course a Beef and peppers/onions stir-fry and for dessert Milky Way cake (yes like the candy). The main course and dessert recipes I got from suggestion, get to the kitchen and make these immediately they were that good. The cake was ridiculous...the ingredients were a little scary with the amount of candy bars it required but OMG!
Look at the ooey gooeyness of the batter! 
See, she approves 

Joe was very pleased with the meal. I loved to see him enjoy every bite! I even took time to make the plate look nice
I have plenty of leftovers...yum!

Here are some pictures of the cake
Before baking 
It's a wonder half the cake wasn't gone already

So all in all, we had a great anniversary! Happy mommy, full daddy, and Adrianna's face pretty much sums up her mood all day! I'm guessing next year will be even more interesting...
Yes, this is what a sleep deprived full time mommy looks like

Happy hubby (He's tired too) ;-)

Yes, she is always this cute!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Child at Heart

We decided to take Adrianna to the Children's Discovery Museum/Science Museum today in Acton, MA. I knew Adrianna would have fun exploring but I also knew daddy would have tons of fun as well. It was two Victorian style houses turned museum. Tons of neat, homemade science experiments, sensory activities were available and made to cater to kids of all ages. Big plus, IT WAS FREE! Free for military, active duty and retired, and up to 6 immediate family members. I definitely recommend this as a cute weekend outing for families with young children (or the young at heart). Here are some pictures!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It isn't always fun...

Well ok, being a mommy is fun but some days it is LESS fun than other days. So for the past few days I have been in and out of the pediatrician's office with Adrianna. Funny because I was just telling hubby that it had been a while since we had to take Adrianna to the doctors...I jinxed myself.

It all started Monday morning. I had a few errands to run with Adrianna and Joe, as it always is when things go wrong, was leaving for a business trip until Friday. Adrianna and I had a good time shopping at Target and getting some odds and ends for her big birthday bash. We decided it was time for lunch so we headed for Subway. I fed her and fed myself, then it happened....vomit everywhere! Same thing happened a few days later at a Starbucks...I wrote about that and well, you know that story. So I decided it was time to take her to see a doctor because on top of the throwing up she was also not eating as much as she should be. They did a weight check at the doctors and she is 17.5 lbs. I felt ok with that weight until her doctor said she has dropped back down to the 7th percentile on the charts. Now I really start to worry and spill my guts about Adrianna's eating habits, her issue with texture and food that is not pureed completely. Basically, if you try and give her something that she can bite chunks off of she will, instead of spitting it out, throw up everything and anything in her belly. If you are feeding her something she doesn't like, for example peas, she immediately gags and throws it up. Even with her formula, if she doesn't feel like eating at the time she will gag when you put the bottle to her mouth and throw up. It's scary when you realize that your child is 11 months old and has never really had "big people" food. She does very well with Arrowroot cookies, teething biscuits, Cheerios and ice cream (go figure). She also loves chewing on bread but never actually swallows it. She absolutely does not ingest meat. I have tried chicken (pureed and chunked) beef, ground beef, and nothing.When I explained this to the doctor she told me that Adrianna, because she was a preemie, may have texture issues with food. She mentioned something about early intervention and speech therapy food and swallowing analysis but I wasn't listening. All I heard was DELAYED and EARLY INTERVENTION and then I shut down. I got home Thursday night and just cried my eyes out. I asked my mom for advice and she told me to try and make my own pureed foods for Adrianna so she could get used to the different taste of non baby food. That resulted in more vomiting and even less ingestion of food other than her formula. I was, and still am, so confused. Luckily Joe was home the next day and was able to help me sort all of this out.

The morning Joe was due home I was changing Adrianna and found a bruise underneath her rib cage. I had no idea how she got that bruise. She didn't fall and get hurt, not that I saw anyway. When Joe gets home he tells me we should take her back to the doctors to get that checked out. First thought that popped into my head, Leukemia. Have you seen that cord blood commercial where the mom says she found bruises on her sons back and found out he had Leukemia then when she had her second son they used his cord blood to take care of his older brother's relapse....yep that whole scenario is what made me get sick to my stomach. I had the worst, most irrational thought about a simple bruise. Turns out it was nothing. Thank god it was nothing. But going back to the doctor gave me a chance to get some answers about the whole early intervention thing.

Apparently, part of the early intervention screening includes ability to handle food textures. Preemies sometimes can have issues with texture of foods causing them to not be able to handle the foods that they need in order to get the extra calories. Adrianna is very developmentally on track, per the doctor, which means she may not even qualify for the service....that is determined after a few in home observations and evaluations. There is a food test done by the speech therapy/pathology department at Children's Hospital Boston that specifically pinpoints which foods Adrianna has texture problems with and can identify any other swallowing issues as well. Once this was explained to me I felt better about everything. It doesn't mean that Adrianna is behind in any way, she just needs some extra help getting used to eating "big people" food. It is also a very common problem, which I always feel is reassuring. So here we go on a very lengthy, scary, difficult adventure with food. I thought introducing new foods to a baby was suppose to be fun!

Luckily, Adrianna is so darn cute she quickly makes me forget about anything stressful and puts a smile on my face. Her she is barking along with my dogs...I love her!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The little things...

After living in middle Georgia for a few years, I had gotten used to the southern hospitality. People would hold doors open for me, save my spot on a line, and say hi for no reason. I'm a New Yorker, from the city, so all of this "niceness" was very strange to me. New Yorkers are a "Do with a purpose and mind your business" kind of people. I never realized I was like this until I moved to GA and went to the supermarket for the first time. I step foot in a Publix (I love that supermarket!) and not five minutes into my shopping trip I get offered 3 samples of ham or something, 50 "morning mams", tons of "you need help getting that" and someone making small talk about the weather while I am reaching for something on the shelf. I will never forget how strange that all felt and how annoyed I was that people kept talking to me! Eventually I became just like everyone else...I adapted to my surrounding and acquired SOME southern hospitality. I even waved at people driving by while walking in my neighborhood, complete strangers! What a nice way to live.

So we moved back to what we call "civilization" (there was NOTHING to do in middle GA) and almost immediately I noticed the difference with the way people acted and treated others. I couldn't stop thinking about how rude people were, and I still feel that way. On Monday I went to Old Navy with Adrianna and they dont have automatic doors. I was walking behind someone and they opened the door, saw that I was trying to walk faster to get to the door and they went ahead and walked in without holding it for me. What, was that gonna take up too much of your precious time? I guess there is no compassion for a mom with a stroller anymore, next thing you know I'll see someone slam the door on a pregnant woman or try to trip an old lady....seriously though how rude!

Just when I had lost all respect for these rude people, someone showed me that there are caring people here. I was at Starbucks with Adrianna on that same Monday, the one with the door holding incident, having some lunch. I was feeding Adrianna carrots and she was enjoying them. Everything seemed normal, as they always seem right before Adrianna throws me a curve ball. She threw up everything! Everywhere! Carpet, highchair, herself, table, everywhere! The workers at Starbucks saw that I was struggling but just ignored could you just ignore? I used to work at Starbucks and I always noticed if someone needed a mop or some rags to clean up a big mess, especially if they had kids. People just walked on by me, I was sitting near where the line formed to order your drink. I didn't even expect for anyone to help me because that's how people are around here. This woman, out of nowhere, came with tons of napkins and got on her hand and knees to help me clean up the orange slime that was Adrianna's vomit. Truly amazing! I don't think I would have made it out of that store with my sanity had it not been for her. I had the mess cleaned and Adrianna changed within 15 minutes. It's the little things people do that can really make your day. I couldn't thank her enough, I tried to buy her a coffee but she refused. I wonder if she knew how much she really helped me? She turned a potentially high stress, day ruining situation into a manageable nearly stress free situation. So I guess there are nice people in MA...

Monday, June 6, 2011

In the blink of an eye....

Dear Adrianna,
I remember when we found out we were expecting you. It was a bit of a surprise...we knew we were trying for you but within a few weeks you had begun to grow in my belly. November 26, 2009 your daddy and I went out to dinner. I glass (bottle) of wine later I started to joke that I could be pregnant. Your daddy didn't think it was possible for it to already be so we, for fun, got a pregnancy test. That night I took the test and saw that faint line that told us you were happily growing in there. In typical Joe manner, he didn't believe it and googled the "proper" way to take a pregnancy test. We woke up the next morning, he made me pee in a cup first thing in the morning (he did his research), then took the test and dipped it in the plastic cup. He waited 3 minutes (stopwatch and all) and sure enough there was that second line again, by far the happiest moment in my life. We told your grandparents and aunts/uncles 6 weeks later, we couldn't wait 3 months to share this fun secret. Your grandma Anny was in the hospital a few days out of her brain surgery. When I told her the news she was so happy she cried, she couldn't really speak yet but I knew what she was thinking. You made her recover quicker than the doctors predicted. You were her miracle.
We tried to wait to find out if you were a boy or a girl. Mommy was too anxious. The ultrasound technician said you were a girl and my eyes welled up. I immediately started to daydream about what you would be like, would you look like me? What would your cry sound like? Would you love spending time with me? I instantly wanted you to come out so I could meet my beautiful baby girl. I was a first born girl so I knew you would be special....a strong and independent little girl.
We named you Adrianna Teresa on July 9, 2010 when we met you. As soon as you came out of my belly I missed you. I wanted you all to myself again...I missed your kicks, your hiccups and even the heartburn you gave me when I ate too late. You were little, delicate, perfect (trust me, I counted your fingers and toes as soon as I held you). 10 days later you came home, we were a family and we were scared. Since then you have been growing so fast. At 4 months you rolled over on your belly, at 5 months you said what sounded like "mama", at 7 months you pulled up on the couch with no help, at 9 months your first teeth popped through your sore little gums and at 10 months you stood up without holding onto anything and just balanced there....wanting to walk but being very cautious.
 My precious baby girl, you are 11 months old now....almost 1 whole year old. How could it have been an entire year already since the day you entered this world and changed your daddy and I's world forever? You are so big, so smart and so funny! There must be a God, how else could you explain the beautiful life that you are? These next 4 weeks are going to fly by, I already know it. I wanted to sit down now and write this to you because I know I will be very busy with all the fun birthday activities we have planned for you. Daddy and I love you so very much. There is nothing in the world we wouldn't do to make you happy. In fact, everything I do is for you baby girl. I hope that as you grow (more slowly please!) you always keep that smile on your face. I hope you always feel confident in your abilities to do whatever it is you want to do....for now it will be in walking and learning how to speak but confidence is something you will need your entire life. Don't ever feel less than perfect, you will always be perfect in my eyes.

Love Always,