Adventures in surgery

Last week Adele had tubes put in her ears to ward off the 8+-week-long ear infection that she’d been sporting. The day before the surgery her ears were finally clear!!! However, she still wasn’t draining the fluid in her ears, so the surgeon said that she’d likely get another ear infection very soon, at least as soon as the next cold she is likely to get from daycare. So we went ahead with it and were scheduled to be there at 7:50 the next morning.

When we get there, I start feeling quite anxious. It’s so hard to think about your precious little one going under anesthesia for anything, big or small. The wonderful thing, though, is that I wasn’t the only mom in the waiting room. Three of us had little ones that were having tubes put in their ears (selfishly I was glad Adele was the first to have her ears done so I didn’t need to wait the longest). There were other moms there, waiting for their children to have biopsies – how terrifying would that be? My heart just went out to those families. I can’t imagine how I’d feel when I was so anxious for just tubes.

But moms are the most wonderful creatures in the world. We all sat there, gushing over all the babies and big kids to each other. Everyone shared toys and books, words of encouragement, and kind, knowing smiles. We all were hurting, knowing that our babies would hurt. We were all strangers, yet we were all there for each other. It’s most comforting knowing you are going through something alone, and only another mom can understand. When I finally became a mom, I felt as if I had joined an exclusive club. Days like last Wednesday make me certain of that.

Thankfully I had the Mr. with me. Many of the moms there didn’t have their husbands or significant other with them. Some didn’t have a significant other, some were alone for reasons I didn’t ask. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to go through that without someone else there with you. The Mr. answered questions when I couldn’t (I did cry when they came to take Adele back), he held my hand, he made me smile. It’s just another instance where he’s my rock.

So they take her back, promising all would be well and she would be back with us shortly. As I was crying and handing her over, I stared down the anesthesiologist and told him to take care of her. I wouldn’t be there, so someone needed to do it for me. He was so kind and promised that she’d be fine. And she was.

I know this must sound quite dramatic, especially for just tubes, but it is dramatic when it’s your baby. In the end it seems so much easier than you ever thought it could be, but it’s still not easy knowing your child will be in someone else’s hands. Especially hands that are wielding a scalpel.

When she woke up 15 minutes later, she was NOT happy at all. My baby doesn’t cry much, she just doesn’t. But the cry that she cried when she woke up about broke my heart. I could tell she didn’t feel well. They had given her some pain medicine, so it’s likely that she wasn’t in pain, but she felt horrible. It had been about 15 hours since she last had anything to eat or drink (they were running behind, so it was 10:30 before she was out of surgery), so she was hungry on top of it. She downed 8 ounces of juice (her first juice!) mixed with water in less than a minute. Thankfully she was able to keep it down. I just held her and helped calm her down. It was so hard to see. But it wasn’t long until she was a bit happier and we were able to leave. Finally!

She was easily upset all day, and she was starving. She ate so much food at lunch! And despite the nurses warnings, Adele didn’t vomit at all. Yay!

By that evening, she was her normal self. She had taken a very long nap that afternoon and woke up a new person. I was so happy to see my little girl returning to her old self!

I’m excited to see how her hearing is when we go back in 6-8 weeks. It was terrible a few weeks ago, but it should be much better soon.

All in all I’m glad we did this. She’s already acting much happier and seems to be feeling better in general. It was hard, but definitely a good thing.

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Kitchen Adventures

We are going to my SILs for Thanksgiving dinner this year. They live 1.5 hours away from us, so it’s sometimes difficult to bring food on a car trip that is so long. It’s not like I can keep food hot that long, ya know?

So what do we bring?

Well, we are bringing some drinks – probably some 2-litres of soda – so that’s not exciting.

But since I’m in the mood to cook and to do a little experimenting, we are going to bring a beef and cracker dip that my family loves and I’m going to play around with making a pumpkin trifle!

The beef and cracker dip is so easy and so yummy! It sounds like it would taste awful, and it isn’t the most beautiful dip, but it’s delicious. (Not according to my wonderful husband, though. He’s not a fan.)

Here’s what you need:

A block of softened cream cheese
A container of sour cream
A green bell pepper, diced
A small onion, diced
And 4oz of dried beef, diced
A bit of lemon juice (half a lemon or a small squeeze/shake from the bottle)

Here’s what you do:

Put the cream cheese and sour cream in an oven safe dish. Top that with the bell pepper, onion, and dried beef. Mix that all together. Add your lemon juice, stir one more time, then bake at 350 until hot.

Serve with crackers (we like these).

Note: You can chop the onion, green pepper, and dried beef in your food processor. Works like a charm! Also, you want to scoop out/up all your green bell pepper and squeeze out the extra juice from it. Trust me, there will be a lot more than you would think. If you don’t, then your dip will be watery and green. Not very appetizing at all.

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I always like to bring dessert to gatherings. I’m the baker in the family, on both sides really. It’s just something I love to do. I always like to make a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but my SIL’s MIL (got that?) has dibs on that. Should this trifle thing work out, I’ll call SIL and make sure I won’t be stepping on her MIL’s toes if I also bring a pumpkin dish (she was VERY concerned about bringing that pumpkin pie!).

I looked up a few recipes for a pumpkin trifle, and none of them really stood out to me. I found some promising sounding ones, but the recipes were disappointing. So I’m going to make my own recipe, using some ideas from everything I read this morning.

First I’m going to bake some pumpkin bread and muffins (my recipe makes 12 muffins and a loaf of bread) for the base. Since we are just trying out the recipe, I’m going to make individual servings with the muffins and freeze the loaf for when I actually make this for a holiday dinner.

Here’s that recipe:

2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups stewed and pureed pumpkin (or 1 can)
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves

Note: I often substitute 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon and cloves – it is fabulous!

Preheat oven to 350. Mix shortening and sugar together. Add eggs, pumpkin, and water. Mix well. Blend in flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Bake muffins for 25 minutes and bake bread for 70 minutes. This will make 12 muffins and one loaf of bread, 24 muffins, or two loaves of bread.

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When that’s done, I’m going to make some no-bake cheesecake. I saw a few recipes that had you make cheesecake pudding for the middle, custard part of the trifle. I think the pudding version is just nasty, so I’ll use my recipe. It comes out slightly thicker than pudding, but if it’s stirred up it should be close to the consistency of a custard.

Here’s that recipe – it’s so simple!

Take one block of softened cream cheese and mix it with one box of vanilla pudding until smooth. Then mix in a pint of heavy cream. Pour into your dish and let set in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. That’s it! I usually put it on a graham cracker crust and top it with cherry pie filling. It’s a yummy summer treat that doesn’t last long in our house! It’s also one of my dad’s favorites, so I usually make it when he’s coming for a visit.

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What I plan to do for this is split the final product in half. One half I’ll leave plain, and the other half will get one cup of fresh pureed pumpkin (I made it myself!) and some pumpkin pie spice (I use this recipe for that). I hope the pumpkin version tastes really yummy! I love pumpkin cheesecake, so hopefully a no-bake version of it will work too.

Then I’ll assemble. The Mr. thinks this all sounds gross, so I’m going to make a few different combinations:

1. Pumpkin bread with plain cheesecake
2. Pumpkin bread with pumpkin cheesecake
3. Pumpkin bread with plain and pumpkin cheesecake

I also have some Cool Whip to layer in there. Personally, I think the third option will be just fabulous, but we’ll see! If this turns out yummy, I’ll make homemade whipped cream instead of using Cool Whip. And I’ll also throw some chopped pecans and gingerbread cookie crumbs to the top. I’m not quite as fancy when I’m just trying out a concoction, though!

I’ll be sure to take a picture of the finished individual servings I’m making later and share them – I hope they look cute!

I thought this was funny and cute!

So I’m going through some old posts, and I was reading some of the letters I wrote to Adele when she was still in my belly (or uterus for those more technical people out there). When I was six weeks pregnant, I wrote a letter to her about how I was feeling and what she was doing at that time.

The funny thing is that she was forming her ears, nose, and mouth that week. I wrote how I’d love her to have my ears and nose and her daddy’s mouth. Guess what she was born with? My ears and nose and her daddy’s mouth! I mean, come on, that’s cute right?!

It’s kind of neat to read through those old posts again – you forget so much about pregnancy once you are done with it. In fact, I’m sure I forgot a lot about the first trimester as soon as I hit the second and third trimesters. It’s just one of those things. Kind of makes me want to be pregnant again, but we don’t have any plans for that yet. Maybe next year. :)

What a storm!

Whew! So glad we pulled through that one okay – we didn’t even lose power! I was getting pretty nervous when we went to bed last night and it sounded like trees were crashing down around our ears. Thankfully we only lost some branches and nothing serious happened in our neighborhood. Our basement didn’t even flood! Though I do know that’s because we didn’t lose power.

Storms like Hurricane Sandy are much scarier when you have a little one to protect. I was worried about her or having to leave the house with her. I was worried about food, about cooking for her, about washing her diapers. And all of it was for nothing. I’m so relieved!

Our family (many of which live in New Jersey) all seems to be unscathed and without major house damage, so that’s wonderful. Our family was really lucky.

My thoughts and prayers goes out to all those who may not have been so lucky. Nature can be a terrible thing sometimes.

November 7

That’s the day my baby is going to be put under anesthesia to have tubes put in her ears to get rid of this ear infection that has been hanging around since mid-September.

I am so nervous for her. I know that tubes are really good things for little ones with ear issues, but it’s still scary for me.

She had a hearing test today, and she didn’t do too well on it. Her cochlea is in good working order, which is great, but sound isn’t making its way in far enough for her to hear well because of all the fluid and infection. They are concerned that she will have speech delays if we don’t get this cleared up soon. So there are so many reasons this will be good.

I just pray it all goes smoothly.

Can you show me your ears?

So I was going to write a post about being married and having a baby. You know, keeping the love alive and whatnot. It’s not always easy, and our love life has definitely suffered a bit for it all. But we are working on getting some romance and fun back into our lives (Adele spent her first night away this weekend and did great!), and the Mr. and I are happy.

Instead, I’m going to write about Adele.

Today was her 15-month check up! How is she getting so old?! She is 24lbs 8oz, 33″ tall, and has a head circumference of 18.5″. She’s in the 90th percentile (or above) in everything. She’s big! She’s hitting all her developmental and physical milestones perfectly, and she’s super smart (but we knew all that already).

But she’s still not doing well. Adele has had an ear infection since mid-September.  :( In fact, she’s had issues since mid-August!

It all started with a yeast rash that was a pain in the butt to get rid of. Then toward the end of August she got a cough that wouldn’t go away. So we went in to see the doctor two weeks later to make sure the cough wasn’t anything. It was a sinus infection and that’s when they noticed the ear infection, so we started the first antibiotic. It ended on a Wednesday, and Adele spiked a fever that same day. By Saturday, she had a fever that was staying about 103 and we had her seen (they wanted to wait to see her until she had the fever for 3 days since all her symptoms went away after a few days on the antibiotic). Anyway, her right ear was horribly infected at that point, so we started a second antibiotic. Which she happened to be allergic to (rash all over by the second dose). So we stopped that one and went back in on Monday for another appointment. Now both her ears are infected, and the allergic rash is confirmed. We started the third antibiotic, which ended on Thursday. At her well appointment today, she still has infected ears and we are now on antibiotic #4. :(

Since this is a very long time for her to be on antibiotics and to have ear infections, we now need to take her to the ENT to see what to do next. At her appointment today, they said we’ll be discussing tubes at her appointment on Thursday. So we’ll see what happens. I don’t want her to have surgery, but I don’t want her to be sick anymore. My poor baby.

Life is hard sometimes, no? Though I do think that we are lucky if this is our hardest hurdle right now.

A Post of Instagram

I realize I have been MIA. I could say it’s because I don’t have anything to write about, but that would be a lie. In fact, I have so much to write about that I don’t have time to write. I really miss this, so I’m going to try to get one post a week. I think I can commit to that. So keep a look out for my return soon! Perhaps even this week! Definitely next week.

To show how sorry I really am, I put together the last few months in an Instagram. Well, two Instagrams. We’ve been busy to say the least!


1.  I began running. C25K was my program of choice. It did not work out completely, but I’m still working on it.
2. Not even a week in to C25K, I was disappointed in myself, but I kept up with it! I only have two weeks left to complete.
3. I made a dress. And took a picture of it.
4. The Mr. broke his hip while roller blading. He was supposed to be out of surgery at 4:00pm, and I was still waiting for word on how he was doing.
5. More cloth diapers!!!!
6. I mowed the lawn all by myself while the Mr. was in the hospital. And it looked good!
7. Driving to get the Mr. and take him from the hospital to the rehabilitation center so we could finally bring him home! He had been at the hospital for a week by this point and was in the rehab center for another week, but he came home walking.
8. Adele visiting Daddy at the rehab center. She missed him so much!
9. My last pumping session. Woohoo!
10. Preparing for Adele’s first birthday party. It went off without a hitch.
11. Adele’s first fun train ride with her mama and poppop.
12. Her first tennies!
13. Someone found out what a tissue box is used for. At least for a toddler.
14. Adele’s first bloodwork. Her iron levels were super low in the doctor’s office, so we had to have them officially checked. They were normal. Bloodwork for toddlers sucks.
15. Her first pigtails!
16. Someone’s learning to walk! She was walking full time at 13 months and is now running at 15 months.

1. Playing the piano. It’s a favorite pasttime in our house.
2. I got the bug to redo our room. Painting some $40 Craigslist end tables.
3. Adele had some terrible yeast rash for what seemed like forever. This was her first day back in cloth (we used disposables when she was yeasty).
4. Our new room!
5. Our new room x2! I love this wall of photos.
6. Adele’s first disaster at daycare. Another child gnawed on her hand. :(
7. Repainting the front door. It was a bit of a disaster, but it turned out great.
8. Adele’s first time on the Big Girl swing!
9. I turned 27.
10. Adele’s first time at the beach!
11. Fall arrived.
12. I made my first cloth diaper.
13. Adele wearing her first “Moby.” I love this picture so much.
14. Riding around in a wagon at the pumpkin patch!
15. Apparently diapers are not for toddlers.
16. “You think a child lock can keep me out of this awesome drawer? Buahahahahahaha!!”

See you soon. :)

C25K and Party Invites

Yes, I’m doing it.

I’m not a runner at all. But I’m going to run a 5k this year. And maybe I will become a runner in the process.

Right now I’m on week 2, day 2. Today’s run was not a good one, but my next one will be! It’s hard, but I love having a goal.

I’ve needed something to work toward for a while; it just took me a while to decide what to do. I need and want to become healthier, so this is the best way to kill two birds with one stone!

—-

My baby girl is only a few days away from turning 11 months old. How the heck has this happened?! I feel like I’ve blinked my eyes once, maybe twice, and she’s almost a year old. It’s bittersweet.

I’ve been making plans for her party (mostly in my head, slightly through pins on Pintrest), and it’s scary how close it is! A month away!

Anyway, I’m quite proud of her invitation – I made it myself in Photoshop! ::takes a bow:: These have all gone out and now we are just waiting for the RSVPs.

It’s crazy how quick this is coming up. Crazy!

Here is the mock up of the invites. (I’ve removed all the identifying information, so that is why the spacing isn’t awesome here)

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