Monday, January 24, 2011

Little Miss Sicky

T and D had their baby girl Thursday night/Friday morning. She is happy, healthy, and quite pink. Congrats. Made them some Parmesan, Rosemary, Roasted Garlic Bread. Quite tasty, just happened to have one for us too.

E has been sick for a while now. Got her first fever a couple of days ago. She is a trooper, but you can tell she is sick of feeling so bad. Everything is off, her sleep, her eating, her bodily functions, her smiles, all of it. It is hard because you want to do something for her, but can't relay the fact that she is just going to have to suffer for a little bit. Breaks my heart in the evenings when I hear her coughing and whimpering, barely able to breath. Hopefully we are on the mend now.

Above is how she feels about being sick.

Look at the miserable baby in her Momma's loving arms.

Dad and E still filled with hope while getting ready for the Bears game. Ditka.

Last night was a rough one for Baby and Dad's sleep, but today she seems to be doing a little better. Her appetite seems to be coming back and her eyes are opening up a little wider. Still pretty needy and quickly gets upset, but hopefully with the added food and rest, she will continue healing. Definitely having a better attitude for longer stretches today than the past few days. If this sun stays out a little longer, I might take her for a short walk this afternoon, but it looks like the clouds are coming back.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Negative = Positive

Got word yesterday that the mri is clean! No signs of any spinal abnormalities. We are psyched, even though we know that the cd of the images are being sent to a specialist in Denver. It seems that if there was anything suspicious, something on the scan would have come back questionable. What a relief. What a final relief it will be when we hear good news from D-Town.

E has had a slight cold. She sounds awful at times during the night and when she wakes up. During the daylight hours, there is some occasional coughing, but she is in good spirits. Doc says that humans naturally produce anti-inflammatories during the day, but that in the evening, they decrease- hence the coughing and wheezing at night. Nothing in her lungs, no infection, ears look great, etc. She even got tested for something called RSV, but that was negative.

That being said, I did take her out skiing today. It was snowing a bit this morning, but when things started clearing up after her second nap, I decided it was go time. Threw her, her helmet, and her backpack into the back of the truck and headed to the Steamboat Ski area. I went sans helmet, sans long johns, and with my hat, spring gloves, and sunglasses. From the minute I stuffed her into the Sherpani (arms tucked in now), she was quiet. Got her on my back, used my skis as walking stabilizers (I didn't bring poles), and hoofed it to the gondola. She and I boarded a car by ourselves and she sat contentedly on the bench, still strapped down in her backpack for the ride to the top. Once up top, we got out of the car, threw her on my back and we headed out of the building. Sunny and beautiful while getting my skis on. Still quiet.

It was colder than I expected (18 degrees), but as we started moving I realized that my hood was doing a decent job shielding her from the wind as we moved down the mountain. Plan was to take Why Not down to the bottom. It is a beginner run that winds back and forth at an easy descent. Took one pitch and as we wound into the shade, I quickly vetoed taking it all the way down. So, we jumped on Vagabond, which is an intermediate run, but stayed nice and sunny.

There was hardly anyone on the mountain and Emerald was completely content. When we were finishing a steeper part of Vag, she did groan 3 times, but I think it was because I was making some real turns which forced her to work a little harder stabilizing herself, or she was getting the roller coaster feeling in her stomach. Either way, it wasn't a bad groan, just a fairly common noise she makes. I spoke with her all the way down and she was just taking it all in. I wish I could have gotten some better shots, but she was always either on the wrong side, in a shadow, or blocked by my hood.

Got off Vagabond after a little while, jumped on Betwixt- another beginner run- and took that to the some other run and got to the base of the gondy again. I took my skis off, put my boots in walk mode, and we left. She was so quiet, I kept looking in store windows to see if she was sleeping, but she wasn't- just quiet and content. At the truck, she smiled at me when I took her out of the backpack and we giggled together for a bit. She got into her car seat and chilled all the way home. Again, I thought she might be sleeping, but she was just playing with the buckle on her seat. How nice it will be if we can keep this up. I will probably wait for either a warmer day next time, or I will put her sun shield up with the clear rain fly. That will block the breeze some and might make her more comfortable if it is cold outside.

When we got home, I put her in the carriage and took the dogs for a walk. We are watching B and M's dog while they are chilling on a boat in Honolulu Harbor, maybe I should retire! The trail we took wasn't wide enough for the stroller and we got about a foot yesterday, so I tied Sadie's lease to the front of the stroller and she helped drag it through the snow. Wandered around in Fairview for a while before going home.

For dinner, I made some Orange Chicken. Oranges were on sale the other day and good chicken breasts were 2 for 1. I cut chix into smallish cubes and dusted with flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Dipped the floured cubes into egg and then tossed them into a panko and sesame seed mixture. Plopped them onto a baking sheet and crisped them up. Then I stir fried some broccoli, yellow and green onions, added a orangey, sesame, hoisen sauce. Put it all over rice. Not bad.

For those of you who are interested in the basement, it is coming along. Have finished the electric, wired surround sound, and am now hanging the drywall. I would say that the sheetrock on the walls is about 85% complete, but I still have the ceiling to go. Will hopefully make some good progress this weekend...

unless T and D have their baby. She has felt some stuff happening all ready tonight. We are on standby.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLK & MRI Weekend

On Friday, because I was in a funk, K and I went for a walk and met up with some people from work at Sweet Water. Between the cold and the subtle stress about E's mri and consequent going under, I think I was off tilt.

Saturday, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's neighborhood where they have a cross country path groomed. Loaded E up in the Sherpani and off we went. Skate skis are always a bit sketchy because they are so toothpick like and light. Always feel a little bit off balance. Having E on my back didn't help, neither did the fact that it was my first time skating all year. I was happy because K seemed fine with it (so good that she supports these activities because I might go crazy always cooped up unable to take my girl out) and also because E also seemed to enjoy herself. It will be better when we get the trailer that B said he'd loan us because having her on the back is a little weird and I can feel her rocking back and forth quite a bit. Fotos are right before starting the ski and afterward at G and G's house relaxing in Al and Ink's velour Ralph Lauren body suit! Video is about half way through our 45 minute ski.

After skiing, we put E in a sled we got from MA. I think the snow was a little deep and she was also a little tired from riding in the backpack, so, it wasn't her favorite experience to date. I'll get her up on Emerald some time this week and drag her on the snow covered road/trail. It will probably be a bit less hurky jerky. We can also work up some speed on the way down- see if we can't test out that helmet!

You can see that the 1.5 foot deep foot prints don't help create a smooth ride.

Here is our trooper yesterday, before her mri. Even though she was hungry because she had to fast before the anesthesia and tired because she had missed a nap, she was in a great mood! The hospital shirt she was wearing was the smallest one they had, but it still looked like a full length dress. We easily could have put her head through the arm holes.

Docs came and took her away to put her out. At first we thought we wanted to be with her while they put her under, but I think it was good that we weren't. Dr. K carried her away and she seemed totally comfortable. They gave her some gas which put her out right away, but then had some trouble getting a functioning IV. Had to stick her a few times in the hand and eventually had to put one in the vein in her temple. I'm not sure I would have liked seeing that and I'm pretty sure K would really have hated seeing it.

They got the images they needed and then brought her back to recovery. Doc came and got us in the waiting room when she started to come out of it. Then as we approached, we heard her crying, but she was in the arms of a nurse. She was very groggy right away, but instantly calmed in K's arms- she loves her mommy's touch. K fed her and when she was done eating, E seemed pretty much her typical self. She didn't look quite the same because she had a band-aide on her temple and a little bit of blood here and there, but also she had marks from the tape and machine sensors all over her body. Our little girl has such sensitive skin. Just a side note, while E was eating in recovery, 4 cow elk walked by in the park behind the hospital. They were trudging along in chest deep snow making their way to the stand of bushes for some chow.

Here she is being fun before the imaging. We should hear back from the Peds today with some initial results. Then, we'll send a cd of the mri to a specialist in Denver. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Made Chicken Divan for dinner. K had never had it before, but she enjoyed it. It really brought me back to sitting at home eating with my family in our home in Western Springs. After reading the ingredients in the cream of chicken soup, I decided to make my own with 2% milk, chicken stock, salt & pepper, and lightly browned roux. Panko crumbs on top were a nice addition. Yum.

Sorry, no pic.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Managing the Cold

Spent the last few days in the house once again. This cold and cloudy business has got to stop! It's not typical for Steamboat to be cloudy for days on end. The cold in January can be bothersome sometimes, but these last two blasts came too close together and stayed for too long.

Tuesday, E and I spent the day in the house. I remember im-ing Hil at 11 and it was still -2. Drag. But, E did get to try bananas for the first time. Picked out some organic guys at Bamboo. She enjoyed them, but didn't Go, Bananas, Go, Go Bananas.

On Wednesday we also hung out inside for the day. When I got her up from her nap, she had some freezing feet and hands, so I bundled her up and we did some dancing in the basement before coming upstairs to play. Hooked up the receiver and tested some speaker wire before I cover it with drywall. Michael sounds great down there and E liked it too. Here she is when we finished the dance party.

Since we were heading to T and D's for beef stew that night, I made some bread. T said we couldn't come unless I did. Decided to try something new and made some Rustic 1/4 Wheat Pepper Parmesan. 1 for the meal and one for us to freeze.

Turns out the stew wasn't ready, so we got pizza instead. I guess that T just wanted some homemade bread, he could have just asked. Still waiting to hear how it tasted. Taste is T.

While bread was baking, Kodi showed up in the living room. K has been making him stay off the rug, so, no one tell her about this foto (she has decided to quit reading the blog because I don't post enough for her liking). He was carrying the "Mini Me" stuffed Rottweiler. Just so turns out that E was sitting on the floor playing with her stuffed animal for the first time. I didn't stage the foto, it is where he sat. So cute.

He growls at her sometimes when she pulls his hair, but he does that to us too. He never does anything about it, but I think he wants people to know that he is displeased. He is way more protective of us when E is with us and we are walking, that is interesting to see.

D came over today to watch E because I was asked to help out with some concrete work. I left the house at about 11:30 and the sun was just starting to pop through the clouds. Too bad the work was in a sub basement because I didn't get to enjoy the sun except for the drive. The basement was hot as hell because of the concrete going off, the halogen work lights, the boiler, and the physical work involved with the finishing, which was a nice change of pace. I spent a few hours sweating instead of shivering. When we were finished with the concrete, it had warmed up quite nicely and I knew that a walk or hike was in our future when K got back from school.

We did get outside and take the long loop on Emerald, but because it was afternoon, we missed out on the sun for the most part. It was great just to get out of the house and do something physical though. Near the end of the walk, E was making a lot of grunting noises, not upset or anything. Not pooping. Just kind of talking through a grunt. This last shot was taken near the end of the trail. I felt her head slump down on mine and knew she was getting tired. It was great to have K there so we could get a foto of it.

It is supposed to be a little warmer for the next few days, but we are supposed to get between 19 and 33 inches of snow by Monday. I really need to shovel the roof (I did a portion of it the other day and there was snow up to my upper thighs). Good thing MA gave us that helmet, because it's about a 35 foot fall from the roof. I could withstand it, but I don't know if E could- unless she's wearing a helmet.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cold Again!

Today was another freezing cold day. Was still -2 at about 11:00. So, no hiking today. Our big outing was a trip to Walmart and Radio Shack. We went to find some wall mount speaker jacks for the basement. Turns out that the Shack is going out of business, so I got a few things for half off.

To recap the past few days...

On Friday, Ke and I planned on going for a hike together. Looked like things might not work out because E and C were on opposite napping schedules, so, I took E for a 30 minute walk/hike up in the neighborhood.Turns out, Ke and I did get together a little later that day. It was my first legitimate Mom date! C rode on Ke's back for the first time and he loved it. He passed out right away and never made a peep. That's good because he typically can't stay calm during hikes and that means they have to be short. Since E hadn't really napped, she was exhausted and quiet. At one point I asked if she was sleeping and Ke said, no, but her eyes look like they hurt because she's so tired. It is great to get outside and hike with E, but it was also great to have some adult company. Thanks Ke!

When K got home, she wanted to go for a walk. So, once again, I put E into her snow suit, put the leash on the dog, and we walked through town. Nice way to close out a Friday afternoon. Mom, Baby, Dad, and yes, Kodi. We went home, defrosted some frozen pork carnitas I made a while ago, and ate burritos for dinner. We were in bed by 8 watching some stupid shows on tv. Kodi was practically ruined. He could hardly move because he was so sore. I think he spent a little bit too much time roughhousing on his first Doggy date in a while with Tequila.

This is E on Saturday morning showing some new yoga poses she has been working on. This flexibility is really starting to pay off... She can get into everything that she's not supposed to.

Saturday afternoon E, K, and I walked down to the Old Town Hot Springs to meet T, D, and E. We've got our routine down pretty well. When we get to the pool, I get the baby ready while K gets herself ready for the pool. K gets into the water and I bring E out to her. Then, I go and get changed and meet them in the water. We spend some time soaking in one of the naturally heated outdoor pools before K goes in and changes. She then comes out to grab E and get her dried off and changed while I go into the locker room and get changed. Fun little note, I got a high five from T when he entered the shower (no pictures of that).

After the pool, we went with the P family to the Rio for dinner. Turns out the V's also came out. Brave family bringing 2 boys and a baby. They think it was the first time they went out as a family. Great work guys! After some tacos and queso, K and I loaded E up into her carriage and we walked home in the snow. Boy, did it snow!

After talking in my sleep, getting caught by K, and then the two of us laughing aloud for about 20 minutes at 3 a.m., I grabbed the baby at 5 and put her next to K (hint: breast feeding time). After she ate, I put her back in her crib, got back in bed and then just got up at 6 on Sunday morning. The 5 a.m. ski report spoke about 6 new inches since close. E got up at 7:30 or so and K a little while after. Even though K felt a little under the weather, she told me to go get some of that powda.

Six inches my ass. I figured there was at least 15 inches that morning, but found out that 18 had actually fallen by the end of the morning. It was fantastic. Met up with a few peeps, skied in deep snow for a couple hours and then headed home. Fantastic time on the hill. It amazes me that after having 12 season passes and basically only skiing on this one mountain (3 runs at that) for the past 12 years, I am still like a giddy school girl on days like Sunday. My first run I was smiling and laughing aloud the whole way down. I love skiing-

but not as much as I love this girl, eating chunks of avocado for the first time when I got home from the hill. We tried to just put some on her tray, but she doesn't have the dexterity to actually get them into her mouth yet. They just stayed clutched in her first, punching herself in the mouth until I helped her out and put it in her mouth. The chunks didn't go too well, but she did really like them once I mashed them up. Carnitas next?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day Off

Not much to report from yesterday because I selflessly gave Grandma M a day to spend with E. I just thought that the two of them should have a little alone time...

So, I went skiing all day with Hasse and Frederik from Sweden- a 15 year old who was one of our exchange students from Stockholm last year and his father. I haven't skiied that long since I was a tourist 13 years ago.

Should probably go now because E just made some serious rumbling and she hasn't done that in 3 days!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Made some steamed, organic, fresh zucchini, puree yesterday and fed some to E today. Every time we introduce a new food, she puckers up her face and does a lot of spitting and demonstrates a lot of confused looks. The food I thought she'd be least into, the zucchini, gave the most benign response. She hardly even flinched, just ate it up. Maybe some black licorice tomorrow to get some sort of reaction.

During her morning nap, I did some electrical work. Almost done! and also planned out our daily adventure. Decided to just take her to the ski area, ride the gondy up, and then feed her a bottle up on top. Timing was perfect, got things ready while she slept. Once awake I got her into a warm outfit, grabbed our ski passes, apologized to Kodi because he thought he was going, and swept her into the garage for our departure. Silly me. I forgot that the truck was loaded down with drywall and insulation. So, instead, I threw her into the carriage, grabbed the damn dog, and went for a walk in town. I was going to get a coffee and feed her her bottle at the coffee shop, but got side tracked...

After walking along the bike path for about 20 minutes, I stopped the cart and walked around to the front so I could see the baby who hadn't made a peep since we left. She looked at me, made one little whimper, and then squeezed out one big alligator tear drop. So, I turned around and went home. Kind of weird. I had looked at her several times and nothing. No noise no upset looks, just the typical quiet looking around E riding in the cart.

Oh, by the way. On the way back, right by Double Z, Kodi took a shit.

One thing I used to threaten all the time was that we would never get any real toys because kids always seem to just enjoy playing with things that aren't actually toys. I figured we'd just have some rocks, sticks, and maybe a two liter coke bottle laying around the house to keep E occupied. Alas, I failed. She has way more toys than she needs. By the way, she is much happier playing with non-toys anyway. She loves grabbing anything she sees while sitting on the counter- knives, newspapers, outlets, coffee cups, cords, pepper grinder, remote, napkins. She does this even when there are toys sitting right on her tray. And, by the way, her new favorite toy is the tray for her chair. She will knock toys off the tray, and then struggle to rip the tray off. Finally, she plays with it and chews it until she loses control and it falls on the floor. Stinker.

K's aunt M.A. sent us a gift today. It is a helmet for E. Fits her pretty good but I can't believe how huge it looks! I guess M.A. thought that we were sheltering E too much. Maybe now with this helmet, we can try some more dangerous activities. K gave me a long board for my birthday. Since E can now sit up, maybe I'll plop her down on the skateboard and ride it down the icy bike path to the 90 Meter ski jump. I've never tried ski jumping before, but with a Sherpani backpack and a helmet, E should be fine. Here's another foto of the helmet. Don't typically like putting 2 similar fotos up of the same scene, but I got so much enjoyment taking them while laughing really hard.

I just remembered that I was putting fotos up of our meals. Forgot to snap a pic, but we made some buffalo burgers with bacon, basil, and cheese (blue for me cheddar for K). E just drank milk.

Tomorrow E is going to have some alone time with Grandma. I'm going to meet up with a family I met in Sweden and go skiing with them. In less than a year 4/9 of the Swedes from that exchange have come back to Steamboat. This boy came back with his parents and 2 younger siblings. We really lucked out with how well the kids got matched up. Friends for life.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bitter Cold

Until yesterday, the last bunch of days have been bitter cold- negative numbers all day long. Yesterday, however, things started to warm up and there was blue sky off in the distance. So, after E's nap and feeding time, I loaded her into the Sherpani and we hit Doc's loop. I think it was only 20 degrees out, but it might as well have been 60! It felt so good being outside and hiking after too many days being homebound after the glutenous holidays. Kodi was ecstatic as evidenced by this video.

Took E to a Dr in Denver last week. Looks like we'll have to go back at the end of the month for an MRI. Turns out that it is possible she has a tethered spinal cord. The MRI will let us know whether or not she'll need to have surgery to release the cord. So crazy to be in this situation. These are the things you never really think about when you enter parenthood. After we got the results back while K was pregnant that there was hardly any likelihood of Downs, I felt like we were in the clear. Then, turns out she is Frank breech. Then, turns out she's got hip dysplasia in one hip. We got through those four months in the harness and barely remember them, but we didn't plan on any of this. K and I have some different feelings about E's probability of having to have surgery in the near future. Let's just say, I hope I'm right. If she does need it, that's fine and I'll be thankful that we caught things soon, but it will pail (pale, peighel) in comparison of my joy if all is kosher in the the MRI.

She is beatiful, happy, and seems totally healthy to us. Hell, yesterday evening, she grabbed hold of a toy box that she has and stood there without support for several minutes. One symptom of a tethered spinal cord is weakness in the legs and feet. Come on! Look at that smirk- Mom or Dad?

The basement is rapid progress, slow progress, rapid progress slow progress. I seem to enter into periods of confidence and then cowardice while I figure things out. I have been racking my brain to come up with a good electrical plan for a few days now. Looks like it is all set except for one problem I've enlisted some help with. Next couple of days will be finished with electrical and batting and then I will start hanging the drywall. It is going to be so nice down there when the drywall is up and finished.

Thanks for the feedback, it gives me more will to keep working at this!

Monday, January 3, 2011


So, the one person who checks my blog has said that it's time to get going with it again- that one person is Kathleen. I decided to take a break from it while she was on winter break, but now that I'm back on dad duty again. I'll be back. I'll update things this evening. Until then, here is something to keep you going.

If anyone does ever look at this blog, a little feedback would be nice.