Monday, February 22, 2010

Easy as Pie, Green Pie That Is

When Gabe turned 6 months his world turned upside down! Our little lover of bottles and oatmeal was introduced to baby food. His first 'meal' was green beans - homemade green beans! After hearing how easy it is to make baby food and evaluating the cost difference, making our baby food was an obvious choice for us!

It took about 45 minutes to steam and puree the green beans and we made about 25 servings! Since baby food sells for 2 servings for $1.00 and we only paid $4.50 for 25 servings, we saved about $8.00. And I know exaclty what is in his food!

Take these green beans for instance.... certified organic, containing only green beans and no herbicides or pesticides! The only downside for me, was I had not planned ahead and the fresh vegetables were slim pickings so we did have to use frozen.

The green beans... ready to go!

In the pan...

Gabe checking out his green beanies!

Ready to be pureed

and finally being pureed!

Almost done being pureed.

The finished product!

In the ice cube trays, ready to be frozen!

Gabe's 1st green beans, ready for his belly.

Gabe is ready to eat!

Not the oatmeal he was expecting....

After Gabe's initial shock of the new taste and texture of the green beans he with the funny faces and began babbling, squealing and smiling between each bite!

A few more days of beans and then Gabe will try his Momma's least favorite veggie, peas!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

6 Months Done...

Gabe's Halfway to ONE!!!!

I can not, absolutely can NOT believe our little Gabe is 6 months old today. Where, oh where does the time go?

Well my sweetest Gabe,

This past month has been lots of fun! We've been cooped up inside a lot because of really cold temperatures and snow. The temperature more than the snow keeps us locked inside... we're Clevelanders, we LOVE snow. Daddy keeps saying how he can't wait until next winter when you'll be able to play outside in the snow!
While inside we read lots of books (your favorites seem to be "Who Are You, Baby Kangaroo," "On the Night You Were Born," and "You're My Little Love Bug"), practice tummy time and rolling, dance to music, play with links (you're favorite toy) and just have so much fun together. You've also liked beginning to spend time in the excersaucer but are still too little for the jumper. You also love the game "Where's Gabe" or peek-a-boo. Laughs, smiles and big squeals erupt from you whenever we play it. I think that you like just about everything - you're a big ole lover of life!
Along with loving life, you sure love you're parents. You don't like to be with anyone else, and while it makes me sad that you cry when other people hold you for too long, it does warm my heart to know that you love us this much. But we're working on you going for longer periods of time with us being out of your sight. However, when we're together, you're pretty much attached to my hip!
Gabe, you love your oatmeal! You get to so excited when you see it, kicking your legs and wiggling around and then we can't seem to get it in your mouth fast enough! Today, in honor of your 6 month birthday, instead of cake, you'll eat green beans. I'm not sure how you're going to feel about it initially, but I'm sure once you realize they go in your tummy, you'll love them!
You're getting on a pretty regular schedule with your daily routine. Bottles at 7, 10:15, 1:30, 4:30 and 8:00. You used to eat your cereal at 6:30, but today we did it at 8:30 so you'd have room for your green beans tonight. I think we'll try to do your dinner around 6:00 each night.
We've gone to see you Dr. R this month too. Unfortunately you have to have your first eye surgery in April, however he was very happy with how your vision is progressing (perfectly) and how hard you work to open your right eye lid. You're daddy and I are really proud of you too! Because Dr. R said we needed to keep patching we bought you new patches! Really cool ones with camouflage, sports, toys and pirate stuff on them. They're harder for you to get off too, so it's a win-win for the cuteness and use factors!
Physical therapy seems to really be helping you too! You're so very close to rolling over and can sit for short periods of time all by yourself! You've also started holding on to your feet, which I think is one of the cutest things ever and always makes you laugh. Good old lefty (you're left hand) is also improving! Way to go Gabe!
The only area where we are not excelling is sleep! You slept for a majority of the night for 11 days in a row and then quit. Now you're back to waking up (and needing Mama) every hour or so. And nothing we do seems to help. We've put in a call to Dr. F to see if not sleeping for extended periods could be schizencephaly related. I guess we'll see!
But since you are the sweetest, happiest baby I've ever met, a little sleep deprivation is okay :) You're happy like 95% of the time and have the best laugh. I'm fairly certain we could bottle you're laugh and sell it for big bucks! It would probably encourage world peace as well.
Gabe you truly are the light of our lives and we're so excited to see what great adventures the next 6 months (and years to come) bring to you, and us!

As evidence of one of Gabe's newest favorite activities, pictures of Gabe playing Where's Gabe (peek-a-boo) with his 6 month sign:

And I love this plaid outfit of Gabe's. The cutest part is that it has snaps on his bottom like old-fashioned baby clothes!

Monday, February 15, 2010

miracle vs Miracle...

It took more than a month before I was able to put my thoughts to paper (or blank post page). Some of my delay had to do with not knowing how to phrase how I was thinking, but some of it had to do with my pride.

Pride is a funny thing; it sneaks up on you when you don't expect it, in places it doesn't belong and when its not wanted. After getting the results of Gabe's MRI, I heard countless times about the wonderful results, countless 'Thank you God's," and how happy we must be. But I wasn't happy, and while I wasn't thanking God Gabe was tumorless, I couldn't fathome the thought of the confirmation of schizencephaly to be wonderful news.

You see, prior to getting these results I was expecting a miracle. I expected the nurse to say that the MRI found nothing, that there was no evidence of schizencephaly, agensis of his corpus callousum or brain dysplasia. Gabe's brain being perfect was the miracle I expected... and I'd be lying if I said, hearing the results we were given let me down.

And I couldn't admit I was let down; that these wonderful results weren't what I wanted. That this was not the miracle I was wanting, no expecting. So I rejoiced on the outside, and I was happy. Happy that Gabe's case of schizencephaly was the best (or least formidable) type to have, that there was nothing tumorwise causing his eye problems and that his corpus callousum is whole. But I was still disappointed. And knowing what a blessing Gabe is, besides feeling disappointed, I felt guilty. Guilty that I was disappointed in hearing Gabe's results, disappointed in the miracle that was before me, that I just wasn't completely seeing.

I never lost sight of the miracle that is Gabe. Gabe should be paralyzed (at least partially) on his left side but he's not. Gabe could have been born disfigured, with many immediate problems but he was born perfect. Maybe not medically perfect, but perfect to us and perfect to God's plan.
Ahh, yes, God's plan. That is the part I forgot. The miracle I was expecting, needing was not part of God's plan. God's plan was for Gabriel to be made as he is, in His perfect way.

And, boy let me tell you, it's humbling to realize that you thought you knew better than God. To go before God, letting go of your pride,and admitting you were wrong. I became caught up in socidety thinking that the only way everything would be perfect, would be if Gabe was 'medically perfect.' But Gabe is perfect; perfectly made how God wanted him and I wouldn't want him any other way.

Besides being disappointed in the results, I was fearful. Afraid of the future,afraid of the obstacles Gabe could possibly face, afraid of the unknown. But sometimes, once you realize you fears, admit you have them and pray about them... they seem less all encompassing.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears - Psalm 34:4

I'm not fearful for Gabe's future, for I know now more than ever, that as long as Gabe has his faith he'll be okay. And Gabe will be different. His schizencephaly may or may not make him different, but his spirit, his faith and his love for Jesus will. I pray that Gabe will grow up to be a faithful Christain boy; that being different for Gabe doesn't relate to what he's missing but to the light that will shine out from his inside.

Pablo Casais said "The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him."

I could list the thousands of reasons that Gabe is a miracle to me but instead I'll just leave you with some physical evidence of my miracle.

Boy do I love this boy - God definately knew that Gabe was the miracle I needed August 18th.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Bad Eye and a Big Guy

Gabe had an eye appointment on Thursday and I thought that we went prepared; prepared with the knowledge that Dr. R would recommend surgery.

Let me digress for a second. Between Gabe's 3rd and 4th eye appointments his lid improved and surgery was delayed, patch time was increased and everyone left happily.

Fastforward to the present - Matt and I had noticed that Gabe's eye was no longer opening anymore and his eyes still weren't working together. So Gabe and I went to see Dr. R prepared for a surgery diagnosis. And that's exactly what the doctor deemed necessary.

The surgery (or surgeries) will entail cutting Gabe's eye muscles so his right eye is centered. Once his eye is centered, Gabe will have another surgery to lift his eye lid. Once these surgeries are complete Gabe's eyes will look perfect!

And now the Gabe-ster in the eye examination chair. Gabe doesn't actually sit in the chair but on my lap and I sit in the chair!

On a side note, Tuesday I went to the Cavs game, sans Gabe! My dad recieved AWESOME tickets from someone at work and since Matt had class, the original plan was for me to take Gabe with us. Well, there was another beautiful snow storm in Northeast Ohio and Matt's class was canceled so Gabe stayed home with his Daddy! I had a great time but really missed my Gaby-baby. And because I missed Gabe.... I (or maybe Gabe's Nonnie) bought Gabe his very 1st Cavs t-shirt. We went for the Retro Cavs colors, rather than the new ones. Isn't he cute?

And can I tell you how excited I was to see Shaq! I was so excited. Our seats were really, really good, so I was able to see Shaq up close and personal! And I could not believe how big he is. I mean, I knew he was big, but in person, his size was even more impressive.

Shaq towers over the other players... and his feet, oh my! They were as big as my arm... and I don't have abnormally small arms. He's just that big! I was a little let down that he didn't sign Gabe's shirt or anything my nephews had out, but at least we got some good pictures of Shaq. And Gabe's shirt was signed by Daniel Green, he's just a rookie, but you never know, Gabe's shirt might be able to pay for his college one day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bead for Life

In honor of the birth of their newest arrival, Kaleia Joy, Jillian from Rooted in Love did a contest on her blog! The scheme of the blog was to guess the time of Kaleia's birth. her birth weight and length. I guessed baby Kaleia would weigh 7lbs 15 oz... and I was right!

My prize... two beautiful bracelets!

Not only were these bracelets beautiful, they mean something. These bracelets, or moreless the beads mean income for impoverished women and their families in Uganda. They mean money for food, medicine and school fees.

They mean HOPE! And without hope you have nothing, but with it; endless possibilities.

Bead for Life provides a way for women in Uganda to not only work their way out of poverty by making beads, but the goal is for these women to then be independant from the Bead for Life organization in 27 months. So by purchasing a beautiful necklace or bracelet from Bead for Life you are impowering a woman for the rest of her life.

I read a statistic yesterday that 1 in 5 people in the world live on less than 1 dollar a day. Can you even imagine that? I can't. But for as little as five dollars, you can change the life of a woman and her family in Uganda.

Hm... I'm thinking a few bracelets from Bead for Hope would make great Valentines Day presents... not that I would ever take part in such holiday, but if you do.... here's the link one more time : Bead for Life

When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord -
and he pays wonderful interest on the loan. Proverbs 19:17
....To help the poor is to honor God. Proverbs 14:31