Sunday, June 22, 2008

Spanish Tapas

So, I started off wanting some Manchego cheese, but Tara wanted more than that -- the rest just kind of emerged from the Spanish starting point. It really wasn't that hard -- things kind of pace themselves automatically. You slice the onion after starting the potatoes, and then do the shrimp while the tortilla is cooking, and it all finishes at abut the same time. It's a light and refreshing meal.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grandma's Banana Bread

A recipe from my late grandmother, preserved for posterity in that great repository of deliciousness, the church cookbook. This was also an excuse to try out the mini loaf pans that Tara persuaded me to order over the holidays (it took a lot of persuasion).

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 0.5 cups butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar, then add bananas, milk, vanilla, eggs. Whisk together dry ingredients and fold into wet, stirring only enough to bring batter together. Pour into greased mini loaf pans, and bake at 375 until risen and golden on top (I'm not actually sure how long -- the recipe said 1 hour, but that got them a little burned).

Monday, June 9, 2008

Audrey's trip to the Hospital

On Monday, Audrey had a trip to the hospital to get tubes put in her ears. Since about Christmas, she has been having a hard time draining fluid from her ears, which results in frequent ear infections. It also has given her some degree of hearing impairment, leading to a slight speech delay. So after several failed attempts to clear the fluid with antibiotics, her doctors recommended tubes.

Everything went well -- apparently it's considered a pretty minor surgery these days, and she was only in the operating room for about 15 minutes. They just poke a little hold in the eardrum, suck out the fluid, and insert a doughnut shaped plastic tube to hold it open. Interestingly, the purpose is not to allow fluid to drain, as we had thought, but to allow pressure to equalize between the middle and outer ear, which prevents fluid from collecting in the first place.

They allowed one parent to go down to the pre-op area with her, and be in the operating room until she fell asleep. Mommy was elected for this. They gave me (Tara) a pair of scrubs to put on before going down (size XL was apparently all they could muster up). We sat with a couple of other babies going for different procedures in the pre-op area, met with the anesthesiologist, said a quick hello to our doctor, then it was time to go into the OR. They put a little mask over her nose and mouth for her to breath in the inhaled anesthetic, and after a few seconds of fighting the mask, as any normal child would, she fell peacefully asleep. They escorted me out to go back upstairs and wait for them to call me when she was done. I just barely had time to tell Scott how things had gone and change, when before I knew it they were calling me back to meet her in the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit, A.K.A. Recovery room).

They had warned us ahead of time that she would be a little "agitated" upon waking up from the anesthesia. Now this is a term that doctors, including myself, use often. Usually I use it to refer to some confused elderly patient in the hospital trying to get out of bed, pull out their IVs, etc., but I didn't really know what it would look like in a baby. Well, I found out as soon as I stepped off of the elevator and could hear my girl in the next room crying. She was wrapped in a blanket in a nurse's arms just flailing around, still with closed eyes. The nurse handed her to me, assuring me again that this was completely normal and to be expected -- it's just related to the disorientation babies experience after being under anesthesia. So I did my best to hold her, rock her and talk to her, but any attempts to calm her were really quite futile. We only stayed in the PACU a few minutes before going back upstairs to be reunited with Daddy. Daddy took over holding the flailing baby, and we managed to get her clothes back on, sign the discharge paperwork, and get on our way. She calmed down when we got outside, and crashed on the way home. After a long blissful nap, (for Mommy and Audrey), she awoke her usual happy self.

Many people have asked if we have noticed a difference in her now that she can presumably hear better. The answer is not quite yet. We expect that it will be a gradual process of catching up in terms of language development. We are in the process of looking into some speech therapy through a local early childhood intervention program. If she qualifies, then a speech therapist will come to her daycare one or twice a week and work with her. In the meantime, thanks to Aunt Diane Rush and a book about baby sign language, we are trying to teach her a few signs.

We thank everyone for their prayers and concerns through this experience. We are thankful it went well and looking forward to many fever-free months!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Italy Bound!

This evening, after a wine-and-cheese dinner at home, we purchased plane tickets to Italy for the first half of September! (above picture is from a trip I took in college). We've wanted to do this for several years now, and will finally have the chance to go. Obviously, we are excited. Humorously, we also received our tax rebate/stimulus check today. Which is of course great. But it means that, from a cash-flow perspective, we'll be spending our "save the US economy" money ... in Italy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Pictures!

In response to much ribbing for not posting in a long time, and many requests for more pictures, here is (a) a new post, which (b) announces that new pictures have been uploaded to our Picasaweb albums (available to the right). The 9-12 month album has been expanded, and a new 12-18 month album has been added.

Audrey has continued growing too fast -- we can't believe how grown-up she is already. She's walking (running, actually); playing on the kiddie swings, slide, and merry-go-round; feeding herself; and starting to talk a little bit. Unfortunately, she's also had many ear infections, and seems to have a hard time draining the fluid from her ears. This makes it hard for her to hear, and she's a little bit behind on speech development. But at this point, tubes seem likely, after which she should be back on track!

Scott has just finished his first year of teaching! It was harder than he expected, but was also a great learning experience. And while he is enjoying a summer to catch up on research, he is also looking forward to returning to the classroom next fall. Additionally, the spring weather means mountain biking with friends from small group on weekends, and possibly the occasional game of ultimate frisbee :).

Tara is almost finished with her first year of residency. It has been a hard year at times, especially when she doesn't get to see Audrey awake for several days. But she has persevered, performed well, and is looking forward to an ever-so-slightly easier year next year. Her final two weeks (end of June) will be easy, and she is looking forward to spending those weekends at home, with perhaps a spring shopping outing thrown in!

Car Envy

Behold, the 2009 Honda Fit! (Hint -- it makes a great background!)