new things afoot

Forgive an excited mother that awful pun, would you? Henry got his first prosthetic this morning!

Checking things out and getting his balance.

Henry’s wonderful prosthetist, Richard.

 

For now, Henry’s job is to get used to wearing his prosthetic while he does his usual baby things. He needs to learn to crawl, climb, and pull up with it, and he needs to work on standing on two feet rather than only his right foot. These things will help build muscles on his left side. We’ll go back to see Richard and Henry’s physical therapist, Colleen, in two weeks. 

We want to take a moment today to thank those of you who have prayed for us, wished us well, and loved us. We have appreciated each and every kindness, both material and not, and we feel blessed by you. Henry is so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family in his corner.This is by no means the end of his road, or ours, but it’s a milestone for us, and we’re glad to share it with you. 

Below, standing! And some practice steps!

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A friend

I know it’s cheesy to do this, but today I’m grateful that my husband is also my friend. I just ordered delivery, and I can’t wait to eat with him and talk about our days. For dessert: IKEA assembly. And chocolate. 

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resurgens (the city you live in)

Our mailing address says Decatur, and we technically live in unincorporated DeKalb County, but we call Atlanta our home.  I’ve written about my love for this place before, but we’re always finding new things to appreciate. Here are a few photos of our recent adventures about town. 

 
    
    
    
  

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something someone gave you

I don’t wear my engagement ring too often these days.  Henry is a twiddler, and if he’s not playing with my ring, it’s snagging his clothes or leaving indentions in my finger while he’s nursing.  Not great for mom duties.  I’m always a little afraid I’ll damage it.  I wore it yesterday, though, and I’m wearing it again today while Henry’s at school.  It’s nice to wear something impractical, something from another time.  It reminds me why we got into this whole parenting thing in the first place.

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family

I think it’s best to combine weeks three and four of the year-long gratitude challenge. Yes, I am already behind. But that’s not the only reason. Promise! Anyway, my family is important to me. Sometimes I forget just how important. We live far away, we rarely talk, etc. Henry’s birthday gave me the chance to see and talk to lots of family, though, including my Aunt Nydia. Nydia is my mom’s eldest sister.  She helped to raise all of us.  I’m especially grateful for her because she talked me into applying to college.  She took me to visit Huntingdon during the Thanksgiving break of my senior year in high school.  I fell in love with the campus, as she knew I would, and the rest is history.  Everything I hold dearest, just about everything that defines me–my husband, my closest friends, my education and career–I really owe to her.  She’s kind and thoughtful and wonderful, and I love her.  She’s been a wonderful example for me throughout my life–as a woman who pursued higher education despite adversity, among other things–and I am better for having her in my life.  My whole family is.

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cast off!

Around four o’clock yesterday afternoon, Henry decided he was done with his cast and slid it right! off! his leg during a diaper change.

Cue lots of panic on my part. Dr. S agreed with Henry when he examined him this morning, though, so now Henry is cast and pin free. 

We go back in two weeks so that Dr. S can check the incisions and give us the okay to begin the prosthetic process. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to splashy baths! And maybe a little less to panic about. 

(Did you hear that, Henry?)

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this man of mine

The chart for the Gratitude Challenge tells me I’m supposed to write about Michael this week. That’s not hard at all. I love him deeply. He’s perfect for me. I’m thankful for him every day. Today just happens to be our son’s first birthday, though, so I have an especially potent reminder of how amazing Michael is. Here are two photos from a year ago today.  

  Our last non-parent selfie. 

The first photo I have of Michael holding Henry. 

Michael is a wonderful husband, a true partner, supportive and caring and funny and loving. And he’s the best dad I know. Neither of these are super great quality photos, and neither shows what I want to say, but they’re important to me. 

And all of a sudden, it seems, it is hard to write what Michael means to me, why I am so thankful for him. I could go on forever, but I think you’d still be in the dark. And now that I’m writing, some of what makes him so wonderful, what makes me so thankful, seems too precious, too tender and raw for writing. Maybe it’s just for me. And him. To say I couldn’t do this, any of this, without him, seems like hyperbole. It isn’t. Still, perhaps it’s truer and a bit kinder to myself to say I wouldn’t want to do any of this without him. 

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two more weeks

Waving with Daddy

Henry had a follow up with Dr. S this morning. It appears that his tibia is healing well, but there isn’t as much bone growth between the calcaneus (heel bone) and the tibia as Dr. S would like to see. So, Henry will have his candy cane cast for at least two more weeks. We go back on January 20, at which point it will come off (unless X-rays say otherwise) and we’ll know more about how his incisions are doing. We have instructions to set up an appointment with the prosthetist for late January or early February. 

Meanwhile, life goes on. Henry’s first birthday is this weekend, and we’re getting ready for a little party with family and friends. We’re thinking about where to get his first hair cut. I’ve rescheduled his one-year checkup for after the cast comes off, but everything else moves right along. As things do. 

 

a year of thanks

I am not really into resolutions, though I am always trying to do and be better. I guess I tend to focus on an idea or concept as a year begins to blossom. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes not. Last year had a lot to do with survival. A bright spot for me in all that was November and the thankfulness posts I made here. This year, I am going to focus on being thankful all the time with this Gratitude Challenge you may have seen floating around. I’ll write here each week along these lines:  

I may not stick exactly to this list. I may also throw in a couple of 30-day photo challenges. We’ll see. But this is a start. Too often, I let daily upsets keep me from seeing how wonderful my days truly are. I hope to change that, at least a little. 

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merry happy

We spent a lot of time choosing Christmas cards this year.  We don’t like the ones with glitter, we don’t like them too glossy.  We didn’t want a specially printed We-Had-A-Baby! photo card.  The cards we chose were simple, smart and sparse, with a decent printed message and plenty of room for supplementing that with notes to our friends and family.

Those cards are still hanging in their bag by the front door, waiting for stamps, addresses, and special messages.  It’s Christmas-Eve-Eve.  There’s just no time, alas, no energy or patience for trips to the post office or to look for the address book.  It makes me a little sad.

JSTOR Daily had an article this week on the history of the American Christmas card tradition.  I always love to read things like this.  I was especially interested in this bit:

In “The Female World of Cards and Holidays: Women, Families, and the Work of Kinship,” Yale anthropologist Micaela di Leonardo explains that the practice thrived amid postbellum industrialization and the demise of the family farm. As relatives spread out geographically, women assumed responsibility for “the work of kinship” and became caretakers of extended family connections. Christmas cards were a convenient way for them to nurture relationships among their husbands, children, and distant relatives.

I suppose I knew this already, that Christmas cards are “the work of kinship.”  The thing I’m telling myself, this year, is that this blog is also doing some of that caretaking work.  Our family and friends are spread far and wide.  This website keeps us close to them…or tries to, at any rate.

And so, dear friends and loved ones, we wish you a very happy holiday, from our little family to yours.  May all your days be merry and bright.

christmas!-2

Photo by Devin Nutter Photography.  Snowflakes are purely wishful thinking, as the forecast for Christmas here is 75 degrees and rainy.

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