Sew Excited!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The blog post title is corny, I know. However, in my attempt to become more crafty I've signed up for a sewing class, and I never thought I'd say this, but I am soo excited! There's a little studio in our town that offers classes, twice weekly for one month and it only costs $120, isn't that wonderful? I plan on using my tax refund to pay for the classes and to buy an inexpensive sewing machine, any recommendations?

The class, which doesn't begin until May, will teach me how to make a book bag, skirt and pajama pants, at least that's what they claim. I'm really looking forward to learning how to sew PJ pants because I intend to give them as Christmas presents this year(now that's planning ahead). And I may be getting a little ahead of myself here, but once I learn the basics I hope to sew little smock dresses for Hannah. I've already started looking at fabrics online to make the dresses with (I really like the designs in the picture), okay now I'm really getting ahead of myself.

Truth be told, I'm hoping this class will help me to better emulate the woman in Proverbs 31. I'm embarrassed to admit that I have so very few homemaking skills, but sadly I think that's typical for women of my generation. My mom and my grandmother both know how to sew. In fact, my mom made some of my clothes growing up and I loved them (remember that windbreaker, Mom?). Somehow homemaking skills became one of the many casualties of the sexual revolution, but I don't care what the neo-feminists say, I take great pride in preparing a delicious homecooked meal for my family, in keeping a tidy house and hopefully one day soon, in sewing little skirts for my daughter.

Homemaking 101

Monday, March 29, 2010

A little homemaking tip: a paste comprised of baking soda and water will clean just about anything. It even eliminated the breastmilk stains that I couldn't for the life of me get out! I'm sure this little "tip" is not news to most people, but for this fledgling homemaker, it's quite exciting.

BTW, this picture is totally how I look when I clean:)

It's Official

It’s official. I finally submitted the paperwork to the Social Security Administration to officially become Jennie R. instead of Jennie T. Geesh, it only took me two years to change my name. Socially, I’ve been going by my married name since May 2008, but professionally and financially I’ve remained Jennie T. But that will be the case no longer.

I’ll admit, I have mixed emotions about changing my name. I worked so hard to establish a good name and reputation for myself and now I feel like I have to start all over. Everybody knows Jennie T., nobody knows Jennie R. Okay, okay, I may be falling into a bit of over self importance here, but I do feel like I’m going back to square one.

Plus, it feels like by taking my new name that I’ve finally broken from my birth family. That makes me a little sad. Yet, I must remind myself, as I told my sister when she was commenting about how much I must miss my family by living in Massachusetts instead of California (which I definitely do), but I reminded her, “but Matthew and Hannah are my family now.” And they are and I have to remember that.

Of course, on the other hand I cherish becoming Jennie R. Jennie goes so well with my new last name and it’s a cute name, it sounds like a sporty mom name. Plus, I would never insist on clinging to my maiden name or God forbid, forcing Hannah to have a hyphenated last name. There is something simple and right about a family sharing a last name and now, my little family and I do.

Getting Back Into Shape

Friday, March 26, 2010
I went for my first run in about a year. Well, actually is was more like a run/walk and it didn't last that long. I'll be honest, it wasn't pretty, but I suppose no pain, no gain, right?

The Annunciation

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Let it be done unto me according to thy word." Through her simple yes and submission to the will of God, the Word was made Incarnate and Heaven and Earth were changed forever.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.


This picture is making me laugh today. If you haven't seen the movie Up, I would definitely recommend it, although we did think it was a bit heavy for a kid's movie.

Hannah's Surgery Recap- The Medical Version

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This post is for my mom, grandfather, sister and any other medically minded people. If you get squeamish with medical pictures, you may not want to look at the pictures, although they're not that bad.

Sagittal Synostosis, while not common, is not terribly uncommon. About 1 in 2,000 babies are born with this condition, although boys are more likely to be born with it than girls (for whatever reason). Researchers still do not know what causes Synostosis, usually it’s a fluke genetic occurrence. Our surgeon actually said he was surprised more children aren’t born with it.

In order to correct her Synostosis, the doctor made two small incisions near the back of her head and removed a 3cm wide strip of bone from her skull. I’m not sure how long the strip is, I think it’s about 4 inches. The surgery basically recreated a soft spot for her. Now her skull and brain can grow in the typical way.

She was given general anesthesia via a face mask and then an IV was inserted to continue administering anesthesia. However, the anesthesiologists (there were two) had trouble finding a vein, so our little baby had about seven (you know I counted) prick marks on her wrist. As a result, her wrist was bruised and swollen for the next day. Poor Hannah.

Once it started the actual procedure took about 2 hours. The entire surgery was endoscopic, but unfortunately she still lost some blood (which was expected) and had to be given a small transfusion (I think it was 30ccs of red blood cells). She was stitched up with dissolvable stitches and the incision sites were sealed with a special glue. The glue negates the need for bandages and such, an incredible invention.

According to Dr. Butler (the surgeon), the surgery went smoothly and the extent of her condition was just as he expected. All the doctors and nurses kept saying how great Hannah did during surgery and what a strong little girl she is. We’re so proud of her.

All in all, her recovery has gone beautifully. Her pain is gone (we were giving her infant Tylenol for a couple of days after the surgery) and she hasn’t had any swelling since we got home from the hospital. Her incisions have been a little sensitive (which is to be expected) and she has been a little more clingy. I’m sure the whole experience was a little traumatizing for her, shoot, it was traumatizing for me. But she’s back to her happy, smiley self now and we couldn’t be happier.

**Mom, sorry these pics are a little blurry, it was the best I could do.

My Little Love Bug

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Hannah has to wear a helmet until she can sit up on her own. She doesn't exactly love the helmet, but I think she's getting used to it. Poor baby. But I have to say, she looks really cute in it.

Coming Soon...

I really do intend to write a meaningful blog post soon and when I do I have some ideas on which to write about:

1. Hannah's Surgery Recap or What I Learned about Faith, Parenthood, The Power of Prayer and Myself When My 7-Week old Daughter Had to Have Surgery on Her Skull

2. I Really, Really Want to Be Crafty.

3. Lost- awesome episode! Finally Some Answers. Loving the Good vs. Evil, Fate vs. Free Will storylines. Not loving the mean priest who refused to absolve Richard of his sins. Please, that would so not happen. Although, I love that Richard put his wife's cross back on at the end of the episode.

4. My Fitness Plan To Get My Pre-Baby Body Back.

5. Easter Plans

6. Picture Post of My Cute Little Love Bug

Hannah Update

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The surgery went well and Hannah is doing great. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers!

I'll update more later.

Prayers Please

Friday, March 12, 2010
I’ve been putting off this post for about a week now, waiting until we had more information, but it looks like our little Hannah Claire is going to need surgery, and soon, Monday to be exact. Please pray.

During her last doctor’s appointment, the pediatrician noted that Hannah looked great and was a thriving baby, but that he was a little concerned about her head. Uh-oh, I thought and may have said aloud. He thought she could have a condition called Sagittal Synostosis, which is when two of the skull plates in an infant’s head fuse together prematurely. It’s not life threatening (thank God), but it does require surgery in order for the skull and the brain to continue to grow properly. After an x-ray and a CT scan today, it turns out he was right. Fortunately, she has a very mild version, which should make the surgery much simpler. (For more information on Craniosynostosis see the link below.)

The surgery is scheduled for Monday morning at 8am and will be performed at Mass General Hospital, which is one of the best, if not the best hospital in the country for pediatric neurosurgery. Fortunately, the procedure to fix her Synostosis is endoscopic (meaning it’s much less invasive than normal surgery) and should only take about an hour. Unfortunately, she will require anesthesia, which makes me really nervous, and she will have to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. She’ll be in the ICU for the first night and then moved to a recovery room for the second night. I’ll be able to stay with her both nights, I don’t think they could keep me out if they tried anyway. Then after she’s released from the hospital she’ll have to wear a helmet for a couple of months to ensure that her skull grows properly. But other than that, the doctor said the recovery should be quick and easy.

Naturally Matthew and I are really anxious about this (our baby needs surgery!), but we’re taking things one step at a time and both handling this in the most calm and rational manner possible. In other words, we’re holding up pretty well. And as Matthew said, “this will only make our family stronger.”

I do trust that everything is going to be okay. I’ve been praying to Hannah’s patroness, St. Clare, and to her guardian angel to protect her during the surgery. That reminds me, I should pray to the surgeon’s guardian angel too. Speaking of the surgeon, we met with him yesterday. It turns out he went to UCLA undergrad and his wife went to Berkeley. I figure those are both good signs. Plus, his secretary’s name is Jennie and spelled with an “ie’ too, so there you go. He specializes in Craniosynostosis (the generalized version of Hannah’s condition) and has performed this procedure many times. I trust him.

So, I ask you all, please pray. I know your prayers will help our little one get through this with a speedy recovery. Thank you!

Hannah's Procedure


Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I am overwhelmed with the welcome Hannah Claire has received. So many friends and relatives and even friends of relatives have sent Hannah such nice cards and adorable gifts. We have been so touched with everyone’s thoughtfulness. Thank you!

I’ve been taking pictures of Hannah with the gifts she’s received and mailing those pictures along with the thank you cards. People seem to like that. Of course, who wouldn’t love more pictures of Hannah? So, for good measure, here is Hannah with some of those gifts.


This Lent has been a bust thus far. I’ll admit it, I haven’t lived up to my Lenten sacrificial intentions. While I have been able to abstain from ice cream, I’ve nibbled on a cookie or two, or five. And I think I’ve made it to Mass once with Hannah.

While I oscillate between being disappointed with and forgiving of myself, I like to think there is one person who understands my struggles, The Blessed Mother. Our Lady understands the demands of having a little one to care for, the sleepless nights, the constant feeding, the exhaustion. Hopefully she will explain this to her Son and He will cut me some slack this Lent.

So while my Lent has not been what I originally had hoped, I can adjust my expectations and begin again. Instead of attending a daily Mass, I will try to pray during each of Hannah’s nursing sessions. Prayer does not require getting dressed or going anywhere, I can pray in the comforts of my own home whether I am showered or not. That’s the beauty of prayer, we meet God in the moment, just as we are. And He is always there, waiting.

The Office Baby

Friday, March 5, 2010

Last night’s episode of The Office was classic. I laughed the entire time, especially during the breastfeeding scenes. The best line of the night was when Pam is struggling to get baby Cecilia to latch on properly and Jim asks, “well, you are pushing out the milk, right?” He then proceeds to show her how she might do just that. Haha, I laughed so hard. And a male lactation consultant? Hilarious.

I also liked the line when Pam is explaining to the nurse why she doesn’t want Cecilia to have a binky because she’s read about nipple confusion and the nurse says, “Oh good, you know everything.” That’s totally me, I’m guilty of telling nurses and doctors all about what I’ve read (thank you Google) and I’m sure they secretly roll their eyes at me.

The episode succeeded in being both funny and sweet. I loved the look on Jim’s face when he found out they were having a little girl. I almost cried. Little girls are the best.

Two thumbs up, five gold stars and one thousand Schrutte bucks for this episode.


Do all mothers love their children as much as I love mine?

I hope so...

(Hannah's ballerina outfit is another thoughtful gift-thank you, Kerry and Isabel!)
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