Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why didn't anyone warn me?


So I got the message that after having children, there would be times that kids music would get stuck in my head. I was fully prepared for The Wiggles, Raffi and Disney to fill my head with their tunes that are easy to learn since they are aimed at those below 3 feet.

I was not, however, prepared to get the songs that every blinking, flashing toy in my house begin to spew the moment they are tapped stuck in my head. What makes it worse is that most of them take a classic song from my childhood and twist it into a monstrosity about walking, cooking, counting, wagging your tail, being your best friend or snuggling. What the heck!

Before we retired the jumparoo, it was:

(sung to Ol' MacDonald)
Lots of friends live on the farm,
Come along with me!
There's so much for us to do and animals to see.
Flocks of hens and horses too,
Roosters crow and cows say moo!
There's so much for us to do,

Harper was close to out growing the jumparoo but I think I jumped the gun a little on retiring it to the attic just so I wouldn't have to hear the song anymore.

Right now, there's two that keep making a daily appearance in my brain. The first from the walking dinosaur:

(think Mary Had A Little Lamb)
Happily we ride along, roll along, stroll along,
Happily we ride along on our dinosaur!

And from the toy kitchen:

(stolen from Dinah In The Kitchen)
Someone in the kitchen is laughing,
Someone in the kitchen today,
Someone in the kitchen is laughing!
Make friends every day!

Almost each toy also has their own strange version of counting to ten and a weird twist on the alphabet. If I start counting something, I'm usually singing one of the toy songs.

The worst is when you're sneaking across the room to peak at a sleeping child and your foot happens to encounter a stray toy lying in the middle of the floor. Not only does it scare the bejesus out of you and wake your child, but low and behold, now the freaking song is back in your head! So for those of you planning children in your future, consider yourself warned.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, July 29, 2011

Birthday Week

According to urbandictionary.com, birthday week can be defined by the following:

- The week surrounding one's birthday when they SHOULD get any wish they desire and all of their friends and family should bow to all of their whims of fancy.

Happy birthday week Squirrel!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ahhhh....sleep is good

So I realized I've been a little remiss in my blogging duties over the past few weeks but I have an excuse....LACK OF SLEEP! Man, oh, man can sleep deprivation really throw a girl off!

When we got back from Houston, Harper started having some funky nights. As in, waking up at 2am screaming her face off. So I'd get out of bed, pick the girl up and start the rocking routine. She'd fall asleep all nuzzled up on me, I'd creep back over to her crib to lay her down and the minute she hit the mattress, the crying routine would start all over. More than likely, after an hour or so I'd end up shooting her with a mouth full of ibuprofen and waiting until the little Booger passed back out.

Then she went from one time a night to two and three times a night. I was concerned there was something wrong....that she was in pain post-surgery, that those dang teeth were going to pop through any moment or (in a very sleep deprived, 2am freak out) that what if a scalpel or some other piece of medical equipment was sewn back in her and when she rolled over a certain way, it was causing her pain! Not too mention I was starting to feel like I might be over-medicating my daughter so needed to nix the ibuprofen routine. The bags under my eyes were increasingly getting bigger and darker and my ability to focus on a conversation was slipping away.

This last weekend, Jared had his annual D&E Golf Team Reunion and we were hosting in San Antonio. (And let me say, I think they were CRAZY for planning a golf trip in Texas at the end of July. Can you say heat stroke?) So Harps and I got the boot and hightailed it to Honey and Grandy's so that the boys could be boys.

Jared, Chris & Jeromie (They missed Brent Grilliot this year)

Thursday night, The Squirrel went through her 3x wake up routine. Friday night, my mother, God bless her, took the night shift and let me catch up on some zzz's. I think she must have been concerned that I would fall asleep at the wheel while driving her precious cargo of a grandchild around. And on Saturday, Dr. Boswell, a.k.a. Grandy, finally weighed in with his medical opinion. And I quote:
"Brooke, what you have here is a baby! And she's playing you and has you wrapped around her little finger. She knows that she can get rocked by her mom if she wakes up crying in the middle of the night."

"What Mom? I'm perfectly fine for our trip to the Farmer's Market. Why do you look so tired???"

Okay, crisis averted. Time to get serious. And thank heavens we were at H&G's house, far away from a father that wouldn't dare let his baby girl cry it out. Mom and I put on our game faces and after 1 1/2 hours of crying it out (mind you we had the video monitor and I was going in at timed intervals), the Girl gave in and admitted defeat. And low and behold, she slept the entire night! Sunday night, we were back home with Jared in house so I had to have a serious chat about the plan of attack. She will cry, she will be okay and we will not go pick her up. The wake up call started at 11pm, Jared huffed, puffed, moaned and complained but I held my ground and within 35 minutes, she was out - she actually face planted, head into knees while she fell asleep sitting up. And guess who slept the rest of the night? The Squirrel.

Last night I had a meeting and was leaving the house just before bedtime and getting back at 9pm. Okay Jared, man up and be tough. No picking her up, if you go in to soothe her it can only last 1-2 minutes and I promise she will be fine. And, you ask, how did it go? I quote:
"It was tough but I did it and she was fine."

Wahoo! I see sleep slowly creeping back into my future. Thank you, Dr. Ferber, for your harsh and cruel parenting techniques!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday - Apps Edition

I've passed on some App knowledge recently and thought I'd dedicate this Thumbs Up to some of my handiest, dandiest, most used Apps on my iPhone and iPad.

Thumbs Up for BlogPress.  If you are a blogger and you've tried posting from your iPhone or iPad, you know its not easy.  I introduce you to BlogPress.  Every now and again, I'll have some picture posting problems but it beats trying to post through a web browser.

Thumbs Up for Hanging With Friends.  If you play Words With Friends, try Hanging With Friends.  It's equally as addictive and I'm a fan.  Leave your user name in a comment and I'll happily challenge you to a game.  My only rule with Words or Hanging - if you lost the previous game, the loser has to be the one to request a new game with that opponent. 

Thumbs Up for Allrecipes.com and Epicurious Apps.  These are fantastic cooking apps that will create shopping lists, give step-by-step directions and have user ratings on all recipes.  You can browse by meal, occasion or ingredients in the comfort of a grocery store aisle and you'll always find a crowd pleaser.

Thumbs Up for the Zillow App.  While I am not house hunting and will not be house hunting anywhere in the near future, I love knowing details on a house for sale.  This app allows you to pull up houses for sale by your location and access information and pictures.  So say you're out cruisin' and you pass a fabulous house for sale.  You just have to know what it looks like inside. Wha-la!  All of the details are instantly at your fingertips!

Thumbs Up for White Noise.  With our recent stays in hotels and such, we've been able to turn on the White Noise App, set it by Harps and the Pack n Play and Jared and I can quietly continue on with our evening without having to sign full conversations to each other.

Thumbs Up for the Kindle App.  I've always been a big reader but since the Squirrel's come along, reading took a short hiatus.  Since I introduced this fantastic app into my life, I've been able to read again.  Since I always carry my phone or iPad on me, my books are now always with me.  If I'm rocking a baby to sleep, I can still pull up my book and happily read away.
Thumbs Up for pulse.  pulse let's you access all of your favorite online magazines in one swoop.  You can quickly browse the articles and pick and choose what you want to read at that moment.  If you get it, go through the tutorial.  It will save you alot of guessing on how this app works. 

Thumbs Up for Pandora.  Now I know Pandora is probably an app that everyone uses but if you have young children, check out Toddler Radio.  They put together a great mix of kid friendly music that doesn't make you want to rip your speakers out of the wall and drop kick them across a lake. 

So Peekers, I want to know what Apps you can't live without.  I'm always up for good suggestions and with the rate they produce these suckers, there's always a latest and greatest that you don't know how you previously lived without!

I receive no compensation for these products - I just like 'em.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Visitors from Far Away Lands

Harps had a very special visitor today.  Stephanie and I have been friends since the 2nd grade.  I have very few memories without Stephanie in them from the day we met until I moved to San Antonio in 9th Grade.   Here's just a glimpse of some of those memories through those years.  Yes, they were the 80's and early 90's so please don't judge the hair or outfits.

(I was an ax murderer for Halloween in the 4th Grade.  Don't ask. It must have been a phase)

She and her husband, Cooper, have been living in Dar El Salaam in Tanzania for the past two years and are in the process of moving back to Austin.  I love that they are going to be so close and, not only that, but they are expecting their own little Nugget in October!  He/she is currently being referred to as Guacamole Rose...until it has an official name and sex. 

So welcome back to Texas Steph, Coop and Guac!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


The dressing came off on Tuesday.  Harps still has some of the tape over her incisions which will stay until it falls off on its own but for now, we're seeing glimpses of the new belly!  Also, that goopy stuff from the bandage is peeling off too so she won't have the gray stuff on her stomach permanently. 

I present to you, Harper and The Bellybutton Song.

♪I've got a button and it's not on my shirt.♫

♫ ♪ I've got a button and its not on my skirt. ♪

♪ I've got a button and its right on me. ♫ ♫

♫ ♪ It's right in the middle of my tum-my. ♪ ♫

♫ ♪ It's my bellybutton, yea my bellybutton, yea my bellybutton. ♫

♪ ♫ It's right in the middle of my tum-my! ♪

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday

Thumbs Up for http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/.  We are now officially past the baby food stage and fully on table food but I wouldn't have made it through the last five months without this website. It has lived in its own happy, little screen on both my iPad and iPhone.  If you are forgoing store bought baby food, let this site be the encyclopedia to feeding your child.  It gives food charts, how to pick different fruits and veggies, age appropriate foods, how to prepare and freeze foods and recipes for babies that are good enough for the entire family.  I haven't tried making my own teething biscuits - that seemed a little advanced for this novice Betty Crocker. 
Thumbs Up for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.  Have you seen this show???  Oh, its so horribly wonderful.  Since there is nothing else on TV during the summers (except the return of True Blood - yes, I watch trash television and I love Eric Northman), I DVR'd a few episodes.  Pretty entertaining if I do say so myself.  Know, I know, there's this big debate about how the Travellers and Roma are depicted, that the show is noneducational, etc, etc.  But just watch it for the costuming alone.  Brilliant!  In case you're looking for it, there's a marathon coming up on July 23. Not that you would have all day to sit and watch the marathon but record them and watch one at a time.

Thumbs Up for my Rock Rose Bushes.  In case you haven't heard, we are in a drought....a severe drought.  Our grass - dying.  Our flowers - dead and dying.  Our Rock Rose Bushes?  THRIVING!  Thank you magnificent bushes for adding a splash of color in my, otherwise, brown back yard.  If you need a space filler and live in the fiery pits of the South, may I recommend this little beauty?

So I want to know, what's your favorite plant or flower for a garden?  Bonus points if its drought resistant!

I receive no compensation for these reviews - I just like 'em.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Letter to the Beckhams

Dear Posh and Becks,

We'd first like to extend our sincerest congratulations to you on the arrival of your newest addition.  After all of those beautifully rowdy boys, I'm sure your little girl will a budding fashionista (just like her mother) and the apple of her father's eye.   We were pleased to hear that she arrived healthy and wish you all the happiness in the world.

I would, however, like to discuss the matter of her name.  When Will and Katherine popped by for afternoon tea yesterday during their American tour, we were just talking about how excited we were for the two of you. (I just can't wait for those two to have a baby of their own for our babies to play with!)  But we were certain you'd go with something like Louisa, Beatrix, Sawyer or Poppy.

Now, we are honored that you would choose to name your daughter Harper.  We know what avid PIOW followers you've been and we just adored the John Hardy Pave Diamond Baby Bracelet you sent for Harper's birth.  We can't thank you enough for your generosity.  But don't you think it might get a little confusing now that there are TWO Harpers running in our circle of friends?  When we had dinner last year while I was pregnant, I know we both mentioned how much we liked the name Harper.  You were certainly gracious when we let you in on the little secret that our baby girl would be a Harper.  You failed to mention that it was topping the list on any future Beckhams. 
Jared and I specifically picked the name because it was unique and we were certain our little girl wouldn't have five other Harpers in her classroom.  I am afraid you might have just ruined that for her. 
And to go with a middle name like Seven?  Seven?  Really?  Harper needs a classic and beautiful compliment to it.  I think Harper Elizabeth rolls off the tongue like the bells of the Notre Dame.  But Harper Seven sounds a little, well, tacky. 
Please know that you can easily correct this faux pas with one simple action.  Just set up your press conference to announce that you "borrowed" the name from the Meabon family and that all die hard Beckham fans should show their support by choosing NOT to name future children Harper.  Either that or you can purchase the copyrights to the name, banning any other children to be named Harper for the next 100 years.  The cost would be like pennies for the two of you.  Do know that once this has been taken care of, there will be no harm done to our friendship and we will remain, as always, thick as thieves. 
Oh, and thank you for your voicemail that you left as you were on your way to the hospital.  Of course Jared and I would be delighted to serve as your Harper's Godparents.  You two are just too sweet. 

Brooke, Jared and The Original Harper

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Had you told us a week ago that we would be home the day following Harper's surgery, I might have rolled my eyes.  Guess what???  We were released from TCH yesterday, headed home and were back in time for dinner.  Am.Maz.Ing!

So let me back up and give the full report.  We got to Houston on Thursday afternoon and checked into our hotel.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn directly across the street from TCH which ended up being so convenient.  The Squirrel wasn't too happy about the drive there.  She slept for about an hour and woke up pretty fussy.  I sang, danced and entertained as best as possible while Jared drove until we decided to make a pit stop for some lunch.  When we got her out of her seat, we realized she'd had a full blow out.  No wonder she was unhappy -  she was covered in poop!  Quick change and clean up, lunch, back to the car and still not happy with the drive.   As you can imagine, this had Jar and me pretty anxious for the ride back home with a tender belly that was yet to come. 

Mom and Steve met us in Houston and we grabbed some dinner.  I think we were all pretty high strung at dinner anticipating the following day.  That night, we had the pack n' play all set up but Harper wouldn't go down.  She would fall asleep for about 30 minutes and then wake up crying.  At about 11pm, we pulled her in bed with us and, of course, she slept beautifully for the rest of the night.  Now her parents?  Not so much sleep on our end. 

The alarm went off at 5am and we were ready to go at 5:45am.  We woke up the Squirrel and we were off to Texas Children's Hospital.   TCH offers free valet parking for 24 hours when your child is having surgery.  What a great amenity!  By 6:15am, we were checked in at the hospital and then the waiting began.  We were in the Surgery Waiting Room with about 15 other families.  Keep in mind, like most of the children in there, Harper's last meal was her bottle before bed.  There were a few fussers but the Girl was a trooper!  She sucked on that paci for dear life but, otherwise, was just sleepy and observant. 

At 7:30am, Harps name was called and we were brought back into the Surgery Holding area.  Harps got changed into the official TCH pj's.  After that, we had almost all of the doctors and nurses that would be with her through surgery come talk to us.  This is where TCH does it right.  As I've mentioned before, I don't feel totally comfortable when I'm not in control.  Each person from the medical team explained what their role would be throughout Harper's surgery, when we would get updates, what the expected timeline of each procedure would be and what would happen following surgery.  How great is that!  Dr. Cass came and checked in with us.  He said he'd been putting alot of thought into Harper's bellybutton and he was pretty sure he had a plan but alot of it would be trial and error. 

Dr. Nguyen was her anesthesiologist.  She was about 5' 2", cute, young and had on a bright surgical hat.  This was perfect and Harper took to her immediately.  When it was time (about 8:20pm), Dr. Nguyen reached out for Harper and she went straight into her arms without a peep.  We watched the team walk off with Harps and it wasn't until she was out of my site that I lost it.   Not too bad, but I definitely needed a full timeout. 

They took Harps back and gave her laughing gas which put her to sleep.  She was then given her IV.  They tried to put in an arterial line about 5 times (hence the bruises and pokes on her hands and feet) but couldn't get the line established.  From what I understand, it's pretty hard to get an A-line in a baby and we think this is what took so long prior to her first incision being made.  She was then put fully under and they put in her breathing tube.  The anesthesia team used a sonogram to go between the planes of her muscles and numb all of the nerves around her abdomen.  They started with the first incision at 9:15am.  From there, Jared, Mom, Steve and I kept busy by playing Words with Friends, playing Hanging with Friends, going to get food and trying to stay busy. 

At 11:30am, we got the call that Harper was out of surgery and we could go back to recovery to see our girl.  Jared and I headed back and she was just coming to when we walked up.  Whew!  She was one unhappy girl!  You could tell she was really confused and pretty out of it.   The nurse put her in my arms right away and we were able to sit down, rock her and get her calmed down.  The breathing tube left her thoat sore and sounding like a lifetime smoker (she's still a little raspy today).

Dr. Cass came in to give us the report and was practically skipping!  He said she did amazingly well.  He really didn't have to mess with her organs at all and her liver basically was able to be slid out of the way.  Dr. Cass brought her abdominal muscles together over the organs, attached them together and then spent a good deal of  working on that bellybutton.  He drew us a little diagram of what he did and said it was about as good as any bellybutton he'd ever made.  That's also when he told us that she'd done so well and everything had looked so good going in that he thought we'd probably get to head home the following day. 

Harper downed 5 oz of Pedialyte, got a good dose of Lortab (just like Vicodin) and then passed out in my arms.  It took a couple of hours to get a room so we hung out in recovery during that time.  We watched all of the kids coming in from their surgerys and that anesthesia is just not pleasant!  They didn't have a room on the general surgery floor so our room was on the Pediatric Neurological floor.  It was nice and quite up there and our nurses were rockstars.

Harps was pretty listless for the rest of the afternoon and just wanted to be held.  The anesthesia turned her bright red while it was wearing off so the girl looked more like she'd sat beachside too long.  We kept her drugged up and at 5pm, she woke up ready to get some energy out.  She was still pretty loopy but she was trying to pull herself up to stand.  For a couple of hours, she'd wake up, play hard for about 5 minutes and then pass out completely.  She even managed to eat a little dinner that night.

Jared and I were both going to stay the night at the hospital but since Harper was clearly wanting to be held and the pull out bed was about the size of my dorm bed from my freshman year at Texas Tech, we made the call that Jared would stay at the hotel and I'd sleep with the girl.  She slept with me through the night and was pretty fitful as the drugs would wear off but another dose would put her back to sleep.  The team had to come in and check her stats every 3 hours but we made it through the night. 

The next morning, Harps woke up and was totally herself again!  She was up, moving around and, with the exception of her bandages and IV, you wouldn't have known the child had just gone through major abdominal surgery.  They say children are resilient but this was ridiculous!  I wish I could pop back that quickly after a C-section! 

We were discharged at 11am and on the road back home.  We gave Harper her Lortab before we got in the car and she was out for the entire drive from Houston to San Antonio. 

It was nice to be home but we were exhausted!  Thank you Pam, Cindy and Martha for the fabulous dinner - definitely a gift to not have to worry about food when we got home.  Harper got really fussy and sore last night just before bedtime and then woke up from 10pm - midnight.  We are giving her the Lortab every 6 hours as needed so today we're trying to stick with Motrin through the day and Lortab in the evenings and through the night.  We can take her bandages off on Tuesday but the incision tape will stay on until it falls off on its own.  I'll post some pictures as we start to see progress.  We have to keep the area dry until Tuesday so it'll be sponge baths until then and we're keeping her in loose dresses.  If you see us over the next couple of days, please excuse Harper's greasy hair and lack of bloomers under her dresses and please excuse her parent's dark circles under our eyes!

We had such a great experience at Texas Children's Hospital and are SO happy we made the decision to go with the slow process of the compression wrap over the last 9 months as opposed to a series of surgeries right away.  We would recommend Dr. Cass to anyone and everyone!  Thank you again for all of the prayers, positive thoughts and support as we lead up to surgery. 

Now, time to start life, post-omphalocele!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Surgery complete!

Out of surgery and she did great. Waking up and cranky now but Dr Cass was so happy with how she did and we might even get discharged tomorrow!!! Thank you to everyone for all of the prayers and support! I'll post details later.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Surgery Update

We handed Harps off to the anesthesiologist at 8:15a. They were going to wait until she was asleep to iv her and put in the breathing tube. We just got a call that surgery started at 9:15am. She's doing good and surgery is expected to last 2 hours. They decided not to put in an arterial line so that's good. Please keep those prayers going!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Surgery Update

We're all checked in and waiting in the holding area. Harps has on her "official" TCH pj's and we're ready for action! The girl is tired but being so calm and sweet. Fitting that her pj's are Steelers yellow and black. More as we have updates.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday

Thumbs Up for our AMAZING family and friends!  I can't help but devote this week's entire Thumbs Up Thursday to each and every one of you that has called, texted, emailed, posted comments, written cards and letters and stopped by to let us know that you are thinking about and praying for our Harper-girl as she gets ready for Friday.   And then to open our front door this morning to find a basket filled with little treasurers, cards, bible verses and words of encouragement!  Oh my, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. 
As we head towards Friday, we can't help but feel anxious and scared.  We know Harper is in the BEST of hands and that the preparation she's had over the last eleven months has made this surgery as low risk as it could possibly be.  If I haven't responded to you over the last week, let me apologize.  We've tried to keep busy and keep our minds off of Friday but please know how appreciated your words have been and that they haven't gone unnoticed. 

We head to Houston today.  We will check Harper into Texas Children's at 6am on Friday morning.  Her surgery is scheduled to begin at 8am and surgery is expected to last a couple of hours.  I will try to keep the blog updated as we get news on Friday.  I ask that you continue to cover Harps in your prayers for a successful surgery and a quick recovery. 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
-Joshua 1:9