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Counting Down

So remember how I said having a 15 month old in a spic cast is a lot like those first weeks with a newborn? It’s still true, but I completely forgot the part when baby comes home and for days (weeks, months?) you completely fail at all forms of adult interaction – email stops, you forget how to answer your phone (or maybe you just forget how to turn the ringer back on) and you feel like you haven’t seen your friends in years. That’s where we’ve been. (And you just thought we were terrible bloggers… that too.)

But in spite of all that, the past 5 weeks have just flown by and we cannot believe that we’re in the final countdown to Cast Off. Just five more days!! OH, we forgot to tell you, the cast is coming off June 22nd – this Friday! See, terrible at all forms of communication…

While we’ve failed at keeping up with our friends or keeping anyone in the loop on life with a spica cast, we have had some great adventures. Two weeks after Nathan’s surgery we had a follow up appointment with his orthopedist and got permission to put him on the floor to scoot around and entertain himself - I think this is what saved us and made sure not a single caregiver quite. After a few days of only being able to go backwards, Nathan got the hang of arming crawling with 10 pounds of fiberglass and these days he can get himself all over the house. I told you this was going to happen.

Nathan backed himself under the chair and got stuck

Each weekend we’ve done a little more. We took a day trip out to Pelham to hang out with family and eat lots of really good food.

hanging with Auntie Sarah

Nathan didn’t get to hang out with his pony but he met new friends and was perfectly charming. Until the drive home. The trip home taught us that over an hour in his medical car seat is just too long and after sleeping for the first hour of the trip Nathan cried the rest of the way home. Other than that, it was a great day.

We visited LLBean and Nathan picked out his own water bottle just like Mama’s so she doesn’t have to share anymore. He was thrilled with it and yelled at the sales lady for wanting to ring it up...

so excited he fell asleep snuggling it

the end of a long, fun Memorial Day weekend

The first weekend in June we made the trip up to Niagara Falls so that Nathan could meet his Great Great Grandmother. Grammy and Papa got us plane tickets so that we didn’t have to do the 8 hour drive. Yes, that’s right - our first ever flight with a baby was with a baby IN A CAST that requires a special car seat and is unhappy sitting in one position for an hour. And we had 5 days to plan the trip. Thankfully, the rest of the family was driving up so took everything we weren’t going to need for the flight itself.

take off was exciting, now what?

It was insane and went amazingly smoothly and was absolutely worth it.

Five Generations

And we’ve been hosting bible study each week, holding down jobs, feeding ourselves, comforting sore muscles, and even getting laundry done! Throw in Nathan’s ever changing sleep schedule, recent ability to roll over in his cast, expanding vocabulary and new tooth, and maybe it’s not the casts fault that we’re terrible at keeping in touch - maybe we’re just busy.

"apple" - new word and new favorite food

appah!

In any event, we can’t wait for Nathan to get his cast off and to see what July has in store for us. I think first on the list for post-cast adventures is getting Nathan a life jacket... anyone want to go boating?

Father’s Day Festivities

I think Father’s Day is one of the best holidays ever. Even if it was invented by people who wanted to sell more greeting cards. Tim had to work on Saturday, so he took Friday off and we started our celebrating early by taking Nathan to the Aquarium.

Nathan’s Top Ten Things to See at the Aquarium:

Penguins
Other Children
Penguins
Jellyfish hanging from the ceiling that looks like a “ba!” (ball)
Colorful Fish
Penquins
Harbor Seals
Sealions
Penguins and more
Penguins

look - penguins!

thinking about climbing in the tank

best fish in the whole place

snack time

After working all day Saturday, Tim came home to a big surprise - a Weber grill from my parents - two years of father’s day presents rolled into one. We of course had to have burger for dinner.

grilling with Grandpa!

We had a leisurely Sunday morning at home (thanks to Nathan napping through both church service times - another part of life with a newborn that I’d forgotten about) and Sunday dinner with the Bongiovanni clan.

going for a walk (snooze) with Papa

I’m already looking forward to Father’s Day 2013.

Cast Off!

guess what today is

cast off day!

Well, we did it - we made it through 6 weeks with a spica cast. We may still have sore muscles and bags under our eyes, but I’m pretty sure it would have been a lot worse without our wonderful family and friends and extra wonderful, mostly cheerfully baby. I’m also pretty sure another 6 weeks would have been really really hard.

Nathan’s cast came off last Friday afternoon, just in time for the end of Boston’s beginning of summer heat wave. We are so glad that the real heat didn’t arrive any earlier in our 6 weeks with the cast or Nathan would have been really really grumpy and the cast would be been really really gross.

Nathan hated having the cast cut off. The saw is loud, it makes his whole body vibrate, and it’s a SAW cutting something off of his BODY - it’s scary. The cast was cut down the sides of his legs to create a “front” and “back”. It was not nearly as gross on the inside as I’d expected, although Nathan’s back especially was really dirty. We were told his skin was in much better shape than many kids they see, even after “just” six weeks.

Nathan forgave us the whole cast cutting experience on the walk from the cast room to radiology, just in time to throw another fit when he saw the x-ray table. X-rays aren’t loud and scary, but you can’t tell a 16 month old that.

waiting in the hall is better than waiting with the scary x-ray machine

The most frustrating part for me and Tim was that at each step Nathan threw a fit, got taken out of his cast, and then just as he was calming down, had to have the back of his cast wrapped back on. And yet, no one told us this. So we’d calm him down, start getting ready to put him in a real (cloth) diaper and fiberglass-dust-free clothes just to be told, actually, he has to say in the back of the cast until the Orthopedist takes him out of it... Ummm, but Mr. Cast Cutting Guy, you just lifted him out of it... ummm, Mr. X-Ray Guy, you just took x-rays of him without it. So then we’d get another crying fit as the back of the cast was ace bandaged on.

all wrapped up

And the x-ray guy starting wrapping Nathan up before we could put a diaper on him (clearly, this guy doesn’t have kids) so I hastily tucked one in around the cast and bandage and we got a cute hospital gown for privacy and protection (ha!) against any accidents while we waited to see the orthopedist.

are we done yet?

And then we saw Nathan’s orthopedist, everything looks as she expected, and we’ll see her in a month “when Nathan’s walking” (her words!!) to evaluate how the leg length discrepancy is doing and how the hip is working. We still had one more stop at the brace shop, then we had to get the medical car seat returned and Nathan’s car seat installed, and finally we were ready to go home.

waiting at the brace shop - then we can go home!

Nathan was exhausted and his muscles were sore, but we were all excited at the prospect of a bath when we got home - until Nathan actually got in it and the position required to sit in it just hurt his stiff legs too much.

This week Nathan has gone from being very protective of his right leg to moving around and playing a lot like his usual self. He’s still crawling as if he has a cast on, but he’s kneeling and pulling himself up a bit and it only took a few days for him to start sitting comfortably on his own. A day of playing on stiff, weak muscles leads to a sore grumpy baby, so nights are once again a challenge (I think there were a few days in week four or week five when we were all sleeping...) but days are soooo much easier. And so much fun! I think Nathan appreciates the absence of fiberglass between us as much as we do because he’s been extra cuddly and huggy this week.

Physical therapy starts on Monday!

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