Author Archives for Anna Zabinski

A Trip Across the Pond

February was a non-stop month for our family. We left for Europe on the 3rd for trip to London, Prague and Vienna. Our plans quickly changed when we arrived to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport with all of our bags and a baby that was not in the mood to sleep on our overnight flight. We ended up staying in London for the two-weeks we were abroad and that couldn’t have been a better decision. There is so much to see, and truth be told, we have not ever really spent that much time in one city when traveling abroad so it was a very nice change. Being able to take our time, relax and spread out our agenda instead of tackling London in a matter of a few days was a treat. We have found when traveling with a baby it is so much easier to get around on foot, so Adeline spent lots of time riding in her stroller while we walked (63 miles!) and explored historic sites, galleries, gardens and more.

I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy London until being there. With more time on our side in one city we were able to spread out our plans and visit one big attraction each day we were there. One day it was the National Gallery which amazing and full of so many beautiful pieces by artists from all parts of Europe spanning centuries. The National Gallery is close to Covent Garden as well, so we were able to walk around, shop a little and explore that part of town. Another day was spent at the Churchill War Rooms. This exhibit was one of our favorites and gave us a chance to learn more about Winston Churchill’s legacy and see the bunkers-turned-museum where he ran World War II.

Throughout our time there we also visited Kensington Palace by way of Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, parts of Canary Wharf, saw the London Eye and the London Bridge (aka Tower Bridge) and toured Westminster Abbey. I know I am forgetting some of our other adventures during the trip, but these were some of my favorite days.

Since we were expecting to travel around Europe we only booked our hotel for part of the time and switched from The Intercontinental to The JW Marriott Grosvenor House, and stayed there the remaining of our trip. The hotel has a fascinating history spanning nearly 350 years and is in an ideal location overlooking Hyde Park and situated in a area of town called Mayfair. When booking the hotel, we knew the reviews were good but we weren’t familiar with all the areas of London. We were pleased with the hotel but especially with its placement – close to many cafes, restaurants, shopping and Hyde Park, it was a great spot for staying with a baby and getting around town. One of the coolest parts of the hotel though, was the Great Room and all the functions that have been hosted from royal affairs to parties, balls and awards ceremonies. During our stay was the BAFTA festivities. Leaving our hotel one morning on the day of the awards ceremony we ran into piles of paparazzi in lines getting ready for what we learned was the “official” after party. The Grosvenor House hosts the after party of the BAFTA Film Awards each year and it was fun to see the red carpet and think about all the celebrities that would be attending our hotel. Adeline ended up staying up past her bedtime that night to see all the stars arrive. 😉

We were sad when the time came to leave and head home, but we made some wonderful memories as a family, took lots of pictures to share with Adeline when she’s a little older and booked another trip back for later this year (we just couldn’t get enough!). We are hoping that later this fall when we head back we can explore other parts of the country like Oxford and the countryside in addition to a trip over to Scotland too.

Although we hated for our trip to end, upon arriving in Atlanta you realize how true the saying, “there is no place like home.” Adeline perked up when we walked in our door and she saw her room and all of her toys. We all adjusted pretty well to the time difference and Adeline only had a few early mornings in the days following. We were so glad because the inaugural Sips for Hips Atlanta was about a week away! We got busy in the days following our arrival home and looked forward to the upcoming event. Planning to post a separate post just for that soon.

Ciao for now!

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New Year, [Finally] New Post

Heading into 2019, I made a goal to continue posting (more frequently) in this online journal and sharing all about life, as we know it, with our little angel Adeline. Well, here we are at the beginning of March and I am completing my first post of the New Year. Forgive me as I pause and wonder where in the world the last three months have gone! Between Adeline, two family trips and our fundraising event, Sips for Hips Atlanta, my world has been in overdrive.

In January we escaped to Virginia Beach to visit some dear friends and had the nicest time exploring the city. We had the best stay at the historic and newly restored Cavalier Hotel, an elegant and charming setting on the hill near the ocean coast that has hosted many US presidents and celebrities since 1927. Traveling with an infant you learn to appreciate room service and hotel restaurants even more, and we dined at Becca for multiple meals, and it did not disappoint. If you are in the area or looking for a nice getaway, head to The Cavalier and you won’t be disappointed. It was a bit chilly in January, but still very nice and alive – I would imagine it would be a treat to spend some time there in the warm weather too and enjoy The Cavalier’s oceanfront beach club.

Between returning from our trip to Virginia and preparing to head across the pond in February, Adeline mastered “Dada” (on repeat, I might add), she’s getting into position to crawl, has begun a new thing of side-sleeping and smiles all day every day – we can’t get enough. We went to London at the beginning of February for a couple weeks (post coming soon), and upon returning home, Adeline learned to wave, make more sounds and babble words (what we think is “hi” and “bye”). We are enjoying each and every minute of it all, and preparing for her upcoming operation.

To all of our friends and family that have shown us so much support these last several months, I plan to pick up this journal again so I can keep you in the loop of everything that is coming up with Adeline and our new “normal” after her surgery. You will be hearing more from me, starting now!

Thanks for following along. We love you all!

Birthday Round-up

Birthdays are always sweet, but they are a little sweeter when some of your favorite brands recognize your special day too. Nowadays, email campaigns are a big part of brand marketing and the way companies connect with their customers. When you sign-up for their email list you are likely to receive communications about promotions, new items, sales and more. But it is even nicer when you receive customized emails as well, like for your birthday. This year, I was pleased to get several from brands I love, and many of which offered discounts or products just because of my birthday. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Moe’s: Free entree within 7 days of your birthday
  • Sephora: Free Birthday Gift – Choose one from a few different options
  • Starbucks: Free item of choice (beverage or food item)
  • Regal Cinemas: Free Small Popcorn
  • Loft & Ann Taylor – $10 off any purchase $50+
  • Michael’s: 50% off any one regular priced item
  • BareMinerals: Any full size Matte Liquid Lipcolor
  • Exhale: 40% savings on a therapy and 10% off purchase in boutique
  • Nike: $20 off a purchase of $100 or more
  • Cyc Fitness: 1 cycle class

PSA: It is free to sign-up for these email lists, and when your special day rolls around you can enjoy the great benefits!

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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The Christmas season has gotten a whole lot sweeter this year with our new addition. Adeline is growing like a weed, so interactive with a budding personality, all smiles and giggles, just a bundle of joy. Greg and I look at each other daily, multiple times, wondering how it is possible to love her so much, but she surely has become our whole world and I would not change it for anything. We started our Santa tradition with her at Phipps Plaza in early November. We couldn’t get over how well she did…she loved Santa, or maybe it just was all of the attention she received getting her picture taken! We took a family trip to pick out a Christmas tree, decorated it with lights and ornaments by the fire, and Adeline got her first pair of Christmas jammies, and elf shoes (courtesy of her Aunt Grace), and now as I sit here typing, we have just had the most magical day as a family at The Biltmore Estate.

Adeline loved The Biltmore – the lights and decorations, the gold mirrors and chandeliers, the people everywhere. She was permanently wide-eyed all day today taking it in. The nice thing about a day pass to The Biltmore is that it allows you to re-enter as many times as you would like during the 24-hour period. After touring the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of the house, lunch and meanwhile Adeline skipping her midday nap to take it all in, we headed back to our hotel to let her snooze. We must have worn her out because she slept for almost 2 hours (which NEVER happens)! We went back this evening to finish the home tour and see the Christmas lights at dusk.

We couldn’t have picked a better day to explore The Biltmore Estate than today; clear skies, fair temperatures and not too crowded (assuming Monday had something to do with that), which made getting in and out and seeing all the sights super easy. Adeline is asleep now getting rested for another day of exploring tomorrow. Can’t wait to recap our entire Asheville trip when we get back home. Until then, goodnight to all!

What’s Next

The past several days since Adeline’s operation last Friday have been spent focusing in on what is important. We have taken these days to spend family time together and it has been wonderful. This time of year is special and helps me refocus on what is truly the most valuable thing in life. As I reflect upon this year, I realize how much we have been blessed with and it overwhelms me – for the experiences Greg and I have had to travel the world, for welcoming our precious Adeline in June, for the opportunity I have to get to stay home with her, good health and happiness, celebrating a year of marriage, and the list goes on. Today I am also thankful for Friday’s procedure. That may sound funny since it was not successful, and although we did not get the results that we were hoping for, we have so much to be grateful for including the wisdom of Adeline’s doctor and all the other orthopedic specialists who are helping children and adults battling Hip Dysplasia, for treatment options, and for the chance we have to plan a fundraising event in February to raise awareness. A lot of things we never expected have come out of this journey and we know God is at work.

I wanted to share a little more details from her procedure and where we go from here. On Friday Adeline’s surgeon attempted to manipulate her hip back into place without making an incision, in basic terms. For those who like medical terminology, he was attempting to put her femoral head back into the hip socket while she was relaxed under anesthesia in what is known as a closed reduction. Assuming there would be a better chance at movement with her asleep he would make a very small incision to insert dye that would help guide him as he monitored the placement on the screen and if needed, he could clip a tendon to give some more release and make it easier to place (I think I got that description right!). For Adeline, we learned she has a severe case of dysplasia on her left side and her doctor knew pretty immediately it was not budging and the closed reduction would not work for her. There is something blocking the hip from being able to go into the socket; it could be fat tissue or cartilage that has built up in there over time, we aren’t sure. Within about 20 minutes or less he came back to our room to deliver the news and within about 10 more minutes we heard a hungry baby being carried down the hall and Adeline was back in my arms ready to eat.

The next step in her treatment will take place when she is about 9 months old (in March) to give a chance for her bones to mature some more. That operation is called an open reduction. This surgery will be more involved, invasive and take a little longer and simply put, they will put her under anesthesia, make an incision, cut out the blockage and clean out her hip socket, place the femoral head where it is supposed to go and put her in a cast (called a Spica cast). She will be in a cast for about 8 weeks with a cast change after those 8 weeks and another cast for about 6-8 weeks. After the cast comes off she will graduate to a rhino brace for about 3 more months full time then begin weaning out of it.

We feel very content and positive about this outcome. Yes, we would have loved to be able to have her treated sooner and out of the cast, but we know for her case this is the best path forward and will ultimately help her long term. And who knows, once the open reduction happens, her left hip could progress faster than we expect and her be out of a cast in only 8 weeks. We have realized once again what we already knew before, life is full of surprises along the way, and this is out of our control, but we will do what we need to do to help our little girl.

We cannot thank you all enough for the thoughts, prayers, and support. We were overwhelmed by all of the encouraging words through your comments, calls and texts. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the love you have poured on us. We felt wrapped in prayers on Friday.

Wishing you each a very Happy Thanksgiving with lots of joy and love.

With sincere gratitude,
Anna

Adeline’s Upcoming Operation

I have been absent for a little while focusing all my energy and attention on Adeline and I finally have a chance to type what has been on my mind these last several weeks. As I sit here and write this, I watch my sweet baby Adeline fast asleep and a flood of emotions pours over me as I think about Friday. This Friday is our first attempt at correcting Adeline’s hips and we hope the operation proves to be successful. But I can’t help but feel like on Friday that my baby is going to change and that in some strange way I am losing a bond I have with her. If the operation goes as planned she will be in a body cast for at least 6-8 weeks followed by either a cast change at that time then a brace, or, if her hips are progressing well, she will go straight into a brace for another couple months. The cast will cover her legs down to her ankles and come up to her chest under her arms. I sure do hope it is successful, but never in a million years did I think I would be hoping my daughter would be rolled out of an operation room in a body cast. I want this to be over though and the sooner it happens the sooner we know it will be finished. The other part of me is going to long for those snuggles with her cast-free, and bath-time, her favorite time, and naps in the middle of the day with her sound asleep on my chest. I know this is all temporary, but for me, it is a lot to swallow and has just about consumed me since her diagnosis. I truly thank God this is a treatable condition and know I should be focusing on that, but it is hard to think about that in the midst of preparing for what is ahead these next 8 to 14 to 20 weeks. I know the days might feel slow, but eventually this will all be a blip on the radar and we will be celebrating her crawls and first steps in no time.

Greg and I cannot thank all of our friends and family enough for the prayers, kind words, thoughts, and support we have received. Sometimes it is times like this you really do realize all of the love that so many times seems to be absent in the world we are living in. We will be heading to Children’s Healthcare for her operation on Friday morning. If you can, please say a special prayer for Adeline, her doctor and the nurses. But we know she is in good hands because the One that holds her is bigger than all of this.

Will keep you all updated and thank you again for the love.

Anna, Greg & Adeline