Author Archives for Anna Zabinski

Sips for Hips Atlanta

When Adeline was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at birth I had no idea about the journey to healthy hips that we had ahead of us. When I heard this term DDH/hip dysplasia I started reading up on it immediately. I am the type of person that loves researching and finding everything I can, almost to fault, so I feel I have a better understanding of what is facing me or the whatever it is I am trying to tackle. This was no different and throughout my hunt for information about Adeline’s condition, I stumbled upon the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and reached out to get connected. What we have gone through up until this point has consumed my mind and I knew I needed to try and turn it into something positive. I entertained the idea of an event or fundraiser with Greg. I came up with all these ideas in my head about what it could be and turn into and how exciting to be able to help a cause we were now so close to. An idea turned into a reality within a few months and Sips for Hips Atlanta was born.

I had the best time pulling this event together and as the weeks passed, we garnered more and more support and sponsorships. It was inspiring and encouraging. The inaugural Sips for Hips Atlanta event took place on February 23rd at SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta. It was so much fun and Sips for Hips Atlanta raised over $25,000! As with any first time event, we learned a lot and figured out what worked and what needed more work, but I think overall it was well received and we succeeded in our goal to raise awareness. I look forward to making this an annual event. THANK YOU to everyone who supported us, donated, attended, and reached out. It is because of your support that it was a success!

With all the hype of the event and focus and attention on making it come together, it kind of took my mind off and eased my anxiety and worry about Adeline’s next operation. But, here we are, less than a week out of what will be her second surgery and much more invasive operation and I have to try and keep that positive energy going. It is hard to face this reality though, to know the surgery date is approaching, our little girl has no clue, and we will have some challenges in finding our new “normal” facing us. But, one thing is true, we have a fighter on our hands and Adeline will handle all of this like a champ. Children are amazing and bounce back so fast and she will be back to her happy self in no time at all.

More to come on our upcoming procedure in another post soon. Stay tuned!

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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!

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