Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dinners for the week.

I'm behind in my dinners for the week so far due to D being sick on Monday.


Monday - we had KFC and it was YUMMY!

Tuesday - butter pasta (fettucine tossed with butter and Jonny's garlic seasoning. SO GOOD)

Wednesday - we are having baked chicken rolls with spinach, sundried tomatoes, and ricotta cheese. I got the recipe from Cooking Light but with my adaptations, it is anything but "light"

Thursday - personal meatloaves with mashed potatoes (another recipe from Cooking Light but probably not all that "light" anymore)

Friday - Pizza!

I'm always up for a good recipe if someone cares to share.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Teething? Sick? Combo?

Yesterday was not a fun day in our world. D was a little cranky in the morning but went down for a nap. She woke up incredibly upset with a fever of almost 101 and the reddest cheeks I've ever seen on her. I dosed her with tylenol and gave her a cold drink of milk, all of which she promptly threw up. So, we settled into the recliner with a sippy of juice and an afternoon of Dr.90210. She ate some cookies a little later on, and again threw up. As soon as the tylenol started to wear off she would start moaning and crying, so I kept her medicated as much as I could following the tylenol directions.

Finally at about 5 she ate a granola bar and went down for a nap and stayed cool. She got up a bit later when Jeff got home and ate some chicken and had some more cold milk. She spiked another fever later last night and was moaning and pointing to her teeth. Finally she fell asleep in our bed and slept pretty well throughout the night (waking up once for some milk).

This morning she slept in until almost 9:30 and woke up moany but that quickly went away. We had a succesful trip to the grocery store, so I'm hopeful that she is on the mend.

I'm thinking it was probably a combo of teeth and some illness. She has never had that much trouble with temps while teething, except for the time she was getting molars and had roseola at the same time (fun!).

Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm all about food: Sticky Buns!

Sorry, the weekends are always slow with CP/therapy talk. We haven't been up to much either, just getting our land ready to be cleared for the house we are building.

I try to make a "special" breakfast once during the weekend. It always consists of Sticky Buns and bacon or sausage. This sticky bun recipe is the EASIEST recipe ever. You don't have to mix much, you don't have to wait an hour for dough to rise, you just put it together the evening before, pop it in the oven, and when you wake up the next day, turn the oven on.

Sticky Buns

18 Rhodes dinner rolls, frozen
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 box jell-o cook 'n serve butterscotch pudding (NOT INSTANT)
1/2 small bag pecan chips (or however and whatever you want)

In a bundt pan or angel food cake pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or buttered, put the rhodes frozen dinner rolls in the bottom of the pan. Put the powdered jello mix on top. Add as much nuts to the top as well.

In a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter. Mix in the brown sugar and pour on top of the rolls.

Put the bundt pan in the oven overnight.

The next morning, turn the oven on to 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

I flip the pan over onto a plate when it is still hot and serve warm.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another Food Post - Mashed Potato Hash Browns

I was scrambling a bit for a breakfast concept this morning, but luckily I had a carton of eggs, cheese, bread, onions, and some leftover mashed potatoes from dinner on Thursday.

I put together an egg and cheese omelet for Jeff (I am not a fan of eggs) and made mashed potato hash browns out of the mashed potatoes and some chopped green onion. I kind of got the idea from watching Rachel Ray and her smashed potato leftover uses, but this is how I did it.

I microwaved the leftover mashed potatoes until they were somewhat warm. I didn't want to risk having hash browns with a cold center. I chopped some green onion and mixed it in to the warmed potatoes.

In a pan on the stove, I melted some butter and olive oil over medium heat (if we had had bacon I would have used the drippings). I made little tiny cakes out of the potatoes and plopped them into the butter/oil mixture and cooked up crisp on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Once they were done, I plated them and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. They took about 4 minutes to crisp on both sides. They didn't really stay together like cakes, but they were DELICIOUS!

So, the moral of the story, save your leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Kinesio Photos

Diane came again today and we are trying a couple of different applications of the kinesio tape. One goes from the elbow and over the thumb to help bring her arm into a neutral position as well as pull the thumb out a bit. Her fingers are always relaxed but she does have thumb abduction going on. Also, since Mr. Larry dumped the orthotic yesterday, Diane did a taping on D's leg which imitates what the orthotic did but without the sensory interruption.

The kinesio tape comes in a wide assortment of colors (today Diane had flesh and purple). We just went with the flesh because it is less noticeable and D didn't pull at it last week. I think the purple would call too much attention to her.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chicken Parmigiana

As per my earlier-in-the-week post about family dinners, here was last night's choice - Chicken Parmigiania (ala Tyler Florence @ Food Network).

I put only a small handful of kalamata olives because Jeff doesn't care for them. I'm glad I made this choice as they are REALLY salty and the flavor of a chunk of olive is just so different from the rest of the meal. It was good with a decent bite of chicken, but otherwise it was...too opposite.

I loved the hand crushed tomato sauce, just be careful when crushing them. I ended up spraying a wall in the kitchen with the juice. So, I learned to poke my thumb into the tomato before squishing it.

My husband enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, and the dog enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure it will be on a future menu.

Go D, Go D!

Today D went to Mr. Larry's for PT and we had a great time! He said that D's right foot is looking much better and he had us leave the orthotic with him. No more orthotic! No more orthotic! She still has the neoprene hand splint and the air splint, but I am so happy that one of her braces is gone! I hope that she does well without and won't need one in the future.

My D is a very determined little girl. She kept walking Mr. Larry over to the outside door and wouldn't quit until he had taken her for a walk outside.

I'm ecstatic today!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wanting Everyone's Opinion.

So, I was thinking today about the title of this blog - Cerebral Palsy Baby. I have finally gotten to a point where I know that CP doesn't define D, it doesn't define me, it doesn't define our family. Yes, it is and always will be a part of who we are and how we get to wherever we are going, but it is not who we are nor what we want to be.

I will continue to write about D, CP, therapy, and all that goes along with it. And these topics will remain the true gist of the blog. But, do you think the blog is ready for a new title?

Let me know what you all think. The URL of course will remain the same regardless.

I am a total idiot....

I didn't realize that I had to publish comments before they appeared. I didn't even realize I had comments! So, my apologies to everyone!! I didn't realize I had so many readers! Thanks you so much for all the support, comments, and help. I am going to do my best to reply to each of you, but please accept my sincere apologies for being so technically lame.

Air Splint

I've mentioned previously that we use an air splint with D for about five minutes each day. We were having issues keeping her hand open enough, so Diane from the Elks fashioned a hand mold that we strap on her hand and then put the whole contraption inside the air splint and blow it up. She used some spongy material from Crayola that hardens. It was really fun to play with while it was soft.

The hardest part about the whole process is keeping D from throwing a fit. Luckily, she has gotten really interested in the zipper on the air splint (although we do have to keep her from unzipping it) and she also loves to draw. Yesterday I even let her play with the pencil that I had been using for my crossword puzzle.

Finally some photos, too. The page was looking a bit drab, so some color to brighten it up a bit.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kinesio Tape

Last Friday, Diane from the Elks tried a new-to-Darsie technique -- kinesio tape.

Kinesio tape is a soft stretchy tape from Japan that is used to tape certain muscle groups and act as a "reminder" to the brain. The tape is applied to the muscles and the way it feels reminds me to make the correct movement.

We tried it out to pull her arm into a more neutral position. D didn't mind it and after an hour swimming with Diane in the hydro pool yesterday, it peeled off without too much of a fuss.

This site shows some beautiful applications, but Ds was simply a piece of tape applied around her forearm to pull the hand in rather than down.

We are going to try to tape her thumb on Friday and see how that works. I promise to take some photos of it because I think it is a really interesting method. Diane told me that at the Olympics there was a lot of kinesio taping being done, so I imagine that we will be seeing more and more of it in the future for both sport and rehabilitative reasons.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wanting to Walk

D is at a very interesting stage in her development where she cannot walk without assistance but she WANTS TO WALK. We can't carry her anywhere without her desperately trying to wriggle her way out of our arms and onto the floor/ground/dirt, where we are. We can't sit with her in our laps at the couch without her pushing her way to the floor to cruise on the furniture. Basically, if she isn't on her feet, eating, sleeping, playing; she is trying to get to the floor to walk.

Her push wagon from Radio Flyer has been a godsend. Jeff will sit on one side of the living room and I will sit on the other. One of us will help D grasp the handle bar and send her off to the other side of the room. The deep concentration on her face is adorable. And she loves to run smack into everything and then giggle like a little maniac. I hope to catch some video of her soom.

She is also babbling constantly. It is so cute to hear her and see the look on her face. She is saying things, we just can't understand.

Family Meals

Food plays an important part in our family. We are fortunate enough to be able to sit down to both breakfast and dinner together most days. Darsie has been joining us at the table since we bought her high chair and she was able to sit up. I have been simply amazed at her delight in spicy foods. Yesterday, Jeff and I were eating some nachos for a snack before a movie, and D had to have some hot salsa to eat with her very own spoon. She definitely inherited our love for spicy foods.

Each week I put together a meal plan for the family and post it on the refrigerator. Last night, Jeff and I were talking about how cool it would be to put together a recipe book of sorts that talks about what we ate, how we liked it, and any photos of the food and/or us eating it.

So, I am going to attempt to incorporate it into this blog. I know that this is supposed to be about D and her cerebral palsy, etc.. etc.. But, I simply cannot resist putting some extra interesting twang to it with something that means a lot to us as a family. Besides, I love to cook.

So, anyways, our menu for the week is:

Peppercorn-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Soy-Caramel Sauce (Cooking Light, December 2005) served with rice and broccoli

Hamburgers (I think I'm going to try a mini version of them)

Chicken Parmigiana (Tyler's Ultimate on Food Network - a new recipe, but I think worth trying)

Grilled Steaks with Mashed Potatoes, Green Salad, and Garlic Bread (My husband has developed a stellar marinade)

Pizza, our Friday tradition. We get the chicken Mediterranean delite from Papa Murphy's

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I've noticed a lot of searches for information on hydrotherapy and cerebral palsy. I've also noticed that I haven't been writing a lot about cerebral palsy lately. So anyways, here goes.

D has been doing hydrotherapy for a couple of months now. At first I didn't think it was much more than going to swim in a lukewarm hot tub. D and I both get in the water with her OT and they would just "play". But as time has passed, my opinion of hydrotherapy has changed drastically. D is now crawling, she is walking with support really well, she uses her right hand more, she has more flexibility in her arms, she has just improved quite a lot in the past few weeks.

Of course I attribute this to more than just hydrotherapy. I think that we are using a good approach by being pretty agressive with Darsie's therapy. We don't particularly enjoy going to therapy four times a week, but if that is what helps my daughter, so be it. I'd go twice everyday if need be.

So, I guess the point of this long winded entry is that if you have a child with cerebral palsy and you get the opportunity to try hydrotherapy, I would recommend it. It isn't a miracle cure, but I believe that with other therapy, it will have positive effects.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Living for the Weekends

I've been a bad blogger. This beautiful weather and having my husband home over the weekends turns me into such a lump. We try to spend as much time outside as humanly possible.

This weekend we tried to fly a kite..unsuccessfully I might add. There were gusts of wind but just not enough consistent wind. Plus, I think our Costco special kite just isn't up to par with a real high-flying kite.

Anyways, we had fun trying and afterwards we sat in the sun and ate popsicles...a favorite treat of ours these days. D decided to steal my popsicle and that she would not share with anybody. Of course after making such a mess, she had to take a bath. We still bathe her in the kitchen sink as it is so much easier on my back and knees. I guess soon we'll give the big tub a chance.

After the bath it was time for some fun and games with papa. He has devised the "manpron" for all your papa's that want to carry your babes.

Friday, May 12, 2006

An Awesome Resource...

For all of you parents out there with kids with hemiparesis cerebral palsy, there is a listserv called HemiKids. Darsie's OT recommended the site to me to see how other families deal/have dealt with cerebral palsy. I am so impressed with this resource and people's willingness to help out. I've received a few e-mails from parents with kids like D, only older, and I have to tell you, I already had an awesome outlook for her future, but now it is even brighter.

Have a beautiful weekend everyone. It looks overcast here, but hopefully the sun will come.

And Happy Mother's Day to all past/present/and future mothers.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Commando Baby!!!

No, not naked commando baby...crawling commando baby! Today was the first time I have ever seen Darsie "slither" or commando crawl as it is commonly referred to. The belly never came up off of the floor but her legs and arms were moving and there was propulsion. Darsie went forward about four feet to get to a bottle of juice before she rolled off to watch a cartoon.

Yeah Darsie!! My 19-month commando baby!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Another Great Weekend...

We've had another beautiful weekend here in Washington. It wasn't quite as warm as the week was and we actually had quite a "coastal" morning here today (misting, fog, whatnot). We had a lazy breakfast and Jeff worked on some repairs around the house and then we had a couple that we have been friends with for a couple years over. Today we went to the shelter in Shelton and we brought home a pupster. So far she seems to be a top notch dog. She has two faults so far: 1. She likes to jump. 2. She thinks that she sleeps on our bed. She is extemely patient with Darsie so far and even let D stick her fingers in her eye. She is a lovey girl and so far a pleasure to be around. Her name is Maisie (it was Bear at the shelter but it just didn't suit her).

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Serious Artist...

Almost everyday, D creates some artwork, preferably with washable markers. She will either sit on a stool and color on a box or stand at a box and color on that (both great for weight bearing on her right arm). She likes to use every color and is very meticulous about where each mark goes. She is definitely NOT a random scribbler.

Of course she likes to taste, too. I have discovered that the Crayola First Markers are the best choice for those that like to color their clothes and faces as it washes off of EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thinking about a dog....

The past couple of days Jeff and I have been thinking about introducing a dog into our home. We keep wondering if now is the right time...and then if there is ever a time that is just right. We agree that it would be a good thing for Darsie, most likley, to have a buddy and to have someone to move around with, pet, love, and share attention with. And, it would be nice to get a dog trained and used to us before we move into our new house.

Anybody have any experience with good dog breeds? Right now we are leaning towards a lab or a lab mix (we found a beautiful puppy at a local shelter that we are hopefully going to go visit this weekend), but are open to suggestions!

Does anybody have any experience with a child with cp and a dog? Do you think it is a good idea or a totally terrible one?

Thanks so much for any input and ideas (especially you ladies at Hot Mamas that have already given me such great advice!).