Sunday, January 31, 2010

Products I currently LOVE!

So I promise the sure step pics are soon to come, the girl has come down with a bit of a cold so I haven't been torturing her with them. Said cold has made me want to give her something that will help her feel better and help her get over her cold a bit faster... and oh, did I mention it needs to not have any traditional, non pronounceable, inactive ingredients that most over the counter cold remedies rely heavily on. Enter homeopathic remedies. I fall firmly in the "sorta-crunchy crowd". I am more than willing to try homeopathic medicines, but I don't know enough(or really care enough) to be able to mix up my own. Luckily for me, and all others in the "sorta- crunchy" camp there are some great companies who do it for you!

First up is something called Sambucol. This is a common brand name for an elderberry extract, which is a natural immune booster. This is a staple in our house, for all of us, not just Fish. Natures way makes something similar, the name doesn't really matter the elderberry is the important thing!

Second is Chestal for Kids by Boiron. This is a natural cough relief and it help to loosen the mucus. We just bought this for the first time today, and am very impressed. Fish was coughing nonstop last night and earlier today, but after she took the chestal, no more cough!

Last but not least is a product by Hylands (makers of every mom's favorite teething tablets!) named C-plus Cold Tablets . These little tablets are taken to stop or ease runny noses. I was most sceptical of this product, but believe it or not after taking it for half of a day, no more runny nose!

Any product that makes my little Fish feel better makes me happy, especially ones that work with her dietary restrains, and don't simply mask the symptoms! Have any cold remedies or products you swear by? Share the wealth!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ramblings of a Fish...

Earlier today I was sitting in a rocking chair feeding Puppy, with Fish also on my lap.

Fish: Hun-ry?
Me: Yes bubby's hungry.

I take the bottle out of his mouth and start to burp him.

Puppy: BURP!
Fish: Guh -Girl Pup-py! (okay so she said his name clearly in 2 syllables... not puppy)

Maybe we need to work on the idea that Puppy is a boy and she is a girl a little more!

Friday, January 22, 2010

No Cast!

Just a quick update to say no cast or splint was needed! Wohoo!

Appointment Crazy!

So I have been MIA this week as we have had 7 appointments for the kids in the past 4 days. YUCK! Fish has been the cause of the increase since she decided a few days ago that she was tired of her brother getting all of the special trips alone with mommy. A dancing session later, she was the proud owner of a hurt foot, which we now know is a fractured ankle. We are off today to have the pediatrician look at it (again!) and most likely have it splinted.

Some exciting news is Fish is now a proud egg eater and we are just started trialing yogurt today! She is having so much fun trying new foods!

Look for pictures of the splinted/ casted foot shortly!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Allergist Smallergist

So Fish had her much awaited allergy appointment today with a "real" allergist. She was scratch tested, which she was NOT a fan of, BUT they all came back negative! This is not to say she won't be sensitive or intolerant of any of the foods we are about to trial, but she will not require a trip to the ER for them! YAY!

First up is eggs, and she had "mmmm aaaes" for lunch today. I will keep you posted on how the trial goes!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Project Linus

The hospital is a drab and depressing place, especially when you have been admitted for a serious health concern for your child. It flat out sucks. One of the saddest aspects for me, and I think for many moms who are in the same boat, (besides the medical condition at hand), is the all too sterile cage of a bed that all kids go into. Project Linus is a non-profit organization that gives the hospital hand-made blankets to pass out to patients. Puppy received one of these during his last stay at Children's, and it did wonders to brighten my mood. We hadn't gotten things together yet enough to get his blankets from home to use as his bedding (as we did when he was in the NICU), so the little fleece airplane blanket meant so much to me in the moment. So I am going to start making blankets for Project Linus, and invite all of you to help. Below is the link for the Columbus, OH chapter, but there are chapters all over the United States and Canada. There are even no sew options, and blankets that can be made in well under an hour.

AND... if bringing joy to kiddos and thier families isn't reason enough to help, Project Linus is also participating in the Disney Give a Day, Get a Day campaign!

Friday, January 15, 2010

OSU "Wee-Search"

Puppy has recently started a Physical Therapy research (or "wee-search" as they like to call it) for infants who have had a stroke either prior to, or at birth. They are focusing on the social and motor development of these infants as they develop. We have exercises to do every day, and then every other week we head up to the OSU campus where he does a PT session in the lab. The first 15 minutes or so are chair work, where they try to get him to respond to different stimuli as well as reach for different toys.

On his head and hands he has trackers. Through these they can track his movements and speed on the computer. He also does floor work, similar to "typical" PT. Yes, the chair looks like a torture device, but be assured he didn't seem to mind it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Puppy's New Bed!

Our original intent with Puppy was we would co-sleep with him until Fish was old enough to transition to a big girl bed (so about a year). We co-slept with Fish about that long so we didn't think it would be an issue. 3 stressful months later, we decided that the co-sleeping arrangement just wasn't working for us this time around. Enter the need for a bed.

I picked us a used(okay it definitely falls into the "vintage" category) from a local kids consignment store, and of course HAD to go to Jo-Ann's (a fabric store) on the way home. I'm not real sure what you would do with this bed if you couldn't sew, it is a portable crib, but the measurements are different than the current port-a-cribs, but I digress.
Off to Jo-Ann's I went, picked out the cutest fabric, and had it washing while I ran Puppy to PT. After a couple evenings sewing, check out puppy's new bed! He has slept in it the past 2 nights and loves it! There is even a custom mattress pad under his sheet!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dessert, Glorious Desset

Some days nothing will do but chocolate, and on those day my mother in laws brownie recipe really hits the spot. (Here's to hoping this recipe isn't a big family secret and it is okay to share!) I have made a few changes to make it dairy and gluten free, but I will leave the gluten and dairy directions for those who want it! Don't get used to this-- me baking, especially from scratch is a rare occasion!

Loretta's Famous Easy-Peasy Brownies

3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup butter or non dairy margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla(if you want it to be GF make sure this ingredient is GF, it should say if it is!)
1 cup Flour (either all purpose, or your favorite GF blend. Do not use just one straight GF flour like rice flour. One store bought blend we like is Pamela's)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. grease 9 x 13 pan
  3. Melt butter in a large bowl, add cocoa and mix until smooth
  4. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla-- mix until well blended
  5. Add Flour, mix again
  6. Pour into pan, bake for 20-25 minutes

There is an icing recipe that goes with it, but quite frankly that is a bit too much work for me! A little powdered sugar on top does the trick. I also add about a cup of chocolate chips (we use enjoy life brand as they are top 7 free!) and voila! So good!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Take Your Plans...

I'll admit it, I have been pissed at God. Seriously,why me, why him, you suck, take your plans and shove them where the sun don't shine pissed at God. I can see some of you squirming in your seat, "did she really just tell God to take His plans and shove it... you CAN'T say THAT". Oh but my faithful reader you can, and I have. Besides random prayers of "get us out of this place" (referring to Children's), or "please don't let him die", I haven't even "spoken" to God since the birth of puppy. That is until a few days ago. I few days ago I had it out with God, and honestly telling Him to take His plans and shove it was one of the nicer things I said. (you know you have done it too... maybe just not as vocal)

But it is OKAY. It is okay to yell at God, it is okay to be pissed, what is NOT okay is closing up, walking away, pretending that everything is how it always been when clearly it is not This is where I am. The pissed level is slowly going down, the why question is too. I am beginning to see that all of this just MAY be for good, not necessarily for Puppy, but for me. For my character. For the zookeeper and I's relationship. Maybe God has taken me to the point where I can hardly see straight just to get my attention. And my attention He has. I'm trying to get on board, but at least I am moving forward.

Friday, January 8, 2010

One BIG Fish!

Fish is growing up so fast, sometimes a little too fast for comfort. She is talking, walking, running, and overall just being a rambunctious toddler. Recently there have been some big changes, ones we are very excited about!

NO MORE BOTTLE!!! Today is day FIVE with no bottle! She still pitches the occasional fit but she now gets "milk" in a sippy instead.

And the piece de resistance... HER NEW POTTY! She won't use it, but she sure like to be "nake" to try. See the dot inside it, yup, that is all of the pee she has shared with her potty... but the floor has seen much more!

And just for good measure, one picture of her enjoying the snow with the zookeeper!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Zoo Health Update

This past week has brought (among others) a double pediatrician appointment for both of the animals.

Fish is looking great health wise, and has an allergist appointment next week to make sure we are ready to start trialing gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, fish, and nuts. We also were told she needs to get feet/ankle braces to help correct over pronation. So that was on the agenda today, off to the orthotic specialist to get fit for her new "special socks". ( We should get them in a few weeks, we will be sure to let you know how it goes!

Puppy also has had his fair share of things going on this week. He of course had physical therapy(PT, as he does every week), and they are very pleased with his gross motor progress. After his PT he was evaluated for Occupational Therapy(OT), to try to put a halt to his lack of tone in his oral motor skills. He will continue to have OT every few weeks until he gets older and can participate more in exercises. Speaking of his oral skills, that is the spot that his neurological issues are showing up the most as of now. He has uneven tone in his mouth, as well as issues controlling his tongue. His doctors are hopeful that through therapies as well as osteopathic manipulation he will regain some of the control, but have warned us that this is one area that is rarely regained when lost during stroke. What does that mean for puppy?... he most likely will have a long road of speech difficulties ahead of him. We are remaining hopeful as he seems perfect to us!

And I will leave you with a quote... from Desperate Housewives of all places. Never before have I heard something as perfectly summed up what I feel as a mom, especially of a child with special needs.

She said she was afraid of my potential... afraid that she would fail to do something that would help me reach it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gluten free TOURTURE

Fish has, ummm, a few allergies. Okay, it is more like the amount of foods she has to avoid sends the normal person's head spinning. The rest of the house (tries) to avoid gluten and dairy, but to make things that Fish can enjoy adds a bit of a challenge to my culinary skill.

Which brings me to my dilemma... gluten free bread SUCKS! I don't care what you say, I have yet to find a bread store bought or homemade that actually tastes good. (and things with chocolate or chocolate chips do not count!) And to make it homemade is a true feat, especially since I don't do recipes, or baking for that matter, very well. Add to this making it gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free also the challenge become almost impossible.

Enter my Christmas present...

The Wolfgang puck programmable bread maker with a gluten free setting! I am quite excited to start playing around with different recipes and hopefully find one we like. The details of adventures in bread making are soon to come, as unpacking it from the box and clearing the counter was all I could handle today!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Dream...

I have a dream, only mine is a little more selfish than MLK's. One day I would love to take pictures... and get paid for it. I love it. While it is one thing to take pictures of your own darling children(especially with the help of a snazzy DSLR camera), it is quite another to pose and take pictures of other people, other ADULT people. But this is just what I did recently, when friends of mine, the M family offered up themselves as practice. I am quite pleased with myself... take a peak!

Maybe one day the dream just may become a reality... but until then I'm looking for practice!

Venturing into the unknown...

I am computer illiterate, at least for my generation. Yes, I am leaps and bounds ahead of the average 60 year old, but for someone who has had a computer for most of my life, I stand by my description of computer illiterate. It is because of this I am in shock and awe at my creating of a blog-- but here I am.

And now a bit about us...

I am married to my lovely husband, "the zookeeper", and together we have two beautiful children Fish and Puppy.

Fish was our first, a little girl with so much energy and joy that you simply melt in her presence... or pull out your hair! She has been our "teacher" with allergies and all things sorta- crunchy. We have learned through necessity and continue to learn as she grows. As with all firsts she has been our guinea pig with our beliefs and practices on child rearing, and to her we will be forever grateful.

Puppy is our second, our miracle boy. After an uneventful pregnancy, and a fairly uneventful delivery, our baby boy came out "dusky" ( a medical term...meaning gray), and started a 16 day journey through the NICU and medical terms and conditions I had never before even thought about. This scary list all boils down to two things "strokes" and "brain damage". We sit with baited breath waiting to see what comes of these things, as only time can truly tell. He is making leaps and bounds in development, surprising his doctors with every bit of progress he makes. We thank God for our baby boy and (not always willingly) place him in His hands.

We love. We laugh. We fight. We fail. We get back up again, because we are parents, and that is what you do. We pray. We grow. We LIVE.