"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Say Cheese...

This is the look we get whenever we tell Carly to "say cheese". She can't say the word quite like she should, but she does try. Her version sounds more like "eeeese". She is mighty proud of herself for the effort put forth in trying to say the word. And try she does. Every single time the camera is out!

This picture was taken bright and early this morning. After brushing her teeth...which is another story in and of itself...ugh! At least she is smiling..this time!

I've run into a problem with Miss Carly though. Every time I want to snap a picture of her sweet little face, she tells me, "no. no. no momma", then runs off to find her camera. Her Fisher Price camera that Santa brought her for Christmas. Which is fine, except...it really doesn't take very good quality pictures. Fine for fun and playing around, but too fuzzy for my liking.

At any rate. Her smiley little face brightens my day. On days like yesterday. Man, I needed her smiley face. If you're a friend of mine of Facebook..you saw her smiley little face after school yesterday. She's the best little 'pick me up' ever!

It's funny that she actually uses the word "cheese" when the camera is out. Why? Well, because Carly signs cheese when she wants a piece of cheese to eat! When I remind her that she can in fact say the word cheese...she shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head at me. Like I'm nuts for even suggesting that she use the word for any time other than picture time. Crazy kid!

So, just in case you're ever wondering why Carly seems to have this same silly expression on her sweet face in each of her photo's...it's just her way of saying, "eeeese"!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Daddy Daughter Dance 2010

Saturday night was big night for Carly and her daddy.
It was the Daddy Daughter Dance at the school.
Striking a pose, before heading off to the dance!

This little girl LOVES her daddy!

Just another pose for the heck of it!

They came home about 15 minutes early.
Paul said Carly kept asking for "momma"!
I would have loved to have gone.
Or been a fly on the wall.

I guess she had fun. That's what she told me.

Paul says she's quite popular. Several little girls were running up
to her all night. They were trying awful hard to get her out on the
dance floor with them. Carly wasn't having it though.
Paul did finally get her to dance a couple of times.

She seems to be overwhelmed, right at first, with big gatherings.
She does eventually 'warm up' and then she enjoys herself.

None-the-less, she missed her "momma"... Even though she LOVES
her daddy so much.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Menu Plan.

This weekend Ashleigh will be coming home. So, I'm leaving Saturday and Sunday open as of now...and I'm letting her choose what she would like.

Monday: Chicken stir fry w/ rice

Tuesday: Steaks on the grill, baked potatoes and veggies

Wednesday: Pork loin in the crock pot, noodles and veggies

Thursday: Soup and grilled cheese

Friday: Pizza night.

Saturday: ?

Sunday: ?

Recipe for today:

Quick and easy Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 small onion, chopped
1/2C butter
1 package (16oz) frozen chopped broccoli
4 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1lb Velveeta cheese (cut into cubes)
2 C milk
1T garlic powder
2/3C cornstarch

Saute onions in butter. Add broccoli to the chicken broth, boil till tender. Lower heat and add cheese cubes. Stir well until cheese is melted. Add garlic pwdr and milk. Mix cornstarch w/water until dissolved and add to the soup. Cook on low to desired thickness. Stir frequently.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Learning of those who continue to lose their homes due to foreclosure makes me so thankful that we have a comfortable home to live in.

I'm thankful for reconnecting with old friends of years past. Via Facebook.

I'm thankful for all the new friends that I have made through Carepages, Blogger and Facebook.

I'm thankful for my husband, who works so hard to provide for his family

I'm thankful that I can still be a stay at home mom. Times are not easy by any means, but we make it work.

I'm thankful for our three kids.

I'm thankful for all the other Down syndrome parents out there, who provide me with so much support. I may not personally know you gals/guys, but I feel as though I do.

I'm thankful that the sun is shining brightly today and melting all this snow :o)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wacky Wednesday.

I've been working on these all day.
No, not the game of scrabble. I only wish that's what I have been doing.
But, no...I'm doing our taxes....ICK!

With no end in sight.
Tax time stinks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Report Card.

Oh how I dread report cards. Carly came home with hers last week. Ugh... Okay, so it wasn't really bad, but it does show me just how far behind she is. I swear she has regressed this year. Not sure if this is all to overwhelming for her or what the problem is. Carly loves school. She loves to learn. Matter of fact, she plays school at home, all the time.

One area of regression that we have seen, is the printing of her name. She was just about to master her name (first name) a few months back. Now, it's barely legible. I think it has to do with the school trying to teach her how to spell her last name. I know she needs to learn how to spell her first and last name, but can't we wait until she has a solid, concrete, legible printing for her first name?

On the other hand, we have seen Carly start to pick on the basic concepts of reading. Which is super! She recognizes words. She doesn't always print the letters to words, but at school the teacher gave her a magnetic board with magnetic ABC's, and she spells many of her spelling words on that board. HUGE! Another thing that we've seen, is her ability to do a simple word searches. Blows my mind that she is able to do that. It pleases the teacher too. These are all signs that this little girl will soon be reading.

Then, we have math. She is a little confused with that. And, according to the teacher...puts her math away before she's done. She tells the teacher, "no, all done". However, she recognizes numbers 1-10, grasps their concepts in the math world, and is able to write them fairly well. The teacher says that when they have math projects, Carly gets very interested, but otherwise, she would just as soon have nothing to do with it.

I guess the biggest obstacle in Carly's way right now, is her speech. Yes, her speech is exploding. She has added several new words. Puts words together to form sentences (small sentences). And has oodles of approximations that she didn't have at the beginning of the year. Still...it's hard for her to communicate with her peers and her teacher. Although, everyone is pleased that she continues to advance in speech.

As far as behavior. Carly is very well behaved. She follows directions. Does as she's told (except when it comes to math). She pays attention. And from what I've been told, is much better behaved than many of the typical children in her classroom.

In comes the report card. Did I say how I dread report cards? It's just a confirmation that, yes..my kid is way behind her peers. No matter how many positives I can come up with, the report card says it all.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Menu Plan.

I completely miss last weeks menu plan. I wasn't feeling well. Carly was still home, not feeling well. It was just a crazy week. No worries...we still ate. I still planned (in my head) all of our meals. Most often I schedule these ahead of time, but last week and the week before had my head spinning. Funny how a sick kid throws a monkey wrench in everything!!

This weeks menu plan:

Monday: Sloppy Jo's and french fries

Tuesday: Lasagna, garlic bread and salad

Wednesday: Pierogies, and veggies

Thursday: Meatloaf, mac and cheese and veggies

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Tacos, Spanish rice and corn cake casserole

Sunday: Roasted chicken and potatoes with veggies

Last week I baked a ton of chicken breasts for one of our meals. That way, I had plenty of left overs for another meal. I thought I'd share my Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings. This is every bit as good as making them with biscuit mix. Less messy. Less time consuming. Easy and yummy.

Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings:

2 large cans of Swanson chicken broth (I think the cans are 32oz)
2 cans of Pillsbury biscuits. (I used Grands)
4 cups of chicken, de-boned and chunked or diced. I did mine kind of small and chunky.
1/4 - 1/2 cups of sliced carrots. (you can add more or less or none!)
1/4 cup flour and water...for thickening. ( I never measure the flour & water) More or less, depending on how thick you want your broth to get.

Boil chicken broth in large pot. Take biscuits out of tubes. Cut in half and then quarter each half.
Once broth is boiling good. Add the biscuits. Add thickening and stir quickly add chicken and carrots. Cover and boil for 10 minutes.
Quick, easy and tasty too!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One of those days...

I had a couple of pictures to share today...but, my pic's wouldn't load onto my computer. Of course it may of had something to do with the fact that my battery was dead!

The snow is flying here in Mid Michigan. Something we haven't been blessed with much this year. Or should I say, cursed much with! The weather guy says upwards of 10-12" by tomorrow night. High winds, with gusts of 50mph are suppose to pick up later tonight. Which will cause some major drifting. YUCK!

My tickle in my throat is so much better. Funny what a few days of antibiotics will do for ya! Only problem now...my head is POUNDING!

Carly is so much better. If you follow me on Facebook, you likely saw her picture. She was sitting on her "perch" (counter top) as we call it. She sits there often. We started placing her on the counter during her chemo. Now, it's her favorite hang out spot while I'm busy in the kitchen.

Ahhh, the kitchen. A place I haven't been able to organize in the last few days. It's driving me nuts. But, honestly, who is going to stop by when everyone knows we've had the sickies??!!

As far as Carly and her sickies...she is doing so much better. Up and playing. Into EVERYTHING. Keeping my house a constant mess! One would think we had an army of 8 year olds in this house. I'm not really complaining...much! Honestly, I love the fact that she's a mover and groover. It reassures me that, over all, she's feeling pretty good. Except for the terrible cough she has. I did finally get some cough med into her last night. I gave her Delsym. Normally the cardiologist would frown on giving her cough meds. But, this cough was so awful, her doctor decided a couple of doses wasn't going to hurt. The problem of course, is getting the meds into her. She is terrible about taking meds. The only antibiotic that she takes really well is Omnicef. The taste of Omnicef is similar to that of strawberry milk. The Delsym is grape flavored and tastes equally as good as the Omnicef. Well, except that it's grape flavored!

This poor house has been so neglected since last Thursday. Guess I had better get busy, 'cuz you know, it's just another, One of those days!

Friday, February 5, 2010

All tired out.

That title pretty much sums it up. We are all tired out at our house. Carly started with a yucky nose last weekend. She felt bad last Sunday and pretty much just laid around all day. I sent her to school on Monday, because I figure a yucky nose can be dealt with. Besides, at that point a runny nose was all she was dealing with. She does really well when using tissue's, so I wasn't worried much about sending her to school.

Next comes Tuesday. She's is still dealing with a runny nose, but not as bad as I was expecting. Again, I let her go to school. I hate keeping her home from school for only a runny nose. I knew eventually, she would be missing school at some point during this week.

Wednesday as we were heading to the bus, Carly coughed a couple of times. I knew that we'd be at the doctor by Thursday. Wednesday night Carly was coughing some rather deep sounding coughs as she lay sleeping. She fell asleep on the couch about 9pm. I figured I would just sleep in the living room with her, and not disturb her by getting her up and into bed. For some reason, I couldn't sleep. It was 12:45 when I decided we were going in to bed. I propped up a couple of pillows for Carly to help avoid some coughing. I put her in bed. When I looked at the clock it was 12:56.

2am. That's when all Hell broke loose. Mind you, this Hell didn't last much more than about 15seconds. Still, it was 15seconds too long. Carly was laying between Paul and I. Yes...she does sleep in our bed a majority of the time. At 2, I had just turned over. I looked at the clock thinking it would surely read 6am, time to get up. Well, it wasn't 6am, but it was time to wake up. Carly had sat up, as she often does and leaned her head on my side. She remains in sitting position and just leans her head on my side. I did as I always do, lifted her off my side and laid her back down. Except this time things went a bit hairy. She was laying on her back, head on her pillow when she started to cry. Or so I thought. I leaned over her and realized she isn't crying. She had a look on her face of shear terror. She was yelling "ooooooooohhhhhhh". At that time noticed she had her fists clenched. I can't really describe what she was doing with her fists.. It was as if she was shaking her fists at someone. Her arms were bent at the elbows and her fists were clenched. Of course I had no idea what was going on. I started talking to her, asking her what was wrong. At that point, Paul woke up. I told him to reach over and turn on the light. Just after he did, Carly looked over at him and gave him a sign that I'm not proud of at all. Yes..she gave her dad the finger! I have no idea what the heck that whole episode was. I told Paul I thought she may have just had a seizure. He said he thought she seemed to have had a nightmare. Whatever the case, I never slept another wink the rest of the night.

Thursday morning we headed to the doctor. I told the doc about what had gone on. He said it didn't really sound like a seizure. Because it lasted no more that 15seconds. And that her body didn't contort. He did say that many times just after someone has a seizure, they wet themselves. Well, Carly did wet the bed. We realized it around 3am. We can't be sure if it happened after the episode or during. I never noticed it until an hour after the whole ordeal. The doctor was leaning more toward a night terror. Me....I think she had a seizure, but being I've never witnessed a seizure, I really can't be sure. One thing I do know....this scared the frigging HELL out of me!

Last night Carly slept fairly well. I woke to her every move. Considering the poor girl has bronchitis, a double ear infection and a nasty looking throat. Which the doc assumed was strep, but wasn't willing to put the swab in Carly's throat. His thoughts were, she's getting antibiotics regardless. Carly was able to get some much needed rest last night. Thank God, she didn't have any more episodes..

The doc told me to keep a close eye on her and if she does have another episode, she will go in for an EEG. Can I just say, I'm so tired of doctors telling me to "keep a close eye on her". That phrase itself freaks me out. And yes. I keep a very close eye on her. That's why I know for a fact, she hasn't ever had any episodes like she had the other night.

Oh, to top it off. I'm sick too. I've had this annoying cough for 2 weeks. It mainly flares up when I've been talking. So, I'm avoiding phone calls as much as possible! Anyway, the doc listened to me and told me that I'm worse sounding than Carly is. He put me on antibiotics too. Good thing he did. I woke up this morning with such a sore throat I could barely swallow.

Guess we have good reason to be all tired out!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Menu Plan.

Kicking off another week of menu planning. Last week Paul worked some crazy hours, causing a bump in my menu planning. That's the reason the potato burgers are on this weeks menu too!
By the time this posts, we will have already eaten our yummy meal for today!

Monday: chicken fried chicken w/country gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls and veggies

Tuesday: potato burgers w/shredded hash browns, veggies and rolls

Wednesday: Spaghetti w/meatballs, broccoli w/cheese sauce, garlic toast

Thursday: Oven baked pork chops, wild grain rice and veggies

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: left overs

Sunday: Chili and corn cake casserole.

Chicken Fried Chicken

Today, I'm sharing my very easy version of Chicken fried chicken. It's so good and so easy. I get my chicken patties from Aldi's. The best, in my opinion. But, you can use whatever you want. You can even make them homemade - I have, but this is quicker. At any rate, they are a breaded boneless chicken breast. I make homemade country gravy. Or you can buy it in a package. This week, mine is coming from a package!!

Take thawed chicken patties and place in skillet with about 2T of oil (I use Olive oil) and cook until crisp on each side. Now, you could bake these if you want. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Mix gravy, or make it yourself..(I don't' follow an actual recipe for the homemade stuff, I mix milk, flour, a bit of margarine and some sort of fat drippings or in this case it would be chicken stock..it's for flavor) . Guess I normally do this step first. Oops! Boil up a pan of potatoes (or you could use instant potatoes. We don't' care for the instant ones tho) Once potatoes are tender, drain and mash. We place our chicken patties and potatoes on our plates and spoon our country gravy over top of each. Every bit as good as Cracker Barrel and much more inexpensive. Plus, it's quick and easy!