Thursday, February 9, 2012

At-Home Therapy

I don't think words can describe the feelings of inadequacy you feel as the parent of a child with disabilities.  However, I shall attempt to do so here...

Calvin, my high-energy little 2-year-old, amazes me on a daily basis.  While I try to make every moment a teachable moment with him, sometimes he will surprise me with something he has learned all on his own.  About a month ago, he proved to me that he knows every letter of the alphabet when shown to him.  Wow!  I'm so proud of him...and he's proud of himself!  I'm not sure how much I had to do with it, but he learned it anyway.

On the other hand, teaching Natalie how to simply accept food on a spoon has taken a good four years, combined with occupational therapy and help from aides in school.  She's still working hard at it, but I think he's doing okay now with foods like pudding and really anything that doesn't have big chunks.  Even though we have made gigantic strides in this area of her life, she shows no signs of pride in accomplishing this task.  Then I begin to wonder if I've pushed it hard enough, or if I've leaned on bottle feedings too much because I'm more worried about her caloric intake.  

So, now our new challenge is making sure Natalie is doing lots of standing...not on her own, but in a stander.  Here she is semi-standing...she tolerates it, but it's definitely not her favorite thing to do.  

Since her hip surgery in August, Natalie has seen a physical therapist, Nancy, weekly at the hospital.  Nancy has done wonders for her during that time, most notably getting Natalie to not only tolerate, but enjoy standing in a stander.  This is important so that her hip sockets form well and additional surgery won't be needed.   

Unfortunately, her physical therapy sessions are coming to an end, which means I CANNOT drop the ball and I must make sure Natalie gets into her upright position on a daily basis.  

Isn't she an adorable little patient??
Two things I pray for on a daily basis are for Natalie's general health (vision, brain, and that she doesn't get sick), and for strength and wisdom as her parent to know how to be the best parent possible for her. If you know a parent of a child with disabilities, I encourage you to do this as well.  It's an easy way to offer your support!

That's all for today!
Melissa & Natalie

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

It's mid-winter, believe it or not.  The thermometer may not relay that truth, but the noticeable absence of the "head of the household" these days says to me that it is most definitely mid-winter.  For those of you who don't know, Perry spends nearly every night reffing basketball during the winter.  During a typical year, I spend most of November cooking and freezing dinners that can be reheated later in the winter when I have no help at home with the kids at night.  Of course, we all know that this past year has been anything but typical.  

My freezer is basically empty this year, except for the one-eighth of a cow we purchased last month.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to peer into my freezer and find ground beef, steaks, ribs, etc., all packaged up for me.

So, long story short, I need a lot of easy recipes to get me through this winter, and tonight I tried out a Pioneer Woman recipe, her Sour Cream Noodle Bake, that will now become a staple in our household.  It's full of ingredients that I always have on hand, and it tastes great!  

*One quick note...I didn't have green onions in my refrigerator, so I browned my beef with about three-quarters of a regular white onion instead.  (It was still yummy!)