Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Despite not so small interference...
We're getting a bumper crop from our garden this year.
Green and Purple beans
Zucchini, Yellow squash, and tomatoes

Friday, July 03, 2009

Grilled Chicken Salad

Last night we grilled chicken breasts using my favorite Apple Rosemary marinade. Fortunately, there were two left over, so I made my favorite chicken salad. Here's the recipe.

    2 Grilled Boneless/skinless Chicken breasts chopped
    1/2 Medium Apple diced
    1/2 C Dried Cranberries
    1/2 C Pecans pieces
    1/2 C Sweet Onion chopped
    1/2-3/4 C Mayonnaise
    1 T Honey Mustard
    1 T Stone Ground Mustard
    Salt & Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl mix the chicken, apple, cranberries, pecans, and onion. In a small bowl mix together mayo, mustards and salt & pepper. Pour over the chicken mixture, stir together.

Apple Rosemary Marinade

Here is the recipe for the Apple Rosemary Marinade for the grilled chicken breasts. This marinade also works well on pork.

    1/2 C Apple cider or juice
    1/4 C Apple cider vinegar
    1/4 C Olive Oil
    3 T fresh Rosemary chopped
    2 T Honey
    2 T Stone Ground Mustard

Mix together and pour over chicken or pork. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Fourth Child

I actually have four kids, bet you didn't know that? My fourth is Daisy the dog. She may not be human but she exhibits the same sort of sibling rivalry the other 3 do. If I hug one of the other kids she try and squirm her way between us. The other day Nate & I were snuggling on the couch. Daisy couldn't stand it, jumped up on the couch, and squirmed her way in.

Imperative not Interrogative

This morning, Nate & M.E. got into it (o.k., not just this morning.) Anyway, M.E. comes up with a gash in her heal. What happened?

M.E.: "Nate pushed me into the edge of the cabinet."
Nate: "Because she pressure pointed me on the side of my head and it hurt."
M.E.: "I did that because he wouldn't stop poking me."
Mom: "Did you ask him to stop."
M.E.: "Yes!"
Nate: "No, you yelled at me to stop. Yelling is imperative not interrogative."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Katie Beckett

Nick is eligible for, and has so far been approved for a Katie Beckett (or Deeming) waiver, which helps pay some of the bills that our insurance won't cover. It is essentially medicaid for disabled children who's parents make too much money to be covered by medicaid.

When Nick was in early intervention it paid the co-pays for therapy which were substantial, at one point about $800 per month. Since he's started school, the therapies are done at school and we aren't billed. We did use it for extra PT the first year Nick was in school and for his orthotics which our insurance didn't cover.

Every year there is an annual review, which freaks me out more than any thing else, I don't find taxes anywhere as, um, taxing. And every year I debate whether to apply for it.

Anyway, the review papers came the last day of school. Of course, Nick was late for his annual physical and his doctor had retired. Plus, I didn't have a current copy of his IEP. I managed to get everything, doctor visit included done and sent everything off in the mail this morning. Then came home and realized I forgot a copy of Nick's insurance card. Argh!

Monday, June 01, 2009


Nick seems to take after his big brother in being slow to lose teeth and having lots of crowding. His bottom front teeth had started to come in even though his baby teeth haven't fallen out yet. So, this morning it was off to the dentist to have them extracted. With a little laughing gas he did very well. Even following directions to bite down on the cotton. I'll have to post of picture of his new grin once it looks less gruesome.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Last weekend, we took the big kids to see the new Star Trek movie. This weekend, we were talking about the older movies and t.v. series. So, off I went to see if Blockbuster had "The Voyage Home" or any of the other movies. They had 1 copy of "The Wrath of Khan," which was checked out.

So, from my iPhone, I checked Walmart.com. Sure, enough, they had a boxed set of "The Wrath of Kahn," "The Search for Spock," and the "The Voyage Home," in stock. They also had best of collections for the original series and the Next Generation.

Obviously, Blockbuster is missing out here. Wouldn't it be logical to think with the new movie there would be interest in the older movies? Or is Blockbuster so focused on just what's available for rent right now?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Feeling Guilty

Today is Nick's spring program at school, but he's not going and I'm feeling guilty. He's not going because Nate has a guitar lesson that I hadn't managed to reschedule followed by baseball. He's not going because the program is at 6 and to get him there we'd have to leave at 4:30 but M.E. doesn't get home until then (dang Atlanta traffic).

Not going, will save him sitting in a car for more than 90 minutes in addition to his round trip on the bus today. And he won't really know or care. And I feel guilty about that. I feel guilty that he has to miss something because of his older siblings. And I feel guilty about that. You can't do everything. The other kids have to make choices in their activities but they can make their choices. Sigh.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Nick's speech has improved so much in the past few months. He's really trying to make himself understood, to speak clearly and slowly. His favorite movie of the moment is Finding Nemo, and he's obsessed with the diver and mask. So, he's worked so hard to say diver, repeating it over and over. Today, I noticed he's starting to pick up the syllables that he often dropped in words and to pick up words in phrases he often left out. So, bu-els have become bubbles, pole has become ishing pole and the movie "Sages" has become "Ice Age."

I miss sages a bit tho.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sweet Moment

The other night at bed time, Nick patted the rocking chair and said "sit." So I sat. Then he climbed into my lap and said "sing." So, I did. I know it was partly a tactic to delay bedtime, but, it was a sweet moment, one I miss as the kids get bigger and bigger.

The next day, I was singing in the car and he said "no, sing moma." So, I kept on singing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Since the beginning of the year, I've been working on decluttering. Today, I was going through my files of appliance and other manuals, rooting out the manuals for things long broken or that have been given away. One the items was the microwave K & I bought when we moved in together after getting engaged in 1992. On the front page was contact information, an address and a phone number. No email or web page address. Amazing, what we did before the web became such a part such a part of our everyday lives.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break Activities

For Spring Break, we did a "staycation" Monday, we went to a local pool and swam. Nick was very reluctant to get into the water at first but by the end he put his face in and blew bubbles, held onto my hands and kicked. The may be the summer he learns to swim. At least he should be able to stand in the shallow end.

Tuesday, we went to Chuck E Cheese. I took a book and let the kids run loose. Nick spent most of his time in the overhead tunnels. The older kids went for the games with the possibility of winning the most tickets.

Wednesday, we hung around in our p.j.s

Thursday, two families we know from an email list came over. We had lunch, played a bit of badminton, played Apples to Apples and the moms hung out & chatted.

Friday, we went to the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coke. Nick loved the aquarium and practiced signing the words for all the sea animals he knows. His favorite was the beluga whales with the giant tank with the whale sharks, rays, etc. He wasn't too thrilled with the World of Coke until we came to the tasting room.


We had two families over yesterday, one local, one from out of town. The moms originally met on a pregnancy due date list in 1998. We now have 10 year old boys, plus six other kids ranging in age from 15 to 6. The kids played together while the moms talked.

We've gotten together annually for 10 years, and have probably not spent more than 40 hours together in real life. It's amazing how well you can get to know someone when you email almost daily for over 11 years. We're shared to birth of our children, the deaths of friends and other trials of life. It's good to have friends.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Another Milestone of Sorts

This morning, Nick had his p.j. top on inside out. My guess is that he took it off and then put it back on inside out! He's doing really well on dressing. Sometimes get things on backwards, but hey, sometimes I do that too! Now to work on socks.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Seafood Lasagne

Adapted from The Silver Palate Goodtimes Cookbook, by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins. I used to make this fairly often before kids, and had forgotten how good it is.

1 pound medium-size shrimp, shelled, deveined, and poached briefly (I used precooked)
1 pound scallops, poached briefly
1 jar (24 oz or larger) Vodka sauce

1 box no cook lasagne noodles


1 pound container ricotta cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
2 eggs
1 package (10 ounce) chopped frozen spinach
1 pound cooked lump crabmeat
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt & pepper to taste

2 packages sliced mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Butter or grease 13" x 9" pan

  1. Mix vodka sauce, scallops and shrimp.
  2. Beat ricotta, cream cheese and eggs in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in spinach, crabmeat, scallions, basil and salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Spread a thin layer of sauce without seafood in the bottom of pan. Top with a layer of noodles. Cover with half of the seafood sauce and then half of the crabmeat filling.
  4. Then add a layer of mozzarella cheese followed by a layer of noodles. Top with the remainder of sauce followed by the filling. Cover with the remaining mozzarella.
  5. Bake until the top is bubbling and browned, about 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

What a Difference a Year Makes

Yesterday, Nick had an appointment to be casted for a new pair of SMOs. He did really well, protesting a bit but not screaming the entire time. The orthotist remembered us from last year and commented on how much Nick had grown and how well he was walking. It's hard to believe it's only been a year that he's been walking. There was a time when I wondered if he would ever walk, now, I almost can't remember him not walking.

This time last year, Nick was starting to but 2 & 3 word phrases together. But, the words were one syllable or one syllable of a longer word and the phrases were often echos. Now, he's putting together real sentences with multiple syllable words. The other night in the bath he said "Go way, no wash my hair." He's also started to answer questions about things that happened. We're not quite to being able to ask him about his day but, occasionally, he'll tell us about something big that happened at school. And he actually answered a question in circle time at school.

Last year we were working on potty training but not seeing much success. Now, he mostly goes on demand and stays dry as long as we put him on the potty. Now, he can undress himself. The other day he pulled down his pants & pullup and peed on the potty all his own.

Self help skills are coming along, he has mastered a fork and spoon and eats cereal with a minimum of mess. He drinks from an open cup without spilling. Undresses himself, of course, I often find him naked in the bath tub! He knows to cover his mouth when he coughs and mostly to use tissues to wipe his nose.

When you have a child with delays, it's hard to see progress. Perhaps we need to take a longer view more often.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I'm struggling a bit with Nick's placement for next year. I'm pretty sure it's the right choice, but have reservations. It feels a bit like a step backwards. Right now, he's in full inclusion in a pre-K class. The recommendation is to put him in a self contained special education class that is partnered with a regular education kindergarten class. Initially, he'll have a minimum of 1 hour per day of regular education instruction along with going to "specials" with the regular education class. I met and saw in action the teacher Nick is likely to have. She's fantastic, and is probably a good fit for him. In know, he'll get a lot more one-on-one instruction which he really needs. But, it's still not inclusion. I have to remember inclusion is what I want and not what Nick may need.

It's never easy is it?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

He is Down Syndrome - not

When I first heard of people first language, it seemed a too politically correct. However, the further we get into this journey the more it makes sense.

This morning, I talked with a gentleman with an older child with DS. He said "my daughter is Down Syndrome." And then talked about someone else who "is Down Syndrome." It bothered me, a lot.

Driving home, I got to thinking about people first language and how someone isn't a label and that they are so much more than a label. Nick isn't Down Syndrome, he's Nick. But, I'm also guilty of not using people first language. Nate has a friend who's bipolar, or rather has bipolar disorder. We have another friend who is dyslexic, or rather has dyslexia. Both of these children are so much more than their disorders or disabilities.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Came across this quote recently...

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Martin Luther King 1967

2009 Goals or Resolutions

I'm only about 26 or so days late on writing these up, but I have been more or less working on them.
  • Get housework done earlier in the day. I'm pretty good about making beds, emptying the dishwasher, etc., but it doesn't get done until about 4 p.m. when the kids are home from school. Because the routine work isn't done, special projects don't get started and lots of time is lost goofing on the computer.
  • Knit, sew, craft from stash. No more quick trips to Michaels, Joanne's, & the yarn store just to see what's out there. There is probably enough yarn in this house to keep me knitting for the next 10 years.
  • Finish or frog UFOs. I've already made a good start on this finishing one afghan in 2009.
  • Declutter by recycling, donating, or throwing out one bag every week.
  • Eat out less, especially fast food.
  • Stick to the budget. We actually have a budget set for this year. It also means keeping up with Quicken, which I've spent the last week getting completely caught up. (Of course, this was a bit depressing looking at IRA & 401K losses from last year.)
  • Be more patient with the kids, hubby, & myself.
  • Take time to do things I enjoy, like knitting, playing the piano, etc.
  • Buy less junk.
  • Keep in better touch with old friends and make some new ones. (hmm, an excuse to use Facebook?)
  • Finish Nick's potty training.