Monday, May 23, 2011

My Baby is Growing Up

Today was Cody's last day of preschool.

It seems like just yesterday that

... the little man and I met for the first time
{true story-Cody was screaming as you can see in the picture.  Right after this was taken, I said, "it's ok Cody".  He immediately stopped crying, and just stared at me.  Sweetest moment of my entire life}


...he turned one


...two

...became a big brother




...turned three

...four

...and five


Time goes by way too fast. I'm looking forward to a fun summer with my boys, but my hope is that the days go by slowwwly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recipe Roundup - Nut and Egg Free

If someone were to ask me if there was a positive behind becoming a food allergy mom, I would tell them that the one positive for me is finding a new joy of cooking. I've always enjoyed cooking, but it was never something that I put a ton of effort into. Now though, I do a lot of looking for recipes, mostly online. I make a lot of things that I never imagined I would make. I've found a love of mincing garlic (I find it relaxing!) and making bread. There's just something satisfying about making your own food, especially knowing without a doubt that it'll be safe for my food allergy kid to eat.

I thought that I would share some of the recipes that I have made over the last couple months, that have been enjoyed here. They are all either nut and egg free, or I was able to make changes to remove egg from the recipe.

As always, please make sure that the individual ingredients that you choose are free of the allergens and/or any cross contamination risk.

Pay attention to her notes. The first time I didn't, and ended up with a sticky mess. The notes mention adding extra flour to go from sticky dough to tacky dough.  Wonderful with a pasta dish.  Or for breakfast the next morning =)

Oh my, are these good. Not only are they delish, but they don't call for egg.  It's hard to find an egg free meatball recipe.  This is one of the few recipes that I can't wait for the leftovers the next day, and look forward to making again very soon. This is the recipe that made me swoon over P-Dub.

I've never eaten at a White Castle. Around here, the only White Castle you see are in the freezer section, tiny little frozen hamburgers, and I've never tried them. Having lived in Jacksonville, FL for a couple of years though, I love Krystal Burgers, which are the same general idea. Tiny little cheese burgers, with mustard, pickle and onions. There aren't any Krystal Burgers here in VA, but this definitely hit the spot.  Brought back good memories of hitting Krystal Burger after a night on Bourbon Street in New Orleans!

I don't think I've ever ordered a gyro. And I'm pretty sure that I say gyro wrong. But what drew me into this recipe was that it meant I could make homemade pita bread (recipe included in the note section).  Little round pieces of bread heaven.

I made this for Mardi Gras this year, and fell in love. Well, at least I did after the smoke cleared. Be prepared to open some windows and get the ceiling fans moving before you make this. But it's worth it. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Fat Tire® Braised Carnitas Tacos with Fat Tire® Chavelas O.M.G. First, I don't usually say OMG. Second, I don't normally get this excited about a meat dish. But this was amazing. I couldn't find Fat Tire Ale, so I went with good old Budweiser American Ale. It takes awhile to cook (though my oven time was only 2.5 hours, so less than stated in the recipe), but there's a good bit of downtime while it's cooking too. And it's so worth it. Had it with tortillas the first night, slider buns the next.

And to finish with something sweet...

The first couple times I made these I used Ener-G egg replacer, and they turned out great. The last time I made them though, I used applesauce in place of the egg. I don't know if I used too much or what, but the cookies spread a LOT and didn't get as crisp as the other batches. Still good, just a little too soft. So I'll definitely stick with the egg replacer from now on!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sometimes Things Happen for a Reason

Last night I did a search for "apraxia blogs". The first several results were apraxia pages that I have seen in the past. One though was a personal blog, a mama with a 5 year old daughter that was diagnosed with apraxia. Her post really caught my attention, because it showed a video of her daughter saying some words. Although her daughter is a few years older than Luke, I noticed some similarity between her and Luke.

The other thing that caught my attention was that she mentioned Loyola's Speech-Language Pathology Clinic. Loyola is located in Baltimore, MD, but it is within driving distance for us, so that was exciting news.

Even more exciting though was learning that the mama lives in the same general area as us! I was able to talk to her some though Facebook, and she gave me some recommendations for having Luke evaluated by a non-Early Intervention Speech Language Pathologist, that is trained in PROMPT. So I will be calling tomorrow to make an appointment with them.

It's crazy to me that I went from being completely lost as to where to go next, to stumbling across a blog entry from a year ago, where the person is not only dealing with a similar language delay, but is also local.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Developmental Pediatrician Update

Yesterday's appointment went well. My mom was able to come with us, which was a huge help. We got there around 10:30am after a 2 hour drive, and I was pleased to find that the Children's Center was well equipped for kids that have to wait around for awhile. Adjacent to the waiting room there was a HUGE children's play area. Train tables, books, art center, doll houses, castle the kids could climb around in. There was even a lady playing the guitar. So while Luke and I saw the doctor, my mom and Cody stayed out there to enjoy the fun.

The appointment mostly consisted of the nurse asking me 101 questions about Luke's health history. Thankfully I was smart enough to type everything up the night before, because I would have forgotten a few things otherwise. It's amazing how easily your mind can go blank when you least want it to.

Once we were done with that, the doctor came in. He had Luke do a few puzzles (which Luke breezed through - the doctor remarked at how intelligent he is), and asked me a few more questions. He said he wasn't concerned with Luke's height, since my husband and I are both short. He is concerned with his weight though, he says Luke is much too lean for his height. He gave us a list of ideas for pushing high calories, so that is our mission.

Then he went on to ask me if Luke's speech therapist has ever mentioned Apraxia. She didn't, but I did ask her about it. I've been reading about Childhood Apraxia of Speech for a few weeks now. I stumbled across it online one night, and to me it describes Luke very well. When I asked his ST about it, she said there weren't any "clear" signs, but that there are some signs. 2.5 is young for diagnosing it.

Anyway, the developmental pediatrician feels that Luke has Apraxia. I wasn't surprised, because as I mentioned, I've been wondering about it for awhile. He will be sending me a letter with his diagnosis and recommendations in it, and my hope is that it will help us to get more hours from Early Intervention for Luke's speech therapy.

It's funny, because leaving the doctor's office the apraxia label didn't phase me. Once I got home thogh, it hit me hard. Apraxia is a neurological issue, instead of a developmental for plain old speech delays. Some kids have it so severely that they don't talk for quite a long time. Some are in speech therapy throughout their childhood. And for some it leads to other learning disabilities down the road. Luke's doesn't appear to be severe, because he occasionally picks up a new word. But the thought of him having one more thing to struggle through is upsetting.

I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon and evening thinking about things.  Will Luke learn to talk easily with the new ST approach?  Or will I still be hoping for a conversation with him when he starts Kindergarten?  It made me wonder if I can do for Luke everything that he will need.  Will I be driven enough to make sure that he gets what he deserves from Early Intervention, and then the school system when he transitions?  Can I be the loud mama that he needs me to be, to speak for him?  My conclusion was, you better believe it. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Developmental Pediatrician

Got word a little while ago that Luke's appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician at UVA's Children's Hospital has been moved up to tomorrow! I'm a little nervous, and stressing a little over making sure I have all his info together, but I'm also excited about getting this ball rolling.