Odds and Ends

Monday, July 21, 2008

Some of you have been wondering...

The Rollover: Caro has rolled once since the original roll but nothing after that.

Physical therapy/improving C's physical development is something like a layperson learning how to play baseball or golf...after much repetition (i.e. - hundreds of practice sessions), one could learn how to throw a curve ball or hit a golf ball properly, but that's the only way it will begin to "come naturally" for that person. Most children are the Tiger Woods/Nolan Ryan of rolling over, crawling, walking, etc., but Caro must practice, practice, practice - and does so at 5 PT/OT sessions a week and at home with me and her dad day in and day out.

She works very hard to make the smallest of improvements - she is an example to me of perserverence.

Weblinks on the side:

Politicker NV - as the name suggests, it's a site about politics in Nevada - very comprehesive and has a lot of links to other NV political sites

Nevada P.E.P. - a support organization for children with special needs (Bryce referred to it in a post below) - they've given us a lot of great information

Seriously, So Blessed - a spoof (NOT an actual friend of mine) of the typical Mormon girl's so funny because it's so true

5 Minutes for Special Needs - This site just started up (its sister site is 5minutes for Moms) and I've just scratched its surface but love what I've read so far


Friday, July 18, 2008

This dip, featured in the January 08 issue of Cooking Light, is a low-fat high-nutrition alternative to guacamole because it's made with edamame (soybeans). These little guys are high in protein, iron, calcium, and B vitamins and low in calories and fat.

I've made the dip several times and still crave it because it's tasty and fast, along with being healthy. I'll sometimes add more lemon juice, salt, hot sauce, or garlic to taste. Adding cilantro, sriracha or onions would work too - this recipe handles experimentation well.

Serve it with veggies (bell peppers cut into tortilla chip-like triangles are great - a lot of visual appeal when you serve sliced red, yellow and orange bell peppers next the green edamole) and/or with Terra Chips or Baked Tostitos.

Edamole - Cooking Light Jan 2008 - yields 2-3 servings

3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed (I've purchased them at Trader Joe's, but I'm sure they're available elsewhere)
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 garlic clove, halved
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Cover and chill.

Thursday's Thought

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Last week, our friend and ward member Mark Benson passed away after a battle with cancer (see Help Mark Fight). I had the opportunity to attend his memorial yesterday. The service's words and music touched and inspired me. I want to share what I felt; I don't know that I can convey everything, but I'll do my best.

Mark was a 41 year old father of three little girls. His was the oldest of several brothers and sisters. Diagnosed with a severe form of leukemia in February, he has been in the hospital almost non-stop trying to fight the disease.

As some of his siblings spoke about him, I was so impressed by the great relationship he had with each one, how each one remembered how Mark constantly made them feel special and loved and how he looked after each one. They also talked about his deep love for his wife and shared some information about the sacred moments they shared just before his death. It reminded me that I want to make sure my family relationships continue to grow and flourish, how I can never take them for granted.

One of his brothers emphasized how important all relationships were to Mark. He made every effort to befriend and understand those around him. I can personally attest to that.

He empathized with us when Caroline was born. When she had her baby blessing last year, Mark talked with us afterwards about how it reminded him of Maddie's blessing (his oldest daughter was born with Down Syndrome) and how special his daughter is to him and what a poignant time that was. He and his wife Michelle have helped us see how to turn a trial into a blessing.

Another sibling shared one of Mark's sayings - he always said that he cared more about how people felt than what they thought. I can definitely do better at worrying less about what people think.

His death leaves many questions - for example, why would he be taken at such a young age - he's so needed by his family and he had much to offer the world for years to come? Our bishop talked about that and read from D&C 101, where it says that, in the midst of very difficult, incomprehensible trials, we can trust that God understands our pain and has a plan for us. He loves us with a perfect love.

Finally, Mark's sisters did a violin duet of the hymn "Be Still, My Soul" - the words in the hymn captured the message at the funeral and the feelings in my heart, not only during the funeral but for the last 18 months with Caroline:

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side; with patience bear thy cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide; in ev’ry change he faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake to guide the future as he has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on when we shall be forever with the Lord, when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

PS - His extended family has set up a donation fund to help his wife and children with medical bills, cost of living, etc. If you can, I know that they would appreciate a donation. Thanks. (see the sidebar of Help Mark Fight for information)

PPS - Happy 18-month bday to Caroline.

The Rollover

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back after another delay in posting. I don't know what it is, but lately it has been harder for me to get motivated to post. And that's a downside to blogging - the feeling you get when you haven't posted in awhile is like the feeling you get when you haven't kept in touch with a friend very well...times 100!

Anyway, a storm has been brewing at our house for a few months now and that storm is Caroline's desire to get moving. That storm came to a head last week when, after an hour or so of wiggling, she finally rolled over for the first time! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of most of the process, but, when C did an attempted reenactment on Sunday, I took pictures.

To start, she hangs out on her side and swings her legs and hips...

...and she takes a break...

...then swings a little bit more (this pic wouldn't adjust properly - it should've been turned once counter-clockwise)...

...gets almost over as she plays with her favorite rings...

...and finally finishes on her stomach (this picture was taken at the end of the actual first rollover)!

Here are some other pictures of the little girl on the go:

In her swing

And in her makeshift Little Room (it's a space for her that one of her PT's recommended - it helps her grab toys on her own and feel more enclosed - see the link for more info) and on her sounding board (a board she lies on that gives her vibration feedback as she moves)

After all of this moving, she is tired - so tired that, after playing with her monitors, she just falls asleep with them right on her face:

Summer Days

Monday, July 7, 2008

I uploaded these pics a couple weeks ago but never posted them. Sorry for the absence! Hope all of you had a great 4th of July weekend.

Little enjoying her swing again.

Isn't she gettting big?

Bryce mounted our old tv up in our loft all on his own. We also added drapes but are still waiting for another chair identical to the white one you see to put on the other side of that little table. The white tube on the floor is the tube that carries Caro's oxygen and humidity to her while she's in her crib.

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