Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Today was all kinds of hectic.  I had to leave work at lunch to meet the Little Caesar Fundraising pizza kit delivery guy...65 pizza kits...I know that doesn't sound like much, but it looks like this:

After it was dropped in the driveway, I had to open and load into my car so I could get it to the parents.
The ENTIRE back 1/2 of my van was full.  It was insane.  I kept the a/c going (even though it was cool outside) to keep the food cold.  I was assured b/c it was cool out, it would be fine sitting in the car until delivery after work.  So, back to the office I went.
I left at 4:15 and picked up the girls from running club.  We went home to let out the dogs, for the girls to grab a bite to eat & for Cai to change for their newly added Wed cheer practice.
As soon as we opened the door we could smell dinner in the was mouthwatering!

We were in and out of the house in 15 mins.  I raced to the Church to meet the parents to pick up their pizza kits.  Because I was on my lunch, I didn't have time to load them by order, so I was separating while standing in the parking lot.  It was a bit hectic.  Once we got a majority of the orders passed out, we headed to Cai's practice where the rest of the orders would be delivered.

This practice is only for the next month to help the girls clean up their stunts.  Because there is already a practice being held at the gym, the girls were at a local park.  It was such a chilly day, but the girls did well.  I think it helped they were able to run around & get out some energy when they weren't the group working on their stunts.

When we finally walked in the door at 8:15, we were starving and exhausted.  It was so nice to not have to worry about making dinner.

The meat was still juicy and had flavor.  I don't think I used enough cheese, so on tomorrow's leftovers I will be adding a little extra.

Chicken Philly recipe

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used frozen)
2 sliced green peppers
1/2 onion sliced
garlic salt

I laid the chicken in the bottom of the crockpot & added the sliced veggies.  I added some garlic salt to about 1/2 cup of water and stirred it up.  I dumped it on top of the food, set it on low (10 hrs), covered it and left it for the day.

About 1/2 hr before we got home, Dennis shredded it (using the mixer!) added sliced swiss cheese (we were out of provolone) to the top.  By the time I got home, it was melted and ready for a hoagie bun. 
We had macaroni salad with it and it was awesome.  Even the girls finished it.  There was PLENTY for leftovers tomorrow. 

Yay for easy crockpot dinners!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Crockpot chicken tacos

Dennis is FINALLY back to work and doesn't get home until between 6 & 7 most nights.  After all of the running I do after work on any given day, we are walking in shortly before him.  I have decided I'm going to put the crockpot to use again.

Today I made chicken tacos.  I always use frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I only made three b/c I didn't want a lot of leftovers if the girls didn't like it. It gave us a perfect amount for each of us to have 2 tacos each.  Dennis LOADED his full of chicken, while the girls didn't.  I had a normal amount. 

Also, a huge time saver, crockpot liners.  Because honestly, who wants to clean up after dinner?!! 

I thought it tasted good, Bry wasn't a huge fan, but she doesn't like taco meat either.  Cai liked hers, as did Dennis & I. 

I have to say, somewhere on one of those lifehack posts, I saw the easiest way to shred mean was to use a mixer.  That is the TRUTH!!!!  It literally takes a minute and it's perfectly shredded with no work!!  I LOVE IT!  Best hack I've ever used.

Tomorrow we are making chicken philly meat in the love chicken philly sandwiches!

Tonight's easy recipe:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast (mine were frozen)
2 spoonfuls of taco seasoning (you can add more if you like them stronger)
1/2 a block of cream cheese cut into chunks
1 c of chicken broth (could use water if you'd rather)

I dropped it all into the crockpot.  Turned it on low and it was ready in 6 hours. 

We had them on tortillas with lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, etc.

The only bad part about this one was that I had to come home and turn it on at lunch (only b/c I forgot to turn it on before I left for work).  Not turning it on in the am turned out to be a blessing b/c it def would have burnt if I had let it go for 10 hrs! 
Tomorrow I will use my digital crockpot that turns to 'warm' after the cook time is complete.

I hope you enjoy this easy 4 ingredient crockpot recipe!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

2015 Apraxia Walk

This was our 4th year joining the Apraxia Walk and Bryleigh’s last year as a superhero.  When our family started the apraxia journey 4 yrs ago, I did NOT think we would

a.     Get through it this quickly

b.    Meet amazing people during this journey

c.     Find an amazing group that has taught me so much

 Shortly after Bry was dx, I was worried about how she would progress.  My only example was our nephew Dallas.  He is now 21 yrs old and still has a speech impediment.  If he speaks too quickly, it’s hard to understand him.  I didn’t want this for Bryleigh!   I made sure to put her into intense therapy, she did 2 summers of speech camp and we constantly worked on speech at home. 
A cheer mom told me about NWO Apraxia Support shortly after Bry was dx.  We attended their second walk and I was grateful to the wonderful items she rec’d in her superhero bag!  Shortly after, I applied for & she rec’d an iPad from NWO Apraxia Support during their grant cycle.  She had a ton of speech apps and some games.  I worried she would only use it for fun.  Then one day, I walked into the family room and she was on the couch with one of the speech apps going.  It showed you how to use your mouth.  She was mimicking the person on the app.  My eyes immediately teared up! 
Her hard work paid off when she was released from speech shortly after her 5th b/day!

About a year and a half ago, they amended their mission statement to include ‘invisible disabilities’ i.e. physical or mental challenge that is not always obvious to the onlooker, but can sometimes or always limit daily activities.  It can range from mild challenges to severe limitations and vary from person to person.  This includes, but is not limited to ADHD, anxiety, epilepsy, autism, Tourette syndrome, SPD, non-specific learning disabilities, dyslexia, CAS and other speech and language disorders. 

We applied for and rec’d a therapy grant for Cadence.  It was a huge help for her speech therapy at BG.  Woo! 

The 2014 walk was the first time Cadence was a superhero.  She thought it was pretty neat, except the part about going on stage to receive her medal.  She gets anxious about attention being on her, alone.  But she did it, so I was proud of her for that. 
This year’s walk was at the Toledo Zoo.  This was the first time the venue changed since it started 5 yrs ago.  It was amazing!!  The SWAT team came in, dressed as superheroes and repelled down one of the walk ways.  The kids loved it.  Their superhero bags were out of this world.  I was absolutely shocked when we went through them after getting home.  They were filled to the top with amazing items!

This baby penguin loved Bryleigh

My friends & I donated art supplies for this basket.  Funds raised were donated to Shared Lives Studio

Each child gets a superhero prize.  Cadence rec’d a watch that I can set up reminders.  So at different times during the day, it will vibrate and remind her to pay attention, at lunch it’s set up to remind her to wipe her face while eating.  Other reminders are to ‘take a breath’, ‘use manners’, ‘give a compliment’, ‘use fidget’, use ‘chew necklace, not shirt’.  It’s an amazing piece of equipment!  Bryleigh rec’d Tiggly.  She LOVES it!

After I worked the raffle ticket table, my mom, the girls & I walked around the zoo for a little bit.  We finally headed back for the raffle drawing for an iPad mini.

Cadence won!!!  She was soooo happy!  She could not wait to get home and play on it. It has been an amazing tool for her as well.  She has a vision therapy app, spelling word apps, reading comprehension apps…all in the form of games and she loves them. 

I will sing praises to NWO Apraxia whenever anyone will listen!  They are truly amazing.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I am 'that mom'

Dear IEP Moms….how true is this?

Some of these bullets, I’ve thought of…but not thought of…the notion was just a blip on my radar.  Then I read this.  ‘The one who sometimes dreads adulthood instead of looking forward to it’.

There is no IEP when you’re an adult.  There is no reduced spelling list.  There isn’t an intervention specialist that will help you finish that project for college or work.

Sometimes I feel like an asshole because I think  ‘Can she manage w/o help when she gets a job?’.  I have to clarify, her learning disability is not debilitating.  So I feel like I overreact when I see what other parents have to deal with.  But on the other hand, I watch what my 6 yr old can accomplish and my heart breaks for my 10 yr old.  So yea…what is going to happen when she’s on her own as an adult?!

Last week, Cai was writing a story.  I encourage it, but in reality I HATE it b/c she’s asking how to spell words most 10 yr olds know how to spell.  I know, I’m an asshole.  One of the questions was how to spell ask.  I said, ‘sound it out’.  As soon as I did, I cringed.  She cannot sound out words.  So ask..she would sound out each sound, but when it’s time to put those sounds together, she’d spell something completely off the wall – like dog or something. 

Anyway, she started to sound it out and Bry walks over and quickly sounds it out and tells her how to spell it.  Cai looked defeated and said, ‘is she right?’  I almost wanted to lie and say no b/c I could see she wasn’t happy about her little sister, in first grade, spelling it for her.  I said yes and told Bry to let Cai do her own spelling, unless she is asked for help.


I also wanted to tell Bry how proud of her I was and make a big deal about her spelling! 

So..again..asshole mom b/c I couldn’t/didn’t congratulate her for doing well b/c I didn’t want the other to feel worse.

I should have just told her.  A S K

When I start to get mad that she learns differently or when I’m just so annoyed b/c WHY CAN’T SHE GET IT??!!!  I start to get more mad at myself.  So what..she can’t spell.  So what…she can’t put a sentence together…she doesn’t understand math..or money.  SHE’S HEALTHY…SHE’S ALIVE….she’s not dealing with other disabilities.  Why can’t I be thankful she’s ONLY dealing with learning disabilities instead of being mad that she struggles?

My heart aches and my mind hates me. 

It’s a vicious cycle.

But don’t ever take my guilt & self-doubt as a sign of weakness.  Because I promise…. I am “that mom.”