Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit! We hope to share with you our journey of raising a child with Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. If this is your first time here, please start by reading Caitlyn's Story. It will share the beginning of her life with you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wasn't Easter a few weeks ago?

Just want to share some long overdue pictures from Easter. Scott, Caitlyn and I hung out at home this year. The Easter bunny had come and left plenty of eggs for Caty to find. She had a blast hunting around for them!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Banana Bread

So, I looked back and it's been a good month and a half since I last posted a recipe - so much for doing them weekly. Oh well, what can I say.

Banana Bread

1 3/4 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 c sugar
1/3 c shortening
2 eggs
2 TBS milk
1 c mashed ripe bananas
1/4 c chopped nuts (optional)

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside

In a bowl, beat sugar and shortening with electric mixer, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, and the milk, beating till smooth after each addition. Add flour mixture and banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating till smooth after each addition. Fold in nuts.

Pour batter into a lightly greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree over for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

The tubes go in...

I know this is REALLY late, and I've been a total slacker, but hey, life is busy!

As most of you know, Caitlyn had her first set of tubes put in on April 9th. We did a little talking with her about the procedure and she was a trooper!

Here's a run down of the morning

We woke her up around 6:20 because she wasn't allowed anything to drink after 6:30. So she got her one sip in, we got dressed and headed out the door. We needed to be to admitting by 7:15. They got her information put into the computer, her hospital bracelet on (and one for Abby to), and we headed over to Outpatient Surgery. We were called back around 7:45. One of the nurses came over and asked if Caty liked play-duh, what kid doesn't! So she got set up with a play-duh table and went to town. She got a good 20-30 minutes of playing in before they gave her some medicine to help relax her. I don't recall what the medicine was called, but it was a very small dose, due to Caty's size (30 inches and 26 lbs). After about 5 minutes she started getting a little loopy, then it got worse and worse. Pretty soon, she couldn't sit up by herself, her words were slurred and she was drooling. She was acting like she was TOTALLY SMASHED!! (Notice in the picture to left, she doesn't have her usual smile on her face.) Since she was unable to sit up by herself, we, as in Scott and I, decided that the play-duh needed to go. This was quite upsetting to Caty and she turned on the tears and even screaming at times. We kept reassuring her that we could bring out her play-duh at home, but she wasn't buying it. Scott and I took turns holding her; she couldn't hold her head up and it was like holding a floppy 26 lb baby. FINALLY the anesthesiologist came and took her back for the surgery. Once she was gone, this is when I broke down and finally cried. It wasn't because of her having the surgery, I wasn't concerned at all about it, it was just so hard seeing her like this. Scott and I went out into the waiting room. I headed out into the hall to have something to eat and use the restroom. I went back into the waiting room and not even 20 minutes had passed by and her ENT, Dr Ro, came and got us. He let us know that everything had gone fine with getting the fluid out and putting in the tubes. Caty was just coming out of the anesthesia when we got back into recovery. She wasn't the happiest of kids, but who would be with a mask on and wires attached to your chest. Once she was able to sit on my lap and have a popsicle, she started doing much better. She did say that her ears hurt, but the doctors warned us that kids usually do this, even if their ears don't hurt. Pretty soon she was doing well and was discharged. She'd gone into surgery around 8:45 and we were escorted out of the hospital in our wheelchair around 9:30 and were home by 10:00. It couldn't have gone any easier!

Caty spent some time lounging on the couch and by noon she was on the floor playing. I can't remember exactly when, but it was either later this same afternoon or the next morning, that we noticed her hearing had improved. What a relief!! Now we're just waiting for her speech to start clearing up.

Here she is playing a few hours after the tubes go in

We've got a follow-up appointment the first week of May, so I'll let you all know how it goes. At her last speech therapy session I brought in her hearing test results to share with the speech therapist and got some interesting feedback. Her hearing loss, before the tubes, fell right in the decibel area where the sounds that she has a hard time making are (the letter sounds she has a hard time with are: c, k, g, and sh). Just what we wanted to hear, no seriously, this is good news. She wasn't hearing the sounds right, which was causing her to not say them correctly. So, we'll keep our fingers crossed that over time, she's get the sounds down pat - the correct way this time.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April Showers Bring A May Flower

In this case, I'm talking about a Baby Shower for my brother and sister-in-law. As most of you know, my brother (Todd) and sister-in-law (Erin) are due with their first child just 4 weeks before Baby Murphy is set to arrive.

Caty and I traveled south to Visalia (45 minutes south of Fresno) for the shower, which was on Saturday, April 3rd. Todd and Erin live in San Diego, but Erin grew up in Visalia and her parents still live there. We headed out of Sacramento early Saturday morning, around 7:30 and met up with my parents 3 hours into the 4 hour drive. My mom took over driving Caty and I hopped in with my dad, getting some much needed quiet time and rest from driving. If I'm in the car too long, my feet start swelling; never a fun thing. We arrived at the Buhl household around noon and had an hour until the shower started. Todd and Erin showed up shortly after we got there. It was wonderful seeing them, as the last time we were together was a Christmas. We got ready and headed over to the Mexican restaurant that the shower was being held at.

We had a great time at the shower - Caty even won a prize. There were a few games - one of them for the kids (Caty and Erin's other nieces and nephew). They had to guess how many pink safety pins were in the bottle. Alyssa (10) and Brogan (7 or 8) both guessed over 300, Sydney (almost 3) guessed 1 and Caty guessed 7. There were 100 and something; since Alyssa and Brogan went over, Caty, with her guess of 7 got the closest! She won an Easter basket filled with crafts - she's been having fun with it all week. Todd and Erin got so many wonderful gifts; their car (a Chevy Tahoe) was packed!

Comparing Bellies - I'm just a few days shy of 30 weeks and Erin is just about 34 weeks
Caty with Auntie Erin and Uncle Todd
Caty wearing the hat that Erin was supposed to be wearing, thanks to Erin's mom - not quite Erin's style, suits Caty much better
Caty wearing Uncle Todd's pin - another thing more suitable to Caty
Caty and Uncle Todd
Helping open the presents
Caty's present to Riley - a cute dress with a bumblebee, a sippy cup with Riley's name on it and a few books
My mom's present - handmade by Nana

We headed back to the house. Also there, was Erin's sister, Amy and her fiance Spencer, and some friends from San Diego that made the drive up, Jacque and her boyfriend Norm. Karen cooked us a delicious roast for dinner. We hung out for the evening and had a great time. My mom took the seat next to me on the couch so she could feel Baby Murphy moving around. She was so excited when she finally felt her move. Baby-to-be isn't very active during the day, but once I finally sit down in the evening to relax, that's when she decides it's time to move around. All the times that we have seen my parents, it's during the day, so my mom hasn't had the chance to feel her. And while I was pregnant with Caitlyn, my mom never felt her move. Thinking back on being pregnant with Caty, I didn't feel her move as much as this one - possibly because of the extra amniotic fluid or because her limbs are shorter and she didn't push as much. Who knows. Anyways, it was a great experience for my mom.

Sunday morning Caitlyn, unfortunately, woke up around 6:30 and came into my room. She had slept in their office, which was nice, so I could get some sleep myself. At home, she has a digital clock in her room, and has to wait until 7:00 until she can get up. Unfortunately in the office there wasn't one, so when she came into my room, she asked, "what time is it?" She laid in bed with me until 7:00, then we got up and since everyone else was still sleeping, we got dressed and packed up our things. Amy and Spencer were sleeping in the living room, so that was off limits. Caty was getting pretty impatient waiting in the room, but around 8:15 my parents came in - they had spent the night in the RV. Finally around 8:45 we heard movement in the living room, maybe it was because my mom went into the kitchen and started the coffee pot, so we emerged from the room. We had a yummy breakfast, complete with quiche, bacon, biscuits and fruit. Caty and I hit the road around 10:45 with one planned stop on the way home.

I'd have to say, maybe 2 years ago, I met a family on MySpace, the Heuer's, who live in Fresno. David and Shannon are parents to Sienne, who is now 3 years old. We finally met in person back in September of 2007 at an LPA event, which they made the drive up for. We haven't seen each other since then, but have been in touch on both MySpace and Facebook. So when I knew about the shower being in Visalia, just 45 minutes south of Fresno, I let them know and we made a playdate for Sunday, on our way home. We arrived at their house and spent about 2 hours there. Sienna was all into sharing everything - her toys, flashcards, even her chicken nuggets, but Caitlyn wasn't in the mood to accept the offers. I'm not sure what was up with her as she usually taking things that are offered, okay, so maybe not someone else's chicken nuggets, but toys - definitely! We had a great time and I got some cute pictures of the girls together. Around 1:45 we hit the road again - with one more stop just up the road for some lunch. We FINALLY made it home around 5:30 - WHAT A LONG DAY!

Caty and Sienna, in September of 2007
Together again!

What a wonderful weekend we had!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Recipe of the Week - Santa's Scrumptious Egg Bake

A few things:
1) I know that I have slacked with doing these recipe blogs and I'm sorry
2) This recipe is from our local Bel-Air store and came out in their Holiday Issue of "SOMETHING EXTRA." Hence why it's called "Santa's Scrumptious Egg Bake"
3) I have never actually made this myself, but some friends did and it was DELICIOUS!!

1 20 oz package turkey breakfast sausage patties
1 20 oz package Simply Potatoes Diced Potatoes and Onion (or something similar if you don't have a Bel-Air or Raleys near you
1/2 cup each: chopped red bell pepper and sliced green onions
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
14 eggs
2 c lowfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp each: garlic salt and dried sage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9 inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Crumble sausage into skillet and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through; drain the excess grease. Spread sausage, potatoes, vegetables and cheddar cheese into prepared pan. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; pour into prepared dish and stir lightly to mix together. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until eggs are puffed, golden brown and set in the center.

Makes 12 servings

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bless Me

The book, Bless Me - by Grace Maccarone, is one of Caitlyn all time favorite books. We have to read it each and every night before going to bed. She's got the book memorized, which you can see in the video of her "reading" the book to Abby and everyone watching. Enjoy!