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!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Annual Family Tradition

After living in the Sacramento area for 9 years, we decided to finally make a trip up to Apple Hill for some apple goodness.  We got some suggestions of orchards to stop at – thanks to Melisa and Rod. 
We started our morning by making the hour drive and luckily Hanna slept the whole way.  It can make for a REALLY LONG car ride if she doesn’t fall asleep. 
Our first stop was High Hill where we tried some apple donuts – yumo!!  Caty also got her face painted.  The picture board showed a small butterfly but the end product sure didn’t look like that!
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Caty spotted this sign and since it cost $120 we opted to just take a picture of it and send the picture to my parents.  

Next we headed over to El Dorado Orchards.  We didn’t do much here as Caty, Hanna and I had just gone on a train ride on Friday at the pumpkin patch.  We did walk around and looked at the different booths.  We also got a nice family picture taken.  The couple that took the picture must have owned one of the booths because the lady gave each of the girls little hand sewn snowmen.  They sure are cute (sorry no picture). 
Caty posing with the scarecrow, although she was a little timid about standing in front of him.  I’m not sure if she expected him to move or what, but she got out of there very quickly after I took the picture. 
Next we headed to Boa Vista Orchards and had lunch – yummy corndogs.  Did some more walking around and browsing what people were selling.  We watched an artist make some paintings with spray paint – they were actually really cool looking. 
From here we headed to Abel’s Apple Acres in search of an apple pie.  Boy did we find one!  Can’t you just smell it!!  Mmmm!!!!
There was a pond which looks much better in this picture than in person – up close it looked like a swamp infested with mosquitos – not so bad in the picture though.  I think that, despite the look of the pond, this might be an annual picture that we take and next year Hanna can be standing with Caty instead of hanging in the stroller. 
We really wanted to find an orchard that allowed us to pick our own apples, most of them don’t.  I sent Melisa a text asking where they had picked apples, as they had just spent a weekend up in Apple Hill.  She recommended Willow Pond Farm, which is such a tiny orchard they don’t even have a web site.  It was a wonderful place though and we had fun picking our apples. 
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Looks like we’ll be visiting Apple Hill each fall.  We had a wonderful day and I’m sad that we’ve missed out on 9 years of apple goodness!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

LPA Fall Regional

Our local chapter of LPA hosted the Fall Regional over the weekend of October 2-4th.  Being the Vice President of our chapter, as well as a Parent Coordinator, meant being on the planning committee.  I think that the weekend was a success.  We had around 160 attendees – not too shabby!  We are so lucky that we live right smack dab in the middle of CA and have a huge chapter.  The weekend gave us a chance to catch up with friends and meet some new ones.  For the past 16 months, I’ve been following the blog of Alex, whose daughter, Anais, also has Achondroplasia.  We communicate through Facebook as well.  This weekend we FINALLY got to meet in person – what a wonderful and beautiful family she has.  You know, when you get together with someone you’ve never personally met, yet follow along with daily, it’s such an incredible feeling.  We also got to meet, in person, a few others families that I am in touch with on Facebook – the Dino’s from Southern CA and the Tumbioli family from Fresno.  To all the other families that we got to see again, it was wonderful – the Heuer’s, the Cortez’s, the Chase’s and the William’s.  And here’s to new friends made – glad you were there!

Friday night at the Welcome Reception – the girls playing ball



Caty and Alex


Sandra and her son Alex (r) and Nathaniel Cortez (l)


Hanna just chillin


Caty and Mary


Caty and Bradley


Caty, Bradley and Hai playing football


The kids playing ball


Saturday night BBQ – Hanna became the centerpiece at our table


With Alex


From L-R: Mandy, Sandra, Me, Anel, Alex and Melisa


Caty dancing with Sienna and Hai


How cute are they!


Caty, Sienna and Peyton


Caty busting a move


Doing the Hokey Pokey


Matthew just hanging out


Dancing with Julie and Peyton




Taking a break from dancing




I got her to stop dancing long enough to pose with me for a picture


Caty and Matthew


Caty with Nancy and Tom Culbert


Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

(makes 2 loaves)
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 2/3 c sugar
  • 2/3 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 c flour
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped nuts
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  1. Heat oven to 350*.  Grease bottoms of 2 loaf pans.
  2. Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients. 
  4. Pour into pans.
  5. Bake about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides from pans; remove from pans and place on wire rack to cool. 
  6. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, refrigerate up to 10 days or freeze.
If you make them, let me know what you think.

ps -  If the POST A COMMENT link isn't there, just click on where you can see the number of comments I have. I can't seem to get the POST A COMMENT link to appear on my blog - any suggestions?

Herb Focaccia Bread


Herb Focaccia

(This recipe will make 2 focaccia breads)

3 ½ cups flour, plus extra for dusting

1 envelope active dry yeast

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

1 ¼ cups lukewarm water

3 TBS olive oil, plus extra for greasing

4 TBS finely chopped fresh herbs (I use Rosemary)

Polenta or cornmeal, for sprinkling

Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the center. Gradually stir in most of the water and 2 TBS of the olive oil to make the dough. Gradually add the remaining water, if necessary, drawing in all the flour.   

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead. Transfer to a bowl and lightly knead in the herbs for 10minutes until soft but not sticky. Wash the bowl and lightly coat with olive oil.

3. Divide into 2 parts.  Shape the dough into 2 balls, put it in the bowls, and turn the dough over. Cover tightly with a dish cloth or lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume. Meanwhile, sprinkle cornmeal over a cookie sheet.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead each ball lightly. Cover with the upturned bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

5. Roll out and pat the dough into a 2 10-inch circle, about ½ inch thick, and carefully transfer it to the prepared cookie sheet. Cover with a dish cloth and let rise again for 15minutes.

6. Using a lightly oiled finger, poke indentations all over the surface of the loaf. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake in a preheated oven, 450°, for 15minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hanna's New Trick

Hanna has just figured out how to laugh and it is so cute!  Hope this brings a smile to your face!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

American Saturday Night Tour


For the second year in a row, Michelle and I got incredible seats to see Brad Paisley.  Michelle is in the fan club and even with buying seats 2 weeks after they went on sale, we ended up in the 11th row.  Our seats were 4 seats away from the side cat walk.  Although once Dierks Bentley came on we stood up right near the from of the stage.  Dierks and Brad were literally less than 5 feet from us at times.  We positioned ourselves right in front of one of Brad’s microphones. It made for some incredible pictures!  We even both ended up with guitar picks – not that either of us play the guitar, but still, a cool souvenir to come home with.  The show was AWESOME, AMAZING, UNBELIEVABLE, the list goes on and one.  Enjoy the song and pictures. 

National Dwarfism Awareness Month


Dwarfism Awareness



For most of you, you’re already aware that October is now National Dwarfism Month but some of you might be learning this for the first time.  It’s hard to believe that Caitlyn is now 4 and a half years old!  During those years, we have become friends with so many wonderful and loving people.  I feels so incredibly fortunate to call all of you POLP (Parents of Little People) and others involved in LPA my friends.  I’d be missing out on some pretty amazing people had Caitlyn not been born as she was.  Instead of me typing out a long story about our situation, please check my post titled “CAITLYN’S STORY.”


October has been declared National Dwarfism Awareness Month by Little People of America. Little People of America (LPA) is a national support organization for people with dwarfism and their families. LPA provides peer, parent and medical support for the dwarfism community.

LPA began in 1957 with actor Billy Barty and 20 short-statured friends. The first LPA meeting was monumental for a group of people who were severely mislabeled and misunderstood by society. Today, Little People of America is a thriving international organization providing much needed support, education, educational scholarships, and community outreach.

In declaring Dwarfism Awareness Month, LPA hopes to raise positive awareness around dwarfism, address common misconceptions, and increase opportunities for people with dwarfism around the country.

“People with dwarfism are no different than any other person. We may just need a well-placed stool. Our members are children, college students, business professionals, doctors, engineers, mechanics, artists and teachers. We can do anything an average-height person can do,” says Lois Lamb, LPA President and a person with dwarfism.

“Raising a child with dwarfism is new for most parents. Being part of LPA has made a tremendous difference. My daughter and I both have great friends and role models. High school is not an easy time for most teens, but neither of us feels alone in dealing with any extra challenges,” says Joanna Campbell, average-height mother of a teen with dwarfism.

More about LPA and dwarfism:

* There are over 200 distinct forms of dwarfism and skeletal dysplasias.
* People with dwarfism are generally not taller than 4′ 10″ at adult height. The typical height range is 2′8″ to 4′5″.
* Eighty percent of people with dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings.
* There are an estimated 30,000 people in the United States and 651,000 internationally with a type of dwarfism.
* In July 2009 the word “midget” was declared inappropriate and offensive. Preferable terms are: having dwarfism, short stature, little person, lp, and the medical terminology use of dwarf. A person’s name is always the most preferred.
* LPA has registered a complaint with the FCC over the use of the “m” word. Our goal is to raise awareness around the offensive impact of the word in order to eliminate use of it in media, popular culture and in everyday language.
* LPA has 6500 members across the United States and includes 70 chapters active in all 50 states.
* Skeletal Dysplasias affect bone growth, but generally do not affect cognitive abilities.
* LPA hosts an annual national conference each July which draws 2500 attendees for a week of activities, including educational and medical workshops, sports, and social networking and events.

For more information about National Dwarfism Awareness Month, please visit www.lpaonline.org or call 1-888-LPA-2001. Events supporting National Dwarfism Awareness Month will be occurring throughout the United States all during the month. Contact the chapter in your area, or the Regional Coordinator for Dwarfism Awareness Month listed on the website.

The National Dwarfism Awareness Month program is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about people with dwarfism.

Mission of LPA “LPA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with dwarfism throughout their lives while celebrating with great pride Little People’s contribution to social diversity. LPA strives to bring solutions and global awareness to the prominent issues affecting individuals of short stature and their families.”

The LPA National Office is located in Southern California. You may also contact Joanna Campbell, Executive Director at info@lpaonline.org or (714)368-3689.