Dec 21, 2009

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares

Ok, this is one of my favorite recipes. Since I only make slight changes to it, I'm posting the link. I first had this at my friend, Amber's house. It's a yummy one

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares

Ok, here are my suggestions for alterations to the recipe:
double it, trust me!
don't use the chives/onions
don't use the pimentos
add in one pkt of dry ranch dressing (if you double, otherwise just 1/2 pkt)

This can be made into a decorative ring instead of packets if you double the recipe.

Dec 13, 2009

Easy Enchiladas

Easy Enchiladas

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

8 servings

4 points per serving

2 t canola oil (I don't use this, just a nonstick skillet with some nonstick cooking spray)

1 lb ground turkey

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

¼ c chopped onion

2 t chili powder

1 t ground cumin

one can diced tomatoes

one can black beans, rinsed and drained

one can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

¼ t black pepper

8 taco sized flour tortillas

1 c shredded reduced-fat cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350; spray a 9x13 with nonstick cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Saute the turkey, peppers, and onion, stirring frequently to break up the turkey, until browned, 6-8 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Place the tortillas on a work surface, spoon the turkey mixture down the center of the tortillas, then roll them into cylinders. Place, seam-side down, in the baking dish; sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until heated through and the cheese is melted, 30-35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

We don’t usually serve anything with this, except some fat free sour cream. It’s very filling and somewhat spicy, so adjust to your tastes. If you have too much filling, it’s great the next day over a baked potato!

Beef and Vegetable Soup

Beef and Vegetable Soup

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Cook It Quick
8 servings
3 points per serving

1 t olive oil (I don’t use this because I use a nonstick pan, sprayed with cooking spray)
2 medium onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
20 oz boneless round steak, about ½ inch slice, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 c low sodium beef broth (or 2 bullion cubes dissolved in 2 c water)
2 cans green beans, drained (or two cups frozen, thawed)
2 cans corn, drained (or two cups frozen, thawed)
6 scallions, sliced (I do not add these)
½ c chopped flat-leaf parsley (I do not add these)
½ t freshly ground pepper
6 c water
2 cans diced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a soup pot, then add the onion, celery, carrots, and beef. Saute until the beef is browned. Add the broth, beans, corn, scallions, parsley, pepper, water and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.

I serve this with Sweet Brown Bread.

Sweet Brown Bread

Sweet Brown Bread
Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

12 servings

1 point per serving

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour

1 t baking powder

1 t grated orange or lemon zest (I omit if I do not have on hand)

½ t baking soda

½ t cinnamon

1/8 t salt

½ c low fat buttermilk (or substitute ½ c skim milk with 1 t white vinegar)

1 egg

3 T molasses

2 T packed dark brown sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375; spray an 8x4 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, orange zest, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, molasses, and brown sugar. Pour over the flour mixture, mixing quickly to blend (do not overmix).
  3. Transfer to the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.

We like to serve this dense bread with soups to complete a meal. Add a little jam and it's a great snack.

Southern Oven "Fried" Chicken

Southern Oven "Fried" Chicken

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
4 servings

5 points per serving

½ c fat-free buttermilk (or substitute ½ c skim milk and 1 t white vinegar)

2-3 drops hot red pepper sauce

½ c cornflakes, crushed

3 T all-purpose flour

¼ t salt

¼ t pepper

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

4 t canola oil (we just use cooking spray)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400; spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large shallow bowl, combine the buttermilk and pepper sauce. On a sheet of wax paper, combine the cornflake crumbs, flour, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the cornflake mixture, coating completely.
  3. Place the chicken on the baking sheet; drizzle with the oil (or spray with cooking spray). Bake 30 minutes, turn the chicken over. Bake until cooked through, 15-20 mintues longer. (You may not need this much time if your chicken pieces are smaller/thinner).

We typically serve this with Sweet Potato Suprise and some green beans.

Sweet Potato Suprise

Sweet Potato Surprise

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Low-fat, Low-cholesterol cooking today
6 servings
2 points per serving

1 18 oz can of sweet potatoes, drained
1 T packed brown sugar
6 large marshmallows
1 T margarine, melted
1/3 c cornflakes, crushed

  1. Heat oven to 450; spray 8x8 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mash (really well) sweet potatoes and brown sugar. Shape 1/3 c potato mixture around each marshmallow into a ball.
  2. Brush 1 sweet potato ball at a time with margarine; roll in cornflake crumbs to coat. Place in pan. Bake uncovered 8-10 minutes or until coating is light brown.
This is typically served at my house with Southern Oven "Fried" Chicken and some green beans.

Chicken & Corn Bread Stuffing

Chicken & Corn Bread Stuffing Casserole

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Low-fat, Low-cholesterol cooking today
Serves 4
6 points per serving

1 can (10 ¾ ounces) condensed 98% fat-free cram of chicken or celery soup
¾ c skim milk
1 can (15 oz) mixed veggies (or a 10 oz bag frozen, thawed and drained)
¼ c chopped onion
¼ t ground sage or poultry seasoning (I do not use)
2 c cut-up cooked chicken or turkey breast
1 box stuffing mix (corn bread variety)
1/8 t pepper
Paprika, if desired (I do not use)
  1. Heat oven to 400. Spray 3 quart casserole with cooking spray.
  2. Heat soup and milk to boiling in 3-quart saucepan over high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in mixed vegetables, onion, and sage. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently; remove from heat.
  3. Stir in chicken and stuffing mix. Spoon into casserole dish. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika. Bake uncovered about 15-20 minutes or until hot in the center.

Serve with a side salad and some fresh fruit.

Stuffed French Toast

Stuffed French Toast

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Low-fat, Low-cholesterol cooking today
6 servings

4 points per serving

12 slices French bread, ½ inch thick

6 T fat-free soft cream cheese

¼ c preserves or jam (any flavor)

½ c egg beaters or 4 egg whites, slightly beathen

½ c skim milk

2 T sugar

powdered sugar (optional)

syrup (optional) – points not calculated

  1. Spread one side of the 6 slices of bread with 1 T of the cream cheese. Spread one side of the other 6 slices with 2 t of the preserves. Place bread with cream cheese and bread with preserves together in pairs (basically, make a sandwich with cream cheese and jam).
  2. Beat egg product, milk, sugar until smooth; pour into shallow bowl.
  3. Spray griddle or skillet with cooking spray; heat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat or to 325. Dip each side of sandwich into egg mixture. Cook sandwiches 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to plate; dust with powdered sugar. Serve with syrup.

Serve with turkey bacon or sausage and some fruit, like orange wedges.
This makes a great “brinner” (breakfast for dinner) or breakfast.

Easy Ziti

Easy Ziti

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Cook It Quick
Serves 6
7 Points per serving

1 (16 oz) jar reduced-fat spaghetti sauce
½ c part-skim ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
1 (1 lb) box ziti or other pasta (I generally try to use whole wheat pasta)
½ c shredded reduced-fat mozzarella or other Italian cheese blend

1. Preheat the broiler. In a large bowl, mix the spaghetti sauce and ricotta thoroughly, until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, cook the ziti according to package directions. Drain and stir into the sauce, then spread into a 9x13 inch metal baking dish (just make sure it’s safe for the broiler). Sprinkle with cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden, about 5 minutes.

I generally serve this with some green beans, since I don’t really care for salad, but a salad would be perfect. To make variations, stir in 1 ½ c sautéed chopped mushrooms, zucchini, or a 10-ounce box of thawed frozen peas when you mix the pasta and sauce.

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

taken from Aimee's Adventures

Serves 12

3 Points per Serving

1 Lb. 96% Lean Ground Beef, cooked
2 (14.5 oz.) Cans Diced Tomatoes seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano
2 (10.5 oz.) Cans Chicken Broth (or 2 bullion cubes dissolved in 21 oz water)
1 Large Onion, chopped
3 Bell Peppers, Chopped
2 (10 3/4 oz.) Cans Condensed Tomato Soup
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Long Grain Rice (I actually use brown minute rice)

Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Inside the crockpot, Combine the cooked beef, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, bell peppers and tomato soup. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Warm up the rice, stir it into the soup and serve.

This is great served with some crusty rolls and some fat free cottage cheese!

Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns

eggs, prepared to your liking
bacon, crispy
hashbrowns, browned

easy, no recipe

Easy Pot Roast & Veggies

3-4 lb chuck roast
4 medium potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, quartered or 1/2 lb baby carrots
1 env dry onion soup mix
3 c water

Put all into crock pot, cover. Cook low 6-8 hours.

Easy Tuna Casserole

1/2 bag dumpling size egg noodles (or extra wide)
1 can tuna, drained
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can peas

Cook noodles till done. Add tuna, soup and peas, heat through. Serve with bread and butter.

Italian Chicken, Grilled Potato, Corn

Again, pretty simple. Marinade 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in 1/3-1/2 bottle of Italian Salad dressing for a few hours. (remember to get rid of left over dressing, you don't want to reuse it after chicken has been in it!) Grill chicken until cooked through. Clean 2-3 potatoes, pop in the microwave for a few minutes to start cooking, slice in half, lengthwise, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place on grill to finish off. Serve with canned corn or corn on the cob or fresh green beans in the summer!

Steak, Baked Potato, Corn

This is another one that doesn't really need a recipe. Grill a steak, serve with baked potato, and canned corn or corn on the cob.

Blackened Chicken & Beans

2 t chili powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb)
1 T canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 c chunky salsa
4 servings of rice, prepared

Combine chili powder, salt and pepper and rub over both sides of chicken. Heat oil in skillet, cook chicken in skillet, over medium heat 4-5 minutes, each side, until cooked through. Remove from skillet, but keep warm. Add beans, corn, and salsa to skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Add warm rice to mixture and combine. Serve chicken on top of this mixture.

Creamy Cooker Chicken in CROCKPOT

Warning: I have not tried this one, but plan to.

1 env. dry onion soup mix
2 c sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 servings of egg noodles

Combine first 3 ingredients in crock pot. Submerge chicken into crock pot. Cover. Cook on LOW 8 hours. Serve over prepared egg noodles.

I would probably serve this with peas or green beans.

Potato Soup in CROCKPOT

8 large potatoes, diced
2 med onions
3 T butter
3-4 slices bacon, I leave whole so I can take it out before serving, it doesn't crisp up, but adds flavor
3 chicken bullion cubes
2 T dried parsley
6 c water
2 c milk
1/2 c flour
1/4 c water
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 lb velveeta cheese (optional)

Combine all 8 first ingredients in crock pot. Cover, cook on HIGH 6 hours, then LOW 3 hours. Make paste out of flour, water, salt, and pepper. Stir into soup 1 hour before serving. Add the velveeta at this time also.

This is a very thick soup!

French Toast & Bacon

3 Eggs
splash of milk
dash of cinnamon
6 slices bread

Heat griddle or large skillet. Wisk eggs, milk, and cinnamon in shallow bowl. Dredge bread into egg mixture. Place bread on heated skillet, flip to brown both sides. Serve with butter, syrup, and powdered sugar.

Serve with Bacon or Sausage!

Chicken Teriyaki & Potato

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4-1/2 c teriyaki glaze/marinade
one baked potato per person
shredded cheese
sour cream

Cut chicken into bite size pieces, and cook in a large skillet. When almost cooked, pour in teriyaki and stir to coat, let reduce slightly. Smash baked potato on plate, top with teriyaki chicken, sprinkle with cheese, serve with sour cream.

Grilled Salmon, Rice, Peas

2-3 salmon filets, grilled (we get ours from Market Day, always turn out perfect!)
served with prepared rice and canned peas.
nothing crazy... no real recipe for this one needed.

Chicken Fettucini Alfredo

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4-6 servings fettucini noodles, cooked
alfredo sauce (we like classico)

Add warmed alfredo sauce to just cooked noodles, mix in chicken. Warm through.
Serve with green beans and garlic bread.

Chicken Pot Pie & Mashed Potatoes

1 pkg Pillsbury Pie Crust
1/3 c butter
1/3 c chopped onion
1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 1/2 c broth (or water with bullion cube)
2/3 c milk
2-3 c diced cooked chicken
1 can mixed veggies

Heat oven to 425. Place bottom crust in pie pan. In a large saucepan, melt butter, add onion, cook 2 minutes. Add flour, salt, pepper. Cook 1 minute, stiring constantly. Stir in broth and milk, cook until thickened. Add chicken and veggies. Pour into pie pan. Top with top crust, pinching edges closed and cut off excess edges. Make a few slices in the top crust, for venting. Bake 30-40 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes (potatoes, butter, milk).

Breakfast Casserole

6 eggs
1 lb ground sausage, browned and drained
1 c shredded cheddar
6 slices bread, cubed
1 t dry mustard
1 t salt
2 c milk

Blend all ingredients well, pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 12+ hours. Bake at 350 for 45 min-1 hr.

Serve with canned fruit.

Sausage, Mac N Cheese, Peas

1 pkg polska kielbasa sausages
1 box Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
1/4 c milk
1/4 c butter
1 can peas

Slice sausage into 1" pieces, brown in medium skillet. Prepare Mac N Cheese as noted on box with milk & butter. Serve with canned peas.

Sausage & Rice Casserole

1 lb. ground pork sausage
4 servings worth of prepared rice
1 can of cream of celery soup
4 slices of American cheese

In a large skillet, brown sausage, drain, and return to skillet. Mix in rice and soup. Lay cheese slices over the top and heat to melt.

Serve with bread & butter and canned peas.

Jul 29, 2009

Addy's Health Update

Thank you to everyone who responded, either by posting a response, writing in her guestbook, emails, private messages, phone calls, facebook posts, or by passing this info on to others who were able to help. We've compiled a list of tests and things to talk to the doctors about. We really feel that there is a medical reason that makes Addy vomit all the time and that once we get the vomitting taken care of, the oral aversion will lessen and the feeding will be easier to accomplish.

A family friend, Mr. Hill, read my last post and he works at St. Vincent's Hospital. He passed along our info to a doctor at St. Vincent's who has spoken to a few other doctors about Addy's issues. Today, I received a phone call from Jenny, a nurse practitioner at St. Vincent's. She is involved with a team of professionals at St. Vincent's called the Aero Digestive Clinic which consists of a Speech Therapist, Nutritionist, Ear Nose & Throat Specialist, Surgeon, Gastroenterologist, Pulmonologist, Developmental Specialist, and a Genetics Specialist (I think that's all of them... forgive me if I've missed one). She said that they meet twice a month to discuss children who are seen by multiple specialists that have special cases so that all the doctors can discuss together and stay on track, working as a team! They will be discussing Addyson on Aug 10th, their next meeting. In the mean time, she said that Addy needs to be seen by Pulmonology, GI, and ENT to discuss things further. They'll also do an MRI of her brain to look for any developmental issues or other abnormalities. Since she'll have to be sedated for that test, they'll wait till all the other doctors see her and decide if there are any other tests they'll need to do while she's sedated, that way they can all get done at the same time.

Tomorrow, we'll see the Pulmonologist, Dr. Sufi.
On August 19th, we'll see the GI, Dr. Schaefer and the ENT, Dr. Haymaker.

I feel so excited that these doctors have reached out to help, as well as all of you great moms that have offered suggestions and support! Thank you Mr. Hill for taking the time to get this coordinated for us too!

Jul 10, 2009

Help with Addy's Medical Issues

Ok, I know it's been a while and you are probably hoping this is a happy post about how well Addy is doing, and trust me... in most areas, she is excelling. She's talking a ton now and even asked to sit on the big girl potty today. She wore piggy tails for the first time today and I'm loving being home with her every day. She loves library books and riding in her wagon. We're looking forward to a long weekend at Granny Camp next weekend too. (She's staying with Grandpa and Granny Harlow while mommy goes camping with her friend Angie). But, I'm feeling frustrated and I just contacted a doctor who specializes in wholistic medicine with the info below. I also posted it on IndyMoms. com. I want to get the info out there so lots of people can see it in hopes that someone out there can help us find the answer. So, much of this will be repetative and tell you things you already know, but I wanted to put a lot of info out there so maybe it will trigger someone to have the answer or can point us in the right direction. I'm wondering if there is an underlying medical problem that could be causing these issues/symptoms... maybe something rare that the docs aren't seeing or connecting the dots. I'm tired of waiting for her to grow out of it, so I'm hunting down the answers. Please Please Please pass this info on to anyone that might be able to help. I'm open to any and all suggestions.

I'm really feeling overwhelmed with the issues Addyson is facing and the lack of answers from our traditional doctors. I'm hoping that putting this out there will help me reach some help.

Addyson was born April 25, 2007 at 25 weeks, weighing 1 lb, 7.9 oz, 11 1/2 inches, due to my fight with pre-eclampsia. They took her by emergency c-section at IU Hospital and she was rushed over to Riley. She had a PDA ligation within the first few weeks of life and was intubated for a good portion of the first 2-3 months. The ventillator and oscillator as well as the c-pap prevented her from nursing and or taking a bottle, so an ng tube was used to feed her. I pumped for the first 9 months of her life and she recieved this with fortifiers. The doctors sent her home from the hospital 4 months after birth with an ng tube because they said she was probably aspirating the bottle. They never did any tests at that time to confirm. She was also vomiting a bit and they said it was reflux, medicated her and never did a single test. A few months after coming home, we requested a swallow study to see if we could start trying a bottle. By this time, she couldn't figure out how to suck/swallow and they told us that the tests showed that the formula was pooling and she was aspirating. We asked how long it might be that we were on the ng tube... they said it was hard to say but that it would be a while because we'd have to wait until she stopped aspirating before we could try to feed her by mouth. We decided to get a g-tube inserted so that she could lead a more "normal" life without that ng tube being inserted at every feeding and fighting with her about it. It was a real struggle to keep that ng tube in and she would pull it out dozens of times a day. It was causing her to not want anything near her face. At this point, we were using Neosure (a preemie/infant formula).

The g-tube was placed in November 2007. We are STILL using the g-tube for 100% of her nutrition. She doesn't chew/swallow well at all. Basically, she'll drink water and sometimes juice/milk. She'll put just about anything in her mouth, move it around, and spit it back out... it's almost as if she doesn't know how to chew/swallow. But, even worse is her chronic vomitting. Addyson has vomitted daily, sometimes up to 3-4 times a day, sometimes once, sometimes once every two days... basically her whole life. There seems to be NO rhyme or reason or pattern or trigger for the vomitting. We begged for Riley to get some GI tests run... I couldnt' get anyone to refer us, so I called myself. Dr. Fitzgerald ran a number of tests and reported that all looked normal and that there wasn't anything he could do for us. The developmental team at Riley (Dr. Dusik) was not very helpful. They told me all along that her Reflux was normal and that I'd just have to wait for her to outgrow it. They had her on lots of reflux meds until we saw GI. None of them worked. After the GI tests were done, we learned that reflux was not the issue. We discontinued using all the reflux meds. Developmental basically told us that we needed to have weight checks every two weeks and that she wasn't gaining enough and that they were very concerned. Obviously we were too, but we couldn't figure out what to do, the more we pumped into her, the more she would vomit. They were not helpful with formula changes or testing to see what the problem might be. The nutritionist at Riley basically told us we were neglectful. In all other areas, Addy's development was coming along very well, her height to weight has always been good, her head circumfrence is good. Obviously, being such a preemie, we had occupational, physical, and now speech therapy to assist with minor developmental struggles, but that's to be expected with such a preemie. At this point, Addy was about 18 months old and they still had her on Neosure. I continued to question them about this choice, but they assured me that it was the right formula for her. At this point, I had requested allergy testing to make sure she wasn't allergic to anything... they ran tests on the most common allergens and they all came back negative.

We decided to seek a new developmental doctor at St. Vincents. Dr Escobar was very understanding. He charted her height/weight on a PREEMIE chart, which made a huge difference. He said that he wasn't as concerned with her weight, that she seemed to be developing well. He did suggest a blended diet and a switch in formula. We currently use Boost Kids (45 cal/oz) and also blended food. He really wants her to be getting more calories, but we're not sure how do get them in her since she continues to vomit with increases. She receives 8 oz of the formula mixed with 2 oz baby cereal and 2 oz juice or smoothie mix on a pump through 8 hours at night. She receives 8 oz of the formula mixed with an adult size serving of a protein (usually Carnation Instant Breakfast because it has a lot of calories and contains calcium and protien, but sometimes we use peanut butter), a grain (usually a cereal or rice), a veggie, and a fruit during the day. We've been blending that and giving her 3 meals of 4 oz by syringe in the tube during the day (typically 9 am, 1pm, and 5pm or thereabout). Her overnight feeding starts around 9pm and ends around 5am. We were counting calories for quite some time, but Dr. Escobar told me to stop being OCD mom! :) I decided he was probably right and now we just go with the flow a bit more. I was so used to writing everything down because Riley had me scared to death of everything. I mean, she's a toddler now, I shouldn't have to keep track of every little morsel. The problem is... we haven't seen much of a change in the vomitting.

I'm getting worried because it makes life so ABNORMAL for her. It takes over an hour for every feeding, then we try to keep her calm for another hour. It's hard to keep a toddler still for that long. It's hard to go anywhere... cleaning up vomit from your car everytime you want to go shopping or to the zoo or library is no fun. We rarely go out to eat or do normal family activities for fear of her vomitting in public! I mean, it's gross for me and I'm the mom, I can only imagine what others might feel or how they might react. And daycare? Forget about it. My mother in law watched her in my home for the first 2 years. Now, I'm unemployed so I'm able to stay home with her, but we can't afford for me to do this forever. I worry about school. I know I have a few years, but I'd love to get her involved with playdates and more structured social activities... it's just not feasible to expect a preschool or daycare or other type of group to feed her through a tube and clean up her vomit. I mean, tomorrow we are planning on attempting our first public pool visit... I'm sick just thinking about how terrible it would be for her to vomit in the pool! I wish I could figure out what causes it because I just want her to have a more normal life. All other areas of her life are "normal" so it's hard to keep her from doing things because of this.

Oh, gosh... now I'm crying my eyes out. You know, we can deal with the tube feedings... I mean, if we have to do that forever, it's not so bad. Sure, I'd love to be able to send her to 1st grade with a lunch box, but if I can't, I'll get over it. What I won't be able to handle is sending her with a bucket so she can throw up in it! It seems trivial to most, but it's so hard to understand why we can't get anyone to help us figure it out. There's got to be a reason, something that's causing this. I'm so tired of hearing that she'll grow out of it. First they said she'd grow out of it by 6 mo, then 12 mo, then 18 mo, or surely by 2. But here she is 27 months old and we are still dealing with it.

Then we try to deal with her not chewing and swallowing... She'll put just about any type of food in her mouth and move it around, but she won't chew it up and swallow. Last week, we made slight progress with swallowing... she put small bits of deli turkey and or watermelon in her mouth and then took a big swig of water to make it go down, like she was swallowing a pill... but she never did chew it. We work at this mulitple times a day, have family meals, we've tried letting her eat while watching a movie or while playing... you name it, we've probably tried it.

Ok, now that I've rambled forever, I guess I need some support or advice on how to move forward in seeking medical help. Have any of you ever dealt with this or know someone who has? Is there a way for me to research these symptoms to see if there is some rare disease or issue we are dealing with? Any help is appreciated

Apr 17, 2009

Please help us CELEBRATE!

Well, it's just one week and one day away from Addy's 2nd Birthday! Can you believe how time has flown by? We are looking forward to celebrating with all of our family and friends at the March of Dimes, March for Babies on April 26th. There are only 9 days left till the walk and we only have $490 of our $1000 team goal. If you'd like to help us reach that goal, please visit

Mar 17, 2009

Update on Addyson and March for Babies

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Addyson is doing so well and we've been blessed with nice spring weather. We've been able to get out of the house more and she seems to love blowing bubbles in the yard.

Although I have to report that the oral feeding is not really improving, we have noticed a significant decrease in the vomiting since we've switched to a blenderized food diet.

With Dr. Escobar's encouragement, we've been giving Addyson 12 oz of blenderized food through syringes during the day and she receives 8 oz of formula overnight. It's been over a week since she's vomited and we couldn't be happier with this outcome. While she hasn't been losing any weight, she hasn't been gaining either, so we are going to be making some slight adjustments to the blenderized diet. (Basically, we put a day's worth of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy into a blender and liquefy it)

Addy seems to really be developing well in terms of speech. We've only seen the speech therapist for four weeks, but Addy's made such an improvement. Before long, I'm sure she'll be asking to use the phone to call all of you herself. Currently, she's doing a lot of imitating, but we are working on spontaneous use of words as requests for needs and wants. A new favorite? 'No' Thank you to whomever taught this to her.

And now, a reminder. The March of Dimes March for Babies is past approaching. As many of you know, the March of Dimes is an awesome group that fights for the rights of parents as well as supports research in hopes to prevent babies being born too soon or with birth defects. The March of Dimes was a great support to us while we were struggling throughout the early days of the NICU and beyond. Please visit to support our team by making a donation or signing up to walk on our team! The more the merrier. Last year, we were able to raise a great amount of money and hope to continue the trend. I know times are tough right now for many of us, but even a few dollars can help save so many lives. So, again, please visit to find out more.

Friends and team members can purchase team gear, including team t-shirts, at Of course, these aren't mandatory, but for those of you wanting to wear a t-shirt claiming your support for Team Addyson, you are able to get one very easily. Economy shipping is $5.25 for the first item and $0.50 for the second item, so some of you may want to combine orders to save on shipping. Don't wait too long, the economy shipping states 7-9 business days. I must note that the t-shirts are priced at COST, meaning we do not make money for ourselves or for the March of Dimes through the purchase of the items at Cafe Press. Thanks to Nicole Green for helping me with the t-shirt design this year!

Mar 9, 2009

Apparently not...

Well, after much number crunching and long discussions about goals and dreams, unfortunately, it isn't in the cards for me to become a stay at home mom right now. I know many of you have made serious adjustments to your life styles to be able to make it work for your family. We already live a frugal lifestyle, but with all of Addy's medical care and expenses, it's not working out the way I had hoped. I applaud all of you who are able to do it.

Feb 13, 2009

Can we make it work?

Our family is currently considering the possibility of my becoming a Stay At Home Mom. With the way our health insurance is working out, it seems as though we'd benefit from my staying at home with Addyson. We still need to put pen to paper to make sure it'll work for us, but reading this post from PennyPinchinMomma certainly helped ease my worries. If you are considering it too, check out her post for real inspiration!

Winning with SwagBucks!

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Jan 15, 2009

What's a toddler eat?

Ok ladies, I need your help. All this time, we've been feeding Addyson formula through her g-tube. New plan: offer her a meal typical of what a "normal" 20 month old should be eating. What isn't consumed goes in the blender and then "fed" to her in the g-tube. Ok, so since I've not had to be a "normal" mom before I have NO CLUE what a "normal" 20 month old should be eating. Types of food, meal suggestions for a complete diet, and amounts or serving sizes. Keeping in mind she weighs just under 20 lbs. She probably won't actually be able to "eat" any of the food due to severe oral aversion, which is why she is g-tube fed to begin with. This is mostly for practice and soon enough, maybe she'll get the hang of it! I'd love to stay away from pre-packaged "toddler" meals as much as possible, creating meals from scratch or utilizing the same foods my husband and I are eating. I've been doing some research, but it seems that this is one of those things that should come naturally as your child grows from a baby to a toddler. I missed out on that and now have to learn immediately. Please please please help me!!! (She'll still be getting a full nutritionally balanced diet because she'll still be getting a formula too, but the more balanced the food, the better!)