Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Teaching Moments

During the Thanksgiving month I tried extra hard to concentrate each day on what I was thankful for. Sometimes it was hard and other times not as hard. What I realized was, even on a bad day there are things to be learned from the experiences in that day. At very least I can be thankful for learning experiences and for chances to teach my children.
Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to teach Kailey about treating others with kindness even when we don't want to, about right and wrong, and about repentance and forgiveness.
It started with me having a chance to get on and order some of the presents I wanted for Todd. It took longer then I thought and Kailey and Cope started getting antsy as they are prone to do whenever I get on a computer or on the phone. Soon they were fighting. Although I randomly broke it up, I am ashamed to say I wasn't paying close attention. I was almost done and wanted to quickly finish so I could get completely off the computer. Kailey came in and informed me that Cope was in my room. (The kids aren't allowed in our room without prior permission.) I told her I would be right there. About five minutes later as I was closing down the last window from my last purchase, I heard a door slam and a knob rattle. Cope started crying and Kailey came running into the room. To say I was not thrilled with the next words out of her mouth would be an understatement.
"Mom, Cope is locked in the closet!"
We changed out the door knobs on our closet and replaced it with a heavy duty locking knob to store things we didn't want the kids getting into. Unfortunately at some point the key had been removed and I have no idea where it is so I just keep it unlocked.
"How did that happen?"
She immediately lowered her head in shame and wouldn't look at me. Slowly I pulled the story from her.
She got frustrated with how Cope was acting. Apparently he had knocked down her block tower, and erased her drawing on her magnetic doodle board. So when he went in my room she thought that she might be able to get him in trouble and came running to me. When that didn't work she got mad, locked the closet door, and slammed it in his face.
To make a long story short Cope was in there for quite some time before I finally just decided to take off the door and had my sister-in-law come help me remove the hinge pins and remove the door.
Once he was out I sat down with Kailey and we discussed how being locked in the closet must have made him feel, and what would have happened had I been unable to get him out. We talked about positive ways to deal with frustration and what she should have done instead of slamming a locked door. After we got done with that discussion, Kailey looked at me with her read, puffy, tear covered face and said, "How do I fix it Mom?"
So then I got the wonderful opportunity to teach my child about repentance and the power of forgiveness. She knew she had done something wrong, and she acknowledged that. She obviously felt bad about it, but she didn't know what came next. I explained that just knowing you have done something wrong and feeling bad for it, isn't enough. You must never do it again. She agreed that nothing like this would ever happen again. We talked about confessing and how usually she needed to let the person, in this case Cope, who had been hurt know that she knew she had done something wrong, that she was sorry, and that it would never happen again. She interjected that maybe she should tell Jesus that too. I agreed that was a good idea.
After that was finished she asked if she had been forgiven yet and what exactly forgiveness was, so we talked about making restitution. She decided that in order to make up for it, she would be extra nice to Cope the rest of the day and would help me extra since I lost time trying to get Cope out. Then we talked about forgiveness and how I love her and the Lord loves her no matter what and will forgive her anytime she has done the necessary things to make sure she has repented. So to prove that I meant that, other then telling Todd when he got home, I didn't bring the incident up again. She helped me do dishes, cleaned her room and was extra nice to Cope. She even gave him the last cookie rather then breaking it into two like I said she could.
I am so grateful for the saving principle of repentance in my life. I'm grateful that I got such a wonderful opportunity to teach my child this principle in a way she could understand. I'm grateful for forgiveness and new beginnings and I'm grateful that I have the chance to share those with my children.
So yes, it wasn't fun hearing my son cry in a locked closet and frantically trying to get him out. It wasn't fun pushing my fingers under the door so that he could hold them to help calm him down, but without it such a wonderful learning experience never would have occured. I'm grateful for learning experiences. Now, I just need to find the key so it never happens again. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Night Time Chart

Just recently on pinterest I found a checklist for night time. I decided to make one to fit our family. If the night is rushed we start at "Put on Pajamas" instead of at the beginning, but the goal is to do everything on the checklist each night so that the rooms, teeth, and children are clean each morning. When they start school full time I will probably add "Lay out clothes" and possibly "Make Lunch." This helps reduce morning time rush, and makes going to bed so much easier. It eliminates their excuse for prolonging the process. Once it is crossed off, it is done. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My search for a healthy lifestyle has lead me to exercise. I'm having difficulty with it, as I assume most parents with children do. I have a hard time wanting to spend more then a half hour doing anything because after that point (well actually about fifteen minutes) Kaile and Cope start to get antsy and "bored" so they will start talking, screaming, and singing loudly; non-stop to the point they can no longer be ignored. I know they have figured this out and that is why they do it, but it is hard to ignore. That means that I have about that long for exercise and that is it. Most work-outs take at least an hour. After checking out pinterest I found several routines that had lists of exercises to do. The ones that start with jumping jacks and have about 20 different exercises on them. The whole routine takes over an hour. I realized though that I don't have to do them all at the same time. 50 jumping jacks don't take long and if I took one of those lists and addapted it to me, then I could do the whole list throughout the day and get in more exercise then I am now. In the long run I will need to up the amount I do slightly in order to compensate for the fact that I'm not doing them all together, but for now it is a start.

Here is my list. I'll edit, add to, and rearrange as I go along.

1. Ride Bike (I go around our block twice and then up to the mail box and back before my kids wake up in the morning) 15 min.
2. Jumping jacks 50
3. Russian Twists 50
4. 10 standing push-ups (Will do these against the counter between doing dishes and hitting the next chore.)
5. 40 crunches
6. 20 lunges (Do this while cleaning. I walk from one room to the next cleaning. Now I'll just lunge.)
7. 5 minute wall sit (Can do this while folding laundry.)

I'll try it today and see how it goes! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home Made Modgepodge and Etc.

Today I decided I wanted to be crafty. I had a project I'd been putting on hold due to not having any modgepodge. I found a recipe on pinterest for modgepodge, so I thought I'd give it a try.
The project . . . Name plate coasters. I am tired of having to run an extra batch of dishes because each of us used at least five cups during the day. Instead each coaster will have a name on it. Once someone has used a cup it will be put on their coaster. If it is on a coaster it doesn't get washed until the end of the day, and then I always know exactly which cup is mine, Todd's, or Kailey's.
The instructions are simple.
1) Buy some cheep coasters. We got ours from Walmart. You can find them at the dollar store, or any other store, or you can go and get small tiles. Be as creative as you want.
2) Make or buy some modgepodge. I keep leaving town without modgepodge so I made mine.
         There are two different kinds of home-made variations that I've found on pinterest.
        1) *Elmers glue
            * Water
        Take a jar and put one cup elmers glue and one cup water. Shake until it is mixed well.
       2) *1 1/2 Cups flour
           * 1/4 Cup sugar
           * 1 tsp oil (any kind)
           * 1 1/4 Cups water
        Slowly mix all the ingredients over low heat. Don't let boil. If it is too thick add water or oil. The thicker it is the more texture it will have. If you don't want texture add more water or oil.

I made the second one, and made it thick. I added more water/oil and make it thinner as I left the lid off while I was making them, so by the last two it was thicker then I wanted.

Hint: If you don't want texture I'd go with the first variation as the second one, (at least when thick) doesn't dry completely clear.
Here is a picture of the final project. It isn't completely dry at this point, but close to it. When it dried completely the whole name tag was the same color. (A lighter shade of red then I intended do to the modgepodge, but it still looks cute and works.)

So far it has worked great. We still have the same three cups at lunch that we had at breakfast. Yeah!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Comfort and Airplane Rides

This past week the kids and I went to see my family. We flew to my sister's house in Spokane, Washington. I had an idea what flying would be like as both Cope and I were life flighted from San Juan Regional Hospital to Albuquerque, but I'd never been through the ticket or security process.

It was a mostly fun experience. The kids liked the plane, especially the turbulance. They thought it was like "a ride at Disneyland!"  How unlike everyone else that was. Others were annoyed and some even slightly sickened by the plane movement.

The only real hiccup we had was coming back. We got to the Spokane airport and proceeded to go through the security line. Cope has a comfort toy that he likes to sleep with and occasionally carry around. It is a little Simba lion that is wrapped in a blanket and purrs. He got it while we were going to constraint therapy for two weeks and were away from Daddy. He clung to it then and hasn't let it go since. It has been so well loved that the back stitch came undone and I used thick thread to stitch it back up in hopes it wouldn't come undone again. So when I went to put it in the bin, he was a little upset that I had to take it away, but he just whined and let it go.

We went through the metal detector without an issue, and I started to put everything back in the bag and put our shoes back on. The lion came through last. I saw the person running the machine get a confused/curious/disgruntled look on her face. She reached around and took the lion out of the bin and looked it over. Finding the handstitched seam across the back she turned to the lady standing in the back and said, "can we hold a stuffed animal? Is that even in the protocol?"

The lady in the back was taking round paper looking circles and swiping them on random items that came through and then she'd put the circles in a different machine, wait for a minute, take the round paper out and throw it away and then get another paper and start again. She said, "we can hold anything, but what could possibly be wrong with a stuffed animal?"

At first that is what I wanted to know, what in the world could they possibly find wrong with my sons lion!  They turned away and started whispering though, so I couldn't hear the response. I said, "Please don't take his lion, it's his comfort toy!"

After standing there for a little while, I realized that the problem was probably that the machine showed the purring thing inside it, meaning she saw there was something inside the lion and then directly where there was something inside, there was a handstitched section. I could see how that looked really bad.

I tried to explain that to the ladies, but they just asked me to please go stand by the elevator. They would let me know what was going on once they had investigated further. We waited for a good ten minutes more at least. The lady who was in the back with the round circles finally brought me back Cope's lion. She said it came up clean, so we were free to go. I was so relieved they gave it back to us. Bed time would have been interesting had they chose not to.   

I thought how like everyday life this is. Sometimes we get the thing that gives us the most comfort taken from us. Sometimes we succeed in getting back and other times we have to find something new to give us the comfort we need. Sometimes we hit turbulance and sometimes it's a smooth ride. No matter how my life is I hope I can be like my kids and love the ride especially when turbulance hits; especially when things change and are no longer comfortable.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby Books

I have been making my kids baby books. I decided for each child I would do a 0-12 month book, and then each year we also make a family book of pictures of all the important events we had that year. We didn't start that until 2010 though so I am missing four years, but that's alright. So I finished my kids birth to a year and it got me to thinking . . . if I adopt and we don't get a baby, how am I going to make that fair? I decided we would just document the first twelve months they are with us, and I'll include any pictures that I may get of childhood before they found us and we found them. Hopefully it works out okay and they are happy with whatever I can give them. I already love flipping through my books and I know they will be special to my kids. Kailey already loves looking at "baby Kailey and baby Cope." 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Issue

I never thought I would be one of those people. You know the ones, they get angry over and issue, and they push and push and push at it. Constantly bringing it up. Adding it to conversations even when the conversation didn't naturally go in that direction. I'm sure people wonder what the big deal is. Life works things out, they'll get to whatever it is. Now I guess I understand a little better. When it is your own child, or your own life they are leaving to "get to it," it is hard to just sit and wait. The only way anything will change with any rapidity is if someone goes and gives it a shove in the right direction. I now feel that way about pediatric medical advancements. I just got some of Cope's medical records. I have requested the rest and am just waiting for them to call. When I get them I'm going to set a timeline and fact sheet of 1) what the doctors and nurses told me, 2) what the records show they knew, but didn't tell me, 3) in hindsight what was most likely going on, and 4) if he would have been an adult instead of an infant what protocol and measures they would have taken and how that would have changed his outcome and prognosis. With that in mind I will show that medical treatment in the pediatric realm needs to catch up to the adult sector. I believe that if we were even a few years farther advanced in our pediatric medicine, that my son would not have brain damage or at least not have the amount he now lives with. I am grateful for the medicine we do have. I am grateful my son is alive, and I'm blessed to have such a special child. He has taught me so much, but I know this is a burden now and will continue to be one, and as a mother I would do anything if I could relieve that burden. I don't want other mother's to have to watch their children struggle with dailey activities that other kids find simple tasks, when it could have been avoided.
So, that is my "issue," well one of them anyway. Maybe sometime I'll let you know the rest but for right now, I'll post what I find as soon as I get his records so check back!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Becoming a perfect 98.6 degrees

I was thinking today about how we, as people, work. Our body temperatures are on average 98.6 degrees. Anything outside of our body that is lower then that is considered "cold" and anything that is higher then that is considered "hot." As long as our body can remain that temperature it is happy.
Our brain/character functions much the same. Our life as we percieve it is figuratively 98.6 degrees. Any person's life is compared next to ours. If it is not our 98.6 degrees then  it is considered "hot" or "cold," "good" or "bad." The people we tend to want to associate with and consider "good" are the ones that are the closest to our own figurative body temperature.
The problem is our life isn't really 98.6 degrees. Jesus Christ is the 98.6 degrees when it comes to a person's life or behaviors. That means that our life, and everyone else's measures "cold." Instead of worrying about what other people are doing and how "cold" they really are, we should simply be trying to "warm" ourselves up.
Christ associated with everyone, loved everyone, and understood that they were "cold," but that by being closer to him they were "warming up." In order to keep his "temperature" right he also associated with Heavenly Father who is "hot." The "hot" and "cold" together evened his life turning it into the 98.6 degrees that we all hope ours will be.
True happiness is a 98.6 degree life. Our life will fall short of a perfect 98.6 degrees. We will never achieve that, but we can try to get as close as possible. The only way we can do that is by knowing we are "cold" and by trying to make sure that we have more Christ (perfect)  and Heavenly Father (hot) in our lives then everything else. If we can get closer to them, then spending time with those who are "cold," (including being ourselves) won't affect our life, choices, and outcome nearly as much as it otherwise would have. The closer we get to becoming like our savior the happier we will be.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


There are many people in my life that are interested in nutrition. I've heard about every angle of "miracle" solutions out there. Although I do believe there is truth to each on of them, I think that really there is no "miracle" solution available. The only way to stay healthy is to learn good eating habits, good exercise habits, good sleeping habits, etc. Only all those together will truly keep someone fit. I am not fit. I want to be, so here is my attempt at conglomerating all the good advice I've heard. The very first one is to follow the Word of Wisdom.

"That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father. And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies. Tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill. And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly."

That means no alcohol or anything proven to be addicting or to cause harm to the body. Soda can be included in that. I do pretty good. I'm a social drinker when it comes to Soda.
Following the Word of Wisdom also states:

"And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man— Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof. Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly."

Basically eat fruit, grain, vegetables. Eat meat, but not too much. I've decided that the main cause of Obesity today is social eating, which leads to aweful portion sizes, and incorrect servings. If we eat the correct amount of grains, vegetables, and fruits, we won't be as hungry when the meat comes around and we'll only eat a little. I know I've been doing terrible about that, so I got on  Go down the left column "Popular Topics," and click on "SuperTracker." It helps you track exactly what you eat, gives you five goals to try and hit, and then shows you if you hit them or if you fell short. I am going to use it for the next two weeks. I will then use that to help me do my grocery shopping more appropriately. Hopefully next month when I do it again we will be eating the portion sizes and correct servings of each food group, or will at least hit one of my five goals. (I've started using this site and already found out that even though my calories match up with what I should be eating, my diet is full of empty calories and sodium. I don't have nearly enough vitamins in my diet.)

The scriptures give us more advice on health as well:
 "Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."

And the final advice which is not from scriptures is:
*Use salt that still has mineral traces. It is better for you for two reasons
1) not only will you consume less salt, but
2) you will also get some of the minerals that may be lacking in your diet.
*Drink lots of water. The more water you drink the easier it is for your body to get rid of waste and fat.
*Don't stress. Foot zoning, massage therapy, and other forms of stress relievers should be routine in a persons life so that stress will be reduced. Reducing stress helps the body function better. Find what is a stress reducer for you and implement it in your schedule.

Good health isn't easy. There isn't some "miracle" fix. It is implementing all of the fixes together that truly aid in a long healthy life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Discipline 2

So, I haven't gotten a timer yet, but already it is going much better. The only thing I have done differently, is instead of getting mad at Kailey when she yells at me or says things that aren't nice, I have been turning on church hymns. I continue to play the same hymn over and over until I hear her singing it. Once she sings it I come in tell her she wasn't being nice and ask for her to tell me sorry. If she has calmed down enough to sing I find she has calmed down enough to realize she was being mean. It has really changed the mood in our house a lot already.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Right now I'm struggling with my four year old, Kailey. She is what would be considered a strongwilled child. Although I know that is good, sometimes it can be hard, so I've been reading to see if I can find discipline tactics that would work better then what we are using. She is refusing to stay in time-outs and she will just tell me "no" quite often. I found this article on pinterest Although insiteful, it really didn't tell me any good discipline ideas to help with behaviors that I can't compromise. Here's an example, if Kailey doesn't get a nap she is aweful by the end of the day. She misbehaves for no apparent reason and will cry over any circumstance that doesn't go her way, so I've come to the conclusion that she has to have a nap. She has decided that she doesn't need naps, so most days I spend at least fourty-five minutes putting her in bed, telling her she has to listen, putting her in time-out and trying to make sure she stays there. It stresses me out and makes the whole mood in the house deteriorate within minutes of the process. It also takes Cope three times as long to get to sleep, because he hears Kailey yelling and crying at me. "You're making me mad because I don't want to go to bed." (She is very good at telling me exactly what she is feeling, whether she be mad, sad, happy, frustrated.)
I found this site, and so I'm going to try and few of their ideas and I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to go buy an egg timer and am going to set the timer for her. I'll use it for setting the table, cleaning her room (which are her two chores), and nap time so that she knows it is coming. I'm also going to try using the timer when she throws fits about something that is not time sensitive (ie: she can't go somewhere.) I'll tell her she has to throw a fit for 10 minutes and then I'll see how that works. She has started screaming yelling and crying whenever she doesn't get her way (which is often at our house.) I've already tried allowing her to go outside and then letting her scream and yell until she feels like she is done. She can come back in whenever she wants. That doesn't seem to be working now that the novelty of going outside has worn off, so let's hope the timer does.
The only thing I still haven't found another tactic for is when she is throwing a tantrum because she doesn't want to do something time sensitive (ie: go to therapy, take a nap.) I thought about the timer or time-ins, but they are still just a stalling method so she doesn't have to do the thing she doesn't want to as quickly. Any other suggestions or ideas for that one would be awesome!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Time Scheduling

I thought I would share how I keep on schedule. I don't always, but I've been trying really hard. One of the things I found was that I would spend hours online. Not because I needed to, just because I would lose track of time. If I wasn't online then I would spend most of my day cleaning and not spend as much time as I needed with my kids, or I would spend all day with the kids and not get to the cleaning. I also found that Kailey was feeling like I "loved Cope more" because I would spend much devoted time to him and then not have any specific "Kailey" time. I have 11 alarm options on my phone. So what I've done is put an alarm for each event in my day. I have wake-up, exercise, therapy at home, school, outside time, lunch, nap time, and me time. I also have the specific therapy times outside of our home. Each alarm isn't to keep me on an exact schedule, I don't automatically quit what I'm doing and start on whatever the alarm says, but it is a reminder that time has passed and that I have other things to do. Therapy is for Cope and then I do an hour of "school" with Kailey. "School" has made life easier because then I can tell her it is Cope's turn and she'll have a turn with Mommy later. It makes her less frustrated and jealous and it works well in helping me stay organized. I have also found if I give them outside time before naps then they are more tired and less likely to fight taking the nap. It makes naptime go more smoothly. Giving myself some time to do whatever I want for the day helps me be more patient with the kids and makes for an overall better day for all of us. So my suggestion is set alarms. It helps both the parent and children stay on task. It keeps me from wasting away my day.

This is a picture of some of the words Kailey copied to write a Santa letter at Christmas. During "school" time we practice writing and learn letters along with whatever she chooses to do for the day. She is doing so good!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Since it has been over a week since we got home from two weeks of Constraint Induced Therapy, and a week of Disneyland, I thought I would start adding a few pictures from Disneyland. Here will just be a few of the family ones. If you wish to see child specific, please go to their page to find more.

One of the kids favorite rides was the Carrousel. (There are several rides I will call one of their favorites.) This is one of my favorite pictures that Todd took. Cope, Kailey and I are all in the picture.

We were all on the train and are all in this picture. Poor Kailey was still feeling sick so she is the pink laying on the bench next to me.

We loved the beach. The kids loved having the water "chase" them as the tides came in and out.

The first character we came in contact with.

We had a hard time getting Cope to look at the camera. He was fascinated with the cars.

We road on the boat. It was colder and the Kailey was still sick so we chose more mellow rides that day.

Cope's favorite part of Toontown was getting to "drive" the cars that were around.

I love these two pictures of my little family.

In the picture below we are riding the teacups. Todd was trying really hard to get us all in the picture. Cope kept moving his head so not much of him is in the picture.

The picture below is us in front of one of the kids favorite rides. It was "spaceships" that went in a circle, much like the dumbo ride, only shorter lines. I was tickling Cope in the picture.

This was the kids very favorite ride. Mickeys' Fun Wheel. It was a Ferris Wheel, but each cage was on a track as well so we would swing back and forth as the wheel turned. So much fun!

Cope loved being behind the glass!

We found Mickey with no line! Awesome!

This was our princess meal. Cinderella was the only princess who asked to take a picture with Cope as well.

Kailey was "mad" so she refused to smile for this one. I love how saying you'll be done riding rides for the day automatically makes a "mad" child a "happy" one.

This was on the little circus train.

This is a panoramic veiw of California Adventures at night. The big purple wheel with Mickey in the middle was Mickey's Fun Wheel, and the kids favorite ride.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Raising a Stroke Survivor

During these two weeks of Constraint Induced Therapy I've learned many things about myself, about my son, and about life in general.

One lesson I learned is that one of the most important things we can do in life is to overcome our human tendency to take the path that seems the easiest at the time. The easiest path for both Cope and I would be to not do CI at all. He has one good hand, he could simply choose to not use the other one. He wishes I would let him do that. The problem is I see that life will be easier later in life with the use of both hands. Although that means more work now, that will save him trouble later. In most peoples life they have something like that. Something that were they to work harder now, would make life easier later.

With Constraint Therapy I've learned two important things: 1) The constraint is the most important aspect. There are many things about Constraint Therapy that are just like normal therapy. They play in much the same ways. There are slight differences, like they don't care about his feet at all, or what he is doing developmentally. All they care about is that affected hand. They do a rating scale to determine a starting place, and then at the end of the two weeks the goal is that he has moved up on that rating scale. 2) It really depends on the child what they will do. With Cope his range of motion is very good and muscle tone is fairly good as well. He simply has learned that he doesn't need to use that hand, so he doesn't. A practice he has taught himself is having to be changed.

That is true in all our lives. Each of us have bad habits that are hard to break. Our brain tells us it would be easier to just keep on living as we are rather then improve. In some ways it would be, but once we have use of our affected hand, once those bad habits are no longer holding us back, we can see why the work was so important.

Raising a stroke survivor has been equally the best and worst experience of my life. Although I would never wish a stroke on anyone's child, I am so greatful for my son and the lessons I have learned on our journey. I've learned to understand and love those with medical and mental issues more then I use to. I've learned to appreciate and empathize with their parents. I've learned that to have a child, no matter how damaged their brain or other parts of their body may be, is an amazing gift. I am so blessed to have my son. He is healthy and now we just have improvement to look forward to. One day at a time is still one day with him. One day to love, one day to laugh, and one day to grow together.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Constraint Induced Therapy

I know Cope has his own page, but I want to do an intro to all the details I will be posting on his page in the following few weeks.

Cope's stroke was massive, affecting a majority of the left side of his brain. Brains work opposite, so his right side is the "affected" side, and his left is the "unaffected." Right now, he rarely uses his affected side. I've been told it's disassociation, in which his hand doesn't feel like it belongs to his body, so he would prefer not to use it. This happens because the left side of his brain is not firing the way it should due to the damage. In order to get his hand to start feeling like it belongs to him, we force him to use it so that his brain will start functioning more. That is what therapy is all about. It helps tell his brain that his hand is still there. I found, after much study and reading on the internet, that there are things that can be done to "jump-start" this process. One of those things is Constraint Induced Therapy.

After several months of fighting with the insurance, and then trying to establish dates we could do it, we are finally starting Constraint Induced Therapy next week with Cope. I'll be in Albuquerque for two weeks. I'm excited for the improvement this will hopefully bring. For updates on exactly what is going on check out Cope's page by clicking on his picture below.

We will start Monday the 23rd. Cope will wear a constraint brace, on his unaffected arm, that runs from his shoulders down past his fingers. It will remain on for 14 consecutive days. (I'll post pictures on his page later so you can see.) During this time it will only be taken off for sleeping and bathing. Even eating he will be required to keep it on, forcing him to eat with his affected hand. The brace will inhibit his ability to use his unaffected hand, forcing him to use his affected one. During the two week period he will be receiving Physical and Occupational therapy. There will be two, two-hour sessions of therapy. They will be continued for five days after which he will get two days off, and then will have five days on. During his two days off he will still wear the brace to encourage continued usage of the affected hand. The hope is that such grueling amounts of therapy and lack of use of his unaffected hand, will jump start his brain and allow for continued progress once he is done with the therapy.

I will post pictures to his page and will notate any progress through-out the two weeks. They tell me it will be a grueling two weeks for both him and I as I will have to deal with his frustration and will have to take the time to help him feed himself with a hand he, as of now, has no control over. I know that, but if it improves his ussage of that hand then I say, "Let the fun begin!" :)

Before we head out we get to meet Madison Steiner, founder of Peaches Neet Feet  Cope's Pediatrician, Dr. Nnebe, sponsored Cope, making it possible for Madison and her team to paint him a pair of their beautiful shoes. We are thrilled to get to meet her and be able to get Cope's shoes. My hope is that these will be the shoes he takes his first steps in, as he is not yet walking. I will post pictures and a post on his page after Friday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life. My kids are growing so fast and they will always come first, but I need something else as well. The only thing I keep thinking is that I want to help others. I want to be able to "be a part of something bigger then myself" (Smallville). I want to be able to use my talents and and creativity to touch someone else's life. I met a wonderful woman who has found a way to use her talent to enspire others and enspire me. To learn more about her and her cause go to her blog at

I want to be like that. This year Christmas was so amazing. I realized it was because we gave so much. I spent most of my time thinking what I could make or do that would make someone else happy. I want that feeling all the time. The only way I can get it is if I continue to give everything I am, to others. I can't give away all my food or my money as I do have a family, but I can give of myself. I can give my time, my talents, and my enthusiasm. I want this year to be full of giving. I'm going to get involved in everything I can so that life will be as wonderful as Christmas all year round.