What's a MOM to do?

Bundt cake pan and corn?

Bundt cake pan and corn?

I love this time of year when all of the produce is coming in and there are so many choices of fresh food to eat. My sweet sister brought me a mess (that is southern terminology for a lot) of corn yesterday. Well the thing about corn is, once you pick it, you have to be ready to do something with it, for me that meant cutting it off the cob to put away for the cold winter months. However, cutting is not my strong  point to begin with and on top of that I am dealing with a broken hand, so innovation was key to holding the corn still and getting it off the cob without another emergency room visit. So here is the trick I learned from a friend today, shuck your corn, then take the hard end of the cob and stick it in the hole of a bundt pan (you know, like a bundt cake, see photos) to hold it steady, with a sharp knife, cut the corn off the cob and it conveniently falls into the cake pan!


Second brilliant fresh produce moment came from one of my favorite blogs, 5dollardinners, and it was a recipe for Easy Peach Cobbler, click on the link following for recipe http://www.5dollardinners.com/2009/07/easy-peach-cobbler-guest-post.html

I had some peaches that needed to be used so this seemed like a great plan, but my hubby is not a peach fan, so I coupled them with strawberries and blueberries from the fridge, awesome! Look at the beautiful colors, before cooking! Yum.

Strawberries, Blueberries and Peaches

Strawberries, Blueberries and Peaches

Hope you enjoyed a sweeter and lighter post tonight, share your creative summer cooking ideas with me!



My Blessings

As promised yesterday, here is a list of what you can do for someone who has a chronically ill child or a child with a long hospitalization.Most of this list was derived from what people did for me and our family. Some things cost nothing, some are expensive, some take a little time, some take a lot, figure out what you are willing to do/give and go from there.

pray, for them and with them

clean their house, yes I mean scrub the toilets, or pay for and send over a cleaning company

bring a meal, or a milkshake, or muchies

mow the grass

get an ipod, load it with their favorite music, kids music, instrumentals for sleep time, inspirational messages

go visit, don’t expect to be entertained, or even talked to but go and sit, hold the child, hold the parent, just be there

organize a fund raiser, but don’t let them know about it

send care packages

bring an area rug to put on the floor in the hospital room for play time

maintenance at their home, power washing, planting flowers, trimming shrubs

take mom for a haircut (or bring someone to the hospital to do it there), manicure, pedicure, etc

if appropriate, bring playmates to visit

bring sidewalk chalk, bubbles, Wii, books, toys, videos, art/craft supplies

make a hospital survival kit for parents: ear plugs, eye mask, fleece blanket, snacks, pillow, toiletries

do laundry

pick up things from their home and bring to them

help them do research

find out about local resources

bring an air mattress to them

help with other children

make a photo collage for the child of their family and friends to hang in the room or on the bed

decorate the hospital room

give them gift cards for the cafeteria or restaurants close by

send them a card

bring fresh flowers


We were so blessed by friends, family, even strangers who carried us through. Let me share an example, though all of the above are examples, this is priceless. Our youngest (15 months) had been in the hospital locally for 10 weeks, we were about to fly from NC to PA for a more specialized hospital and our oldest was about to turn 3. My dear friends handled the birthday party, suggested a location, made party favors, made invitations, bought supplies, picked up the cake, sat with the one in the hospital so we could all attend, brought the food, EVERY detail was handled. I still cry when I think about how my friends made that birthday party possible, and wonderful.

Please don’t send a text message, email or voicemail to say “hey, I  am thinking about you”, go and do something.

If you have other ideas, please post them and I will compile them.

Sisters having fun, even in the hospital

Today I got ANOTHER link to a Caring Bridge website for a 3 year old boy with stage 4 cancer. As I read it and then thought about it while preparing dinner, okay pancakes and bacon counts as dinner, right? Back to the point, it occurred to me that I have become a member of a club that no one really wants to join, actually the only people who want to join it have walked a much more difficult journey than I. I am a member of the club of parents who have had a child hospitalized or seriously ill for an extended period of time. The only people who want to be a part of this club, I believe, are those like my Mom, my friends Stephanie, Michele, Michelle, Maggie, Anne, and others who lost a child to an illness or accident. So, as a member of this club, what can I do, because clubs do something right?

Well the latest thing I have been “doing” is reaching out to other parents who are walking the path we did of long hospitalization(s) for their children. What can I do for them? Thats what everyone asks when you have a tragedy like this, what can I do? The funny, okay not so funny, thing is that there are a million things they can do, the first would be to not ask what they can do but to just do something. I think tomorrow’s post will be a list of “somethings” you can do.

I guess the way I ended up with a blog began on June 12, 2008. My youngest daughter, Annalise, entered the hospital that day for what would be an 18 week hospitalization, including 3 hospitals. To keep family and friends posted, and to decompress and process everything at the end of the day, I began writing a CaringBridge site for Annalise. I found the process of writing down the days events and my feelings, very cathartic. I also received positive feedback from others, so here is my continuation of that process, but not limited to Annalise’s illness.

Just a bit about that journey, for the first 11 weeks, she was undiagnosed,  or rather, there was a “possible” diagnosis almost every day. On Aug 19, 2008 we were transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Annalise was diagnosed with Hyperinsulinism, also called Congenital Hyperinsulinism, and various other names but all meaning she had chronic, uncontrolled hypoglycemia. We were blessed that she had what is called Focal instead of Diffuse disease. On Sept 11, with the help of an 18 F dopa assisted PET scan, the area of islet cells was located in the tail of her pancreas. On Sept 18, God worked through the hands of an amazing surgeon, Dr Adzick, who removed 2% of her pancreas, the smallest section ever removed I believe. This, we believe, cured her.

During this time and the time following it, I believe I have learned some things that may be helpful to share with others such as:

  • not being afraid to be the patient’s advocate, ie asking lots of questions and pushing doctors and other health care providers to provide the best possible care
  • working with and fighting insurance companies to get appropriate care and testing and transportation covered
  • navigating the tax implications of huge medical expenses, greater than 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income
  • living at Ronald McDonald house
  • trying to keep a family together
  • relying on the blessings of others, the hands and feet of the body of Christ, to get through
  • knowing what you can do for someone when they are in this situation
  • reaching out to others with sick children
  • trusting God, even when it seems like he is asleep in the boat

So, with this I start this blog which will include the above as well as all the other glorious challenges and blessings of motherhood. Read the rest of this entry »

Here goes…..motherhood in the public eye.

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