Next week, our little family will head to the Detroit area to visit with Nancy Kaufman, an expert in Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I think of it like this: school speech therapists handle every problem in the speech disorder spectrum, like a coach that teaches every sport. Nancy, however, knows apraxia. She only coaches Rylie’s kind of kids. We have 4 days of 2-hour therapy with her and are hoping to leave with a better understanding of what Rylie’s future holds.
Friday, Ry’s school therapists suggested we consider taking Ry to a genetic counselor. When she was 2 years old, we took her to the children’s hospital to be evaluated, and it was decided that there was nothing ‘deeper’ going on besides idiopathic apraxia and all the motor-planning issues that commonly accompany it. Now that it’s been 2 years, it may be a good time to have some medical testing done to see if anything shows up. We’ll ask Nancy if she agrees.
The suggestion did not go over well with me. It made me tired. And, truthfully, sad. I think I’ve been secretly hoping (and expecting) that with much effort would come much progress… and yet, we still find ourselves on the ‘we’re not sure what’s going on’ side of things.
Some specific prayers, if your gate swings that way:
• that our visit with Nancy would give us some realistic expectations and renewed motivation to press on. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
• that Rylie and I would find some balance in our daily life. I have not been handling my role as a parent well lately. Our last few months have been an incredible battle of (freakishly similar) wills. I have expected Rylie to grow faster than she can, to understand more than she is able, to be patient even where I am not. I forget she is four.
• that Winter would not suffocate me. I have been lazy with my work as a parent and wife as the temperatures drop. I want to be better with my time. Plan dinner, be on time to appointments, get dressed before noon. Hello. Be an adult 🙂
Here’s to a better (and more realistic) tomorrow. Cheers.
The recipe below breaks no culinary boundaries, but it’s comforting. It’s heavy and warm and perfect with bread. Sometimes at the end of a rough Winter day, that’s exactly what you need.
Baked Potatoes and Stew
- 1 potato for each person, scrubbed clean and rubbed in olive oil and salt AND pricked with a fork
- 1 pound of stew meat, dredged in flour and browned in a splash of oil
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 bunch of celery, chopped
- 1/2 of a Vidalia onion, chopped
- 16 oz. of beef broth
- butter, sour cream and cheese for serving, if desired
Stew usually has pieces of potato in it… but pouring the stew over a baked potato allows you to freeze any leftovers. Potatoes don’t freeze well. Meat and broth and vegetables? They freeze fabulously.
Turn your oven on to 375°. Put your potatoes in (no need to preheat) and check after 45 minutes. Extra large ones may take an hour. The oil and salt on the skins make them nice and crispy.
Once you get your potatoes in: brown your meat, add your vegetables and stir until the onions are translucent. Now add your broth (and maybe a little leftover beer? hello.) and turn your heat down as low as it will go. Leave it here to simmer while the potatoes finish cooking.
Break open a potato in each person’s bowl. Add butter and cheese to melt, and then pour a ladle of stew over the whole deal. A helping of sour cream on top, a chunk of bread, and you are all set. Dig in.
Serves 2.5 with leftovers.