Hi Everyone,

Corey’s day began at 3am! She had a very restless night. As the day progressed, so did she. We have a picture chart that shows the progression of pain from 1 (best) – 5 (worst). She started at a 5 but by early this evening she said she was a 3…I’ll take it!

It was a long day but overall a good day. Diane was thrilled with Corey’s speech session this morning. Corey’s voice was the strongest to date and Diane loved “hearing” Corey’s voice. The clarity of her words is developing! Diane commented at Corey’s progression since their first visit August 1st. It surprised me that it’s already been 3 months.

Both our Nurse and Physical Therapist called out today. I often joke that I’m not a Nurse, I just play one at home. Today I was also the physical therapist (thank goodness I watch, take notes and I’m a quick study)
We worked on the matte for about 45 minutes stretching, sitting and we practiced standing. Corey is gaining strength in her legs and torso so each time we transition from a sitting to standing position I can feel her supporting herself and she relies less on me. We tried to add the standing frame to our session but Corey’s pain increased and I stopped her session. She was very uncomfortable unable to settle into her wheelchair. I wasn’t sure if she was tired, bored, frustrated or what she was trying to express. I asked her what she’d like to do. She couldn’t give me an answer. I gave her two choices; get back in bed and rest or cut Zucchini for her afternoon cooking session. She held her hand up and made a cutting motion with her fingers. Into the kitchen we went! Side note: she was content for the next 90 minutes, not showing any discomfort, as she was engaged in the prep work for our meal.

Today’s entrée was Sesame Chicken with a Bow Tie & vegetable side dish. When we cook I bring Corey’s over-bed table to the kitchen. It fits perfectly across her lap when she’s in her wheelchair. I place the cutting board on her table, give Corey the butcher knife (don’t get nervous; I’m right there to guide her hand to re-teach her the cutting motion). She sliced the zucchini lengthwise in quarters then across it’s diameter for small pieces. She uses a tool we call the scooper. It’s like a spackle knife but for the kitchen. Corey scoops up the cut pieces and puts them in a bowl. I cut the bite size carrots and cherry tomatoes (teasing her that it’s important that her mother KEEP her fingers). She scooped and sorted those pieces. By the time the vegetables were finished so was she. Corey took a short rest until the afternoon cooking class began.

Brittany and Christa arrived to see we had almost all the prep work completed. All that was left was cracking the eggs. The ladies were amazed to see Corey crack 8 eggs with one hand and not have any shells land in the bowl! I assured them we’ve been practicing that skill.

Christa assessed Corey’s recognition of the measuring cups and spoons. Her accuracy increased from last weeks test. Today was an advanced class that included sequencing. We had 4 steps Corey had to follow.
1Hold the chicken strip, dip in the flour, pepper and salt mixture(bowl #1)
2.dip the chicken in the egg (bowl #2)
3.dip the chicken in the crouton/sesame mixture (bowl #3)
4.place the breaded strip on the cutting board

We guided the process for the first few times but then asked Corey to show us the process without our detailed prompts. She did very well. After the meat was cooked we plated the dish. Bow Tie pasta, top with the zucchini and carrot mix, add a few slices of the cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and finish with three strips of sesame chicken on top. We had enough to prepare 10 dinners for the church ~ Bon appetite!

Brittany commented that she feels as if our cooking sessions are getting more challenging. I laughed and commented “That’s the point! Johnson & Wales will want Corey to make more than Peanut Butter & Jelly”. We’ve got to get this girl ready for Culinary School!

Corey was in bed and asleep by 6:30 tonight! (Now we pray she sleeps through till morning) Now it’s time I follow my daughter’s example and get some rest for Mom/Nurse/PT/Chef Apprentice…Happy dreams all, xoxo