Tuesday, November 10, 2009

elderberry syrup tutorial

with the crazy h1n1 running rampant, i thought i would post an educational video on how to make your own elderberry syrup.
if you don't want to make your own, i would recommend sambucol .

hope everyone is staying healthy this flu season.

Friday, November 6, 2009

autism video

this video is under a lot of heat. i personally think it is very educational and inspiring.
warning: it is intense and a few statements are purely based on percentages.

if this mama is knocked off her horse, she WILL get back up and ride. be very sure of that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

IEP's make me all teary-eyed.

i will admit it.
they do.

my dream is to semi-homeschool these babies.
but for now...liam is in public pre-k. an inclusive class. and i adore the teachers. it's the best thing for us right now. i have a job and two little girlies to look after.

but oh my word, the IEP's.

they leave me reeling sometimes.

it's hard enough entrusting your own child to someone that you haven't known for more than 30 mins, but hearing that your child won't eat at school and hearing that i should send better food to school for his lunch? ouch. not that i'm blaming...i'm very new to this.

this is a kid who will eat a total of like 7 things. i am his mama. i KNOW what he will or will not eat. i send like 20 things in his lunchbox because i know this.

tough nite tonite. that's all.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

easy peasy chicken and dumplins

(this is my friend denise's recipe, not mine...i just changed/added a few things to it)

get a small rotisserie chicken
put in crockpot, pour over a carton of chicken broth
add in:
a couple of stalks of celery, chopped up
carrots (i used baby carrots...about a handful
couple tablespoons minced garlic or a couple of whole cloves of garlic
an onion, chopped in large pieces
salt and pepper

put on high for a few hours...remove chicken and let cool...pick the meat off and toss it all back in the pot with the broth/veggies.

now get yourself a can of whomp biscuits. (you know...the kind you whomp on the counter to open 'em?) you want the cheap buttermilk ones...not the layer ones.
take you pizza cutter and slice them into 6 pieces...or 8 if you want...or 10 if you want teeny dumplins.
toss the little pieces in a little cornstarch (couple tablespoons) and drop them into the pot.

cover and let it all cook for another 30 mins or so. chow down.

super yummo!!

(hide the biscuit can) ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

songs that have shaped me

timmy and i sometimes have a "youtube" night where we search for songs that have really "shaped" us growing up.

i thought i would start a little posting of those every now and then.

the first song that i want to add is a song that has literally gotten me through many hard times in my life.

i'm a "feel music deeply" girl and i'm also a "feel God in nature" girl, so this song gets me every time.

(listen to it loudly...and yeah, i usually tear up at the "newborn's cry at birth" part and i most often HAVE to raise my hands at the "i believe" part. feel free to do the same thing. *wink* )

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

my brave son

we spent the afternoon playing in the pool at lifetime fitness today.
it was a perfect afternoon for it!

we dropped cora off in the childcare and tim and i took liam and garland swimming.

i have been teaching liam to swim and he's been getting it...but today he was amazing!
he'll be swimming on his own by the end of the summer, i am sure.

well, the pool has these huge, amazing, two-story water slides. like super tall and fast.

liam was dead-set on going down one.

well, we asked the guard and learned that he must go down on his own and he can't wear a life vest.
since the kid can't swim yet, and the water at the landing is like 4 feet deep, we decided no.

he kept insisting that he wanted to "go big slide" and so finally i said what the heck.
i took him up the steps, told the lifeguard at the top to hold his hand until i went down the slide and then to tell him to go.

i went down, and waited for him.

sure enough, a little screaming-for-his-life liam arrived at the bottom of the slide.
i caught him, he was bawling!!
i asked him if it was fun or scary? he immediately stopped crying and said, "FUN!" and "Go big slide again??"


so timmy took him the next round.
liam got turned around halfway down that time and was screaming again.

tim asked "fun or scary?" liam said "scary" and "all done big slide!"

we were seriously cracking up.

i'm sure he'll want to go again the next time. brave boy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

family day!

tim and i both had the day off today, so we decided to have family day.
we went to sam's and then to the park. the kids had a blast swinging and sliding.

now timmy and i are in the kitchen whipping up some goodness for our grill nite.

i made a mustard potato salad with farmer chad's home grown organic potatoes (thanks for the csa box, jennifer!) and timmy is making a brine for our chicken before we put it on the grill. we're also having corn on the cobb - my fave. i love it especially right off the grill.
i think i should make a pitcher of sweet tea, don't you?
i can't wait for dinner! yummy!

family days are the best.

Monday, June 1, 2009

karate wasn't a hit

at least for today.

we went through the evaluation with the teacher a few days ago.
liam was awesome.
he punched when they said to.
he kicked when they said to.

the teacher said "yeah" and "he'll do great in class".

i left thinking "why am i so scared of this? it will be GOOD for him."

well, today was the first day of class.

i KNEW it from the get-go that he wasn't in the mood.

BUT! i told myself that just because he's autistic doesn't mean we're gonna skip out on things.
i was pumped and ready to go.
i put the "i can do this" face on.

i had a plan.
tim was working tonite which meant i had both the drama queens in tow.
i thought to myself that we would park right in front of the place (glass front) and i would leave the girls in the nice cool van watching a DVD while i overlooked liam in his class from the window.

well...all the good spots were taken, we had to park half a mile away and poo-poo on my awesome plan.

okay...plan B.

i loaded the drama queens into our (amazing, btw...best huge bucks i've ever spent) stroller and headed towards karate-ville.

that's when the light REALLY went on.

liam HATED the uniform.
he was overwhelmed at the amount of people there.
he went into "melt-down" mode.

but i kept on.
i told myself, "who cares what people think...we're gonna DO this!"

so i pushed him.

i had a few moments when all (and i mean ALL) eyes were on me.

it was the kindof "eyes on me" where everyone looking at me turned away and pretended that they weren't just staring when i looked around the room for a caring face.

yeah, that kind of look.

finally liam said to me..."go home?" and i swept him out of there as fast as i could.

on the way home i bawled my eyes out and argued with God about quite a few things.

why liam? why me? why? why? why?

maybe i was just trying too hard to help him fit in?

maybe all he really wants is time at home?

i don't know the answers.

i wish he could talk to me.

i guess i just wanted to share this for all the autie mamas that read my blog.

i'm right here with you.

maybe we'll try karate again.
maybe it was just a bad first reaction.
maybe we'll never be into group sports.

time will tell, but i sure as hell tried.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

new day, new adventures.

can i just clear my head for a second?

having a "special needs" child is...well...it's just hard.

i went to liam's last day of school yesterday.
it wasn't a typical "last day of school" kind of thing.
he is in a "special needs" preschool.
i never thought i would be there.
my best friends all have "typical" kids.
in all honestly, i didn't want to go.
i avoided it, and timmy shook me out of it and i went.

i wasn't happy to be there.
actually, i was looking out the window at the other moms who had what we call "typical" kids and i'll be brutally honest...i was jealous.

but then i stopped myself from this spiral that seems to happen.
i told myself that even *those* moms have issues.
mine just happens to be navigating the crazy world of autism.

and then i told my mind to just shut up and looked around the room.
what did i see?
well, it just so happens that there are plenty of rockin' moms that have a kid with "special needs".

i decided to step out of my comfort zone and introduce myself.

the response was amazing!

these other moms are JUST LIKE ME.

we are all navigating the world of "very different" and we all know the intense pain that comes along with wanting your kid to just "fit in".

i felt, for the first time in a long while, that someone understood me.
you have no idea what that feels like.

so while liam and his friend played together so happily afterwards, i met a new friend. a mama. just like me. and i came home on twenty thousand cloud nines.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

time with my hubby

so i read an article today about how it's so important to cultivate your marriage when you have children.

i used to laugh at those kind of articles because timmy and i have been best friends since the day we started dating. BEST FRIENDS.

now we are in the middle of toddler central and are both working...and both single parenting while the other is working.

i go to work at 8am...don't get home until 4pm. tim leaves as soon as i get home and doesn't get home until sometimes 3 in the morning.
we're like passing ships in the night.

on top of all that, we both spend countless hours making sure that liam stays on his diet and gets his multiple supplements a day while juggling 2 sweet little girls who are both still in diapers. we keep up with the house as best we can. we each are able to brave the grocery store alone with 3 littles.

it. is. exhausting.

all of that to say that we have realized that we seriously need some time together...alone.

time to reconnect.

time to just laugh and promise ourselves that this is only a season.

so, we're going on a DATE on thursday night!!!!!!

my sister (yay!) is coming to watch the kids and we're hitting the town.
timmy is planning the whole night...down to the restaurant and events afterward.
maybe bowling? maybe mini-golf? maybe playing darts at the local pub?

all i know is that i feel like a silly teenager thinking about this date night.

time ALONE with my hubby!!
my sweet, adorable best bud.

i sure miss his face these days.

Monday, May 18, 2009

dinner tonite

the kitchen smells yummy.

i've got some TJ's seasoned wild turbot fillets broiling, some TJ's basmati wild rice medley in the rice cooker and i'm sauteeing some asparagus.

super simple, super tasty!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

working outside of the home...and other ramblings.

well, our income situation changed drastically this year and as a result, i was forced to get a job.
i'm a M-F nanny for 2 sweet kiddos...ages 20 months and 4 months.
the hours are pretty decent. 9am-3:30pm. so, at least i get to actually SEE my kids a few hours each day.
i'm thankful for this job, don't get me wrong.
the income has been greatly needed.
but let me just say that it has given me empathy for the mamas that have to do this all the time.
being away from my babies breaks my heart.

the good news is that i only have 2 weeks left and then i start my new job!
i will soon be an employee of the childcare center at lifetime fitness.
one of the great perks of the job is that you get to bring your kiddos with you!! YAY!!

we've been members at lifetime for a year now and it's like disney world. i swear.
it's also right across the street from us (literally) and just an amazing place.
my kids all beg to go.
so, i'm super thrilled about this new job.

in other news...
i'm about to put in our summer garden.
i have huge plan for canning and freezing all the yummy veggies that our little garden brings forth.
homemade dill pickles, salsa, tomato basil sauce.
the list goes on.
nothing like filling the pantry and freezer with home-grown goodness for the winter.

so far i'm planning on:
~tons of 'maters
~red and green bell peppers
~jalapeno peppers
~squash and zucchini
~banana peppers
~pole beans
~herbs galore: basil, dill, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, parsley...etc.

i've had pretty good luck in the past with gardening, so i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

playin' in the dirt makes me happy. always has. ;)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

happy mother's day!!

i hope everyone had an amazing day!

mine was...ummm...exhausting.

the kids were wild and whiney. timmy had to work all day and i had to make a trip to wally world -- always a BLAST alone with 3 littles. (rolls eyes)


timmy came home from work with a toaster oven for me (i really wanted one) and also a beautiful yucca cane plant!! that man knows the way to my heart: cooking items and plants. i told him tonite that if he bought me a plant every friday i would be a continually happy woman. i think he *might* take me up on it. ;)

so today i have thought about when i was younger and literally daydreamed for hours about being a mama. now i'm here.

it's way harder than i expected, but good golly i am blessed!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

what's going on in my kitchen this week....

i did some meal planning today and here's what i've got planned for dinners...

marinated and grilled flank steak (free range from harrys)
twice baked potatoes
sauteed asparagus

crock pot veggie soup (i know it's warm weather now, but i'm a soup girl)
whole wheat rolls

lime chicken soft tacos with all the fab toppings
black beans and brown rice

southern veggie nite: black-eyes, collards, fried okra, squash casserole, sliced tomatoes, cornbread and sweet tea, of course!

hot and sour soup and homemade eggrolls

we will have plenty of leftovers for lunches and fend-for-yourself nights!
man, i love cooking.
it is so relaxing to me.
i could seriously spend hours on end at harrys and trader joes.
food rocks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

this grabbed me (autism)

i have been reading MOTHER WARRIORS lately and this bit hit home for me...

"I have had a chance to be reaquainted with God. Not the God you meet in your Sunday best at church, but the God you meet on your kitchen floor at three in the morning.

There is no Ronald McDonald House for us, no wing at Saint Jude's to offer help, or even hope. The parents of a child with autism are left to go the road alone.

I am my son's full-time researcher, biochemist, pharmacist, educator, doctor, nutritionist, and chef.

I control all aspects of his environment down to the smallest detail."

this was so true for me today.
dealing with medical doctors that want to put a band-aid on everything...and when i question that with the knowledge i've gained...well, they admit to doing what the "book" says.


Friday, April 3, 2009

we're grillin' tonite!

timmy is out getting some charcoal and we're gonna light up the trusty grill to cook our super yummy dinner.

i'm a big fan of the cooking light magazine and this month's issue has some goodies in there.

tonite we're making grilled cilantro-lime chicken with tomato and avocado salsa. i'm also attempting homemade saffron rice...it can't be too hard right?
i picked up some spanish saffron at trader joes this afternoon...i need to google for a recipe.
sweet tea is brewing right now to go along with the meal. yum!

i'm also going to be making chicken and feta tabbouleh this weekend for lunches.

the other recipe that looked amazing is pasta with artichokes and fresh ricotta, so that will make an appearance one night with a mixed greens salad and some garlic rolls.

timmy has been asking me to make up a batch of turkey chili lately...and since it looks like another freeze is headed our way (sigh) i think chili sounds great. especially with my favorite recipe.

and while i'm on the subject of food...i have been craving fish tacos.
anybody have a good recipe???

Saturday, March 21, 2009

babies don't keep

not sure if i have posted this before, but i came across it tonite and it blessed me. made a few tears well up, actually.

"Babies Don't Keep"

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

-- Author Unknown

Saturday, January 24, 2009

new background and new menu!

it was time for a facelift on the blog and after a nice long break, i'm ready to start blogging again.

this entry will be short and sweet because i have a curly-headed two year old helping me. ;)

menu this week:

~oven roasted chicken, potatoes, green beans
~chicken noodle tetrazinni, salad, bread
~beef stew, bread
~good old spaghetti, salad, garlic bread

i'll be making extra stew and spaghetti sauce for the freezer divided into individual portions...you know, to save us from the drive-thrus.

pretty simpe stuff this week. i need simple these days. ;)