August 31, 2008

Ice Cream for Dinner

Do not call Child Protective Services. Let me preface this blog by saying that our kids generally eat a nutritious, balanced diet. We do not do this often. So think what you may, but it was indeed, ice cream for dinner.

To celebrate the last day of summer break, we launched a new tradition. I prepped the kids all day long about the importance of eating their entire dinner that night without complaining. Translated to them it means: dinner is really gross and mom is going to make us eat it no matter what. So they walked into the kitchen to find "dinner" spread across the table in the form of an ice cream smorgasbord. The look on their faces was priceless, especially Lance's where every expression is amplified due to his thick lenses:)

Eva loaded up on toppings-

While Sadie just loaded up period.

Lance can tie the stem in a knot using only his tongue (jk),

And Bridger enjoyed a good brain freeze. He actually screams for the spoon to be fed to him faster. Ice cream is one of the three foods he eats so it was fun to have him sharing the actual dinner that night.

We all loaded up, and looking at the gooey remains spread all over the table afterwards, I was quite proud of myself for how nutritious I think the meal ended up being. We covered every food group in the pyramid!

Dairy group = ice cream and whipped cream
Bread and cereal group = waffle bowls
Protein/Meat group = chopped peanuts
Fruit group = maraschino cherries
Vegetable group = the green sprinkles from the rainbow sprinkle mix? ? ?

August 27, 2008

I Fought the Law[ndry] and the Law[ndry] [didn't] Won

We now pause this regularly scheduled blog for a special announcement:

At this very moment every single piece of laundry is completely washed, dried and put away in my house. We are talking fresh towels in every bathroom, every bed striped and remade, every sock MaTChed, even the clothes that were on the kids' backs just hours ago are already cleaned and back in their drawers! This is no small task considering our magically replenishing laundry piles around here. But I just had to blog this amazing moment, as it probably will never happen again.

August 25, 2008

TuTu's for Two

They are exactly 18 months (to the hour) apart. They wear the same size clothes, they even wear the same size shoes. They debate and negotiate over who gets to wear what bow and the sparkly shoes (that I will only buy one pair of and curse Target for coming out with a new variation of glitter shoes each year).

Most recently something has happened between them that has been so fun to watch. They have become sisters. Not the kind of sister that happens to share a room with you, but the magical connection that sisterhood can bring where they are beloved playmates and have an unspoken language between them that makes them giggle just when one gives another a certain look. They look out for each other, are proud of each other, and admire one another for their respective strengths.

I thought when Sadie was born how much easier having the second daughter would be. Being the same size, when I find a great sale I just pick up two of the item. They play with the same types of toys which makes Christmas shopping so much easier. When it comes to activities, I register them for the same class and only have to drive one place -- right? Wrong.

That is what I discovered during the ballet class where I took the picture posted above. As similar as they are in age and size, they are polar opposites when it comes to personalities. I watched Eva in the class with her petite frame and beyond-my-gene-pool-level of grace. Then I watched Sadie. Granted, she is only three and will grow in grace (hopefully), but her feelings about the class were much different. She was frustrated to tears at one point watching Eva do something she couldn't. I realized that her "thing" was not going to be Eva's "thing", and that I needed to make sure that each sister was firmly planted in their own "things" to avoid the competition that could be breed otherwise.

I have been watching them closely since that class, giving special notice to their differences and how I will need to mother differently. How can two little cuties that have been mothered the same from day one be so different?! I am so grateful to have two tutu'd daughters that are truly sisters.

August 17, 2008

Peachy Keen

Last weekend we took the kids peach picking. We have been blessed by beautiful weather here lately, very atypical for August, and have been enjoying as many humidity-free days as we can outside. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather for our orchard time. We gave the kids each a bucket and off they went.

Eva had climb up high to get the "perfect one" she saw.

The farmer encourages snacking while picking, so Lance taking full advantage, spent most of his time walking around supervising his sisters while alternating chomps out of his right hand, then his left. At one point when he was thoroughly dripping in peach juice from his upper lip to mid t-shirt, I asked him which one was better. He raised his right hand and said, "this one, by 13 percent!"

Lance and Eva walked together for sometime holding hands, I think that they were actually stuck together from an ample coating of peach juice on each little palm.

So with bushels of peaches now awaiting a fate on my counter, I had the kids turn them into yummy peach dumplings!

I altered one recipe into a very kid friendly one, and with the exception of the cutting and boiling, they made these dumplings all on their very own. We all gobbled them down fresh from the oven. They came out of the oven just before dinnertime, so me in my selfish desire to eat them immediately declared it "backwards dinner night". The kids know what that means. Simply put, it means we eat dessert first:)

Mmm. Now if we can only finish the other 6 bushels before it's time to pick apples.

Kids Make Em' Peach Dumplings
4 fresh peaches, peeled and halved
1 box Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Open up pastry sheets and press out seams. Cut each sheet into 4 squares. Mix the 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll each peach half in the sugar mixture and place hole side down on pastry square. Bring opposite corners of pastry together, pinch together, moisten and crimp to seal sides. Place in greased 9x13 pan. Bring 1/2 cup sugar and water to boil, pour over peaches and sprinkle with remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with ice cream.

August 13, 2008

"These Boots Were Made For Walking. . .

[sing along] . . and that just what they'll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you."

Well, at least we hope. I have a new appreciation for hope now. Before, hope meant crossing my fingers and anticipating. Hope now means hours and hours of work and time invested, having complete optimism and faith that my investment will bring about the desired outcome, all the while dismissing the little thoughts in the back of my mind that it may not.

The lyrics to that song take on a whole new meaning as I sing them to Bridger every morning as we do his therapy in. . .

His new therapeutic gait trainer!

His little body is getting stronger one little muscle fiber at a time. He truly is a champion!

By the way, this is hard. That is not a complaint, just a statement. Bridger feels very trapped in a body that his mind can't make move. Pretty much from 1:00pm on, he cries out of frustration whenever I put him down. If you were interested in a glimpse at the timing logistics of my day, here is a piece of my schedule:

Bridger needs 4 tube feeds a day as well as the 3 high chair mealtimes with the rest of us. The tube feeds have to be at least 3 hours apart, no later than 6:30pm in the evening or he cries all night due to reflux. They cannot be within an hour before the highchair time or else he is too full for the vital practice of eating the "real stuff". The tube feeds can't come within an hour after highchair time or else the real food in his stomach chunks up the tube and formula can't go down (sorry, gross, but reality nonetheless) and he can't do any type of feeding, oral or tube, within 45 minutes of therapy time otherwise he just throws it up from the physical exertion during therapy. I do about 3 hours of physical, hands-on therapy with him each day, that doesn't count all of the "play time", speech and fine motor skills work I do. With his gait trainer I am physically moving each leg up, pressing heal down, rolling his foot to toe and pushing down and forward, then repeating with the other leg. . . back and forth, mimicking the walking motion to help him wire his brain how to these motions. Collectively, an hour of time is devoted to helping him sit, anchoring his hips, holding his lower body, tucking in his hyperextended legs to form his base, patting his stomach and massaging his spine to activate and engage those muscles. This only requires 5 of my 8 arms. I have to massage his little muslces after all of this or else he cries all night with severe muscles cramps. I usually spend at least an hour or two each day going through the massive amounts of paperwork, cutting my way through the red tape to figure out benefits, services and insurance. On this week I have also had 8 medical appointments in the last 8 days. Oh yeah, and then there are the 3 other little ones, 6, 5 and 3 to take care of and the few minutes a day that requires (swim lessons to attend, scissor skills to work on, itty-bitty nails that beg for mom to paint them, meals to make, sweeping up a good portion of those same meals from under everyone's chair when mealtime is over, games to play, Legos to pick up including the little ones that are embedded in my foot from stepping on them, legos to threaten to throw away as I bandage my foot, countless loads of laundry that secretly multiply and replenish when I have my back turned, school supplies to buy, scriptures to teach, milk to stock, parks to frequent, wiggles to get out, hugs to get in. . .) You do the math. Also, dear hubs is working until the wee hours of the night and good chunks of each Saturday for the past several months. Calgon, take me away -- who am I kidding, who has time to soak in the tub. Unless, I added my laundry in there with my Calgon and could wash that at the same time. . . hmmm, now there is an efficient thought. I pride myself on how efficient I can be sometimes.

So, I guess if this wasn't so impossible it just might be great. Luckily, those kids are just so darn cute that it is impossible for all of this NOT to be great.

August 05, 2008

Favorite Things

I decided to add a new series within my blogging entitled, "Favorite Things". My time is far too precious in my life to spend on anything that is less than fabulous. When I find things that are worthy to occupy the sacred minutes of my day it is like discovering gold to me. I feel that these things I find are far too spectacular to keep to myself and that others out there may benefit from my discoveries. So, from time to time I will be inserting a Favorite Things post in my blogs with my latest find or most favorite "thing" of the moment. With that said, we now take a break from our normally scheduled programing for a commercial break from our sponsor:
I LOOOOVE This!!!!

This is my underwater mp3 player called my H2OMan. I have been lap swimming lately and even when I am in shape I find long distance swimming very challenging to me. Needless to say now, I am far from in shape and need every little bit of help I can get. Enter 1 H2OMan into my life. It has a strap to attach to my arm, I put in my earphones and off I go. Lap after lap - jamming out my strokes to some Blondie, Indigo Girls and Boston. Sometimes in my back stroke I even sing along - much to the listening pleasure of the other swimmers, I'm sure;) Before I know it, my workout is done. Swimming takes me to my own little place in my own little world. I'm not staring at the backside of some super skinny woman on the treadmill in front of me wondering how many hours she spends at the gym to look like that. My thoughts are my own and my thoughts are about me. I find it such a therapeutic release of stress. And thanks to my H2OMan my lap count is forgotten.