Thursday, October 28, 2010

So he was listening!

I blogged last week about our eating issues with Trevor. I had told him one night that I had heard (and I don't know if this is true or not but it sounded good, lol)that you have to eat a good 17 times before you can tell if you like something or not.

So imagine my surprise when tonight at dinner he tells me, "mom I told ______ what you always say"....

Immediately, I started racking my mind, wondering what exactly he might have told this child! LOL! I was hoping it wasn't something "colorful"! LOL!

I said, "what's that?"

He said, "I told him that you have to try a food 17 times before you can see if you will like it."

He then went on to say that he also told another boy who didn't like grapes the same thing! Apparently both boys said they didn't care and they weren't going to eat foods they didn't like, but that's neither here nor there.

I was just so surprised that he had actually been listening to me and had thought to tell his friends! LOL!



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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fabulous giveaway from "Paint the Moon Actions and Textures!"

Another giveaway you don't want to miss out on! Run, don't walk over to "Paint the Moon" and enter the "The INCREDIBLE Giveaway"

Over $1100 in prizes!!! Fabulous - glorious goodies!!!

Don't miss out on this! You have till midnight on Friday the 29th to enter!

I am so excited about this - what an awesome giveaway!!!



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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bigger than sleep!

I am a big softie when it comes to certain issues with my kids. I think of how fast they grow up, and it plays on my emotions and I make some decisions based on those emotions rather than with my brain.

Now this isn't to say I don't discipline or I let them get away with murder, definitely not the case.

But there are certain issues that come along, that I am soft.

Case in point, Vicky has co-slept with us much of her almost 3 years. On the nights she wasn't sleeping upright in her swing, she was in my arms in bed between us. Of course, she nursed, so this did make it extremely easy. I did make many attempts in that first year to get her to stay in her bed all night, but it wasn't easy and we had many bumps in the road. It was Karl who finally convinced me to stop trying so hard, and just let things be.  And from then on, she'd come into our bed whenever she woke up during the night. For the first almost 2 yrs, she slept in our room due to housing situation and only being able to find a 2 bedroom to rent. So really, it was in the best interest of all involved, to keep nighttime disturbances to a minimum and if that meant letting her sleep with us, so be it.

A year ago last month we moved into a three bedroom and we no longer had to share a bedroom. From that point on, Vicky would wake once a night or so, and I'd go get her. I can probably count on one hand how many nights since January that she has slept all night in her room. It's a rare occurrence.

So here she is approaching three years old next month and still coming into our bed. One would think as she gets older, it would get easier having her in here - I mean, she's bigger so it's not like you could even begin to forget she is here, not like when she was an infant and I slept practically with one eye open to make sure she was always safe. But actually, her being bigger is harder. She doesn't sleep well thanks to the tonsils - so she is constantly moving about - thrashing her legs - kicking us in one body part or another - moaning - crying out - tossing and turning - the list goes on and on. Oh and can't forget what I have so affectionately named, "dookie breath" - she has horrific bad breath thanks to those huge tonsils of hers. One whiff of that, has you scanning the room to see who pooped in a corner. It's gag-nasty!

Needless to say we all could use some better sleep.

But the kicker is, she's growing up so fast that part of me hates to have to force her to stay in her room. This is where me being a softie comes into play.

I know co sleeping isn't for everyone and I am not wanting to debate it's merits - to each his own.

But she is my baby - she is the baby that has wanted me - Trevor never wanted to sleep with me - he was much more content to be in his crib in his own room. Even now at 6.5 yrs old, I can't get him to snuggle. So the very fact that Vicky is so cuddly, well, I am weak....I love it!

A month or so ago, we took down the gates in the house  - giving Vicky freedom to go up and down the stairs as she likes. It was a huge step because we've had gates up for about 6 yrs now. Just this week, I threw out her booster seat for the kitchen chair - she's a big enough girl to sit on the chair and eat with us without it. She's going to preschool. She's turning 3 next month.

Truth of the matter is, I am scared.

Scared to stop co sleeping ...scared that every little sign of her being my baby is slipping away from me...scared that we'll never have this again if I let it go now ...scared that if I force her to stop sleeping with us now, she'll never want to cuddle again...scared that if I close my eyes too long, she'll be all grown up and this will all be a fleeting memory in my mind. And I have to ask myself, is it really that big of a deal to let her sleep with us? Or am I being selfish in trying to hang on to any last bit of "babydom" I can?!

I love my children so wholly ...so completely ....but they are growing up way faster than I'd like. Despite my best efforts at willing them to slow down, it has not worked. I just don't have that kind of power. (I suspect if I did, I might try to bottle it and sell it, but that's a blog for another day!) Just recently I was asked where I see us in 10 yrs? I couldn't answer. Truth is, the future scares me. I don't know what the future holds for Trevor. My hope is that he can better manage his Aspergers. But on the flip side, I worry as he gets bigger and older that it will become more apparent to other kids and that he'll be picked on more. In 10 yrs, he'll be approaching 17 yrs old - he'll be so close to be an adult. Wow. I worry about him being taken advantage of...being picked on...struggling to fit in and be "normal". I worry about Vicky and all the sickos out there these days. I don't want either of my children hurt. In 10 yrs, she'll be going on 13 - the teenage years with a daughter - sounds like great fun, huh? :-)

Back to my point, I love them so incredibly much - the years are flying by as it is, is it so wrong to want to hold onto whatever I can.......

(don't answer that....I don't think I am ready to be told I am wrong!)



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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe Thursday!

I am trying to be better about blogging and I thought it would kinda be fun to do a weekly recipe! And so with that, "Recipe Thursday" was born! Viola! So creative, aren't I? LOL!

Tonight's recipe comes courtesy of Rasa Malaysia: Easy Asian Recipes

Cashew Chicken

Recipe: Cashew Chicken (腰果鸡丁) Ingredients:
1 boneless & skinless chicken breast, about 10 oz. (cut into small cubes)
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 small green bell pepper, about 4 oz. (cut into small square pieces)
5 slices ginger
1/4 onion (cut into small square pieces)
Marinate:
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon rice wine
Sauce:
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
3 dashes white pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt to taste
Method:
  1. Marinate the chicken meat with the baking soda for 15-20 minutes and then rinse the chicken thoroughly. (Please make sure that the chicken is properly rinsed clean of the baking soda.)
  2. Pat the chicken meat dry with paper towels and then marinate with the rest of the ingredients for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the sauce together and set aside.
  4. Heat up a wok with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and stir-fry the chicken meat until the color turns white or half-cooked. Dish out and set aside.
  5. Add another 1 tablespoon of cooking oil into the wok and add in the ginger slices, bell peppers and onions.
  6. Stir-fry until you smell the peppery aroma from the green peppers and add the chicken meat back in.
  7. Add in the cashew nuts and do a few quick stirs.
  8. Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is cooked and well coated with the sauce. Add salt to taste, dish out and serve the Cashew Chicken hot with steamed white rice.
So I am sure you are reading this and wondering what the heck that baking soda marinate is all about. Well, according to the website:

"Baking soda serves two purposes:
  1. to rid the chicken of any potential smell (I am sure you have had bad experiences eating chicken with a foul chicken-y odor,
  2. to tenderize the meat. Just by looking at my pictures, you can tell that those chicken breast cubes are silky and tender."
Let me just say, do not skip this step! I had never heard of this before trying this recipe and it works! It truly works! The chicken was so incredibly tender and juicy! It really made a difference!

So how was this recipe?

Karl - ***** Karl gave it 5 stars - said it was better than our favorite Chinese place back home! So that speaks volumes! :-)

Kids - *** Both kids picked at it - Trevor ate all the chicken and most of his rice. He's not a fan of green pepper or onion. Though, he did eat a piece of each. Vicky ate her chicken and rice and some green pepper. I think they would probably give it 3 stars if they could.

On a side note, I totally thought I'd have to fix them something else but surprisingly both ate almost all of it. All in all, I think it was a winner and I know I will definitely be making it again for at least Karl and I.

I am so glad I bookmarked this site - I will be trying other recipes from there soon. Karl has requested Sweet & Sour Chicken next! We just might not have to go out to Chinese restaurants anymore! 
Let me know if you make it and what you think! And don't forget to use the baking soda on your meat! 



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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When you don't know the answer....

I am not a religous person by any stretch of the imagination. I've talked about my stance on religion here before. I honestly don't know what I believe. I know how I was raised and it doesn't sit well with me.

Anyways, Trevor lately has been asking me a really big question - "how did people get here?"

Whoa! Talk about stopping me in my tracks.

At one time I would have given him a religous based response but it seems a bit contrived to give him the story of creation when that isn't necessarily what I believe.

To buy myself some time, I told him to ask his teacher.

I honestly thought I had more time before he would hit me with these tough questions....


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Kids & Food

Lately we've run into a problem with Trevor and his eating. There once was a time when Trevor was a fabulous little eater. I bragged any chance I got because how many 2 and 3 year olds do you know that would eat suishi, blue cheese, salmon, lobster, etc? He had a fabulous appetite and would eat pretty much anything put in front of him. But over the course of this year, things have changed. I've really noticed it the last 3-4 months. He's no longer eating the things he onced loved. He claims to hate most everything now. He even has said he hates pizza. He used to love it. At first I began to wonder if it was connected to his Asperger's. But after thinking about it more, I realized there is no rhyme or reason to what he hates. It's not as if all the foods are the same color or same texture, etc.

We talked some more and we think there are two things going on here.

1. He's trying to manipulate us. He's coming to realize that he can't get his way in other areas, so he's trying to push the food issue.

2. His BHP worker takes him out twice a week and 98% of the time, they would go out for fast food. Then he'd come home and he wouldn't eat supper. He wants fast food all.the.time! He's been spoiled.

Every night I make supper, I make sure to include at least 1-2, sometimes more, food that both kids like and will eat. My only rule on other foods is that you at least try a bite. You won't know if you like it till you try it.

So what has been happening is, we sit down to eat and he pitches a fit that he doesn't like this or that ....in no time at all, it starts to escalate with him raising his voice, yelling at me (or us if Karl is home), slamming his fist down, etc.

Two weeks ago I talked to his BHP's supervisor about this. She said I shouldn't make this a battle. She said that if Trevor doesn't eat what I've made, to offer him a pb sandwich or cereal. And the other suggestion was to have him pick dinner one night a week.

Well, Karl and I got to thinking more about this and realized this isn't how we want to do things. I realize she may be the "professional" but we are the parents and have been for 6.5 yrs and we know Trevor. Letting him get away with having a sandwich or cereal is exactly what he wants. And it would become a nightly thing - me making him a seperate meal. And while I realize that pouring a bowl of cereal or making a pb sandwhich isn't hard at all, if I start doing it one night, then it will become a daily thing.

I wonder what other parents do in similiar situations...do you make your child a seperate meal when you know that there are things on the plate that they *do* like? I would never force either of them to eat something they truly hate, but I don't feel I am being unreasonable in requesting them to have one bite and to eat the foods they do like.


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Gratitude

Did you see the new button I put on my blog? Or perhaps you saw it on my Facebook status.

"Keep an attitude of gratitude"

Isn't that fabulous? This time of year, always makes me reflect over everything I have and what I have to be grateful for.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I am not grateful the rest of the year, I most definitely am, but something about fall and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, just brings it to the forefront more than ever.

We are having a rough patch right now. Back in September we had to go downstate for a week so that Vicky could have a sleep study and surgery. In the end, the surgery didn't happen. But that trip required Karl to take a week off from work unpaid. Shortly after getting home from that trip we were called about Trevor having to go downstate for a complete neurological work up. It is a 3-5 day hospital stay. With Karl having had to take off that other week, we've had to put this on the back burner for now. We just can't afford to take another at least 3-4 days off, plus hotel and food for such a trip. Thankfully, this isn't something that is crucial to have done right this moment.

So here we are now in October and we've had another "hit" so to speak. Karl gets paid biweekly - he actually gets paid for a week before he works it. So in order to "catch up", this week, his check was only for one week. As I said, once again another hit to the pocketbook. I've been seriously stressed out this week, there were bills that *had* to be paid right now and that has left next to nothing for the next two weeks. I am sick to my stomach with worry. Not just with the right here - right now but knowing that Victoria's 3rd birthday is coming in a matter of a month and then a month after that is Christmas.

I am sure in the end it will all work out and fall into place, but I will worry every second till it does.

So as you can see, stumbling upon that saying, "keep an attitude of gratitude" is really hitting home right now.

I have so much to be grateful for - two healthy children (save for the typical kiddie germs like colds) - two incredibly smart, extremely funny, positively adorable children. I have a roof over my head and while it might not be exactly where I want to live right now, it's serving it's purpose - we have a roof as I said, we have plenty of heat and hot water and all that goes along with it. I have a wonderful husband, who despite my constant nagging and silly antics, continues to love me every day, even when I don't always love myself. My bank account might be close to empty right now but my heart is overflowing with so much love - love I have received and love I have to give.

So I am going to do my best to keep my attitude of gratitude and ask/accept help when needed. We will get through this together - my little family! We might not have it all together, but together we have it all!!!

I challenge you to ask yourself, "am I keeping my attitude of gratitude?"




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Monday, October 18, 2010

Slacking....

I've totally dropped the ball here....things were crazy this summer and sadly it's just continued into this fall. Some days I don't know whether I am coming or going. I mistakenly thought that once the kids were in school, I would have all this free time to pursue all sorts of mind-enriching activities. However, that just hasn't been the case at all. In fact, I might just be busier than ever!

I feel I owe an update - just not sure where to start or where I left off.....I'll be back tomorrow once I figure that out!