Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gappy Girl

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Avery finally pulled out the two teeth which had been holding on by a thread (and looking SO goofy!!) for forever!! She has now lost *FIVE* teeth!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wholesome Pizza Crust

Here’s another recipe I use on a regular basis. My children love pizza, and why should they have to go without just because Avery has CP? (Cerebral Palsy = Constipation Problems!!) So here is an easy and wholesome pizza crust recipe I came up with so that they can enjoy pizza, and I can feel good about giving it to them!
I use a bread machine to make this dough, because it makes my life so much easier!! (Thank you to the dear friends who gave us our beloved bread machine 6 years ago!!) Of course, you can make the dough without a bread machine too…!

Wholesome Pizza Dough
2.25 tsp quick rise yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp honey
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp milled golden flaxseed
1 tsp dried chopped onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
Wholegrain Cornmeal

Directions
Pour warm water into the bowl of your bread machine. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Add the oil and honey (I do it in that order because the oily tablespoon helps the honey slide right out!). Add remaining ingredients, and start the dough cycle. (Sometimes I add another tablespoon or two of water if my bread Prepare 2 pizza stones/baking pans by sprinkling generously with cornmeal.

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My dough cycle runs for 1hr 20mins, but for my pizza dough I usually pull the dough out about halfway through the rising time. I took it out with 43 minutes remaining this particular day.

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Empty dough out onto one of your prepared pans, and roll it in the cornmeal. Cut the dough into two pieces.

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Roll dough out on pans (I use one pizza stone and one cookie sheet because that’s what I have! Both turn out great, although one is a little less crispy, and a little less circular, than the other…), making sure that there’s enough cornmeal to keep it from sticking to the pan.

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This particular day, I didn’t have a lot of exciting topping options in my cupboards, and I didn’t feel like making my own pizza sauce, so both pizzas were topped with Prego, cheddar cheese, and the only MSG-free sausages I’ve been able to find!! But of course, the toppings options are completely up to you!
Again, my children gobble this up without any idea that they’re eating something relatively healthy. Happy days. hehe!

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They like this pizza crust so much that they usually ask for more, and they usually eat every last bite, even the crust!

If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Experiencing Life

Here’s something you need to know about my husband: He is the best Daddy anyone could hope for. Especially for our Avery.

He’s been saying for a few months that he wanted to take Avery skiing. I have to admit that I thought he was sort of crazy. Who else looks at a little girl who struggles to take more than a few steps on her own and thinks “I need to take her skiing.” I thought, at best, Avery would be happy to sit in the snow, and at worst, it would end in tears of frustration. Wii Ski is another video game Avery loves to play, and I was afraid that her excitement at the prospect of learning to ski for real would be quickly squashed when she realised how impossibly difficult it was.

As our boys grow up, their desire and ability to go out and experience the world will increase. They will be able to go out and climb mountains, run races, scuba dive, ski, snowboard, skate, and do anything else they might want to do. What Gabe and I have come to realise is that, for Avery, the ability to really experience the outdoors may not increase – may, in fact, decrease – even if her desire to do so grows. Gabe feels a huge desire to give Avery all of these experiences, or as many as possible, while she is still small enough and while he is still strong enough to do the work for her. Gabe has taken Avery on a few hiking excursions – a few where he pushed her in a stroller, and even one where he strapped her to his back and carried her most of the way up, when she was almost five and weighed about 40lbs.

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Gabe does those things, because he wants Avery to experience these things:

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If I didn’t already love my husband, his devotion to Avery in this way would be enough to make me fall in love with him. I don’t know if he knows how teary-eyed I get when I look at pictures like these, and see how determined he is that Avery gets to experience the many wonderful things this world has to offer.
On Thursday of last week, we drove to Snowshoe, WV, to give Avery her first experience with skiing. I was very nervous, and almost wanted to call the whole thing off. But we went through with it, and Avery spent about an hour on the slope with her Daddy, who lovingly and patiently helped her figure out how to stay upright on her skis, shuffle forward, and fall without hurting herself. Then he took her on the ski lift and her world was a very happy place.

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Here she is, all ready to hit the slopes!! And I was feeling nervous… I didn’t want that excitement and joy to be wiped off her face.

Here is the video Gabe put together of our day. He wasn’t particularly proud of this video, so he just uploaded it to his personal youtube rather than his Four-Eyed Fish one, and made it unlisted. However, I love this video. It has all three of my children being adorable, it shows what a great day we had seeing the giant radio telescope and playing at the ski resort, and it also shows how amazingly well Avery did on skis for the first time, and what a blessed and lucky girl she is to have Gabe as her Daddy.


PS, If you happen to agree with me that this video deserves to be made public instead of unlisted, because Avery and Gabe are awesome, please "like" it on youtube :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

“Look at this stretch!”

A couple of weeks ago we signed up at MyJobChart.com, and Avery and Brogan have a new rule that they don’t play video games until they’ve checked off everything on their charts. The other day, Avery really wanted to play “Bolt” on the xbox, so she went and looked at her list and started going through all her jobs. She’s getting pretty good at making her bed all by herself these days:

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She got to “Exercise” on her list, and said “Yeah! I can do that one!” and got down on the floor and made up her own little stretches. As she was doing them she was saying “Oh, yeah, I can feel that stretching right here!” and she’d show me where she felt the stretch. She’s great!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Baby Animals

Today we had a playdate at a friend’s house, and we got to play with lots of baby animals!

Puppies
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Luckily, all 7 puppies already have homes waiting for them, which made it a lot easier for me to say no when my children wanted to bring one home! Oliver wished the puppies would hold still long enough for him to pet them, but when they were asleep he didn’t like that either! And he didn’t approve of that one little puppy sniffing his diaper! He spent quite a bit of time running away from the puppies, and chasing the dog!!

Chicks
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Avery liked touching the chick, and Oliver laughed when I helped him touch one, but they didn’t actually want to hold them.

Bunnies
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The bunnies were so tiny and cute! Their eyes weren’t even open yet. This little one was the tiniest one of all, and it was so sweet!! Also notice the one picture of Brogan. He was running around excited and happy for the first 20 minutes after we got there, so I couldn’t catch a picture of him, and then my camera battery died.

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t talk about it very often, but part of living with Avery’s particular type of cerebral palsy is learning how to cope with chronic constipation. Ever since Avery started eating food, I have been tweaking and modifying and creating recipes in an effort to keep Avery regular. I have several recipes now which my whole family enjoys, and while diet alone isn’t enough to control Avery’s constipation, these foods do help! And the rest of us are right as rain in the digestive department!! For a while now, I have been meaning to post some of these recipes, because they are quite tasty, and they are fiber-rich!!

So here’s one we all like. I have finally perfected this recipe, I think! When I made this batch the other day, my husband came home and grabbed one off the plate, and he was actually surprised when I told him they were full of fiber!! So that’s a good sign, right?!

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Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup milled golden flaxseed

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup oats

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat melted butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in peanut butter. Add flours, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just blended. Fold in oats, and then chocolate chips. Use spoon to scoop onto cookie sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown.

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Yum!!!

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A couple of suggestions: I find that golden flaxseed really is a lot better than the non-golden variety. You barely even notice it’s there! Also, this cookie dough freezes really well, so I would suggest only baking as many as you think you might eat in 24 hours or so. The rest can be placed in scoops on a cookie sheet, frozen, and then kept in a ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to use. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

For Jessica

A week or so ago, my sister-in-law said that a big reason that she hasn’t blogged in so long is because her floors were not clean, so she didn’t want to post pictures. So here is a picture of what my children did to our family room yesterday. And I was too tired to deal with it last night, so this is what it looked like still when I woke up this morning.

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So Jessica, it’s your turn!! I know I’m not the only one who wants to see pictures of your sweet little ones, regardless of the state of the background!