Thursday, December 29, 2011

GFCF Hot Chocolate and other Winter Break Wonders

Well, it finally snowed in Michigan, and here we are in New York.  Luckily (?) there is some snow here, and we had the opportunity to kick Isaac outside and let him run around in it today.  He came in to request hot chocolate.  It's his Pavlovian response to playing in the snow.  Grandma Chambers just happened to have some cocoa powder for baking in the cupboard, and I just happened to over pack for our travels.  So Isaac got his hot chocolate, and I got to take a million cute pictures of him modeling his chocolate mustache.

GFCF Hot Chocolate:
Fill normal sized mug with Original Coconut Milk (I only fill it half-way for Isaac)
Heat in Microwave for about a minute.
Stir in a heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder (the kind for baking)
Stir in a small squirt of Agave Nectar.
Double everything I just said if you want a full mug.
Tada! GFCF low-sugar hot chocolate.

In other news, we've had a pretty good visit here in NY.  Isaac finally warmed up to my Aunt Sue- who until recently he would never look at, never mind play with for a whole evening.  Everyone was surprised and happy with his progress, but best of all memories were made.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Break: Day 1

Don't get me wrong, I love my little guy.  I love spending time with him, really I do.  But long breaks from school don't always bring out the best in either of us.  I'm sitting at my desk right now trying to convince myself that obsessively cleaning my kitchen is a better choice than having two pieces of apple pie for lunch.  I think I need to sit here a little bit longer.  I have patience for a lot of things when it comes to Isaac, but it's when he gets the shrieking bossy tone with me that makes me crazy.  We had just pulled into the garage, and I had hit the garage door button closed and started opening my door to get out when- "No, mommy! Close your door!  I have to undo my seatbelt!"  I somewhat calmly explained that I have to get out of the car in order to open his door for him and that he doesn't need to yell like that.  He starts screaming again when I go to open my door and my head did this funny thing, maybe similar to the girl from The Exorcist (I blame demons that I don't believe in unless convenient for me to do so.) and it yelled "STOOOOP!"  He, of course, started crying and I took him out of the car and put him up in his bed all the while explaining why he did not need to yell at me... when I just yelled at him.  Lovely.  Where's that pie?

Why can't winter break always be like last night when we sat on the floor and made a necklace together?  Hey, who says you  need daughters in order to make jewelry?  This is better.   He helps string a really long necklace (great for fine motor skills, patterns, and counting), and I get to keep it.  Win/win!  We laughed and joked the whole time... it was magical.  Today it's arguing, mini meltdowns, and time outs for both of us.  I guess it's true what they say: too much togetherness isn't always a good thing.  Is my eye twitching?

This is the necklace.  Note the TV on in the background.  It's rest time for Isaac and writing for mommy.  We're planning to salvage the rest of the afternoon.  Tonight I'm going to brush up on the blogs of better moms- moms with patience and craft skills.  Check out  This woman is my winter break hero.  I'm hoping some of her ideas will come to the rescue for us this week.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The cure for being puked on

You would think that someone who spent 5 months throwing up between 6 and 20 times a day would be immune to the grossness that is puke.  Nope.  Not the case.  Now, I'm not the kind of person who suffers from the domino affect- throwing up as the result of someone else throwing up.  But it definitely turns my stomach.  Isaac threw up a few times this weekend due to a stomach bug, and 40ish hours later I thought we were in the clear.  So, being the health conscious mother that I am, I thought gfcf pizza would be a fine choice for dinner.  Oh, and let's wash that down with carrot juice.  Nutritious, and so colorful!

An hour later, Isaac and I were playing in the basement when he started coughing.  I braced myself for the inevitable.  I even yelled out the suggestion, "Puke in the Halloween pumpkin!"  In denial that he is obviously still sick, Isaac walks toward me instead and yacks all over me.  My only instinct was to hold out my hands to try to catch it before it landed on the carpet.  Why?  I'm still asking myself that question.  (Pause.)  Hold on, this whole paragraph is making me a little queasy.  I apologize if it is doing the same for you.

Needless to say, I was feeling a little grumpy between the never-ending laundry, steam cleaning, disinfecting, etc.  The only time I've been out of the house recently was to drive around one or the other member of my family, and to grocery shop.  The combination of these things can make you feel like you're stuck in a prison, an orange-colored Puke Prison.  How do you break out of the hell that is your current domestic circumstance?  I suggest the following:

1) Download that new album you want- go head!  It's only $7.99.

2) Pick up a few health and beauty extras while at the grocery store.  Think hair dye and a new lipstick... and blush, and eyeliner.  Heck, isn't your foundation running low?  Yes, yes it is.

3) Pick one productive thing to do while your helpful spouse (wink, wink) reads bedtime stories to the puke monster.  I mean, your beloved child.  Put on your headphones with the aforementioned new album and go to work on that sink full of dishes.  I promise, it'll feel good.  Try not to hate whoever interrupts you right at the best part of every song.  This might be harder than cleaning up puke right after dinner, but try.  Remember that you love them, maybe less than that song in that moment, but when the song ends, love them again.

4)  Put puke monster to bed.

5)  Dye and dry your hair.  Put on all of your new make-up even though your evening plans involve facebook and an old running t-shirt.  Enjoy feeling like a human being again, rather than a landing pad for someone else's dinner.

6) Cancel any plans you had for tomorrow- including that annual exam you've had scheduled for the past six months.  Your kid is clearly still sick, but you have found the cure for being puked on.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crazy seasonal thoughts about legos

My four year old is up in his room playing with legos right now.  Big boy legos.  The tiny, choking hazard kind.  But I don't have to worry about him putting them in his mouth as he's four and quite frankly too busy building machines and cars to try to chew on them.  He's dangerously close to being too cool for Thomas the train and his wooden track downstairs, and that stirs all sorts of mixed emotions for this mom.  I'm trying desperately not to glob memories onto objects and to get excited about his new interests, but it's all just flying by me.  Plus, that little blue engine did a lot for us.  He signaled some warning signs about Isaac's behavior (pre-diagnosis), gave us something to do somewhat together when Isaac was otherwise in his own little world, and was the first "big" gift we, as young parents, could afford to give him.  I think I just betrayed some deep seeded hoarding genes with that sentence.  Yep, Thomas is getting a time limit, and then is being evicted.  Maybe Grandma Karen will keep him and his buddies at her house for when other grand-kids come along... (I hope she's reading this.)

Isaac's Christmas gifts this year only confirm that we are, in fact, harvesting a future nerd.  Legos, a V-tech learning laptop, and educational videos and books will be under the tree.  Oh, and a model air craft in the stocking for he and my husband to make together.  Future engineer? Could be, but Isaac has informed us that he wants to drive construction trucks when he grows up.  Sounds like a plan to me.  I'm pretty sure vocational school is more in our budget, and a practical choice when looking at the job market these days.  I'm all about practical- which reminds me... Does anyone have suggestions for organizing and storing all these damn legos?  Thomas the train never made this kind of mess!

In other news, I'm fighting the urge to quit everything for the winter to hibernate.  Maybe I could develop an interest in legos and join the sweat box upstairs- churning out little vehicles and spaceships.  Or... I could just go for a run, stop procrastinating when it comes to cleaning the house, writing up a bonus lesson for my Sunday school class, and working on pre-school things with Isaac.  Yep.  That would be the grown up thing to do.  And I dislike legos just enough to maybe do that.  Maybe.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mixing business with pleasure

Twas the day before Thanksgiving and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... because we were all at work!  All three of us.  Through some juggling act I managed to book two cleaning jobs, a random act of kindness, and the arrival of my in-laws for the same day.  Oh, and I had Isaac with me for all of it.  If my child needs help being more "flexible" in his routine, it did not show this day.  I swept him through morning chores to my first cleaning job, to lunch in the car, to my second cleaning job, to Walmart, and to a nursing home all in one morning and afternoon.  He went along with my rushing with good temper.  He enjoyed a dance party with my client's 11 year old daughter at my second cleaning job.  Yes, I was scrubbing a toilet and he was getting his groove on to remixes of 80s songs.  I was all business, he was all pleasure. 

All was moving smoothly for us to deliver our homemade Thanksgiving cards to a nursing home before meeting grandma and grandpa at home until some less than smooth motorskills and a too full glass of water caused us to make a side trip to Walmart for a dry shirt and socks before heading onto our good-deed destination.  To this day Isaac will demand his shirt off if the tiniest drop of water lands on it.  I got to be the mom in Walmart with the kid with no shirt on under his winter coat, and putting said shirt on him in the parking lot.  Hitting my head on the ceiling of the car and swearing under my breath- all because I said to myself that morning "Nah, he won't need an extra set of clothes... It'll be fine."  Fun!  But  I was not going to lose momentum by stopping home for these items.  We were on a mission!  The saddest part is that we lost Isaac's favorite and famous pair of red sunglasses somewhere between the socks and the shirts. = (  He handled it without tears, though.  And on we went to deliver these:

This post is titled "mixing business with pleasure" because we did just that.  The business was that I was making my Sunday school class do one random act of kindness that week, and I will never ask a teenager to do something I wouldn't do myself so Isaac and I made these cards for some folks at the nursing home near us.  In every card I had Isaac write "Happy Thanksgiving" and sign his name.  I would tell him how to spell it and he would write it- great practice for writing, spelling, coloring, and pasting skills.  The pleasure part was delivering them.  We crashed an unsuspecting Bingo game at the nursing home and Isaac handed one to each table and said "Happy Thanksgiving!"  I think we all loved it.  We'll definitely be doing this again closer to Christmas.

The same day we made the cards, Isaac also made these turkey decorations:

He drew, colored, and cut them out.  Mixing some motor-skill business with a little festive fun!  I hope your Thanksgiving was just as fun.  Stay tuned for any more rare and wonderful super-mom days in the future.  I think I get one per year.  This was definitely it.