Crispy Waffles

by , on
Nov 13, 2013

Waffles are a Sunday morning fav around here. The boy eats them and I don’t mind whipping up a batch in the early hours. They are dead simple, fairly low on the sweet factor…until the syrup anyway.

MOMMYDO WAFFLE TIP: Cool your waffles on a wire rack instead of in a stack to have a yummy crisp crust on both sides.

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Yes, these are a little ‘homey’ looking, but they taste fab. Super easy too.

My favourite recipe is here, and takes about 5 min plus cooking time. I use a big whisk instead of the hand blender as I often make them with the boy while the husband is still sleeping. And, I usually add a whole teaspoon of vanilla rather than the 1/2 noted in the recipe.

In case you’re thinking “wow, I could really use a waffle maker” I have a Cuisinart like this one and it works great.

Waffles. Wire rack. You’re welcome.

This isn’t a sponsored post. Just a note about stuff I have that I like,

Here, of all places, watch your mouth.

by , on
Nov 8, 2013

That’s what I felt to today while at developmental play group.

Every week Obi and I participate in a play group that integrates typical kids with those who are experiencing developmental delays. Some are preemies who are just a little behind. Others, like Obi have a diagnosis. And the rest are just typical kids who come to take advantage of the program which includes free play, social snack time, gym time and music all in one fab morning a week.

The group takes place in a specially designed room for the 0-2 set in a building that houses an integrated preschool. It also caters to both typical kids and those with physical disabilities and/or developmental disabilities.

I think of this place as a ‘safe’ zone – where Obi is just one of the gang.

Today, there were 2 incidents that ticked me off.

The first was during snack time when a mom, who was having trouble opening a sippy cup, said “I’m so handicapped sometimes.” REALLY? Who says that? And who says that HERE? Geez, bad choice of words. Bad company to use them in. Just bad.

Then, not 45 min later, another Mom, in the room with just me and the mom who earlier made the remark above, used the R-Word. Yep. In the one place that accepts kids with all levels of ability. In front of one of the Moms known to have a baby with a diagnosis (ME) that would fall under the umbrella of that word back in the day.

THE R-WORD?

I couldn’t let that one go. I said “I’m sorry, you just can’t use that word anymore. It’s not acceptable.”

She sort of looked at me like I was the word police and the other mom asked “what word? Did she say something bad?”

“Yes.” I said. “Retarded.” (I kind of threw up a bit in my mouth as I said it outloud) “It’s not an appropriate word to use, especially around people like my daughter”.

Well, she launched into an apology that might as well have come with a shovel to help her dig herself further into the hole she was creating as she spoke.

There was “I know I have to stop saying it.” “I just can’t help myself.” And, “When I say it at home I have to tell my son it’s a bad word and he shouldn’t use it.”

OK – I get that it’s been a part of the vernacular for quite some time and habits are hard to break. But to use that word enough that you need to warn your child not to repeat it just isn’t cool. NOT COOL Mama.

Especially not cool in that place. ESPECIALLY. What if some of the preschool kids in the next room heard you? What if a parent of a child with a developmental delay heard you?

Oh wait. They did. I DID.

And now I really don’t like you.

I’m pretty johnny-come-lately on the mission to take the R-word out of conversation but there is a whole movement.

In case you’d like to read more about what people are doing and why you too should never, ever use the R-word again, visit Spread the word to end the Word.

And, if you do feel compelled to drop the R-word, be sure not to do so at a babygroup/school for kids with developmental disabilities. Or in front of me.

Williams Syndrome Wednesday: I’m not special and my brain hurts

by , on
Nov 6, 2013

I’m tired of reading things like “God only gives special children to special parents” and “she couldn’t have come to better parents”  or best “special needs parents are the bravest/strongest/whateverest”. Pffht. My child is special. ALL children are special, but one of mine needs a little more than most. This has very little to do with the kind of person I am or am not.

That being said, I am the kind of person who needs to know things. I’m a why? what next? and when? person. So it comes as no surprise that I struggle a little with the “Why? Because.” aspect of having a child with Williams Syndrome. I have read that WS children are born to parents of all ages, all races, with all types of conception stories. It’s a rare syndrome, but not one that discriminates. It picks the not-so-special parents too.

So in attempt to answer the Why’s I’ve enrolled in an online course called Useful Genetics. In doing so I have learned a few things about myself:

1. I am willing to do just about anything for my little girl.

2.: There are reasons that they tell you to take biology in high school and this is one of them.

3: We are complex beings.

4. Genetics makes my brain hurt.

I wish finding answers to complex questions was easier than Useful Genetics. I wish I was one of the ones who could accept the “special people = special kids” theory, feel all puffed up about myself and move on. And, I still kind of wish I was one of the ones who never has to think about this stuff at all. Or transcription, translation, codons… you probably took biology and already know what those are. Sigh.

I’m not sure I’ll ever know why our perfect Obi came to be the way she is.  But I do look forward to closing the book on feeling like why matters.

Oh yeah, I’m only in the first week.

What makes you feel like a winner?

by , on
Nov 5, 2013

For me, these days, it’s trying a new recipe and having it turn out to be as good as the picture looks. For one lucky blog commenter, it’s winning the stamp of their choice! For a little more on the stamp winner, scroll to the bottom of the post.

This weekend I tried 2 recipes from Pinterest and BOTH were great. There’s no point in showing my photos since the original posters’ look far more appetizing. I have to say both of these will be part of the regular rotation around here. They def get the MOMMYDO two thumbs up.

Both are slow cooker recipes. The first is from La Creme de la Crumb

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Tried it! So, so good. Like, leave-what-you’re-doing-right-now-and-go-to-the-store-and-get-what-you-need-and-go-home-and-put-it-in-the-slow-cooker-right-now kind of good. Quick and easy to prepare. Tastes super fab and is fancy enough company.

The second is from The Comfort of Cooking

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Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken.

Also super yummy and easy to make. The chicken is juicy and the sauce is sweet and tangy. We put both onto tortillas to make tacos one day and served on rice the next. 4 days worth of meals (with lunches) for less than 20 min prep each.

Awesome.

What’s also awesome is winning a stamp! There weren’t a lot of comments, and I didn’t count my sister. So, of the seven, it’s Lucky #7 that won.

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I’ll contact you to let you know you’ve won and give you the details. If you haven’t responded in 72 hours, I’ll pick a new winner.

Thanks to Lindsay at The Penny Paper Co. for donating our wonderful prize.

I’ll contact you with the details.

There’s nothing like…

by , on
Nov 3, 2013

the first whiff of the holiday season to make you miss the ones you’ve lost

Today is Starbucks Red Cup day – for me, that’s when the countdown to the holiday season starts in earnest. And, of course, there’s no time I miss my Dad more. This will be the 14th Christmas without him.

It’s true what they say, times does heal all wounds. At the same time, it makes the memories richer. Like my memory of a pot of hot soup on the first day there’s a chill in the air.

My dad wasn’t an excellent cook, but he wasn’t bad. And he could turn a few simple things into meals that still find a way to warm my heart.

Tonight I made his Tomato Macaroni Soup. I added a few little touches (garlic and broth) but it’s pretty much the same as he used to make back when I was too small to peek into the pot.

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Ray’s Simple Tomato soup

2 stalks celery

1 medium onion

1Tbsp butter

1 lg can diced tomatos

1 can water or broth (use the can from the tomatoes to measure)

1 can tomato sauce (or 1/2 jar)

A sprinkle of basil, oregano, fresh ground pepper or whatever vaguely italian seasoning you have on hand

1 crush clove of garlic

1 cup dry pasta (give or take – I eyeball it)

Chop the onion and celery. Place in microwave safe bowl with the butter and ‘nuke’ on high for 2 min 30 sec.

Meanwhile put the tomatoes and water or broth in a large pot. Throw in whatever spice you have on hand. Crush the garlic into the mixture. Add some tomato sauce from a tin or a jar.

Add the onion, celery, butter mixture to the pot.

Cook on medium-high heat until the soup begins to bubble.

Reduce the head and simmer for about 20 min.

After 20 min, add the pasta to the soup. Turn up the heat to achieve a gentle boil. You may need to add more water to maintain the ‘soup’ consistency once the pasta starts to cook.

Stir frequently to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Let the pasta cook a little longer than al dente to get a nice squishy soup noodle.

Variations include adding salsa instead of sauce, adding tomato juice instead of water or broth, adding browned ground beef (making it ‘hamburger soup’), adding cooked  chicken and garnishing with cheese and avacado…the possibilities are endless.

Serve hot.

If you keep leftovers, be prepared to have the noodles suck up all the juice. You can make the pasta separately and combine the soup and the noodles in each bowl – which does improve the state of the dish on the second day if you like a soupy soup. I usually just add water or broth the second day to rejuvenate the soup factor.

To me this is the ultimate comfort food. I hope you find some comfort here too.

Williams Syndrome Wednesday: Learning to Fly

by , on
Oct 30, 2013

I find this new role as a ‘special needs’ parent is quite overwhelming at times. Emotions aside, the logistics are complicated. There are appointments to schedule, keep track of and attend, therapies to practice, milestones to work on. There are new tactics to try to overcome issues (like feeding, for us).

Then the emotions creep back in. Once all the other stuff is ticked off for the day there are things to worry about. Things to fret over. Things to be mad about. Things to feel like you did poorly today. There are things I didn’t do because I just didn’t have enough left in the tank so I have to feel guilty too. Then I have to pick myself up and dust myself off because tomorrow is another day and maybe tomorrow will be the day when it starts to get easier. When I’ll feel like I’m getting the hang of these added parenting challenges (rather than feeling like they’re hanging me.) Maybe tomorrow will be the day when I feel like I’m taking it all in stride.

I hope Obi spends her whole life oblivious to the challenges I have learning to navigate through these early times in her diagnosis. I hope by the time she remembers things, the learning curve evens out and all the emotions wrapped up in it even out too. At least some parts have GOT to get easier. (I know as I type this there will be other parts that just get HARDER too, but perhaps managing the process will get easier).

I hope, to her, it’s all just like this.

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I hope she gets to feel like a kid, just like any other. Flapping her wings. Little by little, learning to fly.

Happy Halloween!

Christmas Card Looks For Kids

by , on
Oct 28, 2013

Trying to decide what to dress the kids in for our Christmas cards photoshoot this week with the lovely and talented crew at barebonephoto. I’m super excited but I’m not sure I have the right outfits. There are still a few days to think about it. Do you do photo cards? Whole family or just kids or pets?

Christmas Card Looks For Kids

Pinspired – Halloween Edition (and GIVEAWAY reminder)

by , on
Oct 25, 2013

I went looking for food ideas for Halloween. I pinned them. Then, instead of forgetting all about them and opening some chips and goldfish crackers, I tried them.

Two worked great. One, not so much. (Um, mostly because I didn’t follow the directions…)

They Do: Yummy Mummies:

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MommyDo: REALLY Yummy Mummies:

dog3mark

They Do: Scary Ghost Pizza:

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MommyDo: Scary-How-These-Don’t-Look-Like-Ghosts Pizza:

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They Do: Halloween Puppy Chow

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Mommy Do: Halloween Puppies-are-a-Mom’s-Best-Friend Chow

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So three recipes.

The first, Mummy Dogs is pinned all over the place but can be found here on the Pillsbury site. The secret to the mummy wraps is Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough.

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I used big fat dogs so they took a little longer to cook than expected.

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I am a little food-safety nuts and did check them with a meat thermometer. I thought they were pretty delish but both my kid testers (4ish) pulled off the bandages and just ate the dogs (sigh.)

Pinsperiment #2 was the Ghost Pizza. This was the one I was most excited about. I bought a new cookie cutter just for this! I used some cheater ingredients to make it quick and apparently, just skimmed the directions. Which is not advised.

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The cheese looked so cute before baking…

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Which was part of my problem. You’re supposed to cut out the ghosts…

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…but you’re not supposed to put them on the pizza yet. You need to bake it part way then just add the ghosts at in the last 5 min. Or this happens…pizza4mark

I did cut a little meat to see how that would work and I think it’s a nice addition. I think I will try these again (following the directions) as I still think they’re so friggin’ cute.

The last one I tried was the Puppy Chow. At a time with all that candy there maybe aren’t so healthy a choice. Or a necessary one, given all the sweets just hanging around.muddypup1mark

But they are oh so delicious.

muddyb2mark

I halved the recipe. Which has been a good thing…does anyone really need to eat 18 cups of chocolate and peanut butter coated cereal tossed in sugar and scattered with Reeses Pieces? I think not. It’s super addictive though. The bowl you see above only lasted an hour.

On the photography front, I realize it’s still pretty abysmal. Good thing EMMA is coming to the rescue this November with all the food photography tips we’ll need to ensure all our holiday goodies will look as good as they taste.

****Don’t forget about the STAMP Giveaway running this week sponsored by The Penny Paper Co. Click here to read the post and leave a comment to be entered to WIN!****

Giveaway: 100 Facebook Fan “Stampendous” Celebration

by , on
Oct 21, 2013

I’m so thrilled to be closing in on my first Facebook Fan goal that I’m hosting my very first giveaway. I’m10 fans from 100 and what better way to celebrate than with an awesome little prize, just in time for the holiday season.

Wonderful Lindsay at The Penny Paper Co. who also happens blog about all things design/ style/ parenting/ awesome over at Little House Blog has kindly donated a custom stamp to giveaway + shipping to the winner!

I happen to be a huge fan of the shop and love, love her stamps in particular. The winner might choose something like one of these…

pennypeople

Photo: little house blog

Or something like this…

stamp

Or perhaps something like this…

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Photo: little house blog

ENTER TO WIN A “CUSTOM” STAMP including shipping
To enter, comment below and tell me what you’d use your winning stamp for. For an upcoming event? For easy DIY gift tags? For your return address for holiday cards? To get a second entry  head on over and  “Like” me on facebook! As I said above, this giveaway is all about hitting the magic number so it would make me all warm and fuzzy if you’d give a “Like”. If you do, or if you already “like”, leave a second comment saying you do for a second entry. Contest closes Monday Oct.28, 11:59PM EST. Open to Canada and the US.

Next giveaway will be for following on Twitter, so you can get a head start if you want another one sooner than later!Generously Sponsored by:

pennypaperco

Williams Syndrome Wednesday: A Beautiful Noise

by , on
Oct 16, 2013

Yesterday, I heard the most beautiful sound. Baby Obi giggled for the first time. A true laugh. Not just one sound, but a series of chuckles one after another. It was magnificent.

This social milestone typically occurs between 3-4 months. Obi is 10 months next week. Some milestones are counted by corrected or adjusted age, but I’ve been told the social milestones are often in line with the actual age. Either way, this laugh has been a long time coming.

Her gross and fine motor skills are just a little behind the typical kid, but her eating and social milestones aren’t even close. They are generally taking 2-3 times as long or more than one would expect.

Does that mean it will take her three times as long to adjust properly to solid food? Three times as long to talk? There’s just no way to know.

It’s hard to really embrace the ‘take it one day at a time’ aspect of a complex syndrome such as Williams. All that ‘unknown’ is overwhelming.

But, as many special needs parents who been here before me have said, when the milestones come, they really do make you stop and celebrate.

Today I’d like to forget that ‘one day at a time’ thing and take 2 of yesterday, please.

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