Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wedding Bells!

Our lovely niece M got married to her high school sweetheart J this past weekend.  We were honored to be a part of her celebration.

I was a little worried about what these two were going to do in the spotlight, but they hammed it up like pros.

Hubby's sister and the groom

 Ring bearer and flower girl

 Papa and the beautiful bride

A perfect toast by M's sister 

 M + J

The Nugget asked Grammy to dance
 The ham was appreciated

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Special Life

Even in the couple years since I learned what SPD was, I feel thankful that awareness and support continues to grow. I also feel like I have learned so much from other parents in this "community", all of us struggling to learn about our own children and trying to do right by them. SPD is a not very visible special need, so I know in some ways it is much easier and some ways a bit harder to navigate than others. But the overarching feeling I get from meeting and chatting with all these parents loving and working for our children is not, "My life is harder than yours," but "We're all in this together."

If you have not had the pleasure of living with special needs (yes, sometimes it does bring pleasure, a bigger and better understanding and compassion for humanity in all its diversity), here are some articles I've really enjoyed recently.

A beautifully written piece on how to explain autism and other special needs to children.

What does it feel like to have SPD?

Dreams come true

Inclusiveness in advertising

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Skillet Meals

As an al dente pasta snob, I was pretty hesitant to try one skillet pastas. Oh, how I was missing out! The pasta not only turns out perfectly but so flavorful from cooking in the spices. A little collection for you.

Skillet Lasagna - I haven't made it the other way since I discovered this recipe. I substitute ground turkey for the beef. It's a long one with a lot of ingredients, so if you are a novice cook, try the next one on the list.

Martha's One Pan Pasta - easy with a spicy kick to it! Make sure you use the fresh parmesan to top it. Put that green can away!

Garlic Parmesan Pasta - This is the kids' favorite by a landslide. Creamy like fettucine alfredo, but much lighter since you use milk instead of cream.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Is it baff night?

Spork often asks if it's bath night, his ulterior motive being the video that Tater gets to watch when I comb her hair. Unsurprising, he asked, "We got baffs tonight?" When I replied in the affirmative, he said, "Dat's good, cuz I got da itchy back."  Is it just me or does that stray "the/da" make it sound like a contagious affliction?

During Spork's typical playing aloud with guys, I overheard the tail end of a simile! "Dat's like sunshine on a cowboy!" I never found out what's like sunshine on a cowboy, and he didn't repeat it, but I find it works in just about any situation.

I tease Hubby sometimes about being Captain Obvious. He sometimes starts conversations with a random observation like, "You're washing dishes, huh?" Well, Spork is his Mini Captain Obvious. Hubby's keys fell out of his pocket and clattered loudly to the floor. As he stooped to pick them up, Spork helpfully pointed out, "You dwopped your keys." When Tater dances on the table (her favorite rule to break) at dinner and I'm trying to get her down, Spork likes to loudly observe, "Sissy's on da taaaaaaaable."

The Nugget and I love to bake together. We usually speak with ridiculously exaggerated French accents while we bake, just because. Tonight, he looked at me seriously over our banana muffin batter and asked, "Mom, can you please talk in your normal voice?" Knife to the heart, Nugget, knife to the heart.  (He made up for it by discovering a stash of leftover pink mustaches and immediately pairing them with his glittery top hat.)

Hubby sang in a choir during college, and we have a few cds he helped record.  Tater requests them often in the car on the way to school and sometimes for her bedtime lullaby too.  She has memorized her favorite one and offers to put on her own home concerts.  "It's time for my concert!  First I will sing, 'I Have Been Anointed', then I will sing 'Poo Poo Doody'.  Diversification is key.

Tater lately prefers to dress herself, and her choice is usually a formal dress.  I've been trying to stock her closet with cute, comfy, machine-washable knit dresses as a compromise, but apparently they don't have the same pull as layers of tulle, satin, and velvet.  I also had to sneak away her now-too-small fancy dress shoes in the dead of night, because she is so darn attached to them.  Also, Daddy keeps letting her wear them to school with sweatpants, which is slightly mortifying.  She is taking great solace in her plastic Elsa heels and glitter flip flops.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Nugget's Whoopee Cushion Valentines 2016

 The Nugget has a wonderful sense of humor, so I knew he would appreciate sharing the joy of the humble whoopee cushion with his classmates.  My apologies to his teachers, but I suspect they have good senses of humor too.  Ingredients:  Mini whoopee cushions, cardstock, washi tape, cello bags, cardstock, paper cutter.

Step 1: Let your 8yo pick the font, within reason.  I only vetoed two of his picks for readability issues, I'm growing here.  Using columns to conserve paper, copy and paste,  "Whoopee, I'm glad we're friends! Love, the Nugget."  Trim with paper cutter.

Step 2: Give your 8yo a whoopee cushion to test.  Watch him casually invite Daddy to have a seat on a suspicious napkin and roll on the floor in hysterics.  Yes, this will all be worth it. 

Step 3: Place a whoopee cushion and the cardstock in a cello bag.  Close with washi tape of your 8yo's choice.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Spork's Dinosaur Valentines 2016

Quick, cheap, and easy, but good-looking...here's a tutorial for Spork's dinosaur valentines!  Ingredients: baker's twine and dino erasers (from Target dollar spot), a few sheets of white cardstock,  a push pin, a knitting needle, and scissors.

Step 1: Make two columns on your Word doc.  Type "You are dino-mite! XOXO, Spork" and copy/paste so your text is on every fourth of the page.  Print on cardstock.  Cut with paper cutter.

 Step 2: Center your dinosaur on the valentine and mark the center of the back and belly with your push pin. When you need to make a hole where a hole puncher won't reach, this is an easy hack!

Step 3: Using a knitting needle on the back of the card, widen your holes.  It's ok if the paper looks messy, the dino will cover it.

Step 4: Cut a piece of baker's twine and thread it through the holes around the dino.  Tie in a double knot, then a bow to secure.

Enjoy your cute little herd of dinos!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A visit with Mumsie

We were happy to host Spork's birthmom for a few days before Christmas.  A lot of the local holiday stuff had wrapped up, so most of our time was spent cozy at home, reading stories, getting into Playdoh, and watching Christmas specials. 

 Mumsie got to read this book to Spork about a zillion times!

We also took K out to our little kids' museum.  Tater insisted on dressing as Minnie Mouse!

Lastly, we went mini bowling and the boys rode go-karts. Spork loves to show off for his Mumsie!