Monday, January 16, 2012

the home bakery.

so in my big list i wanted to accomplish 1 different kind of bread per month. well. it's january and i hadn't even cracked that part of my list. so i was behind by 5 bread varieties. i've been motivated lately to get a move on this. also it's winter and carb overload is fun isn't it? big sweaters, cozy scarfs, leggings.

so this is what i've been doing:
first up, cinnamon raisin bread.

i used this recipe if you'd like to try it out. i only had 2 loaf pans on hand. i have a feeling a certain 4yo took my 3rd pain for his own kitchen and i couldn't for the life of me find it. i adjusted accordingly. and it was actually super easy. give it a shot. one loaf for now, one loaf for the freezer.

next up, bagels!
i've always wanted to try making bagels and today i did, with much success. they were time consuming, but well worth it. go here for the recipe. i also had "helpers" today.

the only tips i'd give out (take it or leave it) are:
1. either double or triple the recipe. if you're doing all the work already, might as well make lots so you can throw some in the freezer for later too.
2. make the bagels smaller - see the baby one there on the right? it's for miles' school lunch tomorrow. i've always thought the store sized bagels are way too big. making them yourself, you can adjust the sizes.

**UPDATE** i ate one of the everything bagels. toasted. with egg salad. and it. was. delicious. then? i stole some of ozzie's bagel scraps - sesame/not toasted. it was awesome. perfectly chewy outside, soft yummy inside. holy holy holy. you MUST try these bagels! **

and well, haven't decided what my next batch of bakery goodness will be. stay tuned!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

oh little puzzle. almost solved.

the progress with ozzie continues folks and we couldn't be more pleased. in the almost two months since i last posted an update about ozzie, lots has happened. he continues his physio and occupational therapies every three weeks or so, always impressing his therapists. we haven't seen our ot in a while, so we're looking forward to seeing her this week.

both miles and ozzie received lots and lots of little (original) lego as well as the next size up, duplo/mega blocks for christmas and these? they are the most played with toys by far. putting the tiny blocks together is really awesome for getting ozzie's hands working together. they are not so fun when you step on a random piece that got kicked or thrown out of the designated lego area of our living room. however, it keeps them occupied for hours, so i shouldn't really complain. other awesome pt/ot gifts included lots of puzzles, a ball hopper, a velcro ball game, little figures and lots of cars. markers, crayons and colouring books. the markers and crayons are larger so his hands grasp them differently than "normal" markers. we're having fun over here!

we're looking forward to getting ozzie on his new radio flyer scooter too. thanks gram and grandad! so either in the garage or driveway on a warm-ish day, or we'll wait it out til the weather is much nicer. but still, he has fun riding the scooters at pt, so we figured this would be an awesome addition at our house too.

there's also a beautiful ice rink in our backyard. the weather looks to be going up a few degrees so it's not quite ready to skate on yet. ozzie wants to though, because miles skates and plays hockey. we do have a pair of bob skates ozzie can strap onto his boots. it's worth a shot and i'll even go out there with them even though i despise old man winter.

afo update:
ozzie's first day with his ankle foot orthotic was, hmm. well it was stressful and heartbreaking and i was glad to see bedtime that day. i'm sure he was too. it's been almost a month since he's had it and he's such a little champion. doesn't mind it one bit anymore except for the few times he tried to throw it down the stairs. but that's not very often anymore. so PHEW.

developmental pediatrician update:
back in december we received a call from our developmental pediatrician's office. they had an opening the following day due to a cancellation. instead of waiting until the end of march of this year, we accepted and met with the doctor. up until that point, we had already received many different clues/pieces to the puzzle that is ozzie. we did a lot of our own research, joined forums for parents with kids with hemiplegia, and we put our own pieces together. this appointment was well, lacking a bit of lustre. i had this silly notion we'd go in there and the doctor would give us some miraculous prescription and ozzie would be all better. no big deal. well. that wasn't exactly the case.

the doctor did give us some new information and a finally, an actual diagnosis - the hemiplegia is due to cerebral palsy. the cerebral palsy came about because of the way his brain developed abnormally, not due to a stroke like we had originally thought. we're still unsure if at this point it was just one of those things that happens or if it is in fact genetic. we could get genetic counselling if we want in the future. the left side of his brain that abnormally developed is affecting both gross and fine motor skills and the result is his right sided hemiplegia.

this doctor was very nice, concise and knowledgeable - obviously - however! he usually deals with kids who have issues beyond what ozzie's issues are. he's not dropping us as a patient, but within a year or so he'll transfer us to a different doctor who is both a developmental pediatrician and neurologist. so. that? a little frustrating, seeing as how that second doctor is who our pt wanted us to see all along. sigh. but i know it's just a minor blip in the scheme of things and seeing as how we've become accustomed to waiting, the next doctor's visit will be here before we know it.

puzzle almost solved. but more questions:

  1. seizures. because this is a brain issue, i brought up the topic of seizures and wondered about ozzie's future. there is a possibility of seizures happening and we'll deal with them, if and when they happen. 
  2. school. this one is still a while away - september of 2013, but it's better to be proactive right? i'm already doing research on the boys' schoolboard to get an understanding of what our plan of action will be. mainly we'll be setting up a meeting to speak with the principal this time next year, to make them aware of ozzie's issues and we'll go from there.

so for now, our little puzzle isn't quite yet solved. it's like those few pieces missing are hiding under a cabinet somewhere. we'll figure it all out soon enough, but in the meantime, we're enjoying that little boy instead.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


before miles was born he received many books. this was one of them.  his first richard scarry book. cars and trucks from a to z. thanks annie & ben! so when he was all about grabbing and turning pages, this became his go-to book. and because it is so small and portable we'd take it out with us, the car, restaurants, friend's houses. it was his favourite. then when he got a bit older, it seemed to have been tucked away into the board book basket and forgotten about. until his brother was born and then ozzie became mr. grabbypants and wanted to look at books. though for ozzie it seemed to come at a later age. anyways. my quest to find awesome richard scarry books began.

library visits became frequent and so did checking out richard scarry books. the renewal of said richard scarry books became all too frequent. they were so well loved, not only by my own kids but all the other kids in our community. many pages were taped or scribbled on. i found myself looking for good condition richard scarry books at thrift stores, on craigslist etc.

now we have quite a collection, including these guys:

busytown mysteries on dvd became another library fav up until the copies i were signing out were all scratched. that didn't end well. or happily. nor did the numerous times where i was at my renewal limit and someone wanted MORE busytown. 

i decided to bring some of busytown home to my boys. the star characters of course. i had decided a few weeks before christmas that the boys needed a huckle cat and lowly worm of their own. i set to work in my sewing room one night and from photos i came up with this guy, a little creepy at that stage, if you ask me.

and there huckle's parts sat. well. he sat in my sewing room closet covered in a nice warm blanket of quilt batting, so that no little boys found him. almost 2 weeks. i hadn't picked him back up to finish him off. but christmas was upon us and i got back to work. i started and finished lowly before i picked huckle up again. go figure. there were some tricky parts to both guys but i got them done. finished product shot:

and of course the obligatory christmas shots:

needless to say, that morning they got tossed to the side like yesterday's trash. sigh. i knew it wouldn't really last though. you can't take lego to bed at night. now? they have homes right beside miles. ozzie could care less about his huckle cat - yet! for now, huckle takes up residence beside miles and lowly, under their own little blanket. 

i had a lot of fun making them. obviously for copyright reasons i wouldn't sell these guys. sadly. i know, because i've received numerous compliments and inquiries. it was a fun project nonetheless.