Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my Boys! (don't they all look so happy - Santa included)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Grown Up Christmas List

This song brings me to tears every year. 
This is my favorite rendition - Natalie Cole & the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Getting in the Christmas Spirit!

ONE WEEK! Santa arrives in ONE WEEK!

Are you as excited as I am??? I am in full fledged Christmas Spirit mode effective this weekend.

For those of you not quite there yet I thought I would share some of my favorite website to visit. They are full of Christmasy goodness, for young and old alike!

PNP - Portable North Pole - Create a personalized video message to your child (or husband, or co-worker) from Santa. You get to decide if they are on the Naughty list or not!

Reindeer Cam - live video of Santa's Reindeer prior to the big day. Make sure to check in at 10:00am & 5:00pm EST to see Santa feed them!

Elf Yourself- could also be called "pee yourself"...seriously I laughed so hard the first time (my "elf" Dad dancing, hahaha. You gotta know him to appreciate the hilarity!)

And of course it would not be Christmas Eve without tracking Santa on Norad's Track Santa site. 
This one is a classic, but has gotten some techy upgrades over the years!

Hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do! Merry Christmas to you and your families. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Staying Organized!

About a year ago (around the time Gavin was first diagnosed)  I created my "Organization Wall" - including a wall calendar, cork boards, mail bins. All in an effort to try to stay on top of things as doctor, therapists, medical receipts, etc started to bombard our lives. I'm happy to say it has served us well.

Today, after replacing the 2011 calendar with a fresh new one for the upcoming year I made an exciting addition to the wall. We now have a "TODAY" visual schedule for Gavin to help him prepare each day.

I'm an OCD Mommy with a Cricut! Watch out world, here I come!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Autistic Person or Person with Autism?

I found this read REALLY interesting. I have to admit the word "Autistic" does tend to make me cringe at times. Not so much when I hear it used professionally, but more when I hear it said by someone I feel doesn't know or understand the disorder, or my son. This article made me stop and think about the term, and maybe even embrace it? Autism is very much a part of my son, and it always will be. It is unfortunate that this label of the past has such negative connotations, because maybe stating he is "Autistic" does convey a message of pride in who he is. Hmmm...things to think about...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Photos

Finally got the disc of our family photos back. Had to do a little editing myself (like cutting and pasting Gavin's whole head from one photo to another so I had a usable pic of the 4 of us!), but I will at least have some pics for Christmas cards and may tackle a wall grouping if i can find a mix of frames I like.

Shout out to some of my fave Etsy shops: I'm wearing earrings from Splurge, and all the girls have on  fabric flower clips from Coco Rose Couture. Both are Alberta artists, and members of the Alberta Street Team on Etsy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Feature - zfjADE

Meet zfjADE! She has an amazingly creative and fun shop on Etsy that sells funky clothing, accessories, and plush animals.

Her work is incredibly detailed and high quality. The finishing in her "furnoggins" is amazing, including a hidden pocket inside for ID, etc. (check out youtube link below) Super cool!


"i'm zfjADE & i make things. when i am not making things, i think about how things are made. i like to take them apart in my mind & reconstruct them. i think about the proportions & angles, the relationships between bits of matter in space. the planes & pieces that make up a whole. i look for better methods, better techniques. i love craftsmanship. everything i create has been made in my mind many times before it physically exists.

there is something about focusing on design & execution that makes me feel better. usually some part of my brain is creating discord between me & the rest of the world. but in my world, in my zone, there is perfect harmony. as an adult on the autism spectrum- i need to make things in order to function. i have been sewing for a very long time & i love the combination of calming repetition, total control & endless creativity it affords me."


She has also started a youtube channel and posts videos of her creations, the stories behind them and how they are made.

Love it! Thanks for adding some fun to this Friday zfjADE! Cheers!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Did you ever wish you were boy?

Do any of you remember this multi-page ad Nike ran in 1992. I do. I had it ripped out, and displayed on my bedroom wall. Still love it!

Did you ever wish you were a boy?
Did you? Did you for one moment or one breath or one heartbeat beating over all the years of life, wish, even a little, that you could spend it as a boy? Honest. Really. Even if you got over it.
Did you ever wish that you could be a boy just so you could do boy things and not hear them called boy things, did you want to climb trees and skin knees and be third base and not hear the boys say, Sure, play, but that means you have to be third base.
Oh ha ha ha.
But did you ever wish you were a boy just because there were boys, and there were girls and they were them, and we were, well, we weren’t them, and we knew there must be a difference because everybody kept telling us there was. But what was it?
You never knew. Like you knew that you were a girl (you run like a girl you throw like a girl you girl you) and that was great, that was swell, but you couldn’t help wondering what it would be like if you…had been…a boy.
And if you could have been a boy, what difference would it have made? Would it have made you faster, cuter, cleaner? And if you were a boy, this incredible bouncing boy, what boy would you have been? All the time knowing no two boys are alike any more than all girls are.
So you wake up. And you learn we all have differences (Yes!) You learn we all have similarities (Right!) You learn to stop lumping everybody in the world into two separate categories, or three, or four, or any at all (Finally!) And you learn to stop beating yourself over the head for things that weren’t wrong in the first place.
And one day when you’re out in the world running, feet flying dogs barking smiles grinning, you’ll hear those immortal words calling, calling inside your head Oh you run like a girl and you will say shout scream whisper call back Yes. What exactly did you think I was?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A little Me time!

I'm feeling like I'm needing a little break. A little 'Me" time. So during the boys'nap time today I did a little online window shopping for shoes.

One of my favorite sites to play around on, and instantly cheers me up is Shoes of Prey. Where you can custom design your dream shoes! So much fun. One day I will spoil myself and purchase one of my creations. It's on my "bucket list"!

I also love TOMs shoes, and their One for One concept. For every pair of shoes you purchase they give a pair to a child in need!

"Hint hint"...a pair of Toms Classics are on my Christmas List. I wear size 9.5. 

Oh I feel better already! Nothing like some shoe therapy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Feature - Studio Regency

Today's featured Etsy shop is Studio Regency.

Shop owner Christine is a fellow stay-at-home Autism Mommy. She has two children on the Spectrum (a boy and a girl). Her shop features some beautiful Renaissance inspired jewelry. And each month she donates 10% of her sales, or $30 whichever is greater to the Autism Society of America.

Not only do I love her jewelry, but I also love her philosophy when it comes to Autism.
"Understanding, Accepting and Embracing Autism"

You can also find her on facebook at: Studio-Regency or on Twitter: studioregency

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Fun

This Thanksgiving long weekend we traveled out to Bon Accord, Alberta to Prairie Gardens Adventure Farm.

We had a great time conquering the gigantic corn maze, petting some farm animals, and tasting some yummy goodies! I highly recommend making the trip (about 30 minutes north of Edmonton) to take in all the outdoor fun with your family.

Here are some pics from our adventure:

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I love this video for so many reasons. This is a recently updated version.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; 
you can only connect them looking backwards. 
So you have to trust that the dots will 
somehow connect in your future. 
You have to trust in something — 
your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. 
This approach has never let me down, 
and it has made all the difference in my life.” 
- Steve Jobs -

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Frosty Isn't the Only One With a Magic Hat!

Had to share this story from a fellow Autism Mommy on Etsy. It is actually a post from late last fall, but I had to share it. It made my day!
Here's a link to her shop in case you are interested. 
Let's consider it my Friday Feature since I didn't post one last week! ...oopsy! 

Frosty isn't the Only One with A Magic Hat! 
By Gayle Timm 
(A True Story) 

For those of you who didn't know Max has been in Tappin' Dumplings for the past several months...

Yes, you read that correct... Tappin' Dumplings!

Tuesdays have become fondly referred to now as "Tappin Tuesdays"

Okay So, Yesterday Max as usual I pick him up from school, drive home in a hurry, change into his tap uniform (camouflage sport shorts and matching tank) and off to tap....

Tap runs about an hour and most Mommies leave, run errands or have their special time, but I have not felt comfortable leaving. This is Max's first unattended typical activity and so far so good, but it's always a roll of the dice.

Door swings open, Miss Marsha appears... Max takes off - no care to say goodbye, he loves tap!

I have become use to "NSAS" (No Separation Anxiety Syndrome - I don't know if this is a real term, but I use it...often) which I'm telling you can be hard on the Mommy who's kid appears to not care if she is there or not.

So next time your kiddo has a crying fit because you are leaving them; Give them a big hug and think of me... and feel glad!

Miss Marsha asks "Did he use the bathroom?"

"Yes Miss Marsha" I reply like a good Mommy.

I get a slight nod of approval and she 1/2 turns in a swift and gracious movement as door is shut - slam.

20 Min's into tap... door swings open.

Max with Miss Marsha AND the first I've seen of his recital costume a black plastic top hat.

"He has to use the bathroom" Miss Marsha tells me with one hand on Max and one eyebrow raised at me...


Off to the bathroom... Black Top Hat rolling forward, backward and sideways on Mr Max's head...

I'm waiting to see it fall into the toilet and I'm thinking maybe I should limit the Gatorade before tap AND why didn't he take off this Black Top Hat before coming to use the bathroom...dunno... Max pee's.

Back to tap...

Tap, tap, tap on the door he goes back in... I go back to my seat.

5:30 Tap is over.
Miss Marsha comes out I am the first one she comes to.

Uh Oh...

Miss Marsha begins "We had a melt down the last 5 Min's of class..."

I nod, wide eyed and hanging onto her every word.

Miss Marsha continues "He got very upset and was on the ground and refused to participate"

I nod, frowning...

Miss Marsha continues "I left him alone to work it out and he threw his hat..." this point I am visualizing the Black Top Hat crushed beyond repair and wondering how late party america is open and it's close to new years right now it is it shouldn't be that hard to replace a top hat, right?

Then refocusing and about to apologize profusely, but before I had a chance...

Miss Marsha continues in the most Matter of Fact, Understanding, Just how it is, statement I think I have ever heard...

"I believe Max was mad at his hat." 

Miss Marsha said staring me square in the eyes and as serious as a heart attack. No jokes, no fluff, no excuses... just that one statement.

That one beautiful statement!

She got my kid - awe now I gotta get a tissue!

What just happened... what, what !?!?

I'm thrown for a loop, no judgment, no stress, no excuses, no explanation required from me...

Miss Marsha finishes by "telling me" to pin his hair back.

She believes between his hair and the plastic hat they are causing "Static Friction" and Max didn't like it.

I Believe Miss Marsha is Right!

The End. Literally.
No crappy feeling then or when I went home, no need to cry later in the car... it was done and no biggy AND Miss Marsha handled it.

Miss Marsha turns with the grace of an angel and is off to give the next dumplin' report.

Not everyone "gets my kid" and when someone does WOW you wanna take 'em home and never let them go... I wanna love you and hold you and call you my own!

I LOVE MISS MARSHA! ... And Max loves tap!

On our way out Max and Mommy signed up for Tappin' Dumplins till March 2011!

I LOVE the Lion King!

Oh, I so wish I could have taken Gavin to this! What a wonderful idea!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Monday Silliness

Jim Henson would have turned 75 on Saturday (and yes, that was what the "puppets" on Google were about this weekend). Stumbled across this old gem on facebook. Had to share. It made me giggle! Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today my hubby and I are celebrating our 5th Anniversary.
Well "kind-of" celebrating...

We are not the type to buy each other extravagant gifts, or spend more money than we need to at a fancy restaurant. We are going out for supper with our little boys and my in-laws to Boston Pizza. Nothing fancy, but a place where I can enjoy a glass of wine while my two year old eats chicken nuggets is pretty much perfect in my books!

Also since I didn't have a "Friday Feature" today thought I would share a Etsy find. I just found it last night. If it had been earlier I TOTALLY would have ordered it to give to the hubby today. It made me laugh out loud!


Love you babe! Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I need some motivation. Or hypnosis?

Seriously? No one show my husband (or anyone's husband!) this link please. Scary, Scary thought! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

FRIDAY FEATURE - CoCo Rose Couture

I cannot begin to say how much I LOVE this Etsy shop. The product, colors and photography used are just spectacular. I love the owners sense of style!

I have become quite familiar with it as a fellow Alberta Street Team member, but I did not realize until yesterday that the owner Bree, was also a member of the Etsy for Autism Team, and a fellow Autism Mommy. So needless to say, here is my Friday Feature for this week: CoCo Rose Couture!

A little bit about the shop...
`My shop is basically me going to vintage stores buying antique jewelry and using them in my fascinators. With vintage fabrics dupioni silk old buttons rhinestones. I love creating pieces that have a history, a story and just that little touch of whimsy that makes you feel unique creative and beautiful. Everything in my shop is inspired by something and has a story behind why i make it.`

The shop features beautiful and colorful vintage inspired accessories. You absolutely must check out the little girls fascinators. Would be SO CUTE for a little girl`s birthday, or as a photo prop.

Bree also has a wonderful blog at: Thank you Bree for sharing your style and creativity with us! Your shop make`s me wish I had a little girl!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Meet Gary James!

Some of you have probably heard me talk or post about A4CWSN

Well meet Gary. The man behind the scenes who made it all happen! 

Also excited to say that A4CWSN will also soon be starting a campaign to give away 20 iPad to special needs children in Canada! Please come over to our Facebook page:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I don't know if I'm "Highly Successful" but...

Sharing a link to another blog. A great read!

7 Habits of Highly Successful Special Needs Parents

A couple good quotes:
"One of my child’s doctors once told me that I would never see his greatest potential if I was going to feel sorry for him. He was right. If your expectations of what your child can accomplish are clouded by guilt, pity, or hopelessness, you might never see what they can really do!"

"Having a child with special needs can be all-consuming. It doesn’t have to define you, though."

And all of point #7, because it is one I strongly believe in:
"It’s easy to get wrapped up in looking for the eventual benefits of some treatment in your child’s future, but don’t forget they are already wonderful people, just as they are. Enjoy the moments that make you smile. Cherish the person they are today, for all their issues and ordeals. They are precious gifts. And, they are the same beautiful people that they were the day before you found out about their condition, delay or disability. Don’t hesitate to take the time for a day at the park, or just snuggle time on the couch! Those are the moments that give you the strength to keep going."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Follow-Up - That Warm Fuzzy Feeling

Wanted to do a quick little follow-up on an earlier post of mine "That Warm Fuzzy Feeling".

A local family that I had sent some of my boys used clothing and shoes with to Ghana have now returned home from their trip. I loved following their blog and checking out photos on facebook while they were away. And even recognized a few outfits and pairs of shoes! It felt wonderful to be a small part of this incredible experience.

Here is a little video collection of some favorite memories from their trip. It's beautiful!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hang On...

Needless to say when Autism is a part of your life you can expect a roller coaster ride!
That definitely has been my week! we go...

Sunday I returned home from my trip to Manitoba with the boys. Although very enjoyable, the 12 hour drive home (nine hours on Day 1, three hours on Day 2) left me very tired. And as Monday rolled around I was finding myself desperately seeking some personal space and time. I LOVE my boys, but needless to say (for any Mom, not just an Autism Mom) sometimes I just need a break!

...going down...

Tuesday we were back to the grind, and I loaded up Gavin to go to his Music Therapy Summer Group. He had a week off from therapy and group, so I knew we could have some issues reintroducing him to the routine. "Some issues" was a major understatement! fast...hold on...

The WHINING started as soon as we entered the door and I was signing in at reception. The CRYING started as soon as we entered the gym/playroom. The FREAK OUT started when he refused to sit on the mat for puzzle/book time (begins every group meeting while we wait for all kids to arrive). He went to his back pack looking for his iPad (which was left at home - on purpose). The absolute MELT DOWN started when he did not find it!


I spent the next 45 minutes physically restraining him, while attempting to get him to participate in signing, dancing, etc. Which was basically me holding him, while singing, rocking, or walking around the room. He eventually settled in a bit when it was time to have his juice at snack time. He will not eat what the other kids eat, and we do not give him an alternative in this environment. Even his special juice (straw sippy) cup gains a little too much attention from the other kids drinking from their styrofoam cups. We put whatever food is served on his plate, and try to get him to play or show some interest in it while the others eat.

...slowing down...

Upon returning home the iPad was put away in the cupboard, and a new house rule was introduced. The iPad is only to be used as a tool (not a toy) to work on pointing, turn taking, etc and only with adult supervision. Over the summer holidays, and our many travels, it had become too much of a toy, and even a babysitter, and far too preferred of an activity for him. It is our own fault. But it was now time to make the correction!

...and climbing back up...

Thursday we returned to Music camp, the last day. Once again as we entered the room he began crying. But this time he warmed up more quickly, and we sat and worked on a puzzle he likes.  As the singing began he got agitated again, but when the parachute came out for song #2 he was all smiles! When snack time rolled around I realized I forgot his straw cup at home (gasp!). So I took the opportunity to see if he would drink from the styrofoam cup like the rest of the kids. I held the cup, brought it to his mouth, and he opened wide and drank! He drank his whole cup of juice! I was elated!

...and WEEEEEEEEE! This is fun! 

And finally on Friday I received an e-mail from his OT. She was working on a program to deal with Gavin's excessive drool, fingers in his mouth, oral motor skills issues. She also asked if we would be interested in pursuing a referral to the Developmental Clinic at Calgary Children's hospital. Just to further investigate some of his oral issues, and rule out an medical issues. I nearly cried. Due to Gavin's medical history (lack of oxygen and resuscitation at birth, tube fed in NICU, etc) I have continually had questions about this. He's been a noisy breather and had feeding issues from Day 1. Is it all just Autism/Sensory issues or are there physical issues we can't see? FINALLY someone was listening to me, and agreed with my concern. The emotion I had reading that e-mail cannot be described. Needless to say I LOVE his OT!

And...I love Gavin!

"Life is like a roller coaster, too many unexpected turns but at the end you just want to ride it again." - Unknown

*roller coaster image Courtesy of Google Images. Unable to track original source.

Friday Feature - Miche Mozaix's

Today's Friday Feature is Miche Mosaic's.

The shop owner Debbie, is a fellow Autism Mom and her 16 year old son (on the spectrum), is "my best 'employee' when it comes to producing my line of mosaic jewelry". 

The above Puzzle Piece tile, is sold on their Etsy Shop and 50% of the sales from this piece is donated to employment training  for young adults on the spectrum.

An excerpt from Debbie's shop:
My style is totally different from 'traditional' mosaics and my tiles are NEVER broken. Every piece I make begins as soft clay which is then cut to fit my original designs. Glazes are then added and the pieces are fired. Finally, I connect the bits and pieces with grout to make a necklace or a mirror, or a pair of earrings or a fountain or WHATEVER !! This process allows me to get a variety of really cool shapes, textures, etc. and I love the chance to share all my creations with YOU!

Beautiful work Debbie! Thank you for sharing your shop & your story with us!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A favorite Pic!

                                Grady helping "Papa" with chores.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New adventures!

I'll start sharing some photos from our adventures in Manitoba. The boys were definitely kept busy, and got to do and see a bunch of new things.

Gavin LOVED rides on Grandpa's ATV. Grady on the other hand was not such a big fan.

Friday, August 5, 2011

No Friday Feature - Another Road Trip!

Sorry, No Friday Feature Today...

I'm super busy trying to get packed up for yet another road trip. Off to Manitoba with the boys tomorrow AM. Going to visit Grandma & Grandpa C (my parents), my brother, and hopefully some other family we do not get to see often enough.

I was quite stressed about the drive (12 hours!). I was planning on making the trip on my own since hubby is away for a week playing ball in Ontario. But my Mom has made her way out to Alberta to spend a few days, and make the drive with me! We have a hotel booked in Regina, SK to help break the trip up. It has a great pool and water park, so we can let the boys have some fun during our break.

I'll take lots of pictures and share when I get back. Not sure how much I'll get online while I'm away. Their so called "high-speed" internet in rural Manitoba is not super speedy! lol

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

GFCF Butternut Squash Soup

Been a while since I shared a GFCF recipe. This is one of Gav's favorites! The addition of white kidney beans sounds odd, but it helps with the creaminess, and adds a punch of protein!

Butternut Squash Soup

4 cups lightly salted water
1 cup chopped Carrot (or about 1/2 small bag of baby carrots)
2 large Russet Potatoes, cubed
2 1/2 cups Butternut Squash, cubed (a 20 oz bag of pre-prepared)
1 Tbsp ClubHouse Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend)
1 - 19oz Can White Kidney Beans, drained
1/2 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk (optional)

In a large saucepan on high heat, bring water to a boil. Add carrots and potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Now add Butternut Squash. At this point you may need to add a little more water to ensure vegetables are JUST covered. Note: Do not add too much, vegetables will not be drained prior to pureeing. Too much water will make your soup runny.

Boil for another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are VERY soft (almost falling apart). Remove from heat. Stir in the can of kidney beans, and add seasoning. Let mixture stand 5 minutes.

Puree mixture with hand blender until smooth. Or transfer to a blender and puree.

1/2 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk can be added at this point for a creamier soup - or leave out for soy-free diets.

Serve with Gluten Free crackers. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday Feature Follow-Up

Eeeeeek! I'm so excited. Just stumbled across Claudine's link to her CafePress page. Her "Autism Mom" piece is available on multiple items (stickers, keychains, coffee mug, T-shirts, and even PJS!).

I will definitely be ordering! But I still want the original artwork as well (hint#2 hubby!).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Feature - The Art of Claudine Intner

Once again I almost forgot my Friday Feature. So without much time to research shops, I am choosing to feature a favorite Etsy artist, Claudine Intner.

Firstly I LOVE mixed media collage art. Secondly she is a fellow mom of boys (one of which is on the Spectrum).

Below is an absolute favorite. I would love to have it in my home (hint to hubby!)

Being a mom is challenging enough, but throw in autism and you have to become a super parent!

This collage is dedicated to all the autism super moms out there that go above and beyond. "Autism Mom" shows her heart on her sleeve and loves to wear her autism awareness earrings. She would do anything for her kids!"

She also has some beautiful Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece pins in her shop.
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful art with us Claudine!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Great Recipe is Worth Passing on...

Okay, this isn't GFCF, but Gav isn't about to eat a brownie any time soon. Grady on the other hand, would devour these! They look so Yummy....Had to re-share this!

From the Alberta Street Team blog, which credits kabukikreations blog for the original post.

S'more Brownies 
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs 
2 tablespoons sugar 
Pinch fine salt 

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
1 cup packed light brown sugar 
3/4 cup white sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon fine salt 
4 large cold eggs 
1 cup all-purpose flour 

4 cups large marshmallows 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch. 

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated. 

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fun times in OKC!

Just a few pics from our trip to Oklahoma. These were taken at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Probably the highlight for the boys!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Break through?

So I don't know how many times people have asked (in regards to Gav's feeding issues) if he was hungry enough would he eat something else (i.e. soldis)?

Well last night after our flight from from Oklahoma to Great Falls. We were driving the rest of the way home and both boys were hungry and irritable. I passed Grady a cracker.  And handed Gavin a piece just to see what he would do. He turned his head away as I expected. But then turned back and inspected the cracker carefully. Then as I offered it to him again HE OPENED HIS MOUTH and let me touch his tongue with it! After he stopped licking the saltiness from his lips. I offered it to him again. He went through the same routine, turn away, then back, stare, and opened up again! But this time he even closed his mouth on the cracker and I felt his teeth clench the cracker! I pulled it out, as I did not really want him to get a piece of it and choke on it. But I was so excited!!!

Definitely think we need to tart pressing with the meltables! Just need to find the right thing that when he does taste it, he is gonna want more!!!

Had to share! Hope you have a great week.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Feature - Peachy & Keen

Today's Friday Feature is "Peachy & Keen".

Or check them out on Facebook:

I cannot wait to get home from vacation to order some of this natural, gluten-free Fun Dough for my boys!

Here's a excerpt from their shop:

Destress and embrace your creative genius with these handcrafted fun doughs! All beautifully fragranced varieties are made of natural, gluten-free ingredients, plant based dye, and natural grapeseed and essential oils. These doughs are the perfect tools to relieve tension and build important developmental skills. 

Their fun dough comes in 2oz. stackable containers.

Or in economical & enviro-friendly flat packs (re-purpose your our air tight containers from home)

And the scents and color combos are wonderful!

green mint [animating]
blue eucalyptus [invigorating]
lemon yellow [refreshing]
sweet orange [uplifting]
pink rose [fortifying]
violet lavender [balancing]
vanilla cream [calming]

Love it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beading to Beat Autism

Last year when we we're down in Oklahoma for the KFC World Cup of Softball and Border Battle I found this wonderful booth selling hand beaded bracelets. "Beading to Beat Autism". I was immediately drawn to it, for at the time we we're just beginning our quest of getting an official diagnosis for Gavin.

I bought a few bracelets to bring home to friends and family, and later hopped on their website to find out more about the organization and it's founder Michala's story. What a wonderful story it is!

I am happy to hear that they will once again be set up at the event this year. I can't wait to buy even more bracelets (I have SO many people to bring them home too!) and hope to get a photo of our family with Michala's "peeps".

Monday, July 18, 2011


Oh my, has packing for a trip ever changed since having kids! And even more so since Gavin's food allergies were diagnosed.

I'm busy packing for a 5 day trip to Oklahoma City. Luckily the weather there is beyond HOT, as shorts and tanks take up much less room in a suitcase than pants and hoodies! But it is still unbelievable how much "stuff" I need to take. I'm an OCD list'a a few highlights (beyond the obvious clothes, shoes, etc)

iPad & Charger
Phone chargers
camera, video camera, and chargers
DVD player (portable)
Baby monitor
Sound machine
Boys blankets
Gav's Teddy
Grady's pillow & "Suckie"
Diapers & wipes
Soy milk (just until we get to airport security)
Food for Gav on plane & layovers (something security will let through?)
Gav's Gluten Free instant cereal
Snacks for Grady
Gav's Allergy report (so we can fly with the Epi-Pen)
Gav's letter from Doc (re: Autism)
AND one double wide stroller, that even after two phone calls to Continental I am worried they will not let me "gate-check" so I have use of it in the airports....

I am only packing enough food, diapers, etc to get us there. Now that you have to pay for your checked luggage it just isn't worth over packing, and paying for extra pieces.

I will shop once we get there. Need to find GFCF food I can prepare in a hotel room without a microwave - I have done some research and think I have my grocery list planned. I will be purchasing a cheap plug in kettle & cooler there. And I will chat with the restaurant staff about warming food for Gavin as well.

I also don't plan on packing toys. I will pick up a few cheap thing there (Dollar Store, Target, etc).

Oh, and to top it off, now I am dealing with the stress of not being allowed to take Gavin's car seat on the plane because it isn't FAA approved. Canadian car seats do not have the FAA sticker on them. But somehow him sitting in a plane seat too large for him, with just a lap belt is safer than him being in a Canadian Transport approved car seat???  Having a hard time grasping that concept? Oh well. Like everything, we'll manage.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Feature - Wires n Pliers

OMGosh...I almost forgot this Friday's Feature! This week has just flown by....

So without further ado...please check out "wiresNpliers" Etsy shop.

This shop features beautiful handmade jewelry (including some Autism Awareness dedicated pieces).

There is also a shop section featuring pieces created by Sarah (aka Sarahbushka). Sarah is a 25 year-old diagnosed with ASD. She creates jewelry pieces as part of an Art Careers program and sells them on her mom Carol's Etsy shop.

Above is one of Sarah's necklaces. Within the product description there is information about the Art Careers program.

A wonderful idea!

You can also check out their blog: