Friday, September 28, 2012

Some Happy Little Stuff

Maybe you noticed I wasn't here Tuesday.


It has been a week, let me tell you.  

And it's not done yet.  

Which means I don't really have a full-blown post for you today.

So how 'bout I just share with you some "around-the-web" links I've found that made me smile, yes?


I want to read this.

Such sweet and delicate little rings.

What Texans really think.

And since we're on the subject of Texas, how about a little Texan-ese?

Love me some denim.

Made this and brought back good memories of my Mamaw.

Lily enjoyed these little babies in her lunch box.

Loved drawing with this artist - and now he has an app.

Have yourself a lovely little weekend, my friends.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to the Bird!

Lily is 6 years old today.

Help her celebrate by putting your feet up and having a favorite snack - in the Bird's case, watermelon.

Have a great weekend - and don't forget to check out the "extra bonus post" that was up this week. Click here in case you missed it.

See you Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bonus Post!

Remember when I told you there just might be an extra post this week?

Well, here it is!

Actually, it's not here.

It's over at Abby's blog, Notes from A Pediatric Occupational Therapist.  Every now and then, Abby does a special Parent's Perspective feature on her blog and yours truly is in the spotlight right now!  

Click here to check it out - and be sure to browse around Abby's site as well.  You'll find lots of great information and resources to help you help your kiddos.

And real quick, before I leave you, this made me laugh.  Maybe you can relate?

Truth. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Talk to Me Tuesday

I think I've found a new motto for life:


I don't know about you, but lately, I've been having a few too many broccoli days.  I think it's time for some ice cream.

We can talk about special needs another day.

Let's do something just for fun, ok?

Let's play a little game. 

And here's the rules:  I'm going to ask you two totally unrelated questions.  And then you're going to leave a comment with your answers to my two questions.

OK?  OK!

Here we go:

Question Number One -

Out of all the foods that you know dadgum good and well are just horrible for you and have no nutritional value to them whatsoever, what are the ones you just have to eat every now and then?


McDonald's Filet of Fish sandwiches
McDonald's sausage patties
Deep Fat Fried Mozzarella Sticks 
Corn Dogs with Mustard

Question Number Two -

What are some of your most favorite books from childhood?


The Ramona books by Beverly Cleary
Charlotte's Web
Nancy Drew books

Now it's your turn!  Leave me a comment and let's get to know each other better.

And hey, if you've been lurking around the blog, why don't you just click that little button over there and become an official follower?  Go ahead.  You know you want to....

Also, this week only, there just might be a special extra post.... so be sure to check back!

Now talk to me, people!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Artists in the Cafeteria - With Recipes

I've recently become aware of a whole new art form.

It's called.... Lunch.

  As in, packing a school lunch.  

If anyone is still using brown paper bags and plastic baggies, they're sure not admitting it, let alone taking photos and putting them up on the web.

Seriously, some of these are works of art:

Image courtesy of The Little Henhouse

I'm sure the kids get a kick out of opening their lunch boxes and seeing cute little cookie cutter sandwiches, rice balls in the shape of Hello Kitty, and carrots carved into flowers, but really?  They're just going to get eaten.  Or traded for a Fruit Roll-Up, am I right?

I'm thinking this might just be another little scheme to make us moms compete with one another and feel like complete failures if we send our kid to school with a Wonder bread bologna and cheese sandwich in the shape of... a slice of bread.

But I digress.

Lily is not a big sandwich girl.  

And while I'm not spending my morning fashioning cucumbers into the shape of stars, I am a fan of bento-style lunch containers.

Plus, living in Austin where being environmentally friendly and "green" is almost a requirement, I'm pretty sure if Lily came to school with plastic baggies every day, we would be forced to move.

I use Easy Lunchboxes because I like the cooler bags that perfectly fit the containers.  They hold up great after many, many trips through the dishwasher.  Plus, it's all very affordable.

These containers lend themselves well to what we used to call a "funny plate lunch".   Way back when my big girls were small, their favorite thing to eat was a little buffet of all kinds of snacky-type foods that I would put in the cups of a muffin tin.  Thus, the "funny plate".

Things like grapes, goldfish, cheese cubes, lunch meat, pickles, berries, cheerios, boiled eggs, animal cookies.... you get the idea.  

It was also a hit because nothing touched, a very important aspect of a fine dining experience for my kids.

Most of Lily's lunches follow the same theme as those "funny plate lunches", just in an Easy Lunchbox instead of a muffin tin.  Ham cubes, rolled-up turkey slices, Ritz crackers, all kinds of fruit, boiled egg slices, noodles, raisins, and the like.

In Lily's lunch today, she has homemade pasta salad with rotisserie chicken pieces, thin red pepper slices,  watermelon chunks, and a homemade Hot Fudge Brownie Larabar. 

Now before you start thinking, "That Lana. She may not be creating a rainbow out of fruit for her kid's lunch but she's making all this homemade stuff.  Showoff."

Well, mostly that's because Lily can't have things like Lunchables, Oreos, pretzels, cheese... stuff like that.  She's on a pretty specialized diet.  So I have to be somewhat creative.

But like I said before, two or three days a week, she's just having that funny plate lunch.  Not much thought or creativity going into those, I promise.

And I'll also tell you that yesterday, I sent a delicious piece of quiche in her lunch.  Made just for her, to fit all the parameters of her diet.  She liked it when she sampled it the night before.  It came back home that afternoon, with not a bite of it eaten.

So just because I'm making some things doesn't always mean it's getting enthusiastically consumed.

I just keep offering healthy food choices.  The rest is up to her.

I thought I'd share a few of the recipes we've tried with you today.  Sound good?

Now, I'm not a big fan of Larabars myself.  I often find their texture kind of gummy, and not in a good way.  But these were yummy.  And they have no sugar, except for what's in the little bit of chocolate chips you might choose to add.  I used dark chocolate chips (about 2 tbsp) because Lily can only have small amounts of dark chocolate on occasion.

 Katie has all kinds of great recipes on her blog - most with little to no sugar and as you might have guessed from the title above, many with chocolate.  You should definitely spend some time browsing her website.

Next - the infamous quiche that Lily declared delicious one day and disgusting the next.  I thought it was good every time but you can be the judge. 

The recipe can be found at For the Love of Food

To fit Lily's diet, I used her special mozzarella "cheese" from Daiya, soy milk, and soy creamer.  I also used one of those premade refrigerated pie crusts that has no dairy in the ingredient list.   I used turkey bacon which I prepare by following these instructions.

Here's a good basic muffin mix from Undressed Skeleton that you can "fix up" to your liking.  I made the Banana Muffins, using all-purpose white flour, skipped the walnuts, and added a handful of dark chocolate chips instead.

 Last but not least, the homemade pasta salad I mentioned above?  It's just any pasta shape you choose, grated veggies of your choice (I used carrots, yellow squash, and zucchini squash), and a cut up rotisserie chicken breast.  Splash a little Italian salad dressing in and mix it all up good.  Easy.

While the Bird might not be opening her cooler bag to find a lunch fully themed around the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, at least she's finding some healthy foods that fill her tummy and taste good, too.

Have a fun weekend!  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't Hate Me....

... but I just might have the best communication notebook of anyone in the whole, wide world.

I'm talking about that back and forth communication log that's supposed to take place between home and school.  

The one that tells us moms and dad how the school day went for our kids with special needs.  

The one that parents usually have to beg and plead for.

The one that parents usually end up having to create and then keep their fingers crossed that the teacher will give them some details of the school days.

Well, mine may not be the cutest notebook I've ever seen...

... but it's what's on the inside that counts.  

And take a look at what's inside my notebook:

That's right, people.  Actual communication.  Handwritten notes.  From the teacher.  From the speech therapist.  And from me.

I don't mean to make you jealous...

but like I said, I'm pretty sure I've got an awesome communication notebook.

And some awesome teachers.

Thank you, Lord!

Friday, September 7, 2012

News You Can Use - Volume 5

Just for you.  

A round-up of some great "back to school" stuff from around the web.

For girls only:  Stuck for something to wear under those cute back to school dresses?  Then check out Hidees, a fun and comfortable way to keep those undies under wraps.   

Their motto?  "We believe in fashion, not flashin'."

Tired of labeling (and re-labeling) your kids' jackets, mittens, gloves, gym clothes... every time they come out of the wash?  Martha Stewart No-Iron Permanent Clothing Labels are a great time-saver - and they work!  
With a permanent marker, write your kiddo's name on the label, stick onto desired item of clothing (no ironing and no sewing!) and hold for 5 seconds.  Done.  But the real magic?  Even after washing and drying, it still looks like a new, fresh label.  Awesome.

100 Days of Real Food is a highly informative blog that has quickly become my "go-to" place for all things school lunch.  Here are a few great posts that might help make the daily packing of the lunch box just a little bit easier:

With school back in session, most of us will be spending even more time in our cars.  I was reminded again of how important it is to make sure that emergency information is easily accessible.  Take some time to place an emergency contact sticker on each car seat in your vehicle.

The blog, Don't Pat the Belly, has a basic form you can use to create your own stickers.

Back to school time often means our kiddos are exposed to more germs.  How Does She? has a great post full of good old-fashioned home remedies that will comfort and soothe any child who is feeling a little under the weather.


For most of us, the first day of school has already come and gone.  But maybe you'd like to treat your child's teacher to a little something special for no reason at all.  Since it never hurts to get on the teacher's good side, here are a couple of fun ideas:

My cousin, Kristin, is a "retired" elementary school teacher, the mother of two handsome young boys, and an all-around great mom.  She shared a cute idea for a teacher gift on her blog - personalized book plates.  

Click here to visit Dixie Delights and easily create your own. 

While the tag on these cute little "survival kits" says First Day of School, I think a teacher would appreciate this any day of the year.  Just fill with goodies and fun school supplies.


Click here to visit Bee in our Bonnet for a peek inside their gift boxes and directions to make your own.

Not feeling particularly crafty?  How about this quick and easy but very useful gift?

Method Soap with free gift tag
Click here to visit Skip to my Lou for the printable gift tag and directions.

And finally, for those of us with kiddos who use Apple products for communication, the newest update, iOS6, is coming soon and has some wonderful features for special needs kids.  Click here to visit Bridging Apps and watch a video full of helpful tips on how to understand and use the Guided Access Feature of iOS6.

Have you come across any other great school stuff?  I'd love to hear about it so feel free to share a comment.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Hospital Adventure

In typical Lily Bird fashion, a long weekend just wouldn't be complete without a little sprinkling of excitement.

Remember the infamous "swallowing of the plastic token" during the first week of school?

Well, sparing you lots of gory details that you'd rather not know, that little token started to cause some blockage of things not meant to be blocked.  And after a Saturday trip to the hospital, that little token is no longer blocking things not meant to be blocked.

I'm sure you can read between the lines here and get my drift.

The only good thing about this unexpected hospital adventure?  

The Bird was a trooper.  As in, the best I've ever seen her behave in a hospital.

She took some x-rays and to my complete surprise, she got in the positions the technician requested of her and stayed there, without Ryan or I having to hold her down.  It was amazing.

She was pooped out - well, not quite "pooped out".... not just yet, if you're still reading between the lines here.

Shortly after this picture, she woke up, took care of business, and we finally got to go home, where she literally ran to her bed and slept until noon on Sunday.

There was still fun to be had, though.

Labor Day found us hanging out at the splash pad...

...and having a little appetizer while waiting on some barbecue for lunch.

Today begins the second week of kindergarten.  

Where there will be no more swallowing of plastic tokens, she says with fingers crossed and prayers raised to heaven.

Have a great week - see you Friday! 

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