Monday, September 30, 2013

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Little l is still having tummy issues.  Mostly I can tell by looking at her skin.  All of her tests were normal though, so that leaves me without a definitive answer as to what is causing her loose stool.  It has at least gotten to where there are normal stools most of the time.  The problem being that she really doesn't have variety in her daily food intake, she just eats everything!

I have decided to try getting rid of gluten for a couple of weeks, but couldn't find a good cracker substitute that didn't have nut flour or soy.  What do people with gluten and nut issues do?

So I modified a recipe and came up with this for a "Graham Cracker".  Graham being a simple place holder of a word since there is no real graham flour in these.

Homemade "Graham" Crackers

2 1/2 Cups of Pamela's Products Gluten Free Bread Mix and Flour Blend
1/2 cup of qunioa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Cup of butter (softened)
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Whisk the flour mix, quinoa, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together; set aside.

Put butter, brown sugar and butter into bowl of electric mixer.  Mix on medium until pale and fluffy.  Scrape sides as needed.  Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Turn dough out onto wax paper.  Roll out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into rectangles, poke with fork if desired.  Bake for 10-13 minutes, until brown at edges.

Leave on cookie sheet for about five to ten minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  If desired, immediately after coming out of oven sprinkle a cinnamon sugar mix and gently press into the cracker.

I got a little lazy on the last batch, so its edges aren't square.  They turned out very good which was a great surprise after the last batch of graham crackers we made!  Little l really likes them.  Since I used real butter big L can't eat them, but this was a use what I have weekend.  Hence the quinoa and butter.  Normally I would have used the earth balance, but I am running low.

Happy baking!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Library Ladies and Miscellany

Tuesday this week, little l and I were at the library.  Mostly because I needed to reserve the room for a training.  While there the woman who does the reading/math/science programs for 2-5 year old children was looking for someone to attend her class.  The regular attendees were not able to make it that week. 

It was an interesting program, not really anything I don't already know or do with the little l, but fun for her to interact with people other than mommy.  Afterwards she wanted to show us some good counting books to check out.  I inwardly giggled but let her do her thing.  If you have seen my children's library you know the last thing we need is counting books or books about the alphabet.  Suffice it to say we have a lot of GREAT learning books at home.  First she couldn't find a counting book, then I did, then she finally found one.  We were counting book happy.  She went on about what we had been talking about in class and I made the mistake of saying that little l loves to play this app on the computer where she has to determine which one has more, or which one has less.  You would have thought, by her expression, that I had just said I beat my child (okay that may be a slight exaggeration but not much).  So I started thinking again.  Darn it!

Little l sees all of us use the computer.  Her sister does her homework using the computer, I use it for all manner of things, and her dad is ALWAYS on the computer.  Because of this I got a couple apps that she could play so she wouldn't harass us as much when we really need to do something.  There is always the promise of playing your own game later.  It works.  So we have Toddler Typer and Pre K Math Lite.  Toddler Typer locks up the keyboard and no matter what they push or how they use the mouse it simply goes through pictures of animals.  It is entertaining and we have all learned a few new animal names because they are quite creative in their choices.  Pre K Math Lite is a great app as well.  It teaches counting, numeral recognition, even how to write the numbers, plus that less or more thing I mentioned before.  Best of all Lucy loves it and has figured out how to do it pretty much without much guidance.  I blame this game for her ability to go from two to three instead of two, eight, nine.  We would always say one, two, three, but she didn't want any of it, until the repetition of the game made it stick.  She even puts other number in the right sequential order, you know, like, six, seven, eight, nine.  You see the game does not always start them out with one. 

After my encounter I started to feel guilty about her game use, but I am not feeling that anymore.  She is only being exposed to learning apps, so I don't think that this going to ruin her.  In fact, I think that not teaching our children how to use modern technology often provides them with a disservice.  They won't be as good as there friends are, which starts to matter around third or fourth grade more than it does when they are younger.  They are going to have to use technology in their adult life.  They will have to use it in their jobs. 

Instead of fearing technology and what it is doing to our children, we should be teaching them to use it responsibly to make their life better.  Showing them how to manage there time with a calendar, or keep in touch with family that does not live close by email, or do research for a school report (teaching them to discern good and bad resources), and even play games so that they decompress and improve hand eye coordination.  None of these things is bad.  What is bad is when the technology controls your life, and that I think, is more likely to happen to children who are not allowed to use the technology and are not taught the proper ways to use it. 

On a side note, my big L smuggled her iPod to Ballet Under the Stars last night.  I say smuggled, because she knows darn well she is not allowed to take it with her when she goes places unless she has permission.  She also knew I would have said no, if she had asked.  As such, she has lost said iPod for at least one day, though I am more like to keep it for five, I have not discussed with her what she thinks would be a fair punishment.  This would be an instance where her and her friends desire to watch shows or play games was taking over their good clean outdoor playtime and that I am not okay with. 

The plus of last night was that my daughter and all of her friends were quite proud with the dance they helped create with the help of a professional ballerina.  They all did very well in their performance.  Here is where a picture of the kids would be great right?  Well, I am not comfortable posting pictures of other peoples children, so have one of the pros instead!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Child in our Bed?

Little l has a new habit.  She tries to sneak into our bed in the middle of the night.  She has always been an early morning snuggle girl, which was fine with me, it gave me a chance to wake up before I have to run after her. 

However, this middle of the night thing is starting to get annoying.  I know many people are co-sleepers, and have no problem with that, it just doesn't work for me.  I like to sprawl a bit when sleeping, so do my children.  I also have back issues, which means I flip over a lot.  I am not one of those people who lay down and wake up in the same position.  So I don't want my child in my bed all night. 

I have not yet figured out what is going on  She isn't crying when she comes in, she just climbs into bed until my husband or I wake up enough to carry her back to her room.  I am starting to think her night light may be too bright, and I should turn it off before I go to sleep.  Of course, if I am wrong I will then have to find my way to her bed with her in my arms without tripping over something on the floor.  I am kind of at a loss really.  If she was upset I would understand, but she is not upset.  Apparently, when I was away for the weekend she actually slept on my side of the bed.  I interpret this as she missed me and wanted to feel close to me while I was gone.  That interpretation makes me feel good, but is fraught with potential deception. 

If anyone has good advice on dealing with this please share.  If not, I am just going to treat it as a phase that she will outgrow. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The moon

We had a clear night with a full moon.  Clear nights being a rarity of late, as it feels like monsoon season moved in a couple months later than normal. 

My husband was out taking pictures, and I just thought I would share a couple with you. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

A new garden plan

This year's garden was a bit disappointing production wise.  However, I learned a bit, and I think I am ready for next year.  Next year starting anytime now.  The weather is starting to cool off a bit, and I am looking longingly at my backyard.  Little l is ready to be outside again as well, although she was fine in the heat of the summer, we just weren't willing to be out there long with her. 

I have a new plan this year.  See?  More herbs, instead of the non-productive yet pretty flowers.  I am sure my picture makes no sense to anyone other than me, but that is okay.  I really need to get a move on though because it is time to plant strawberries!

 We also decided to give up on our lawn.  It was small, but my husband has challenges when it comes to watering, and since it wasn't automated and I had a few weekends away from home during the hottest time of the year, the yard died.  That's right, my drought resistant lawn died.  So that was a failed experiment, and we are now going to make that area garden instead.  The only challenge being getting rid of the Bermuda grass that NEVER seems to die.  

Now I have to go and plan an irrigation system.  Automated watering will be the first thing we put in this fall.  It is a necessity if I ever plan on being able to go away on weekends.  As I said, my loving husband is a bit watering challenged.  It is not that he has a brown thumb, he just seems to have a green/brown thumb.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

MORE stuff buckets, my growing troop

 It is a new year for the girl scouts, which meant we added new girls.  Four to be exact, which meant I had to make more cushions for the top of the stuff buckets!  I couldn't get the exact same fabric, but it was pretty close.  This time I opted for using the spray adhesive, and with the exception of one cushion it worked great.  I even took the time to redo all of them so they were not coming apart.
 This is my garage on Girl Scouts.  :-)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Is Summer over?

I hate to say things like last swim of the year, because the minute I do the temperature spikes.  However, I think this weekend may have been our last swim until we can install a pool heater.  The water was too cold for little l to be in very long, though big L toughed it out for a good half hour or so.  I made it fifteen minutes before I decided I had had enough. 

It also may be the last week we have yummy fruit salad with dinner.  I finally found some good peaches and nectarines at Whole Foods this weekend.  They were sweet, firm, just right.  I decided to try something a bit different for dinner last night.  I was going to stuff peppers with quinoa, but I just wasn't in a pepper roasting mood yesterday.  So instead I cut up some celery, carrots, cucumbers, added lettuce, quinoa and then instead of dressing I used some hummus.  It was delicious.  Big L even at the quinoa, which SHOCKED me, especially because she had SECONDS!

It was a nice weekend, and Sunday was the best.  I asked big L to read a book and she curled up and finished her library book without being asked.  One hour of reading without whining in between.  I was a very happy mother let me tell you. 

There were other things this weekend, but that is all I am going to share today, more tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013