Mommy Moment Monday…Out with the old and in with the new?


Sometimes with big purchases like a new car you plan for months, do tons of market research, poll your friends, etc…Or sometimes you decide on a Saturday morning it’s time for a new car.  We fall into the latter category, this time at least.  We have had our Dodge  Grand Caravan for almost 5 years.  We bought it when I was newly pregnant with our second child and hubs and I decided that wrestling with two carseats in the back of a Pontiac Grand Am was getting ridiculous.  It was our first family car, and we have practically driven the wheels off (shhh- don’t tell that to the dealer who just gave us a decent trade-in value on it).  That car has been from Alabama to Michigan, New York state multiple times, driven across the country to California, shipped to Hawaii and back, all over Arizona and most recently made the trek across the U.S. to our new home in Tennessee.  It’s been in the desert, on sandy beaches, buried in snow, hot, cold, and everything in between.  The van has seen about 3 thousand packs of french fries handed back to eager hands in the backseat, more than one spilled juicebox, been the final resting place for many missing toys never heard from again, and more nuclear-level tantrums that I can count (both mine and the kids).  It is also the van that we brought home our second child in, where I cried after dropping my husband off for multiple deployments, where our family had sing-alongs to Preschool CDs, and a place my husband and I could hold hands as we drive listening to all the chaos in the backseat not sure how we are going to make it but at the same time never wanting these years to end. 

Our trusty old girl was getting a little long in the muffler, so to speak.  She needed new tires, was leaking oil, and had a yellow scrape down her entire right side from when I swiped one of those cement pillars at the gas station.  And she was pushing 100,000 miles.  It was time for us to decide if we wanted to keep her knowing we would be putting money in pretty regularly from now on, or turn her in for a new model.  My husband quickly said it was time to go, and had the kids in the van ready before I could blink.  I had more trepidation.  Could we afford a new car?  This is our van, are we really ready to turn it in?

At the dealer we looked at the year-old Town and Country’s and Grand Caravans.  We were able to find exactly what we needed, did a little bit of haggling (always wish we could have done more), and came away very happy with a 2013 Town & Country.  After waiting forever for the finance department to draw up the paperwork I was so anxious to be done with the whole process.  It wasn’t until I went to get in the new van that I remembered we were leaving our lady behind.  I was shocked in that moment at how nostalgic I was.  But, papers were signed.  Loans were approved and it was time to move on.  I got in behind the driver’s seat of our new van and was struck by how clean it was, how good it smelled, and how shiny all the gauges were.  We had things we didn’t have in our old van like satellite radio, an automatic gate, and the back even had its own built-in flashlight for crying out loud.  I started to feel a little better about our purchase.  It was okay to pamper ourselves a little bit.  To have a newer car that was dependable.  We will make new memories in this vehicle as the boys get older, we face more challenges, and have more adventures. It is time to move on.  I’m good with it, I really am.  And if I start to get sad I’ll go play with the cool new trunk flashlight.  Or listen to some satellite radio.  At least until the free trial runs out…  Have a great week!  🙂

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Foodie Friday: Birthday Pull Apart Cake


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Sorry, this is a little late in the evening for a few of our readers. I was out celebrating my belated birthday with a few friends (who happen to be my childrens old ABA’s. Sad or awesome?). So, I am finally getting around to this post.

Last weekend was my birthday. No, I will not share my age. Age is just a number; no more. I was on Pinterest the previous Friday night when I ran across this pin, from Chef in Training

Cake Batter Pull Bread from chef-in-training.com ...This recipe is seriously SO good and extremely simple to make!

 

Awesome, huh? I decdied that Hubs needed to make this for me. And he did.

 

 

Did it look like the photo? Um, no! A profession chef made that and probably did some great food camera photo magic. Did I have to make my own birthday cake? NO, and that was the best part. However, the cake was undeniably delectable and the kids ate it.

Taken from www.Chef-in-training.com

Cake Batter Pull Bread

Cake Batter Pull Bread from chef-in-training.com ...This recipe is seriously SO good and extremely simple to make!

  • Yield: 1 loaf

This recipe is so simple and rediculously delicious!

INGREDIENTS

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice bread to make 1/2-1 inch sections slicing almost all the way to the bottom of the loaf. Be careful not to cut too far or to cut through. I used a serrated knife and cut on inch slices all the way down the width way of the loaf. Then I used my kitchen sheers to snip the 1/2-1 inch sections on each row, just to avoid any of them tearing off. Place loaf on cookie sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, yellow cake mix and cinnamon. Stir to evenly mix together. Set aside.
  3. Evenly pour and distribute melted butter between each of the sections, making sure to get in-between each one. Trust me, you want the buttery goodness 🙂 If you need more butter, simply melt as much more as needed.
  4. Evenly sprinkle/pour sugar/cake mix mixture between each of the sections. Rub in to cover them if necessary. Be care not to tear any of the sections.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
  6. While Cake Batter Pull Bread is baking, make the glaze. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until smooth. Add more powdered sugar/milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle as much as desired over warm bread. Sprinkle with some added sprinkles if desired. Serve warm.

 

Tricare/ Therapy Thursday…Laughter is the best therapy…er, medicine


So sometimes in life we need to laugh.  In our crazy military family and two kiddos with ASD, I feel like laughter is what saves us.  So when I came across these “Kid Snippets,”  I had to share.    

Kid Snippets…if movie scripts were written by kids, then acted out by grown-ups, then over-dubbed by the kids’ voices…GENIUS!!!

Here is a great one entitled, “Driver’s Ed”, and another good one, “Blind Date.” 

 

Wordy Wednesday: bullying vs Rude vs Mean


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Ugh! I want to pull my hair out. First spring break and now some random state holiday. These kids need to be back in school. They are getting on each other’s nerves and mine. Every 5 seconds it’s “he did this….” Or “she did that…”. They keep picking on each other and everyone’s tempers are thin. I don’t know how many times my kids have approached me this past week and I have that ask them if they are tattling or reporting. However, the positive is that- they are learning the difference. Want to teach your kids the difference? See here how I did it.

It has been a learning process over the years to figure out how best each child learns. It took me a while and even now I get confused on who learns best which way. Because of course it can’t be the same for everyone.

Those moments was brought on one day at our doctor. We went to a appointment and the nurse triaging me asked how I learned best. I stopped and had to think about it. Telling me didn’t work; I’m a visual learner. She gave me the choices and I told her it was all of them. I asked what that meant. She explained that if they ever need to teach me how to administer a drug or treatment they will be able to do it in a way I will understand. Why did that shock me so? Its brilliance. So I got to thinking why don’t teachers stop and asses which child learns what ways. It might help millions of children excel in school and life better. However, since I can’t impact that many children, I can at least set mine up for success. I realized I can teach them in their best learning style, and once they are older I can teach them the best way for them to study. But until then they will stand next to me while I’m on the couch tattle telling or reporting on each other.

I finally had enough of them and sent them to their rooms for some quiet separate time. However, before my son left, he let out one of those replies that makes your blood boil as a parent. My mom referred to it as the “f” word; FINE! Oh hell no, you just did not throw that word at me little boy. But, oh sure enough he did. His eye brows went up and his eyes got huge as he saw that look of evil spread across my face.

He walked over to me, head hung low, and said he was sorry. I stopped even madder now. Does he even know why he is apologizing? No, he just saw my reaction and via all our social stories and experiences, knows that face means he is in trouble. Autism, sometimes I hate you.

I ask him why he apologized. He said because he knew I was mad. I asked him if he knew why I was. He said because “I don’t know”. I tell him what he said was rude to me. I asked him if he knew what that meant. He replied “mean”. I stopped and had to think about it. Rude does mean mean; but it means more than that.

I started getting angry with myself. I realized I had never explained to him what rude and mean meant. How can I be mad at him for not teaching him yet we don’t talk like that. I simply can’t. No one can. So I stood there trying to find the right explanation of the word. It was hard. And I basically skirted around it. I just didn’t have a good answer. So I had to find one.

First thing was I knew I could not define the word with the word itself. So I can’t say mean means mean. Instead due to Bug’s way of learning, I needed to come up with concrete examples and definitions. While looking around I ran across this article by Signe Whitson, written a few years back.

She writes about the differences between bullying, mean and rude. Perfect! And since we are school age now it is great to teach them about bullying.

The one thing I want to also teach my children is how to recognize what bullying is. We all know how being bullied can effect ones ego and self esteem; but if one of your deficiencies is social how are you going to realize you are being bullied? It’s a horrible set of circumstances. I have already seen it happen to my children and seen what it can do when they don’t understand what is going on.

Here is another resource our ABA gave to me today:

www.socialthinking.com– super flex

Tip{py} Tuesday…Bumper Sticker Safety


So today’s tip isn’t about a DIY project, a home organization success, or some creative endeavor.  I saw this on facebook and really thought it was worth passing on.  I have wondered about putting personal information on display with those “stick figure” window decals, but hadn’t thought about the ones naming our kids’ schools, etc…

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It kind of reminded about how when I was teaching school and we stopped using name tags on our students during field trips.  That way a stranger/ predator couldn’t make them feel safe by addressing them by name.  Yikes.  It’s a crazy world we live in.  What are your thoughts on this stuff?  Is there such a thing as being too careful?  Or are we asking for trouble by putting our family’s personal info out there on display?