Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dreamy Oreo Brownies

This recipe is one that I hold very near and dear to my heart. I perfected this recipe while I was pregnant with Kay, just a couple weeks before she was born. This is the first time I have made these brownies since then. When I took my first bite...WOW! It brought back some memories! I wonder how Kay will like them once I give her a little bite tomorrow.

Dreamy Oreo Brownies
for brownies-
1 box Duncan Hines chewy fudge brownie mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
10 Oreos crushed up into chunks

for fluffy layer:
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar

12 Oreos, crushed up into chunks
hot fudge ice cream topping

Mix all brownie ingredients together including the Oreo chunks. Pour into greased 13x9 baking pan. Bake in 350 degree oven (325 for nonstick pans) for 25-30 minutes. While brownies are baking, mix up all ingredients for the fluffy layer. It's a lot easier to use a mixer, mix until smooth and leave at room temperature. Once brownies are baked, spread fluff mixture over brownies while the brownies are still a little warm but not hot. With a spatula scrape the top of the fluff layer to level and scrape off any excess fluff. Finally, sprinkle with remaining Oreo chunks. Place wax paper over the pan and press down gently. Heat hot fudge ice cream topping according to jar directions, drizzle over brownies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or so, and enjoy. Be sure to keep refrigerated. ;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For my fellow Mommies

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

This is what I read whenever things get a little hectic, overwhelming or if I am feeling a little down. Share it with a mommy you love!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A list of soft solids for Toothless Wonders-- or those little ones who don't always chew before they swallow ;)

Here's a list of a few things I would feed Kaylan when she was ready for more solid food but lacked the teeth to break them down. A baby's and toddler's slobber is pretty powerful in the breakdown of foods while the food is still in the mouth. This is especially helpful for those toothless wonders to still "mash" their foods before swallowing.

Pancakes, soggy multi-grain Cheerios (let them set in whole milk for a minute or two), oatmeal (real or instant), grits (real or instant), banana slices cut in halves or quarters, scrambled eggs (you can add little fixings like cheese and finely diced tomato), corned beef hash (YUM!), muffins

Grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I cut the crust and used to cut the sandwich in little cubes until I was confident that Kaylan could bite off a piece herself, that way with the cubes, she could practice and utilize her pincer grasp), PASTA! macaroni and cheese, ravioli, homemade is best, but I am guilty of getting the assistance of Chef Boyardee if I am in a time crunch. Make sure not to serve a stringy pasta such as spaghetti until LO is about 2-3 years old, as it is a lot easier for little ones to choke and gag with a stringy pasta as opposed to pasta shapes. Another great way for toothless wonders to get protein from meats is with chicken salad or tuna salad, if the meat is finely chopped or shredded. Finely chopping meats to incorporate into a dish is also a great opportunity to sneak some veggies in such as spinach, celery, avocado and carrots.

Lots of times whatever I would make for dinner for Eric and I, I would feed to Kaylan, if it meant cooking veggies to where they were a little softer or dicing meats up a little smaller. Soups are great, potato soup, chili, you can also sneak in more veggies with soups as well. Best soft cooked veggies: squash, zucchini, peas, carrots, green beans, mashed potatoes. Meals that worked great for us: Salisbury steak (cut up pretty good, the meat is soft and easy to chew), lasagna, Shepard's pie, chicken pot pie, chicken and rice, pasta dishes

Gerber graduates lil' crunchies; soft fruits like bananas, canned pears, watermelon; yogurt, jello, pieces of nutrigrain bar or fig newtons, cottage cheese, graham crackers--you may think "too crunchy" but they break down and mush up quicker than other crackers do. After a while you can give your little one some goldfish crackers or dry Cheerios when you get more confident in their chewing abilities.

Friday, October 1, 2010

This crap again...

So this is what life with two under two has to offer me: Just as soon as we get through one stage with the first one, I have to turn right back around and do it all over again with the next.
I have been putting off giving Dylan baby food for a little longer than I should have (I know, bad mommy). Kaylan tried her first food at 4 months, and though she WAS interested and has been a good eater ever since, I think it was a little too early. It got to the point that by the time she was 9 and 10 months old she was sick of baby food, yet, that's all we really could give her because the girl had NO teeth. But, we did take that as it was and started texture "training" (man I hate that word for some reason, but I seem to keep using it). We would experiment with soft cooked veggies, mashed potatoes, pancakes, nutri-grain bars, etc. Eric and I pretty much went at it with the "could I chew this without any teeth?" frame of mind. It was a bit of a challenge at some times but we eventually got the hang of it and Kaylan especially was loving the "new" foods.
Dylan will be 6 months old on Sunday and we started feeding him baby food just a couple weeks ago. So, I guess we didn't wait too late. I've heard that some children who are not introduced to foods before 6-8 months are likely to develop food allergies. That is something we definitely do not want. So, I began with once a day feedings, then moved onto twice a day, that being a fruit in the morning before his bottle and a veggie at lunch time before his bottle. I think starting Monday, I will introduce meats to the line-up and incorporate that for his "dinner" food.
The first feeding went okay. Between his bib, his face and his mouth, we were able to empty the jar of food. It took a little while, he wasn't quite sure what to do with his tongue the whole time because he's used to sucking his food from a bottle, it's gotten better though.

We have Dylan's 6 month well check coming up, still haven't scheduled the appointment (woops). I think I may have to discuss a concern with the doctor that I have about Dylan not holding his head up very well. He's got good back and body strength, I just don't know, sometimes he gets tired of holding his head up even for a short period of time, and he will just flop it forward. I'm totally not sure if that is normal for a "larger" framed baby or what because Kaylan never had that problem at all (and she was the one that never did tummy time--go figure).
Kaylan has been going through quite a spell lately. Terrible twos anyone? Yes, they go through the "Terrible 2" stage before, during, and after they have in fact turned two. She has been quite the diva lately and it's driving me a bit bonkers. My once sweet, quiet, cheerful little girl has become a little brat, border lining on a little terror. I don't know much of what to do at this point other than pray for guidance, patience, and the hope that one day soon she will be her old self again. Not to mention, it really doesn't help that she has started to become jealous now whenever I have cuddle time with Dylan or if he is playing with a toy. She could want absolutely nothing to do with a certain toy, until Dylan gets a hold of it. I guess that's the "mine" phase, we may as well mesh that in with T2 (Terrible 2). It's difficult to balance these certain things. I want Dylan to get the one-on-one with me as well as the stimulation of playing with different toys, but I don't want Kaylan to be neglected if this is a time or phase in her life where I should give her extra attention or tailor a certain treatment toward her. Maybe she's lacking structure, stimulation, or maybe I am looking way to far into it and I should let it run it's course. Who knows. I just hope and pray that I can provide enough of what each of them need from me.
Other than these specifics, we are doing okay. Hey, at least none of us are sick right? Knock on wood.
We would like to send a special, long-distance shout-out and hug to Jacy, Joel and their son Liam. We miss you guys and hope ya'll are getting settled in as best as you can. We really hope to visit with you guys soon and Jacy, we must wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake! I will miss having you right down the road, but I know you will be okay and that you will enjoy being back home. I will always think of you guys and wonder how ya'll are doing and if everything is okay. Please don't forget me ;) Miss you guys and love you!