Friday, December 28, 2007

Stay in the San Diego jungle

After we picked up our bags from the baggage claim, and made our way outside to wait for my Dad to pick us up, Franny saw the palm trees and said, "Look Mommy, the jungle."  (Franny has been really into the "Jungle Book" lately.  You should see her dance and sing to "The Bare Necessities.")  

There's a line in the movie where Mogli says something like, "I'm gonna stay in the jungle." Franny has been saying this to me at least four times a day:

"Mommy?  Mommy.  Mommy."
"Yes, Franny?"
"Stay in the jungle."

It's so funny!  I think it means she likes the California weather and being here with her Grandpa and aunts.  I can't say I blame her!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kids say the darndest things.

Franny's old speech therapist once told us she thought Franny was developing her speech in a normal way, but just delayed. We've been noticing Franny saying a lot of funny things lately. I can only imagine that some of the stuff she's coming up with is similar to what a typically-developing 2 year old would be saying. I have to get some of this stuff written down or I'll be sure to forget.

Last night on the way to our family Christmas party, Bobby asked Franny to count to 20 for him. After she was finished, he asked her to count in Spanish. Here's what she said:

"Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, seis, siete. . . taco meat."

The other day I was doing her hair and she took the water bottle I was using and chucked it across the room because she wasn't happy with me for combing out all the snarls. After we were done, she walked over to the water bottle, picked it up and asked, "Are you okay?"

For a few weeks Franny was waking up every morning at 5 AM. One morning I definitely had not had enough sleep the night before and was less than thrilled with the wake-up call. I enlisted the help of our trusty DVD player and gave Franny her choice of DVD's so I could steal a few more minutes of sleep. She settled in with Cinderella with the volume turned down low, and I curled up on our couch. Ten minutes later Franny wants milk. Fine, no problem. Half an hour later she wants to eat. I sleepily pour her a bowl of cereal with some rice milk and then crawl back to my nest of blankets on the couch. I'm just starting to get comfortable when Franny demands another glass of milk. "Mommy, milk. Milk, please. Milk, milk, MILK! MILK!" So I get up, stomp in too the kitchen, pour a small glass of milk and practically throw it at her. No I'm not proud. On my way back to the couch I hear Franny say in a loud whisper, "She's mad."

Franny had a toilet training accident and I was cleaning up the mess and didn't really want an audience. I asked her to leave the room and I shut the door behind her. After about 30 seconds, I heard the door open and Franny stuck her head in and said, "That's disgustin'!"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

I saw this on Lori's blog and couldn't stop laughing. Click here to see my cute little elves.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What do my eyes tell you?

Lately Franny has taken an interest in having her picture taken. Sometimes I'm really lucky and I get one like this...

or this.

Otherwise, she looks at the camera like, "What on earth is that doggone contraption?!"

Here's my absolute favorite one from that category. (Franny just saw this picture on the computer screen and said, "she's scared!")

I used to get a lot of pictures like these of Franny. To get her to even look at the camera, I used to have to "neigh" like a horse really obnoxiously or scream at the top of my lungs. There's a lost and hazy look in these eyes that to me seems very autistic. I'm not saying that I don't ever see that look in her eyes anymore, but it is becoming more and more of a rarity. I'm glad she lets us see her eyes more.

I'm not really sure how many parents there are out there who read my blog and have a kid with an ASD, but my Dad has been checking out Autism websites lately and that has prompted some searching of my own. I found this cool website about setting up playdates and how to take data and how to set up ideal situations where our kids can learn how to play and be social. I think it's worth reading. Reading this is helping me realize that there is so much available out there!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I can't get this song out of my head these days. I'm constantly whistling it, singing it, sometimes even as I walk around Walmart (whistling, not singing). That song sometimes makes me think of my Dad because they used it for this Office Max commercial years ago for a back-to-school promo and there's a dad shopping with his two teenage kids and he's dancing around the cart tossing pens and notebooks and such, clearly thrilled that school is about to start, while his kids are sulkily following the cart from behind. He told me about the commercial a couple years before I actually saw it, and I have to say the picture my Dad painted for me with his description was much funnier than the actual commercial.

I finally got into the Christmas spirit the other day after a really fun afternoon of Christmas-candy making with some friends. While we were all indoors recreating Williams-Sonoma's peppermint bark (Natalie's vision and we're all so glad she had it), our town was dumped on with big beautiful snowflakes. It was so pretty outside! It seemed like the perfect day to put on some Christmas music and decorate the house.

The next day we took the kids outside to play in the snow. Bobby and I were not at all surprised at Franny's eagerness to dive into the snow. She loves to get wet and dirty and doesn't care about being too cold usually. Sophie, on the other hand, did surprise us with her aversion to the cold snow. At first she was having a good time, but that all changed when the smallest little bit of snow crept between her gloves and coat sleeve and touched her skin. She could not be consoled, so we stuck her in this sleigh for a few minutes to watch us have some fun. (Sophie has a mean mommy.)

At first she pouted and tried to freeze us out. When that didn't work, it turned ugly.

Naturally, Franny could not be bothered with photographs, thus these lovely pictures...

We tried to appease Miss Sophie with a sleighride, but she wasn't too happy when she fell out of the sleigh into the cold wet snow. Franny of course had a ball. Poor Sophie, but I just love figuring out their little personalities and how they can be so different!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Orange Almond Scones with just a hint of Cinnamon

I had fun coming up with this recipe and was really happy with the result. Scones are really fun to play test kitchen with because they're so easy and roll out so quickly.

2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp almond extract
2/3 c buttermilk

glaze for scones:
1 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tbs milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
powdered sugar

Mix dry ingredients in food processor. Add diced butter and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add orange zest and pulse again. Add buttermilk and almond extract all at once and process until dough starts to come together. Then add almonds and pulse 2 or 3 more times. Pat dough on a floured surface into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into circles or half-moons. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and brush with glaze.
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