About El Momma

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A glimpse

So, this happened this morning. It's more of a picture, a glimpse into what my life is like every single day. I try not to get discouraged because I realize this is just the lifestage that we are in. And, it's not going to be like this forever. And, one day I will look back on this and miss these days. At least that's what I hear. 
I do believe that I will miss these days, but not this part. 

Me: "Trinity, turn off the TV, get your dance bag and wait for me at the door"
Me: "Trinity, please get your dance bag and wait for me at the door"
Me: "if you would get your dance bag and wait for me at the door, perhaps your brother would follow you and also put his shoes on" 
Me: "Why is your dance bag still sitting there? We are going to be late. Get your dance bag and get in the car"
Into the car we go-
Off we go-
Park at dance class-
Me: "Get your dance bag. Put the book down. Let's get out of the car. Dance class has already started"
Blank stare-
Me: "where is your dance bag???"
 Yep, you guessed it. We got to dance class with no dance bag. 

Had to drive home and pick it up. 
It's still exactly where it was all morning.


It's the story of my life today in September 2014. I realize it won't be the story of my life forever but goodness is it frustrating to not be able to get things done and feel as though I can't teach my children to do for themselves. I know this too shall pass, but until then pray for me and others that have preschool and elementary age children. I don't know what it's like for parents of Middleschoolers and highschoolers, because I'm not there yet. But I know what it's like for me and sometimes it's just so overwhelming.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

UPDATE! Snow Day- Chocolate Chip Cookies

Original post from February 4, 2011
Update: September 6, 2014 THIS RECIPE MAKES 5 DOZEN COOKIES. Just made them today- and forgot just how good they are and how big this recipe is. It sure is delicious and now I have fresh cookies to put in lunches all week. Yum! Yum!

Well, our snow day turned out to be a bit of a bust. No school, lots of movies and momma baking in the kitchen to keep warm. I thought I'd share our favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, known elsewhere as the best chocolate chip cookies in the whole entire world!

A while back I discovered a recipe by Debbie Koenig. I've since altered it to what works best in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
½  pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
3 t. vanilla extract

2 large eggs, cold, lightly beaten

12 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Adjust racks to lower and upper thirds of the oven.

1) Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

2) Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on low speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 3 minutes.

3) Add the vanilla and egg and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat.

4) On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chunks and mix until they are just incorporated. If using a hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir them in.

The recipe I use calls to "Refrigerate dough for at least an hour, and preferably 24-36 hours." I just make the cookies immediately- with cold butter and cold eggs, it works for me.


5) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Spoon the dough using a cookie scooper 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. (makes about 4 dozen 3-inch round cookies)

6) Bake for approximately 8 minutes [it’s more in other ovens] or until golden brown around the edges but still soft, almost underdone-looking, in the center. Turn the sheets front to back and switch racks halfway through.

Remove the sheet from the oven and carefully slide the parchment or Silpats directly onto a work surface. When cookies are set, remove them to a cooling rack. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 20 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

These cookies are amazing! We are enjoying lots of them on this icey winter day!

We Made It...thankful for a new school year!

Last year was tough. Really, really tough. Our oldest son, who is on the Autism Spectrum, changed schools to be with two of our other children. It was a change to make things easier and smoother for the whole family. But, as you probably know, change can be very difficult for a person with autism. Honestly, change can be difficult for anyone. But, change is difficult for him and it was difficult. 

A new school. In third grade. In a team with three main-subject teachers in three different classrooms. All new (to Bakri) ancillary teachers. And, new kids (to Bakri) who have pretty solid friendships by third grade. That was the hardest part. Bakri had friends at his old school. We loved his old school. We loved the teachers he had. He had great ones. Really great ones. It turns out that the kids and the relationships your children have with them- that's almost, if not more important than the teachers. I'm speaking, of course, about schools that we've gone to, where the teachers are, for the most part- top quality and the best of the best. So, when that is the case, the kids in the classroom and having friendships is the most important part of the school day. 

That was a struggle for Bakri last year. There were some super nice kids in his class. I think some of them really like(d) Bakri. But, when the bullying happened, the nice kids either didn't see it or hear it, or they were afraid to stand up to the bully(ies). It's tough. We are trying to teach our other children how to stand up for kids like Bakri. And, it is a tough line. When do they speak out to the bully and when do they tell the teacher? Or, do they always do both? 

After our crazy summer of fun and complete chaotic-24-hours-a-day togetherness, we (especially me!) were looking forward to school beginning. 
Some of us woke up extra early and willingly let our Momma fix our hair with a hairbow (that NEVER HAPPENS!) and even had time to cuddle on the couch, fully dressed with a robe on. That's miss Kindergarten, Trinity. 
Some of us were pretty tired at breakfast. Leeland on his way to Pre-K 4!

We enjoyed picture time outside. The oldest two, Maddux and Bakri were all smiles. Excited for 2nd and 4th grade. 

How do we get all four to stand and smile at the same time? Who knows!? When it happens, it's a small miracle. 





And, then Leeland woke up! Ready to go!

Leeland and his chauffeur! 

Big boy at a big school!

I took the other three kids to school to begin kindergarten, second and fourth grades. The first morning was the easiest of the week.

The rest of the week flew by and it was chaotic and exhausting. Mornings were tough. I'm pretty laid back in the summer. So, being at school at 7:30 on school days presents its challenges. Trinity already knew her teacher and seems to be adjusting well and enjoying kindergarten. Maddux has made a couple of new friends and knows most of his classmates. He has great teachers as well. Bakri had an easier transition this year. We met with his team of teachers- just two this year- the week before school began. I think that helped us to set some expectations. They also assured me that this would be an easier year for him in establishing friendships, now that he is in his second year at the school. We sure hope so. Leeland is in a montessori school and has the same lead teacher as last year. He loves her and she loves him. 

So, we're in it. 2014-2015 school year. Ready to learn, love, and grow. I'm scared and excited and hopeful. How did your first week of school go?
Hope it was great.
love,
El Momma