Giving Thanks

I’m not a huge fan of all the daily “thankful” posts (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). It is great to be thankful, but I don’t need to read about it every five minutes. I thought I’d create one post on my blog and just keep updating it each day. If you want to follow, yay! If not, well that’s okay too.

November 5 – I am thankful for dear friends who lend their knowledge to topics I know nothing about.
November 4 – I am thankful for my friends. They are wonderful.
November 3 – I am thankful for my health. I biked 12 miles today while hauling the munchkin! I’m pooped!
November 2 – I am thankful for my job.November 1 – I am thankful for my family.

Pinterest Practice

pumpkinpenne

I love Pinterest. It inspires me. 90% of the time I find great new ideas, recipes, or gadgets. This weekend I was inspired to cook and so I turned to my favorite social networking tool to do so. These were the results:

Original Taco Soup
Recipe: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/02/original-taco-soup-crockpot-recipe.html

This recipe was super easy. Chances are you have all the ingredients on hand and nothing is easier than a crockpot meal. I used veggie crumbles in place of the beef to make it vegetarian friendly.

Verdict: Keeper

Maple Pumpkin Pie Granola
Recipe: http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/maple-pumpkin-pie-granola-recipe/

Another easy recipe. I usually burn my granola when I make it but this turned out great. I ended up cooking it the whole 45 minutes and then left it in the oven to cool to give it a bit more time to dry out. It came out beautiful, not clumpy and tasted great. My only complaint is that it says pumpkin pie in the title. It tastes super yummy, but it’s no pumpkin pie.

Verdict: Keeper

Penne with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
Recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/314671/penne-with-creamy-pumpkin-sauce

Martha Stewart – why oh why do I keep attempting your recipes? Without fail they always turn out horrible and this was no exception. See that photo up top? Isn’t it pretty? Doesn’t it look like it should taste good? It sounded so yummy but turned out so bad. I took a whole three bites and threw out the entire batch. What a waste of ingredients.

Verdict: Deleted

What Pinterest things have you tried lately?

No Martha Stewart

Pinterest is like crack. You just can’t stop. I sit and pin and pin and pin, and then on the weekends I go crazy and try to make some of the hundreds of recipes I have pinned.

This weekend I made:

Beyond Easy Beer Bread from Farmgirl Fare.

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Review: Very delicious, but basically drop biscuits in loaf form.

No-bake Engery Bites from Gimme Some Oven

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Review: No bake cookies healthified. Hopefully I can get my muchkin to eat these.

And that brings us to Pumpkin Gnocchi with Mushrooms from Martha Stewart. This looked soooo yummy in their photo (see at the recipe link). However, mine looked like this:

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Review: How did they get theirs to look so pretty? Mind looked like it was already eaten and digested. Taste wise it was okay, but it was so much work that I don’t think I’ll be making this one again. It was really rich and heavy. On the upside, it made a TON of gnocci, so I have half still left over to use with another sauce.

What have been some of your favorite “pins”?

So much more than a label.

My kid has ADHD.

There. I’ve said it. Sadly, it’s a disability that is not curable, nor is there an “easy fix.”

When he was younger, there were many, many signs something was off. But people talked it off.

“He’s just a boy.”

“You cannot diagnose anything so young.”

“He’ll grow out of it.”

But that’s the thing. He hasn’t grown out of it and it got worse. My first call from the principal was munchkin’s first week of kindergarten. And it still isn’t good now in first grade. He’s a bright, happy boy who is not doing well at school. He has trouble making good friends. But it isn’t because he doesn’t want to.

On a daily basis all I hear is how he misbehaves. All he hears is how he misbehaves. It is not good for either of us.

You know what he prays for every night? He prays God will give him good luck so he can know how to behave so he can have friends. It breaks my heart.

And I’m not immune. I’m a single parent. I’m already stressed from work and from life, and no, I don’t want to hear how horrible you think he is. I need to know what he did, but I want to hear what he did good too.

Once at daycare I was picking up my son and another mother came up to me with venom and screamed in my face that I should learn how to control my kid. Didn’t I care about HER kid and how he treated HER kid? How could I raise my son like that?

Of course I care about others. Of course I care about my son. Of course I want him to treat others nicely and with respect. I wonder all the time what I did or did not do when I was pregnant that could have prevented this, or things after he was born. Did I eat too much ice cream when pregnant? Did I feed him the wrong foods as a baby? Is it because I’m a single parent? Would that have made it any different?

Because you cannot “see” ADHD, I feel many times people think I am a bad parent or munchkin is a bad kid. We are both trying really hard here folks. I wish it were easy, but we have yet to figure out what works. We’ve tried no dyes, gluten free diets, extra iron, fish oil, occupational therapy, reward systems, and even the dreaded medication. It’s a work in progress and costs a fortune. It also is an endless number of doctor visits and red tape trying to get him the help he needs; we all need.

Sometimes I feel like people think I don’t see it. Trust me, I know. I want to hide at pickup because I know if the teacher is walking towards me, it isn’t to ask me to bake cookies for the bake sale. Then I go home and help him with his homework for two hours when it should take 15 minutes.  Making dinner, getting him ready for bed, and then instead of relaxing, doing all the house things you have to do because you are the only other person in the house. And then I still have to work some more. EVERY DAY. It’s hard being a single parent, and extra hard when a disability is thrown in the mix. And it’s hard being a kid who just can’t seem to do anything right, no matter how hard he tries. Because yes, even if it doesn’t seem so, he is trying VERY hard.

I love my son to pieces. He is my world. He is a funny, smart, kind little boy. I just wish I knew how to make him like that all the time.

So the next time, tell me how I can help my son. Tell me how I can help you help my son. Tell me what is great about my kid. But please don’t judge us. He HAS ADHD, not IS it. He is so much more than a disability. He’s so much more than a label.

When life gets tough, dream, dream dream…

Does life every get super crazy? So crazy it’s hard to remember what day it is? Yeah, it’s been like that around here for the past, oh, year I guess. Okay, maybe not a year, but for a long time (or so it feels). But, it is times like these that I escape every now and then in my thoughts and dream, dream, dream…

For instance, this house is for sale. I’m positive it hasn’t sold yet because I’m going to live in it.

Emily's Dream Home

Isn’t it just beautiful? I’d stay at home all day and never leave. Of course, in order to buy this house I’ll need this:

And it would get lonely in that big house just me, munchkin, and Riley, so we’ll take this too:

When we get bored, we’ll hop on our jet and go here:

Sounds like a perfectly sensible plan to me.

Foodie Pen Pal: April 2012

Recently a friend of mine joined this amazing thing…Foodie Penpal! A product of the genius of Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean, this fun project pairs people with penpals…that send food to each other. How cool!

I immediately had to sign up.

I eagerly awaited my pairings, and was lucky to get Melissa from www.thespatulaqueen.com as the person who would write to me. I could not wait for my package to arrive! And then the day came! What would be inside???

It was so fun to open it up!

There was coffee (she must know me so well!) and chocolate (really, REALLY well), and chocolate peanut butter, granola bars, and seasonings. She even sent some homemade chocolate oatmeal chunk cookies with a recipe. Seeing as my five-year-old gobbled up the cookies before I could even finish unpacking the box, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of these in our household.

Mom even tried some of the goodies. Mmmmm…chocolate peanut butter!

Funny, my neighbor got my package, so not only did I get some cool food, I met a new neighbor too!

I can’t wait for my Foodie Penpal, Emily over at Gliz Glam Granola, to open her box. Check out her blog to see what Ohio goodies are now feeling the California sunshine!

Want a foodie penpal of your own? Learn more about it here.

Pinterest Pining: Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest has sucked up more than its share of free time since I’ve discovered it. I find myself doing all kinds of baking and projects because everything is “Brilliant!!!”. Although, actually, the overuse of that word on the site seriously drives me bonkers.

Anyways, I have seen various recipes for veggie burgers made from quinoa, but recently saw the recipe for maple sweet potato pecan burgers and by The Tolerant Vegan Imagehad to try it. Happily mom was in town, so she even made them for our dinner. Aren’t moms great?

I think the recipe was delicious. Probably the only thing I would change is add a little more salt. Otherwise, a very yummy and healthy treat!