Monday, October 31, 2011

Cody's Got My Back...Kinda

Between Don suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome, Cody thinking he's nocturnal and everybody around here snoring, sleep doesn't come easy at our house.

Last night was no exception. I have been sick, so Don volunteered to sleep on the couch and let me have the bedroom to myself. When I got up around 2:00 a.m. to check on Cody, he was awake (of course), so I had him go to the bathroom. Then I decided, instead of getting up and down to check on Cody all night, it would be sooo much easier on me to just put him on Don's side of the bed. So that's exactly what I did.

During breakfast this morning, this short, yet comical conversation took place between Cody and his dad...

Don- "Hey Cody. Did mom snore last night?"

Cody- "Ya. A little bit, but I didn't hear her."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin Drama

Every October, when I fix Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin for my family, I think about the first time I ever made it.

About fifteen years ago, I was a member of a women's group that met once a month for dinner, crafts and conversation. I was serving on the food committee and one of our members threw out the idea of serving Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin for the month of October. My responsibility was to find women who would volunteer to cook the dish in their homes, provided I supply the recipe and the pumpkins.

Several ladies came forward to help, but one woman, in particular, stands out in my mind. Gayla. Read on and you will understand.

Gayla told me she'd be happy to help, so I delivered the pumpkin, along with the recipe, to her home and left them with her teenage daughter. Later that evening, I received a phone call from Gayla informing me that the pumpkin was "just too big" (each pumpkin was 5 lbs). So, humoring her, I said I would be happy to come by the next day and exchange pumpkins. She said she would not be home, but she would leave the (apparently humongous) pumpkin on her doorstep for me to swap with a smaller one.

The next day, the phone rang and it was Gayla on the other end, letting me know that the pumpkin was the "wrong type" and she refused to make the dish in it. (Bare in mind that the other lady volunteers had the same size and type of pumpkins and were OKAY with it.)

Time was running out. The event was that very night and clearly I was getting nowhere with Gayla. However, she was doing a terrific job of getting out of her assignment as well as making me feel like sh*t.

Exasperated, I told Gayla that I would cook her pumpkin. I mean, why not? I was already cooking one. Surely I could squeeze another pumpkin in my oven (insert eye roll here)?! Gayla didn't hang up before reminding me, one more time, that the dinner was not going to taste good using the "wrong type" of pumpkin. 

That evening, Sharon, a dear friend of mine who also served on the food committee and had lent a listening ear when I needed to vent, informed/warned me that Gayla had arrived. We were surprised she had the audacity to show up,  but surprised isn't the word I'd use to describe how we felt when Gayla was the first one in line for food! I. Kid. You. Not.

Anyway, with that memory shared, here is my Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin recipe...

1 and 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/4 c. chopped  celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tea. salt

Cook together until celery and onion are tender.

1 (5 lb) pumpkin
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 TBS. brown sugar
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 cups hot cooked rice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 10 inch circle in center of baking sheet. Set aside.

Prepare pumpkin by removing seeds and pulp.

Combine ground beef mixture, soy sauce, mushrooms, soups and rice in pan or large bowl. Spoon into pumpkin. Replace top of pumpkin and bake on prepared baking sheet.

Check pumpkin after 1 hour. Continue baking until pumpkin is tender when pierced with fork.

When serving, dish out pumpkin with the casserole.

Recipe will feed 6-8 people

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Friend Fridays!

I love discovering new blogs and what better way than linking up to a blog hop?!

Here are the rules:

Follow The Trendy Treehouse via Google Friend Connect

Grab their Follow Me Fridays button for your sidebar

Follow Snippets 'N Stuff via Google Friend Connect

Link up to your blog home page

Please Do Not link up specific posts, shops or giveaways

Visit at least 3 other link ups. Leave a meaningful comments and share with them that you found them from Follow Me Fridays

Do Not write - I follow back when linking up - It will be removed!

Family Friendly Blogs only - All others will be removed!

Have fun meeting new friends and enter your blog below.

A Mother Goose Halloween

My daughter and her friends dressed up as 'The Three Little Kittens who lost their mittens' for a Halloween dance last night. This morning, when I asked her how everything went, she said, "Fine, but not many people understood the mittens part. I guess kids these days don't know nursery rhymes."

There is truth in Katelyn's statement. Working with children over the years, I have noticed the same thing. Parents aren't taking time to teach their children nursery rhymes. I guess Mother Goose is not as popular as she once was. Personally, I feel it is important for children to learn nursery rhymes and here is why...

1) Rhyming is a literacy concept that Kindergarten children are tested on.

2) When children hear nursery rhymes, they hear the sounds vowels and consonants make and learn how to put these sounds together to make words.

3) They also practice voice inflection, as well as the rhythm of language.

4) In nursery rhymes, children hear new words that they would not hear in everyday conversing.

 5) Nursery rhymes usually tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, showing children that events happen in sequence. So, for those of you who may not be familiar with 'The Three Little Kittens', you may want to click here and become acquainted with some early children's literature.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pies, Pastries and Pumpkins Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles are nostalgic for me. My parents would often set one up on a card table for the whole family to work on. They even glued, framed and hung a huge puzzle of the Grand Canyon on their living room wall. It proved to be a great conversation piece back in the 1970's.

For a few years now, I have purchased Christmas jigsaw puzzles for my own family to work on during the month of December. This year, however, I decided to do something a little different. I bought a puzzle with an autumn theme and set it up the first week of October.

I also decided to buy this and try it out...

I haven't determined if I am a fan of the Stow and Go. The puzzle pieces were hard to move around on the fabric.

It took awhile, but we eventually finished the puzzle...

Now I am trying to decide if I should purchase a new Christmas puzzle. If I do, it will definitely be Ravensburger brand, not SunsOut like the one above. This one was far too difficult, thanks to some oddly shaped pieces.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Okay. What you're about to read has absolutely nothing to do with pizza, but I asked Cody what I should title this post and "Pizza!" is what he said.

Today happens to be my husband's birthday. Don was born six years before me, in the year 1958. I enjoy joking with him about being "old" and, after reading the things that happened that year, I realize that I am completely justified. Don is old (hehe).

This is what I found...

NASA (North American Space Agency) is formed

14 year old Bobby Fischer wins the United States Chess Championship
Toyota and Datsun Cars go on sale in the US
The US Military said it will be possible with satellites orbiting the earth to make detailed maps from space
The Wham-O company introduces the Hula Hoop; over 100 million are sold
Popular Films-
The Bridge on the River Kwai
South Pacific
King Creole

Popular Singers-
Elvis Presley
Billie Holiday
Ricky Nelson
Frank Sinatra
The Everly Brothers
Ella Fitzgerald
Jerry Lee Lewis

Popular TV Programs-
Candid Camera
The Ed Sullivan Show
Come Dancing
The Jack Benny Show
Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Happy Birthday Babe! Oh...and don't feel bad. You're in good company. Tanya Tucker and Jamie Lee Curtis were also born in '58. Hey! Maybe you could download Delta Dawn on iTunes and listen to it while you eat some Activia? :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Do Cody and Chris Farley Have in Common?

Like many individuals with autism, Cody has an amazing memory. Not only can Cody remember people, but he remembers places and circumstances from as far back as infancy.

Recently Cody said to me, "Remember playing with Phyllis? She did Eency Weency Spider and Hickory Dickory Dock. Then she made me crawl." Phyllis was an employee from the school for the blind who made weekly visits to our home after Cody was born. Her job was to teach me how to teach Cody important things that a typical baby learns by sight; such as eating, crawling, and even how to play. Phyllis worked with Cody and me until Cody was four years old, then our family moved to another state. We haven't seen her since, but Cody recalls things about Phyllis as if we just saw her yesterday. It's mind boggling really.

Not only does Cody have an amazing memory, but he remembers in great detail. For instance, he can tell you exactly where he was and what he was doing during specific occasions. 

Multiple times a day, Cody will ask, "Remember...?" And, if you don't remember (heaven forbid), he will say, "How come your memory is not as good as mine?" or "Mannn, I wish your memory was as good as mine."

Cody's trips down memory lane often make me think of the Chris Farley Show on SNL. As Cody would say, "Remember him?"

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Cody and I were sitting in the living room watching The Office tonight when, out of the blue, he leaned forward and said "Joseph was calling someone a POSH today."

Being the terrific mother that I am (hehe), I did what I always do and played his autistic mind game. I asked "What is a POSH Cody?"

He replied, "It's like dad says...a piece of crap."

I questioned Cody, "Joseph called someone a piece of shit?"

"Yes" he said.

I continued to watch The Office, making a mental note to find out who Joseph is.

True to his character, about five minutes later Cody continued the conversation by volunteering this information...

"He called me a POSH. He was teasing me."

I probably should find out exactly what goes on at Cody's day program and if uttering profanity is an everyday occurance, but right now, I just don't GASH (give a shit).

Butterfinger Chex Treats


6 cups Rice Krispies

5 cups Rice Chex Cereal

1 cup Wheat Chex Cereal

2 (10 oz bags) miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup butter

16 fun size Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 Tablespoons peanut butter


Lightly spray a 12 x 17 baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix Rice Krispies and Chex cereals together in a large bowl.

In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat.

Add marshmallows. Stir until melted.

Pour in cereal mixture. Stir until almost combined, then stir in chopped Butterfinger candy bars.

Press lightly into your prepared baking sheet.

Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in a glass measuring cup. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each until melted. (Be careful not to overcook.)

Drizzle on top of your treats.

Let the chocolate set and then cut into squares.

Makes approximately 3 -4 dozen.

I found this recipe at Cookies and Cups and adapted it a bit. Check out Shelly's blog for more delectable desserts  .

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why Not Skirt the Issue?

Rather than answering "yes" or "no" to questions he is uncomfortable with, Cody tries to sidestep confrontation by saying "a little bit". It's his way of avoiding getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.

Allow me to share some actual dialogue.

Me- Have you been picking at your socks, Code?
Cody- A little bit.

Me- Gross Cody! Are you drinking the pool water?!!
Cody- A little bit.

Don- Do you have the death grip on my arm?
Cody- A little bit.

Me- Did you just sit on the Speak and Spell?
Cody- Yes I did...a little bit.

Me- Did you just call Zach, Nate?
Cody- A little bit.

It seems to me that Cody uses the phrase "a little bit" A LOT more than a little bit. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Changing Priorities

One of my dearest friends Annie over at Adventures in Oz wrote a post that included a video by Steven Covey. As I watched the video, I realized that this is how I feel about blogging. I love, love, LOVE blogging, but sometimes I let it come before the important things in my life. I enjoy staying connected to my blogging friends all over the world, but realize that I have relationships right here around me that could use a little nurturing.

Annie asked me a thought provoking question yesterday. She said, "Have you thought about what you'd like to leave behind for your children and grandchildren when you're gone?" Then she got me thinking maybe, just maybe, I could make quilts and scrapbooks for them, both hobbies that I enjoy but have fallen by the wayside.

Since I'm on the morbid subject of dying, I definitely need to make exercise and eating healthy a higher priority (click here and here), or I might not even be around long enough to meet those future grandchildren.

My point is, I will keep reading your wonderful blogs and writing my own posts. I just may not be able to do it every day, because I have to take care of the big rocks first. No comprende? Watch the video...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cody's Idea of Foul Language

Don, Cody and I went out for fast food tonight and while we were waiting in line at the drive-thru, Cody kept saying, "Cody's a dipstick OB. Cody's a dipstick OB. Cody is a dipstick OB." (For some reason, he has been talking in first person lately.)

Finally he annoyed me enough to ask, "Cody! What IS a dipstick OB?"  and this was his answer...

"A dipstick OB is like a SOB, you know?"

Cody was calling himself a dipstick of a bitch. I think he's got the dipstick part right, but I'm not too fond of the beeotch part. :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Witches' Brew

Remember my post about Dr. Jeans Banana Dance? Well, here is the song that gets stuck in my head at this time of year...

Gotta love Kindergarten!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

11 Things that Make Me Happy

Remember how Oprah hosted her "favorite things" episodes every year? Well, I have favorite things too and I am fairly certain that mine are more realistic to the average American. Although I cannot give these items to my "audience" of readers, I can tell you what they are and explain why I like them so very much.

Here are 11 of my favorite things in no particular order:

1) Magic Erasers. They clean nearly everything. I've used them on my walls, kitchen sink, glass stove top and even the desks at school.

2) Caldesene Baby Powder. This stuff is miraculous. My step-sister told me about this when Chase was a baby over 25 years ago. It clears up even the worst diaper rash. It's much better than Desitin or Butt Paste.

3) Mary Kay Hand Cream. A friend of mine gave me a tube of this when I was recuperating from surgery. Since it only takes a dab to soften your hands, a little bit goes a long, long way.

4) Cold Sores Begone. The single best thing ever for preventing cold sores at the very first tingle. I swear by this stuff. I always have one on hand at home and in my purse.

5) Bosch Washer and Dryer. The best thing my husband ever bought, with the exception of our home and car. (I will even put these appliances before my wedding ring, but don't tell him that.) The dryer dries crazy fast and the washer has all kinds of features, including a delayed start. I get excited just talking about these magnificent beauties.

6) Victoria's Secret Lotions. My favorite? Love Spell.

7) Saran Wrap. In my opinion, this clings much better than Glad Wrap.

8) Scentsy Warmers and Wax. A wickless alternative to candles. Scentsy offers a large variety of fragrances as well as attractive warmers, including small plug-in warmers that are perfect in the bathroom.

9) Insulated Cups. A must have for Coke addicts like me. I have found insulated cups at Wal-Mart, Target, Big Lots, Kohls, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

10) Oral-B Advantage Complete Whole Mouth Clean Toothbrush. Wow. That's a mouthful, isn't it? When I first used this toothbrush it felt a little strange on the inside of my cheeks, but I became accustomed to it. This particular brush literally cleans your entire mouth, not just your teeth and gums. I highly recommend it!

11) 5 REACT Chewing Gum. Don and I rented an Acadia to drive to California a few years ago. The previous renters had left a pack of this gum in the vehicle, so we tried it. I am not big on fruity flavors, but I've tried all of the mints. This gum keeps its flavor for a long time and does wonders for your breath.

That's my list! Please click on the links if you are interested in any of the products and if you have feedback, I'd love to hear it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baseball and Patriotism: Cody is 100% American!

This is a photo of Cody standing with his hand, or in his case hands, over his heart during the National Anthem at the beginning of the AL Championship Series between Texas and Detroit.

It doesn't matter where Cody is, if he hears the National Anthem playing, he's going to stand up, even if it is in his own living room. How patriotic is that?!

For some reason, Cody enjoys baseball and even though he can't see, he loves to play catch. It makes me wonder how athletic Cody might have been if he wasn't born with disabilities.

Anyway, about an hour into the game, the following conversation took place between Cody and his dad:

Don- Hey Cody! How about you let me watch Survivor on the DVR?

...long, long pause

Don- Are you going to answer me?

Cody- (In a voice with a hint of annoyance) I'm thinkin' about it!

Finally, at the top of the 4th inning, Don convinced Cody the game would still be going when Survivor was over, so he reluctantly agreed.

It was just as well because the rain came and delayed the game anyway.

Epilepsy in Autism

I came across a blog post yesterday about epilepsy in autism. Since my son Cody has both, it really caught my attention. Click here if you would like to read about the study.

Since we are talking about seizures, the following are posts on my blog that may be of interest:

First Aid for Seizures

What is SUDEP?

Autism and Vitamins

Today I Cry

Friday, October 7, 2011

Maybe I Want to be Booed

The idea behind Halloween Boo-ing is simple. You make up a plate or basket of treats, sneak to your neighbor's house, knock on the door and run away, leaving the treats on their doorstep. It's acceptable doorbell ditching, really. Once you've been Booed, you display a sign on your door or window so neighbors can tell who has already received treats and who hasn't.

The game is simple and easy for everyone in the neighborhood to play, but our family hasn't been Booed in years. In fact, one year we started the game by Boo-ing a couple of different families, but it never got back to us. The people in our neighborhood tend to skip those of us that don't have small children. I am sure they assume that older people don't want to be bothered and maybe that is the case with some, but not all. Believe it or not, people in their 40's are capable of running and hiding in bushes. :)

Anyway...If you would like to start this game in your neighborhood, here are three different
websites that have free printable Boo signs and instructions:

Party NV

The TomKat Studio

Anders Ruff

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Potion Bottles

Other than increasing mental ability, overcoming fatigue, alleviating stomach aches, quenching thirst and being incredibly  pleasant to the palate, Coca-Cola has yet another benefit. It's called My Coke Rewards.

What does My Coke Rewards have to do with Halloween? Allow me to explain.

Underneath the bottle caps or inside the cardboard cartons of Coca-Cola products is a code that can be entered for points on My Coke Rewards. The points accumulated may be spent in a variety of ways and I chose to spend a few of mine on a subscription to Country Living Magazine.

The October issue of Country Living Magazine has some great ideas for Halloween decor.

This is the photograph that inspired me to make decorative bottles of my own...

I asked my son Chase to bring over some empty liquor bottles from his collection...

then I spray painted a few of them...

and printed Halloween graphics onto sticky labels that I picked up at OfficeMax.

Lastly, I adhered them to the bottles, creating these little works of art...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Goblin Goodies

2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup Chocolate Teddy Grahams
1 cup Candy Corn
1/2 cup Goldfish Crackers
1/2 cup raisins

Mix and store in airtight container. Makes 5 cups.

Don't be afraid to change the ingredients of this recipe up a bit. Here are the products that I chose to use...

My family doesn't care for peanuts, so I picked up chocolate covered almonds from Costco. You could also use plain or chocolate covered pretzels, miniature Oreos, autumn colored M&M's, Almond Joy or Mounds candy bits, etc. I even wanted to add green and purple gum drops, but my husband wasn't going for it. The point is, be creative!

After I mixed the ingredients in a large bowl, I divided it into cellophane bags. Then I printed these cute tags that I found at Anders Ruff Custom Designs.

I used orange colored ribbon to tie the tags onto the bags...

...and now I have a half-way healthy Halloween treat to give friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...