Saturday, July 31, 2010

Homemade Pizza

ready to serve

getting ready to put in the oven

I think the perfect Saturday night dinner consists of homemade pizza and sweet tea. Simple and yummy. When Aaron and I were living in MN and in grad school, I made homemade pizza every Saturday night for two years in a row. We've taken a bit of a break since then, but lately I have been reviving the tradition. I love homemade pizza! Here is the recipe that I use:

Dough: 2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 c. warm water
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c flour
Mix together; knead; let rise; punch down; bake at 425

Sauce (really more of an art than a science. I frequently change up the spices to get different sauce strengths):

16 ounces tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 1/2 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 1/2 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp black pepper
dash of garlic salt
mix; let simmer until spices are evenly distributed; spread on crust

I like to top with a combination of shredded mozzarella and fresh grated parmesan cheese. Also, I melt butter,combine with garlic powder and brush the edges of the crust.

The topping on this pizza is pepperoni, mushroom, black olive, red onion and green pepper (from our garden).

As far as pans go, I prefer to use round, air bake pans.

You may already have a favorite pizza recipe, but I thought I would share mine. I love to cook "fancy" dinners, but this simple pizza recipe has to be my favorite thing to make!

I used to think that making pizza was a good group activity until one day when Aaron's sister and I were making it together. Aaron and I were newly married, and we were in charge of the pizza for dinner. Well, we had a slight miscommunication. I added garlic to the sauce and she added garlic on top of the crust before spreading the sauce (both great things to do, but just not at the same time) HA. That was very garlicy pizza. I think the whole family drank a gallon of water apiece just trying to get it down. They were too nice to tell me what they really thought of it at the time (they waited a year and then I haven't stopped hearing about it since....I predict that one of them will comment on this)

Anyway, do you have a favorite homemade pizza recipe?

Personal Care Assistant

The approval just came in the mail today for us to hire Personal Care Assistant for Addison. Yay! So thankful that they are giving us enough hours. I only work part time (20 hours a week), but it still makes me nervous to think of putting her in daycare with a cylinder of oxygen. Yikes. Thankfully, we can now hire her own assistant to stay with her while I am at work and continue to help her with her therapy etc. Anyway, here is my posting:

If you live in Vermont and are interested, let me know. The only thing is, you can't watch any other children while you are her PCA. That is one of the rules of the program. So if you are looking for a little part time gig and would like to watch this little sweetheart, let me know!

Friday, July 30, 2010

a day in the life of chubbs mcphee

eating. love to eat. getting better at my solid foods. mom and i practice this every day.

playing with my ball while in my jump up while listening to my SS most favorite things

going grocery shopping with mom.....i like to get comfortable before we take off...

ninja chubbs

surprised that mom is still taking pictures instead of buckling me up

hmmmmm....opportunity for some mischief...(i.e. the pile of diapers behind me. i love seeing mom try to keep up. ha. mommy fail.)

hungry. i will now proceed to eat my jacket.
naptime. coupon shopping wore me out. (btw, pretty sure mom saved a LOT of money today. i just used my cuteness to help convince the manager that she should let my mom use the extra $10 off coupon even though she didn't spend enough to actually use it. you can thank me later, mom.)
not sure what mom does while i nap. pretty sure it is just lazing around eating bon-bons....

Ah, my after nap tummy time. My current biggest foe. Don't you feel guilty for making me work so hard???
if i can just make it to my back...i can smell the freedom...

i have made it successfully on my back, so now i can play with my hands.
what a mean mommy i have to put me back on my tummy. wasn't i just here? i think i'll just take another nap...right here.
ahhh, this is the life. the next two weeks includes a lot of appointments with my doctors and such, so mom and i really enjoy these days that it is just the two of us. yay for mommy/daughter time!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

frustrated by developmental delays

I am frustrated. Frustrated that Chubbs is going to be six months next week and there are a lot of milestones that she isn't hitting yet that she should be. If I get one more email from BabyCenter saying "Your baby should not be__________ this week" I think I might scream. I know that she is supposed to be developmentally delayed, but I see other babies with Down Syndrome who are ahead of her as well and I panic. I know I shouldn't compare her with other babies, but it is hard not to. I have had long conversation with Addison's PT and OT about where she is, and they both say because of her heart surgery and oxygen needs she might be even more delayed. My competitive side reared its ugly head and wanted to argue with them...No, how could that be?

My three siblings and I crawled by six months and walked by eight months. Growing up, I always assumed that my children would do the same. This is killing me to think that my baby might not walk for years. I see how determined she is and I push her every day as we work through different PT exercises. If only my will power could make her do these things faster, she would already be running (away from me...probably...)

I started really thinking about this when I got a call from Addison's case worker and PT this morning as they scheduled two six month evaluation appointments to see where she is at. Up to now I have just been taking it a day at a time, but all of a sudden, she is going to be measured against other babies her age and it makes me panic. What if she is found wanting?
I love Addison so much that it kills me even to admit that this bothers me. How do I continue appreciating her just for who she is without constantly having the comparison between her and other babies? How do I not let this bother me? I go on facebook and I see my friend's babies who were born months after Addison, accomplishing milestones that she still can't touch. ARGHHH. Does this feeling ever go away? Has anyone already had this appointment and is it as bad as I am thinking it will be?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a bit of everything and nothing

Today I spent the day at the annual downtown sidewalk sale with my MIL and good friend Sarah (and of course, Addison's boyfriend Drew). It was a fun day, albeit tiring, and Chubbs got a bit overheated. Anyway, here are a few pics from today as well as the last two days - to catch you up on our "everything and nothing"

Chubbs- ready to go shopping

Chubbs, after shopping and re-hooked to oxygen, being naughty. The children who are on oxygen for years and years, how do the parents keep them from tearing it off of their face or tangling themselves dangerously in the cord? I am pretty close to just getting rid of the oxygen myself, just for Chubbs' safety (look how it pulls at her eyes when she pulls it down like this) Not to mention her new favorite thing is tangling her arms up in the cord and then wrapping it around her body....Are you kidding me? What is the lesser of the two evils here?

Daddy giving the whole solid foods thing a try with Chubbs. You can see it was a big hit to have that extra time with Daddy.....I think it was pretending that the spoon was an airplane that did the trick (-:

Had to throw this pic in. Those who know me well (or have just walked in my house once) know that I have a huge obsession with black and white. Look at the vase I found (with Sarah's help) downtown today for only $10! Love, love, love it!

Yes, she is a princess even when she sleeps...(-:

This was her very last home nurse visit. They have decided that she doesn't need that help anymore...YAY! One small step at a time...(notice what Chubbs is doing...this is a big problem)

this is Chubbs' angelic face- don't believe it for a minute.
While we were out shopping today...had to get a shot with her new sunglasses from Grandma. (This puts her sunglasses count up to if only she would keep them on...)

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Ode to a Mic-Key

Dear Mic-Key button, Thank you for coming into my life. Without you, I wouldn't have been able to leave the NICU after 5 weeks to go live with Mom and Dad. You have helped me grow and develop even while I struggled with some other breathing issues. Unfortunately, I have some bad news.....

I DON'T NEED YOU ANYMORE! Around my house you won't see anymore of this in my room:

Because I like to eat! and eat and eat!

Solid foods are pretty cool too. Mom makes me work on this every day...

When you first came into my life, a surgeon put a g-tube in my stomach. it looked like this:

Mom and Dad always had to keep me in clothes because if given the opportunity, I liked to reach down, grab the tube and pull. I really don't see what the big deal is. It used to freak out my parents when I would do's a mystery.....
Then, I went in for an outpatient procedure, and the g-tube was replaced with you, my Mic-Key friend. That procedure was pretty horrific (, but I managed to make it through. Here are some glamour shots of my Mic-Key

Today we went to see the surgeon again, and he took you out for good. Now all I have to show for all of this trama is this gauze taped to my stomach. Mom is a little nervous that food might "spurt" out of my stomach (I heard the surgeon warn her about that). So there is a hole in my big deal. When can I wear my bikini?
So dear Mic-Key- goodbye. farewell. It has been great, but I am moving on.

p.s. could you please tell your friend nasal cannula that i am going after him next? his days are numbered......
p.s.s. did you notice in all of my pictures the nasal cannula isn't actually in my nose? yes, i spend most of my time plotting, planning and pulling it off of my face......i prefer the word determined over the word stubborn...thank you....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Life from Chubbs' Perspective

"Wow, this is so neat to work with Daddy. Hmmm, I guess he's letting me drive..."
"Did you just try to cut me off?"
"Going out with Mom....I can put up with anything as long as I have my toys...."

"I love my jumper toy. I spend hours in here and cry when Mom takes me out."

"I love dressing up like a Princess."

"Wait a second, what am I wearing???"

"I wonder what Mom would do if I pooped on her white couch????"

Expressive arms....with all time favorite toy!

The Dance of the Frog Legs

Whew, what a weekend!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chubbs' Guardian Angel Works Weekends

This blog post is a little bit hard to write. Sometimes you can do everything possible to be a good mom, but then something happens outside of your control and the guilt and the feelings of being the worst mom ever are pretty much overwhelming.
So this was my day: (I realize that it is only 4:00, but I am pretty much ready to just go to bed right now and hope that tomorrow is better.)

I have been working on making a valance for my big picture window in the LR as well as sew together the four panels of curtains into two so that they hung more naturally. My mother-in-law has been coaching me through this project, and yesterday we got a lot done! This morning, I was going to resew the panels together (not too terrible tricky since it is just one straight stitch) because yesterday I sewed them top to bottom instead of bottom to top, so my sewing coach didn't think that they would hang just right. The only problem is, this morning, I couldn't get my sewing machine to cooperate. I spent several hours this morning trying to coax it to work for me. No go. So I finally decided that I would just go ahead and start ripping out the seams and maybe borrow a sewing machine to make those final stitches.

The curtains were on one side of the room (on the red chairs), my couch and scissors to cut out the stitches were on the other side of the room. Addison was playing on her mat in between- her normal play spot. I lifted the curtains to carry them and somehow must have lifted too high (there is a lot of material there) I still don't really know how it happened. All I know is that my hand brushed against the glass globe on the light fixture and a nano second later, I heard it falling.

I am not being overly dramatic here. Addison was lying directly under the glass globe. This glass was extremely thick and heavy.
I immediately panicked. I threw the curtains down and ran over to Chubbs. She was screaming (they told me later that this is a good sign). There was broken glass all around her. See where the bottle is? That is where her head was lying.
I picked her up and didn't know what to do. I went to set her down on the couch to see if she was hurt, when I noticed a blood spot on the couch coming from the back of her head. I grabbed my phone and tried to call her Pediatrician, but got a busy signal. I put Addison directly in her car seat, grabbed her diaper bag and a new bottle and we got in the car and went straight to her pediatrician's office (it is 1 minute away). By this point I was crying and shaking. The receptionist asked if we had an appointment. I tried to tell her the story, but when I got to the point of the glass falling down and I didn't know whether it hit her or not I started crying again. She had us wait a few minutes and then they brought us back. I tried to get Aaron on the phone, but couldn't reach him. I took a picture of her head and texted it to him. I didn't even know what to type. There were two cuts and one rather large bruise:

The doctor on call we had never seen before. She said that since she wasn't familiar with Addison's case, she wasn't sure what her head normally looked like. She asked me if her head was normally asymmetrial. I had no idea what to answer. Addison always looks perfect to me. I did see the bump on the side of her head, but I didn't know if it looked a different shape than normal. The doctor said that we should head to the emergency room to make sure that Addison's skull wasn't cracked. Since I didn't see it fall, I still didn't know at this point if it had hit her head or if she just had a few shards fly her direction.

We headed to the emergency room, this time getting Aaron on the phone and he met us there. We all waited 1.5 hrs at the emergency room to have the doctor diagnose her as "Scalp lacerations". He said that there was absolutely no swelling, so he said there was no way that her skull could be cracked. Normally I would get very impatient to have to wait so long, but I was thankful that a little bit of time went by so that if she was going to react, she would do it while we were there. We determined that there was no way the globe had hit her. It had just fallen right beside her. She was acting absolutely normal- hungrily ate two bottles while we waited and had two very messy diapers. When we first got there, I noticed that she had a very, very wet diaper. Aaron and I were laughing (by this point) that we really didn't blame her for all of the wet since she was probably sooo scared by the glass falling right beside her. Poor baby!

They finally sent a nurse in to dab at the two bloody spots on her head (which by now had clotted over) with a wash cloth and apply some form of neosporin and said we were free to go.

Here we are waiting. Bottle #1

Bottle #2: She actually prefers to feed herself and has become quite good at holding her own bottle.Thank you, Mom and Dad Smith for cleaning up all of the glass for us while we were still at the ER...

So, I am still shaking a bit and start crying all over again when I think how close that glass fixture fell to my baby's head. Were we lucky that she came out the other side with merely two cuts to her head from some glass flying her way, one small bruise and one extremely wet diaper? No, lucky had nothing to do with this. God protected my baby today- just as He has time and time again. Addison is a miracle baby. It is amazing, I was just getting to the point were I had forgotten so soon what He had already done for us. I was starting to panic about the future. Today God reminded me that He is in control and holds Addison's life in His hands.

Also- still feeling like a super bad mommy. I can't think of what I should have done to avoid this from happening. It is a good thing Addison has a very alert "Guardian Angel" since perhaps she has to put up with me. I am just so thankful that she is OK. Aaron said that if the glass globe had hit her head directly, there is no physical way she could have survived it. I think that thought is what will keep me up tonight.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Princess' Bath

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful Princess named Chubbs

who hated bath time.

Until one day, she discovered a new, relaxing activity called: Pooping in the Tub.

(If you think I was pausing at that point to take a picture, you are mistaken)

And then one day, the Princess' parents discovered a new way to bathe her which didn't end in her and the bathtub being covered in poop.
Princess Chubbs enjoys this new bathing method very much

Except when Daddy accidentally sprays the water in her eyes....

....and on Mommy's camera.

She likes being scrubbed....

...and scrubbed...

...and rinsed off.

Ahhhh, this is the life of Princess Chubbs...