Thursday, March 14, 2013


Our two little ladies love to snuggle in the morning with their cups o' jugo de manzana.  Caroline is pretty much a beast until she gets hers {kind of like me and my coffee}.  She loves it so much that we shelled out quite a pretty penny for Mott's while we were in Colombia (which just so happens to be the land of delicious, exotic  fresh-squeezed juice of many varieties.  Girl knows what she likes.

Luisa has learned our morning routine, signing "thirsty" as soon as my foot hits the bottom stair in the morning.  She then points to the couch.  Once deposited there, she is aiming that finger at the TV.  Two cups of juice, once cup of coffee, and an episode of Mickey/Backyardigans/Jake/pick-your-favorite-animated-22-minute-show are consumed.  

The weather in February gave us a few chances to venture outdoors.  There was much swinging, always with shouts of, "Higher!"  We tested out the ant farm they got for Christmas.  Unfortunately, the ants only lived about 24 hours.  It was fun while it lasted.  They actually made quite a few tunnels in that amount of time,  Industrious little short-lived boogers that they are.

Nana and Grumpa came into town for a visit.  Caroline had been asking to visit the Vulcan (a statue of the Roman god of the forge, the world's largest cast iron statue, built to honor Birmingham's iron industry) every time she sees it looming above us as we drive around town.  Philip had never been and I hadn't since high school, so we thought a trip was in order.  We took the elevator to the top, but chose to count the stairs on the way down.  I've forgotten how many, but it was a lot.  :)

View from the top

Who would prefer walking to riding on shoulders?

Nana and the girls
We also made a few visits to a local park.  Luisa is able to get up the stairs or ramp, slide down the slide, and do it again all on her own.  This day we were there with her friend Cooper, who alternates running around chasing Caroline and crawling all over the place with Luisa (he is already a little ladies' man).  I assure you that the red shirts were not intentional, although I guess that happens around Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day was not a holiday Philip and I cared for before the girls came along.  We are on the the "this is a manufactured, commercial, Hallmark holiday" bandwagon.  That being said, the girls love any chance to decorate, do seasonal crafts, get little gifts, and eat junk food.  We obliged this year with chocolate fondue and fruit.  Definitely a hit, though a messy one.

We rounded out the month with a trip to Kentucky to visit the girls' cousins.  They have only met Luisa one time, and that was a less than 24 hour trip during which Luisa had a fever and was totally our of it.  We don't get to see this clan all that often, so it was nice to have a full week with the kids.  My mom went as well; we were there to keep the kiddos while their mom and dad (my brother and sister-in-law) were ministering in the Philippines.  Unfortunately I took an appallingly minuscule amount of photos, but here are a couple of my girls with their cousin Anna.  They had a blast playing together.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Banana Oat Pancakes

Our fam has been (mostly) gluten free for over a year now. Philip and the girls aren't as strict as I am (I am the one with the intolerance), but they have jumped on the band wagon for the most part. This is largely due to the fact that I don't like to cook two different meals!

It was difficult at first to eat GF (What? No cereal for breakfast or PBJs for lunch?), but we tried to focus on what we COULD have instead of what we couldn't. Our food horizons broadened, and the increasing popularity of Pinterest played a large part in introducing us to new recipes.

One thing that we all missed and (until recently) had not been able to adequately replace was Saturday Morning Pancakes. It was a tradition that had been around awhile at our house, but neither Aunt Jemima butter-flavored "syrup" nor Bisquick pancakes were going to cut it with our new lifestyle. I am happy to say that we have found a deliciously satisfactory NEW Saturday morning tradition, Banana Oat Pancakes.  As an added bonus, this recipe also takes care of the surplus of overly ripe bananas hanging out in my freezer, which formerly were used to make the world's best banana bread but have been piling up since the ban on gluten ensued.

Now, these are not a item-for-item pancake replacement. They are made with three bananas and oat flour (made by running oats through a food processor). Both the consistency and flavor are different from buttermilk pancakes. However, they are delicious in their own right. We all four love them. Load 'em up with diced pecans, sliced banana, and a bit o' maple syrup. Yum!

Don't you just love Lu's morning hair?
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Monday, March 11, 2013

A Big Week

Last week was chock full of big stuff happening for Luisa.

Six months ago
  • It was our six month anniversary of her joining our family.  This may not seem big in her eyes, but it was fun for us to look back and see how far we have come in terms of bonding and attachment in the past six months! 
  • We made the switch to BGPs (big girl panties) this week!  Luisa had been doing well with going potty when we take her, but had not been "asking" to go.  We learned the sign for potty a few weeks ago in Speech Therapy and have been using it consistently every time we took her.  Well, it seemed to finally click, and now she asks to go every half hour or so (the novelty of asking has apparently not yet worn off). 
  • Luisa and Caroline spent the night at Mimi and Pop's house, which was Lu's first overnight trip without a parent there.  It helps that Mimi and Pop are two of her favorite people!
  • I picked up Luisa's new walker.  We have had a loaner on and off from UCP, but this is her VERY OWN.  As of now she is not too interested in using it.  It is simply so much easier for her to crawl that to expend the amount of energy it takes for her to walk using it. We are hoping that maybe some embellishments to the plain ol' silver walker and maybe some incentives will make the process more appealing.
  • Our favorite discovery this past week was that of an adaptive bike hidden in the back of the PT's closet.  (We have a fabulous PT with very enticing toys that frequently tempt both Luisa and Caroline into cooperating with her goals.)  Luisa tried it for the last 10 minutes or so of PT and LOVED it.  It was quite difficult extricating her from it, actually.  We loved it so much that we filled out an order form for one before we left, and we were able to take the loaner bike home in the meantime to practice with.

Caroline and Luisa had a ball riding their bikes this weekend.  We just happened to have two days of beautiful weather and a pretty free weekend to hang out and play.  By the end of the weekend, she was able to pedal it both down our street and back up on her own (even with the slight incline of our road). 

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