Thursday, September 22, 2016

All of August

So, here's our August. Trotwood had his first day of second grade. I swear, first day of school pictures are some of the most difficult pictures of Trotwood to get. Apparently, the sun is always in his eyes regardless of where we take the picture.
Little Dorrit is obsessed with shoes. One of her favorite things to do is try on anyone's shoes in the house and then walk around in them. And she loves flip flops! Missing those first three toes on her left foot doesn't hinder her in any way from walking around in her brother's flip flops. She also loves beads. And hats. Maybe she's an accessory girl? 
On Saturday morning in August, we visited the local farmer's market for the first time. 
Trotwood thought this skull at the farmer's market was pretty cool.
Thankfully, August was a pretty quiet month for us! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Happy two years to Little Dorrit!

This past weekend, we celebrated Little Dorrit's second birthday. Over the past year, Little Dorrit's fun and sweet personality has really started to shine through. In fact, I really can't recall the time when she first started showing her personality. Here are a few things about her:
  • She loves books. We have a few shelves full of baby and board books and every day, she pulls out every single one of them and either looks through them by herself or brings one (or more) to us saying "Read a book!" or "Book. Lap" Rarely, can I resist such sweetness.
  • Trotwood is one of her favorite people in the entire world. Honestly, I love to watch those two together. They both just love to play and they love each other. Little Dorrit will dissolve into peals of laughter from just about anything Trotwood does.
  • Little D. is not one of those people who "lives to eat." Thankfully, she is eating more now but sometimes, she still shakes her head and says "No!" when we try to offer her food. If it's not her idea, she doesn't want to have anything to do with it. Honestly, I think she just wants to be in control of what she eats. Currently, her favorite things to eat usually involve cheese: cheese sticks, macaroni and cheese, cheesy puffed corn or cheesy chips. Lately, she has been starting to expand her pallet to include things like fruit snacks, grapes and strawberries. Oh, and for some reason, she calls all fruit "oranges." Don't mind the chewed up piece of beef jerky next to her drawing pad in the picture below. She will often chew up food and instead of swallowing, she'll spit it back out again and say "All done!". And she still drinks from a bottle. She can drink from straw sippy cups and regular cups (this one is still a bit messy), she just asks for a bottle and we still give it to her. I feel like it's more of a familiar and comfortable object for her than anything else. For the longest time, pretty much all her nourishment came through a bottle in the form of Boost formula.   
  • Coloring is one of Little Dorrit's favorite activities. I was so glad when we finally figured out what exactly she meant when she said "Color!" All she wants is a pen or pencil and paper. That's it. No crayons or coloring books. We can just give her pencil and paper and she will be happy as a clam just sitting in her chair at the table "coloring."

  • She loves to go places and see other people. This girl definitely is not shy and loves to talk and to be around other people. If she puts on a shy act, she does it because she knows it will get her even more attention. 
  • Little Dorrit is a very tiny person. Her doctor doesn't seem to be worried about how small she is because she is growing and very slowly gaining weight. But at 2 years old, Little D. is barely 30 inches tall and she only weighs 22 lbs. The other day, her home health nurse told us something about when a person is two, you can double their height and supposedly that is how tall they will be when they are fully grown. I'd never heard that before and I'm not sure if it's a medical thing or an old wives tale, but if it is the case then sweet Little Dorrit may reach the great heights of just five feet tall. Mr. Rochester and I both have some very petite women in our extended family so this wouldn't be too unusual. It is just so different for us than how Trotwood was! Just to be on the save side, we are going to take her to see an endocrinologist to make sure everything is okay with her growth hormone levels.  
To celebrate Little Dorrit's birthday, we carried on the tradition of getting donuts for breakfast. Here's Little Dorrit taking the tiniest bite in the world out of a donut hole. 
And of course, she decided that she wanted something savory instead of sweet and opted for bites of my ham, egg, and cheese crossaint instead. 

When it was time to open her presents, she knew exactly what to do!
All of her presents consisted of some sort of baby doll. All this girl stuff is new for us so we just barely discovered that she loves baby dolls. After opening her babies, she just kept saying, "Hi baby!" over and over again. One of her babies came with a little plastic bottle and pacifier and she loved "feeding" the baby with the bottle. And, funny story, after having the babies for a few days, we noticed that sometimes, she will pick up the baby by its bottom, sniff its bottom, and then say "Poopy."I wonder where she got that from... 

Little Dorrit's birthday ended with a birthday dinner that we knew she would enjoy and eat. Now, I do love to cook but she is so difficult when it comes to food that we just decided to get her a Happy Meal and ice cream for dessert. And see how happy she was? 
It was a great day and I cannot believe it's been two years now. I'm so glad that she is doing so well and I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with this little person who brings so much laughter and joy into our lives. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The rest of July

Hello there! It's been awhile. And yes, I seem to be starting out all my blog posts this way lately. So, since my last post, we've been busy. We went to the lake with some friends in July.
And Trotwood held a baby alligator at a petting zoo
Oh, and we dropped in at the Arkansas Treasurer of State where the boys each got to hold $450,000 in cash. Don't they look excited?

We celebrated two birthdays in July: Mr. Rochester's and Trotwood's birthdays. For Mr. Rochester's birthday, we went to a concert and I made a pear almond cake
And one of my very favorite pictures happened around this time - I just love all the smiles in this photo. 

On Trotwood's birthday, we always celebrate with balloons! He loves it and I'm thinking we are probably going to have to implement this tradition for Little Dorrit's birthdays. 

For his cake, Trotwood requested a vanilla cake with strawberry filling. I tried using a Swiss meringue buttercream for the first time and it turned out okay. I still need to experiment with more meringue buttercreams...and just cake in general. 
So that's pretty much our July! I'll do a large post for August next just so we can try and get caught up here. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

May July 4th be with you!

Hooray for Independence Day! Yesterday, we celebrated with good friends, sparkly sparklers, and way too much food! I think having enormous amounts of food on holidays must be an American tradition for just about every holiday. Or maybe it's just my family on every Sunday, er, holiday. 

I love having friends over on holidays because it gives me a chance to try out  new recipes. Cooking and baking are two things I really love doing but with working full-time, I usually only have time to experiment on weekends or holidays. So, yesterday, I made BBQ pulled chicken and pork sandwiches, Paula Deen's Southern Baked Beans, and the Smitten Kitchen's Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes. Our friends brought over the most amazing corn on the cob (they have a secret ingredient they use to make it so tasty. Yes. An actual secret ingredient to making corn on the cob!), papaya, watermelon, hot dogs, Conecuh sausage (which our friends swear is the best sausage in the world and is only available at select markets across the US -  mostly in the South. I have to say, after my few dining experiences with this particular piece of meat, I am now a Conecuh fan) and a very festive, homemade ice cream cake. Everything turned out absolutely delicious. 

For the Smitten Kitchen's pasta salad, when slow roasting the tomatoes, my tomatoes went into the oven like this:

but then I lost track of time and scorched about a third of them. Instead of Gaeta olives, I used kalamata olives and they paired beautifully with the slow roasted tomatoes that I had left. For the cheese, I chose Queso Fresco just because I wanted to see how it would work with the salad. I knew feta cheese would have done wonderfully but so did the Queso Fresco. The salad had a very Mediterranean flavor to it which I really liked. My finished product, in my opinion, was just a little too heavy on the noodles but that was all my fault. Had I not scorched all of those tomatoes, I think I would have been hard pressed to find anything wrong with my dish. However, despite my mistakes, this is definitely a salad I would make again. 

Paula Deen's Baked Beans recipe, of course, turned out amazingly. We don't often cook many Paula Deen recipes anymore. Let's be honest. Mr. Rochester and are both in our mid-thirties now and we have to save the recipes cooked in bacon grease and/or a pound of butter for special occasions. Definitely not the perfect image of a healthy recipe but it sure was delicious. I doubled the recipe since her recipe only calls for a 16 ounce can of pork and beans and I was using a 28 ounce can. But even with doubling the recipe, there still wasn't much leftover afterwards. 

And that was our fourth! Usually, we sit on our back porch and the church behind our house puts on a great fireworks show but unfortunately for us, that was the first night in years they apparently decided not to do it. The kids still ran around with sparklers and we watched other parts of the sky light up with color. 

Just to leave you with one more bit of cuteness. Little Dorrit wore her first ponytail with a big bow to church on Sunday. She was so mad at me when I was putting it in her hair but, as soon she saw herself in the mirror, she was enamored with how she looked and just pranced around all day with that bow in her hair, never once trying to yank it out. It.was.adorable. Also, cheese sticks are a staple at our house these days. Little D. is still a very picky eater but one of the things she will eat, and asks for about 6 times a day, is a cheese stick. 
I posted this one on Instagram. She's talking on her phone (notice it's really a cheese stick). 

Notice, I didn't say anything about my two month hiatus away from the blog? I missed it! My computer was giving me issues and blogging on my phone or iPad just isn't the same. And, then I just got out of the habit, but I'm back again, and I'm actually thinking about migrating my site somewhere else. If I do though, I'll make sure to make it public knowledge so you know where I am. This little site has been my online home for so long but I'm considering shaking things up a bit. More to come on that (if I actually get motivated to do something about it). 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

House of Nerds

This week, Trotwood got his first pair of glasses! For the past few months, when we read stories together, Trotwood would hold the book just a few inches in front of his face to read. When I would ask him to hold the book in his lap, he said he couldn't see the words. Mr. Rochester and I both wear glasses so I knew it was only a matter of time before some sort of vision impairment manifested in Trotwood.

Somehow, when I switched jobs last year, I managed to overlook signing up for vision insurance. Oops. I didn't think we should wait to get Trotwood's eyes examined so I looked into going to Sam's Club optical. Eye exams and glasses were very reasonably priced there and Trotwood had a good experience overall.

Wednesday, Trotwood picked up his glasses after school and Thursday was the first day he wore them to school. He was so excited about the glasses because they have skulls on them and he thinks the skulls just make the glasses so cool. After school on Thursday, Trotwood came home and said a little girl in his class called him a "nerd" because he was wearing glasses. I told him all the great things about nerds and how being a nerd is actually a compliment. And, I also confessed to him that his dad and I are nerds and proud to be called nerds. So, the next time someone calls him a nerd, he just needs to say, "Thanks." He seemed really happy after our discussion and honestly, he wasn't too distraught to begin with.

On Thursday after school, I took Trotwood to the library for an after school workshop on science experiments and he loved it! He was especially fascinated by the Jacob's ladder electrical experiment and the electrical arc it created. Here he is doing nerdy science:

For the past few years, Trotwood has said that he's wanted to be a scientist when he grows up. I hope this dream of his continues to grow with him as he gets older and that he embraces any nerdiness that comes with it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Longer days of sunshine

The weather here has been gorgeous lately so Trotwood had the brilliant idea that we go to the park tonight after dinner. I love love love when the days get longer and the weather gets warmer.

We met up with Trotwood's best school friend at the park and everyone just enjoyed being outside. Little Dorrit kept climbing up the slide at the park the wrong way so she could slide back down. It was actually pretty impressive to watch her!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Just another appointment

Little Miss had a hematology appointment today and we had a great talk with her hematologist. Little Dorrit still hasn't reached the 20 pound weight mark so she can't get a port yet. It's been over a year now since she had her surgery to place her central line and central lines aren't supposed to last forever. We are hoping that she will be able to get a port before she has to have the central line replaced, but we would love to explore the possibility of not having a port or a line. Ooh, twist!

Back in early February, something really exciting happened. A woman in Canada who has a young daughter with homozygous protein c deficiency found me on Instagram because I used #proteincdeficiency. She then commented on my blog and we started emailing each other. I can't tell you how excited I was to find someone else to talk to about this! Her daughter uses the same medication as ours but it is administered differently. And they only give her the medication every other day instead of twice a day like we do. Most interestingly, her daughter has never had a central line. Our hematologist is getting in touch with their hematologist in Canada to learn more about all of this and whether a treatment like this would be possible for us in the U.S. It was just so neat to finally connect with someone else about Little Dorrit's condition because I felt like I'd already scoured the Internet looking for this. And through the magic of social media, someone found me!