Archive | February, 2011

Hospital Visit for Rylan

24 Feb

Today Rylan got to go to Children’s hospital to have exploratory surgery. After he was born we were told he had one undescended testicle. We were told just to watch for it and see if it descended on its own. It never did, so around 9 months we had a consultation with a pediatric surgeon and then subsequently an ultrasound. They weren’t able to determine its position or if he actually did have one, so we waited for a surgery date for a laparoscopy. He had an appointment scheduled for about a month ago, but it got cancelled due to an emergency surgery the surgeon had. So, that brought us to today.

We had an early appointment, so we got up at 5:30, got ready, then got the kids up, dropped Maya off at her cousin’s house, then off to the hospital. Once there he got to change into a cute little gown and then we waited. Poor thing wasn’t allowed to have anything to eat or drink since midnight, but really since he went to bed the night before. I was really impressed, though and he was in a fine mood. By the time we actually went in to do his anesthetic, he was getting tired and a bit crabby. I got to go to the operating room with him just while they put in the IV to get him prepped for the anesthetic. They gave him that (kind of creepy how quickly it happens) and after that they told us he was going to have essentially a child-size epidural (though without the catheter) to freeze his lower half for better pain relief. Poor little guy didn’t like being in the OR because he just cried and cried, but I had to just hold him while they did their stuff. I guess he dislodged where one of the IV’s was supposed to go because there was blood on his hand and leg and my (beautiful yellow) surgical gown. One of the team suggested probably taking off the gown before going back out to Dave or he’d probably wonder what went one!! His eyes were just full of tears, but once the anesthetic hit him, he just conked right out. It was really fast!

I think he was gone about an hour or hour and a half, then the surgeon came out and said everything went well, they were able to find it; it was really small but they moved it down from the groin area into the scrotum and stitched it into place. I got to go into the recovery room while he was waking up. That wasn’t too pleasant. He wasn’t a happy camper and about 5 times squirmier than usual! He eventually calmed down and was able to have some juice. After that, just some post-op instructions and off we went home. Luckily he slept for about an hour in the car, so he was happier after that. He was still getting used to walking after the anesthetic, so it was a bit amusing watching him wobble around. By this evening he was up to his usual daredevil antics, climbing up and around and over anything and everything. We’ll see how the night goes, but I’m hoping he’ll just sleep! He’s been a real trooper (and might I add he’s teething and getting his canines already!!) and I’m completely amazed how resilient kids are.

I’m grateful for modern medicine and the doctors and nurses at BC Children’s. Everyone was really nice and helpful and informative. I am glad it was nothing major and I really feel for parents who have to go through surgeries with their kids on a regular basis. I can imagine only a portion of what they go through. I’ll cross my fingers that tomorrow is a good day healing-wise!

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Valentine’s Treats

14 Feb

I love an excuse to bake something even if it’s just my family (well, usually just me) ending up eating what I’ve made. I really wanted to make sugar cookies again because I had bought some cute new heart variation cookie cutters. I really don’t know why I make them sometimes because I like making them, but don’t really have specific people in mind to give them away to. I guess it’s lucky Dave teaches seminary because that’s always a good way to get rid of stuff. Sometimes I have a hard time parting with my treats, but it’s really necessary most of the time.

I decided to go with red velvet cake balls instead of red velvet cupcakes. I made the cake and frosting from scratch, baked a 9X13 cake, then crumbled it up, mixed it with some frosting, shaped them into balls, and coated them in chocolate. I suspect  they are by no means perfect considering before they are dipped they very much resemble meatballs. They are pretty tasty, but it really does make a lot. I think I would have to experiment more with the cake/icing combo to get the consistency right. It’s a neat idea, though.

I also made some miniature cupcakes, tinted them pink and them topped them off with pink cream cheese frosting. They weren’t all that exciting, so I didn’t even bother taking pictures of them.

courtesy of bakerella

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yield: about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:*
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.)

*If you are big on frosting as I am, you may want to increase the quantities by 50%.  That is what I typically do for a batch of 24 cupcakes.  I usually end up with some left over, but I would rather have too much frosting than not enough!

Source: Annie’s Eats

Walking man!

13 Feb

Rylan started learning how to walk shortly after his first birthday. I’m pretty impressed by him, he picked it up quite quickly, and now he’s everywhere! It’s handy actually to be able to put him down, but not have to sit him and wonder what he’s going to sit in. Of course it leads to a whole new level of exploration for him, and also being able to reach up to the counters, although he can’t see what he’s actually reaching for. I’m learning quickly not to leave anything close the edges of the table, etc.

I took this short video while we were at gymnastics the other day. There was a parent and tot class going on while I was waiting for Maya and he liked dancing to the music they were playing. I thought it was quite cute. Here’s a link to the video:

Rylan dancing and walking

Oh Rylan!

13 Feb

This is one funny kid. It’s incredible how different both kids are from each other. I don’t  remember Maya getting into much stuff or exploring around a lot. Rylan is all into everything and climbs up, opens drawers/cupboards, puts everything in his mouth, and drools almost constantly!

I just had this photo emailed to me. We had had to drop the kids off with a neighbour in order to be able to go to a meeting together and she had taken the kids grocery shopping with her. I guess she had been unloading the groceries and thought Rylan had been playing quietly on the floor. As she later found out, he was simply testing her produce. I must say, at least he chose something healthy!

Mmmmm, looks yummy!

Girly hair clips

13 Feb

I’ve been making hair clips for Maya for a little while now. They’re not especially creative because I like the simpler ones better. My friend gave me a bunch of ribbon and flowers to use to make some more, so I tried my hand at some of those. I think they are pretty cute how they turned out and they’re so easy to make. It’s deadly having a cute little girl because I want to make so many things for her.

Giant cookie baking

13 Feb

I am really liking the stage with Maya right now where she likes to help me bake. Basically it consists of me measuring the ingredients and letting her dump them into the bowl. If she’s lucky I’ll let her stir too. She’s actually pretty good with it and loves to wear an apron to go along with it. I’m going to make her an apron of her own in the coming up weeks, so she’s got one just for her! I made these double chocolate cookies and the recipe called for them to be rather large. I realize from the photos that they kind of look like hamburger patties, but let me tell you, they are actually really delicious but require a couple of sittings to eat just one, or some pacing and a large glass of milk! (Even for me these are a bit much!) I think next time I would make them regular sized, but just for fun I wanted to make really big cookies!

She really does like to help!

All kinds of yummy

They're pretty thick!

Only 6 cookies fit per cookie sheet!

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 12 very large cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces).  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Current read

13 Feb

I’ve gone through a few books in the last little while because they’ve been shorter books and interesting. I read a Jeffrey Archer book called “A Twist in the Tale”. It’s a collection of short stories with twists in them that you wouldn’t expect. Very good read.

I’m also reading “Real Food for Mother and Baby” by Nina Planck. Just an interesting take on eating while trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, and breastfeeding. I could always use some help!! I kind of have a sugar addiction.

I’m almost finished “Unexpected Blessings” by Barbara Taylor Bradford. It’s also an interesting read about a few wealthy families and their situations. Just a light, easy book.

There was another one that I returned to the library already, but for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it. If I do, I will post it.