French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

5 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

8 cups sliced onions

3 minced garlic cloves

12 quarts of beef broth

1 baguette cut into slices

3/4 shredded cheese (I prefer swiss)

Directions:

Saute onions and garlic in the butter until softened . Add broth, salt and olive oil and cook for an additional 45 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the baguettes and add them to the bowls. Ladle soup over the toast and sprinkle cheese over the top.

Unanswered Questions

Several people have noted that some of the questions they have submitted—usually pregnancy related— have gone unanswered. Generally speaking, I think that there could be several different reasons why someone might not feel comfortable speaking about a certain topic. Sometimes it brings up painful memories that they aren’t ready to talk about. Sometimes they feel like it brings down the vibe of an otherwise lowkey blog. And sometimes, they are not allowed to speak on a topic due to a NDA as part of a malpractice case.

I am truly sorry if it seems rude and I assure you that it was never my intention. I hope that everyone can understand where this is coming from.

Blueberry Spread

This intensely flavored spread is great on biscuits and makes a great gift.

Ingredients:

5 cups blueberries, pureed

1 cup sugar or sugar free substitute

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

Add pureed blueberries to slow cooker and cook on low. After 1 hour stir blueberry puree and prop open lid with a spoon to allow steam to escape. After 4 more hours, add remaining ingredients. If it hasn’t thickened enough, remove the lid completely and cook on medium heat for 1 hour. Using an immersion blender, process until smooth. Store in air-tight container in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Storytime: Kids Say the Darndest Things

As many of you already know, our son has classic autism and is in a special class at school for children on the spectrum. A few years ago, he had a classmate who was very talkative and loved to ask a lot of questions. He was fascinated by my wheelchair and often said things like “OMG! Your legs still don’t work!” or “You can’t feel your legs. Can I touch them and see if I can feel them?”

For obvious reasons, the teacher tried to explain that it’s not really appropriate to focus on someone’s disability and encouraged him to make small talk like they practiced in their social skills group. The next time I visited he was prepared with a long list of socially acceptable questions. Some examples include :

Where did you go to school?

Did you play sports in middle school?

Did you play sports in high school?

Who are your parents?

Did they play sports?

What is your favorite section of the library?

After he quizzed me throughly, he asked my husband the same list of questions until he came to the part about his parents. Completely serious, he asked if my husband and I had the same parents. Of course, our first reaction was to laugh, but then we explained that we are married and N’s parents. He was very confused and got a little agitated.

“But my mom said, only normal people can get married and have kids,” he said sadly.

“When was this?” I asked.

“She was talking to my dad. She said I would never have a wedding or a real life because I’m not normal. Are you sure N isn’t your brother? ”

This broke my heart, because I have worried about the same thing. The world can be cruel. I know that my N is a wonderful person, but could someone see past his struggles and accept him as is? I decided that I would tell this child what I plan on telling N in the future.

I began “Honey, I think you misunderstood your mom. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right person, but when you do they won’t see you as different. They will see you as special and the perfect person for them.”

My darling husband continued with ” I have loved being married to GG and I wouldn’t change anything about her, including the wheelchair. You don’t have to get married, but that’s your choice to make when you’re older. You can do anything you want. ”

The moral of the story is that no one’s future is set in stone, but especially with kids. A diagnosis can be a stumbling block, but it doesn’t dictate what we can do. Also it’s important to remember that our children are always watching and our attitudes can affect them tremendously. Let them see themselves through our eyes and see how awesome they truly are.