Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Time Lament of the Over Stressed!

Hello my friends!  Please forgive me but I am rapidly falling into the "Christmas Panic Mode" of life.  You know that one - too much to do, too little time and no money!  We are all suffering from this.  I have been diligently baking a jillion christmas cookies.  So far, I have made 10 different kinds.  I usually make at least 20 varities but this year it will be more.  My daughter has a gluten intolerance and cannot eat wheat flour.  I have been adapting my recipes to be gluten free.  This is a whole new chapter in baking.  I have finally found a GF flour recipe that seems to work well.  Also, she can have a certain amount to spelt flour.
She is not Celiac disease but we think it is a gluten allergy.  We have so many allergies in our family and her cousin Brandon also has the allergy.  People with celiacs disease cannot have spelt flour because it is related to wheat and has a certain amount of gluten in it.
Dani can eat the spelt bread from Trader Joe's.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I made her spelt dinner rolls with potatoes in the recipe.  I just substituted the spelt for the wheat flour and made them as usual.  They were absolutely delicious and she kind of went crazy with them.  She probably ate 5 or 6 of them in one day and she did get sick.
She never ate that much spelt before and it did react with her.  She gets terrible pains in her stomach and then vomits.  Sooooo - she now knows that she cannot over do it with spelt.  I find if I use half spelt and half GF flour it works well.  The cakes are the best with a velvet crumb and smooth texture.  They are slightly heavier than wheat flour products but most people cannot taste the difference.  I have found some great recipes for cookies on the web.  The cut out sugar cookies were superb.  I could not tell the difference from my regular sugar cookies.  The only difference is that the GF mixture could not roll out as thin but not too much difference.  Still very crisp and highly enjoyable.  If any of you are GF diet and would like the recipes, leave me a comment and I will post them.

My husband just adores cookies. I call him the cookie monster.  Would be happy to eat them for every meal.  We give a lot of cookies as gifts and he always brings a huge tray of cookies into work on Christmas Eve day.  He has gotten quite good at helping me make the cookies but has so little time off.  He has been working 12 to 14 hour days and will only have one day off until Christmas.  Many of those hours are evening.  Today he is working from 8 am to 11 pm.  Well, thats the retail bussiness for you!  We are just so glad that he has a job!  No complaining here.

Have you gotten all your shopping done yet?  I am not even close.  I try to order things online but I am starting so late this year.  Went to Victoria's Secret site last night to order some items from my Dani's wish list.  Not one thing is available.  They have items in the stores but it is so hard for me to go to the mall.  They do not have power scooters to use and there is too much walking for me to do.  But I am going to have to hit some of the shopping center stores for gifts.  I hate to think about it.

Sunday was Francesca's 4th birthday and we had her party at our house.  What a little angel she is!!  Children with trisomy 21 (Down's Syndrome) are so special.  They are truly angels and God's gift to us.  She was so happy and excited over opening her presents.
After we had birthday cake and all the presents were opened, she came and got me out of the kitchen, pulled me by the hand, and brought me into the living room  She sat down on her little Elmo chair and then looked at me and said "Auntie, more!"  Bless her little heart, she wanted more birthday presents!!!  And of course I wanted to buy the world and give it to her in that moment!  Dani gave her her first tricycle.  A Barbie one that is like a big wheels, but pink and white.  She cannot quite reach the petals but was scooting all around the house.  It was obviously a big hit!  I just love to spoil her.  I am always finding little presents for her and she gets so excited when I tell her that  "auntie has a present for you".  She has blessed our hearts and our lives with so much joy.  We are all crazy in love with her.  Her nickname is Chessie and we call her Chessie Lou Who after the little girl in the Seuss book.  She is so tiny for her age.  Still wears a size 2 or 3.

I have been crocheting only at night lately and not that much either.  Last night I made 2 bookmarks and am working on a hat for Chessie for christmas.  She loves to watch me crochet and likes when I make things for her.  I had to try on a pink hat I am making for her and it was good that I did.  It was too big and too long so I had to rip out a few rows and make some decreases at the rim to fit her properly.  She loves the bright pink color of the yarn.  Its going to have Mickey Mouse ears on it too.  Very cute.  I am putting ties on it so it will stay on her head for more than one minute.

Well dear readers, I hope you have enjoyed this posting.  I now must go and put color in my hair.  I am looking like a skunk!  You know, white stripe down the middle!  I am pure white in hair color and have been since I was in my forties.  Runs in my Dad's family. I never remember him without grey hair.  I won't let it go natural cause I will look like an old lady and I am never going to be an old lady.  Never, never, never!  I only feel like I am 35. Mentally that is.  Physically is another story.  Enjoy your week.  Hugs to you all.