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Thread: A Christmas Baking blog post, just for fun Plus a recipe!

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    Default A Christmas Baking blog post, just for fun Plus a recipe!

    http://www.donnathomson.com/2012/12/....html?spref=fb

    Hugs to all my CN friends, xDonna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Donna))))))

    I love your post! I'll bet that your kitchen smells delightful! Your cheeseballs and cookies look so yummy! You've made me quite hungry! How big is your freezer, by the way?

    Did you really go out on Black Friday?! You brave woman! In the U.S., some stores started Black Friday on Thursday night, which we also refer to as Thanksgiving. I think we are bordering on out of control with Christmas now.

    You have wrapped all of your gifts and sent out cards? I was already in awe of you; now I've gone to the next level of awe, whatever that is.

    I love that you and Nicholas decorated the tree together. How is Nick feeling? I pray that he's still doing well with the lower dose of valproic acid.

    So, now that you've conquered most of the anxiety surrounding the holidays, the last minute crunches, the "I forgot this," "I forgot him/her," moments, I have one question for you: What are you going to do for the next 18 days?

    I envy your get-it-done attitude, and I wish I had some of it. Or ... a LOT of it!

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    ((((((Donna))))))

    You inspired me (as you always do) to create my own Twelve Days of Christmas as a Caregiver. I hope that others will join in with their 12 Days saga! I still can't get over that all of your gifts are wrapped. And your tree is up and decorated. Amazing!

    My Twelve Days of Christmas as a Caregiver

    On the first day of Christmas, I shopped on line for Christmas gifts.

    On the second day of Christmas, I procrastinated about the on line gifts.

    On the third day of Christmas, I made a list, checked it twice, kept procrastinating.

    On the fourth day of Christmas, I made refrigerator dough organic gingerbread cookies. Consumed them.

    On the fifth day of Christmas, I scoured the internet for Christmas tree ideas for Jon. I procrastinated, not liking my options.

    On the sixth day of Christmas, I asked Jim to pick up several 6" poinsettia plants to put around Michael's memory garden/waterfall/pond. He brought home three plants from CVS, on his trip to pick up Jon's meds. They look lovely in Michael's garden.

    On the seventh day of Christmas, I tried numerous Google searches to find a "tree" for Jon. As if I hadn't already learned that what I want doesn't seem to exist. But then again, I'm not even sure what I want anymore. Why does plastic smell and give off noxious toxins? Grrr ...

    On the eighth day of Christmas, the am/fm radio, just perfect for Jon in weight, size and knobs, arrived, along with his new mini shelf stereo, which I ordered on line for Jon's Christmas gifts. The plastic radio is in the garage, off gassing. Again with the noxious toxins!

    On the ninth day of Christmas, I cleaned out the refrigerator and made a hearty Italian vegetable soup with anything that wasn't spoiled or growing mold. It was delicious and lasted for two night's dinners! Love when that happens. Continued procrastinating.

    On the tenth day of Christmas, I did 7 loads of laundry, pulled weeds in the yard, and actually cleaned the house! I got the vapors, and I hallucinated about making Christmas gifts for people, rather than buying them, and baking pumpkin muffins from scratch. Hauled out the rest of the gingerbread dough, baked it, ate it. Got over the delusional spell.

    On the eleventh day of Christmas, I contemplated taking down the fall decorations and starting the arduous task of putting up the Christmas decorations. So, I watched a movie with Jon. Of course, that put me in line sight of the area where Jon's Christmas tree should be. Back on the computer for another useless search.

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, gift certificates are starting to sound like a terrific idea. On the other hand, we could return to our tradition of several years of making donations to charities in the names of our friends/family. I am becoming worried and perturbed about Jon's tree option. I have to psyche myself up to get the energy to drag out all of the decorations, put everything up, take everything down. What am I doing this for? I still have 10 loads of laundry waiting for me in the garage! And I am out of cookie dough!

    On the thirteenth day of Christmas, I'm making Donna's brownies and a pitcher of margaritas.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Ah hahahahaha That is fantastic!!!! I have a perfect visual image of you Rose doing your twelve step program!!! Bring on the margaritas :) xoxox!!!
    Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    Hi Rose, Nick IS feeling better, well, so far so good. I think the doctor may have been right about the valproic, but we shall see. It's just so odd that it was more like 'attacks' out the blue. I really did go out on Black Friday! You know I had never heard of Black Friday until this year - it's a American thing that we just started latching on to up here, because our Thanksgiving is in October... anyway, the sales were great (40% off everything in all the stores) so I queued up nearly dying of the heat in the mall, but I did save a lot of money on the Christmas list, so I think it was worth it. I pretty much got everything that was on my list plus a pair of shoes for me (I figured with the mall heat and all, it was payback time!) Anyway, I really love to cook and bake, so I always get really excited about Christmas. The problem is that I eat what I make! Oh well, better get zumba dancing, eh! xoDonna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    ((((((Donna))))))

    Congratulations on the savings! That's wonderful! I could not do it. I couldn't tolerate crowds like that at all. Never could, but especially after being cooped up in the house for all of these years, I'd probably lose it and have to leave. In the U.S., people were actually shot, hit by drunk drivers in parking lots, assaulted each other for items on the shelves, trampled each other. It's just not my cuppa.

    Yes you do deserve a new pair of shoes after doing all of that! Ruby red slippers! Good for you! A caregiver needs to take care of her/him self too. And everyone gets a boost from looking nice or having a treat once in a while.

    Baking. I used to bake. I used to make bread from scratch in the early 70's, when my boys were babies! I had a 100 year old sourdough starter from Alaska. I messed up one day and used my starter without making more and that was the end of the most fabulous bread I've ever tasted.

    I have wonderful, healthy whole wheat muffin recipes, but I just don't have the energy to stand on my feet to make them. We don't have company for the holidays to protect Jon (and us) from flu, colds, viruses. So, I have no one to bake for any longer. I love the aromas from baking, but if my hips, thighs, and gut are going to be the recipients of that luscious smell, I'm better to not bake at all.

    Today, I finally gathered up all of the fall decorations, and I started putting out the Christmas decorations in Michael's room. I was on my feet for an hour plus, and then I realized that I still had to pull Jon up in his bed. I can only do so much in one day, or my back flares. This is where I, as a caregiver, need to be aware of my limits, because Jon's needs are priority one over anything else.

    I may not be ancient chronologically, but my body feels like its youth was during the construction of the Pyramids. I have to remind myself of this continuously, because in my mind, I can still do the things I did 20 years ago. My body has entirely different ideas.

    The holidays create additional stress, and additional things for me to think about, do, and accomplish by a deadline. As a caregiver and Jon's mom, that's more than I can handle sometimes. This season is exceptionally difficult, because we miss Michael. Decorating his room is bittersweet.

    For me, the holiday season has become another task, another chore, another reminder that nothing is as it once was, when our house looked like the Christmas Store exploded in every room, and our neighbor dressed up as Santa and visited us, and friends dropped by to visit, and I baked pumpkin bread, pecan pies, and chocolate chip cookie pies, and I cooked huge meals for my family or dragged my pot luck dish, all the presents, and my two boys in wheelchairs to another family member's house, who thought that would be "easier" for me than cooking a meal in my own home for 15 people.

    We've spent more than one Christmas in ICU, so for simply that reason, I need to be of better cheer and filled with greater enthusiasm about ensuring this Christmas is as nice as possible for Jon. I'm working on it, and I will make it happen.

    I'm so glad that Nick is feeling well, and I am praying this continues for him. How wonderful for him to enjoy the holidays without any more episodes. And, I agree with you that these attacks occurred periodically and inconsistently. Certainly the best answer is a reduction in the valproic acid, as that is a simple fix. So, I pray that this is the culprit.

    And, by the way, I think you should post your recipes for all of your Christmas delicacies, because they all sound scrumptious! Oh, how I'd love to perch in your kitchen! I'd help, of course! Just let me sit down while I do it!

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Oh Rose, you know I read some research this week that said the molecules of a caregiver's body actually change and we age faster than other people who do not give care. It's a fact and it's been proven. I think that our lives are just so bittersweet. Yesterday Nicholas and I stood in the hallway of the Rehab Centre after his appointment. He was having some problems with one of his night nurses and he started to cry. Real tears. Which of course made me cry and we hugged and cried. I said that of course I would come and stay overnight with him and he said no, which made me cry more because I thought maybe he was trying to be a man even though he was frightened and feeling vulnerable. I called many times last night and went over this morning to check on him and meet with the manager. It's all OK and Nick's staff tonight is his favourite and she's working the whole weekend. I have disintigrating discs in my back so the chiro 3x week for that, physio 2x week for an IT band injury and bursitis in my hip and two nights ago I was just emptying the dishwasher and my knee turned the wrong way and now I have a very painful strained ligament. Well all that is because of 24 years of physical total care and I only had one son, not two! Your body is part of nature and we are all made of living cells that get tired. When I went to the doctor in England about my back he said, "Well, you abused your back all those years, what do you expect?" It wasn't very polite, but I guess it was true. Rose, see your PMs, there is something I would like to send to you. x
    Last edited by Donna Thomson; 12-08-2012 at 05:51 AM. Reason: Added request
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    ((((((Donna))))))

    The two of us sound like we're falling apart at the seams! I think we should go to a health spa, somewhere overlooking an ocean, and have some pampering! Thank goodness you have chiro and physio. I have Jim, Advil, and Aspercreme! (no time and no insurance) Ouchie on the strained ligament! See how easy it is to hurt ourselves!!! I know!

    I recommend Witch Hazel! Indeed! Pour it on a paper towel, wrap it around your knee, tape it. Elevate your knee, maybe put a pillow under your knee. This has worked for me for countless owies. It also prevents bruising. So as soon as I bump into something, I grab some witch hazel and put it directly on the area where I bumped. Cooling, soothing pain relief too.

    Have you tried acupuncture? A dear friend, who is 90 years old, injured her knee at the gym (yes, the gym, she also does yoga, and she is incredible). She tried assorted treatments, went to a couple of doctors. Then she found an acupuncturist, and she has had tremendous success. She says it's quite relaxing too.

    Another friend of mine, who is a few years younger than me, saw an acupuncturist for several years in the 1980's and said she experienced great relief. She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis only a few years ago. She doesn't have the time now to see the acupuncturist, but I'm sure it would benefit her if she could go.

    Albeit rude and lacking compassion, the doctor was correct when he told you that our caregiving resulted in abusing our backs. Another occupation with the same latent results is construction.

    Men, who worked in construction in their younger years, contend with tremendous pain as they age. Jim was a scaffolder, and he has carpal tunnel, arthritis in assorted joints, and lower back pain. He used to carry steel pipes, balanced on his shoulder, up ladders to tall buildings. Unbelievably hard work. I didn't know him then, but I've seen photos, and he was built like a body builder. Except the weights he lifted had a purpose beyond buffing him up! Now, at his age, he suffers the indignity he inflicted upon his body with that hard labor.

    The human body wasn't really built to be a beast of burden. Those of us, who have to push the limits eventually pay the price.

    You and Nick crying in the hallway of the Rehab Centre ~ that makes me cry. Nicholas should never have a nurse, who makes him so unhappy that he cries. I do hope that the manager won't assign this nurse to Nick again. This breaks my heart for both of you. But I'm glad for both of you that his favorite staff are caring for him this weekend.

    Now, you take care of your knee! Stay off your feet a little while. Get some rest.

    Sending healing prayers ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Hi Ladies!

    I'm still here! Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Mine is just ok. Here is my 12 days of Christmas....

    On the first day of Christmas, I searched for a Wii Balance board! Had to buy online as they don't sell 'em in stores since the new WiiU came out. Caitlin uses this occasionally in PT and boys will like it too (for xmas gift).

    On the 2nd day of Christmas, started my cousin's facebook weight loss group challenge for the week, writing down every bite I eat!

    On the 3rd day of Christmas, my Christmas cards arrived in the mail (I make them digitally and print as 5x7s)....they immediately got set on top of a pile!

    On the 4th day of Christmas, I had a burst of energy and put up the old smaller tree in the kitchen. (Big tree goes up on black friday...I hate shopping and crowds!)

    On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....raw venison to wrap up and freeze! (he shot a doe)

    On the 6th day of Christmas, I switched to the new laptop finally! (this is one reason why I haven't posted much here or replied to your email Rose...glad to hear new gtube is in!) Still have to switch all my email & digital scrapbooking stuff off my old one, then going to put old one in kitchen for the boys to use for school stuff. Hope to get to it soon, but it's sitting in the basement next to the stack of Christmas cards...

    On the 7th day of Christmas, Caitlin's seizures are worsening. :( Something's going on, don't yet know what and am waiting in phone tag, hot potato between neuro and neurosurg.

    On the 8th day of Christmas, we have Christmas program for the kids at church! Logy is too naughty to participate (by my judgement, though others are probably silently relieved!), Tyler does his line well and so does Caitlin, but during practice had some kind of miniseizure or something today. Hoping she makes it thru the program tomorrow without incident.

    On the 9th day of Christmas, the treats from Brian's Mom begin arriving....lemon poppyseed bread and gingerbread cookies! Throwing a wrench into my calorie counting! But oh so tasty! Glad she bakes a ton as I haven't had the heart to bake the past few years...always dealing with medical issues seems like...sucks the joy out of it for me.

    On the 10th day of Christmas, Logy had his pre-k field trip to the Mall! Bought a gift for Ronald McDonald house....and then class does a buildabear then quick visit to Santa on the way out. Was ready to enjoy the last time I will get to chaperone this trip (I went with all my kids over the years) but got a phone call that Caitlin had a 3 min seizure at school while I was trapped at mall having rode the bus with the kids. (fyi, she is ok)

    On the 11th day of Christmas, I still have to go shopping! Did I say already, don't like shopping? :) Thought about going tonight, but we have church prgm tomorrow so I want to get some sleep for that. My typical MO is to make an excel spreadsheet with the lists for all and go in one giant big trip late at night when stores are empty. My goal this year is to not be wrapping everything the night before like I usually do, though I say that every year!!!

    On the 12th day of Christmas, I went back to bed and napped for 4 hours....hmmmm Monday is coming soon....4 empty hours while Logy is at school....use them productively or just go back to sleep??....that would be a gift for me! :) I think as a caregiver, the best present for me is time!

    Now I am off to bed, will update more soon!
    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    Hi Dear Lisa,
    Oh gosh, I've been reading about Caitlin's seizures. I'm so sorry. I hope and pray that the neuro gets on top of this and makes the right meds adjustment. Good there, my friend! I love thinking of the perfect gifts for people and then shopping when no one else is around at weird hours. Lucky for me that my kids aren't little anymore, Nick has caregivers now and Natalie's is away at univ. But I don't think I'll do Black Friday again, although I have to say that I was pretty thrilled with the savings. It wasn't all that bad here though because Black Friday is not a Canadian tradition at all, so the stores were crowded but probably not that much more than any pre Christmas shopping day. It's so true about time, Lisa. I especially remember feeling like that when my kids were young. You are on the treadmill set at 'fastest' now, but it's so strange that it all happens so soon when the kids just start their university applications or they go travelling or whatever it is and you find yourself alone at home day with so much more time. It's weird, that transition when they grow up. But you're like me - I think we'll never be bored and we'll always be exercising lol!!! Sending lots of healing hugs to Caitlin and good luck with the Christmas pageant. Bless Logy's heart, gotta love him!!!!! xDonna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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