Does a picture really speak a thousand words?

A picture is a thousand words.

Panayioti sitting down and actually drawing. Yeah right! Can you tell how much he hates it? I colored it in a bit while he watched and then gave him the orange marker and sat by as he filled in the lion. After about two seconds he just looked at me pleading for a break. I suppose if the kid really hates drawing I can’t force him. So, I gave in and let him bang his maracas (souvenir from Aruba) for the rest of the afternoon.

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Time to Color!

Time to Color!

Came up with something for us to pass the time on Friday afternoon. Afternoons are tough ’cause almost everyone here in Greece takes a nap. Everyone except my little guy that is. If I let him be he’ll just run from one end of the house to the other so it’s either play-doh, which he almost always puts in his mouth, song singing, which he closes his ears too (haha), or my favorite, and Panayioti’s least, drawing. Alas, my little boy does not share my love of artistry. Ever since he was a little baby I would stick crayons between his chubby fingers in an attempt for him to be like mommy. Autism or no autism, it hasn’t really clicked yet. But I’m hopeful, still.

This is Autism.

A couple of days ago I read Suzanne Wright’s speech.  She’s the founder of Autism Speaks.  I don’t know much else about her because we live in Greece so there’s not much that Autism Speaks can do for us except use it to gather information, and compare and contrast to the therapies here in Greece.  I honestly don’t see how what she said could have disappointed so many families.  It’s called Autism Spectrum Disorder for a reason, right? There are kids on the spectrum that speak fine and others that are non-verbal, like my son.  There are kids on the spectrum that don’t do well in crowded areas, and then there’s my son who is totally cool being in a crowded room. I understand how some people who have high-functioning, really high-functionng, children on the spectrum became disappointed with the bleak picture that Ms. Wright painted of autism but I truly believe that she did it in order to ‘wake’ the government in the States up. At least you have someone like that people!! An advocate, a support group, something. Anything.  Here in Greece, um, we have NOTHING. Nothing but each other, our families, our friends, and a really good school, albeit expensive, as in my son’s case.  I’m totally terrified of when the time will come for him to go to 1st grade, if he will even go to 1st grade with his fellow typically-developing peers.  Will he even be speaking by then? I’m getting a headache just thinking about it now and my heart is racing.  See, this is why I bake.  It keeps me from fighting with my husband and from being a grumpy mom to my wonderful babies. There’s your typical stress.  Then there’s autism stress. Like walking hand-in-hand down the street and knowing that if you let go he’ll run onto a car driving by.  There’s your typical messy house.  Then there’s the autism messy house.  Like this morning when my son started shredding the bread with this fingers and spreading the crumbs all over the carpet because it was providing a sensory thing for him.  He has a lot of those but thankfully the days of licking the counters are over!  The potty training days were certainly trying days.  We’re not 100% trained yet but we’re doing pretty good.  I actually bought another couch because I just couldn’t wipe and wash another poop off the cushions. So, yes it’s pretty bleak at times. But not always. This is Autism.

Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Glaze (recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Glaze (recipe courtesy of Sally's Baking Addiction)

Ok, this may just turn into a baking blog since I’ve been on a baking high for a week now. It’s a great stress reducer for me, having the house smell of sweet goodness. These cinnamon rolls came out pretty good almost as good as the cinnamon rolls I used to buy from a little shop at Back Bay Station in Boston. At the same station was a wonderful lady that sold kosher hot dogs from her little stand. She was really sweet. Wonder if she’s still there . . .

The Best Bread Ever!!

The Best Bread Ever!!

You can make it into whatever shape you like. I’ve always liked the margarita shaped bread because, well, it’s in the shape of a flower!! And you can easily just break off a piece and enjoy. When baking bread the whole house smells amazing and it always puts me in a really good mood. I feel like I’ve done a really good job for the day when I’ve managed to cook, clean, take the baby for a stroll AND bake bread.
And it’s super easy! All it takes is 3 cups of flour, 3 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp butter, 1 cup of warm water and yeast, of course. I use 1 sachet of dry yeast, about 30g. Try it! It’s totally worth it!!

Super Moist, Totally Delicious Walnut-ty Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Super Moist, Totally Delicious Walnut-ty Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
450ml veggie oil
400g flour
2 tsp. soda
550g sugar
5 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 kilo of carrots shredded
150 g walnuts, chopped

Icing:
200 g cream cheese
150 g icing sugar
100 g butter (I used Flora which is margarine and butter mixed)

Grease and line a 26′ pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 180 degrees (Celsius) and Enjoy!!