Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

Choose a Topic:

Apr '09

Thank you, Gerber

I was just thinking about how I bought Baby Orajel a year ago, when Wes was about six months old, in case he was teething. I hope it hasn’t expired yet.

The other thing we’ve had on hand for a looooong time without needing is Biter Biscuits. Though they’ve been in the cupboard, I haven’t given them to him often because they are m-e-s-s-y. And a pain to clean up because once the mushy biscuitness is on his face it dries and gets caked on fast. And we all know how much little kids adore having their cheeks rubbed raw with a Clorox wipe. I always silently cursed the makers of these things when I tried to clean up Wes after eating one.

But now I worship the makers of Biter Biscuits. Because right now Wes is sitting in his booster seat, gnawing and gnawing and gnawing at a biscuit. It’s been twenty minutes. It’s been blissfully quiet. And the biscuit is only half gone.


Stop the presses! BREAKING NEWS!

Wes is getting his first tooth.

If you can manage to pry his hand away from his mouth you can see a little white nubber on the bottom gum in front.

What a week! First he picks up his first sign, and now his first tooth.

Nineteen months of waiting and we get a double whammy in one week!

Apr '09

Hallelujah. And then some.

Wesley gets visits from three different therapists four times each month: physical, occupational, and speech. Sometimes these visits are exhausting for me because they remind me how much work I have to do with Wes. And other times, like today, they make me gush with joy to realize what great progress Wes is making.

I have to first point out Wesley’s MAJOR MILESTONE: His first sign.

Let me just say that I’ve been using signs with Wes since he was about two or three months old. When I take him to the library Sing and Sign Time I’m always amazed at the little seven-month-old babies that can sign “milk” like it’s no big deal, and here I’ve been working on it with Wes for over a year, and NOTHING.

Since he was little I’ve been SHOWING the signs to him, and in the last few months I’ve been making him DO them himself (by taking his arms or fingers and making him sign). In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I only have to bring my hands towards his elbows, as if I were about to help him move them to make the sign “more,” but when he sees me coming at him he’ll move his arms himself. Even that was great progress.

Then today, for the first time, all I have to do is say, “Show me ‘more'”–and he does it! All by himself, without me helping him at all.

His sign for “more” is a bit of a convoluted mix between the “milk” sign and “more.” But hey, it works. And he gets this wide, goofy grin on his face every time he does the sign. He really knows he’s communicating with me.

I guess success tastes sweeter the longer you have to wait for it. Because I’m feeling super excited by this. I’ve waited OVER A YEAR for it!

Now he does his “more” sign for everything–milk, more toys, snacks, pretty much whatever I’m asking him about. But that’s OK. Let’s get him settled with one sign and then maybe he’ll figure out there’s more than one in the world.

Check out these videos of him using his signing skills:

More video 1

More video 2

Anyway. Back to the therapists. Today his speech therapist came and Wes did great. She asked me if he’s using his pointer finger to point yet and I said no, although we’ve been working on it.

Well, then she pulls out these flash cards with pictures on them and flips through them with him, and when she says, “Where’s the _____?” he would use his pointer finger to point at the picture. Yeah. I know. Little stinker was holding out on me. He doesn’t curl his other fingers down, but clearly I can see him using his pointer finger, even though his other fingers are outstretched.

She also brought a toy that looks like a lawnmower with little balls that pop up as you push it. That toy gave Wes such a big smile! He loved pushing and pulling it around. AND as he played with it I saw him back up. Walking backwards is something his physical therapist has been wanting him to learn how to do. She just came last week, and when she came I didn’t think I’d ever seen Wes back up while standing. But in the last few days I’ve seen him do it several times, including today with that toy. If the therapists didn’t come I wouldn’t know what to look for. I wouldn’t even know to rejoice in the fact that Wes can walk backwards. But hurray! He can.

So I’m happy for Wes today. He’s getting things. When he wants to, but still, he’s getting them.

Apr '09

Quiche, anyone? Or chocolate caramel cake?

You know me and cooking. They generally don’t go together, at least not well.

Therefore when I pull something from the oven that turns out edible, even pleasantly so, I have to publish my success to the world to prove I really did it.

Today’s quest was to use some of the leftover Easter ham. I decided to make a quiche.

If the word “quiche” scares you off, don’t be alarmed. I always assumed quiches were difficult to make. This probably stems from the time as a teenager when I babysat a family of five kids whose mom–who ran a catering business–left me a recipe for quiche and expected me to make it for her kids’ dinner without ruining it. I wasn’t sure I even knew how to pronounce “quiche”, let alone how to make it. I prepared it, albeit with great anxiety, and when I served it to the kids I asked how I did. They said: “Not as good as my mom’s.” Aaaaand that was the last time I tried to make quiche.

I only post recipes here if they’re bona fide easy (i.e., I can make it). I used stuff I had on hand. Most quiche recipes call for cream or half and half. Without either, I substituted evaporated milk. It turned out fine, and probably tasted less heavy than it would have with cream. The original recipe didn’t call for onions, but I added them to enhance flavor. I used a lot of onion, so the flavor was strong, but you can adjust according to your preference.


Pastry for 9″ pie shell (I used pie crust mix and patted it [didn’t roll it out] into my pampered chef stone pie shell)
1/2 onion, diced (this is if you like onion flavor a lot; use less if you want the flavor more in the background)
2 tsp butter
1 c. diced cooked ham
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mix of Colby jack and Swiss we had on hand, and I probably used more than a cup)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (I just sprinkled a little on)
4 eggs
1 c. half and half (I used a cup of evaporated milk)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika (I omitted this)
1 Tbsp dijon mustard

Line 9″ quiche dish or pie pan with pastry; trim excess pastry around edges. Bake 400 degrees for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and gently prick with fork. Bake 5 minutes longer. Let cool.

Put diced onion in microwaveable dish with 2 tsp. butter, cover, and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Place 1/2 of ham in pastry shell; top with 1/2 of onion and 1/2 of cheese. Repeat with ham, onion, and cheese and then sprinkle with nutmeg.

Beat eggs until foamy; stir in half and half (or evaporated milk) and mustard and seasonings. Pour slowly over cheese in pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until firm.


I also made a cake over the weekend to bribe my 11-year-old primary kids at church to learn the names of the current twelve apostles. This cake is easy, very moist, and plenty sweet. It’s good if you like caramel and chocolate. It may be considered a simplified version of the Better Than Sex cake that involves the addition of whipped cream and chopped toffee bits. You could probably use any chocolate cake mix and frosting, but the ones specified are especially good because they have mini chocolate chips in them that make for a better overall taste and texture.


Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix
Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge frosting
Caramel ice cream topping (I used Mrs. Richardson’s butterscotch caramel topping)

Prepare cake mix according to package directions for round double layer cake. Cool completely. Frost the top of one layer, then place second layer on top. Use handle of wooden spoon to punch holes in surface of cake layers, pushing all the way to the bottom. Heat jar of caramel topping until easy to work with. Pour desired amount over top of cake and into the holes. Finish frosting the top and sides of cake. If needed, put cake in freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up caramel before frosting completely.

Apr '09

Salt Lake City

Last week Wes and I spent a quick hour in downtown Salt Lake City.

We walked to the park where John proposed to me in 2001.

This may or may not have been the bench where John popped the question.

Then we walked over to the LDS Conference Center to use the bathroom and see the art on display. Wes was small in proportion to the huge space, but that didn’t stop him from walking everywhere and making the elderly patrons smile as he toddled by.

Wes exploring the waterfall outside the window.


Easter Man

Wesley’s new suit. It’s size 12 months. The shirt and vest fit OK, but the pants we had to roll up about three times to fit his short legs.