Tasty Tuesday: Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Granola bars make a great snack, but many of the store bought ones contain ingredients that I can’t even pronounce.  No way am I feeding that to my son.  So I did some experimentation and created a yummy granola bar recipe to make at home.

What you need:

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten (this helps hold the bars together but can be omitted if you have egg allergies)

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and mix.
  3. In a smaller bowl combine all of the wet ingredients and mix.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients making sure everything is coated evenly.  I use my hands to do this as I think it works better than just stirring with a spoon.
  5. Line a rectangular glass baking dish with parchment paper (I used an 8 x 11.5 inch one, but you could use a standard 9 x 13 if that’s all you have).
  6. Press the granola bar mixture into the dish.
  7. Bake for about 35 min.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool for another 10 minutes.
  9. Cut into bars.
  10. Enjoy!

Make-It Monday: Valentine’s Day Window Art

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I decided to start in on some Valentine’s art projects with Trevor. The first project we made were Valentine’s Day themed window clings.  They aren’t quite like the type of window art you buy at the store, but they’re still super cute.  And making a project together always makes it better than buying it in the store anyway 🙂

What you need:

  • White school glue
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter or glitter glue (optional)
  • Water
  • Cookie cutters
  • Waxed paper

How to make it:

  1. Add some food coloring to your bottle of glue until it reaches your desired color.
  2. Add the glitter or glitter glue to the bottle and shake well to mix.
  3. Put just a few drops of water into the colored glue to thin it out slightly.
  4. Shake it up again.
  5. Place your cookie cutters (we used hearts) onto a sheet of waxed paper.
  6. Squeeze the colored glue inside the cookie cutters and spread to fill the entire cookie cutter.  (Make sure your glue is thick enough to completely coat the inside.  Our glue was thin in a few spots and one of our hearts didn’t turn out that well).
  7. Let them dry completely.  This may take a few days, depending on the thickness of the glue and your climate.
  8. Once completely dry, peel them off the waxed paper and out of the cookie cutters.
  9. Wet the dried glue shapes with water and stick to your window.
  10. Enjoy homemade holiday beauty!

Checking out the cookie cutters:

Helping squeeze some glue:

Spreading the glue:

Glue is dried and they’re ready to put on the window:

Putting a heart in water:

Helping push them onto the glass:

Pointing to his beautiful heart window art:

Sensational Saturday: Colored Gel Light Box Fun

Time for a little no-mess messy play!  I’ve seen a colored gel activity on Pinterest before, but I decided to give it a little twist and do it on the light box.  If you don’t have a light box you can just tape the bag to some white paper.  Or of course this could inspire you to make a light box of your own.  It’s so fun!  Go here to see how to make one.

What you  need for colored gel fun:

  • Gallon size Ziploc bag
  • Hair gel (another great Dollar Store item)
  • Food coloring
  • Tape
  • Light box

How to make it:

  1. Squeeze the bottle of gel into the Ziploc bag.
  2. Add in the food coloring of your desired choice.  Trevor chose yellow.
  3. Seal the bag and mix the gel and food coloring together.
  4. Tape the bag to the top of the light box.
  5. Turn the light box on and have fun exploring the colored gel.

Trevor squished the gel, poked the bubbles, licked the bag, lol :), and had some of his light box toys “eat” the gel.  Older kids can draw lines, shapes and letters in the gel.

First Day of Class!

It’s been nearly a week since I blogged last.  There’s been some heavy stuff going on lately with Trevor and I’m still trying to process it.  When we meet with his geneticist next month I’ll share what we’ve learned.  But for now I’m not quite ready to do that.  However, I would like to share what Trevor did today.  He went to his first class!  He looked super cute and I had to take that typical First Day of School picture:

This was his first time attending a class without me.  I was nervous how he’d do with the separation since he’s a mama’s boy, but he did surprisingly well.  It made me a little sad that he didn’t miss me too much!  He made a cute art project which is proudly hung on our fridge 🙂  I also can’t wait to try this project with him again at home.  They painted with ice!
Even though the separation wasn’t tough, there were some hard parts.  The class is designed to work on communication and social skills, not motor skills.  Trevor was the only kid in class with global delays, so the other kids were literally running circles around him.  The other kids could climb the stairs, slide down the slide, blow bubbles, drink out of cups, even just sit in the class chairs without issues.  Trevor crawled up the stairs in they gym and then got stuck trying to figure out how to go down the slide.  They’re also going to have to get a different chair for him next week, as the ones they have for the class aren’t supportive enough for him.  I am so used to Trevor that I don’t even think about his motor delays that much.  Seeing how far behind his peers he really is definitely hurts a mama’s heart.
But I’m so proud of him and how well he did.  He’s making great progress and that’s the important thing.  He also has the sweetest smile and is as smart as a whip 🙂  I love my little man and can’t wait to see the story he writes, even if it has a few more bumps than most.

Sensational Saturday: Peanut Butter Play-Doh

I’m always on the lookout for new dough recipes to try out with Trevor.  Working with dough is a great fine motor and sensory exercise.  This time we made Peanut Butter Play-Doh.  Not only is it fun to play with, but it smells and, according to Trevor, tastes great too!  He ate a ton of it, so much in fact that it spoiled his dinner, lol 🙂

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • approx. 1/2 cup cornmeal

How to make it:

  1. Mix together the peanut butter and honey.
  2. Slowly add in the cornmeal until you reach your desired consistency.  Depending on the creaminess of your peanut butter you may have to use more or less than 1/2 cup.
  3. Roll it, knead it, smash it, etc just like Play-Doh.

Helping push the peanut butter into the bowl:

You gotta lick the spoon!

Concentrating on squeezing the honey:

Helping dump in some cornmeal:

Stir it up:




Excited about the ball of dough:

Making sure it still tastes good:

He thought it was funny when I made him a snowman out of the dough:

Therapy Thursday: Scooter Board Races

Scooter boards are a great therapy tool.  They help develop gross motor skills as well as give vestibular and proprioceptive input.  Plus they’re fun!  To get Trevor excited about using the scooter board I like to do scooter board races.  I use painter’s tape to make a track on our floor, and then he gets on the scooter board and I push one of his toy cars and we race.

There are three general ways Trevor uses his scooter board in these races:

  1. He will lay on the scooter board and pull himself forward with his arms (I do have to help him with this one).
  2. He sits on the scooter board and propels himself forward with his feet.
  3. He kneels on the ground, places his hands on the scooter board, and pushes the scooter board.

Checking out the racetrack:

Laying on the scooterboard:

Sitting on the scooterboard:

Kneeling and pushing the scooterboard:

Pulling the tape off the floor is fun too 🙂

Tasty Tuesday: Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Waffles

I definitely don’t use my waffle iron enough.  And I have no excuse for that, as making waffles is so easy!  I got the itch to make waffles yesterday and decided I’d like to try adding peanut butter to the batter.   I searched around online and found a few recipes.  The one I took and adapted can be found here.  These waffles are tasty and healthy too.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Waffles

What you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • splash vanilla extract

How to make it:

  1. Put all the ingredients into the bowl of your electric mixer.
  2. Using the paddle attachment, beat until blended.
  3. Cook on your waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.

I also made an apple topping to go with these.  If you’d like to go beyond the traditional waffle toppings this is a great one.

Apple Cinnamon Topping

What you need:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Honey
  • Unsweetened applesauce

How to make it:

  1. Peel, core and chop your apples.
  2. Put chopped apples in a small Crock Pot.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over apples (to taste).
  4. Add in a few spoonfuls of unsweetened applesauce.
  5. Cook on low until apples are tender.
  6. Add a few squirts of honey to add some sweetness.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Spread on top of your waffles and enjoy!

Can I Just Be Mad Today?

Normally on Mondays I post about an awesome art project that we create.  We made a super cute one I was planning on sharing, but honestly I’m in a pity party kind of mood right now.  I have no interest in pretending like everything is fine and I think I’ll blog about our next great winter craft another day.  Because today I’m mad.  I’m mad that my child has to struggle.  I’m mad that he can’t get into his new big boy bed without help.  I’m mad that the only solution I’ve come up with (foam steps) costs over one hundred dollars.  And then again, I’m not even sure that would work.  Why oh why can’t my toddler just climb into his toddler bed?  I hate that we may need to buy adaptive equipment for him.  It makes me mad.  And just for today I need to express that to the world.

I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be my happy self once again.

Sensational Saturday: DIY Light Box

The latest rage online seems to be light boxes for kids.  Several blogs I’ve stumbled across show kids having fun playing with ready-made light boxes.  But those are pretty pricey and I’m way too cheap for that!  So I searched around online and found a few ideas on how to make your own light box.

What You Need:

  • clear under-the-bed style storage tote
  • foil
  • parchment paper
  • duct tape
  • Christmas lights (I used white LED net lights I found on clearance after Christmas)

Using these items I made a light box for under 15 bucks.

How to Make It:

  1. Assemble your supplies.
  2. Line the inside of the storage tote with foil, securing with duct tape.  This helps to reflect the light upward.
  3. Line the lid of the tote with a double layer of parchment paper, securing the edges with duct tape.  The parchment paper helps diffuse the light.
  4. Spread the lights as evenly as possible inside the box, with the plug hanging over the edge.
  5. Put your lid on.
  6. Plug it in and enjoy!

Trevor loves his light box!  I found some great items at the Dollar Tree to use on top of the light box.  These are glow-in-the-dark animals.  They are flat and transparent, so they work great.

And I found some colored transparent kaleidoscopes in the party favor section.  He decided they were hats, because they’re cone-shaped like a Santa hat 🙂

I also picked up some colored gems in the floral section at the Dollar Tree for him to explore on his light box.

He decided sitting on it was fun too.  The plus side of making your own light box out of a storage tote is that it’s pretty durable too.

The light box is a huge hit in our house.  Playing with light is a great way to stimulate the visual sense.  I had been looking into adding some more visual tasks to Trevor’s sensory diet, and this worked out perfectly.  The possibilities are endless.  I can’t wait to find lots of new items for him to explore on his light box.


Stay tuned for more Light Box ideas, or check out Teach Preschool for their great ideas!

Guest Post on SPD Blogger Network

The SPD Blogger Network is a great source of support for me and many other parents whose children have SPD.  Today my first post as an SPD Blogger Network member was published.  You should go check it out!  And if you’re the parent of and SPD kiddo, join this group.  You don’t have to write if you don’t want to; you can just enjoy reading the posts published by others.