Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More surgery, bronchitis and TV stardom... Just another week at the Weeberts

Little B’s brain is throwing us for a loop again, and I thought I would let you know what is going on.

On October 14, Little B had a periodic MRI, which is meant to monitor the status of Little B's brain tumor. Later that day, Little B’s oncologist called and informed me that Little B had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is essentially an excess of spinal fluid in the brain. This buildup of fluid puts pressure on the brain, causing dizziness, headaches, and nausea and vomiting. I had noted that Little B had complained more of headaches and had been tripping more often than normal, but was hoping that Little B's oncologist would brush off my concerns as maternal worrying (it always makes me feel better when he pokes fun at me over worrying).  Unfortunately, sometimes we moms worry for a reason. 

Over the past few weeks, we have had a number of doctors appointments and Little B had a follow-up MRI to determine a course of action.  Today we met with Little B’s neurosurgeon, and the plan is for Little B to have brain surgery on November 12. The procedure is called a third ventriculostomy, which is essentially an alternative to a shunt. Shunts tend to fail over  time and to have some other difficulties, and a third ventriculostomy, if it works, should have less long-term issues than a shunt. It should make Little B feel better, and the procedure is well understood. If everything goes according to plan, Little B should only be in the hospital for a few days.

The good news (if there is good news) is that the tumor is not acting up, and there is no sign of tumor regrowth. The bad news is that there is no explanation as to why the hydrocephalus occurred. Hydrocephalus is a moderately common side effect to brain surgery, but it usually occurs within a month or two of the brain surgery. The neurosurgeon has indicated that neither he nor his colleagues have ever seen hydrocephalus occur this far out.

Poor Little B also has bronchitis and is on antibiotics for it. We are doing our best to get him healthy for Tuesday.

In any case, life at the Weebert household is never boring. We’re hoping to get Little B feeling better soon. On Friday of this week, Big A, Little B and I are recording a TV commercial for Make-A-Wish's holiday campaign. Fingers crossed that our 30 seconds of fame goes smoothly.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini and Applesauce Brownies

These delicious brownies have a lot going for them. While they are delicious, they also help me to use up the ridiculous abundance of zucchini and applesauce that has invaded my house. So, enjoy!

Note: This recipe is based on this recipe from Sparkpeople.

1 cup applesauce
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate pieces


½ cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups finely shredded zucchini


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first six ingredients in a large bowl. Sift cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Oil a 13x9 glass pan. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate pieces on top. Bake for 25 minutes. 

Note: I didn't finely shred the zucchini the first time I made these. I'm nervously awaiting Big A's judgment on whether there is anything "suspicious" in them... sigh.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dino-Mike

This morning, Alex asked me the first thing, "So... do you think Dino-Mike can teach me? He's the best teacher I've ever had!?!?" What the h*ck?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

So when we started homeschooling, I had all of these grandiose dreams of discussing classics, doing insightful maths, and "creating" thinkers. Well, it has been almost six months of homeschooling and today I taught my seven year old while using a voice from a Veggie Tales movie and pretending that a one-inch dinosaur puppet (controlled by a clothespin) was doing the teaching. My son named the dinosaur "Dino-Mike" and made him a bed from a coffee filter. In good news, we did get through math, history and writing without tears (his or mine), so I'm thinking that Dino-Mike will be making periodic appearances in our lessons. Sadly, I think Big A had a better conversation about history with a paper dinosaur puppet than he has with me. Happily, we're almost done with this year. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Random Recipe: Zucchini "Pancakes" with Black Beans and Corn

Sorry, I have to write this somewhere or I'll forget it. I sort of developed this recipe and G loved it. If I don't write it down, well, it will never get made again:

Pancakes
3 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into 1-in chunks
1/4 large onion, cut into 1-in chunks (or so)
1/2 c. flour
2 eggs
1/2 c. mild cheese (mild cheddar, mozzarella)
1/8 t. black pepper
1/2 t. salt

Put everything into the blender and blend the heck out of it. Put in refrigerator until ready to go. Heat frying pan to 350 degrees (I use a large, stand alone one). Grease the pan well. No need to be a blushing violet here, you need at least a tablespoon of oil, maybe more if your pan isn't well seasoned/non-stick. Pour in 5-6 inch in diameter "pancakes", making sure that they are very thin. Almost crepe-like, but without the attitude. Cook until happily browned. Flip. Serve with Black Bean Filling, sour cream, and a fresh salsa. (We turned them into taco-looking thing, but it's really your call).

Black Bean "Filling"
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 large onion, diced
2 ears of corn, cut the corn off the cob and steam for 2 minutes

Saute everything in 1 t. oil in saute pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The things those boys say...


The boys have been just hilarious today. Namely: 
  • “I am going to share my new bank with you, so that way you can share your money with me!” B, with his new bank, to his dad
  •  “I’m digesting quickly today.” A, after whining he was hungry 20 minutes after eating a cheeseburger as his third “snack” of the afternoon, and 45 minutes before dinner.
  •  “I am an adult!” cried B, brandishing a highlighter. “I am an adult; I have a permanent marker!” (He then proceeded to tell everyone in the store that fact).
  • We were exiting off Highway 26, and there were a number of birds on the side of the road.

B started yelling, “Chicken wings, Mom! Look, Chicken wings! Chicken wings!”
Me: “What are you talking about?” (Hoping there was nothing dead on the side of the road.)
B: “Chicken wings! Chicken wings!”
Me: “Do you mean chickadees? Those could maybe be chickadees?”
B: “No, mom” “I said chicken – wings. –WINNNGGGS. Not chickens.”
Me: “I said chickadees, bud. D-D-D. Chickadees. Those birds could be chickadees.”
B: “No, mom, not chickens. I said chicken-wings. Get it straight.”
Me: “Oh, look, traffic is moving.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chocolate Cake (with special-specials!)

Here are the Weebert house, we have two very finicky boys. And boy, if you want to torture these children, put veggies in front of them. Yikes. As a veggie-loving mom, I'm always looking for ways to get the fruits and veggies in the kids without epic battles, or tears (either mine or theirs). This cake is just the ticket.

Chocolate Cake

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cups sugar (may be honey or agave, if you are going all-in healthy)
1/4 cup margarine
2/3 cups baking cocoa
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water (this is in addition to the water set forth above)
1 cup blueberries
4 huge handfuls of spinach (about 4-6 ounces of spinach)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Place 1/4 cup water, blueberries and spinach in a medium pan (covered), over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. Stir periodically while cooking. Blueberries should burst and spinach should wilt. Take off heat.  Using an immersion blender, completely blend up the spinach-blueberry "sauce."

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place spinach-blueberry sauce in a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients (except the chocolate chips, if you are using them). Mix for 30 seconds, and then scrape down bowl. Mix for another 2-3 minutes.

Pour cake batter into a greased 13 by 9 by 2 pan. We like chocolate chips instead of frosting (sometimes!), so I put the chocolate chips on top of the cake batter at this point. Bake for 35 -40 minutes.

The cake looks a bit darker than a standard chocolate cake (due to the darkness of the spinach-blueberry sauce), but if you were to ice this darling cake with frosting, no one would be the wiser. I taste a very faint hint of blueberry, but the boys didn't recognize it at all. ;-)