At Casa de Phouka, Gingerbread Boys Have Canes . . .

. . . a bit of randomness to start your new year.

Peanut and Sprout decorate cookies earlier tonight.

Peanut and Sprout decorate cookies earlier tonight.

Item the first:  Baking with a blind kid is fun.  As you can tell from the photo at left, Peanut has to get pretty close to the cookie dough to decorate the cookies–but he still does an excellent job.  I definitely recommend decorating gingerbread with cinnamon imperials to sugaring sugar cookies.  This recommendation has nothing to do with Peanut’s vision impairment and everything to do with two precocious small children (4 and 2, respectively) dumping loads of sugar EVERYWHERE.  There was sugar on top of some cookies over an inch high–I kid you not.  I am still sweeping sugar out of my floor boards.  You have been warned.

Cookies Peanut decorated, pre-baking.  Yes, it is a GOOD thing to have that many cinnamon imperials on them!  Yum!

Cookies Peanut decorated, pre-baking. Yes, it is a GOOD thing to have that many cinnamon imperials on them! Yum!

As I said--gingerbread boys with canes.  The imperials make a lovely ball at the tip!

As I said–gingerbread boys with canes. The imperials make a lovely ball at the tip!

I decided this year that everyone deserves to have a cookie that looks like him/her, so I made canes for some of the gingerbread people.  This is ridiculously easy:  you just roll a small ball of dough into a stick, ala Roly-Poly Man.  Decide what position you want your cane to be in, and squish the dough onto the little cookie person’s hand.  If you’re making gingerbread people, add a little cinnamon imperial to the tip.  (Peanut is proud of the ball on his cane.  It’s evidently fabulous to hit snow with.  If you don’t have one, you want one–for snow thwacking and ice breaking.  Now you know.)  I did try to DIY one wheelchair-bound gingerbread dude for my brother-in-law–it made a massive cookie, but did not so much look like a gingerbread person in a chair.  If you want a wheelchair, I recommend purchasing a cookie cutter wheelchair for your gingerbread people–there are tons of them on Google.  🙂

Item the second:  Want to get a kid to talk?  Try this video:

We’ve recently confirmed that Sprout is a bit speech delayed.  She absolutely has receptive language (woot!), but she doesn’t so much speak.  We’ve gotten started with infant-toddler services, and this is absolutely fixable–it’s just going to take some work.  Her preschool teacher had suggested getting Sprout to make animal sounds as a way to get her started making different speech sounds and had mentioned “What Does the Fox Say?” in passing–I think jokingly.  I tried it tonight before cookie-baking, and I have to say:  Go Go Gadget Ylvis!  My little girl was entranced by the video and was trying to talk to it.  She might not have any idea what the fox says, but she was absolutely trying to speak along.  If you’re in a similar boat with a kiddo who’s reluctant to talk–give the video a shot!  If nothing else, it’s cute as heck and fun to dance to.

logo_ccviItem the third:  did you actually think I could let the year end without hitting you up for Trolley Run?  Come now.  Registration is open for our favorite annual event–we hope you will join us and our CCVI friends for the 26th annual Trolley Run on April 27, 2014.  If you’re wanting to make a last-minute donation before the end of the year, pick a family team and donate to help them reach their fundraising goal.  Every dollar raised goes to a good, good cause–I can personally attest to the amazing work these people do.  Check it out at  Note–if you’re planning on joining a family team, go to that team’s page and register through there.  The family teams are listed at the bottom of the page after you click “register” on the page above.

Item the fourth:  Have a Blessed and Wonderful New Year!  Thank you for reading about our adventures here on our blog, and thank you to everyone I’ve met and spoken to on Twitter.  You have made us feel much less alone, and you’ve made me feel like I’m making some sort of positive difference in the world–so thank you.  Have a great New Year’s Eve, and may your 2014 be unforgettable (in a positive way, of course!).


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