Easy Zucchini Brownies

As a stay-at-home mom, I have a lot of time to try new recipes. I don’t know about your family but we get bored with the same meals over and over again. The Internet is a great resource (and of course Pinterest) to see if there is something I know my husband and child would eat. I like to find “yummy but healthy” meals so I can trick them into eating stuff that is good for them.

Recently I baked some zucchini brownies! Now this may sound gross and my husband was skeptical but I wanted to try it anyway. After I whipped them up, along with the homemade frosting, I cut up a few squares and was so surprised at how good they were! James even liked them too. After sharing some with my family, I continued to eat almost the whole pan. But since they were made with zucchini and my daughter would take a few bites of each piece I had, I don’t feel too guilty.

I wanted to share the recipe because honestly no one could taste the zucchini and they were not dry at all! This was also my first time baking brownies by scratch so I was very careful to get the ingredients right!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 ½ cups grated zucchini, undrained (one large)

Frosting

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and lightly flours a 9×13 pan.
  3. Combine oil, egg, vanilla and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Mix separately. Then add the flour mixture to the sugar bowl and stir well. The sand like texture is okay! Slowly stir in the zucchini and spread into your prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Frosting

  1. When the cake is done, combine butter, sugar and milk in a small pan. Bring to a vigorous boil and let it boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Pour over warm brownies. It will harden as you let it cool.

Very easy! I used milk chocolate and Reese chocolate chips for my frosting and it really made a difference! Of course I forget to take a picture because they were so good my phone would have just slowed me down but trust me they look wonderful and this recipe makes a big batch! If you have a kitchen aid, that makes the grating of the zucchini much easier, especially if you are like me and will grate your finger off along with the vegetable.

Happy baking!

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Our Baby is Growing Up

2015 has been a great year for Avery so far!

Remember that rash I talked about in December that haunted us in our dreams? That has disappeared! We now use a mix of cloth and disposable diapers and reusable wipes. We are so thankful that her rash is gone and we are now working on potty training. I cannot wait until the diapers are all gone!

Avery is only taking two medicines! Yes, you read that right, TWO. She was taken off her amiodarone (her last strong heart medicine) slowly by her cardiologist over a 6 month period. This was exciting because the long-term side effects could have really been an issue down the road and that is not something I was looking forward to. The doctors still monitor her every once in a while but the appointments have decreased significantly!

If you look at her, you can’t even tell anything is wrong with her! She is absolutely gorgeous and super smart. She can count to ten and recite her ABC’s (not clearly but you know what she is saying) Her favorite movie is Frozen which she watches all the time and she sings “Let It Go” better than Idina Menzel.

AVERYLIFEandlemons

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t she a cutie!!

Mommy got a new camera and she is working hard on her photography skills as well as being a house wife and a mommy. I am going to start writing more but instead of just mommy stuff I am going to share some of our favorite things we use within our family and recipes we love! Of course I will update on the adventures of Avery because she is a ball of fun!

Yours truly,

The Mommy Chronicles

Want to be a cloth diaper parent?

Since I have begun using cloth diapers I have learned a lot about this trend. There are many things to learn too. If you do not read up on this stuff first you could be a little lost just like I was.

When I first used a cloth diaper I was using the old fashion piece of cloth with old fashion pins. That was interesting as well as stressful because I was always afraid to poke Avery. Once I got into cloth diapering though, I learned it didn’t have to be so difficult. If you are thinking about doing this for your little one(s) I would take note of my list of advice I’m about to throw your way.

1. Read up on everything about cloth diapers! There are YouTube videos and Facebook groups at your disposal so take advantage of them. Learn what brands and different fabrics you want to use as there are many. Read about how to properly clean your diapers and extra tools you will need for the cleaning process. Make a list of cloth diaper safe detergent and diaper cream.  Using the wrong product could really mess with the effectiveness of the diaper. This point does seem overwhelming but it’s important to know the facts and the facts do not change.

2. Calculate how much money you need to buy your collection. For one kid, you may need about 10 to 15 diapers. The more diapers you buy, the more days you can go without washing. You will also need a pail and pail liner to temporarily dispose of the diapers until wash time. A pail can be a plastic trash can with a lock top. A drying rack is important as well because you cannot dry these diapers in the dryer. If you want to use cloth wipes you can either sew some flannel fabric together or buy several packs of washcloths. I would say however many diapers you have, double that amount for wipes. Lastly, a spray bottle for cleaning the baby booty when changing it. There is also other tools you can get to make things easy but that means more money. You will need to read on this type of stuff as well.

3. While adding up those prices, compare how much you will save not using disposable diapers. A big box of diapers cost about $30-$35. Let’s say you use a box a month times 12 months, that’s about $420 a year until you potty train. Or you can buy 15 diapers at $18 a diaper and about $50 in extra tools to help with cloth diapering and that’s all the money you would have to spend until potty training. You can also reuse these diapers, if you take care of them, for the next kiddo! Do the research and add it up to compare and see for yourself! 

4. Find another cloth diapering mom and chat. Becoming an expert yourself involves talking to other experts. I have talked with moms who have three kids and have used cloth diapers on them all. Boy do they have knowledge! You can learn tips and tricks from these women and maybe save you some emergency googling when your diapers come out of the washer smelling like poop! They are always willing to help as long as your willing to learn.

I honestly think cloth diapers are a great resource for babies. There are not any chemicals in the diapers like disposable diapers. They are good for the environment and can save you a lot of money. Also, if you are like me and have a baby whose rash will not go away, cloth diapers could be the answer. Go online and start searching around, there is so much to learn!

A Pain in the Rash

Many mothers have their struggles when raising a baby. Some mothers struggle with their little one sleeping through the night. Others struggle with finding foods their baby likes. As for me, it’s diaper rash. Avery has had a diaper rash for as long as I can remember. I can’t recall the exact day the rash appeared but it was during her first visit at Children’s hospital. As months went by she always had a red rash. Sometimes it would bleed a little and we couldn’t even wipe her without her screaming in pain. I remember when I would lay a few layers of trash bags and towels on the couch so she could lay there with her bottom exposed so her rash could dry out. That never made it better but at least it stopped the bleeding.

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Doctors have seen this rash and never seemed concern. We have even gotten a prescription from the pediatrician but that failed as well. The verdict we arrived at was that the diaper rash was a result of the many medicines Avery took. Currently though, Avery is only taking a few medicines and only once a day. Nothing changed during the reduction of her medicines so we examined the diaper changing routine we had. We went through what seems like everything. From different diapers to different wipes to a variety of creams her rash just always stayed dark pink. It would bleed on occasion due to her poop but nothing got better.

This is our biggest struggle. I have done researchand asked other moms that have babies with heart disease but the answers were never different then what we have tried. Now we are trialing cloth diapers. These seem to be helping as her rash is blotchy and looking a little lighter in color. We also got rid of wipes and now use wetted cloths as well as a more natural cream. I was told it can take a couple of weeks to see a real result but anything is better then nothing. Cloth diapers are quite differen though. Washing diapers is a new experience and I feel like a mother in the 50’s. Whatever it takes though to make this rash go away is fine by me.

My advice if you are thinking of switching to cloth diapers is save up money and do your research. A lot of research. Cloth diapers have strict care instructions depending on the type of cloth and you cant use any type of cream or detergent. Other then the detailed research and extra washing, it really does have it benefits! Feel free to leave a message if you have any questions.

All By Mouth

Avery’s feeding has been one of her biggest struggles, outside of her heart, ever since she was able to start eating. Thankfully, it has gotten better over the past couple of months and that is due to the second surgery she had. She still has a Mic-key button, which is a small button that is inserted into her belly that allows us to hook up a tube to feed her since she doesn’t eat enough by mouth. We used to hook her up to this tube every four hours every day and night. That was extremely rough on our sleep but it was what we needed to do. When Avery began eating well by mouth, we only had to hook her up at night and stretched her milk to run through the pump for eight hours. This made things a lot easier on all of us.

As we are trying to get this button out of her belly before the end of the year, we have been working hard on getting all her calories in her through the mouth. Now, we are stopping night feeds and using a syringe to give her the remainder of her milk she doesn’t take by bottle through her tube. It is called a bolus feed and when I pour the milk in the syringe, gravity takes over and the milk slowly flows in her belly. She needs to eat five times a day and take at least 4 ounces of milk for each feeding. Hopefully with discontinuing her night feeds she will be hungrier during the day.

For me, this is normal. I know when I tell people what all we have to do they stare like deer caught in a headlight. I can’t imagine having a normal healthy baby. I actually am not sure if I would know what to do. Sometimes at night when I am getting her meds ready I can’t help but think how crazy this situation is. You never think the baby you will one day have will need medication and feeding and physical therapy.

It could be worse though. Tonight I was watching a video on how to do the bolus feeding just to make sure I know all the steps and I clicked on the first video I saw. It was a mother who started in the kitchen getting all of her supplies ready. She than walked into the living to this huge beanbag where her 5 or 6-year-old son laid. He was immobile and didn’t seem like he was able to speak. She then lifted the little boy’s shirt and exposes his mic-key button. Just like Averys. I felt sad for her because even though Avery may not get this button out of her this year, I am almost positive it will be out by the time she is that age. That is when I felt very lucky that our daughter is progressing so well, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem fair.

Avery will one day be able to walk around the house. She will be able to tell me when she is hungry or when she has to go potty. My daughter will be able to do a lot that this little boy may never be able to do and I feel very blessed with all we have been dealt. It may be overwhelming to others but for me it is how I am taught to raise a baby. Measuring food and counting calories is normal to me now and I could do it in my sleep. I am more than happy to do what I do because at least I have the opportunity to take care of her. So keep your fingers crossed that she gets a huge urge to eat everything by mouth so we do not have to use the button!