Monday, May 28, 2012

Wet in one way or another...

Today I just have some videos and pictures to show you of what we have been doing to enjoy the spring/summer like weather.

We have been going on walks in our neighborhood.  Here is Lizzie dipping her feet in the River Nidd.  You can see Anna is next to her in the water, she is wearing her wellies, but you can't see them.

Lizzie in the River Nidd

Playing with the water table or rather on the water table.  Anna got on the water table the first year we bought it and apparently it is just for sitting on, but they both fit happily in there, so, hey.

In front of our house in their water table

Next so as Anna doesn't get all the pool credit, here are a few videos of Lizzie from swimming class.  By the way, since I was filming and keeping her safe, it is not the best camera shots.  But first off we have her floating in her arm bands all by herself!

Next, here she is going under the water.  She has been going under since about 6 months old and has never cried once.  For the sake of the video I did kind of pull her to come in a bit, but usually I let her come on her own time.

At the end of every class all the babies go down to the stairs and lay down for twinkle twinkle little star.  Check out how relaxed and content she is, oh and notice the other babies crying in the background, it is definitely something that takes a bit of work to get comfortable doing!

Next, we have a video of Anna and I on a date to the Darley Mill, which is a cool little mill and restaurant and shops just a bout 2 miles from our place.  Here is Anna giving her instructional video of how to blow bubbles in her milk (which I had never seen her do before).

Here is Lizzie and her cup instructional video, not so much with words, but check her out!

This one is  not for the faint of heart and this one has nothing to do with water or milk.  Lizzie wanted to get into the sandbox with the other kids so I stripped of her clothes (she still had on her nappy/diaper) and let her at it.  Then she had sand all over her mouth, so I decided to take a little video and to show how it got there.  Most people would probably just take her out, but I thought I'd capture the moment.

Last but not least is just a bonus picture that I love.  I took this in front of our house whilst doing Airplane with Anna.  I LOVE the beautiful blue sky.  We have had so many blue sky days lately and after the grey clouds of winter, it just makes me happy!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jay Jay Bo Bay...

This is our friend Jay:

Jay died while I was pregnant with our first child Anna, seen here:

Today I want to write about Anna and Jay.  Specifically about how much she talks about Jay all the time!  She never met him, but when we were in America last winter we were able to go to Arizona and see the site where he is buried.  It was so special to me as we love Jay so much and miss him terribly.

But, I don't want to get into all of that.  I want to get into Anna and Jay.  Sometimes it goes in cycles but often Anna will discuss Jay at least once a week, other times daily.  His name comes up constantly.  One thing she loves doing is singing the name game song.  She always sings about Jay.  "Jay, Jay, bo bay, banana fanna foe fay, fi fie mo may, Jay"

Then he randomly comes up in conversation.  Here are some things that Anna has said about Jay:

"Um, when Jay is resurrected do you think he will come to our house?"
When she was sad "I miss Jay"
"If Jay were alive would he come to our house?  I really want Jay to come to our house"
Randomly in the middle of playing "um, how old was Jay when he died again?"
"I knew Jay in Heaven before I was born"

The frequency with which she talks about Jay makes us really happy.  But, we also wondered if she would think anything of him, had he not died.  He would have been just one of our friends, whom she would meet every once in a while.

Anna asleep in Jay's room

One thing that we thought was rather funny a few weeks ago was that with all this talk of Jay, our friend posted a load of pictures on facebook of us with Jay.  Anna was looking at them and then said "who, is that funny little guy?"  We know Jay would have gotten a kick out.  Just thought I would share.

Just for fun, a photo of us and Jay (and others) on the day we met!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long overdue - Lizzie

When I was about 33 weeks pregnant with Lizzie I took a GTT and it was found that I had blood sugar that was too high.  They said they could not diagnose it completely as Gestational diabetes because if was so late in the pregnancy that there were not numbers as to what blood sugar is typically at that point, but they wanted to monitor it anyway.  I was able to keep my blood sugar under control by diet.  

At about 36 weeks pregnant I had an ultra sound where Lizzie was measuring 7 lb. 2 oz. but I didn't think much of it as I don't always think they are that accurate.  I believe it now.  At about that time I started having braxton hicks contractions or "tightenings" about every 5 minutes for 4-5 days, which was pretty annoying.  They went away though thankfully!  But came back at about 39 weeks or so for the next week until Lizzie arrived!

Wednesday 14th June 2011 12.30pm, I went to the doctor to have a stretch and sweep (membranes stripped) as Lizzie was 5 days over due and they had originally wanted to induce at 38 weeks which I refused to do.  When the doctor did the procedure, he said I was already dilated to a 4.  The doctor said that he would be surprised if I was not back in the hospital that night.  I was!

By 2 o'clock I started having contractions every 6 minutes or so.  I called to let my doula know, so that she could arrange childcare. 

We had the doula came over at about 6:45 and we decided to head to the hospital.  I wish I had stayed home longer, but decided that it would be nice to get to the hospital  and get comfy before things progressed too much.  I also was told on the phone I would be able to use the birthing pool, alas, once I arrived the doctor said no, as I was considered high risk.

Look at that belly!
By 11:30 pm I was still only at a 5, So I walked around a bit more.  I was using hypnobirthing CD's which are really just relaxation CD.  I was also using a TENS machine, which I found helpful.  By 5:30 the next morning I was still at a 6 so the doctor decided we needed progress things by breaking my water.  I also got a half of a dose of the drug called pethidine, which helped as I was pretty anxious by this time that things were going to be too difficult to do without an epidural.  However, the contractions never started coming close together, they stayed at about 5 minute intervals.   By 7:20 or so I was time to push.  By 7:55 the midwife realized that Lizzie's shoulders were stuck, so she pushed the emergency button.  I didn't notice she pushed the button, but one more push, with the help of the wonderful staff and Lizzie was out at 8:00 am on  June 16th, my parents 38th anniversary!  She was in a bit of shock from the birth and was a bit sleepy from the drug so they took her aside to check her and give her the antidote to the pethidine,she scored a 3 on her agpar at birth and then an 8 at 5 minutes.  So not too bad.   They took her to the special care baby unit to get her temperatures regulated and just to be monitored.  A couple minutes later the midwife came in to let us know that she weighed 10 lbs. 4 oz. Which I am pretty proud about managing without an epidural!  

After being examined they found that I had a 3rd degree tear, which meant it needed to be stitched in "theatre" or the Operating room.  I was not in pain from the tear, but the after pains were really strong so I was very happy to get a spinal during the procedure.   Drew went with Lizzie, while they were stitching me up.  The nurse was embarrassed that they didn't have any pink sheets, but, oh well.

She had to be fed formula because of the diabetes so I told them to cup feed her.  After being stitched up, they brought her to me for a while in the recovery room, but wanted to take her back to monitor her further.  I was able to see her twice that evening, Anna came with me the first time.  Anna was cute because she was more interested in the baby next to Lizzie who was much smaller than her, than in Lizzie.

My first visit with Elizabeth note the matching PJ's, a Christmas gift from Drew!

The second time they brought her to the room to nurse for a bit.  They told me she was probably fine to bring down to the room for the night, but if they would keep her so I could rest after the spinal and what not.  I opted for her to stay and get a bit more sleep.  I had a private room this time around as that was the main thing I didn't like about Anna's birth was sharing the room afterward.  It was fabulous this time and it only costs about 80 GBP, the price of a hotel, and you get room service!  Then at about 3 am, they brought her down and said, "um, she really wants you, and she definitely can make herself heard!"  Apparently she was quite loud.  She can still make her opinions know quite well if she is unhappy about something!

My midwife and friend with Lizzie in our room

Then, we were together at last.  I was able to nurse her and she was happy.  It was very nice to be able to start to get to know her.  Anna came back to the hospital in the morning with Drew.  In fact, they were already at the hospital before they came by, because it turned out, Drew had developed pink eye!  So, we had to be very cautious for a few days so Lizzie didn't catch it.  He also had a bad cold when Anna was born, I guess that is his way.  Anyway, when Anna came to my room to see Lizzie she was so happy to hold her and she sang to her, it was so sweet!

Lizzie gave Anna a Gruffalo

Our friend Eric took these newborn pictures!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I was realizing I never posted the story of Lizzie's birth.  Apparently, I also never posted about Anna's birth either.  Well since they are both having  birthdays in a few weeks, I would say now is a good time:

I remember it like it was almost 4 years ago (ahem):

We moved to England when I was 33 weeks pregnant.  I had gestational diabetes so was referred to the diabetes doctor and the ob.  I had midwifes before in the states and a nutritionist (I guess they are a bit more cautious over here).  Anyway, they wanted to induce me at 38 weeks, which is typical both in the states and here.  I was really scared of being induced as I have rarely heard anything positive about it.  I was scheduled for my appointment to discuss induction on Wednesday morning.  Almost right on cue Tuesday night the 24th of June, I started having contractions or really "tightenings" as they say, when they want to steel you thunder and let you know it is going to be way more intense.  Anyway, they started about every 5 minutes (which I have learned is apparently my labor number, with both girls they started at 5 minutes and stayed that way the whole time).

Anyway, I called the hospital and asked when I should come in.  They said that I should come in when I wanted pain relief.  Well, by 8 Am they had grown to be more intense, so I told Drew I would like to go in.  When I got there, they did all the typical things, monitoring and what not.  I met one of my midwifes who looked at the monitor and said, "Well, things are definitely happening."   That made me feel reassured.


 I asked her if she was going to check me and she said that she would when I wanted pain relief.  So, by this time the contractions were not as intense, so I decided to try and wait a while.  Drew and I tried to walk around the hall like in the videos they show you in prenatal class.  That worked for a while, but a few hours later, I started to cry and not be able to stop.  The contractions were really intense at this point but had slowed down to about one every 15 minutes.  I kept crying and Drew said I should get an epidural.  I had heard that they are not so quick to give epidurals here and I debated it for a while, but since I couldn't stop crying I eventually went ahead and requested one.  It took about 45 minutes before it happened though.  One thing I was not expecting about the epidural was the needle in my hand.  I remember it being a needle this was more like a tube and was so painful getting put in it was almost worse than the contractions.  After I got the epidural, I totally stopped crying.  Drew said "there, now you won't feel anything else"  The midwife show him a look that definitely showed she was not pleased with his remark."  Well, I didn't feel any more contractions true, but my contractions also stopped, ugh.  So they put me on a induction drip, which I did not mind at all, because I could not feel it!  I made sure Drew bought a newspaper,so we had a copy of one from the day Anna was born.  Time went on and the drugs worked to progress my labor.  As it neared time to push, the midwife came in and said that the Doctor wanted me to be put on a glucose drip before I pushed.  She also said that since I had too many things running through my line it meant I would need another IV.  Well, I started to cry and she said maybe we should test my blood sugar first.  We did and it was great, such a blessing!  Anyway, It was time to push.  Well, I don't know if my epidural was in correctly all the way but I definitely felt it once I started to push, YIKES!  I started screaming for them to take her out anyway possible.  I kept saying it was not working and they should just take her out, they reassured me I was doing fine.  Fourty-five minutes or so later, she was here.  She arrived at 12:50 am on the 26th.  Which meant, Drew had to buy another paper.  Only 28 hours start to finish.  They also had this great drug they offer you that makes everything else take only a couple more minutes, awesome!   I did have some tearing and needed a few stitches.  When the doctor came in to do the stitching, he said, "SHE had an epidural.  I didn't think she had any pain relief.  Top her up before I come near her!"  Yep, I was screaming that loudly!

Here is Anna freshly born and wrapped in my baby blanket and no she is not huge the blanket is placed deceptively

Exhibit B: see she is much smaller than she appears above and she is a few days older here.  Also,  since I posted pictures that were not the most flattering of Anna and I - Drew should make it up there as well!

Then, they left us.  Drew, Anna and I just had time to be together.  They brought us toast and juice.  It was for both Drew and myself, but I ate all of it.  Which sent my blood sugar super high, I did not care I was hungry!  Drew and I were able to spend about 4 hours with Anna without them even taking her for a second.  After about four hours, they came in and brought her over to weigh her, 7 lbs 6 oz.  She was wonderful, and everyday we learn more and more reasons why!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fit, Fat, or Fatal?

I realize that there are people who are overweight and have health problems in that respect, but I am not writing about that today.

When I was in high school I had a summer where I was getting a bit close to crossing the eating disorder line.  I worked at a pool as a cashier and I have always liked cooking so I would often read magazines about food.  But I was not taking care of myself (eating) as much as I should.  I didn't pack enough food to take to work and eventually I realized that I did not weigh enough.  I also started getting Charley horses (leg cramps)  a few times due to lack of potassium.  It was a wake up call.  My main problem was that I was going through a depression.  I did not have a body image problem..  AND when kids at school upon returning after summer said that I looked good, I actually felt bad about that I knew I needed to gain weight,  some of them thought it was funny that I was actually trying to gain weight.  Here I was underweight and people were complementing me!  Society sure has given us a strange perspective when praise is given for something unhealthy.   I was underweight and I knew it, not by much, but even a little bit is too much.. Did I developed a full eating disorder, no, but was my eating disordered most certainly.

I also had a woman in my ward who was someone I used to babysit for.  She taught us about eating disorders because she had one.  She however, recognized it, battled it and leads a normal a healthy life now.  She eats treats, when she wants.  But she could tell us how many calories were in almost anything and she knew that was not a good thing.

 So, why the more recent thinking about this whole situation.  You see over the past few years my ward (congregation) and I have watched as one of our members battled Anorexia.  She was active and liked hiking and walking.  She was in and out of eating disorder programs.  She was depressed.  A few months ago, she traveled abroad to do some volunteer work.  She only survived a few weeks.  She got an infection that killed her.  If her body had been stronger I guarantee she would be with us today.  She was such a sweet person too.  Have you ever stood by and watched someone kill themselves?

 Truth is, your body knows when you have had enough (or too much for that matter - if you listen to it).

Ask yourself the following questions:
 do you turn down social events to work out?
do you not want to eat in front of people?
do you purposely count calories and define your meals by their labels?
do you work out more than once a  day?

A friend of mine, who works at an eating disorder facility and treatment center (Center For Change) has said:
That some people, especially people who have disordered eating or eating disorders say - "being healthy" IS my life but we all know that it isn't. It's just part of it. just like you need a balanced meal, you need a balanced life.

I beg you to take a little test.  Because I don't want to stand by and watch anyone else kill themselves fit.
Take the quiz at the bottom of the page, it could save your live or someone else's.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Recent Adventures

Two posts in one day, crazy, I know.  The reason being, when I was preparing the pictures for my last post I saw some more that I wanted to put up.  

My first topic is going to be weather.  When I was younger one of the stereotypes I had about British people were that they always talk about weather.  After living over here for a while, I must say, that stereotype has not been dis-proven, at least among the people I know.  Anyway, I find myself talking about the weather frequently too.  The reason being is that at least lately, it has been quite crazy.  

An story to illustrate:
A few weeks ago the girls and I went over to Anna's friends house for a weekly play date we have with them.  This week my friend took us on a walk up to the farm across the road, who happens to be her landlord.  They have a little climbing frame up there that the kids like to climb on and that is also where they keep the lambs that need to be hand fed.

Here is Anna and her friends on the walk there, please note, the pretty nice weather.

They were came out to feed the lambs when we got there.  Anna was feeling hesitant, but Lizzie was not too shy:

 Anyway, it was nice and warm that day.  As in I was regretting bringing a jacket and I had even taken Lizzie's jacket off as she was so hot (note the sunglasses).  It was a nice day.

Then out of the blue (literally - it was a blue sky) This happened:

Please look right above my friends wedding ring.  What you may ask is she holding?  A piece of Hail.  Yep, a sunny warm day with a touch of hail!

New Story:  This one is more recently.  Last week it rained.  It rained a lot.  Yes I know this is England but it does not normally rain all the time, In fact, we had a drought this winter.  But, we certainly are not in a drought now.  Exhibit A:

This is the bottom of our cul-de-sac.  Now, We ventured out partially for fun and partially to help the people who have a house at the bottom of the mini river which flowed down our street.  This is what we thought was pouring into our neighbors house, but we were glad to find that the puddle ended where we were.  There were large drains pulling the water down very quickly and still there was a huge puddle.  It was raining that hard and fast.  In fact, if Drew had come home from work 10 minutes later, it would have taken him a long long time to get home as they closed the road he needs to travel on to get home!

Here is what our back garden looked like :

When we went inside, Anna took off her book and then dumped water out of it!  We stopped her before she dumped the second one for a quick video:

Second topic:  Anna's swimming.

Anna has been doing fabulous with her swimming lately.  A few months ago, we got her a pair of goggles and it was the confidence boost she needed.  She started going under water and doing all kinds of great stuff.  In fact, she graduated from being in 'Raintots' to the 'red class'   Here are a few pictures of some of her last lessons in Raintots:

This was the last class Anna and I attended together the end of an Era!

Not afraid to go under the water with goggles.  

Now here is her first day in the red class.  We are two happy and excited girls!

Now, the excitement was a bit short lived in this instance as then the realization that I would not be in the water with her hit and she was very nervous.  However, she still went in, she wanted nothing to do with her teacher (I wonder if the fact that her teacher is a man instead of a woman contributed) but she still went in as long as I stood right by the side of the pool and motivated her with promises of rewards.  She earned herself extra shows and treats for the whole week!  Check her out!

Finally, here are a couple of pictures I just like.  

Anna put a clear box over Lizzie, who happily stayed inside for like 20 minutes:

Here are my girls when they both were on the potty at the same time, it rarely happens, so I thought it was funny.  Strange to put up, but, I think its funny!

This was huge, Anna drew a picture with a face for the first time!  Very exciting!

Lizzie's new favorite place and a family photo thanks to reflections!

 Lizzie Loves thawed blueberries

Anna on her brand new bike for the first time with present baby in tow.

 Our sheep friends are back!  We rushed out to give them a concert!

Finally, hot of the presses our new family banner!  Go Team Mudgett!

Wildly Affordable Organic... and more!

So, if you haven't gathered I am becoming pretty crunchy in my early middle age.  Anyway, I wanted to share my most recent kick along with some other things going in our little family.

I read a book which is pretty cool called 'Wildly Affordable Organic:

During this book the author, Linda Watson, talks about her adventure taking the food stamps challenge.  Food stamps allow you about $1/meal.  So, she wanted to eat healthy organic food for $1/meal.  Pretty lofty goal.  The day she was going to start the challenge she also started working again as it might be easier for someone without a job but a more realistic challenge would be doing it whilst working full time!  Anyway, she includes seasonal eating plans, tips and advice on how to eat great food and buy cheap organic healthy food.  I quite enjoyed her book and got it from the library, I think I may be purchasing it.

It inspired me to do a few things.  First was to try my hand at making yogurt, which by the way is not something I likely to do again, or at least not very often.  It took me two attempts.  During the first one it failed because I was using a heating pad to keep the yogurt warm while the cultures worked their magic, but it apparently  had an automatic shut off - lame (probably not for regular use but lame for yogurt making at least).  The second attempt using a crockpot to keep it warm worked.

 It only yielded about 2 cups of yogurt, I was thinking it would be at least enough for 8 servings, but nope.  It turned out nicely, think and good, but another thing was I don't really love yogurt that much.  Now, I do like it sometimes, but just every once in a while.  I wanted to make if for the challenge of it mainly, I love a good kitchen challenge every once in a while.

Next it has inspired me to get back into bread making.  I love making bread, but sometimes find it a bit tedious.  But in the book she has a fabulous recipe for bread.  It is called a whisk bread as it requires  no kneeding.  Also the dough keeps in the fridge for one to two weeks depending on which recipe you use.  So, my thinking is I can totally switch to homemade bread, yummy and easy!  That got me to invest in a bag of organic wheat berries, as a friend of mine has a wheat grinder.  My first bread that is made from fresh ground wheat is rising!

Then, as I have been searching lately for a farmers market to get some good deals on yummy in season food (which is key to eating organic on a budget, the further food has to travel, the more expense it is).  Anyway, there are a few farm shops here and there but in our neighborhood they are all meat shops, with beef  and pork that are grown on the farm that they sell them on.  So we have great access to farm fresh eggs, and meats, not so much with the produce around here, close enough to make me think I would be willing to actually drive to pick it up.  We are also get fresh milk from a milk man who brings it from a farm about 10 miles away, sweet!  Lately though, we have been drinking even more milk than that so have to stock up on store bought milk, soy milk (vanilla silk, yum), and sometimes even Drew's latest find of bag milk in a jug.

So I found a company that will deliver organic British grown produce to my door.  So it is in season and great quality.  (I am assuming the quality thing, but my first delivery is on Friday, so I am exciting, but will see shortly.  It is only a delivery once a week and in our house we eat a LOT (usually about 9 servings a day) of fruit and veggies and buy them twice a week at least.

Finally, this weekend we have done some planting of our own.  I had wanted to have a garden for while, but something kind of small scale.  Well, on Friday I was at a friends house and noticed a table where they were selling plants and cheap!  I bought 3 strawberry plants, 3 bean plants, and one thyme plant for 3 pounds total!  Awesome.  So we bought a nice container this weekend and planted them.

Drew also bought some carrot seeds, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  So we shall see how it goes.  I  think whenever we settle down and get a place of our own we will be purchasing some fruit trees, Drew really wanted to get some, but I am not so sure they would even produce anything before we move, so we, will have to leave that for another time.  I think the nice weather we had this weekend really sparked this off.  This afternoon if the sun stays out Anna, Lizzie and I will head outside to plant a couple more things!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What if we were a little bit more like Google?

More specifically what if we were all a bit more like Larry Paige and Sergay Brin?  I recently read listened to the book called  'In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.'  Let me tell you it is definitely worth the read.  One of the many things that struck me about the book was how amazing these two founders are.  They take crazy ideas and don't think about them being crazy and then just do them.  They make the world a much better place (even if you are not a Google fan, they have done so many things to better our world it is amazing).  If you are against them, that is not really what I want to discuss here.  Anyway, I mean I am blogging for free, thanks to who?  Thats right, Google. 

It all started off when Larry Paige decided to develop a better way to find things on the Internet.  He developed the ranking system for finding things that was based on how many things linked back to your site.  Because thats how people determine good academic papers is by who refers back, if a lot of people cite something there must be something to it, you know.  Anyway, from that Google.started to emerge.  They hired people that were brilliant (even before they were profitable).  They looked for Doctoral students and those who already had their doctorates.  They would not only look at if someone was brilliant but if they were Googley.  If you look what their company has done, it is pure brilliance, pure craziness to some.  Copy all the books in the world into digital form?  Sure great project.  Not only map, but map with pictures the entire world? Sure.  It would be cool if we had aa car that drove itself.  Done.Find a way to use advertising to make people happier?  Absolutely, when I search the Internet, often I am looking to buy something and am happy when the answer is right there. Email with free huge amounts of space?  Great.  The list goes on and on. Think about Android and how if you are looking up something on your computer and later decide to find if on your phone, type one or two characters and it is synced and remembers.  How they get where they are going is also so creative. If something sounds like a good idea they go for it no matter how large it seems; like mania gone right.  If you work for Google you spend 20% of your time doing a project from your own interest, that is how they get the amazing ideas.  Also, if they want to do something, they ask the employees what they should do, for instance during the recession even though they were not hurting for money they did decide to try and save, but they did it by asking people what they didn't need and getting rid of it.  I just think a simple concept, what if the government did that?  Putting aside politics and asked all the employees what was really needed  - they could save a ton. One huge interesting thing they both have in common.  They were both Montessori kids.  They were not taught at where you sit in a classroom a listen to a lecture, but taught more to explore and learn about things a bit differently.  I think that is a really interesting approach to education.  I even looked into sending Anna to a Montessori school, but alas, the closest one is 45 minutes away, and I just don't want to spend 3 hours in the car every day.

What if we were all more a bit more like them?  If we had a sense that our ideas could change the world in major or minor ways.  I can't think of how often I have been frustrated because I couldn't find something, or something was not invented yet, or came up with an idea that would make something easier but have been too lazy to find out how to make it happen.  My most recent thing would be an E-ink picture frame, it would not need to be sucking power all the time and it looks so cool.  Unfortunately, I can't buy because it isn't out there - not yet at least.  My question to you is, what would you have invented that would change the world if you really carried it out?  Oh, and don't use the excuse of them having unlimited money (which they do now, pretty much) because in the beginning, they didn't have any money.  They just had a good idea.  So what is yours?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Adventures in Chocolate or simply THE most decadent healthy chocolate cake EVER

Oh my yum!  Okay I am going to post about the deliciousness that we just found last week.  Anna earned enough tokens (which she gets for making good choices) to have a friends party.  Which is basically a big lunch play date with cake.  She has never been interested in saving up for one before as it cost the most tokens out of any reward (125) AND you don't get presents like at a birthday party.  But after having one she is a fan, which means this might be a big a lot of work if she keeps choosing them but at least it is a good motivator.  Anyway being that Drew and I are on the good mood diet which drastically limits sugar (6 tsp a week or about one yogurt with sugar), we knew we would have to watch everyone else partake of cake.  Also, being as health conscious as possible, which I think we do a pretty good job of (we have dessert every night and girls get super excited for it and it is always just fruit!), I set off in search of a recipe which contained no sugar or sweetener but was sweetened by fruit alone.  I searched and searched and searched.  Then I decided to settle on one that had some stevia in it, but that was only begrudgingly.  However, I of course closed the tab on my search engine and did not print or book mark the page, so when I went back to find it, of course I could not.  Which was a fabulous thing because I came across a recipe which was only posted a few days previous and had not made it to the top of Google's search yet.  The recipe I found was sweetened only with date past and made claims of being simply THE most decadent healthy chocolate cake EVER!  I looked at the ingredients and knew I had found what I believed to be a winner.  It calls for no flour so it is also gluten free, which some people in my extended family need (not that they were coming, but they might find this intriguing.  Anyway, the recipe uses date paste, avocado, coconut milk, and 1.5 cups of cocoa powder!  I have never seen a recipe with that much before, but since we love dark chocolate I gave it a go, and I am so glad I did.  I was not sure how the kids would respond, because it is really dark, so as we were making the batter I did make the modification of adding, well, all of the date paste and the water the dates soaked in to make the paste and it was still super duper rich but I think a bit more to the liking of the kids (not all the kids) but Anna liked it although she couldn't finish her piece.  We learned that the serving size for this cake is very small as it is sooooo rich.  So small you could get close to 24 pieces from the cake or maybe a few less, depending on how your palate works.  Drew and I made the modification of counting the cake as 3 fats, 1 lean protein, and a fruit and we worked it into our diet.  Also, did I mention, there is no butter or oil!  Anyway, without further ado, here is the link to the recipe, complete with pictures!