Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cookies for Breakfast!!! (and other lies we tell ourselves)

.B is a night owl. Which in turn gives me a toddler who likes to sleep in (thank you GOD). Since all I see when I'm at home are a thousand projects I need to get done (caulk around the sink, clean the ceiling fan, laundry, dishes, etc.) we are out the door by 9:15ish every morning to DO SOMETHING. The park, a museum, bowling, a petting zoo, a play date at someone's home, you name it, we're in ;) 

Since B wakes up around 8:30am I need to get him up and ready pretty swiftly. He is and has been since birth a "grazer". He has never say down and hit eaten a full meal. He eats all day long. I always have and apple or a banana in my bag but after a trip to Starbucks one morning he kept asking for blueberry muffins. So, here is my solution. An on-the-go, heathy, blueberry (and chocolate) "breakfast" I can feel good about giving him. I hope you feel the same- ENJOY!

This recipe is an adaptation of one I found on a blog I love called "How Sweet it is"

Breakfast Cookies

makes about 24 half dollar size cookies

1 large egg

1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 medium ripe banana, mashed

1 1/2 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup applesauce 

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 and 1/2 cups of flour TOTAL. If you don't have these particular ones in your pantry, fret not, use what you've got. 

       1/2 cups whole wheat flour

       1/2 cup spelt flour

       1/2 cup millet flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (or more)

1/4 teaspoon salt (or less)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons peanut butter, melted

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup dried fruit (I used blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, mix flour, oats, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and flaxseed together, then set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until smooth. Add in vanilla, mashed banana, applesauce, melted and cooled butter and honey and mix until combined and somewhat smooth (it’s okay if banana chunks remain).

Gradually add in dry ingredients, mixing gently with a large spoon until the batter has come together. Stir in melted peanut butter. Lastly, add chocolate chips and dried fruit, mixing until distributed. Using your hands, make into "patties" because these will not change shape or spread as they cook. Place onto a nonstick baking sheet, placing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set and lightly golden around the edges. 

B's 1st Pet!!! A Dinosaur (and other science experiments)

Inspired by the wonderful children's book, Dinosaur Pet by Marc Sedaka, we went to the dollar store and purchased a lizard (a.k.a our pet Dinosaur) for B to take care of as his own. The package read "grows 600%" over 3-4 days when submerged in water. I was skeptical, but figured if it disintegrated, then we would deal with it as if it were any other pet. 

Day one:
We chose an "aquarium" from our recycle bin (thank you Sam's Club Organic Spinach container). Added "magic rocks" from our fairy garden that would act as "vitamins" for our new pet dinosaur so it would get big and strong because it doesn't eat people or dog food. We decided it was a boy and talked about a name but couldn't decide on one.

Day two: 
We gave our new pet dinosaur a name. Introducing ... (drum roll, please) Francisco!!! Then we gave him his first bath. B took the entire aquarium into the tub with him, dumped it out, cleaned it and scrubbed Francisco from head to toe. For the next ten minutes B proceeded to introduce his new pet to all of his tub toys.

Day three:
Francisco is definitely getting bigger. He at least doubled in size. We took Francisco out to our backyard while B played in his sandbox. Francisco needs lots sunshine and fresh water to keep healthy B decided. 

Day four: 
Francisco maxed out the size of his container and we gave him another bath, but decided to turn his aquarium into a terrarium to see if he would shrink back down like the package read.

Day five: 
Francisco seems to be enjoying breathing air like we do. He loooves to be scratched behind his ears like our doggies and he is beginning to shrink marginally.

Day six:
Ben wanted to take Francisco to church, but I said although God loves all things, our fellow parishioners may not be so willing to accept a dinosaur in church. I reassured B there is a time and a place for everything. Although I would've loved to see the look on some of the elderly folks faces in church if we had brought a life-like "dinosaur pet". Hee hee...(insert wicked laugh).

Day seven: 
Francisco is continuing to shrink as the package he came in instructed and unfortunately, so is B's interest in caring for him. I'm glad we did this trial run. I know for sure he's not ready for any real living creature yet, no matter how much he begs. 

I, on the other hand, have grown to love my little dinosaur pet a little more each day. I hope to keep him around (as long as counter or shelf space allows) to watch me prepare dinner and on late nights, watch TMZ together. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Good Morning Sunshine (and other toddler horror stories)

One fine day my little cherub turned into Satan's spawn. I swore he went to bed an angel and woke up the devil. Of course I was warned about the terrible two's, but like most parents I thought "that won't be MY kid". He is polite, empathetic, I believe has a high emotional intelligence (of course I think that, I am the mommy). In my darkest nightmare I could not have imagined he had the ability to be a sadistic as%h*&e. Once again, I have been proven wrong. 

The day started like any other, he woke needing his milk cup and I needing my dark French roast. Big Daddy leaves for work before the sun rises so B and I generally wake around 8am. I know, cushy, right? Anyway, B is yelling from his bed "miiiiiiilllllk, I want my miiiiiilk mama", as if his legs were broken. I have not had any nectar of the Gods yet (a.k.a coffee) but I try to pretend to be cheerful and walk to his bed so we are not yelling across the house. He looks at me deadpan, before I can utter a syllable and as if it were possible to yell any louder he SCREAMS "miiiiiiiiiiiilk!!!". A disdainful scowl comes across his face that I had never seen his adorable chubby cheeks carry before. I was thrown aback. Was he feverish or ill in some way, I wondered. With genuine concern and motherly love I reached toward him to feel his forehead and he swiveled his perfect little head to try to BITE ME! It is only through the sheer fact that I am an adult and am quicker than a toddler (for a little while still) that I was able to pull my hand away in time to avoid his growling jaw.

He is still supine, if he closed his eyes, he would have appeared to still be asleep. I was flabbergasted into silence. I tried to quell any urge to react. From the zillion megabytes I'd read and listened to about parenting a toddler, I'd found if there's one thing they love, it's a big reaction. If any other human on the face of this earth had tried to bite me I would've laid down the hurt, but this is my baby we're talking about. Not only was I not going to hurt him, I wanted to attempt to guide him in a positive way. 

It felt like an hour had passed as I stood there trying to look passé and B glaring at me. The morning light was shining in through the window giving a sort of ethereal haze to the air. B broke eye contact first, good for mama, still the alpha, I'd thought. Then he began to spit into the air and laugh hysterically at the way the spit globules lit up like prisms in the morning sun. Was it an evil laugh, maybe the laugh of a mad scientist making a discovery? I wanted to join in his laughter and deal with the biting attempt later when we were both calm. I bent down to lay my head near his and that little shiitake smacked me so hard across the face it would've made The Housewives of New Jersey proud. He landed it perfectly and it made a CLAP! I wasn't going to be able to hold back a reaction. In about three seconds I was going to lose it. So I removed myself from his presence as quickly and calmly as I could muster.

I closed his bedroom door behind me, walked to the kitchen and began to make my coffee. My mind was reeling and my  effin cheek hurt. By the time I had a few sips of my brew and began to breath normally, a smiling, happy-go-lucky B skips into the kitchen. At first I was unsure if he might have a machete or some sort of weapon he fashioned from book bindings and play silks in his room, but no, he was unarmed. He runs to me, I tense up, but he wraps his soft little arms around my legs and says "good morning sunshine" almost in a whisper. Then he looks up and asks in his sweetest voice "may I have my milk in my red cup please, mama ?" I simply nod, still unsure.

What's your morning routine with your toddler?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bouncy Houses (and other dangers)

Bouncy house, bounce castle, "soft" slide, ahhhhh! Whatever you may call it, I feel a trip to the emergency room coming on. Of course B is TOTALLY attracted to anything bouncy and absolutely MUST get a turn. So, I hold my breath, say a pray and feign a smile as I gingerly send my baby into bouncy world. 

There are a row of options. He chooses the one with inflatable soccer and basketballs on top (of course) and leaps in with reckless abandon. I look around for a paramedic. There is a sign adhered to the bounce house, presumably at the manufacturing level, with a list of WARNINGS.  These warnings are similar to what we see at hotel pools. Nothing completely out of the norm in terms of warnings. What I am remembering however, is an alarming news report I saw on how many children each year are injured and hospitalized from incidents inside of bouncy houses. Dislocations, broken bones and closed head injuries, to name a few. There was a little girl in this particular report that was on a ventilator because she bonked heads with another child while at a birthday party. I am imagining worst case scenarios, like I do best and a chill runs down my spine. Brrrrrrr!

There also a handwritten sign stating "ATTENDANT MUST TAKE TICKET". There is no attendant to be found. There is one teenager with a STAFF shirt on about five yards away, but he is on his phone, texting or playing a game, but definitely NOT attending to who is entering or exiting the bounce houses. We paid for our "ticket" before we entered, so he must've just been there to fulfill some insurance policy requirement. Bogus. My head is spinning with a thousand more scenarios, these now involving me as the righteous leader of a pack of really pissed off moms.

Meanwhile, B is inside happily bouncing. There is no other child in there, I feel safe for a moment. Then, seemingly out of nowhere a "kid" pushes past me, on his heels is an even taller "kid", both running full force into the very house B is in. These "kids" were BIG. They may not have been shaving yet, but they were man sized. I panic, where is B? My eyes are darting, I am squinting to see through the mesh, into the darkened bouncy house. I find him perched at the tippy top of the slide inside. At the bottom of the slide is an opening. I try to remain calm. All I can think of is B getting a closed head injury because Hercules was allowed entrance into a dang bouncy castle and collides with my little cherub!! I put what I think is a smile on my face and a song in my voice when I call "oh B, do you want a lollipop?". I am a desperate woman, I must get my baby out of there pronto! B makes eye contact with me and smiles. I feel paralyzing desperation creeping up into my facial muscles. My heart is racing, I'm feeling flush, I think, "is it really hot out here or is this a menopausal hot flash", when my little guy whizzes down the slide and safely into my arms. Yay!

I have B safely in my arms. I am relieved and calming down. As I am regaining my composure, B wriggles away and gallops toward another castle. Suddenly, as if he hits an imaginary wall, he stops, turns to look back and screams "lollipop, mama!!!", I start to panic again. I now have to fulfill the promise I made in a heightened state of emergency. Let's hope I remembered to pack the lollipop stash. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Poop, poopy, poo poo, caca, doo doo, #2


It's everywhere, all of the time, non-stop. The fear that a poop is (gag) about to rear its' ugly head, is unnerving. 

At no point in my life did I imagine I would have to literally deal with so much excrement! A terd landed on my arm (plop) today as I was picking up B to rush him to the potty. Approximately one eighth of the poop made it into the toilet. I felt the urge to call 911 and alert the hazmat unit to handle the "trail" of poop that hit the floor and various surfaces on said rush to the potty. I have three dogs and pick their poo up every day outside without much ado. There is just something extra irking and gag inducing about human feces inside your home, on your skin, on the floor, partly on the vanity and a sprinkle on the shower curtain (that may not have been poop on the shower curtain, I had colored my hair the day before so it may have been a spot of Clairol, but by this point I wasn't taking any chances), it was everywhere it shouldn't be and I was feeling nauseous. 

I find myself saying things like "it's only pee", with genuine relief when I see a puddle, stain or feel wet on my arm. I have various pairs of "big boy" underwear for B to choose from, pull-ups for sleeping or any time we have to be without a potty for more than thirty minutes. We set our "potty alarm" for every thirty minutes. I do not offer anything more than hugs and praise when he goes. I tried treats with stickers and charts but he was hip to my shake quick and didn't seem motivated by it all. So, I set the "potty alarm" and I bring that froggy potty everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE. In the car, on play dates, to the park, we are never more than a few yards from that potty. This has proven very successful for pee. The poo, is like a diamond treasure to him, he holds it until he either gets a pull-up on or (hold your breath) he's in the bathtub. He just doesn't want to let the poo go into the potty. 

I know eventually, one day he will simply start to go poo in the potty. He will do it on his own terms, not mine. I know he won't be an adult and need me running after him to go poo poo on the potty, it just feels like that today. 

The things I hear coming out of my mouth...

What I say:

Don't throw a ball at someone unless they know it's coming

Don't spit water in the dogs face

Don't let the dog lick your fork

Don't climb up the slide

What I should say:

You may throw a ball at someone if you say "Catch!"

You may swallow your water

You may share your leftovers with the dog as a treat

You may slide DOWN the slide

What my inner dialogue is saying:

Stop, or I'll shoot!


That dog is so mothaf@#% ing fat because of you


God, is that you, it's me Mommy, I mean...wait I don't have a name anymore!

Pop Quiz:

How do you know you're a stay-at-home mommy with a toddler? Let me help you with a description. If any of these apply to you, there is a chance you have a whirling dervish, also known as a toddler in your house.

A. Hair: frizzy, because to actually wash, dry and flat iron it requires the same effort as climbing Mount Everest, and I'm quite sure NONE of those groups did it with a toddler.

B. News station: Sprout Channel, because if it's not on Sprout, you don't know about it.

C. Clothing: Yoga pants and a tee shirt. This ensemble gives the appearance that you may look this way because you were just at a vigorous cross-fit class. You're fooling yourself, because the snot/spit-up/booger combo on you shoulder that your pony tail doesn't cover is a clear sign to everyone else. Also, the lollipop stick you didn't realize that was stuck to your butt is usually a tell tale sign, and NOT the reason you thought everyone was looking at you. Bummer.

D. Diet: Left over's from whatever your toddler doesn't eat. Yes, this includes your water bottle that you "shared" which now has chunks of backwash in it.

E. All of the above.

Whether you can relate to one, a few or all of the above, you are a stay-at-home mommy.

Part II
Now, how do you know you might be over 40?

A. You fall asleep before your toddler at night.

B. You're not sure if your missed period holds the potential of another little miracle or menopause.

C. You find yourself telling other mothers at the playground "When I was your age".

D. You hope you will get to hold a grandchild before a social security check (or, if either ever become a reality).

E. All of the above.