The older I get the more I realize how amazing my parents were. How did they manage eight children? My sanity limit is tested with my two kids. Thank you, Mother and Daddy, for teaching us that people are good unless proven differently. Thank you for instilling in me the confidence that can only be had when you know that you have unconditional support and love. Thank you for teaching me about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Thank you for teaching me faith, hope, stick-to-it-ness, optimism and the value of hard work. I love you and am thankful for you on this day and every day.
So today Adelaide bamboozled me. Yep … sure did. I’ve prided myself in the past on knowing when she’s faking but this morning she got me. She started to complaining that her “tummy was going in circles” when we were in the middle of breakfast. She (like her dad) can think her way into her sickbed and this has been a thing before. I figured it was the Monday-morning-don’t-want-to-go-to-school blues so I employed my usual tactic and encouraged to her continue getting ready for school. But when she told me 30 minutes later, “Mommy I’m 1000% I don’t fell good,” I second guessed my tough-love approach. So I told her she could stay home. But I DID make her pinky promise (that is the ultimate level of promise between us) that if she started to feel better that she would go to school.
Well … by 10 a.m. it was pretty apparent whatever “ailment” she had wasn’t there so I sat her down and reminded her of the pinky promise. By 10:30 a.m. we were in the car headed for her school. As I drove home, I just shook my head. I couldn’t believe she fooled me. She’s only five years old!
We also discussed why she didn’t want to go to school. It is heartwarming that my little girl wants to spend her days next to me, but it’s also heart-wrenching because she wants to so that she doesn’t have to feel the ache of separation anxiety when we have to say goodbye for a little while.
So after school I busted out the Babycakes cake pop maker for my baby girl. Grandma gave this little gem to Adelaide as a Christmas gift and it has been a lot of fun. For a while my creativity was stunted and I just made plain ol’ cake pops using a box cake mix because they were easy to make with Adelaide and our decision to make them was usually spontaneous. A few weeks ago clouds lifted from my creative brain matter as I pondered the usual dinner dilemma and I thought, “Wait! I bet you can make all sorts of stuff in this thing!” And sure enough … you can. I found a ton of ideas online and have tried a few already.
Well … today we stayed simple because I was dying to try brownies in the cake pop maker! It was amazing. I used a box brownie mix and followed the directions to make cake-like brownies (I added a tiny bit more water because I like them a bit lighter) and viola! Delicious brownie balls. Some came out looking a little odd but delicious all the same. The brownie balls didn’t last the night and two-year-old Oliver definitely approved.
I recommend the Babycakes cake pop maker because, really, the options are endless with what you can do with it. It’s easy with kids who want to help make whatever you’re making, and the end product usual earns you extra cool-mom points and is just as impressive to adults.
Here are links to three of my favorite cake pop maker idea generators:
6 Things You Can Make in A Cake Pop Maker – Besides Cake by OneGoodThingByJillee
Tips & Recipes by Babycakes
Everyone once and a while I feel like I need to boost my kids’ veggie intake and I do not feel shamed by hiding vegetable goodness in treats. So occasionally I’ll make these Covert Vegetable Cupcakes (another recipe gem from the Borg Family Cookbook) and encourage them to eat as many as they want. The bonus is I don’t feel so bad about eating as many as I want, too!
They have yet to figure out there are beets and spinach in the cupcakes (because I don’t let them in the kitchen while I make them). In fact, I have fed these to friends and neighbors and no one has figured it out. I love it!
2 packages (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry (I’ve used one tin of canned spinach and it worked just as good)
1 jar(16 oz) beets, drained
1 package Devils Food cake mix
1/3 cup Oil
1 cup Water
Frosting of your choice (I usually make a basic chocolate buttercream frosting)
- Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease eighteen muffins pan cups.
- In food processor or blender puree together spinach and the beets until smooth.
- Prepare cake mix according to package directions using four eggs instead of three. Stir in puréed spinach and beets.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling near to the top.
- Bake 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
My Dad is one of the greatest men I know. As I’ve gotten older, gotten married and raising children, I realize even more how great he is.
Thank you, Daddy for …
.Every Night, I Hit “The Parenting Wall”
Every evening, some time after dinner, I start to feel my mental grip loosening a bit. A wave of exhaustion laps up to the shores of my patience. It’s been a long day, you know. Same as yesterday, probably the same as tomorrow.
This is “the parenting wall.” And every night, I hit it.
Somewhere between getting woken up at the crack of friggin’ dawn and my kids’ 8:00 bedtime, my enthusiasm fades.
The day begins with me Tasmanian Deviling around my house, getting my kids ready for the day.
I’ve worked some gritty, draining jobs in my life. But just for getting kids ready in the morning, we all deserve medals of efficiency and valor, us parents. We just do.
Parents work, whether it’s at some desk job or carting around kids all day, the fact of the matter is that most of us are breaking our asses all day long.
I survive it all by trying to imagine some pin dot of promise at the end of the tunnel. A half hour where I will sit on the sofa and watch TV before I collapse. And sometimes I stick a cold beer into my fantasy scenario too. Just because.
But most of the time, I hit the parenting wall long before I get there, I’m afraid.
Come about 6:30 pm, I’ll be trying to psyche myself up for the final stretch, preparing Charlie for bed and all, when I’ll hear those older two fighting about some ridiculously inane thing.
I remind myself to breath, but dude. I’m spent. I just am. I don’t care if you want to judge me, but I’m like this close to walking out the back screen door and getting in then Honda and aiming it towards Mexico, towards a whole different life.
This is every night, remember.
The parenting wall.
My love for my children, once a warm and bubbling spring at 8 am, has now congealed into a hard layer of sick-of-it-all and despair.
I want to be saved from this feeling of my face being smooshed up against the wall.
I can’t take anymore!
I’m tired! I’m hungry! I’m dehydrated! I’m lonely! I need to pay the bills! I need to get the laundry out of the washer before everything is just a wrinkled waste of my precious time!
Oh my God, NOOOOO!
Charlie just crapped his diaper and is crying because I’m footballing him around in his own filth and surprise! Here comes Violet and she has ice cream all over her hands and she is carrying my laptop and making it all sticky and surprise! She’s bawling because Henry just pinched her in revenge!
I close my eyes. I try to breath slowly. I take a big country whiff of the kid poop and I try and be Zen about it all. I imagine my fantasy scenario, tell myself I’m almost there.
Sometimes it works and I get there without losing it and I feel so proud.
Other nights, I’m almost there when I come across two kids kicking each other as they put on their PJ’s in the middle of a whole roll of toilet paper unraveled all over the room and I let go completely. I fall away from the Zen and I become a bear, a lion, an elephant with a Philly accent.
Some nights, I yell.
I do what I have to do.
But we get there, eventually. We get sorted out and tired heads end up sleeping safe and sound under the roof of this nuthouse we call home. That makes me happy. And proud. It really really does. I did it. We made it.
I’m so hungry.
Please stay asleep for the next 40 minutes. I need it, my loves. I need my TV time. I really really do.
The parenting wall, man.
It’s a b*tch.
But I guess I wouldn’t change a thing.