Monday, April 29, 2013

A little treat

Anderson loves banana bread and his been asking for it every time we pass a Starbucks lately. Clearly we have made too many runs through the drive-thru. I have made 3 different recipes in the past week to satiate the boy. The first recipe was good, and really easy, but a bit of a one-note. The second was  a Trader Joe's box mix which, despite my love for most all TJ's box mix desserts oh how I would love a pan of truffle brownies right now was terrible. Really terrible. Thank goodness those muffins went to Anderson's class for snack day because yuck. Obviously 4-year-olds will eat anything they perceive to be a cupcake. So finally I made the one I set out to make in the first place, only to find last week that I didn't have enough rotting bananas to make the recipe. Who just happens to have at least 6 over-ripe bananas lying around? Anyway, I bought the bananas, left them on the counter all week and baked this recipe up. It's very good. Not omigod amazing, but very good. I substituted creme fraiche with sour cream because, come on, who happens to have that just hanging out in the fridge and I also used almonds instead of walnuts because they are a superior nut in every way. The recipe is huge and apparently makes two loaves though I only have one large loaf pan and ended up with 1 full loaf, 2 small loaves, 6 cupcakes and extra batter that went down the drain. Needless to say we'll be sharing the banana love tomorrow, starting with Anderson's teacher. Because teachers never receive enough random treats to thank them for all they do and, well, Mrs. Berry is pretty much the best.

*Odd note: I have never ataully eaten a banaa in my whole life. I find them repulsive. I won't even let one slip in a smoothie. Yet, oddly, I really enjoy banana bread. Go figure.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Just dance

Slow on posting a myriad of things primarily due to the seemingly endless dance parties that have been taking place every afternoon. These boys have got the moves.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


"Anderson, do you know how to play soccer?"
"Yes, you throw the ball up in the air and catch it in your hands!"
Yeah, we had a bit of work to do.

Pee Wee soccer began last Saturday and I am still not over all of the cuteness that ensued watching 36+ three to five year-olds get divided up into teams, strap on some shin guards and learn a few of the basics of the game. First priority being to teach them to use their feet. I am just grateful Anderson was not one of the ones screaming or inconsolably crying or telling me "mommy, it's too hard!". (Not that any of those things may not happen next time, because it is totally possible.)

I am not so sure Anderson is going to be the sportiest of kids, he just doesn't show an overwhelming interest, but I want him to have fun and to understand what it means to be a part of a team. And give me a break with these little kids running around trying to follow directions! Adorable. Go Red (maroon?) Dragons!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Acknowledging the evil that exists

It was only about seven minutes after the explosion had occurred that I heard the news on the radio. Everything was an unknown as, at that time, they still held hope that it had been a burst gas line or some other explainable event. But I knew, we all did. And at that very moment the first thought that filled my mind was, Oh Lord, please not again.

My heart is heavy and I can't help but feel guilt as I go about my day. In December after the Newtown tragedy I was silenced. I could not even bring myself to speak about it, much less write about it. I still can't bear to hear those parents speak of their overwhelming loss. Today I find myself feeling much the same way. There are no words. Yet at the same time there are so many.

I am thankful to not yet have to explain such events to my young boys, but it is only a matter of time. Evil exists. It always will. For it is by the presence of evil that we know and understand the meaning of peace.

For those families, friends, and loved ones whose lives have been impacted by such horrendous acts, I pray for peace. I pray that the good in our hearts will always overpower the evil that exists. That a few people can cause such suffering and misery is devastating; but the fortitude, courage, and determination those same few people have given to thousands, if not millions, of others will only serve to overcome. Good always wins in the end. I believe that with everything that I am. I must.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Anderson turned 4 | Dinosaur Party

Anderson wanted a dinosaur party this year (so much easier than the monster truck, kitty cat, and rainbow theme he chose last year!). I searched around on-line to gather some ideas, but nothing quite fit the bill. Most everything I found was either too scary, too cartoony, or just plain ugly. There was, however, no shortage of over-the-top parties that included dinosaur bone excavations, real paleontologists, and lava-flowing volcano cakes. And while I sincerely hope that one day Anderson is lucky enough to attend such a party thrown by a clearly much more dedicated mother than I, all he got was a total down-home, homemade little party with actual party games for a few classmates on a Monday afternoon after school. It's all about keeping expectations low, right?

I kept it all very simple and kept the budget at around $30 total by using what I already had. Most importantly, I only focused on details that Anderson would care about and cut a number of things from my "maybe" list. Needless to say, the fossilized baby dinosaurs in homemade dirt eggs did not make the cut. Yet, miraculously, the dozen hand-made miniature dinosaur egg piñatas filled with plastic dinos and candy did manage to get finished. It's all about priorities, you know. These were so not necessary, but so cute. I would cover my kitchen floor in liquid starch all over again for those little paper-mache balls. I cut out a giant dinosaur for the mirror in the entry which came down only yesterday, nearly a month later, because, well, "I loooove him, mommy!!!" and I changed out the pictures in the frames to be more dino-friendly. Yep, still there. I also used a cardboard box I had lying around (leftover from the giant 50 I made for the anniversary party) and cut it into a flying pterodactyl which, by the way, was pretty spectacular (even if I did forget to give him an eyeball) and took a total of maybe 10 minutes to complete. I got the idea from the super cute party here. Because the party was at 2:00 I served only cake, dinosaur footprint cookies, and drinks.

I made a pin the arm on the T-Rex game and we also had a stegosaurus/triceratops hybrid piñata. I found some dinosaur cut-outs and, at the last minute, threw together a little craft table with whatever supplies I had in the closet. My boys have zero patience for such things, but apparently girls love crafts and anything with sequins. Other than that, the activities consisted of the boys running around in dinosaur tails (which I made as Christmas gifts for the boys following this tutorial) and wrestling each other to the ground.

It was a fun afternoon and I am so happy that I kept the party small by limiting it to only Anderson's classmates. With only about 12 kids total (including siblings) Anderson was able to play with everyone and have a genuinely good (and not overwhelming) time. It also allowed me time to just sit and get to know the moms of the kids in his class which I had never been able to do.

Party Success.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Easter came smack dab in the middle of birthday season this year and though we still have dinosaur decorations up around the house (oh my gosh, I still have to post that) somehow we managed to color the eggs and the Easter Bunny still made his way through, messy tracks and all. Which, by the way, a certain husband thought was a bit ridiculous and entirely unnecessary until he saw Anderson's pure amazement at the whole thing. So worth the 2 minutes it took. I had a friend who made bunny tracks at my house in elemenatry school and I have never forgotten how fun it was. I have been waiting for what seems like ever (or at least 25 years) to do the same for my kids. Though it's a good thing he was not on my run with me that night where apparently the bunny ran amok in the street, on the sidewalk, and across lawns and driveways. They clearly have their act togther on the next street over. Total bunny competition.

The day was simple, filled with family and friends and far too much food. The pictures change very little year after year (there will forever be one of Gabe and me wrangling the boys for just one more picture) , but with the familiarity of it all comes such a sense of comfort and tradition.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Two years ago I met you and although I loved you completely, I did not know you. I could not have begun to guess who you would become or how you would change me both as a mother and as a human. You have brought more joy than you can imagine and you have filled a void I never even knew existed before you. You are strong-willed, obstinate, and feisty which, if describing anyone else, may seem like unfortunate descriptors, yet when describing you they fill me with great hope and comfort for these are the qualities of a leader. You are your own little person; you follow your heart and your desire. You are a risk-taker. You are adventurous and fearless and you give me a mini heart attack almost daily. You are a fighter and have been since before you even came into this world. You are kind, loving, and heart-achinlgy sweet and I know, without a doubt, that you were given to me to make me a better mom.You are so loved and so incredibly special.  Happy birthday, Baby Beck. "I love you" just doesn't seem like enough.