Toddler Tantrums are a Pain. Literally

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Even though I read all the books, looked at the websites and asked my friends with kids for advice, there are still things about being a parent that I wasn’t prepared for. Like the worry that settles on your shoulders when you realize you are responsible for an actual human, how it feels to be truly exhausted and the pain that comes when your child throws a temper tantrum.

I’m not talking about pain in the crunchy granola, it-hurts-me-when-my-child-hurts sense. Nor am I talking about the sting of embarrassment that comes when the entire checkout line watches your kid have a meltdown because you won’t let him buy a king-sized Snickers. I’m talking about the actual physical pain our precious ones can inflict while mid-meltdown.

You can read the rest of my rant over on Mommy Nearest. I’m going to go get an ice pack.

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Desperate mom, desperate measures: Using frozen butter in cookies

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Today was one of those days where I deserved a trophy for making it to bedtime. After four days off from school I was very much looking forward to dropping the kids off, then heading home to nurse my sinus infection and deal with some looming deadlines.

But as it turns out, Lolo’s got the same cold, so he was home with me all day, vomiting at regular intervals just to keep me on my toes. Jeremy wet his pants on the way home from preschool (does anyone else’s kid’s school do this thing where they don’t let the kids go to the bathroom after nap before pickup?) and we got home just in time for Logan to get sick again, and the afternoon/evening continued in that same vein from there.

I’ve written before how wine isn’t my mom reward of choice, so once the kids were in bed (babbling to each other but at least out of my hair) I decided to whip up a small batch of chocolate chip cookies to celebrate keeping us all alive another day. The only problem was all my sticks of butter were frozen, and all the open sticks were either contaminated by toast crumbs or in fractions that I was too tired to try and mash together to make half a cup. But I had a ton of butter in the freezer left over from the Thanksgiving sales, so I decided to zap it in the microwave and see what happened.

 

I was aiming for just softening the butter, but that did not go according to plan AT ALL. After 3 rounds of 15 second intervals, half of the butter was soup and the other half was still a brick. I had to get in there with my hands to mash it up.

Usually this would have annoyed me, since my hands have been like really dry this winter, so I’ve been avoiding extra hand washing whenever possible and worshiping lotion the way Cady worshiped Regina in the first half of Mean Girls. But Colgate-Palmolive was kind enough to send me some of their new Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion for review, and while I still dread doing the dishes, my hands are decidedly less sandpapery. Plus, I never understand people who are like “just put hand lotion on after you wash you hands at the sink.” Because then how do you mince garlic for dinner without getting vanilla lotion taste in the food? This soap lets you skip that step but have soft hands without the fear of poisoning your family. But I digress…

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I was worried about how the cookies would taste with the mostly melted butter base, but I had nothing to fear. It turns out the only thing impacted by the change from softened to melted butter was the cookie spread. When I use soften butter my cookies are like little pillows. With the melted butter these were much thinner, crispier and very, very chocolately.

So yes, Virginia, you can bake cookies with frozen butter if you melt it. Just give your cookies plenty of room to stretch out and don’t expect them to fluff up too much.

 

Softsoap Handwash Plus Lotion provided by Colgate-Palmolive, all opinions are my own.

 

 

My New Year’s Resolution Is To Act Like A 4-Year-Old

I’m over on Mommy Nearest today sharing why my boys are going to be the blueprint for my 2017. For example?

They give into their emotions

“I’m not saying I’m going to throw myself on the floor of Target if my favorite scent of all-purpose cleaner is out of stock the next time I go (but really it’s been a month so please can the all-seeing bullseye get on that?). But when it comes to how they’re really feeling, four-year-olds don’t hold anything back.”

Here’s the link to the entire piece: https://www.mommynearest.com/article/my-new-year-s-resolution-is-to-act-like-a-four-year-old

What’s your resolution for 2017?

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Healthy Sweet Potato Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been feeling like a shadow of myself lately, and I’m having a harder time than usual pulling myself out of the funk. Part of it is the stress that always comes with this time of the year, part of it is the fact that my grandmother passed away suddenly right before Thanksgiving. I turn 33 in less than a week, and the combination of all those things plus the cold weather is making me less fun to be around than Daria (man, I miss that show).

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He’s “helping.”

When I need to feel better, I bake. And when I want to bake but not totally undo the work I put in at the gym, I bake treats that are full healthy things, hence these muffins I muddled together this morning. I was trying to get rid of a spare sweet potato I had laying around and Logan’s been asking for more green veggies lately because he wants to be tall enough to ride Splash Mountain when we go to Disney World in a few months. Only he doesn’t actually like the taste of vegetables, so I hide them in baked goods and soups whenever I can, because #noshame.

So here they are. Adapted from a similar Ambitious Kitchen recipe for pumpkin zucchini bread,these muffins are super moist with no refined sugar. They’re kid and Kyle approved and make a great post-lifting snack (okay, fine, I had 2). Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 of the 1/8 of a teaspoon of nutmeg (if you’re a rebel, you can eyeball it)
  • 1/2 of the 1/8 of a teaspoon of cloves
  • 3/4 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, squeezed out
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips ( I used semi-sweet because it’s what was in the house)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook your sweet potato I threw a medium sweet potato in the crock pot for 3 hours, or you can put it on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 hours until a butter knife slides out easily from the center. Turn the oven off, pop the skin to release the steam, and let that sucker cool off. Then go surf Facebook for 30 minutes so you don’t burn yourself.
  2. Grate your zucchini into a bowl and squeeze out the excess water. It doesn’t have to be bone dry, just not dripping wet.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 count muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  5. In a separate large bowl, mash the sweet potato flesh until smooth. Add the zucchini, honey, oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Whisk in milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips, reserving a few to toss into your own mouth. Scoop into muffin tin using ice cream scoop, my batch made 11 muffins but I was generous with my scoops.
  6. Bake for 14-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. I run a butter knife around the outside of mine before popping them out so they come out of the tin cleanly and let them cool on a wire rack. If you’re fancy and use muffin liners you won’t need to do this.

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    Nom nom nom

Hello is anyone there? And my DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar

*Taps mic*

Is this thing on? I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, so if anyone is reading this, (besides my mom) thanks for sticking around. I’ve been lucky to write for a lot of websites lately, but I miss writing for myself, so my hope is to use this space more going forward to share silly stories and pieces of what’s going on in Megville.

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Which brings me to this Christmas countdown calendar. Here’s what happened. Usually we’re a “get one of those cardboard countdown calendars with the chocolate that tastes like plastic” from the grocery story family. But the boys came home from trick-or-treating with an impressive haul this year, and I knew that if I didn’t do something with all that chocolate immediately, I was going to eat it while everyone was away at school. It’s true. Some people have self-control, but I am not one of them.

Enter the idea of making my own Christmas countdown calendar using Halloween candy. Because while I can’t say no to a Snickers when it’s sitting in a drawer, I can stop myself from eating it if I know the kids are expecting it to be there on December 19.

Supplies:

24 small stockings

December countdown stickers (I found mine in the scrapbook section)

A festive foil garland

24 ornament hooks

1 piece of candy per child for each of the 24 days (so 48 for the twins)

Assemble to the sounds of *NSync’s Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and stand back and marvel at your skillz.