Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New friend

When I was a kid I would have LOVED a walk of chalkboard.  I am picturing future play of "school", countless art masterpieces, and buying stock in chalk.  I am excited.

As were the kids when they saw the bottom half of our breakfast bar all chalked up.

It didn't take long before the entire wall was colorful, full of fun, life, letters making words, and pictures of imagination coming to life. 

Like this little friend!

Logan: Mommy did you see my sea monster? 
Me: Logan, that is a really friendly looking sea monster! I love his smile!
Logan: Do you know where sea monsters live? 
Me: Um, in the sea? 
Logan: No, mommy.  Actually they live in dark sea monster forest-es. 

As for the deets on the wall, I didn't want to splurge on actual chalkboard paint, so I used black paint that I already had (about a half a cup) and mixed with one tablespoon of powdered non-sanded grout.  VOILA - chalkboard paint.   This fairly large-ish area barely required any paint, and didn't need any prep in terms of sanding, priming, etc.  Total bonus.  So I was left with just under a half cup of paint, and ended up walking around my house chalk-board-painting all sorts of stuff. 

So, go now! Chalk it up! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rhubarb-banana-oat muffins

I have some friends that live on the west coast and have the luxury of getting Community Supported Agriculture boxes all year.  In Iowa... that's just not going to happen.  So I was stoked when we got our first ever CSA box from a local farm this week! Better yet, they DELIVER.  Not only am I excited to have healthy, local produce delivered to my door for a little Wednesday pick-me-up, but now I get the little challenge of figuring out how to put every last bit of this goodness to use. 

How yummy does this look?! 

So I put a post on Le Book of Faces (fancy talk for Facebook) to figure out what the heck I can do with Rhubarb. I mean, I know pie, but I didn't want to make a pie. I wanted to make something a little more healthy and a little less indulgent.  From what I hear, Rhubarb has been sparse this season, so I joked that having 3 cups of Rhubarb in my fridge was like having a bag of baby unicorns right there in the crisper drawer. 

I did a quick google search for "Rhubarb muffins" and found a few recipes... but nothing I fell in love with.  I generally like to stay away from white bleached flour, and white sugar if possible, so I sort of just sifted through a few recipes to figure out the measurements of the dry vs. wet, and decided to come up with my own recipe.  Oh, and I had some bananas on the counter that were screaming to be baked into something, so I knew I had to come up with something fairly versatile. 

Rhubarb-Banana-Oat Muffins
(And by default, these are vegan)

  • 3-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 overripe bananas well smashed
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 6 tablespoons hot water (or 2 eggs instead)
  • 1-1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or buttermilk, coconut milk, etc)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (or any kind of oil)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups finely chopped rhubarb

Pre-heat oven to 375. In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients (I use a large whisk). In a sepearate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and fold into the dry mixture until everything is well moistened (don't over mix or you will be eating playdoh). Add the rhubarb by gently folding in. I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop batter into lined tins.  Bake for 16 minutes or until tested clean. 

This recipe yields 48 muffins.

And they are delicious.  The rhubarb gives the muffin a tangy kick, 
while the banana gives some sweetness and keeps the muffin super moist. 

And I wasn't the only person that loved them! I ate 2. Ok, 3. Ok I ate 4! In my defense, they were kind of small, plus it's almost Mother's Day, 
and also baby unicorns?! 

But the little people loved them too. In fact, the twins ate two each, and the bigger child o'mine ate his and said "Oh mommy, you really got this one right. Nice work". 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Top Three

Once again, I have kinda been a bad blogger.  This just means I have been busy with other stuff.  Undoubtedly, topics are most definitely swirling through my head quite often, and while I know what I want to write about, I rarely have the time. When I do have the time, I sit at my Mac, fingers at the keys, and nothing comes out.

Writer's block happens.

But then there are nights like tonight when the twins were cute and fun, and Logan read half a book to me. Like really READ. A. BOOK. (Note to self: video Logan reading me a book), and I made it to the gym, the house is clean, emails have been emailed, and my husband put away 7897897 pounds of clean laundry that have been sitting at the top of the stairs taunting us me.

I noticed a couple of months back that dinnertime was lacking a bit of conversation. It's easy to get caught up int...


And that's where I left off typing this draft, oh... about 3 weeks ago.  Is that not ridiculous? I have been insanely busy and overwhelmed, and not in a oh-I-got-so-much-accomplished-I-was-so-busy kind of way.  More of a need-4-extra-hours-in-a-day kind of way. But today I stopped to sit and type, not because I have something brilliant or witty to say at this moment, because frankly I am tired, and worn down, and completely overwhelmed that I could potentially cry at any given moment.  I sat down to write because as I was putting my vacuum away, I spotted Parker and Cooper sitting quietly next to each other playing. Cooper had a book, and Parker had a truck.  The didn't spot me watching them, so I tucked around the corner a bit and watched as Parker stood up and took the two toddles over to Cooper, bent down and gave him a giant hug.  This is likely the kind of hug that only brother's can give. Maybe even the type of hug only twins give.  Cooper's face lit up being in his little brother's embrace, and as a response to the hug, Cooper lifted up Parker's shirt and kissed his belly button.  (Cue tears from Mommy).  It was a split second interaction, one that I easily could have missed, and likely one of many that I do miss.  I love that we are raising affectionate boys.  They love hugs and kisses, and give and get them often.

And Logan. He never ceases to amaze me with his wisdom and thirst to drink up the world around him.  He is not only doing well in school, he is thriving; soaking up all that he can.  Today he sewed a pillow. Yesterday he learned about the birth of a baby, and actually told me all about the different parts of the umbilical cord. He also had his first t-ball game, and had his first homerun.  I am giddy with excitement to have my boy home with me all summer.  I want to lazy-snuggle in bed in the morning, no rush, no repetitive requests to brush teeth. Just breathe.

I am extended a little thin. That I do know. Most of that which is bogging me down right now is likely my own fault. Let's face it, I am about as type-A as one gets (controlling much?). But at the same time, if I had advice for any new mom it would be to soak it up. Even if your day sucks. Even if you yelled today, or cried, or both.