The Teacher Becomes the Student

Summer is officially here and the ‘Sibling Squabble Showdown’ is in full swing!

DSC_4843So, I devised a plan to combat some of the misplaced frustrations.  It was a plan so simple and so easy, it could only be executed by the use of one simple phrase.

Shorty.  My lovely Shorty.  Super smart, big sister extraordinaire is quite frequently the protagonist of the sibling squabble.  Like many older siblings, she pokes and prods, mimics and harasses, and end with the infamous phrase, “I’m not going to be your friend any more!”

I know…all of this is pretty standard behavior for young kids, but the phrase really bothers me.  I mean REALLY, REALLY bothers me, so after hearing it for the umpteenth time this summer (is it August yet?) I decided to put an end to this, once and for all!

So, without getting upset or without missing a beat, I gave Tiny the perfect retort…”it’s ok. I’m your friend and I love you anyway.”

Genius right?!  KK.pngSo I spent the rest of the day gloating and about my awesome parenting skills!

That is…until the sun rose, and my golden nugget came back to bite me in the bottom!

 

It started, at breakfast. Captain and I were squabbling over something random at breakfast…in a barely audible whisper Tiny says, “Mom! Tell dad you love him and you’re his friend!”  Cold busted!

She hit me again later in the car day after I dinged him for speeding, busted…again.

I don’t even remember what prompted strike three, but once again, I was “schooled” by my youngest.  I couldn’t believe it!

So, excuse me while I spend the rest of my week “being the change I want to see.”

Lesson learned

Get behind me fever!!! 

The girls are at an age where they are self sufficient. 

Shorty can pick out her own clothes, take care of basic hygiene, and can self entertain. 

Namaste with Shorty

Tiny can walk, talk and is in the early stages of reading. 

I can read!


This is a glorious stage! They’re big enough to pitch in! Just today Shorty asked to help make dinner. Tiny helped me put up the breakfast dishes… I should be in heaven, right?!

So why, why, WHY do I melt when I see chubby cheeks and toothless grins?!!! 

This makes no sense whatsoever! I’m not even a “baby” type Mom. I like independence. I like it when they can tell me what is wrong.(aka toddlerhood)
But man, oh man, tiny fingers and toes are working me over good!!!

The drool, the big eyes, the tiny fingers and toes are like a big old bag of kryptonite to me right now. 

Sooooo what’s a mother to do?  That’s right… it’s time to borrow baby! 

 After a few hours of babysitting I’ll have my fix and I’ll help out a new mama in the process. 
Any takers?!

K.I.S.S. : Lowering food costs

If you can’t tell by now I’m a no holds barred, grab life by the seat of my pants, lets “get ‘er done” type of gal.

I don’t like slothfulness.  I have the patience of an Indy Car racer revving the starting line.

And if I can’t go all out, I tend to have withdrawals.

But I’m trying something new.  I’m ridding my life of any “extras.”  Extra clothes that aren’t being worn, extra household items that aren’t being used, extra interactions that aren’t productive, and I’ve got to say, so far so good.

The area where I’m having the biggest time letting go is my food selection.  I tend to buy lots of fresh fruits and veggies.  Along with that, I tend to buy tons of bread and milk.  But theres a definite trend I’ve been noticing these past few months…no one is consuming my large quantities but Tiny & I.  In turn, that leaves us with plenty of uneaten leftovers, and lots of formerly fresh turned spoiled and forgotten perishables.

What is a mother to do?!

For the past two weeks I’ve been folding my newfound K.I.S.S. program into my grocery shopping, and unfortunately the jury is still out.

While we haven’t wasted nearly as much food, I found myself adding about $35 additional dollars to my overall bill.

*insert confused emoji here*

But I’m not giving up all hope.  I kept last week’s grocery receipt so I can use it as a means of compare.

In the meantime, I’m looking for ways to lower the overall cost.

If you have any suggestions, I’d sure like to hear them.

Banana muffins: vegan/gluten free

Sunday morning I woke to a very sad sight…ripened bananas.  In my mind I was about to enjoy one of those bad boys slathered in almond butter and chia seeds, (don’t knock it til you try it,) unfortunately mother nature had different plans.

Initially I unpeeled them to freeze for smoothies at a later date, but that did not solve my initial dilemma: what was I gonna eat for breakfast?!

So, I logged into Pinterest, searched banana recipes, and banana bread recipes flooded my front page.  Did I mention I LOVE banana bread?!  But I had to keep searching for a specific recipe.  You see, Tiny has several food allergies including: fish, egg and wheat, and I try to make things friendly for her when I make them from scratch…so the search continued.

As you can imagine I found several recipes for vegan banana bread, and several recipes for gluten free bread, but not many that were both vegan AND gluten free.  Not only that…I found my gluten free pantry stash was getting pretty low, so that meant I had to get a little creative.

By now, I’m hungry AND determined, so I did what any good parent would do…I dug into my cabinets, and started pulling out ingredients…

Here’s what I came up with:

Vegan/Gluten Free Banana Muffins

1tbsp baking powder
1  1/4 c  gluten free flour4 ripened bananas
1/3 c coconut flour
1/4 c chia seed gel
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

This recipe was surprisingly good.  The edges were a little crisp, and the inside was plenty moist.  One thing I might consider changing for future recipes is the amount of sugar.  Because my bananas were fairly ripe, I found the coconut sugar almost made it overwhelmingly sweet…and that is a major no-no when it comes to banana bread!

banana

All in all, I’ll admit this  was a pretty good start for CG’s return to Tiny-friendly baking.  Now, that I’m on a roll, let’s see what else I can scrounge up as CG’s cooking adventures continue.

Until next time…
#HappyBaking

#Day5

 

 

Sidelined

There comes a point in every parents’ journey where you wake up one day and wonder “what in the heck happened my lovely child?!”

Sometimes you can see the change coming; creeping up on you subtly but significantly. Other times it hits  you like a speeding locomotive coming around a blind curve.

A few weeks ago I found myself caught between the “creep”and the “speed” with my eldest, for arguments sake, let’s call her Shorty.  Things began at a fairly minor pace: a smart remark here, a quick tap to her sister there, then  came the onslaught of rage that only an 8 year old girl can muster complete with shouts, sneers, and plenty of “stay out of my rooms!” As I watched all of this play out between my daughters I frequently thought to myself: who is this person?  And more importantly what happened to my love bug?

You know, the tiny girl who gave unsolicited hugs, picked flowers on a whim, and gave the sweetest compliments to even the foulest of strangers.

DSC_0234.JPG

Nowadays, I find myself watching and waiting to see which Shorty is waking up in my home.  There appeared to be no rhyme or reason to the switch.  On Monday we could be singing the praises of the grace and pleasant disposition of Dr. Jekyll, and by Wednesday, we find ourselves dining with Mr. Hyde.

I know what you’re thinking—she’s eight and that’s prime time for tween like behaviors  and teen-like mood swings.  It’s a reality of which I am fully aware, and up until now, I can honestly say, it’s a reality for which I was not fully prepared.

So, Captain and I did what any self-respecting parent would do…we put our collective heads together and began doling out punishments: the more severe the infraction, the tougher the punishment.  #winning

Or so we thought.

Then, the backlash began.  The tougher the punishment, the harder she pushed back.

I.was.done!

 

If I’ve learned anything over the past few weeks, it’s this: increasing the punishment does NOT improve behavior!  (Go figure)

Then it hit me!

All this time I spent trying to correct her problem, not once did I stop to consider if I were the problem.  As I mentioned in my initial post, things around my home have been fairly chaotic over the past few years, and only recently have I tried to tackle them head on.

Lack of one on one quality time with yours truly festered until it boiled over into one pre-teen induced angst.  Now, am I excusing her behavior, absolutely not.  But I am willing to stop and take the blame for the damage I’ve caused.  I know this road won’t be easy, but it’s my road to travel.

Death_to_stock_photography_wild_4

Death to Stock Photos

So, I’m strapping in, cause this ride is bound to be a bumpy one.

Until next time