The Darkside is Luring Another

Sunday mornings are made of sparkle and pep, courtesy of a tumbly little girl who prefers to stand on the sidelines than be in the game.

True story, that. Once upon a time, that tumbly little girl and I had that exact conversation. "Would you rather be in the game scoring the points or on the sidelines?" I asked. She knew then what she still believes now; the sidelines are her thing.

No worries, though. Version 2.0 gives me hope for having a reason to watch the main action. Version 2.0, aka Mila, already gravitates towards the things her sister finds boring. Give her a room filled with dolls, and Mila will seek out the toy car. The girl never met a pile of dirt she didn't want to roll in. Best of all, "helping" shoot hoops breaks her out of a grumpy funk. (Have I mentioned that basketball is my thing? That it is THE BEST THING EVER? It is.)

Hope. Just a little bit of hope.

Every Sunday that ray of hope joins me in the stands and watches as her sister double back handsprings her way across the sidelines while yelling and grinning from ear-to-ear. If hope relied on a glimpse of maaaaaybe being done with this whole cheer thing as far as Alexis was concerned, hope would be a crumbly black lump of coal.

It ain't happening. That kid loves her some cheer. To her core.

So while happiness blooms from Alexis as she cheers, Mila watches. Or, rather, she doesn't watch. She much prefers to climb in the stands, push her little toy car all over the place, stack toys, or steal my snacks. She doesn't pay much attention, is what I'm saying.


Except that this week little miss Mila, she who is my beacon of hope, she who I'd love to have grow to hate sparkle and shine, she HAS BEEN PAYING ATTENTION. Despite her apparent oblivion to that which surrounds her, Mila started trying to do cheers with the cheerleaders. She yelled "Go, *team name*!" She clapped along with another cheer. She stomped when she was told by 20 screamy girls to stomp.

She's trying.

So while there's hope, that hope doesn't live in a bubble. That hope is surrounded by what I like to call the darkside.

I have no idea what that'll get me in 8 years or so, but I think maybe I better keep stocking up cheer mom stuff.



All of the Pumpkin Things

It has happened. Alexis has dug deep into her inner white girl and found a love for pumpkin spice everything.

Pumpkin spice coffee cake.

Pumpkin spice Shredded Wheat cereal.

Steamed milk with pumpkin spice.

Pumpkin spice muffins.

All of the things. ALL. OF. THEM.

Which, of course, means that she was all HEY! MAKE THOSE PUMPKIN SPICE M&M COOKIE THINGS!

I've posted this recipe before, but since it's officially October and no longer an act of treason to cook with pumpkin, I suppose I can post it again. Besides, Alexis asked me to dig out the recipe. So, I did.

Pumpkin Spice Monster Cookies

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups instant oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 bag Pumpkin Spice M&Ms
1 bag white chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugars until creamy.

3. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix some more. Then add the eggs, baking powder, and salt. Mix.

4. Stir in the oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

5. Stir in the M&Ms and white chocolate chips. One quick note -- the pumpkin seems to take the dye off of the M&Ms, so don't stir more than necessary if you care about your cookies turning out pretty.

6. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto the cookie sheet. These don't spread much at all, so feel free to pack them on that cookie sheet.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookie are a little bit browned.



All The Happy