2018 total: $10011.76


Baffling Things

There are a lot of things I wasn't prepared for when it comes to parenting. High on the list is OMG WHY DOES IT TAKE KIDS SO LONG TO LEAVE? Mila's current get-dressed-and-go-out-the-door pace is about ... an hour. If I'm lucky. Just getting from the couch (fully dressed!) to the door can take her an hour because did you know there are reasons to stop every three steps? The chair needs to be pushed in. Mila's shoes need to be adjusted. Her socks slipped down. The bathroom door isn't closed right. She forgot her toy back when she was pushing in the chair. AND THAT'S JUST TO GET FOUR FEET FROM THE COUCH.

It's exhausting. I say, "FOCUS, PLEASE!" in a very shrill voice about 139587130498 times per day. Can you imagine if I weren't constantly pushing things along? We'd all be dead by the time Mila got to school.

In other baffling Mila news, I wasn't prepared for the incessant, "I WANT MOMMYYYYYYY." Mila says it often and in the whiniest voice you've ever heard. It's like shards of glassing stabbing my ears when she does because I AM RIGHT HERE. She nearly always says it while touching me.

Like, if Mila is a dash and I'm a dot, we're like this ---------------.-------------------. She's on me like white on rice. Like the cookie part of an Oreo smashing the cream. She is LITERALLY wrapped around my little finger, toe, leg, and head. She can't get closer. She's on me! She's touching me!

But she wants me!

To ...? I don't know. It's one of those things I will never understand.

January 19 026




January 19 024

Not Alexis, that's who.

Apparently they let infants into kindergarten now. I think we can all agree it has not been THAT long since Mila was born. She can't possibly be starting school in the fall ... BUT SHE IS.

She's really very excited about this whole thing, of course. She seems to think kindergarten is some far-off magical land where little girls get to do important things, which I suppose it is. I'm less excited, though. I was trying to figure out exactly why it's bothering me and it's less that she's the BABY and more that THIS IS WAY TOO EASY THIS TIME.

When Alexis started kindergarten, our district still had half-day kindergarten. I sat refreshing the web page to register her on the morning it opened because I very badly needed her to be in the morning session. The only way I could get having a full-time job AND half-day school work was if I was able to set her up with an afternoon daycare and morning real school and UGH. Despite being very fast on the draw, she got stuck in afternoon kindergarten which basically left me needing to quit my job. Like, there really is no way to make that work and the district's policy at the time was GO AWAY, WE WON'T TALK ABOUT IT.

There was much anxiety and hand-wringing as I spent months figuring out an alternative. It ended up being a private school for a year, which mostly all worked out, but still. HALF-DAY KINDERGARTEN IS THE DEVIL. And the people who insisted on mornings when they didn't NEED it sucked, too. (I saw at least four of them on FB talking about how it was nice to have their mornings alone with a cup of coffee and that was why they wanted morning and GAAAAAAH.)


With Mila, the only drama is hoping she ends up in the same class as her best friend. Or maybe hoping she doesn't. I'm not really sure which path will have a better outcome. Regardless, she gets all-day kindergarten and it's going to be great.

Or at least that's what she keeps telling me.


Hummingbird Cupcakes

Alexis went to a birthday party and returned with ALL OF THE EXCITEMENT about Hummingbird Cake. I had forgotten that it's a thing, probably because it's mostly only a thing in the South. Which, that's dumb. Southerners shouldn't get to have warm weather AND Hummingbird Cake.

January 19 002

Let's steal it, Yankees. Not the warm weather, the cake. Stealing the warm weather is going to happen anyway because WOOO! Carbon emissions! (Ugh.)

January 19 018

Hummingbird Cake is a thing I knew existed because I spent entirely too much time around Southerners both in college and when I lived in Florida. It's a unique recipe in that the origins in recent years are mostly known. In fact, it was definitely first published in Southern Living Magazine in 1978. The recipe was submitted by Mrs. Higgins and anyone who claims to have their own recipe is a liar. I'm looking at you, Martha Stewart, with your totally made up explanation for its name. Ahem.

January 19 011

ANYWAY, here's the original recipe. I needed to make treats for a competitive cheer party, so I turned it into cupcakes, but didn't make any other changes. Because it doesn't need changes. (Though, I am always curious what would happen if I reduced the oil and added water. I'm not brave enough to try it, but I'm curious.)

Hummingbird Cupcakes
(makes 36 cupcakes)

3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple (do NOT drain)
2 cups chopped bananas (about 4 small bananas)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Cream cheese frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir together with a fork or whisk.

3. Add the sugar and stir, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Stir until just barely mixed, then add in the pineapple (with its juice!) and bananas. Finish stirring.

4. Fold in the toasted pecans.

5. Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake liners. Each one should be about 2/3 full.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Top with cream cheese frosting. If you want, garnish with a few toasted pecans.