Tuesday
Aug162016

Tattler

The Big Kid has never been much of a tattletale. She may report what other kids do, but she does it out of a place of confusion. Her giant grandma heart literally doesn't understand how it's possible that some people can knowingly break rules without having a nervous breakdown.

If she tells me about something that happened, she's not trying to get anyone in trouble. She's trying to understand.

I didn't realize it until the shenanigans were over, but I think that's why I heard Mila's tale of woe earlier today. I apparently have not yet developed that thing many moms have where they automatically tune out tattling.

It might be time to learn how to do that.

The whole thing started very early this morning. Mila somehow discovered the stash of hidden pacifiers. They've been stowed in a vase for so long that I had forgotten they were still in the house. Mila was overjoyed, to put it lightly. She quickly grabbed a dusty pacifier, stuck it in her face, and then covered it with the palm of her hand so I wouldn't notice that there was a giant yellow thing sitting there.

She was pretty pleased with herself for a moment there, but then she apparently started to worry that her hand wasn't enough to block me from stealing the pacifier from her. Her nervousness drove her to trying to hide it. With her eyes firmly on me, Mila quickly shoved the pacifier into the nearest backpack. The backpack happened to be Alexis' dance bag.

I told Alexis to let it be. The pacifier wasn't hurting anything sitting in the backpack and I figured I would steal it back later.

Of course, I forgot to steal it. Hours went by and the girls wound up in the back seat of the car. Dance class had ended, so the backpack sat between the girls.

Mila remembered that she had a prize hiding in it.

She asked for the backpack nicely at first, but Alexis had forgotten why her sister would want access to something so important. The girls don't often fight, but in that moment they almost did. Alexis told Mila to get lost, Mila asked for the bag again and again, and I just sat quietly in the front as I waited for traffic to clear.

Mila grew frustrated. She started to fuss, so I reminded her to use her words.

The good news is that Mila is pretty good about using her words. If you remind her that fussing doesn't fix anything, she usually will find a word or two that helps. This time she found a bunch of words.

"Aless-sis, dat's not nice. Give it back!" she said. Then, "Mom, Aless-sis mean!"

She added some more words for effect, but the gist of it was, "That kid over there stole something of mine and she won't give it back. FIX IT WAAAAAAAH."

And with that, Mila unlocked the Tattling On Her Sibling achievement.

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Monday
Aug152016

This Two Kids Thing Has Some Challenges. Whodathunkit?

You can't hang out at the beach AND go to gymnastics classes, so both girls had to miss a week of the fun. For Alexis, that was fine because she has somehow found herself to be the only one who regularly shows up for her tumbling class. Private lessons at group class prices, FTW! A few weeks of one-on-one time has done wonders for helping her get more confident with some of her nuttier tumbling runs, so she was completely okay with missing a week.

The other one, though. HOOBOY.

Mila's love for gymnastics has escalated as each weeks passes. She gets braver and braver, which means she has more and more fun. She's now routinely throwing herself off the edge of a trampoline into a pit of foam squares six to eight feet below. Zero hesitation. She just jumps off and assumes all will be well. The good news is that if she tries to do that somewhere that isn't gymnastics, at least I know she will giggle on her way down. It's going to hurt when she lands, but laughter along the way will help.

Mila didn't realize she was missing a week of gymnastics, but she sure did cherish the moment when we returned.

The second I turned the corner towards the gym, Mila yelled, "GYMNASTICS!" Which, yes, that's a disappointment right there. She used to say "Nassy-sticks" but apparently when you try to video a kid saying a word in a funny way too many times, they figure out how to say the word correctly. It made for a depressing day, that's for sure. With her properly enunciated declaration out of the way, Mila threw in some excited kicks and bounces and WOWSERS. I now know what it looks like when glee shoots out of that kid's butt.

She had a very fun 45 minutes. I've figured out that if I offer her donuts at the end of class, I can get her to leave willingly, so it's pretty darn perfect.

And this week is the last week of classes. ::SadTrombone::

I haven't signed anybody up for tumbling or gymnastics or anything because HELLO, CHEER SEASON. Cheer season sucks up every minute of every day, it seems. It leads straight into dance season which is a whole other kind of time suck, so basically if Alexis wants to do anything that isn't dancing, cheering, eating, or sleeping, she's going to have to wait until November. It's not a negotiable thing because she will soon have some sort of practice four nights per week and a game on the weekend.

That's it. That's my max.

Which leaves Mila with nothing. Which is clearly a problem.

So, hey, if you see me running around like a chicken who is having a very bad day, just know it's because I am running all over town so that both of the girls can do the things they want to do. Somehow I'm going to figure out how to balance all of the things.

And I wouldn't want it to be any other way.

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Sunday
Aug142016

Peach (Not Quite) Dump Cake

Somewhere between the Peach Crisp and the Peach (Not Quite) Dump Cake, it occurred to me that there aren't enough songs about peaches. I mean, PEACHES. They're magnificent, especially when they don't come in a can. (You're welcome for the ear worm.)

Hi, I kind of have a lot of peaches in the house right now. That happens every year when they're in season because MAN are fresh peaches the best. They're especially the best when you throw them in a pan with some also fresh blackberries and a little cake.

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All of those things go together so well that some ice cream decided to show up. It was like magic.

Anyway, this recipe is based loosely on Peach Dump Cake, except not because Peach Dump Cake is basically gross. It's a good idea, but it usually involves canned peaches and a box of cake mix. Fresh is better, man. Also, I try to stay away from boxed cake mix because I call shenanigans on that thing where they put flour, baking soda or baking powder, and sugar in a box with some artificial flavoring and call it a day. If I'm going to mix in some eggs and oil anyway, why not just throw the flour and other couple of ingredients in there? It takes like 30 extra seconds and always turns out better, IMHO.

Anyway.

Peach (Not Quite) Dump Cake

4 peaches, sliced
1 cup fresh blackberries (If your people get cranky about seeds, skip these. It's cool without them, promise.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans work well)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. The premise of Peach Dump Cake is that you just sort of dump everything in a pan and go, so let's more or less do that. Dump the sliced peaches, blackberries, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts into a 9x13" baking dish. Stir it up until everything is evenly coated in sugar and then pour in the melted butter.

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3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add in the milk, egg, and vanilla and stir well.

4. Pour the cake batter stuff over top of the peaches. It will happily fill in the little nooks and crannies.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Serve warm. Trust me. Hopefully you'll get lucky and some vanilla ice cream will magically appear on your plate like it did mine.