Monday
Jun062016

Too Much Together is Too Much

After an odd three-year drought, apparently this summer is the summer to get married if you are in our family. There are all of the weddings happening all at once, which means we're going to spend a whole bunch of weekends driving all over the place.

First stop, Tennessee. (Congrats, Ashley and Justin!)

If you would like to do the math, we spent 20 out of 60 hours in the car between Friday and Sunday.

I repeat, we spent 20 hours in the car.

"We" includes the newly minted 2-year old.

You know what's not smart? Doing anything for 20 hours with a newly minted 2-year old. I mean, toddlers are basically jerks. It's their job to be jerks. They're supposed to eat, sleep, and question the world. The universe revolves around their needs and they second-guess every second of every day. Locking yourself in a small space with one of them is just asking for trouble.

So, yeah, this kid is a jerk.

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Do not be fooled by those long eyelashes. Those eyelashes did not spend much time gently resting those little cheeks during the car rides. That would have made things too easy. Instead, Miss Mila spent her time awake and questioning and basically being a jerk.

Hour 1: In an attempt to wow the newly minted 2-year old with something new and different, we turned her to forward-facing just in time for the trip. In theory, I would have liked to wait another year, but in reality I kept smacking her head on the roof of the car when I would put her in because the rear-facing setup was a little tight. Instead of a guaranteed concussion, I gave her a good view.

She initially thanked me with a WOOOOW! and a grin, but that quickly turned into a kick. And another kick. And another one.

It turns out that when you first discover you can kick the seat in front of you, you have to do it for a whole hour. Over and over.

Hour 2: I hadn't considered it, but I guess I sneak eat a lot in the front seat, where little eyes can't see me. Except, a forward-facing kid can see me and HOOBOY WAS SHE PISSED THAT I SNEAK FOOD. I have to figure out if I would rather get my face ripped off by a toddler or share my candy in the future. It's a tough call.

Hour 3: COLOR, PLEASE. Manners are good. Toddlers with relatively open access to a pack of markers are not. "Washable" my ass. The kid had blue hands all weekend.

Hour 4: There was, of course, a DVD player and a stack of movies for Mila to watch. But which movie? Cars? Minions? Something else? She wasn't sure, so she demanded that she watch five seconds of each of the movies. But just five seconds, and then it was time to demand a change.

Hour 5: HOW DO SMALL HUMANS CREATE SUCH AWFUL-SMELLING THINGS?

Hour 6: Snack time! Hooray! Or not because of the 234593289713 snacks we packed, none of them were the correct one.

Cupcakes. Mila wanted cupcakes. There are no cupcakes in BFE Kentucky.

Hour 7: Kick. Kick. Kick.

Hour 8: Mila wanted ... something. I never did figure out what. It might have been easier if she would have been willing to use her words instead of just yelling "WANT." Words, kid. Words are good.

Hour 9: OMG WE ARE ALMOST THERE PLEASE STOP YELLING.

And then we had to return home a day and a half later, repeating the whole process.

During the return home, Mila repeated all of her Day One jerkiness, but she added a few layers of fun. For example, she decided she needed to hold hands with an adult, but only if the adult was seated in the front and would have to do an awkward Twister pose in order to get their hand back with her. My shoulder and knee still hurt from that delightful few hours.

And then there was the point in the festivities when Mila was very happily entertained by an app on my phone. Seriously, she was so happy playing Toca Band. SO HAPPY. Mostly she was happy because she found the most annoying way to play the game and no matter how many times I removed the little character that yelled NANANANAAAANAAAA in the most grating voice possible, Mila put her back. Over and over. It was the only character Mila insisted had to be in her band.

I have voted it the character most likely to die when I punch it in the face.

The good news? The good news is that we get to try it all again this weekend when we go to another wedding in another state.

YAY!

Sunday
Jun052016

The Minion Cupcakes

I have a tradition of having a little bit of of fun with cupcakes for birthdays. For years, Alexis has shared seemingly (and sometimes truly) intricate creations designed for little hands to enjoy.

MILA'S TURN!

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These rank really high on the simple scale. They also rank really high on the not perfect scale because hockey was on while I was making them. I can't be trusted to draw nice black lines when there is stress to be had.

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Small people don't care about perfection. They care about marshmallows and frosting and banana cupcakes.

I'm good at pleasing small people.

Mini Minion Cupcakes (Makes aapproximately 36 mini cupcakes)

Marshmallow Minions
36 large marshmallows
Yellow candy melts
White candy melts
Black frosting (I used the cream cheese frosting linked below and a whole lot of black gel food dye, but you could use one of the little tubes of black gel icing that is easy to find at craft and grocery stores)

Banana Cupcakes
2 small bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe here)

 1. Let's start by making a bunch of minions, okay? Melt the yellow candy melts according to the instructions on the bag. then dip the marshmallows in the melted yellow goop and set them somewhere safe to firm up. (I stuck my marshmallows on lollipop sticks, dipped them, then stuck the lollipop sticks in a piece of floral foam. You do whatever works for you, though. If you set the dipped marshmallows on wax paper or something similar, the down side will stay your down side. It won't need to be perfect.)

2. While the yellow is still melty, stick a white candy melt on there for the eye. The flat side should go against the marshmallow. You may need to hold it in place for a second to get it to stay.

3. Outline the eye with black frosting, put a dot in the center for the pupil (on top of the swirly point of the white candy melt), and draw the strap.

Tah-dah! You have minions! Set them in the fridge so they can firm up. Now it's time to make cupcakes.

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place blue liners in a few mini cupcake pans.

2. Mash the bananas in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and stir to mix well. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix well. Add the vanilla and mix a little more.

5. Beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating between the two as you slowly add them.

6. Stir in the bananas.

7. Place the cake mix in the cupcake liners. Fill them about 2/3 full.

8. Bake at 325 degrees for about 24-28 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Mine took 25 minutes. Set the cupcakes on a cooling rack while you work on the frosting.

9. Make your frosting. Here's the link again, just for fun. Dye it using a blue gel food coloring that reminds you of Minion pants.

10. Frost those cupcakes. You don't need to do anything special or fancy since you're sticking a Minion on top.

11. Stick a Minion on top.

13. Blow a kid's mind with your magical Minion powers.

Saturday
Jun042016

They're Fancy

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