Thursday, September 29, 2011

The First of Its Kind

So, this is where this blog becomes less about my son, Foster, and more about everything else.

First up, The Five Minute Brownie!


A Facebook friend posted a link to this recipe yesterday, and yesterday I was seriously craving some chocolate!  Only, I had already eaten a handful of M&M's from Foster's potty reward jar, so I decided not to make this brownie-in-a-mug and bookmarked the recipe for future reference.

Future reference = today.  That's right, I. Have. No. Willpower.

As I write this, I'm eating a brownie out of my favorite mug.  Wait, scratch that.  I just drank the crumbs.

The recipe is below and yes, it tastes and feels just like a brownie.  It is a brownie and it was totally worth it.

Best part, I don't have the rest of the pan calling my name.  Making me feel guilty.

Guilty for not eating another and another and another.  I mean, how wasteful would that be?

Guilty for eating another and another and another.

Worst part, I didn't have any vanilla ice cream to scoop on top.  (You know, the whole no willpower thing.)

Enjoy!  I'm going to take a nap.

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
dash of salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1/3 teaspoon vanilla
small handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Whisk together dry ingredients in a coffee mug, standard size (11 oz.) or larger. Add oil, water, and vanilla and mix thoroughly -- making sure to scrape the bottom and sides so that it's all incorporated. If you'd like, mix in chocolate chips.

Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. The finished product will be soft-ish and chewy.

Cool for a minute. Eat right out of the mug :) Don't wait long, as the brownie will harden with time.

Note: This serving size is pretty generous. For kids or for adults with modest appetites, I recommend cutting all the quantities in half (and decreasing the cooking time -- in my microwave, the half-recipe takes about 45 seconds on high) for a smaller brownie in a mug.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monthly Update: 32

Dear Foster,

You are officially 32 months old, or 2 years and 8 months.  This might be the last time I write a sentence like that about you, as keeping track of the months is just getting too hard.  I mean, I have to count on my fingers every time!

Besides, I've obviously fallen off the mommy blogging wagon when it comes to keeping up with your development on a monthly basis, so I may as well use this blog for other things I want to talk about and like you, I have a lot to say.

Some things I'm planning to write about are home improvement projects and recipes.  (As if.  I couldn't really be a Mommy Blogger if I didn't talk about those things, right?)

Some things I will probably not write about are arts and crafts, because A - I am not artsy, and B - I am not crafty.  I wish I was, though, and every now and again I get a wild hair up my you-know-what and tear the house apart trying to make something Martha Stewart would be proud of.

That said, without further ado, here is what's been going on with you...

As I write this you're at school (Mother's Day Out).  You started after Labor Day and the transition has been smooth as silk.

Your new teacher's name is Gretchen and I made the mistake of telling you that her last name was Lyons, so now you refer to her as Miss Gretchen Lyons.

Over the summer you became quite the napper, sometimes sleeping almost 4 hours!  Now that school has started, though, you are one tired boy.  The two year olds don't go down for "rest time" until 12:30 and then I have to pick you up at 2:00.  That means the most nap you'll get at school is an hour and a half.

I've handled this transition pretty well so far.  Your daddy and I just put you to bed earlier on those nights and then congratulate ourselves on becoming more flexible parents.

It's not that we're rigid, we're just firm believers in a schedule.

You've always been a great kid, we think partly due to your schedule - that you've always known what comes next in your daily routine - but you're getting older (or as you like to say, I'm a big boy!) and it's time for us to move on.  To give you opportunities, rather than predictability.  Adventures rather than comfort.

Despite the fact that you're a big boy now, you are not potty trained.

We're not worried about this or irritated by it.  I think we're more perplexed because before the age of two, you were all about sitting on that potty!  It was once we started rewarding you for pee-pee and poo-poo on the potty that your interest waned, and now when I ask if you'd like to use the potty, you simply say, "no".

Well, I guess I can't argue with that.  (Or the fact that your definition of a big boy is one who can reach da sink!)

One way that you are acting like a big boy is by reading.  Okay, not really reading, but memorizing books.  You often say, "me read it", and all I have to do is say the first word of the sentence and you can finish the page.

You have also begun to sing songs.  In tune and everything.  Two of your favorites are, I've Been Working on the Railroad and God Our Father.  It's really sweet when you sing along with us in the car, or as I'm listening to Adele in the kitchen.  I'll have no idea that you're even listening when all of a sudden I hear your little voice, Rumor has it.  Rumor has it.  Rumor has it...

One thing I didn't expect so early was being corrected by you.

Whether it's being told, Actually, it's a grasshopper, Mama.  Or, arguing with you about the correct past tense of "bite".

You:  Dat bug bited me.
Me:  Oh, that bug bit you?
You:  No, it BITED me.
Me:  Right.  It BIT you.
You:  NO!  It BITED me!
Me:  Oh, okay...

I find myself losing a lot of arguments with you, simply because you do not back down!  It's usually me that has to be right, but with you, I'm much more gracious.

This summer you came down with an unexplained fever that landed us in the emergency room.  We had no intention of ending up there, but your fever was too high to be examined at the minute clinic, which we had only gone to because it was after hours.

It was only once we were waiting and waiting and waiting in the ER that I considered calling the doctor on call.  Duh.

His response?  "Fever means nothing.  How's your child acting?  If he's acting okay with a fever reducer, then he's fine."

Come again?  You mean I've been a parent for over two years and had no idea that I don't need to worry if my child has a fever over 104?  Well, alrighty then.

Your daddy and I were a little put out by the run around we'd been given from the minute clinic and the wait time at the ER, so we left.

That's right, Mr. and Mrs. Rigid Schedule left the ER while you, our beloved baby boy, had a fever of 104.2!  We were so proud of ourselves for making such an irresponsible decision that we celebrated at Chick-fil-A on our way home.

Luckily, your fever was gone the next morning.

At some point this summer you morphed into Captain Destruction and more than once you've gotten a spank for throwing things that aren't supposed to be thrown.

Like that time we were in a restaurant and you found a pebble on the ground and proceeded to throw it at a man.  (Yes, you read that right.)

Only, the pebble landed in the man's shirt pocket, so your daddy and I weren't sure whether to spank you or high five!

In an effort to have fun and burn energy, I've been trying to teach you how to dance.  Usually while I'm cooking dinner and you're starting to get tired and fussy.  That's when I'm rocking out to my ipod.  But, honey child, you. can. not. shake. your. booty.

Now I'm not saying I'm a great dancer or anything, but I can shake my money maker and I thought it would be so cute if you could too.  Fail.

In the meantime, you're a smart boy and upon seeing the crescent moon one night, you asked, Somebody cwimed a wadder to cut da moon?

How sweet is that?

You're also quite the jokester and often you'll make up some crazy story and when I prod you for more information, you simply reply, I was just joking.

Ah, I see.  (It's cute now, but pretty soon it'll be called LYING.)

Just in time for this post was your first role in a wedding.  The Ring Bearer.

Our next door neighbors and dear friends, Aaron & Ashley, asked you and me to be in their wedding.  What an honor, and you did so well.  Your daddy and I were so proud.

That is until the officiant said, "Let us pray" and you cried out, "No!  I wanna pway!"

I don't think anyone heard your outcry because your daddy immediately scooped you up and took you for a walk.  Poor guy missed the ceremony.

It was a great night, though.  We kept you out waaaaaaay past your bedtime and you enjoyed every minute of the eating, drinking and dancing.  So did we.

We love you, Foster Monroe, and we are so proud of the big boy you're becoming.  A big, smart, sweet, funny and handsome lad.  Even if you can't dance.