Why We're Not Having a Birthday Party

My boy's birthday is coming up, and he's never had a party - well, not one where we invited non-relatives anyway. We always ask him what he wants to do and he's just never wanted a party.  This year, I sort of pushed it.

"Wouldn't it be so fun?  We could invite all of your friends!  We can even rent a bouncy house!"

Well, after all that, who could say no?  Bent agreed that a party would be fun, and after going from a LEGO party, to WWE, to Superhero LEGOs, he finally decided on a Superhero party theme.  We went to the party store and bought decorations - I even made the most adorable invitations using this photo:
It was all planned out.  Down to the Hulk Smash bean bag toss, Kryptonite Krispie Treats, and Spiderman's Web Shooting Station.

And then you know what?

He came to me and said, "Mom, I really don't want a birthday party.  I wish I could go to the hotel that we went to last year with Dad and you and Brother.  And go to the LEGO store to spend my birthday money."

Well.
How can you refuse that?

I know there will probably come a day when going to stay overnight with his family will be lame-o, and all he'll want for his birthday will be to hang out with his friends - and definitely not his parents.

So this year, we'll be doing a semi-repeat of last year, staying in a hotel in O-town and hitting up Downtown Disney for the day.  And I will surely cherish the snuggles and giggles at night in our hotel room, and be sure to mark and remember the excitement on his face as he gets to shop through his beloved LEGO store.

Until then, we'll be returning our party supplies - except for the items from the Dollar Tree.  It turns out they don't do returns.

Oh boo.  What ever will we do with 30 cans of "spiderman's webs?"
I think we'll figure something out...




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Almond Joy Pie


**Let me start by saying I originally came across this Almond Joy Pieas a pin on Pinterest. Not wanting to forget to make it, I even made it the cover photo for my Sweet Treats board.  When I finally decided to make the pie, I clicked the link and BOOM - "you must be invited by the author to view this blog."  Seriously?!  I'd been waiting so long for this pie, and I wasn't going to get to view the post?
And then I thought about all the other people who saw this coconut-y goodness on pinterest and weren't going to get the recipe either, so I had to write a post on it.

This pie is to die for.  No joke.  I'm not even going to waste any time talking about it - let's just get to the recipe.

To recreate the slice of deliciousness- aka Almond Joy Pie you see above, you will need:

1 OREO pie crust
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp flour
about 1/2 cup almonds 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Begin by placing a layer of almonds on your OREO crust.
Melt half of your chocolate chips, and drizzle chocolate over your layer of almonds.
Place in the fridge to set while you continue with the next step. 
In a large bowl, mix butter, coconut, flour, egg, milk, vanilla, and sugar.
Pour mixture over your layer of hardened chocolate. 
*It doesn't have to be completely hardened.
Place in preheated oven for about 45 minutes.
Allow pie to cool, and arrange remain almonds on top.
Melt the remainder of your chocolate, and drizzle over top layer of almonds.
** Next time I will probably add much less chocolate on the top layer because although so yummy, it was a little difficult (ie. I almost needed a chainsaw) to cut through the thick layer of chocolate on top.  

Place pie in fridge.  You can serve cold, or take out an hour or so before you're ready to serve.
almond joy pie


Yum!!




2

Weekending

Sometimes the best days are the days when you do nothing at all.
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Becoming "The Crazy Mom"

I keep asking myself, "What the heck is wrong with me?"  How did I become that mom.  The one who's every move is dictated by her baby - whether he's napped or not, when the last time he fed was, and how often (or what color) he poops.  Who won't leave the house for fear of throwing off his schedule.

I feel like a prisoner.  A prisoner of my own home and of my own making.  

When I had my first son, by the end of the first month I had gotten into the swing of things and was back to living life as usual (almost) but with a baby in tow.  
We took a trip to Sea World when baby was only 7 weeks old! By 10 weeks, we were already beachin' it, and by 6 months, my baby boy had been out of state twice, and even had his first water park experience.
I'd rather have a root canal than take my new little lipshen to Sea World right now (and he's already 15 weeks)!  I just (as in last week) took baby boy to the grocery store alone for the first time.  And I kid you not, as I was holding my sweet little bundle the other day, this thought crossed my mind:  "Oh, my gosh. I was eating peanuts.  What if his little hand holding my finger gets peanut residue on it and he puts it in his mouth and he dies?!"

Seriously?!

That can't be normal. So again, I ask myself, "what the heck is wrong with me when it comes to this new baby?!"  What happened between 6 years ago and now that has made me such a freakazoid?

At first, I wondered if it was because I had him naturally, and unmedicated, and that the experience had given me some sort of super-connection with my sweet baby boy, but with my first born, I remember actually waking up at night 30-45 seconds before he'd start crying, like we had a strange psychic bond and that doesn't happen with this new little one.

Then, I wondered if it could be because we were exclusively breastfeeding, and that was giving us a crazy bond so that I was focused on nothing but him.
Or, maybe he's just a different person than my first born, so his needs (and my needs to fulfill them) are different.  Or maybe it's because I'm older.  Or maybe it's because I know more now than I did with my first born and as they say, ignorance is bliss.

Maybe it's all of the above and none of it at the same time.  Maybe I'm just over thinking everything and came into this pregnancy having set expectations and goals based on what "they" say makes me a good mother:  

 - I will exclusively breastfeed.
 - I will have an unmedicated, natural childbirth
 - I will cloth diaper
 - I will baby-wear
 - I will blah, blah, blah

There is so much pressure out there now for new moms.  So many opportunities to question yourself about whether or not you're doing the latest recommended things for your baby, or using the latest recommended gear....

Toys from China?  eek! - bad Mom
The tv's on during the daytime? - bad Mom
Supplementing with formula?! - bad Mom
Letting him cry for more than 5 minutes while you drive home from the grocery store (you took him out of the house?! - germs!) - bad Mom
Vaccinate/don't vaccinate.
Circumcision or intact?
You're washing him with regular baby soap?!  Those chemicals bring out female hormones in boys!!

Come on!  I can't live like this anymore.  I think it's unhealthy for myself and my baby for me to be a neurotic mother who second guesses everything so that she's making the perfect choice for her baby.  The perfect choice for my baby is unconditional love from a healthy mom.    
Maybe I just need to remember that perfect is different for everyone, and that my first born was a formula drinking, disposable diaper wearing baby who was constantly slathered in Johnson and Johnson's lotion, and man, that kid is awesome.  

I'm going to stop worrying so much about being the mom that everyone says I should be, and be the mom I am.  And if my kid ends up just like his big brother - well, that will be fine by me. 


*Do you feel like there's more pressure than ever before to be a "perfect parent?"  






Put A Bird On It
9

This Moment

This moment.  A single photo - no words, capturing a single moment from the week.  A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.  Inspired by Soule Mama.

*I'd love to see your moment.  Leave a link in the comments.



1

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salsa

While the rest of the country has been dealing with blizzards and ice, Florida has been enjoying what might be considered t-shirt weather by the rest of the country.  Sure, we've been donning our boots and jackets, (Hey! 50 degrees is cold when you're used to flip-flops and shorts), but we don't have to worry about lack of fresh produce while we try to detox from our treat-filled holiday celebrations. 

Here in Florida, we have so many fresh, local options when it comes to produce year round, The farmers' markets are in full swing every weekend, and one of our major grocery store chains tries to carry as much local produce as possible.  

Last weekend, I recreated the Florida Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salsa Recipe from the Fresh From Florida website.  So fresh, and delicious!

Here's what I used:
About 35 minutes, and:

4 ears of corn
2 large tomatoes
1 large avocado
1/2 cup red onion (chopped fine)
1/2 cup bell pepper (chopped fine)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (hand torn)
1 lime
1 tsp powdered cumin
hot sauce (as desired)
sea salt
pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Remove husks and silk from corn, and rub with butter

Wrap corn cobs individually in aluminum foil and place in oven for 35 minutes

While corn is roasting, finely chop red onion and bell pepper.  (I used my food processor).

Dice tomatoes.

Cut avocado.
Combine ingredients in a large bowl.

Add juice of 1 lime, teaspoon of cumin, and torn cilantro.*

*(There are 2 types of people in the world - those whole love cilantro, and those who - well, don't.  I'm one of the latter, so I chose to omit the cilantro.  It still turned out delicious.)

Once the corn is done, slice the kernels off the cob and to bowl of ingredients.
Add your favorite hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.

Yum!  This pairs great with chips for a party, as a topping for a Fiesta Chicken Salad, or even as a side for taco night.

Do you have a favorite salsa recipe?  Feel free to link to it in the comments.



You can find this recipe linked up at
The Mixing Bowl Recipe Party.
Put a Bird on It
Awesome Things Tuesday
Share It Link Party
Too Cute Tuesday
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