Another Toddler (and Daddy) Tasty: Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

As my summer time at home is winding down, I thought I’d make some treats for the few “Daddy Daycare” days that we have coming up.  Here you have Strawberry Shortcake Muffins — Dashing Dish.  These were very easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients.  The only things that I had to go out and buy were the fresh strawberries and old fashioned oats.

Stirring in strawberries after blending ingredients

Fresh out of the oven

Yum!

BabyCakes approved!

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A year ago…

I’ve been MIA lately, mostly due to my “crap, I only have one week of summer left” mentality, which in teacher reality means, “crap, I have to get into my classroom early to make sure I’m not stressed when I’m really due to report back next week.”  See…more evidence that teachers are truly a hard-working bunch.  While I’ve been slacking in the “Mrs. Cupcake” role of meal planning, sticking to somewhat of a schedule to keep our house together, and going on fun trips with BabyC , I’m mentally doing better in my role as a working mom.  You see, last year at this time, things were pretty bad.  I know I brought a lot of it on myself, but there were many factors that made both work life and home life a mess. So here you have some of my reflections from a year ago at this time.  Things are already off to a better start this year!

A year ago…

  • I cried every morning when I woke up
  • I slept for maybe 4-5 non-consecutive hours each night, with Mr. C getting even less as a grad student
  • I cried dropping Baby C off with his nanny
  • I cried when she texted me to tell me that he wouldn’t stop crying
  • I cried when I walked into my building, lugging my teacher supplies AND a huge bag with pumping gear
  • I cried when I was told I had to pump in the science closet, amongst many other strange locations
  • I cried in meetings when I felt pressure to be that teacher that I was pre-BabyC
  • I rushed home to play on the swings and neglected any sort of housework/cooking
  • I cried when I realized I only had 2ish hours to be with Baby C before bath and bed
  • I cried going to bed at night knowing it would all start over again the next day

Do you see a pattern? Of course, much of it can be attributed to newish mommy hormones, but nevertheless,  here’s to less tears, more sleep, more organization, better dinners, a cleaner house, and more smiles this school year.  Of course, Mr. C and I do have a huge goal of celebrating one more semester of his MBA down with a trip to Ireland in December.  That will keep us smiling for sure!

Messy, Messy (A Ziti Post)

Every week, I try to make one dish that will last for many lunches and those lonely dinners when Mr. C is in class.  This particular ziti dish  from Better Homes and Gardens has been a big hit in our house with both of my favorite guys.  In fact, Baby C was under the weather this weekend, and  is also getting those terrible, horrible, no good molars that I have been dreading.  Let’s just say, his appetite was non-existent and this meal changed it all.  If you know how sad I get about the tiny state of my under-10th-percentile child, you know that this was a huge win on my part!

This meal is also going to be a lifesaver for the ever-approaching hectic days where both Mr. Cupcake and I are working full-time.  I’m also thinking it could be a good staple for some families I know with babies due any day now!  Who doesn’t like food dumped on their doorstep?

In somewhat related news, Baby Cakes has been starting to mimic.  It’s actually a hilarious stage, but we have to REALLY start….seriously, I mean it this time, watching what we say.  Apparently I complain a lot about things being messy.  I didn’t know I used that word so much, until one day he approached me with a towel and said, “Messy, messy.  Face? Hands?” and proceeded to wipe me in the proper places.  Enjoy this little clip of Baby C eating his ziti.

and no, the nose picking is not something that he is mimicking, at least not from me!

A Little Blurb about Baby Cakes’ Baby Book!

It has taken me the almost-year-and-a-half of Baby C’s life, but I’ve finally completed his “Baby Book”.  Before I started, I had high hopes that I would begin scrapbooking again, and include all of his little “collector’s items”.  I have a box full of his ultrasounds, footprints and hospital bracelets, cards, “month” stickers from each photo shoot, and much more.  I even got as far as printing pictures from his first 5 months.  Then I went back to work and never had the alone time that I would need to sit down and concentrate on such a task.  Hence, the photo book.  Thank goodness for modern technology!  Maybe I’ll figure out a way to display these important items some day, but for now, at least I have all of the pictures from his first 365 days in one place.

After much research, I decided I wanted something different for Baby C’s first pictures.  I came across a blog post by a mom of little ones over at Little Red Wagon Photography.  This lead me to the fabulous world of Blurb.com, where I had a lot of fun playing around with their layouts and different sizes of photo books.  It was a decent price too, considering I almost went over the photo limit with my hundreds upon hundreds of pictures that I wanted to include.  It came in the mail last week, and I am so thrilled with how it turned out (despite a missing letter that Mr. C was kind enough to point out.  I can never be perfect, can I?)

Here is the ever-adorable cover.  If this doesn’t give you baby-fever, I don’t know what will! 

For more previews of this adorable first-year photo book, check it out here: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/2807016/69d130d37910f700159f8d55df87be2ae984f6cf.

Blurb allows you to share your book with friends, family members, and the world.  You can also set only a few pages to be viewed as a preview, which is what I did.  It took me many evenings, post-baby-bedtime, and several glasses of wine, but it is finished and (almost) perfect.

O-Shun?

Last week, BabyCakes and I were fortunate enough to spend the entire week playing at the seashore.  Mr. C was there from time to time, but since we always have 5 different things going on at once in this house, he was traveling to and from the beach to attend his grad classes.  This left him driving 16 or so hours back and forth in one week, just to spend a few days with his family.  Isn’t he the best?

I’m sure Mr. C was glad that he could witness his now 17-month old’s first meaningful time playing at the beach.  Since he wasn’t there the first day, I had to snap a few shots of Baby Cakes’ reaction

.

At times, he would scream with all he had in him, just to be heard above the crashing of the waves.  I fear that he would have run straight across the Atlantic if we let  him.  That being said, Baby C became obsessed with the ocean.  Once we were back at the house (which has an amazing view of the beach) every other word was “o-shun?”.  Sometimes, he would put more than one word together to get his point across to whoever’s leg he could tug on,  “O-shun? try?”  I guess we should start looking for some beach front property!

Here are some of our views from the week.  I had to practice my amateur photography!

O-Shun!

Morning walk on the beach

Mad Dash

Down, Ma!

I think that although Baby C has been to the beach 3 times previous to this trip, none was as exciting and new to him as this experience.  I will always remember snuggling with him that first Sunday morning that we woke up in our home upon returning.  He looked at me and said,

“more?”

                           “more what, bud?” I asked.

“o-shun?”

Yes, little man, I think we all need a little more “o-shun” in our lives.

post-beach blues

 

The beach is one of the most majestic places on this earth.  I will never get over its beauty, and I will always come home with a post-beach depression.  It seems that for the past few years, our vacation has coincided with the end of summer.  I look forward so much to the trip and then, once we’re home, that anxious, sinking, pit-of-the-stomach feeling hits.  Time is running out!  Luckily, we have access to the beach during the off-season too.  It just isn’t the same though…

After a week of not worrying about anything except the safety of Baby Cakes as he bravely dashed into the ocean (more on this later!), I am back to meal planning, grocery shopping, and trying to figure out how to get us back on the healthy train after a week of bingeing.  I’m not sure those bike rides and runs helped, seeing as though they usually resulted in a trip to the market to get beer or donuts!

Healthy suggestions are welcome and very much appreciated as I spend the rest of the morning browsing my pinterest board…which is essentially full of delectable treats and not-so-much the healthy stuff.