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Sunday, June 15, 2014

An Apology to Helicopter Parents Everywhere

To all those helicopter parents I have ever judged (and as a teacher, I have encountered my fair share), may I say I'm sorry.  You're still wrong...but I'm sorry.

Baby J was been doing "gymnastics" at the YMCA for about 2 months now.  And by gymnastics, I mean we pay $95 for her to go down a slide a zillion times for 45 minutes once a week.  No,'s great and she loves it and I love that she loves it.

At the end of every class the kids all sit in a line on the balance beam-- legs and arms out-- waiting for their stamps.  Sometimes it's balloons, sometimes monkeys, sometimes it's a rocket ship; always different colors.  They get stamped on each arm and each leg.

I don't get to go to gymnastics with her very often.  Normally Z goes.  I use that time to get all of my stuff ready for the weekly grocery trip but this week I got to go because it's summer vacation and I can do what I want *insert chest thrust here*.  And all of a sudden I got it:  We finished wheels on the bus and the kids (including J) ran over and sat on the beam for their stamps.  Baby J was next to last and she sat.  And waited.  Patiently.  I was halfway across the room watching.

And she didn't need me.

She didn't need me to walk her over.  She didn't need me to sit and wait with her.  She didn't need me to help her onto the beam and remind her to wait her turn.  She was capable of doing it herself.  I had a moment of "Am I supposed to be over there with her?  Should I be helping?  Am I supposed to be doing something?"  And then I  I'm not, I shouldn't,

Ok, ok...before we get all sentimental.  She's 18 months old.  The times that she ACTUALLY doesn't need me are still few and far between.  But I know they are only going to get more frequent from here on out, not less.  That makes me incredibly sad.

So I get it, helicopter parents.  I now get the feeling of wanting to force your child to need to you.  Hopefully, though, I can meet that moment in J's life where she no longer wants or needs me with grace.  I will take comfort in that moment knowing that her independence from me means I did my job.  And hopefully next year, helicopter parent, I can meet you with a little more grace as well.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I'm BACK! With a recipe for healthy(ish) peach cobbler

The last time I posted was September 23, 2012.  That was 629 days and what feels like a lifetime ago.  My last post was about hating being pregnant.  Now I have an 18 month old daughter.  Weird.

I've kind of missed blogging, to be honest.  I feel like it's kind of narcissistic (who wants to read what I write?  Is there actually an audience out there for this?) and it makes me uneasy sometimes to think that people are reading this drivel...but I enjoy writing it, so there ya go.

For my big comeback, and for your viewing/reading pleasure, a recipe:

This peach cobbler was adapted by moi from the freebie Giant magazine that comes out every few months.  Confession:  I grab it mostly for the coupons.  Sometimes, if there's a good coupon, I grab more than copy.  Don't tell anyone.  That's between me and you.  I've made a few of the recipes out of the magazines and none of them were very impressive. (Hey!  Giant...pssst...if you're looking for new recipe developers, I'm looking for a new job.  Win, win?)  What attracted me to this recipe was that it was going for a healthy dessert vibe.  I added the nutmeg, made the milk half cow and half almond, and changed the fruit to something more summer-y.

And the recipe:

Healthy-ish Peach Cobbler
2 tbl unsalted butter
2 tbl olive oil
1 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2  C skim milk
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
12 oz frozen peaches (or fruit of your choice)

Heat oven to 350.  Add butter and oil to an 8 in (I used 9 in because it was what I had) squre baking dish and place in oven to melt, about 5 min.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add milk and vanilla extract and stir to form a smooth batter.  Add melted butter and oil to mixture.  Pour batter into hot baking dish.  Pour fruit over batter evenly.  Bake until golden brown, about 50-60 (I did 45 b/c of the larger pan) minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

The original recipe, as written, claimed 190 calories in 1/8 of the cobbler.  I haven't recalculated with my changes...but that's good enough for me.

The Verdict:  It didn't blow me away and it was absolutely crying out for some vanilla ice cream.  But overall, not a bad recipe.  It could still use some more tweaks.  I think I would probably add more nutmeg and maybe some cinnamon as well (we are out right now because of the ants...but that's another post for another day).  It has a nice chewyness from the whole wheat flour; if you want something lighter go with a different flour.  Also, the peaches are kind of sour...fresh would probably be better...or maybe top it with some powdered sugar or something.  So many possibilities....

If you try it and tweak it, let me know how it goes!