My son turned 2 years old last week. Everyone warns you the time goes fast and they are right. I was looking at his baby pictures this past weekend and just couldn’t believe how much he has grown! Where did my baby go!?
So this past weekend we threw a birthday party for him to celebrate. We made TWO cupcake recipes. Banana Cream Pie and Black Forest Cupcakes. Here is the recipe for Gluten Free Banana Cream Pie. Yummy and decadent, yet surprisingly easy since we used a boxed cake mix! (Betty Crocker to the rescue. Awesome gluten free mixes). We finished this with homemade whipped cream frosting and chocolate “B” letters.
They turned out delicious! Try it and see for yourself!
Add vanilla extract, bananas, sour cream, and water. Mix to combine.
Add Gluten Free Cake Mix to the wet batter and blend with electric mixer until combined.
Pour batter into liners (about ¾ full)
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack
In a small saucepan, heat milk.
Add sugar and cornstarch whisking vigorously until combined and smooth.
Continue to whisk until mixture becomes thick.
Add butter and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
Allow to cool.
Place water in small pot and sprinkle with gelatin. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Whisk the gelatin and water in the pot and heat on low whisking until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat.
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the whipping cream on medium high speed until in starts to thicken.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk and taste. Some people like their frostings sweet and others less sweet. I provided a rough range for the powdered sugar and almond to allow you to tweak the recipe to your liking.
Continue to whisk at medium high speed until the cream begins to get fluffy.
Slowly add gelatin while whisking until incorporated.
Cut a small hole out of the middle of the cupcake. Save the top of the cut out.
Spoon about 1 Tbsp of filling into each cupcake and replace top.
Finish with frosting.
Ripe bananas provide much better flavor.
The gelatin allows the cupcake frosting to set up and stiffen. This is a great trick for keeping your whipped cream frostings looking perfect.
Refrigerating the cupcakes will allow the frosting to slightly stiffen and allow the frosting to look and behave a little like a buttercream frosting.
So last year I got in on the essential oil bandwagon. I love them. I really do. I now have things in my home like all natural laundry detergent and natural hand soap that have essential oils in it. I have roller balls of essential oil blends that I wear as perfume or for help with everyday aches and pains. I have an awesome homemade muscle rub cream that I swear melts away my neck tension every night. But I am also living modern life. I am a working mom who eats things like Orange Chicken (so delicious) from Panda Express for lunch. I let my son do things like drink water from the garden hose or eat day old cheerios off the floor. I also still have a medicine cabinet filled with things like Tylenol and Claritin because you just never know when you will need them.
When I decided to start this website last summer it was to be an outlet for me to write about my new role as a mom and explore this new world of essential oils I was excited about. It was also a creative outlet for me as I grieved the sudden loss of my mom last summer. And over the past year I have been feeling more comfortable in everything. My son is going to be two in a few weeks and I still love my essential oils. I also can think about my mom now without dissolving into a pile of grief. It has been a good year.
There are so many fanatics out there on both the essential oil AND motherhood front. Sometimes I want to shout, “REALLY? You really did power yoga, cooked an organic breakfast AND magically healed your sick child from one application of essential oils all before 9 AM?”
The reality of life is that sometimes you feel like super mom and other days you just survive till the kids go to bed. Essential oils have supported my family in an amazing way this year and I love them. But I also will still take my child to the doctor if he gets really sick.
It is called moderation people. In the end, we are all just trying to make the best decisions for our family while trying to fulfill our dreams and ambitions at the same time.
Now excuse me as I get my 3rd cup of coffee for the day. It is Friday after all and I am running on fumes at this point. Moderation in the caffeine department can start tomorrow…
So last night we went out to dinner with some friends. Bryce was extra fidgety. He wouldn’t sit in the highchair, wouldn’t sit in the booster, nor would he sit on our laps. Thankfully we had a booth and he happily sat between us for the meal. But not while sitting still. Up and down, to and fro he went. I tried everything to distract him. Ipad? No. Toys? No. Knife? Yes. Wait, knife?! Grab that from him! Ugh…
Finally I spied chopsticks sitting on the table and gave them to him. That worked. For one minute. Until he decided to throw them at the older couple behind us. Mortified, I apologized. The guy, apparently a grandfather or at least a kid lover, came over to our table and gave Bryce his chopsticks back. He bent over to his level, and smiled big for Bryce while saying hi little man. Bryce, being the ham he is, loved the attention and started clapping and laughing, bringing even more attention our way. Soon three tables around us were clapping along with Bryce! The rest of the meal Bryce happily clutched the chopsticks and never threw them again.
As a parent I will admit I do not keep calm during the storm. I am the parent that worries what others think, feel like I never can keep my kid behaved, and am anxious as soon as we leave the house.
Last night reminded me that most people at one point were in our shoes. That maybe, instead of seeing an out of control rambunctious toddler, they see a sweet almost 2 year old enjoying his time out with his parents and finding everything about the experience thrilling, including chopsticks being flung and then returned by a sweet couple.
This stage of life….it’s hard. But it also has the most rewards. Lesson learned. At least until the next outing….
Am I the only parent with a toddler who goes crazy when a parent is out of town on business? Brian has been gone since Monday and Bryce is progressively getting worse each day. He is fussier, clingier and not sleeping well at night. Last night he started screaming in his crib and would only fall back asleep when I put him in bed with me. The weird part is when Brian facetime’s us Bryce refuses to talk to him! He sees it is daddy and walks away. Like he is mad that daddy is not here so is giving him a hard time.
Brian comes home late tonight so hope Bryce will be back to his normal self soon. This morning he woke up at 5:00 AM and just wouldn’t settle back down. So I will be drinking copious amounts of coffee today and just hope to get through. I am grateful that it is at least Friday!
Here are photos of us from earlier in the week. His toothy grin is just precious.
I vaguely remember my life pre-child. Sleeping in, drinking hot cups of coffee, eating hot food while watching a TV channel other than Disney Jr. Heck I think I even have memories of being able to read more than two pages of a book before passing out in exhaustion! Or talking to my husband about something other than our child, bills or our ever growing to do list around the house.
Parenthood is wonderful. It is also exhausting. We have entered the tantrum stage and I swear he knows to throw one just when they are least welcome. Middle of aisle five at the grocery store because I wouldn’t let him climb the store shelves? Of course. Out at the park because we need to leave? A given. Before or after his bath because he hates transitions? Why not. And trying to put a diaper on him lately is like wrangling a snake. He hates it and won’t sit still. He won’t use a potty either so wrangling him it is. I have taken to whatever distraction necessary to change his diaper. Want to play with mommy’s phone? No, OK, how about this Ipad? No? OK, here are a pair of scissors…..ugh of course those would peak your interest….
We have had to remove EVERY bar stool from our kitchen because he has become fixated with climbing them and then onto the kitchen counters. Which that alone is bad but then he proceeds to throw everything off the counters onto the floor, which in turn makes me a hysterical mess….it has not been a pretty sight at times in the Thomas household lately.
But when the going is good it is amazingly beautiful. He loves to cuddle up on our laps now with his blankets and will just turn around randomly to give us a hug. I melt every time he does that. His mental capacity to figure things out is growing leaps and bounds everyday. He is talking more. Understanding more. He understands what we say so much now that we have started spelling out words we don’t want him to hear. The problem with that is mom is NOT a great speller, apparently….
He will be 22 months in a few days. Almost two years old. I am continually grateful that he has come into my life and even though we have a lot of the these crazy days in our house currently, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you are in the thick of toddler life like me, remember you are not alone. And people tell me there is this thing coming up in a few years where the kid goes to this place for the whole day and you get the house to yourself. It is free and they are taken care of by a whole team of people. I hear it is called school…..
Back in December my son got kicked out of daycare for biting. He is 1 years old. Someday I will laugh at this but at the time I thought the world was ending with the amount of stress it gave me. What to do, on top of the holidays, made me a mess. And people don’t have much sympathy when they hear it is a behavior issue. The judging I felt I got from others plus the unsolicited advice from them was too much at times. I am not in a situation where I can just quit my job and stay home. But I also knew daycare was not a good fit for him. He needed more attention and less of a schedule. More time to explore and just be a kid. Nanny? More money than we could afford. So what to do?
We are very lucky that my mother-n-law offered to watch him for us. So currently my mother-n-law lives with us during the week and watches him. And in just one month he has made so much progress. He rarely bites anymore and has calmed down. He actually can concentrate on the task in front of him instead of bouncing around from one thing to another. He smiles more. He sits on my lap and gives me hugs when I get home instead of the tears I was getting before. It is like he is a different child. And of course I love the pictures she sends me during the day of him. Their relationship is special and you can tell he adores her.
Upon reflecting on this arrangement of course I have mom guilt that I am not there. Every mom –working or not – has mom guilt. But I realize these days of him being with his “Omi” are precious. You see, she is his only grandparent. My parents are both deceased as well as Brian’s dad. “Omi” is it. I was so close to my “Omi” growing up and am SO grateful that he is getting to know at least one of his.
Life has a way of pushing us where we need to go whether we are ready or not. Lesson learned.
When our neighbor was 8 months pregnant I found out I was pregnant. We always joke it was her crazy pregnancy hormones that rubbed off on me. After all my years of infertility to get pregnant and share the joy with a friend also about to embark on first time parenthood? Priceless.
Her daughter was born in September and my son in May. They travel for work so we have gone months without seeing them. I thought it would take a while for a bond to form between these two….but no. They LOVE each other. This summer, when the neighbors were gone, Bryce would walk up to their front door and knock for them. At one years old, he already missed his friend!
It has really been nice to share parenting stories with them and have our kids be able to “run out” the ENDLESS energy together.
Now that they are both mobile and running around, they keep us on our toes when they are together. Sharing and “mine mine” are all issues at the toddler age. But they hate to be apart. It is so cute to see