Taking Care of Your Own Kids

I love my kids.  Some folks in my life will probably say I love them a little too much.  But, they are wrong.  I love them just the right amount.  I was raised in a home where my parents sacrificed so that they could be home to take care of me and my brothers.  My dad worked multiple jobs when my mom was a young mother, so she didn’t have to leave the kids with a babysitter.  My mom worked nights and went to school when I was in school, so that she could be home for me when school was finished.  I know in this day and age, it is sometimes impossible for a mother or a father to give up one income, but daycare and babysitters can also be costly.  I just don’t feel comfortable with the idea of a stranger raising my children.  I find it becoming more and more OK with folks for them to just drop off their kids somewhere to do whatever it is they have to do.  Now, don’t get me wrong, a trip to any store without kids is a much easier, faster trip than with, however, this is not something that I prefer to do.  About the only place I won’t bring my kids with me is the doctor and that is just because I don’t want them exposed to anything they don’t need to be exposed to.  I spend time with my kids - quality time.  We play, we craft, we bake, we take day trips - among many other things.  I may only be home with my kids 4 out of 7 days a week, but I make sure that time is quality time.  And I know that my children are in good hands while I’m at work - hands that have been there before - and hands that provide the same quality time that was bestowed upon me. Each individual has their own parenting style, but if you are going to have children, then you have to be prepared to be a parent - and not just a part-time parent.  Chilren require 24 hour care.  I choose to be a hands-on parent.  My children mean more to me than any movie that is out this week or any sale at a store.  I know there is going to come a time when my kids will want nothing to do with me.  I see that in the teenage children of my friends.  SO, I’m taking advantage of my time with them now.  It goes so much faster than you know.

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Banana Cookies

Today, after our flu shots, the weather looked kind of iffy, so we decided to make some banana cookies with our rather ripe bananas sitting on the counter.  Back in the day, before my boys, I used to cook and specifically bake a lot.  I loved trying new recipes.  Now, not so much.  I want a good, simple recipe that will allow my kids to help.  Some time ago, I purchased a book called Cake Mix Cookies by Camilla V. Saulsbury and it has become my cookie baking bible.  This is my go-to book when I need to bake cookies because 1) everything starts with a cake mix and 2) everything I’ve made from this book so far has been awesome!

Cake Mix Cookies by Camilla V. Saulsbury

The recipe begins with 1 medium, ripe banana that you need to mash.  Oh man did my kids have fun with this!

Mash That Banana!


More Banana Mashing!

 You then add 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons of oil (we used canola).

Adding the oil

Then, you add the cake mix.  The recipe calls for an 18.25 package of yellow cake mix.  I didn’t have yellow cake mix, so I used a carrot cake mix.  Our cookies came out like a banana spice cookie.  YUM!  And my kids didn’t even know they were eating a vegetable, too!  Sneaky Mommy!

Add the cake mix

Camilla’s recipe also includes 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and an optional cup of chopped nuts.  I really dislike the taste of nutmeg and I’m allergic to most nuts, so I opted to leave these out.  The recipe turned out fine without them.

Stir the batter

 Stir everthing until all of the ingredients are moistened.  The batter will be sticky.

Drop by teaspoonfuls

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto either a parchment covered or nonstick sprayed cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-13 mins at 350 degrees

Bake for 10-13 minutes at 350 degrees until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched (ours took 11 minutes).

The Cookies Are Ready!

Cool the cookies 1 minute on the sheet and then transfer to wire racks.

Cool and Transfer

Enjoy Your Cookies!

Mamamamahoney can not be responsible for mess made by children while they wait for cookies!


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First Day of Nursery School

Well - we all made it through the first day of nursery school.  We took CheezWaster and he seemed hesitant.  He was excited to play with the toys and the kids, but didn’t want mommy to leave.  Then I stayed too long and he cried and I cried and then the teacher took him from me kicking and screaming because he wouldn’t leave my leg.  But, when we picked him up he was in good spirits and even made a new friend.  All in all it was the day I expected, but was hoping would go smoother.

CheezWaster with his Schultuete on the First Day of Nursery School

CheezWaster and the Destroyer Check out the treats in the Schultuete

CheezWaster at the Front Door of Nursery School

Me & CheezWaster at Nursery School

The Destroyer Wanting to Stay with his Big Brother at Nursery School

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My Baby Is Starting School With a Schultuete

Tomorrow is CheezWaster’s first day of nursery school.  I’m sort of having a little mommy crisis.  My baby is off to school (sniff sniff)!  I don’t know who is going to have a harder time at drop off - him or me!  On my many trips to Germany as a child, I would see the stores filled with “Schultueten”.  These are cones filled with treats and school supplies that children in Germany receive on their first day of school.  I’ve seen some other moms that have created these for their children and I was inspired to do the same for CheezWaster.  I attempted to follow the directions by Alphamom but unfortunately, no measuring with a T-square could get our triangle into a cone shape.

We started with a square of posterboard.  You will have to cut some of the posterboard off to make a square.  I then covered it in wrapping paper (since I destroyed my very cool neon green posterboard attempting this with a triangle shape - note to self - fold before cutting next time!).  Roll into a cone shape and tape.  I used clear packaging tape as you will need something sturdy to hold the posterboard.

Wrapping Paper Covered Posterboard

 I then cut around the top to make the cone shape.

Cut Off Top to Make a Cone Shape

 Next, you can either glue or tape in a piece of tissue paper.  I folded one piece in half and taped the edges together inside the cone again using clear packaging tape.

Adding Tissue Paper for Closure

 You now have your basic Schultuete cone and are ready to decorate.

Basic Cone with Tissue Paper Closure

 I decorated CheezWaster’s cone with Star Wars stickers since he is a big fan and has a Star Wars backpack.  You could use stickers, stamps, markers or decorative wrapping paper.

Decorated Schultuete Cone

This is what I enclosed in CheezWaster’s Schultuete - a Wow Wow Wubzy book about school, Sesame Street colored pencils, a Sesame Place pencil case with 2 Sesame Street pencils and a box of Candy Corn flavored Dots (which I picked up at Target tonight - also makes a great Halloween treat!)  You can’t go too crazy with the enclosures because 1) there isn’t much room in this cone and 2) it is just a piece of posterboard and not all that sturdy.

Schultuete Treats

 Insert your Schultuete treats carefully as to not rip the tissue paper on top.

Treats in the Schultuete Cone

Finally, gather the tissue paper carefully and tie on a ribbon.  WA-LA - you’ve now got a super-cool, very unique gift to give your child on their first day of school.  I think we’ll be doing this EVERY year for the first day of school - or at least until CheezWaster and The Destroyer are old enough to tell me what a big dork I am.

The Finished Schultuete

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Never Forget

Trade Center Lights

In remembrance of the many brave men and women who have and continue to give their lives for our freedom.

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