Forget Disneyworld, my happiest place (besides my bed) is Target. I love that place. And my favorite Target section - the dollar bins.
In actuality, I never need anything from those bins, but who does? And yet, I cannot walk past the dollar bins without adding a magnetic notepad or a Hello Kitty headband to my cart. But the best, at least in the spring, are the bubble wands. All four of my kids love these - even the ones who think they are too old to blow bubbles.
See, the bubble wands, they also double as light sabers and you know, light sabers=cool.
After school the other day, on the first really beautiful day in weeks - it's been weirdly cold for April - the kids ran outside and I handed these guys out. And they all played together. All four of them; all four kids have not been interested in the same activity in what feels like forever.
I fear that the days when I can occupy all four of them with one activity are quickly coming to an end.
I wonder how this will all play out.
It's been a merry-go-round of a week with different kids home sick. Huge thanks go out to that modern miracle called Motrin, because they have all been relatively un-cranky, which is much appreciated. But this also means that they are bored. B-O-R-E-D and I'm running out of things to do.
This morning we baked a delicious cake - a kind of cinnamon crumb chocolate chip coffee cake* in a bundt pan, so it looks all fancy. It's my mom's recipe from years ago - and neither of us have made it in ages - but the girls picked it out of the cookbook this morning so we went with it. The house smells great and we're now ahead of the game for Shabbos.
But there was also an afternoon today - a gorgeous day, the kind of day that has you standing at the window, looking out and saying, I must get these kids into a stroller right now so I can go walking. And so we did. Except that really, once you get outside, you realize it's freezing. Not truly freezing, but windy and chilly enough that you're just as happy as the kids to go back inside and hang out in the porch.
Which is what we did.
And then we rummaged through the arts and crafts stuff and made rainbows, because, well, I wish I had a reason, but I don't. My girls just like rainbows.
They sat and made these and I sat on the couch and watched. Perfect.
Grab some colored paper and a scissor and cut the papers into small pieces.
Hand out bottles of glue and large-ish papers. Draw a big rainbow on each paper and let the kids glue one little paper at a time to the rainbow. In theory, it should take quite a while but it only took my girls about twenty minutes, most of that time spent smooshing glue between their hands. You know what? Whatever floats their boat today is fine by me; as long as no one is fighting right now, I am happy.
Oh, and here's the recipe so you can make your house smell great too. The whole thing can be put together in five minutes - and then you can go sit while it bakes. Love that.
*Savti's Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 lb softened margarine (I used 1 cup oil instead and it's totally fine)
1 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup soy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, and again, totally fine. Rice milk would work too, as would real milk, but I like to keep my baking pareve.)
1 tsp vanilla.
Mix all in a large bowl and set aside while you make the crumb part.
In a small bowl, mix together:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon (or more, if you like)
1 cup chocolate chips
Spray a bundt pan with baking spray.
Pour half the batter into the pan, top with 3/4 of the crumb mixture, add the rest of the batter and then top it off by sprinkling the rest of the crumb topping on top.
The recipe that I have from my mom indicates that the cake should be baked for an hour. However, mine was done at 45 minutes. I feel like my oven runs hots, but even accounting for a temperature difference, I feel like 60 minutes would be too long. I would start checking at 40 minutes and go from there. You want a toothpick to come out clean, maybe with some melty chocolate on it.
So all in all, I'd say bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I have Ninjago coming out of my ears lately*. Everywhere I step, a little ninja guy or his sword or his spinner is poking itself into my feet.
Oh wait, do you not know what Ninjago is? You might not, if you're not lucky enough to have a seven year old boy. So I'll explain - Ninjago is a subset of regular old Lego, consisting of (as far as I can tell) four ninjas named Kye, Zane, Cole and Jay. I think. And I believe that they are all battling Lord Garmadon for something, but I don't what that something is. What I do know is that there is Lego everywhere. And I also know that I really like the Ninjago word "spinjitsu" even though I cannot define it.
The third Lego related lesson for today: I also know that Josh is fed up with living in Legoland. It's a nice place to visit but it's time to take back the house. And so all the Lego (All The Lego) has been moved up to a spare room in the attic, which is now such a holy mess that you cannot walk in there without shoes on. But I try to look on the bright side - I don't visit the attic that often so I do not have to see it. And if I don't see the mess, then I get to say things like What mess? My house is neat! Come on in!
In the spirit of ninjas and lego pieces, here is what my lego-lover pieced together from paper and tape. Who knew he was so crafty?
It's a ninjago costume, a full body one at that.
Just some paper, a scissor and scotch tape.
Gotta love a crafty kid.
*I also have kids with strept and fever coming out of my ears, which is where this non-blogging mommy has been.
I love Birthdays. Yesterday, mine. Today, the State of Israel.
My kids came home from school all sugared up, humming Israeli songs, dressed in hand-painted Israeli flag t-shirts and smelling faintly of falafel, telling tales of chumus and pita and apple cider. I have not yet figured out the significance of the apple cider but the rest of their day sounded awesome. These are the kinds of days when I kind of wish I was still a little kid, going to school everyday.
Today is the kind of day that calls for a big thank you to the teachers for turning Yom Ha'atzmaut into a joyous and teachable day, where love of The Land is reinforced in kids who might forget why they sing the Hatikvah on a day to day basis.
Happy 65th, my friend. Oh how I wish we could celebrate together. I mean, I'm not knocking the giant blue and white cookies for they are indeed tasty and celebratory, but it would be nice to celebrate together, thousands of miles away from where I sit now.
(And just in case you're really interested, right now I'm sitting on a little stepstool next to the bathtub while the girls fight over who gets to come out of the bath second...)
The lovely chocolate-covered fruit arrangement from my brother. This is BEFORE the kids fondled all the fruit and ate all the chocolate off the sticks. See the cupcake lookalikes with sprinkles in the picture? I told the kids there was a fruit hiding underneath all that chocolate. They disagreed. They insisted it was an ice cream bar. It wasn't. And it turned into a bite and spit party. Fun for everyone.
Another year, another birthday, another day to eat way too much sugar.
The day started well with a nice Whole30 breakfast and then went downhill from there.
Well, downhill and uphill.
Everything was very tasty - the falafel at my birthday lunch, the surprise Edible Arrangements chocolate covered fruit thing and Dunkin Donuts with the kids. All delicious. But now I don't feel too good.
Sugar is not my friend and that makes me sad.
Tomorrow, we go back to eating like a grownup.
We have been having breakfast issues lately, specifically with the what to have part of breakfast.
My kids are partial to cream cheese and saltines, an unfortunate combination that has become the go-to breakfast in the house for a while now. I have been trying to counter that by offering scrambled eggs, but really, who wants to get up early to scramble eggs every morning? I know. Me either.
So I made these muffins (from 100daysofrealfood.com) last night, in the hopes that they'd eat these for breakfast - and three out of four kids ate them happily, and in my book, that's a win.
The 100daysofrealfood mom says to put whatever you like into the muffin batter so I tripled the recipe and then added three different kinds of add-ins: chocolate chips, walnuts and coconuts. But now I think about it, I'm pretty sure she meant nice things like fruit, not questionable breakfast items like chocolate chips. What can I say? Baby steps.
The muffins are delicious and a triple recipe yielded 36 muffins, so enough for many many breakfasts and a few lunchbox treats. Like I said to Josh - one recipe makes 12 muffins. That's so cute. What would I do with 12? After everyone tastes, I'll be left with almost none. Nope, in our house, we triple a recipe or we go home. Or however that saying goes.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)