A Microwave Mom’s Pumpkin Spice Cookie Tutorial

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These are what’s left of my cookies. Don’t worry. With some practice, you too can rise to my level of Pinterest expertise glory.

What would fall be without pumpkins?

And pumpkin spice, and pumpkin spice lattes, and pumpkin spice latte cookies and pumpkin spice latte cookie cheesecake?

Of course, someone has to tell you about the latest recipes for these seasonal delights, and who better than a mom blogger? We’re moms, after all. We’re domestic. Our kitchens are always sparking clean and smell of pumpkin bread. We have pumpkin spice running through our veins.

In the spirit of the season, I’d like to share with you some steps I recently took to craft some delectable pumpkin spice cookies for my family. From my home to yours.

  1. Swing by the grocery store because we’re out of sandwich bags and fruit. Happen by pre-sliced ready-to-bake cookie dough section. See the pumpkin spice cookies and think “How festive. My husband will love these. Maybe I can barter these in exchange for him Swiffering the floors. Or putting away his piles of laundry. It’s sad I have to bribe him to put away his own laundry, but anyway. These are festive.”
  2. After dinner that night, decide to plop the cookies in the oven out of the goodness of my heart while my husband watches Avengers: Age of Ultron. No bartering required. Because that’s the kind of loving, domestic wife I am.
  3. Use promise of cookie to bribe preschool son to put down his makeshift Tinkertoy weapon and take a bath.
  4. Carefully pull apart the cookies with my bare hands along the pre-sliced lines, and place them on the baking sheet.
  5. After 20 minutes, the cookies are ready. They smell fantastic. My husband decides that for the first time ever, he is too full for a cookie and not in the mood.
  6. My husband pauses his movie to put our son in bed, who has brushed his teeth and forgotten about the cookie.
  7. Sigh. Eat two cookies myself despite already having snacked on candy after dinner.
  8. Think oh, well. There’s always tomorrow to promise I’m going to walk it off and then lose track of time until it’s too late and I have to go get my son from preschool.

So, there you have it. A slice of my pumpkin spice life. From this mom blogger to your table.

Happy Halloween, everyone.

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Kid Not Your Mini Me? That’s A Good Thing

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If you’re anything like me, you probably fantasized for much of your life about having a little mini me one day.

Yes, there’d be a partner in the equation, but their genes wouldn’t matter much. Or something like that.

Of course, the reality of parenthood is that our kids will inevitably be everything we don’t expect them to be, and often, nothing like us. Sometimes, nothing like us or our partner.

My mini me fantasy didn’t evolve much from the time I was a little girl to my first pregnancy five years ago.

I’d pop out a ruddy-faced baby with thick, dark hair like I had. She’d be kind of a funny-looking thing, like yours truly, but then evolve into a precocious, cute toddler with brown pigtails.

She’d talk a lot but stutter, and be physically awkward. She’d have a crazy imagination. I’d tell her it would all be OK, because, after all, I turned out alright.

Needless to say, none of that happened. I had a boy, and he was one of those rare babies who pops out gorgeous. Yes, I’m biased, but he was really a looker. Wispy, dark blond hair. A flawless complexion.

He grew into an agile, coordinated toddler. Worst of all, he was fearless. As soon as he was able, he was climbing on rocks and walking along narrow ledges.

I was a big mommy’s girl and homebody, but he wasn’t. He never really liked to be held. He’d rather sit by himself and talk to you. He’s super smart. Has a memory like an elephant. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning.

He loved daycare and then preschool. When I come to school to pick him up, he runs away begging for a few more minutes.

He’s a lot like my husband in looks and personality, but not exactly like my husband.

I recently had my second child. When I found out in the ultrasound she was a girl, I did the ugly cry. I couldn’t believe it. I was convinced after the birth of my son I’d have another boy, and I certainly wasn’t going for three.

Here it comes, I thought, my mini me.

Not so much.

She, like my son, came out gorgeous. Porcelain skinned. Big, long-lashed eyes. Auburn hair. She looks a lot like my sister who I look nothing like. Go figure.

In some ways, she is similar to me. She’s a momma’s girl. She likes to cuddle. The rest remains to be seen. I’m sure no matter what she’s like, she’ll be very much her own person.

That’s the beauty of parenthood, isn’t it?

We’re not here to replicate ourselves. We’re here to facilitate new, unique life with all its perfections and imperfections. We’re here to help mold that life to be the best it can be. The kind of life that changes things, lived by a person who comes up with new ideas no one’s thought of before.

All on our kids’ terms, not ours.

Lesson Learned: Live Large Before The Little Ones Arrive

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No time for any of this anymore.

When my husband and I moved in together before we were married or even engaged (sorry, Grandma!) we’d do what we wanted when we wanted.

The problem is what we wanted then was rarely more exciting than taking a few laps around the neighborhood or watching raunchy TV shows. We should have truly appreciated life before kids and done something better than walking to Kmart, and so should you.

Ah, doing what we wanted.  Yes, that, and get your mind out of the gutter, but also going to the movies. Playing video games (him). Signing up for every single magazine giveaway contest (me). Eating an entire meal without having to stop to give someone a time out. Showering in peace. Taking a poop without interruptions. Doing nothing and liking it.

One of our favorite activities at night was going on walks around the neighborhood. To give us a purpose, we’d walk to a Kmart that was just a few blocks away. On the way to Kmart, we’d pass through the grounds of a hotel full of twinkly little white lights and it almost felt like a teeny tiny vacation.

Hand in hand, we’d crack up at eachother’s dumb jokes. We’d head to the toy section at Kmart where we’d play around with Barbies and Transformers and say we’d buy that stuff for our kids one day. Even then, we had babies on the brain.

Soon enough, we were engaged and planning for our wedding. That process took over a year. Where will we hold the ceremony? Who will be invited? What thousand-dollar dress will I wear? And as an afterthought, where will we honeymoon?

What I didn’t realize then is that our life could have been one big honeymoon. What was stopping us from having a small backyard wedding and instead using that money to spend a year living abroad or just in a different state somewhere experiencing different cultures and places, meeting interesting people? So what if we spent our meager savings eating good food and having cool adventures. Helping people who needed it. There was no one depending on us but us.

Back then we didn’t realize how completely the responsibility of kids would consume our lives. How we’d never again eat a meal all the way through.  How we’d never poop in peace. How we’d worry about moving too much for fear of not allowing our kids to grow roots in one place. The importance we’d one day place on job stability and good health benefits.

I wish I wouldn’t have worried so much about what people thought or expected of us. Sure, the wedding was fun, but was anyone’s life going to be enriched by the beading detail on my wedding dress?

We should have lived wild and loose for those fews years, before our lives became all about these wonderful, beautiful little troublemakers who I wouldn’t trade for anything. There’s no better time to do it then when you’re young, able-bodied and most-importantly – kid free.