The definition of special is better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual. Some synonyms would be exceptional, unusual, singular, uncommon, notable, noteworthy, remarkable, outstanding, and unique. Every day I realize that my third is growing more and more into just that, special. Sean and I have joked saying to each other how special he is or wow! that is so special, a very special choice you made there, putting a bobby pin in the car’s ignition. He is special. He is unlike his brother and his sister. I get frustrated with him, but mostly at myself thinking what right do I have to put him in a box or mold to be like someone else? He is his own unique, outstanding, remarkable self, with some pretty far out ideas, and does some pretty wild things that get him in noteworthy situations. And this is why I am dedicating this time….not sure how long it will be, but some time for sure, to put some of his awesomeness down on paper. I love this little kid, my little Dennis, I call him. He is special.
My morning was no different than any other morning, just I had gone to bed too late for my 35 year old frame, so to have him tell me at 6:30 it was time to go down-dairs and watch Paw Patrol, I was just not feeling it. He jumped out of my bed and ran into his room and I drifted back into sleep world. However, I woke up to him again staring at me. “DOWN DAIRS.” Soon, soon, I promised. Again I opened my eyes to see him staring at me, but in and out of consciousness I hear him tell me about a toy in his nose. I close my eyes again. Then I hear a noise in the bathroom. That is never a good thing with him. I do a supersonic flip out of the bed and run into the bathroom to find both drawers pulled out, scissors, toothpaste, make-up, and q-tips all over the floor. Grumble, grumble. I picked up the items with a foggy grace and stared at my ploughed through eye shadow, a beautiful array of shades of brown, stabbed to death by its loyal friend, the eye shadow brush, which is broken in half, as well. With a roll of the eye, insync with the roll of my head, I stare at myself in the mirror and realize how old I look and I really don’t want to watch Paw Patrol. I brush my teeth, as sweet little 3 brushes his, excited for this day.
Being that it is a Saturday, this means that child 1 and child 2 both have soccer games, but at different times. My mom came to meet us at the field and while we watched child 1 play her game, mom cuddled with little Dennis. She asked him if he was stuffy, for he seemed to be and when flipped his head back to tell her something and she instantly saw what appeared to be a fluorescent green bead stuffed up his nose. I went in MOTHER mode and grabbed his head a put my mouth over his, plugging his free nostril and blowing with all my might, which freaked him out, but did nothing for the green bead. I remembered when child 2 put a fistful of popcorn in his mouth last year, but somehow inhaled a kernel into his nose. It did go away in a couple of days, so the panic subsided, just not 100%. When we got home, he said how he wanted to get into his “yammies.” He ran upstairs to get his pajamas on, but while I was going to the bathroom, I could hear him screaming, thinking to myself his head is probably just stuck in his shirt, but no. He decided to go into our upstairs bathroom and shave his lips with a pink razor.
The special little boy with the band aid on his bottom lip and bead in his nose was just getting started, for it was just noon by this time. A half of a bottle of ketchup on the carpets going upstairs, a flooded upstairs bathroom sink, with soap suds covering the mirrors, nighttime was not coming soon enough.
My husband and I decided though, to try to once again to attempt the bead in the nose. So as I held him and tried to tell him stories or ask questions, Sean held a flashlight and a toothpick up his nose to maneuver the wee piece of plastic. When 3 had enough, we asked if he would want to try to blow his nose one more time, I held his free nostril again and like a rocket ship, that green bead shot out of his nostril in full force! FREEDOM!
Tomorrow is church. Lord keep us safe, especially our little Dennis.

River's bead

Birthday Cupcakes

For 2’s birthday all he wanted was chocolate cupcakes.  Oh, a child after my own heart. I love both chocolate and cupcakes.  I can’t believe he is now three.  It is fun to watch the kids and listen to them talk to each other.  Did I talk like this when I was their age?  There is a kind of pressure I have been feeling lately.  How much will my everyday interactions with my kids affect them both positively and negatively?  I remember most of my childhood from the age 2 1/2 years and up.  My words and facial expressions are being constantly imprinted into my little loves.  When I was running this evening, I was thinking about the different pressures currently overwhelming me. I am slightly neurotic, yes, especially with germs, so that is something I feel overwhelmed with, also finances. They have to be the ever constant beast in my life, just like my weight.  Losing weight and saving money are a handful of numbers and equations that I allow to fill my brain and consume my thoughts.  Sometimes I run to burn off steam, other times I run to distract myself, tonight was one of those nights.  I needed a distraction.  I had a really good conversation with my grandma earlier and I have come to the realization, whether we are in our 30’s or in our 80’s, we all have the same struggles and pressures in life, they just present themselves to us differently. I don’t want to live in fear.  I really don’t.  That is why I am dedicating this recipe to the worry warts.  Those who worry about weight, those who are concerned about money and germs, sickness and death. This is for those who lack discipline and fear they won’t be able to stop themselves from wanting to eat more.  The neurotics, the fear mongers and the scaredy cats, all of you, fear not, this cake will not harm you, it will liberate you…within reason, of course.

Birthday Cupcakes

(Inspired by Rebar’s chocolate cake)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 Dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 Tsp baking soda, aluminium free
3/4 Tsp baking powder, aluminium free
1/4 Tsp sea salt
3/4 cup strong coffee
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used 3/4 cup milk with 1 Tsp vinegar added to it)
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used 1/3 cup grapeseed oil only)
2 eggs (1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk)
1 Tsp pure vanilla

5 oz (150 g) milk chocolate
5 oz (150 g) dark chocolate
1/2 lb (225 g) butter, softened
1/4 lb (112 g) cream cheese, spreadable
1 Tsp pure vanilla

How To Play:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tray. Set aside. Combine the sugar, flour,cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt in the bowl of a mixer and whisk on low to combine, making sure it is lump free. Add the coffee, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix on medium-low for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides. The batter will be pourable.
Use a ladle to distribute the batter evenly into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes sit for 10 minutes before removing them from the tray.
* Note: This recipe is for a 8″ round cake, so there is extra batter. I made 4 small heart shaped cakes as well, to use all the batter. I don’t think it would enough to make 2 dozen cupcakes, but perhaps if they were small ones, it could.
Next, the icing. This, as mentioned above, is actually for the 8″cake’s filling, but I used it as an icing for the cupcakes instead. Melt the milk and dark chocolates in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix the cooled chocolate into the creamed mixture.
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, spread icing evenly over each one, gently transfer the iced cupcakes in the fridge and serve when ready.


Oh She Glows Hummus

I just got back from the Dermatologist and it was reassuring to some small degree that the spots on my face, which were not there when I was in my twenties, is a completely normal thing for people who are blue eyed, fare skinned, and in their thirties…They gist of his message was this… I am aging.  Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my mom.  Especially during the days when I was young, did she feel the way I feel now?  I used to think she knew all the answers and was untouchable by people who were mean.  She came across, to me, as fearless, well, fearless regarding people, the thing I was most fearful of when I was young.  Now, I look at myself in the mirror, with my lines and spots and my favorite lipstick, and in my head I am the same me.  I feel as though I haven’t aged.  I am 11, I am 15, I am 20, but I am really in my thirties.  I don’t know all the answers.  I am not untouchable, and yes, I still have a slight fear of people, so hide under the label of shy, however, my mom paved a way for me to be a mother to my kids.  She exhibited a confidence that made me safe.  I pray that I will do the same for my own children.

After seeing Dr. Dermatologist, I made Hummus, from Oh She Glows.  It is a great snack and I ended up just eating it as my lunch.  I added a wee bit more of lemon juice and one spoonful more of Tahini with a dash more of salt.  Costco has these amazing cracker tortilla chips made by Food Should Taste Good.  They work really well with the spread, as well as peppers and carrots.

Oh She Glows Hummus


  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, liquid reserved and set aside
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 Cup tahini
  • 7-8 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp reserved chickpea liquid (or water)
  • 4-8 drops of Tabasco or hot sauce, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Paprika, for garnish

How To Play:

Place all ingredients into a food processor (except the salt) and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Now add in salt gradually, stopping to taste as you go. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with a good quality olive oil and garnish with paprika. Makes about 2 cups and lasts for about 4-5 days in the fridge in a sealed container.