Family

mom & son dates

As Sequel gets older and slightly more independent, I’m able to spend more one-on-one time with Piggle. Sequel usually just sits back and watches while our adventures unfold. I usually try to keep  as cheap as possible. I find there is a lot more fun to be had when money isn’t a huge factor—it opens up more opportunities for creativity. A lot of our dates are outdoors. Even if it’s just kicking a ball at the park or playing tag in the field; it’s the mom-and-son time that Piggle so desperately craves.

The past week has posed a bit of an issue for our outdoor excursions. The weather has been so miserable, and we all ended up sick because of it. We tried our best to get out there for at least 15 minutes, but honestly, we all felt so gross that it wasn’t much fun. Instead, I decided to test our creative prowess in the kitchen. At the very least, we’d end up with some kickass comfort food to get us through the plague.

We usually make muffins and cookies twice a week, but I’m starting to get sick of them. There really is such thing as too much of a good thing. I took to scouring  for something new, and I came across a fantastic blog called . The other day, she posted a new recipe for. The name, alone, was enough to have me drooling, but seeing her stunning photos of it made it a sure bet that we’d be making granola instead of our usual cookies.

I never, ever follow recipes. Cooking-wise, this has never been an issue, but when it comes to baking, 9/10 times, it ends in fucking disaster. Luckily, granola is pretty fool-proof, and I used PTK’s recipe as a base for mine. Because this was our first time making something like this, I stuck a bit closer to the original than I normally would, but it turned out like a dream!

While Piggle napped, I got all of the ingredients set up. If you’ve never worked with a toddler in the kitchen, I highly suggest you do this. Not only does it save time and keep their attention a bit longer, it is way more fun for him to choose what order things go into the bowl.

Side note: I added all-spice (not in the original recipe) and the brown sugar to the oats ahead of time—sugar is a bitch to clean up!

Because everything was already waiting for him, he was able to dive right in, and I was actually able to let him lead the activity.

Instead of dictating a recipe to him, he was able to exude his own creativity, and it gave him a sense of independence.

He was actually pretty neat about it, too! I was fully expecting my kitchen to explode in a shower of various nuts and seeds, but things didn’t really get messy until he decided hands made better stirring implements.

He did an amazing job of putting everything together, and we used the activity to expand his vocabulary; we talked about our action words (stirring, pouring, dumping, mixing, combining…), and we used our descriptive words (color, texture, sound when eaten, smell).

I can’t even begin to tell you how phenomenal this was! I ate 90% after he went to bed, and the boy pigged out on the other 10% with some vanilla yogurt all the next day—in fact, I think that’s all he ate.

recipe really is amazing, but here is my variation for convenience’s sake:

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Spray your rimmed cookie sheet with spray (trust me—you’ll thank me)

Mix all of the ingredients together, in no particular order, and press flat onto the pan…my batch filled 4 cookie sheets.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the granola every 15 minutes.

When you take it out for the final time, resist the temptation to snarf it all back—it’ll be hot as fuck (I speak from experience). Let it cool off, and then either stuff your face or pack it away in an airtight container. It should keep for awhile at room temperature, but I always stash a bit away in the freezer.

See? Not all that different from the original, but both are incredibly delicious. Honestly, granola is incredibly versatile and forgiving. You can do pretty much anything! Give it a try and let me know how it turns out! If you change the recipe at all, tell me what you did, so I can try it, too!

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When I was pregnant with Sequel, poor Piggle was a bit neglected. I had no energy and a host of doctors telling me to park my ass on the couch. I couldn’t play with him the way he wanted—and more importantly, needed. I still feel incredibly guilty for that. Our relationship suffered drastically because of it. Even now, I still notice a bit of withdrawal, and he asks me to play with him less and less. It’s heartbreaking.

Because of this, I decided to have Piggle dates once a week. One day that is all about him! Of course, Sequel still tags along, but we do something HE loves. We usually try to do it on Husband’s day off because we’re able to give Piggle complete one-on-one attention. Unless Sequel is eating, she’s Husband’s responsibility, while I lay some lovin’s on my boy!

The other day, we took Piggle to a play place, designed specifically for young children. Luckily, we went while every other kid on Earth was napping, so we had the run of the place. We also had the added bonus of not tainting some poor kid with Piggle’s potty mouth! Seriously, this kid is worse than a sailor! Of course, I am to blame.

If you’ve followed me long enough, you know that ‘fuck’ is my favorite word. I use it liberally. I really need to start watching what I say, though because Mr. Parrot likes to repeat my expletives back in the most undesirable situations—like an indoor playground. Problem is, I’m having a hard time keeping him from uttering cuss words because, well, it’s fucking hilarious! Call it what you will: bad parenting, mom-fail…regardless, I dare you not to laugh!

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