And then there were three!

As you likely already know, we recently welcomed a new baby boy into our family! The last months of pregnancy kept me from being diligent about posting, but it is a new year and I vow to publish more frequently! Read on for my first thoughts on having three children!

Several people told me before my third son was born, “Oh no, you and your husband will be outnumbered by the kids!” This is certainly true, but the transition from two children to three has been easier in many ways than the change from one to two. First of all, no one has been worried that our firstborn will suddenly act out in bids for our attention. He already has a sibling to share the limelight with. Secondly, they have a playmate to have fun with while you are taking care of the newborn. It is also easier because I have experience already: I know what to do for cradle cap, stuffy noses, etc. Additionally I feel less pressure to be this amazing parent who takes them to museums, swimming lessons, and play dates. (Which, if you do all those things, you are spectacular because it is 4 pm and I don’t even know what’s for dinner tonight.) The last thing that makes easier is that my oldest child is three years old and can be an extra pair of hands to grab a diaper or pacifier!

That being said: of course it is more work than having two! There are more clothes to wash, mouths to feed, faces to clean, etc. I am really being tested in the Motherhood Department of Discipline! I hate yelling at my children: it is ineffective and teaches them that yelling is okay. I feel that sometimes it is the only option when someone is laying on top of someone else, standing on something that isn’t safe, or kicking a ball in the living room; you know, immediate safety concerns. I was proud of myself that I did not yell upon discovering green crayon drawn all over a bedroom wall the other day. I also didn’t yell when someone spilled the breastmilk I had just finished pumping yesterday. Calmly dealing with the situation always turns out better for everyone. (Though I must admit, sometimes I wish I had a punching bag to vent my frustration when I feel it bubbling over!) Such are the calamities that happen in a family with young children! At least they happen in this family! I will get back to you on how I am managing with three little ones!

Best Banana Muffins (so easy, a toddler can make them)

Yes, you read that right, a toddler can make them. Except for the measuring and the putting them in the hot oven part, but still, they are very easy. I have been making this recipe since I was about 16. My mom sometimes worked in the evenings so I was learning how to cook. My mom gave me a cookbook called Clueless in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Teens by Evelyn Raab. It is still my favorite cookbook. The recipes are simple but delicious. The author is entertaining. She even includes menu plans, information for shopping at the grocery store, and diagrams for cutting produce. (I still open this book to check the ratio of milk to egg every time I make french toast for my husband.) Anyway, it is still available on Amazon. I bought it a few Christmas’s ago for my brother after he moved out of my parents’ house, but I don’t think he has cracked it open yet. Maybe someday when pigs fly!

This is my adaptation of the banana bread recipe in the book. If you have some bananas lying around, waiting to die a terrible death, give them new life as yummy banana muffins! Really, you’ll feel better about yourself for saving them from such a sad ending.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I use the foil cupcake wrappers because the muffins just come out of them so much better than the paper ones. If you are using wrappers, put them in the muffin/cupcake pan. (Or have your toddler do it!) If not, you can grease the pan with spray or Crisco, whichever you prefer.

In a large bowl, mix together 3/4 cup white flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp baking soda. (I measure each ingredient out and let my toddler dump it in.)

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My cute little guy likes to stir the dry ingredients.

Next, I use a 2 cup glass measuring cup to smash two ripe bananas with a fork. Once they are smashed enough that I can stir it up, I scrape into a small bowl. Then, I use the measuring cup to pour 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. I put that into the small bowl with the bananas. Finally, I crack two eggs into the small bowl, tossing the eggshells into the measuring cup.

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Vent your frustration over that time your car got a flat tire/died/started billowing smoke.

 

Now, I mix the eggs, bananas, and vegetable oil with the fork until it is mostly smooth, with a few banana chunks hanging around.

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This was the first time he mixed enough to break the egg yolks himself!

Finally, I pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk them together. At this point I sometimes add about 1 cup of chocolate chips. (The reason my 2 yr old likes to cook with mommy.) I use dairy free chocolate chips, but whatever kind is safe for your family will be great.

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Don’t over-mix! Some lumps are okay!

I use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to put the batter into the muffin cups. I even let my 2 yr old do it, but today he was more interested in eating chocolate chips.

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Mmmmm chocolate chips

I fill the cups about 3/4 of the way.

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So even! Mad skillz, yo

My oven is from the 1950’s, so I bake them for 15 minutes, then check them and they are usually done. Sometimes they need another minute, but 15 is the norm in my (extra hot) oven. If you want to make banana bread, you can bake this in a greased loaf pan for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees as well.

Mmmm, can you smell them?

I use a cake tester to make sure they are done.

Go ahead, you know you want to make them!

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Hello, cute little muffin

 

 

 

Best Banana Muffins (so easy, a toddler can make them)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 ish muffins

Best Banana Muffins (so easy, a toddler can make them)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with foil liners, or grease well with Pam or Crisco.
  3. In a large bowl, mix both flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork until they are smashed enough that you can stir them. Add the vegetable oil and eggs and beat with fork until well incorporated. (It is okay to have some banana lumps.)
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. If you want chocolate chips, stir them in now.
  6. Use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop to put the batter into the muffin pan. Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way.
  7. Bake about 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy!
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