Tooth Tales

The Story:  he was gnawing on some grizzly jerkey made from the bear he wrestled last week and popped his tooth loose.

The Truth:  he was so excited to try the dainty profiteroles his mom and sister made that he chomped down on the fork and popped his tooth loose.

There are some advantages of having a mom who used to be a PR guru back in the day…

The Barely Sick Day

I started Monday morning with firm resolve: I would let my son stay home from school on a “barely sick” day to have a little more time to recover from a virus, but it wasn’t going to be a party.  No screen time, just books and crayons and a tough love policy that would make him beg to go to back to school on Tuesday.

I lasted an hour.  60 measly minutes before I decided that it might be a little bit ok to watch a movie together while I folded laundry.  But after that movie it would be back to the books.  I meant it.  Really.

I would have remained tough if it hadn’t been for that t-shirt in the laundry pile; a well-worn tiny shirt he picked out in preschool because he liked the scary skulls and skateboards.  The juxtaposition of his baby face in the tough kid t-shirt made me smile every time he wore it.  Consequently, I ended up smiling a lot because he wore it nonstop.

I don’t know how that shirt made it into the dirty laundry pile because it’s so small he can’t wear it anymore.  Maybe he needed a crop top for a superhero costume (belly man?) or maybe he put it on a stuffed animal (skater bear?).  Either way, I sat on the family room floor holding the small shirt while staring at my big kid with the loose tooth, stinky feet and wicked sense of humor who had outgrown it.  Time is racing by faster than I ever imagined.

I left the unfolded laundry sitting on the floor and snuggled with him on the couch as we finished watching the movie.  We played football in the house – the sprightly rookie quarterback vs. the aging linebacker.  There were tickle fights, fart jokes and art projects.  Finally, with an hour left until we needed to pick up his sister from school, we made cookies.

The only shred of evidence that this day started out as a tough-love-no-tv kind of day was the fact that these cookies are marginally healthy, made with whole wheat flour and almond butter.  But truth be told, these cookies, much like barely sick days, are quite sweet and a real treat.  Enjoy them while you can because they’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.

Whole Wheat Almond Butter Sandies
Adapted from Melissa Clark’s wonderful book, Cook This Now

1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup natural salted almond butter
1 cup raw sugar (sounds high maintainance but C&H makes it and Safeway carries it)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter.  Beat in the almond butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat well.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated.  Stop and scrape down the bowl.  Slowly beat in the dry ingredients.

Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper.  Shape the dough into a 12-inch long log.  Transfer dough to refrigerator and chill at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the dough into ¼ inch thick rounds and place on an ungreased baking sheet 1 inch apart.  Bake cookies until lightly colored and semi-firm, about 12 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

True Colors

Although I took this photo a couple of years ago, the image of that ballsy orange tree letting its freak flag fly in a mountain of green has stuck with me.  A good reminder to join the ranks of brave souls offering their true colors for all the world to see.

Post inspiried by today’s Shutter Sisters prompt: reflection

Playing Hooky

Playing Hooky: to be absent from school without an excuse

I love family adventures.  But I hate spontaneous family adventures.  I’m a planner.  I like to charge my camera battery, write notes to teachers and pack snacks, sweatshirts and dry socks.   I even make road trip mixes so we have a soundtrack for our shenanigans.

So when my husband called Friday morning, suggesting I spring the kids from school and meet him in the city so we could catch the Blue Angels, I had a succinct reply:  “Um, no.”  It would be too disruptive for the kids’ teachers, too hard to coordinate the details, and besides, my hair was still wet from my morning swim.  No.

I’m glad he persisted.  I’m also glad he didn’t call me a buzzkill or drop a YOLO in his effort to convince me to loosen my grip a little.  I don’t remember what exactly made me acquiesce, but aside from the awkwardness  of barreling into the school office and announcing I need my kids, the day was picture perfect.

Although I do wish I had a chance to make the road trip mix — imagine all the songs from Top Gun I could have used!