Mama Bear

I think my angel baby might perceive me as weak.

“Na-no. Kinsey. No. Do not drop that remote into the toilet.”

She starts to smile, with her hand dangling the remote over the open toilet water.

I slowly take a step forward. Stern look on my face. I repeat myself, “No. Na-no. Hand me the remote. Give it to me.”

And then? She drops it and yells “Ooo!” Which is her version of “uh-oh.” I’m pretty sure “uh-oh” doesn’t apply if you do something intentionally. Now, it was not a remote that I needed, but, the fact that I had to fish it out of the toilet is what really bothered me. I got right in her face and explained that she did not listen to me, and therefore would have to go be in her room by herself. She of course cried, and flapped her limbs around on the floor. But, what concerns me is that she laughed when I told her not to do it in the first place. She spent about 3 minutes in her room. Long enough to scream and then quiet down. I went back in and said “Kinsey. When I ask you not to do something, you need to listen to me. I love you.” Kisses and then she goes running off to play with her bath toys in the dog water bowl.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we are no longer messing around. We are officially in the thick of toddler troubles, and I’ve been in denial for too long. I’m trying really hard to work out some effective discipline, and even more so, my consistency.

Everyday, my little cherub is testing my limits. “How far can I push her? Wonder if I can get away with this…?”

She is adorable, but equal parts monster. Typical toddler? Probably. I assume this is all normal, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

I started reading “Parenting with Love and Logic.” If nothing else, it’s encouraged me to process the events of the day and evaluate the areas that I can improve. It talks a lot about giving your child choices and encouraging them to take ownership of those choices. I’m trying to apply this to how I deal with the toddler antics. I say, “Kinsey, you can either calm down and play out here with me, or, you can go be upset in your room by yourself.” I feel silly, but, after a few days of saying these same words, Kinsey is very aware of what the 2nd option entails.

I am feeling a lot of pressure to raise a responsible and capable human being.

I’m also feeling overwhelmed with my inexperience in toddler discipline.

I suppose, I have to learn somehow. I just feel sorry that Kinsey has to be the trial run. Here’s to hoping I don’t screw her up too much (and she doesn’t learn how to flush the toilet anytime soon).

Do you have any other parenting books to suggest? I’m all ears.


{Wordless} Wednesday

{We went swimming}




Lessons in Pie Baking for the Inexperienced Baker

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how I do not bake, and attempting to do so has only yielded disastrous results. Rather than getting upset about it, I’ve owned it. I AM NOT A BAKER. Any “baking” endeavors that I choose to embark upon either end badly, or, they just never end…meaning, I do this:


However, my friend Haley, is a baker. She is not just a baker, but she is a pastry chef. That being said, the words “I do not bake” sound completely foreign and confusing to her. For months she’s been trying to convince me that I can be taught. There was a part of me that believed this was not possible, and, I hate to admit, there was an even larger part that really did not want to learn. I have embraced my “non-baker” title–I have owned it. I’ve submitted to the endless jokes about my small fires in ovens, and the very idea of ME + BAKING, was totally laughable.

But, guess what you guys? I baked. I didn’t just bake, I made a mother-f*ing pie! A BERRY PIE. LIKE A BOSS! Haley came over, and she supervised and instructed, and I made a pie! I’m even still sort of skeptical about it, because it was pretty damn easy. If you know me even a little bit, that last sentence has probably made you skeptical too. So, let me prove it.

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you…

Lessons in Baking for the Inexperienced Baker by Haley Burke.

Episode 1: Pie Baking

Firstly, you should know that Haley asked me if I had a pie pan, and I told her I had something that I thought was for pies, but as it turns out, it was a cake pan. It still worked, but for crust positioning purposes, I recommend you use an actual pie pan.

Stuff you need: A pie pan. A rolling pin. A spatula. A mixing bowl. Sugar. Flour. Butter. Salt. Berries.

Below is the tiny piece of paper that Haley brought over. Total gibberish, but don’t worry guys, I’ll explain to you what it all means.


1) Throw a bunch of berries into a bowl (5 cups). We used rasberries, blueberries, and strawberries.

2) Add 3/4 cups of sugar, and 1/4 cups of flour. The reason for the flour is to soak up the juices from the berries so it is not all runny. Mix it all together. It should look like this:


This is me, adding sugar to said bowl. I am SUPER excited.


Next, we make the crust. We did the filling first so that the berries could have some time to sit and soak up all that delicious sugar.

3) Cube COLD butter. 2/3 cups. Now, it is really important that the butter is cold. Haley explained that you do this so that when it cooks, there is nice little pockets of buttery goodness in the dough. Yes, she said “pockets of buttery goodness.” In a bowl, add 2 1/4 cups of flour and 1 tsp salt, with your cubed COLD butter.


4) You can use a food processor (so I’m told), or knead it by hand, but we used a pastry cutter. The problem with using your hands is that the butter melts faster, which isn’t very helpful and creates kind of a weird dough. This pastry cutter was pretty boss. ACTION SHOT.


5) The goal is to have little pea sized butter/flour things going on. Does that make sense? I hope so. Slowly add in cold water. You don’t need very much. Maybe add in a tablespoon or so at a time. If you add too much then your dough ends up being “plastic-y” and you want it to be “flake-y.” If this terminology is confusing, ask Haley about it. I’m not entirely certain what a plastic-y dough would feel like, but it didn’t sound good. We added a total of maybe 2-3 tablespoons of water.

6) After your dough is ready, divide it into two halves. Roll out your first half, and place it in the bottom of your pan, then add your filling.


7) Next, roll out your other half of dough. This is me, rolling.


8) Now, here is where we got pretty fancy. Haley brought this pretty little dough cutter thingy, and told me that I was going to make a pretty lattice top. I impressed myself with my beautiful dough cutting/basket weaving skills. I cut the rolled out dough into fancy little strips, then layered them, over/under across the pie.



And layering…


After I weaved/laid all of the pieces out, we cut off the excess dough that was hanging over the sides, then pinched the edges. It looked like this when I was done:


Then! We put it in the oven! Seriously! That was it! 375 degrees, for 25 minutes covered in foil, then uncovered the pie, and baked it for an additional 25 minutes.

My Masterpiece:


My Berry Pie would probably look exponentially more impressive if it was baked in an actual pie pan, but LOOK AT IT!

This has been Lessons in Baking for the Inexperienced Baker. Next time, Haley teaches me how to bake muffins.

Also? I get to cross this off my 30 before 30 list. WHOO-HOO!