Mommy-Itis

If you are looking for a legitimate excuse to get a day off work, Mommy-Itis is not the answer, although it sounds pretty justifiable, right? As a matter of fact, Mommy-Itis doesn’t affect Mommys directly at all, it affects young children, so if you need a day off work, I suggest eating an under-cooked piece of chicken.

Mommy-Itis is defined as the complete and utter obsession of a young child with their Mommy, whereas Daddy is, in the young child’s mind, incapable of doing anything as good as Mommy, and results in Mommy doing everything. It is a very common, ‘ailment’ amongst young children, in fact, both of my kids have had a severe case, and my youngest is still in the throws of it. There is an advantage to Mommy-Itis; Mommy is perceived as a Goddess or equivalent, which is a total ego boost. Unfortunately for Dad, this is not the case, Dad is perceived more as a servant or minion.

There is no quick fix for Mommy-Itis. If Mommy is near the, ‘affected’ child, Mommy must perform all child related duties. This is one of those, ‘you can run but you can’t hide types of things’…the only way said child will allow Dad slide on a Pull-Up, is for Mommy to be at least 500 metres away. If Mommy is within yelling distance, Daddy is dunzo. There is not much use in fighting it, because more often than not, it will result in an unpleasant experience.

The good news is that this gets better, it will take years, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, maybe at the 4 year mark. As time progresses, Dads may even become cooler than Moms (especially as Dads are more lenient with car keys and curfews), resulting in Daddy-Itis with teenagers – good luck Dads.

So, for Moms in the heat of Mommy-Itis right now, just ride it out, pour yourself a glass of wine at the end of the day, as it was likely exhausting.  Make an attempt to allow Dad to step in when possible, but don’t fight it if there is resistance…letting young children, ‘cry it out’ doesnt work the same way as when you were sleep training. Enjoy being a Goddess, it is not the worst thing in the world.

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On a side note, the leggings you see in the photos are the nicest, softest leggings I’ve ever worn. I am not a fashionista, but these leggings are a total gem. Really great Canadian company called, ‘SweetLegs‘ with leggings for all shapes and sizes, even the kiddos.

 

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Sweet Potatoes for Dessert

The words, ‘sweet potato’ and, ‘brownie’ are not words you would think to find in the same sentence. Strangely enough, they actually go together quite well, and not just in the same sentence, in an actual dessert. I love chocolate, and so does Adam and the girls. I like sweet potatoes, but my family wouldn’t go near them with a 10 foot pole, unless they are in the form of a fry. Initially, I thought this would pose a problem when making sweet potato brownies, but amazingly, it didn’t.

I love sneaking healthy ingredients into desserts. The best thing about these brownies is that you would never know they are loaded with nutrient rich sweet potatoes because they are amazingly delicious. They are decadent, chocolaty and have passed the kid, husband and friend test with flying colours. I feel no guilt in serving them to my family, or eating multiple on my own (and I have). The whole batch lasted less than 24 hours. Eat them on their own, or if you are feeling really adventurous, serve them with my chocolate avocado ice cream (https://myflockoffour.com/2016/02/22/ice-cream-thats-good-for-you/).

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Here is the Recipe for the Sweet Potato Brownies – It Makes 16:
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 TSP Baking Powder
1/4 TSP Salt
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Honey or Agave Nectar
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil – Melted
1 TSP Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Sweet Potatoes
1/2 Cup Ground Walnuts (optional)
1/2 Cup Mini Dark Chocolate Chips

Here is the Recipe for the Chocolate Ganache Topping (optional but a delicious addition):
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Almond Milk

Here are the Directions for the Sweet Potato Brownies:
1. Preheat Oven to 350F (on convection setting if you have).

2. Wash 1 large sweet potato well, dry and bake for about an hour. Once the potato is baked and cool, blend it until it is super smooth (no lumps), then begin making the brownie batter.

3. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, or lightly grease a non-stick 8 x 8 baking pan.

4. In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined.

5. In another bowl combine the brown sugar, honey/agave, coconut oil and mix until combined. Then add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

6. In batches, add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients. Once all combined, add the sweet potato and mix until combined.

7. Add your chocolate chips and ground walnuts and mix until combined.

8. Pour the batter into your baking pan, spread it evenly, then bake for about 20 minutes.

Here are the Direction for the Chocolate Ganache Topping:

1. In a double boiler (small pot filled with a little water, boil water, add metal bowl on top of pot) melt your chocolate chips.

2. Slowly add almond milk and combine until the ganache is the consistency you want. I like it a little runnier because it is easier to work with and you end up using less – which means you will likely have some leftover and when nobody is looking you can eat it on its own with a glass of red.

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Enjoy! Would love to hear your thoughts on the recipe if you try it. More sneaky and delicious desserts to come.

Surviving Solo Travel with Kids

A few months ago, I made the decision to travel with my kids, without my husband. There was no booze involved in the decision, it was made with a completely conscious mind. After the plane tickets were purchased, I was committed, and a feeling of complete and utter panic set in…this was happening. If you have ever traveled with your kids, traveling with both parents present is a big production. Just the sheer amount of stuff you need to lug through the airport requires a team of Sherpas, then there is the crankiness that ensues, and more often than not, there will be a spill on the plane which requires a two person clean-up. After experiencing travel just like this, I actually made the decision to do this on my own…and lived to tell about it. Here are a few things I learned that made the journey relatively, ‘painless’.

  1. Get to the airport early. If you think you are at the airport early, when travelling alone with your kids, early is not early enough. I learned this the hard way. Try running through the airport pushing a stroller, dragging a piece of luggage, two car seats, a diaper bag, a backpack and a four year old. It is not a pretty sight, but if this happens to you, keep a smile on your face and don’t show your inner panic…you will look like Super Mom. I recommend avoiding this situation…get there really super early.
  2. Pay whatever it costs and select your seats in advance. For some bizarre reason, airlines think it is okay to separate children from their parents. Believe it or not, I was separated from my kids in both directions of our journey. Luckily some passengers volunteered their seats so I can sit with my kids. I regretted the move about half way though the flight, when the spill occurred and I spent the remainder of the flight in orange juice soaked pants.
  3. You bring it, you lug it. Bring a variety of entertainment for the kids, but as little as possible. They will get bored of everything you bring in 15 minutes anyway, so might as well make your life easier.
  4. If you are going to bring something, bring food. If they are eating, they are not complaining.
  5. Relax. There are many things about travel that are out of your control, especially how your kids behave. Know that you will eventually get to where you are going; there is a light at the end of the recycled air sardine can you are in, and if someone loves you, there will be a very strong cocktail waiting for you at the other end.

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If you are embarking on a journey alone with your kids…or not, safe travels. Happy March Breaking. Would love to hear any other advice you have for traveling parents. Leave a comment 🙂