And not a banana was wasted that day.

The best part about Saturday mornings is that Zach lets me sleep in until I wake up naturally. I always feel like Princess Aurora on Saturday mornings, as though I’ve slept for a year and have no beef with anyone. Not even the crazy green fairy who tried to spindle-murder me.

The worst part of Saturday mornings is that I soon remember I’m an adult with actual responsibilities, and I need to shake off my slumbery glow and make some breakfast for the people who live with me.

Well, that’s where the bananas come in. I discovered this afternoon that I had a browning bunch hanging out on the counter. Browning bananas are a bummer to eat, but they’re crazy fabulous in baked goods. So I whipped up some banana muffins (no nuts this time; sorry, Zach) for tomorrow morning. A whole night in advance! Revolutionary.

Here’s the recipe I use pretty much every single time I make banana bread. It never fails. And before you point out that I made muffins and not bread, you’re right. I just used a muffin tin instead of a bread pan. I’m living on the edge, today.


Five on Friday: springtime children’s book edition.

I’m about to unleash upon you a delightful annotated springtime children’s book recommendation list. Are you ready for this? You’re going to want to run out and buy these children’s books now. Right now. Go!

1.) Bunnies on the Go: Getting from Place to Place by Rick Walton, illustrated by Paige Miglio
This book looked familiar to me when we checked it out at the library this week, and that’s because it was was brought to us by the crack team that gave us So Many Bunnies: a bedtime abc and counting book. We’ve been reading and loving So Many Bunnies for two years now, and if it’s possible, we love Bunnies on the Go even more. Why? Because these bunnies aren’t just lazing around their shoe house, as do the bunnies in So Many Bunnies. No, these bunnies are on the GO. The book rhymes, it’s a bit of a guessing game, and there is a different vehicle full of bunnies on every single page. The illustrations are delightful, the writing is excellent, and when the library pries this particular copy out of our stubborn, bunny-loving fingers, we’re going to purchase a copy of our very own.

2.) Rosie and Buttercup by Chieri Uegaki and Stephane Jorisch
Maddie keeps requesting this one. It’s lovely and a little weird, and it’s on the theme of disliking one’s sibling and giving him or her away. And then realizing how much that sibling would be missed, and bargaining to get him or her back. Actually, it’s a little strange that Maddie’s so into it. It occurs to me now that she may be plotting something.

3.) Duck and Goose series by Tad Hills
I can’t explain this one. I really like these books. They’re calm and cute and a little bit funny. Simon loves them, Maddie loves them, and Zach and I love them. Sometimes, after the kids are asleep, we curl up on the couch with a couple glasses of Cabernet and crack open a Duck and Goose book or two. 
Not really. But everyone around here does like them. We just regular like them. Not Cabernet-on-the-couch like them.
This list got weird really quick.

4.) Flip, Flap, Fly! by Phyllis Root, illustrated by David Walker
Um, this book is adorable. There are rhymes and baby animals, and great noises. Lots of squiggling and muck. So great. 

5.) My First Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee Graef
These are illustrated storybooks that come directly from the Little House books, and we are obsessed. Maddie has the intro to the books memorized. Except she pronounces Wisconsin “Con-sid,” and that’s kind of cute, so I haven’t corrected her yet. These books are all of the sweetest parts of Little House. (Don’t worry. That weird scene where they toss around a slaughtered pig’s bladder full of pee is not included. Has that scene haunted anyone else into their adulthood? Anyone? Or just me?)
Anyway, get yourselves some springtime children’s books. Yes, even you, family and friends in New England. Spring is on its way. I promise.

Is it Thursday already?

Time flies when you’re having… Toddlers. 

Maddie has ballet on Thursdays. She loves ballet. And she loves her ballet teacher, who (sadly!) is moving to Disney. Well, to Florida. But really, to Disney. (Sad for us, of course. Not sad for her. Pretty awesome for her, because Disney!

So we’ll be on the hunt for a new ballet class. One of the moms at ballet today told us about an Angelina Ballerina dance studio in Renton (as in, our Renton. As in, where our little blue house is), and the kids get to wear mouse ears and everything. I mean, how cute is that?! 

In any case, Maddie will get to keep dancing if that’s what she wants to do.

There is nothing cuter than teeny ballet shoes.

While I was nursing Simon before his nap, I found out that there will be a Frozen 2. Maddie is going to lose her mind over this! She’s all about Anna. I texted Zach about it, and looked briefly at our texting history from today. His texts are all about the new house and appraisals and important things. Mine are about Frozen. But you know, I think I add levity to his days. I think he probably really appreciates it.

This is Simon’s precious post-nursing, pre-nap face.

I sing “Goodnight, My Simon” to the tune of “Goodnight, My Someone” before every nap and at bedtime, and he sleeps for these wonderfully long hours, now. Maybe it’s a growth spurt, or maybe he’s just turning into a fabulous sleeper. I really hope for the latter.

Maddie is watching Ziploc commercials on YouTube just now (she really likes the Little Beasts ones) and Simon’s snoring away, so I’m going to make a cup of instant coffee (not a permanent substitute, let me assure you. Just a temporary one until the BUNN arrives next week) and catch up on reading some blogs.

Have I mentioned that my mom is coming on Tuesday? My mom is coming on Tuesday! 


Goodbye, old friend.

You were there for me when I had both of my babies. You kept me awake in even the darkest hours of the morning, and you got me safely to and from Bellevue for my evening critique group meetings. You brought me to life with coffee, and gave me comfort with tea.  Keurig, I wish I’d treated you better. I wish I’d descaled you more often. I wish I’d given you a name besides just Keurig. I’m so sorry.

Today, 10:39 AM

Renee: Even the vinegar is barely dripping through. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY KEURIG?! If I’d known yesterday would be its last real functioning day, I would have made it special. 

Zach: Sorry, babe. The coffee will flow again through a new friend.


Not all bad, not all good.

I have this awful habit where I call a day bad if a few bad things happened, and I call it good if ONLY good things have happened. I’ve got to knock that off.

So, with that in mind, we had a good experience at Music Together this morning. Both kids had a lot of fun. Ms. G. busted out the parachute, and that is always a major hit with Maddie and Simon.

We had a good experience at the library, where Maddie insisted on checking out several books about winter and snow. I thought about fighting it. I thought about telling her how much I was looking forward to checking out books about spring, but then I thought: “Renee, you are an adult. Let her get the winter books, and if you want to read Lily’s Victory Garden or Miss Rumphius, just do it, for Pete’s sake.”

Let’s talk about how much I love Miss Rumphius one of these days.

We had a bad experience at the train park. I wore Simon in the Ergo carrier and Maddie and I held hands and walked there from the apartment, so I didn’t have to deal with the stroller. I asked her to use the bathroom before we left. I told her we’d have to come home if there was an accident. Ten minutes after Becky and her kids arrived, there was an accident. A wretchedly stinky accident. So we went home, because a.) I’m trying to be consistent and b.) things were very stinky. Maddie screamed her head off the entire walk home. It was a bummer. (Heh heh. Bummer. Because there was also poop.) 

Potty training is quite a thing. Maddie is 100% potty trained… IF she is completely nude from the waist down. But put a pair of pants on her and it’s Poop City.

And you know what? No one enjoys Poop City. No one.

Well, maybe dung beetles do.

Now I’m hiding from my children for a few and scarfing a good (nay, delicious) Nature Valley blueberry oatmeal square. Ramona (the younger and fluffier of our two cats) also believes this to be a good moment.

So, it hasn’t been all bad. Or all good. Stinkier than hoped for, I will say.