Thanks, Universe

I grew up in a margarine household. I am so Team Butter now it's not even funny but growing up, it was all margarine, all the time.

Opening up a new tub of margarine was a big deal to me and my siblings. My mom used to buy the big tub from Costco so even though we're a family of six, untouched margarine was a rare occurrence. The surface of a fresh tub of margarine is a sight to behold. Smooth, creamy, unsullied by crumbs, with the perfect little knob in the middle where the stream of margarine flowed into the tub. This little knob, or the margarine's "belly button" as we called it, was the highest prize amongst us kids.

We would eagerly anticipate the opening of a new tub of margarine. When we noticed the old tub running low, we would strategically time our margarine consumption to better our own odds of being present when the new tub was opened. When the day finally came that the old tub was scraped clean and the new tub ceremoniously took its place in the middle of our table, my siblings and I would campaign to be the lucky one who took the margarine's belly button. We couldn't tell you what we did in school that day but we could say, with certainty, which kid opened the last tub of margarine, even though it was months before.

The negotiations did not go smoothly. Feelings would be hurt, alliances would be forged, promises of future support would be made, and finally, my parents would tire of our bullshit and instruct one of us to just eat the damn margarine belly button already. My dad would physically cringe as the victor would scoop the little knob of margarine from the pristine surface. One does not scoop margarine, you see. We do not mar it with craters. We live in a society. We scrape the top of the margarine in a uniform fashion and we do not leave crumbs behind goddammit. We aren't animals.

But he gave it to us; despite his feelings on proper margarine management, my dad let us kids scoop the damn margarine belly button every time (but heaven help us if we left toast crumbs behind).

It seems insignificant, the defacing of a tub of margarine, but it's just one tiny example of how kids are literally the worst and grandkids are sent as some sort of retribution from the universe.

Grady is the light of my life. He is my heart and soul and my very favourite boy. He is also challenging me in ways I've never experienced. This morning I made chocolate banana muffins for breakfast. My stubborn picky eater attempted to "pick out" the banana because he didn't like how it looked. He couldn't taste the banana. The texture of the banana wasn't the problem. He just didn't like how it looked. There were no banana chunks or slices; I had mashed the bananas thoroughly before mixing the batter. But my mash job was obviously sub-par because he was able to discern a few banana bits. I sat and watched, in broken silence, as he crumbled an entire muffin in an attempt to remove the few offending bits of banana. And it made me think back on my childhood margarine belly button brawls and wonder: why don't we eat our young?

Tiny Happy Tuesday: 6

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  • Our kitchen sink has been acting a bit wonky for weeks. Shawn dismantled, removed, cleaned, reassembled, and resealed the whole thing and now it's working perfectly. It's the little things, friends. (Probably he would say it's not such a little thing as this project took literal hours that spanned multiple days to complete.)
  • My cherry blossom tree has blossomed. I haven't written about my cherry blossom tree but it's important to me; part of me was worried it wouldn't survive the particularly harsh winter we just had.
  • My friend gave me a turkey. She was given a turkey and didn't need or want the turkey so she gave it to me. And now we get to enjoy a delicious, random, mid-week turkey dinner. (Hashtag: Thanksgiving feels.) (Hashtag: pumpkin spice for life.)
  • *whispers* My non-sleeping honey badger baby has started sleeping consistently from 9pm-2am. This is big news, people. I may have just jinxed it but I don't care. Let's celebrate.

What's making you happy this week? Want to play along? Join the Facebook group and share your happy! Or share on Twitter or Instagram using #TinyHappyTuesday so we can find you.

You Just Bought the Furniture

My little brother is the baby of the family. I should probably stop calling him little, as he's over 6-feet tall and towers over his sisters. My brother has the distinct disadvantage of growing up with siblings who were old enough during his toddler years to remember his shenanigans. (You can unclench, Westy, I'm not here to share any secrets.)

I remember my little brother and my dad having the weirdest power struggles. I say weird because as a kid, I was all "little brother, why are you fighting with Dad? He's the dad! You do what he says!" but now as an adult who has parented a threenager, I'm all "Dad, why did you fight the tiny rage tornado? He was three years old! You could not win!" Hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz.

Anyway, one day my family was sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner when one of these power struggles erupted. I don't remember what prompted him but my dad said something along the lines of "when you're in my house, you follow my rules." My little brother, bless his heart, responded with "this isn't your house." This isn't your house. You guys. If you have not yet parented a three-year-old, this is what you have to look forward to.

It was like all the air was suddenly sucked out of the room. No one breathed. My dad met my little brother's defiant gaze and asked, "no? Then whose house is it?"

"Mom bought the house," my brother announced, disdainfully. "You just bought the furniture."

I love my siblings more than I can properly articulate but today, on National Sibling Day, I want to say how grateful I am to have a built-in crew of people who know exactly what I'm looking for when I say I need the pumpkin pie recipe, who feel the same isolation when it comes to pop culture because none of us were allowed to watch the cool movies or tv shows growing up, and who can simultaneously put me in my place and make me howl with laughter by telling me I just bought the furniture.

{Photo by the amazing Alanna of Dyani Photography}

{Photo by the amazing Alanna of Dyani Photography}

Meal Plan 04/10/2017 - 04/14/2017

We've got a busy week and two nights on the ball field. Plus our kitchen sink is out of commission for the next 24 hours. Our meals need to be easy and somewhat portable is what I'm saying.

Monday: Chicken Coconut Milk Soup served with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli

Tuesday: Shredded chicken tacos served with leftover roasted sweet potatoes

Wednesday: One-Pot Swedish Meatball Pasta served with a responsibility vegetable

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza! Chicken wings! Veggies and dip! Chocolate cake!

What's on your meal plan this week?