Friday, January 9, 2015

Baked Oatmeal

My dad sent out an article to my siblings and me, and although he is notorious for sending forwards, I actually really liked this one. It was called, "I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical." If you don't have time to read it, the gist of it was that we are so caught up in making childhood everything that we see on social media and Pinterest and trying to top our friends' kid's birthday parties, that we forget that isn't necessary and that's not what they will remember. When I think about what I see on social media, I can't deny that I don't feel the pressure to entertain Charlie- to make stuff I see on Pinterest for her amusement, to make sure she is getting the perfect combination of educational play, and crafts, and skills, etc. But I agree with the author, "special nights" to me growing up were Friday nights with my cousins- splitting a can of pop and watching TGIF... I went to Disney, we took camping trips, etc... but when I think back to my favorite childhood memories it doesn't include a structured craft my mom set up for me or a planned-out trip... it was playing "magic carpet" at my Grandma's and running around outside with my friends. I think social media has done all of this... we see the "perfect" 2 year old's birthday party as a themed and coordinated event... we see the "perfect" body as this girl on Instagram who we wish we looked like- hell- SHE probably wishes she looked like that too because it took 1500 selfies and a million filters to get that picture. 

As a working, single parent I (unjustly) already feel bad that I won't be able to afford/have time to take her everywhere she will want to go, buy her what she wants, etc. but you know what? I need to remember she will look back and love the memories of doing puzzles with me on the floor, taking sled rides around the block and cooking with me in the kitchen no matter what it is we are making. Her birthday parties won't look like they came from Pinterest, her clothes are hand-me-downs, her room only looks like Pottery Barn Kids because of my mom :) and as much as I try to do the "500 things you can do in the Winter" with your kids- type of activity, bottom line is I am not that crafty and I have a lot to do around the house and can't always play with her- but does that mean she will think anything less of her childhood? Absolutely not. She will know she was loved, she will have an imagination from playing alone, and she will definitely know it takes a lot to run a household and money takes working. Anyone who does the great trips, themed parties, and lots of crafts I seriously applaud you... there is nothing wrong with that... there's just also nothing wrong with not doing that!

Onto the food!!! 
This oatmeal was a favorite with all of the Cross Country runners when we were in High School. One of my best friends Ashley's mom used to make it for us before the state meet. I adjusted it a little, but I have been taking it as my sweet mid-morning snack at work and it is perfect. 

Baked Oatmeal

(Printable Version)

- 2 Cups Milk (Almond, coconut, Raw, your choice :)
-  1 Cup Oatmeal- NOT the quick-cooking kind
- 1 Large Pear (or apple) unpeeled, grated
- 1/4 Cup Raisins (or any other dried fruit)
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla 
- 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup (or honey or coconut sugar)
- 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds (optional)

Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees

1. Grease a 1.5 qt. baking dish. 

2. Mix all of the ingredients, except the almonds. Top the oatmeal with the almonds. 

3. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes. 

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