Monday, April 6, 2015

_The Hancock News_ Column-- March 18, 2015

It used to be that my husband was able to make it to every single one of my prenatal appointments. Even after we had two children, we could handle them for the short appointment, and they liked being able to “help” the midwives measure Mommy’s belly and listen to the “choo-choo” of the baby’s heartbeat with the help of the doppler machine.

After our third baby was born, things changed. My husband and I were outnumbered. No longer could my husband come with me unless we had a babysitter to watch the children.

Instead, a new tradition gradually began. Each older child had a turn to go with me to an appointment. Somewhere along the way, this one-on-one time together turned into a “Mommy date.” 

Last Wednesday was to be the special day with my oldest daughter. She would be the first to hear our new baby’s heartbeat. After the appointment, we would spend a couple of hours together in the city. I had planned to take her to a cafe/bakery for lunch, and then we would walk a couple of blocks through the downtown area to a shop I had seen before that featured cute hair bows for little girls. It was going to be a fun girls’ day out.

Well, Wednesday didn’t go as planned. 

For starters, that sweet little baby swimming around inside of me simply wouldn’t stop moving around, so we didn’t hear a clear heartbeat. 

Then when we parked downtown, I stepped in dog poo on the sidewalk. The bakery had no pretty cupcakes as we’d hoped, and after walking the several blocks to find the little girls’ bow shop, we discovered it had closed and another shop was in its place. My daughter was more than a little disappointed.

Everything I had promised my daughter fell through. I’m not often able to spend such alone time with my children, and now I had failed at the whole Mommy date thing. I felt lousy.

But after the initial disappointments, my daughter bounced back. Although she didn’t like the soup and only ate the minimum of her BLT to have dessert, she had no problem filling her belly with a yummy brownie and chocolate shake. What a treat!

She also enjoyed browsing through the bead store instead of the bow store, and on our walk, I even found a large dirty pile of snow that was perfect for cleaning the mess off of my shoe.

In the end, my daughter was happy just spending time with me. It wasn’t the day I’d planned, but it was memorable and special just the same.


My children love spending time in the kitchen with me, and one of their favorite recipes to make is really not much of a recipe at all. Just as there’s more than one way to spend a perfect day with your child, there are tons of ways to make peanut butter balls. In fact, sometimes there’s even so little peanut butter in them that we call them “Not Peanut Butter Balls.”

While there’s not one perfect recipe for peanut butter balls, it does certainly help to have a food processor, especially if you decide to use some dried fruit or another ingredient that needs chopped to smithereens. However, for the basic recipe, you could stir it all together by hand.

Please note that this is one of those recipes you could use to sneak some healthy things like seeds, nuts, or dried fruits into your child’s diet. They might not eat something on it’s own, but pulverized in a processor and mixed up with peanut butter, they’ll have no clue!

Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup peanut butter (whatever kind you prefer--we use the natural kind)
1 cup honey (less if you don’t like things so sweet)
2 cups powdered milk

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor and roll into walnut-sized balls. If you can wait, chill them in the refrigerator. Otherwise, gobble them down right away with a glass of milk!

Variations:  We have used almond butter instead of peanut butter and dried fruits for most of the sweet stuff. Sometimes we don’t have powdered milk, and use oats or graham cracker crumbs instead. The key is to find a balance of flavors and texture. If you find that your mixture is too dry and crumbly, add something moist like more peanut butter, honey, or butter. If it is too oily or moist, add something dry like powdered milk, cornflakes, or whatever you have on hand. If it needs sweetness, add honey or even leftover frosting.

*This post has been shared at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth for The Art of Home-Making Mondays.


  1. It's so sweet that you have mommy dates with your kids. I think just spending time with your daughter was a win. It's great that she was able to roll with it.

    I love peanut butter, that recipe sounds really yummy!

  2. It's not often the dates happen, but I appreciate being able to spend the one-on-one with them :)

  3. Hi Jody, It really is the moments together that do matter! And I find that on those "flop" days, we also enjoy looking back and discussing the fact that it was a flop and somehow that makes the day adventurous too. Go figure :) Our children just want to relate and spend time with us. Thank you for sharing your peanut butter ball recipe too. That would be something we would enjoy.

  4. Thanks, JES. I hope you do have a chance to make them. It's fun to make them with little ones because they like rolling them into balls.