The monkey was given to Matthew as a gift for his first Christmas by his Aunt Amy. From the moment he laid eyes on that thing, it has never left his side. When he was learning how to crawl, he would drag the monkey along with him. He would refuse to sleep at night unless the monkey was snugly tucked under his arm. The monkey even had to be perched within eyesight on a nearby table or counter-top while he ate a snack in his high chair. When he is tired, he will snuggle with it on the couch, kissing its face and nuzzling its nose. When we tuck him in at night, he insists that Paul and I also kiss the monkey goodnight. That monkey has been an essential part of his life for almost a year and a half and the novelty of that little stuffed creature has yet to show signs of waning.
Can you locate him in all the pictures?
|Making a latte with Daddy on Sunday morning.|
|Matthew was thrilled that HE got to enjoy a cup of coffee too! Really, it was just a glass of hot cocoa.|
A few months later, I was staying at my parent's house and was preparing to lay Matthew down for his nap. He began to look around for his monkey, but could not find it. With four of my younger siblings, I formed a search party and dangled the prospect of rewards of ice cream and candy in front of them to keep the momentum moving. Our efforts proved fruitless. After a couple hours of tearing the house apart, the monkey was nowhere to be found. I began to cry (I know...ridiculous...but I knew how much Matthew loved that stupid little toy). I silently began praying to Saint Anthony, begging him to help me find that monkey. Immediately after I finished my prayer, I had an idea. The one place I had not looked was in the laundry basket in our guest room. I went searching through the pile of clothes and at the very bottom of the basket was the monkey. Thank you Saint Anthony! It was probably one of the happiest moments of my life (pathetic, no?).
Why go to such lengths for such a homely little toy? Frankly, I owe a lot to the monkey. The monkey is the reason Matthew started to sleep so well at night. The monkey helps calm Matthew down when he is angry or hurt. Honestly, I do not know where we'd be without it.
I do not know how long Matthew's love affair with the monkey will continue. All I know is, for now, the monkey will continue to accompany him wherever he goes.
|Pushing the monkey around in his Thomas the Tank Engine chair! Who says chairs are only for sitting?|
Simple Corn Muffins
adapted from Dorie Greenspan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, placing the rack in the center of the oven. Fit the molds of a regular, 12-cup muffin pan with paper cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and yolk together until well blended. Make a little crater in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the center. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently but quickly to blend. The batter will (and should) be lumpy. Stir in the corn kernels, if using. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before carefully unmolding.