Sunday, August 30, 2009

What Do Bananas and Tori Spelling Have in Common?

To answer the blog title question, what they have in common is this post. There are three things on my mind that I need to write about: bananas, toddler vocabulary and Tori Spelling.

To understand why I want to talk about bananas, I first need to go back to the whole 30-Day Green Monster breakfast shake challenge. I am about halfway through and, while I am loving it, I am always hunting for new recipes, since my banana-blueberry blast is getting a bit played out. There is a world of food blogs out there that I am just starting to explore. It is very time-consuming. A friend sent me a link to a Green Monster blog that one day had a picture of something called banana soft serve. It looked appealing, so I googgled it and — lo and behold — there is a veritable underground movement to bring this tasty treat to tabletops everywhere.

It is the simplest thing: Peel ripe bananas; put them in the freezer; take them out and blend them in the food processor for a few minutes and viola, you get this delicious banana soft serve ice cream. That’s it! I add cinnamon and sometimes a little vanilla for a little extra kick. Did I mention it is delicious? This is going to be in heavy rotation in our house. Apparently it also qualifies as “raw” food, which is another thing I keep reading about on these foodie blogs. I can’t begin to adequately describe how tasty this is. Just try it. You will be shocked and stunned and in awe what a frozen banana turns into in a food processor. It really does taste like soft serve ice cream! The kids will think it is delicious too. Just try it. Did I mention I want other people to try it?

Moving on. The girls’ expanding vocabulary was cute at first, but now we seem to be stuck in a fugue of a few favorite phrases. Avery says one of the following four things ALL of the time:

• “I do it.”
• “Avery’s turn.”
• “Mine.”
• “No, Maddie, no!”

So she needs to do everything herself. And by “everything,” I mean everything. I made the mistake of lifting her off a stool at the sink after a short period of water play, but NO Momma, Avery has to climb down herself. So she promptly climbed back up the stool and down again. By herself. She has to put her shoes on herself. She needs to snap her car seat buckles and put milk in her sippy cup and screw the top back on. She wants to do to all and that is making certain tasks interminable. She tried to shred one piece of paper yesterday: It took her three minutes to get the flimsy paper into the slot. (Yes, I was supervising.) Thanks to this vocabulary detour, my responses to her have been reduced to “You did it!” and “Good job!” and “Keep trying…you can do it.” Which is fine and dandy, but when will we be able to move onto new topics?

Maddie’s favorite phrase is actually a word: “Bunge budge,” which is Maddie for Spongebob, which happens to be her favorite show. Maddie says other things that we don’t always understand. But Avery does. Last night at dinner, Madleine kept asking for something. Nicole and I had no idea what she was asking for. Avery cleared it up: Yogurt. Avery knew Maddie was asking for yogurt. How cute is that? I love the idea that these two may have their own secret language going on.

And now, apropos of nothing, Tori Spelling. I think I have mentioned in some posts how I read her two books and watched her show. Why on earth, some people want to know, do I watch her show and read her books? Fair questions. It is interesting how she has come to represent the cultural low brow, which has forced some people to be on the down-low about their appreciation of her. But I think I have figured it out. Her appeal to me, that is. First of all, she has issues with her mom and she isn’t afraid to write about it or talk about. What other Hollywood person can you think of who is outspoken about a problematic parental relationship? Some may call it airing dirty laundry, but I think it is just a coping mechanism and comes from a desire to truly make things work out. Hope springs eternal, right? There are some parallels there, between her and I. And I bought both books hoping to read an in-depth treatise on mother-daughter relationships. Someone needs to write that exploring the at times painful and prickly yet enduring and eternally important relationship between mothers and daughters.

And the show, well, I am not usually a fan of those type of reality shows, yet I find her show fun to watch. Yes, I know all reality shows are scripted, and this is too, I’m sure. But I feel like we still get a little flavor of real life in there, fights and all. I think it accurately portrays marriage as something that is wonderful, but something that is also difficult at times, something that takes work and compromise. And then there is something about the way Tori’s husband treats her. He is the picture of devotion, which reminds all of us watchers that we shouldn’t settle down till we find that too. The way he supports his wife and loves her and treats her like a princess and showers her with gifts and compliments her all the time? The compliments are the best part: It’s crazy how good a few words of niceness make one feel. Yes, I know their relationship started as illicit affair, but they seem to prove that you can get do-overs in life and you can get that happy ending. So regardless of what people think, I am going on the record and admitting I am a fan!

Pictured above, banana soft serve! Make it! And pizza, made instantly healthy with the addition of arugula. If only it were that easy.


suz said...

Have to admit that I'm loving Tori too. Despite her upbringing she seems fairly normal (that is with normal problems and neuroses like the rest of us) and not too full of herself. Her mom's a piece of work though.

Calliope said...

totally watch the Tori show and am charmed by her. She seems pretty authentically herself on the show. Not that I have met her- but they do a good job of showing her at the best & worst of times. I love her relationship with Patsy. And I like how vulnerable and open she is about her fears.

And food blogs!!!! Dude- did you see all the blogs people suggested on a recent post on my blog? I had NO idea. I actually had to already unsubscribe to a few of them because they have a new post every 5 minutes and my reader was going nuts.

My favorite so far is the smittin kitchen- I just like that she does SO much in her tiny NYC apt kitchen. I like the photos too. I find that if the food blog doesn't have great photography I am not as into it.

Molly said...

I love Smitten Kitchen and Open Mouth, Insert Fork!

Linda said...

I love Tori and Dean. I am past the part about the illicit affair and the devastation of two marriages. oy vey. Shit happens. They seem to be two authentic people (in every sense of Hollywood..haven't read the books but if someone would pass them my way, I'd read them.

Yay for the increase in vocab! It is amazing how once they start to talk--well, as it should ,it just keeps going. My little Ella starts almost every sentence with "actually", which is very funny.And to hear her say "bagina"...

ms.bri said...

I am SO jealous that you have someone to clear up the toddler-ese frustration and confusion. Sometimes it is heartbreaking when Beck tries and tries to make us understand some crazy word and eventually just gives up with the saddest look ever. He apparently needs a twin.

K J and the kids said...

Those little girls sound like they are right on track :)
It's all about "me" is going to last the next 20 years. (if you're lucky) ha ha

I didn't know Tori spelling had a show.
And I certainly didn't know she wrote 2 books.
I'm WAY out of the loop.
What I do know is that her dad died and her mom cut her out of the will ? right ?

Kerry Lynn said...

I can't believe no one has commented on the BANANAS! I'm getting bananas tomorrow!

Kerry Lynn said...

OK, you left out one very important step...peel bananas before freezing. An obvious step in hind sight but now I have to wait for them to defrost a little so I can peel them.

gemini girl said...

There is an AMAZING book by deborah tannen called "are you going to wear that?" about mother and daughter relationships. YOU NEED TO GET IT. I have a horrible relationship with my mom and since i am now the mother of girls i know that i will not make the same mistakes my mom made. i could not recommend the book more.

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