When people talk about how fast time goes by with kiddos, they aren’t kidding! WOW, time flies! I can’t believe our little guy is already one. If we can survive the first year, I’m pretty sure we can survive anything, right?! Success!
Being a mother is hands down the greatest job I have ever had. I mean, being a rockstar is PRETTY FRICKING COOL. But being a mother takes the cake! It is rewarding, challenging (in the best way ever), and constantly evolving.
When I got pregnant, I imagined that after Kylo as born, I would get right back to music. My plan was take 6 months off and then get back into the swing of things: writing, recording, working on a new album. I think I even entertained the idea of going on tour within that first year of him being born. I would get so defensive when people would ask, “Are you going to give up music now that your’e having a kid?”. “Hell no!” I would reply. Yeah…well, I get it now. I get why moms don’t go back to work. I get why they trade in high paying careers they have worked so hard for to become a stay at home mom. Being a mom, is a BIG, HUGE, FULL TIME, JOB! And one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. When you have a kid, your priorities and reality change. I think you don’t ever fully understand what that is like until you have a child of your own, it’s something only a parent really knows. It’s hard to explain, sometimes it looks like the easy option to people on the outside, most mom’s make taking care of a child look like a piece of cake, but it takes sacrifice and hard work to look after family.
I tried doing a writing session when Kylo was 6 months old. I wanted to get back to work. I’m like that, I can’t just chill, I’m always trying to do it all (usually too much), and usually getting overwhelmed and flustered, because if I don’t do it all, then I will feel lazy and unproductive. But let me tell you, trying to pump every 2 hours while you are trying to write a song is distracting and annoying. And the song we wrote SUCKED! Sorry Steve… Eventually, I just decided to STOP, to stop trying to do it all, and be present with our son. I was trying to prove I could do it all, that I wasn’t giving up my career, that I wasnt slowing down, that I was being some super mom. But for who? Not for me, not for my husband and certainly not for our son. I was doing it based on some pressure I made up from the outside world, followers, my fans, my fellow music comrades. So I just stopped. I try not to care what anyone else thinks -which is hard for me and is something i’ve carried with me since childhood- and just do what I want to do, without judging myself! Good lord there is a lot in that section above… But, I had to once again surrender! I try to remind myself, that when I die, I won’t look back and think: Man, I’m sure glad I wrote those 3 songs when Kylo was 6 months old, I even managed to pump every 2 hours, while Kylo was nearby in a hotel room, with a nanny. I always try to think: When I die will I REALLY be so glad I made X,Y or Z decision? If the answer is no, I don’t invest my time there. Period.
Life is short. I try to only do what I want to do with the time i’ve got while here on this planet. Usually that is always spending time with Kylo, my husband, our close friends and family. And experiences. One of the things I remember my husband saying early on, is that he would much rather invest in experiences, rather than things. Experiences last forever, things are just..well things. No amount of things will ever make you happy in the long run, but experiences can always bring you joy. Honestly, when I die, I want to be filled with joy, and experiences, and love, knowing that I loved the people around me with all my heart.
With all of that being said, I still have days where I wonder what the heck I am going to be when I grew up. These past 14 years have been dedicated to music. To being a singer, a songwriter, on tour, promoting albums, etc… But I have so many passions. I love being a mom, and I love teaching Kylo new things, I also love food, nutrition, cooking, consulting, helping others, giving back, etc… I know I will always play music (I’m in the middle of building a home studio, which I cant say enough, how much I am really looking forward to having a dedicated space for creating!) But I’m also thinking about other career options. I think the dream is to open a healthy little vegan/veggie cafe, with a an open mic night, and then I can just play there and people can come from all over the world and visit. I could nourish the soul inside and out. Thats just a little dream of mine I’ve been trying on lately… I guess we will see how that one plays out.
Sometimes I think maybe i’m just doing donuts around music, trying to distract myself from the obvious choice: MUSIC! And that eventually I will land back in music’s arm, and continue my journey. After all, I did take 4 years off between Hello…x and Cedar + Gold, and that was time worth spent, out in the world traveling, experiencing, learning, loving and growing. We don’t always have to be DOING. In the meantime, I am learning a lot in nutrition school (Oh yeah, did I mention that I am enrolled in a year long course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition? Yeah…Im not trying to do too much, AT ALL…), and being a mama, and whipping up all sorts of recipes, etc.. Which is what this post was supposed to be about: Kylo’s 1st Birthday Cake!
So we are pretty much plant eating machines over here. Bill is completely Vegan, and I am an opportunivore. Which basically means, I am for the most part veggie/vegan. I do have fish (usually salmon) a couple times a month, and I like goat milk kefir for the probiotics. If there is butter or cheese on something when we are out to eat, I don’t throw a fit about it. Kylo basically eats the same way, whatever we are eating, he eats. That said, we don’t eat a lot of bread, pasta, refined carbs or sugar, so when Kylo’s 1st birthday was right around the corner, I naturally got thinking about what we were going to give to him for a b-day treat! Everyone needs a cake right!? But most cake is filled with refined flour, sugar, butter, etc… A single slice is more than enough for an adult, let alone a little mini human… There is no way I was going to give all of that to Kylo just because it was his b-day, especially since he has NEVER had any of that before. So I set out to find out an alternate option, hopefully one that was homemade, and still delicious and looked pretty
Luckily the internet is a wealth of information, and I found a handful of great vegan smash cake recipes for babies. I ended up making this one from naturealmom.com. Most of them use similar ingredients, but mostly I went with this one cause I liked this lady’s vibe.
Natural “Smash Cake” w. Coconut Whip Frosting
4 large ripe bananas
½ cup applesauce (no sugar added) - I used organic unsweetened.
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cups whole coconut flour
¾ cup oat flour (grind rolled oats in blender, then measure)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mash the bananas in a medium bowl.
In a separate large bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
Add the mashed bananas, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated.
Coat a 4×4 inch round bake pan with coconut oil and lightly dust with oat flour. Spread the batter into the pan.
Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it’s done.
Cool the cake before frosting.
Whipped Coconut Cream
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk. (I use 3 cans of Native Forest BPA-Free Organic Coconut Cream Premium since they are around 5 ounces each)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (if you’re strictly no sugar, substitute with apple juice)
½ teaspoon vanilla
Place a medium bowl (glass, metal, or ceramic are all fine) and beaters of an electric hand mixer in the freezer to chill.
Refrigerate coconut milk, in the unopened can, for at least an hour, or freeze for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to agitate the can too much as you do this; you want the fattier “cream” to rise to the top, leaving thinner coconut liquid underneath, and shaking it will prevent this.
Remove from refrigerator or freezer, and carefully open the can. Using a small spoon, slowly skim the cream from the top, and transfer to the chilled bowl. You should get about half the can before the thin liquid appears underneath; try not to include any of this. Reserve remaining coconut milk for another use (it’s wonderful in smoothies).
Add maple syrup and vanilla, and begin whisking with the chilled beaters of an electric hand mixer. The cream is done when it thickens and soft peaks form when a beater is lifted. Stiff peaks may be achieved if the coconut milk is particularly high-fat, but don’t whip the cream so long that it warms and begins to liquefy.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving, whisking briefly before using.
I will admit, everyone (my husband) was a little skeptical, mostly because this cake doesn’t taste like a real traditional cake, it taste like a banana bread oat bar, or something to that effect. But Kylo LOVED IT! I think he ate ½ of it…whoops! The best part about this cake? Besides that it’s only sweetened with bananas, is that it was even better the next day, and the day after that! I will definitely be making this cake again. If you make it, let me know how it turns out, and how your little one likes it!