when pee changes everything {and easy banana cake}

I think I sat on the toilet for about 10 minutes before it sank in. Then some tears just leaked out, not the kind of tears that pour out when you’re sad crying or even happy crying. They were the kind of tears you get after laughing so hard your body doesn’t know what to do other than leak out of your eyes... Or the kind of tears you get from a freezing cold wind in your face. It's like my body didn’t know what to think or do, so my eyes just leaked. 

I took a deep breath. 

It’s weird how pee can tell you that your whole life is gonna change.  I mean it's pee. We don't really talk about pee being this life changing thing, but it is. It's weird and humbling, to say the least.

I took the test in the beginning of January, when my period didn’t come as planned. See, we’ve been trying to have a kid for a small while now and nothing’s happened. I hate to admit it but I quite frankly got used to the idea of not having kids even longer still, since pregnancy test after pregnancy test seemed to be coming back with the same, anticlimactic one-line result. 

At first, I was really sad about this lack of getting pregnant right away. So many people around me seemed to have gotten pregnant simply by snapping their fingers, I wondered why I didn’t have the same magic. 

As months and months passed there were other women who graciously shared their stories with me about how they didn’t get pregnant right away either and it took a little bit longer than they anticipated. This comforted me a lot. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re not normal, especially when it comes to getting pregnant. It sets this ongoing worry-fire in your head that your subconscious is constantly trying to defuse. 

I swear I’ve been planning my whole life around this large fact that I want to be a mother someday, but nothing really prepares you for how you should feel after you read those two little pink lines. My life was now redefined by something bright pink and smaller than an inch.

John wasn’t home just yet. 

I greeted him like normal and made dinner just the same. After we ate and chatted a bit, he started looking through some of the photos on his phone. I couldn’t decide if I should wait and surprise him with the news in some cute pinterest-y way or just tell him right then. 

“John,” I said, “Yeah?” he said, not looking up from his phone yet. 

I turned to face him and put my hands on his knees and said, “ I have a surprise for you, and it’s gonna change your life forever.” 

He put his phone down, looked at me and before I could even let him guess or have the wheels turn in his head I said: 

“I’m pregnant.” 

“Are you serious?” 

“Yes. We’re gonna have a baby in September.” 

What happened next is all a blur. He kept laughing incredulous laughs. I told him how I sat on the toilet for 10 minutes without moving. I’m really bad about holding anything back. 

“Wanna see the test?” I said.

“Yes!” 

I went and got it. It was then he teared and said, “I can’t believe it.” 

“Love,” I said to him, “We’re gonna be parents!”

Then, for some funny reason both of us, needing no prompt from the other, high-fived. 

And we haven’t really been able to stop talking about it since.  

the easiest banana cake

adapted from Donna Hay, serves 9

I wanted a really simple cake to celebrate our pregnancy with family. Plus banana, and specifically banana cake sounded delicious to my ever weird-carb-craving-always-nauseous-body. Plus, it’s so easy it’s almost embarrassing. People tend to poo-poo banana cake, but this one changes people’s minds. It's got a hint of caramel and cinnamon that makes people pause and say, "Is that banana?". I originally served it with homemade salted caramel sauce as Donna suggested, but the cream cheese frosting is an awesome, celebratory spin. 

note: If you don’t want to make frosting or homemade caramel sauce, *a cup of dark chocolate chips added to this cake is insanely good. I would consider omitting the cinnamon if you do so, but do whatever you choose. xo 

 

8 tablespoons / 1 stick /  125g unsalted butter, softened  

1 cup / 200g sugar

3 eggs 

2 cups / 250g all purpose flour, preferably organic

2 teaspoons baking powder, aluminum free

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup / 180g sour cream 

1 cup / 227g ripe banana, mashed (about 1 large banana)

1 cup / 190g bittersweet / dark chocolate chips, optional (only add if not making the cream cheese frosting) 

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Butter / grease a small square 8 x 8 cake pan. 

Cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time to the fluffy mixture, mixing after each egg has been added. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the sour cream and banana to the egg + sugar + butter mixture and mix until combined (about 1 minute). Slowly add the flour mixture, with either your electric mixer speed on low or stirring it in by hand.  Mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.

Pour cake batter into your prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean when testing the cake. 

Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes serving. If you’d like to serve it with the cream cheese frosting, the cake must be completely cooled. ;) 

 

cream cheese frosting: 

 adapted from baking illustrated makes about 2 cups

8 ounces / 225g cream cheese, softened but still cool

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 

1 tablespoon sour cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 ¼ cups / 150g powdered sugar 

note: You can make this with an electric mixer too, but it is much easier in a food processor if you have one. 

In a food processor blend together the butter, cream cheese and sour cream. Scrape down the bowl after blending for a few seconds. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, blending for about 10 more second until frosting is smooth. 

Spread and decorate on cooled banana cake.  

Update! Here's a picture of the banana cake with chocolate chips - same recipe, just without the frosting and add chocolate chips. I posted on instagram (@sweet.ish) a while back. :) xo 

Update! Here's a picture of the banana cake with chocolate chips - same recipe, just without the frosting and add chocolate chips. I posted on instagram (@sweet.ish) a while back. :) xo 

I love the "chocolate chip version" served slightly warm with a smear of salted butter. IT'S MAGIC.

I love the "chocolate chip version" served slightly warm with a smear of salted butter. IT'S MAGIC.