Hello and Happy New Year! There is so much to tell you about!
My last post on September 12, 2014 for Tartine’s Buttermilk Currant Scones was an automated post. I finished it a few days earlier but decided to post it the following Friday. That day also happened to be the day we welcomed Nolan into the world. My mother in law thought it was funny she received an email notification of my new post while I was in labor. Surely not, she thought. And she was right. I thought about the potential of my post coinciding with labor, so maybe it was a good omen to pick that day.
We’ve spent four months with our little one. He is pretty amazing, and adorable, and snuggly, and chatty, and smiley and we love him beyond words. The range of emotions Michael and I have experienced in this short period of time is astounding. I don’t think you can ever fully prepare for the first few months of a new life, one that you’re molding and shaping. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your head on straight and thankfully we have each other for those times. There are times of introspection when I laugh at myself for creating a perfect vision of raising a child in my head. There are days when nothing gets done. Days when I don’t get out of my pajamas or leave the house. Days when I bounce Nolan on an exercise ball more time than I care to admit. Days where I cry for seemingly no reason except maybe pure exhaustion or because breastfeeding is hard work. And then there are days that are amazing with record nap times and scheduling. Days where he learns something new or shows us a new “trick”. Days when he wakes up an inch longer, no joke. Days where I bake something AND cook dinner before Michael comes home from work. Days when the laundry gets folded instead of sitting in a heap on the floor. The days are repetitive but ever changing.
Most days now are less exhausting days than the beginning and Nolan is becoming more of a little human. We found it best to consider the first three months “the 4th trimester” because babies (or at least our Baby) are more like little fetuses than anything else. Raising a child is difficult and no one really tells you how hard it will be. It’s because they don’t want to scare you into not having kids! If everyone really knew, maybe our world would be less populated. Being a stay at home mom (or dad) is HARD work. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. Maybe by the time Nolan has kids, the perspective of a parent staying at home will have changed, and college will be free, and everyone will have socialized healthcare and ample time off work to spend with their babies!
Nolan has the prettiest blue eyes, eyes that are taking everything in. I think they will stay blue like Michael’s. Mine are green and the internet said that he had a 50/50 chance of blue or green. When we go out, sometimes people comment on how alert Nolan is. I don’t always know what to say, but Michael and I have an inside joke that it’s because he’s advanced. How do you respond? Thank you? or Yes, he is always awake during the day and is a terrible napper? All joking aside, he really does take note of his surroundings. I look into his eyes and see his little brain working and growing, and it would be amazing to know what he is thinking and dreaming.
I get asked how I’m doing staying at home a lot. Honestly, it’s challenging. I no longer measure my productivity with deadlines and general amount of things produced. My main daily activities are feeding, diapering, playing, laundering, cooking, errand running, napping, cooing, and just generally making sure our boy is learning and growing! I really have enjoyed staying home though. I can’t imagine handing him off to a nanny or daycare just yet, and I’m thankful we have the means for me to stay home. I truly love being a mom. I always thought I would, but I can affirm it now. I am going to work on some side projects to stay sane and creative and eventually start working more as Nolan (and hopefully at least one other future baby) grow older. I’ve always wanted to have my own design business, so maybe that’s what my stay at home mom future will bring.
We are incredibly blessed to have Nolan in our lives. I promise not to bombard the blog with baby updates (that is what I currently use Instagram for), but I do like to keep it real. I might be a lovely lady baker, but I’m also a wife, a mom, and a designer living life in this new wintery wonderland we now call home, Chicago.
I thought it fitting to post the recipe for Lactation Cookies I just made. They contain a bunch of galactagogues which are supposed to promote good lactation for breastfeeding moms. They are tasty and packed with chocolate chips and Michael likes them. He hasn’t started producing milk yet so I’m guessing they are safe for anyone who wants to eat high fiber cookies with oatmeal and flax seeds. Oh, and there is no photo because I ate them all…. I’ll make more soon!
Recipe from JustBreastfeeding.com
1 1/2 C flour
2 C oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
3/4 C peanut butter (or other creamy nut butter)
1/3 C water
1 C flax seed
3 T brewer’s yeast
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 C chocolate chips
1 C chopped walnuts (you can sub any nut you like)
Preheat oven to 350˚F and line two cookie sheets with baking mats or parchment.
Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add in Peanut Butter and beat until smooth. Add in flax and water and yeast and beat until creamy. Add in eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to creamed mix in two additions on low speed. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts. Using a large cookie scoop, place on cookie sheet lined with baking mat. With my rimmed baking sheet, I made rows 5 x 3 and they were not too close. Lightly press the tops of the dough balls down since the dough doesn’t spread much while baking. Bake for about 13 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. Makes nearly 4 dozen large cookies.