These cookies... where do I start?! Yes, the entire first row is gone... straight out of the oven. They're that good. I promise.
I first discovered this recipe a few months ago, after I had seen something about flourless peanut butter cookies on Facebook. I was hoping to find something with just a little more than the traditional flourless peanut butter cookie, which generally consists of peanut butter, eggs, and sugar. I found this recipe on Ambitious Kitchen, which ended up being my inspiration!
My goal with these cookies was to have something that I could grab and eat with one hand, without any sort of heating or prepping beyond the initial baking. It also needed to be something lower in sugar and higher in protein, so that I wouldn't have a sugar crash shortly after eating. Additionally, I was looking for something flourless, since gluten-free flours tend to be expensive, and most have a gritty texture that I'm still trying to get used to after nearly 2 years.
These cookies taste and feel like cookies should taste and feel! Thankfully, they aren't overly sweet so no tummy ache if I eat 4 (or 5... or 10...). But they are sweet enough to satisfy any sweet-tooth, including Bear's!
Here are the changes I made to the recipe:
I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do! Make sure you get a BIG jar of peanut butter, though, because these won't last long and you'll definitely be wanting to make more!
I spent years in customer service, 6 of those years in call centers alone. (No, I’m not one that called during dinner to ask you if you wanted to upgrade your cable.) Being in the “professional communication” business for so long, I’ve heard a lot; lots of funny things, silly things, smart things, and downright stupid things. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a stupid question. However, nothing could have prepared me for some of the stupid crap people would start spouting at my offspring once he made his arrival. *insert facepalm here* Here are some of my (least) favorite.
Did she pinch you?
Yes. Because I enjoy torturing my child. (Hint: that's sarcasm.)
Is she starving you?/Mama’s starving you to death!
This was said – nay, repeated – at my most vulnerable. Bean was not even a month old yet, and we were still working on the whole breastfeeding thing. Even though he was weighing in well and gaining to his pediatrician's delight, I was still terrified that I wasn't doing it right. While I knew that the family member saying it was obviously joking, it still felt like a sucker punch to the gut every time either phrase left her mouth. It's something you don't ever say to a parent of a new baby. Just don't.
I'm not native to this area. I'm still learning the local dialect. For example, where I'm from, to "wear someone out" means to make a person tired. Here, it means a good spanking. So if I told my mom I was taking my sisters to the park to wear them out, it would make sense to her, but if I told my neighbor the same thing, they'd be worried for my sisters.
I believe "isyewagooboi" means "are you a good boy," but I'm not entirely sure. However, and I say this with no disrespect, I cannot talk to my child like that and expect him to learn to speak properly. So don’t be surprised if you use baby talk with my Bean and see me visibly cringe.
Isn't your mama so mean?
Again, yes, I just loooooove to make my child cry.
This has been said to him multiple times when I’ve needed to lay Bean down for some reason, typically for a diaper change in a public restroom. I would think that being a mean mama would be to make him sit in his own filth for extended periods of time, not removing him from it. Of course he’s going to cry, he’d much rather be held. But the sooner you get out of his face telling him that I’m being mean to him, the sooner I can get him back in my arms.
You’re too pretty to be a boy!
Why does being a pretty baby negate his gender? Of course he’s gorgeous, he takes after his daddy! But being pretty isn’t simply a feminine quality, just as handsome is not a strictly masculine quality. I can understand this one a little better, though. I’m totally jealous of his eyelashes, too.
As the non-confrontational passive aggressive person that I am, I generally smile and nod while avoiding eye contact, and then write about it. What are some of the craziest/silliest/weirdest things people have said to your infant/child? What was your response, and what do you wish you had said?
Today marks 5 months of breastfeeding for me and Bean. I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone! As the saying goes, the days are so long and the years are so short. I mean, seriously, he was just born yesterday (right?), and it'll be Christmas in a few weeks.
I'm sure I was told plenty about breastfeeding while I was pregnant. Honestly, I don't know how much went in one ear and out the other. Here are 5 things that nobody told me about breastfeeding (or maybe they did and I just don't remember):
5 Things Nobody Told Me About Breastfeeding
1. Nobody told me that it would suck my brain dry.
I mean it. I'd been in the professional communication field for almost a decade prior to Bean's birth. I had a great vocabulary and was a great articulator. Now I can't remember my name half the time. Or how old I am. I'll get stuck in the middle of a story and not be able to finish because my mind can't remember a simple word. Instead, I'll spend an hour trying to explain the word I'm looking for.
2. Nobody told me how soon nursling gymnastics (a.k.a. Gymnurstics) would start.
About a month ago, Bean started rolling around in my arms into completely contorted positions while nursing. And heaven forbid I try to move him into what I think would be a more comfortable position. He MUST stay in his desired contortion until he's done.
3. Nobody told me how exhausting it would be.
Especially when he is going through a growth spurt. He stays attached at the boob. All. Day. Long. And now we think he's teething, because he's been super fussy and clingy. I'm grateful that we co-sleep, because I can't imagine having to get up multiple times a night to get him out of a crib. Even still, he's gone from sleeping 4 hours through the night back to being up every 2 hours. I'm a sleepy mama.
4. Nobody told me how much it would annoy me.
Not all the time, but sometimes. Sometimes, I just need to pee. Or eat. Or take a 5 minute shower instead of a 2 minute shower. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Mamas with babies (especially breastfed) should have a pass to wear Depends.
5. Nobody told me how much I would love it.
This is all of the time. I'm constantly in awe of how my body continues to grow this amazing tiny human. He is alive and thriving because of me. It's incredible. I am excited for him to start exploring the world of solid foods, but I'm already dreading when this part of our relationship ends. When our eyes connect, I know that he loves me. When he smiles and makes happy noises when he's full, I know that he's saying, "Thank you, mama." When he falls asleep with his hand on my chest, I know that he feels comfortable and well taken care of.
In celebration of reaching our 5 month mark, I am giving away a box of Lanisol Disposable Nursing Pads and a weighted nursing cover. The nursing pads were amazing and I used them constantly while we were in the hospital our first couple weeks home. I have since switched to washable, but I still keep some as back-up.
Since this is not a sponsored giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite, least favorite, or craziest thing about breastfeeding, or what you're most looking forward to about it. I'll be doing a good ole fashioned drawing Monday morning. Drawing will be closed Monday, 11.17.14, at 10am EDT. Good luck!
One of the hardest meals for me to get to is breakfast. I was raised on big, hearty breakfasts, and the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
With an infant, even a bowl of cereal can be challenging, especially now since he's trying to grab our utensils, so making a full-on breakfast is generally out of the question. Since that is the easiest meal for me to skip, I decided to hit up good ole Pinterest in hopes of solving my breakfasty dilemma.
My search landed me with several oatmeal muffin recipes. Being gluten free, this was awesome for me, because gf rolled oats have become a staple in our home. I love rolled oats because they're a great source of fiber and good source of protein. They're a more complex carbohydrate, so, as long as you don't add too much sugar, there's no crash 20 minutes later.
Yesterday, Bear had off for Veteran's Day. I decided to make one of the muffin recipes, since Bean had someone to give him his morning snuggles (:
The first recipe to jump out at me was the Oatmeal Spice Muffins from Money Saving Mom.
Remember the cinnamon and spice instant oatmeal we ate as kids? That's these muffins, but at a whole other level.
Not only was I able to make these gluten free WITHOUT having to use any gluten free flour ($$$$), I was able to make them dairy free, too, by subbing with reduced sugar vanilla almond milk for regular milk, and coconut oil for the butter. I also added the chopped pecans.
Don't skimp. Do the pecans. Trust me.
Even though we were able to have a full egg and sausage breakfast, Bear and I ate over half the batch of muffins within an hour. Yeah, they were that good.
The muffins themselves aren't very sweet at all, and the cinnamon sugar on top adds just enough sweetness to send you to your happy place. Because they're made with oat flour (I was able to grind my oats in the blender), they were dense but spongy. They were awesome with coffee, and I can't stop thinking about how amazing they would be with a chai latte. *drool*
My plan, though, is to make as many muffins as I can at once during Bean's nap time, and throw them in the freezer so I can grab one or two to toss in the microwave, while still holding Bean. So the true test came this morning, when I nuked one of the few muffins left over. In a minute, it was as warm and steamy as it had been coming out of the oven. It was just as moist and delicious, and the texture was the same as yesterday! It was perfect!
For anyone who is allergic to cinnamon, you can sub with allspice! I'm also thinking of other variations that could be made to this recipe, like adding a handful of chopped raisins. What variations would you make? Any breakfast muffin recipes that you love? Please share!
In one week from today, Bean will be 5 months old.
Where does the time go?! My baby is no longer a squish. More and more often, I'm catching glimpses of the little boy that he is growing into. I beg him at least once a day to stay a baby just a little while longer...
He is now rolling over for realsies. Like, all over the place. He's been able to roll over for a while now, but usually needed encouragement. Now he's a pro, and we can't keep him in one place if we lay him down. Seriously, he'll roll from one side of the living room to the other! Diaper changes are becoming quite a challenge now that he has discovered his new talent.
In addition to rolling, he's also scooching around while on his back, although I'm not sure how he's doing it. It's always when I look away for a second. I'll lay him on a blanket or his play mat, with his head in the middle, and, a minute later, his head will be off the blanket/mat and on the floor.
He's mastered pushing himself up while on his belly. When he was smaller, he hated tummy time. I felt like the meanest mommy putting him on his belly. It would last maybe 15 seconds, and the whole time I tried to convince him (and myself) that it was necessary and good for him. Turns out it actually wasn't, because we wear him, and babies that are worn don't need tummy time. But now I can't keep him off his tummy. Half the time we lay him on his back, he's on his tummy in seconds, doing the half-body push up. In yoga, it's called the cobra pose.
Bean is getting better at grabbing and holding onto things, including his feet. He still likes to pat/smack me and Bear, but he's nicer to his toys. He's been able to grab the hanging toys on his play mat and pull them down to his mouth. He even managed to get a toe in his mouth yesterday!
He's babbling away; and, since discovering his tongue, likes to do so with his tongue stuck out. Adorbs. His favorite sounds are: "dadada" and "lalalala" and "weoisakdfjoiwlekng". Yeah, I can't even hope to replicate some of the sounds he makes. I don't understand how he does it. But he is very vocal and loves to talk to us, his toys, and his reflection in the mirror. We haven't counted anything he's said as his first word, since he's not associating the sounds he makes with anything yet. I'm still holding out for that word to be "mama." :P
“They” say a lot of things about breastfeeding. “Breast is best,” and “You won’t get your period as long as you breastfeed!” I’ll be honest, the one that made me the happiest was, “You’ll lose so much weight breastfeeding!”
See, I’ve had this thing since I was young. It’s not a very nice thing. But it’s a thing that has made me obsess about my body, specifically my weight. This is a thing that has sent me to the hospital. A thing that has turned me to skin and bones, and at other times a blimp. A thing that, after years of therapy, still creeps into the back of my mind and whispers terrible things in my ear. A thing that I’ll never conquer, and can barely control. A thing that made me hate myself and how I look. A thing that can make me cry or rage when I look in a mirror or see a picture of myself.
This thing? Eating disorders. Anorexia and Bulimia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, all wrapped up together in a Monster I seem to have caged most of the time, but manages to escape on occasion. My own mental bully that has grown up with me from age 10, when my thyroid (unbeknownst to myself or my doctors) stopped working like it was supposed to.
I’ve been “overweight” most of my life, “obese” according to the BMI charts, which I try to tell myself is bull shit because my mom says I have an “athletic build” and I don’t look good at what they consider a “healthy weight.” Sheesh, that’s a lot of quotation marks.
Last summer, I finally figured out everything that was wrong with me. I found an exercise routine that worked, ate healthy, cut out gluten, and finally got on the right thyroid medication. In just over a month, I dropped 25 lbs, and was only 25 lbs away from my goal weight. I would have kept going, but I found out that I was pregnant with Bean.
Pregnancy has been the only time I have been truly happy with my body. I managed to continue eating healthy for the most part, and it didn’t bother me to gain the 35 or so lbs I did. I did not keep a vigorous exercise routine, but Bear and I took walks all the time. I loved watching my baby bump grow in the mirror. I was grateful that I didn’t seem to gain much anywhere else. I didn’t always feel great, but I felt great about my body. I would have walked around without a shirt on at all times, if it were socially acceptable.
I did miss exercising like I used to, though. I was looking forward to Bean being born and getting back into it a few weeks later, as soon as I had the go-ahead from my midwife. I imagined hitting it hard with Jillian Michael’s while Bean watched from his swing or bouncer. I wanted to be at my previous goal weight by Christmas of this year, and I just knew between breastfeeding and exercising, I’d get there.
So much for that. I’m currently 4 ½ months postpartum and I still can’t even walk for too long. And I’m not talking fast-paced, supercharged power walking. I’m talking about an evening stroll through town like Bear and I used to do while I was pregnant. It hurts too much to walk for long, much less even thinking about real exercise. I can’t even do yoga for more than a few minutes. I look in the mirror and all I can see is that c-section shelf, something that I will probably always have, a flab of skin to hang over the top of my mom jeans (jk, I’ll NEVER wear mom jeans…). And the numbers on the scale, they haven’t gone down since a week after Bean’s birth.
The pain, the physical pain, is still excruciating some days. Some days, it’s all I can do to cart Bean around. Chunker. It’s also frustrating. This isn’t the way it was supposed to be. It’s another thing that didn’t go according to plan. And the physical pain is a constant reminder, something that I carry with my constantly, making it feel like nothing went right. It translates into emotional pain, which is excruciating, too.
So, on top of the postpartum anxiety and PTSD that I am working through, the Monster comes back. Taunts me. Makes me obsessed with the numbers on the scale. Makes me justify when Bean doesn’t want to be put down so that I don’t have to make something for myself to eat. Makes me angry when I look in the mirror. Makes me avoid having my picture taken (we still don’t have a real family picture).
I know I can’t live like this. I can’t keep stepping on the scale multiple times a day. I can’t keep skipping meals. I cannot obsess about my now-matronly body. And I need your help.
I’m sharing this to make myself accountable to you, my reader. I’m putting away the scale. I am making an effort to plan my meals and have healthy snacks available for myself. I will tell myself, out loud, affirmations any time I look in the mirror. I will do my best to live a healthy lifestyle without obsessing about my weight or shape.
This is hard. This is very, very hard. But I know that I am not the only one out there who feels like this. If you feel the same in any way, I would like to invite you to join me. Let’s take this journey together, to learn to love our bodies, stretch marks and scars and all.
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.