Last week, I with dealing with almost constant anxiety, as several women I knew were being induced or having c-sections scheduled to get babies here before Christmas, and I was reminded every time I logged onto Facebook. This article was the catalyst for a very serious thinking session. Then I realized something very important for myself.
It was my choice to have a cesarean.
Absolutely my choice. Just like it was my choice to labor at home, to limit the number of tests run, to limit the number of ultrasounds done. Just like it is my choice (and Bear’s) to have Bean on a selective/delayed vaccination schedule, to take him everywhere with us instead of having a babysitter, to use homeopathic and natural remedies for ourselves and Bean unless we need something more, to cloth diaper.
I had (and have) complete faith and trust in our midwife, but I could have told her, “no,” when she told her assistant to call 9-1-1. I could have refused to allow the paramedics to take me into the ambulance. I could have denied consent to the operation by not signing the papers presented to me at the hospital. I could have said, “no,” until the very moment the anesthesiologist injected the stuff to knock me out.
I am one of the very lucky women in this country to have an emergency cesarean section without being bullied or forced into it. I agreed to this decision because it was the best choice for my baby and me. I made the choice based on the sound advice of my trusted practitioner, who actually had nearly the same exact thing happen to her.
While the whole experience was very surreal and seemed to happen in both an instant and an eternity, I was still completely aware of what was going on. Even though I wasn’t in control of how my baby acted during the birthing process, I was in control of my reaction to his actions.
I have known this, to an extent, since it happened. I guess the PTSD is blinding in a way, and that this is another step in my healing process. I still hate that I had to have a c-section, but I’m hating it less. My scar is less of a painful reminder and more of a source of amazement (my kid came out of that?!). I even managed a trip the other day to the maternity ward we lived on for a week after his birth, to bring cookies to a friend who just had her baby, and left without a panic attack.
I’m still dealing with a lot of “what-if”s and anxiety, panic attacks, hard feelings against the OB who performed the c-section for threatening me afterwards, and frustration at memory loss from moments I was hoping to cherish forever. I still have a long way to go, but I’m so grateful to have gotten this far.
I've been gluten-free for nearly 2 years now, and I am SUPER grateful for all of the new pre-made products that are out there now. However, sometime, I want something fresh and warm from the oven, with all ingredients I know. I know that I've been on an oat kick with these recipes. It's because a lot of one-for-one gluten-free all-purpose flours have a gritty texture. I haven't had a chance to make my own flour mix, though I know there are a lot of great ones out there. That is one of my goals for 2015, to find a flour mix that I like.
Before going gluten-free, one of my favorite things to grab before work was an orange scone and a cup of earl grey tea from Panera Bread. Earl grey tea has bergamot oil in it, which is a citrus and why it goes so well with the orange. Lately, with the cold weather, I've been craving more tea, and with the tea cravings come the scone cravings. Specifically orange scones.
This recipe took a few tries to get it right. I STRONGLY recommend using a fresh orange for zest, the orange flavor REALLY pops. My first shot, I used dry zest (the kind you buy in the bottle on the spice aisle), and it was just not orange-y at all. *womp womp*
With the added chocolate, these remind me of Christmas. My mom would get these chocolate oranges and sometimes would share a slice or two with us kids. Yum!
Chocolate Orange Scones (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)
· 1 cup of gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
· 1 cup of gluten-free oat flour (pulse old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor or blender until you are happy with the consistency)
· 1/3 cup of sugar
· 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon allspice
· 1/3 cup of cold coconut oil
· zest of 1 orange
· 1 large egg
· 2 tablespoons of almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
· 1/4 cup of gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life brand)
· 2 cups confectioners sugar
· zest of 1 orange
· 2-4 tablespoons of orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, and allspice with a whisk.
3. Cut in cold coconut oil with a pastry cutter or forks until fine.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest, egg, and almond milk.
5. Gently incorporate wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until a dough forms. Mix in chocolate chips.
6. Place dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Pat down into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Using a long knife, cut into 8 pieces and gently separate.
7. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-18 minutes.
8. While scones are baking, combine zest of 1 orange and confectioner’s sugar, adding orange juice 1 tablespoon at a time until it is your desired thickness.
9. Allow scones to cool slightly, then add the glaze. Enjoy!
Click the link below to print!
P.S. I've been working on my food photography... whatcha think? :D
My dear, sweet Bean,
Right now, you are asleep in my arms. You are the picture of perfection, with those chubby cheeks and eyelashes the ladies would all die for.
I want to always remember this, the way your hand rests on my chest and your little feet dangle off my lap. It's hard to believe that just 6 months ago you were placed in my arms. I can't imagine life before you, without you. Yet, 6 months have flown too quickly. The first time I held you, you curled up perfectly on my chest. I try to hold you that way now, and your head rests on my shoulder and your feet reach my lap. The baby swing you used to drown in barely contains you anymore.
You light my days with smiles and my nights with cuddles. I get a (not so) secret thrill when you only want me or daddy.
I'm so blessed to get to watch you grow, though sometimes it gets frustrating for both of us. Not just cutting teeth - though mama hates to see you in that pain, too - but in learning how to do things yourself. Rolling over, sitting up, now crawling. You're so close, and you get so angry when you've almost reached your toy but it is still out of reach. I hope we both learn from this; you, to not give up when you set your mind on something, and me, to encourage you and support you but not do it for you.
In one short week, we will celebrate our first Christmas together. A year ago, papa was laughing at me for staring at the lights. Now he's so excited to have them up so you can stare, and stare you do. I hope you never lose that joy of innocence and wonder (and staring at a lit Christmas tree).
If I could pause time, I'd almost want to right now. But not quite. I look forward to coming Christmases, to teaching you about the birth of Christ, to seeing your eyes light up at the presents under the tree, to listening to your little voice sing carols and hymns, and hearing your little feet patter around way too early.
But, for this moment, I will wonder and awe over you the way you wonder and awe over the Christmas lights.
With all the love in my heart, and all that overflows from it,
It’s been super busy in the Den this past month, so I thought I would give a run-down on the goings-on as of late.
Bean turned 6 months on Sunday! I can hardly believe it has been half a year since our sweet blessing came into our lives. It also marks 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding, which was our third big nursing goal (the first was 6 weeks, the second was 3 months). He has his 6 month check-up this week, and I'm positive that his pediatrician will be more than pleased with his progress.
Bean is all but crawling now. He has figured out how to get his legs and arms going at the same time, he just needs to get his belly off the floor. Regardless of his looking like an octopus, he moves from one end of the room to the other at an incredible rate.
He is also putting everything in his mouth. Everything. If it is within his arm’s reach, he WILL grab it, and if he can manage to hold onto whatever it is long enough, and it is a movable object, it will almost always go straight into his mouth. Occasionally, he will stop and observe the object, turning it over and over in his hands with the sweetest, most contemplative look ever. I adore moments like these, when he is discovering. You can almost see the cogs turning in his head, right before said object gets covered in slobber.
You probably guessed that he’s teething, since everything is going into his mouth. Some days are much harder than others. Most of the time, Bean is still the happy, thoughtful baby he’s been since birth. But, some days, he wants nothing but mama. I get frustrated, especially when I’m tired and/or there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, but I try to take a deep breath and remember that 1) I’m going to long for these days and these snuggles some day, 2) I’m blessed to be a stay-at-home-mom for now, and not a lot of moms these days can say that, and 3) the work will get done, eventually, and is not a priority. Amber necklace, teething tablets, and babywearing have all been lifesavers through this teething process. No, no teeth yet.
We gave Bean his first taste of food on Thanksgiving, which he promptly spit back out. It was a fingertip of mashed sweet potatoes (nothing added), and he didn’t seem to mind the taste, he just couldn’t figure out why it was in his mouth! We plan on giving him something around Christmas and we’ll see how he does then. We don’t want to force anything, but we do want to give him the option if he is ready. We’re not taking his grabbing at food as the only cue, since he grabs at everything, and used as the only indicator, it’s a poor one. He is sitting up unassisted for slightly longer periods of time now, but still ends up toppling over in under a minute. It’s so funny when he does, though, because it’s almost like Baywatch slow-motion!
I was able to wear jeans comfortably this past weekend for the first time since Bean’s arrival, which was a huge thing for me. Since the top of the jeans rest just above my incision, it has been painful to wear them. I know a part of that was that I had not yet dropped the baby weight. However, I do believe I’m within a handful of pounds away from pre-baby weight! I wouldn’t be able to say for sure, because I slipped up and started weighing myself several times a day again, so I asked Bear to hide the scale for me. I just feel lighter.
Before I had Bear hide the scale, I went a couple weeks without touching it, and was less concerned what I ate, and more concerned that I ate. In that time, I did lose about 5 lbs, but as soon as I started stepping on the scale, the weight loss stopped. I’m trying very hard to remember that I not only need my calories, but Bean’s as well.
I have been inundated with crochet orders, which has been awesome! And awesomely overwhelming. One friend found out that I crocheted and asked me to make a blanket for her daughter. Then a few more found out and asked for blankets as well. Then more found out and asked if I could make other things! So far, in the past few months, I’ve made 4 blankets (2 more still in progress), 5 hooded capes, 10 hooded cowls (4 more still in progress), a 10 piece amigurumi (stuffed crochet toys) fruit and veggie set, 2 pairs of long-legged wool diaper covers (another pair is almost done), approximately 30 star Christmas ornaments, a couple cowls, ear warmers, leggings… I’m sure I’m forgetting something! The couch is surrounded by fluctuating mounds of yarn and half-completed projects. I currently live with a crochet hook in my hand. I am SO thankful for all of the work that I’ve been given, as it has allowed me to continue to stay home with Bean. I’ve just been a little overwhelmed, and it has taken temporary priority over the blog, since most of the orders have been requested for Christmas. After Christmas (and a bit of a vacation from the hook), I plan to create stock and open a legit store on this website.
Bear has been working, working, working, as well as helping me keep up with the house, since most of my time is spent snuggling Bean and the rest is spent crocheting. He’s even helped me with a little bit of crafting! I’m so thankful to have such a multitalented partner in crime! We have big plans for our near future, though until we start heading in that direction, it’s a secret ;)
I recently got the itch to try my hand at some product photography. It's been so long since I have had a chance to be behind my camera regularly, and I wanted to try something new. Since all of the custom crochet pieces I've been making have been going to the post office as soon as I've finished them, I decided to ask a dear friend of mine to borrow some of her things.
My friend Angie is the power behind Isabel Lee Designs, and she makes a TON of amazingly super cute embroidered things, including scarves, dresses, stuffed animals, stockings, and now THESE!
They're called headband slides, and they slip super easily onto these sweet, silky headbands. How ingenious are these?
Stocking stuffers, anyone?
I know, I have a boy, but I have several nieces, and these would be the most amazing presents for them! Especially since they're little and already have plenty of toys (and there's no small pieces, haha!).
And get this - she can even make matching custom sliders doll-sized, so your princess and her princess can match! ^_^
A slide and headband set is $8, with additional slides for only $5! Doll sets are $6, with additional slides for $4. Just hit her up on her Facebook page for your custom order!
Want to know how awesome Angie is? She's offered to sponsor a giveaway here on the blog! One person will win a headband and slide set! Check out below how to enter :) The giveaway will be open for entries through Sunday, December 7th, at midnight. Winner will be announced and contacted Monday, December 8th. Good luck, friends!
So, Sunday Bear asked for pancakes, which made me very excited. Ridiculously excited. You see, Bear doesn't like pancakes, and I adore them. But it's no fun making pancakes for one person, and even less fun eating them alone. Actually, I think the first thing he asked was if we had syrup, which we did, but the important question was about the pancakes.
Without hesitation, I hit up trusty Pinterest. I love pancakes, but I'm picky about them, too. I must have fluffy pancakes. And, of course, they must be gluten free.
I found this recipe by Honey and Brie. It looked almost perfect, but I did need to switch it up a bit. This is exactly how I made mine:
1/2c almond milk (I used reduced sugar vanilla almond milk)
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2c + 1tbs oat flour (make sure to measure the oat flour, not the oats. I used rolled oats pulsed in the blender until I was happy with the texture)
2 tbs coconut flour
Coconut oil for frying
Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix gently only until fully incorporated. Let the batter sit 2-3 minutes while griddle or frying pan warms over medium heat. Melt coconut oil in the pan, then drop batter into pan by 1/4 cup. Flip when the edges are dry and stop bubbling, allow to cook another 2-3 minutes, until browned. Serve immediately with your favorite topping.
The key to fluffy pancakes is being gentle with them. Over mixing or over flipping will make them go flat.
We had ours with maple syrup and sausage, but I think caramelized bananas would be HEAVEN on these babies! The coconut isn't overwhelming, but does give a great subtle undertone that would totally be complemented by the bananas. Oh man. Excuse me, I’ll be in the kitchen…
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.