Monday, March 17, 2014

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's not like I want to have a house full of sweets.... I just get sucked into baking from outside commitments! Bringing a mom from a church group who just had a baby is the latest "reason" to bake some desserts.

I just hate breaking the clean eating thing for some treats, so I generally try to 'clean' everything up, so if we have some left around the house, I don't feel completely terrible after throwing a few back. But, they are a treat, they are sweet, and they aren't really healthy. Everyone need a chocolate fix now and again, though. Sue me!

I recently took the King Arthur Flour white whole wheat cookie recipe and swapped out the sugars, among other alterations seen below.

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 tbsp butter (grass fed preferred)
1/3 c agave nectar
1/4 c dark molasses
1.5 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 egg (cage free organic)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
1.5 c white whole wheat flour
8 oz dark chocolate chip (greater than 60% preferred)


Beat the butter, agave, molasses, honey, vanilla, and salt together until smooth (no, really, don't short cut it, beat until smooth). Beat in vinegar, egg, soda, and powder. Blend in the flour until combined and then stir in the chocolate chips. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mat (or grease the pans directly). Drop by tablespoons or teaspoons for mini cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes depending on size. Don't over cook, these will be soft on the inside.

I got 2 dozen average size cookies, including some sneaky dough tastes.

Green Pancakes DYE FREE! Recipe

Happy St Patrick's Day!!!!!
This is my favorite holiday, so I try to do it up big.

This year we had fun science experiments with our church friends, then a wife of my husband's co-worker had some wives/kids over for playing and fun green lunch.


Oh, and I started us off right with some GREEN PANCAKES :-)
of course they were clean eating, which means no dye, because who wants that ruining their festive eating? not us!

Here's the recipe my friends!


Green Pancakes - clean eating & dye-free

2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat works great too...I actually used a combo)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2.25 cups almond or grass-fed dairy milk
2 cups (or "handfuls") baby spinach
2 eggs
4 tbsp melted grass fed butter (or coconut oil)
1 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)


Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a blender combine the milk and spinach until pureed. Add eggs, melted butter, and agave--blend away. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour onto hot griddle in desired size (silver dollar pancakes are perfect for SPD) and flip once they start to bubble. Serve with pure syrup, agave, or honey and fruit. ENJOY!!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Momma kisses

Tonight I got to experience one of the sweetest moments in my entire life. I'm just here writing down the moment so I can have it forever and share it with J when he is older or read it when he's being a challenging teenage boy.

I was nursing J before putting him down to sleep, like I do every night. He sometimes falls asleep (or closes his eyes while nursing), but more times than not, he's awake and kind of playful. And to his credit, he's usually very sweet, so I don't mind it.

It's just. Tonight, he was absolutely precious. I can't fully put it into words, but I felt so loved, so need, so special. It's those kinds of feelings that make me wish he never grows up. He is my sweet, sweet boy, and I have so much love for him.

At one point while he was nursing, he sat up and smiled at me. I thought maybe he was done, so I asked him if he wanted to go lay in his bed. He shook his head emphatically "no," and laid his head on the arm of the chair...smiling at me. I've been really trying to soak up these moments because I know our intimate baby-momma bond is coming to an end within a few months as he makes the jump to toddler and stops nursing. So I just scooped him up and snuggled him on my shoulder and started to sing, rather than getting annoyed that he wasn't going to sleep yet (which is often a reaction I think many busy moms--myself--may have). He started to "sing" along with me, which of course made me melt, so I snuggled him closer. He leaned back and opened his mouth and gave me the "Imma gonna kisssss youuu mommmaaa" look :-) I leaned in and let him give me a kiss. He laughed in delight and did it again. Then I kissed him and he laughed hysterically. Then he wanted more and more kisses. We went back and forth for like 3 minutes (Again, I was begging time to stop, because I could have shared these sweet laughs and snuggles with him forever), before I started to sing him more songs to try and calm him down. He just wasn't really having it, so I sung a bit more before gently plopping him down into his crib.
He's generally really good about not crying at night time (naps are a different story), so he snuggled up with his Elmo and tiger and cooed himself to sleep.

These are the moments moms live on to get through the hard times....and I don't think the blogosphere gives them enough promotion. Our kids are why we are moms, by the very definition, and we need to treasure these little moments when they happen. Looking back on this moment...I feel....blissful.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Accepting your kid versus parenting

Something big has been on my mind for a few weeks now and I can't fully come to a conclusion, so here I am, attempting to work through it in a public forum. Humor me.

One of G's biggest personality traits (for now? forever?) is her introversion and extreme shyness. She is so very shy with strangers, more than I believe is "normal" for her age. After she warms up to you, it's fine, but that can take quite a while.
She also doesn't like to do anything that she's not good at (or that she perceives she is no good at). She learns from watching, and is definitely not the kind of kid to jump into the fire. Ever since she was a baby, I knew she wouldn't be my physically adventurous kid. And to some degree, that's awesome not really having to worry about her poking an eye out or breaking a bone doing something crazy. Her brother, on the other hand, currently has a shiner at age 14 months and was climbing before he was walking. G sizes things up from a far and says, "nope, not doing that." or "hey, I think I can be good at that.' Once her mind is made up, it's all but impossible to change it. This is a good and bad thing.

These traits are all fine by me, because I do want her to be her own person....even if that's not how I am. Although. I wasn't always like that...I definitely had to develop into the woman I am today, and I think part of that had to do with my parents. I'm not saying that I was as painfully shy as she is, but my mom has said I wasn't very talkative with strangers. (which I look back and think I was, but she claims that was more my sister...which is weird to me) I also certainly wasn't athletic as a kid (I kept running off the soccer field--crying I think). I 100% consider myself an athlete now, though I'm no pro or anything. Athleticism and competition (primarily with myself) is a defining characteristic to me. Again, I don't think that was my natural instinct as a kid. So I believe it took my parents pushing me to keep trying, to become who I am today.

So here I sit. Trying to figure out the right balance of pushing / forcing G to do things she whines / cries / tantrums about, and letting her be herself ("I want to go home" "I want to stay home" "nooooooooo")

I know that there isn't one right answer, just like there isn't one right answer to sleep training your kid (see a million posts circa 2011). And I also know this is just one more drop in the bucket as far as parenting conundrums I will find myself facing.

Parenting properly is super challenging. It's even more challenging when you are trying to do it yourself without tossing her in day care or something to make some one else do it part of the time. There.is.no.break. I know I'm "doing" that to myself, by not putting her in preschool...and maybe I still will decide on a part time program, but for now, I'm still trying to be the parent I want to be.... which is the parent who makes the time to screw up her kid rather than let someone else try their hand at botching the life God entrusted to me. #cynicalmuch

So most of this is brought on by our recent experience with kindermusic.
Many people have told me how much G seems to enjoy music, and I totally agree with them. She loves singing, loves listening to music, and gets SO excited by certain songs. So I did the only thing I know how to do....researched music classes in the area. She's still pretty young for private instrument lessons, so I settled on a kindermusic program. I looked through all the options in our wealthy-over-achieving-county-with-a-million-extra-curriculars and made the appropriate arrangements.

The first week went pretty well, and was our free trial. I asked her if she wanted to keep going to music school and she jumped up and down, YES! So I paid for the next month and went on our way. The following week, as soon as I mentioned to G we were heading to music class (in the car en route), she FLIPPED S***. Seriously, you would have thought I told her I was going to leave her on the side of the road in a card board box. I finally get her calmed down enough to go inside, because in typical Kaylene fashion we were teetering on 'late' and didn't have time to spare sitting in the car debating.
Once inside, more tantrum behavior followed, and I did all the "right" things of not giving her a reaction, going into the class with J, ignoring etc... then it didn't work and she was making too much of a scene, so I tried to be direct / firm and her behavior was still piss poor so we went home and I pretty much threw her in her room and let her scream and cry it out until she realized I don't accept tantrums in public. It was a miserable afternoon and day, and yes I still showed her love and all.... but no one in my home acts like that in public...shouldn't ever act like that, but especially in public. She kept saying how she didn't like music and didn't want to go back.... well that sucks, because I already paid FIFTY BUCKS. wth. She was so on board and now she hates it? ugh.
So I dropped it completely. I didn't mention music class the whole next week. Then this morning I had my mom ask her if she was going to music class today.... G pretty much clammed up and went mopey. When it was time to leave our house, she started to get upset and I said..."hey, why don't you take Gloria (her waterbaby) to music class and show her what it's all about".... so that got us out the door and into the building. But I could never get her in the room. There was, thankfully, no tantrum or melt down....but it was obvious she wasn't going in the room unless I forceably picked her up and put her in the room. I didn't do that. Instead I let her know I was disappointed we came all that way and she wouldn't even try. Then she looked at me on the verge of tears and said her belly hurt. Now maybe that was a cop out (I wouldn't put it past her), but maybe she also had kid-anxiety. Maybe she is that dreadfully afraid of people she doesn't "know" (even though she has seen them 3 Wednesdays in a row now), that it gives her a stomach ache. I don't know...I know if she had a friend in the class, it'd be much easier.
When I drop her off for Moppets (The kid care at MOPS), her buddy is in there and she's totally fine with me leaving...if I drop her off and he's not there, she is a lot less willing to go inside.
Maybe I can have the teacher get me in contact with a mom of another kid in kindermusic and set up a play date so they can become friends and that'd help her....
But that still doesn't solve my dilemma about how hard to push her and how much to let her alone.
Ultimately I think I have to figure it our for myself, since I'm her mom and I know her better than anyone, but I also don't want my preconceived notions of how I want my kid to be to affect her... except I think that's been happening since the dawn of time, and God gives parents the job of raising their kids to the best of their ability, which would naturally include the parents own experiences and presumptions about how a person should be.
I will never forget a play date we had right when we moved back to Kansas, with one of my best friends who I never see. She commented on how funny it was that her daughter was super athletic and loved running/kicking/throwing but couldn't sit down to listen to one book...and my daughter loved to sit and listen to books forever. My friend was saying it's funny, because she "wanted' her daughter to be more like mine, because that's how my friend is.... whereas I "wanted" my daughter to be more like hers, because that's how I am. Now, I certainly love my daughter and don't want anyone else to have her!! I'm just sharing the anecdotal story because I think it reflects something all parents want...a kid who is more like them than not, because it makes it easier to get along and manage.

G is a lot like me in so many ways, but it's VERY obvious in the ways she is not...but she is a KID and kids don't have fully developed frontal lobes or the experience of adults. She doesn't know how to go into certain situations and flourish. She doesn't know her talents, and certainly doesn't know how to utilize them. It's my job as her mom to give her the tools necessary to find those two things out.

I'm just at a crossroads (Yet again) of figuring out my own parenting style. (I know I keep saying "my" instead of "our," despite how involved of a father my husband is...I'm just writing this on my personal blog, from my personal perspective, and generally speaking, my husband would defer to whatever I figure out, God Bless him)


Friday, February 28, 2014

The little girl that made me a momma is 3

Last weekend was G's third birthday. This is both welcomed and shocking. I "can't believe how big she is" but I also can't believe it's "only" been three years.

I can totally remember life before her, and in some ways my husband and I yearn for those years....because ya'll know being a parent is just tough, especially when they are so demanding of your time and energy....marriages are forever changed by kids. But in way more ways, we are so blessed, lucky, and happy to have her in our life.

This past year was such a huge one of growth for her.

First, she made potty training seem like it was like learning to fly without wings. OMG it was so hard. I'm sure you remember all of those blog posts....
But, she did it, we did it, it was a team effort. No accidents since last summer. Just today she wiped her own bottom for the first time & I had no clue! I was down turning on laundry (I knew she had gone to the bathroom) and when I got upstairs she was flushing! I mean...#cool. Can't wait for that journey with J....not.

Second, she went from barely saying words to telling stories, singing songs, pretending, having a vocabulary of probably thousands of words (who's really sitting there counting?), "reading" books, etc.... She is an individual person with all of these emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas.... I love it. Seriously, I cannot believe she was in my belly just 3 years and 1 week ago. And then for her first 6 months of life she was TOTALLY dependent on me and my milk (God's provision, of course). I kept that little person alive...and now she is thriving. It's so miraculous.

Third, she started sleeping in her 'toddler' bed. She'll probably sleep in that thing for years...she's so petite, I don't know why we'd need to buy a "big kid" bed until she'll too long for it....that won't be until she's probably 6.

Fourth, she started "writing" and "drawing." She's pretty good at tracing letters, but only a few are distinguishable on their own. She draws pictures of stick people, with huge heads of course. She is pretty darn good at coloring within lines, and she can "cut" and use glue.

Fifth, gross motor wise, she's all there. skipping, hopping, dancing, etc...

Her personality is in full force, and it's all her. She's got 90% me and 10% my husband. I told him the other night, what did he expect since he "let me stay home and raise her myself." HAHA... he gets a good deal of quality time with her, though, and plays with her more than most working fathers do. I'm really proud of the effort he takes to be present in her life. I really don't feel like she is lacking in that department, which is good, because I wouldn't accept any less from him. Girls need their fathers. Her relationship with him will have more of an impact on her life than any other human relationship, in my opinion. Yes, her relationship with me or with her brother are very important....it's just my belief that a girl and her father is the relationship where she solidifies her self confidence in "male" subjects (not that I can't model that, it's just my belief that her relationship with her dad solidifies it), where she learns appropriate respect to demand from future love interests, and where she comes to respect or not respect her self worth.

To summarize G at 3---

Favorite;
food-- oatmeal with blueberries is a solid choice, she'd love to eat junky food all the time (like chicken nuggets) but that doesn't happen. She is pretty picky with meat. She likes cereal, eggs, carbs anything (pancakes, muffins, etc...)
song-- ABC song
color-- red
book--currently it's this 5 story collection of Bernstein Bears, but she loves just about any book you give her
show-- daniel tiger and super why
clothing item-- comfy pants
drink-- juice (but she only gets that at breakfast)
snack-- happy family anything, annie's homegrown cookies, fruit, yogurt
friend-- Levi
activity-- doing school cards or pages, she also enjoys playing "big kid" things with us without J around (like jigsaw puzzles, candy land, match game, doll house....)

She doesn't really nap these days, about 2/7 days she takes a nap, other than that it's "quiet time"
She sleeps about 10 hours over night. She takes showers every other day with our help.

least ideal attributes; TANTRUMS, duh. She gets REALLY set in her ways and won't change her mind for anything. Independence....but that's both good and bad. I want her to be independent, so I don't want to "break her of that" but it can be REALLY challenging
best attributes; she's a great helper, a really good big sister, aims to please, for her age is pretty reasonable, she minds me fairly well in public, she's cautious and observative, has a really good attention span

Basically she's really awesome but can throw the biggest fit you've ever seen. It's a passionate person problem. I'm the same way. Still.

For her third birthday I hand crafted a Daniel Tiger theme (thanks to PBS parents for the free printables)













Rare Gene Disorder Day

the two CDPX1 boys in my life & my hubby loving them both
A few years ago, February 29th was deemed Rare Gene Awareness day...since it is such a rare day itself. There is no 2/29 this year, so 2/28 is the date.

J is seeming to be a mild case of chondradysplasia punctata type-1, x-linked. But who knows with these things... something might come up in the future, but we hope that doesn't happen, obviously.

He has a mutated x chromosome, that caused his extremely tiny nasal bridge and cute little smooshy nose. He also has some funky spine bones and some speckling on some other bones that you can only see on X-ray film.

His prognosis is great. He just has to be a little extra cautious with his spine, but no surgeries on it are anticipated right now. We will continue to see his spine doctor once a year to verify this. He sees his ENT doctor 1-2 times a year, as his small nose and airway is the biggest concern right now. He's been snotty all winter, and has been breathing fine (praise God)...he's just a major mouth breather anyways. His hearing seems just fine. So, again, we are really lucky.

Unfortunately almost every other kid with CDPX1 is not this simple. I feel for them and their parents... I just don't understand how one mutated gene produces such variety in affectedness. Everyone of them is making the best life for their kid, and I am in awe of how amazing they all are.

So my observation of Rare Gene Day is less about my baby J (thought I totally acknowledge his uniqueness and 'this could all go wrong in an instant'), it's more about his fellow CDPX1 brothers (and 2 sisters that we know of, thought it's even more rare for an affected female to survive!).

I am a carrier, which means I too have a rare gene... but aren't we all unique in some form or fashion ;-)

The observation of this day is more than just fluff.... check out the website here--- http://globalgenes.org/world-rare-disease-day/



ps. I think the most stressful time with J was the last half of his pregnancy and the first 3 months of his life. It was the uncertainty that was the hardest. God has a special plan for him, and I'm so blessed to be entrusted with his care and upbringing.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Several years ago I wrote a series of blogs about my eating disorder. I also wrote how I hope to help my kids avoid behaviors and emotions that can lead to eating disorders.

I mean....the reality is.... I can't completely prevent that from happening. As much as I will fight tooth and nail to do my best, it comes down to only them. So that kind of sucks, but that's the plight of a parent.

As for me...since it is eating disorder awareness week, and I feel specifically called to catch "you" all up on how I'm doing.

I am better than ever. Literally, I have never been at such a strong place in my life with respect to a relationship with food and my body.

I really attribute this to eating fairly "clean." As I've written before, we really avoid processed foods and I make just about everything from scratch. I'd say we strive for 90/10, but most months hit 85/15.

If I feel good about what's going into my body, how can I feel bad about my body?

As much as I'd love to say I don't care a thing about the scale...I do a little bit. And I think that's okay, because we all need some checks and balances... I want to be healthy, and not throw complete caution to the wind. I do, however, know more than ever how much weight can fluctuate and how 150 pounds on one woman looks healthy and on another it looks too big.

Eating disorders are about so much more than food. They are about paranoia, isolation, control, stress, etc...

I think having an eating disorder is THE ONLY thing in my life I would go back and change. So many negative things happened to me in my life, but I wouldn't change them because they helped me become who I am today.... an eating disorder just plain sucks and I would definitely change that. But it'd be impossible to, because as I wrote in my older blog posts, it started forming at a really young age.

The point of this post is to put it out there that if you are struggling with an eating disorder, you can get through it. There is hope and all you have to do is make a series of positive and life altering decisions. Tell someone about it. Be honest with them and yourself. Make an action plan. Know there will be steps forward and backward. I didn't get to this place over night. My eating disorder was in full force 8 years ago and until last spring, I wouldn't say I was completely "cured." Because I still had disordered eating and negative body thoughts.

My sweet husband has been my rock through it all and he is probably really happy to not hear me be so negative about my body. I love it. Stretch marks and all.

I am;
strong
smart
friendly
helpful
passionate
supportive
loving
grounded
humble
confident
healthy.
unfiltered momma of two. eats fairly well and works out a few times a week. flexing in all my glory.
It is my hope that if we talk about eat disorders, more people are likely to step forward and say... hey, you know what? I've been through that, or I'm going through that... and it won't be this big stupid secret thing that people feel like they are alone in. I think we all really need to unite together against societal norms that perpetuate disordered eating and body image.

Making people feel loved is really the key. And it has to start BEFORE eating disorders take hold, because it's much easier to prevent an eating disorder than to get over one. Even when I felt loved by my husband, I still was within the grasp of poor body image and disordered eating.... it took quite a battle to get out from under it completely.

Moral of this blog, love your kids, love your neighbors, stop watching/buying/promoting the culture of thin.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The latest happenings

Basically my kids have been sick in some form or fashion since the middle of October...so that's been....awesome.

stomach flu
runny nose
cold
flu
rsv

hoorah!

I've been sick twice (I started the stomach bug in early October and had a cold or the flu over Thanksgiving), and my husband once. The kids just can't seem to get out from under it. We've had brief periods of health, and I use that term lightly, but 85% of this winter has been confined to our home with snot rags, sick juice, and TV. Ugh.

I know that it's "good" for the immune system to be boosted, and we are "due" because last winter there was one round of colds after the birthday party / baptism weekend, but that was all since we were homebound. I tried to be relatively homebound this year, but I guess you either are or you aren't because going to target doesn't count as being homebound and clorox wipe or not, there's millions of germs floating around that store and anywhere else we went....even if it wasn't some indoor play center. Heck, maybe those woulda been cleaner.

My life looks like this;
 
Run. Cook. Wipe noses and butts. Breastfeed. Watch TV. Work (I worked 50+ hours this month! money FTW!!!!). Attempt to visit friends, but generally lose on that due to illness. Attempt to go on a date but that hasn't happened due to illness. Go grocery shopping. Go to church when we aren't sick. Attend a few meetings. Go to the doctor. Oh, and I went to the dentist once. Woooooo!

Since I last updated you we celebrated my husband's birthday. That was nice, though it was supposed to be nicer with the date night attempt I mentioned above that still hasn't happened. Such is the life of a parent. He also kind of got hurt running and trying to be a general badass by beating my on our 9 mile training run. It's been almost 2 weeks since he last ran and I'm starting to worry he won't be prepared for the marathon. I really don't want to run alone...

G has gone through periods of awesome behavior and then crappy behavior. I'd like to think I'm doing a rockstar job of rolling with the punches, and have only really yelled once in MONTHS, so that's cool. I credit Daniel Tiger, The Orange Rhino Blog post I read, internal motivation that I don't want to model bad behavior and GOD above through prayer and intervention. Sometimes you just have to kill 'em with kindness and that's what I've been trying to do. We do discipline, but try to do all things with love. We are Christians, ya' know.
I also read St. Gianna's book (seen here Saint Gianna Molla: Wife, Mother, Doctor). Even if you aren't Catholic, it has a great message of being a better wife, mother, human....My husband has been reading it too, very motivating.
So back to G. Well, she's working on handwriting, because I feel like once she can write, at least a little bit, official homeschooling will begin. I'm beginning to feel more and more out of place with 'preschool' conversations because she's not going anywhere and won't be. I wish people wouldn't judge me for that. She'll be socialized just fine, thanks. I'm not crazy. I asked her today if she wanted me to be or teacher or someone else and she said me, so there's that :-)
She does want to go to a "school" / "somewhere else" for school, so I guess I'll have to work on that one.

She didn't used to get confused with "b" and "d" but out of no where she has started to. And also "6" and "9"
celebrating her besties birthday
She totally used to know those apart....maybe she's got dyslexia, or has too much swimming around her brain nowadays. I don't want to diagnose her since I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure she has sensory issues and may even be on the ASD, but not nearly enough for treatment. Especially since it is such a broad spectrum (I think nearly any kid could fall on it KWIM?). She's definitely not a truly typical kid though, but we've known that since she was a baby. Even my mom pointed out how quirky she is when G was only like 8 months old or something. Basically I am her mom, and I see her all the time. I also see a lot of other kids her age, and I know she's not like them in weird ways. Not that I think that's bad, and I'm certainly not seeking out treatment, because I think she has to develop her own personality and learn to manage her quirks. If there was something debilitative, sure, but in my opinion, there's not. What quirks you might ask.... well she's just extreme on so many things. OCD like, emotional overload like, extremely amazing memory....IDK I can't explain it, she's generally a sweet preschooler just weird, in an okay way. I love her to the end of the universe and back though. She is beautiful and makes me feel so happy.
Wow...got on a tangent there.
sick faces:-(
So J... he's doing really well despite his sicknesses. He's walking a lot at home these days, but not 100% of the time, and not when we are out and about for me to go get him some stride right shoes. That is on my to do list though. I can't wait for spring to get here so we can all go play in the yard together. Last spring was kind of a wash, because he had to be held when we were outside, and that's not as fun!
He has some "words." He'll say (in his own baby speak way) "bite"(which my husband unfortunately started him on as meaning "more food") "all done" "bath" "bed" "momma" "dadda" "ahh" (maybe G's name??) "bye" and "yeah"
He's getting a bit of an attention span FINALLY. He will read books for a little bit, and even has a few favorites (Sesame Street Nighty Night and a Colors slide-the-door book). He's not too interested in G's shows yet aside from the songs, and easily gets bored with toys (and moves between them quickly). He loves musical things and kid songs. He tries to write/color, but still tries to put them in his mouth, so it's a supervised activity only. He likes turning light switches, pushing buttons (like on the food processor), and being as "helpful" as I'll let him. He is OBSESSED with the dishwasher. He has sat on the potty a few times, but never gone (it was just because it's sitting right there next to the tub). He LOVES his blankey but doesn't have a lovey other than that. He's much more of a climber than G ever was, and he's much more curious (Whereas she was more likely to size things up from afar, he must try it to find out). He's still sitting rear facing, still nursing over night, and still my baby boy. I wouldn't change that for the world. XOXO.


Chickpea Bake Fest



I had a bag of chickpeas (other wise known as garbanzo beans...it's kind of complicated, apparently) sitting in the pantry last week. I also happened to be crazing snack foods, so I figured I could roast some up and boom, snacky craving satisfied. Except to take dry beans to roasted snack food takes a while. It's not like you just tear into a bag of chips, awesome as that may sound.
That's the thing about truly eating clean...it is a labor of love sometimes. Sure, there are ways to make things less time consuming, and I'm all for that. But when you put a lot of time and effort into preparing healthy foods, you A) burn more calories through all the work and B) you appreciate your food more and then C) over eat less.
So back to the story. I soaked the beans overnight sometime last week, then cooked them the next day, ran out of time and just threw them in the fridge once they cooled.
Then my kids got sick. I had a lot of work events. #Lifehappens
So last night I got tired of looking at them in the fridge and put "roast chick peas" on my to-do list, because that's how things actually get done around here. Except dusting...dusting takes an Act of God.

So I set about to roast my chick peas and realized I didn't want/need to roast the whole lot of them. So I googled around and found a few recipes I wanted to clean up/personalize and voila! They are below.

Roasted Chickpea Snack bites


2 splashes olive oil
heap of cumin powder (about a tablespoon)
heap of garlic powder (or if you don't like garlic flavor, less)
a few shakes of chili powder (About .5 tsp)
a few shakes of sea salt
dash of ground pepper
dash of red pepper flakes
2 cups of prepared chickpeas

In a small mixing bowl, combine oil and spices. Toss in chickpeas and stir to coat. Place onto parchment paper covered (or just greased) cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Chocolate Chickpea Bread (or cake, whatever)

2 cups prepared chickpeas
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder (dutch or special dark preferred)
1 tsp baking powder
several dashes sea salt
2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour (need a bit more if using agave vs. sugar)
.25 cup brown sugar (or agave)
.25 cup honey
4 eggs
.5 tbsp vanilla
1 tablespoon melted (grassfed) butter
.33 cup dark chocolate chips (about a handful)

In a smallish bowl, combine melted butter, vanilla, honey, eggs, and agave if using. In medium mixing bowl blend baking powder, cocoa, salt, flour, and sugar if using instead of agave. Combine the wet mixture into the dry mix bowl. Using sturdy food processor, grind the chickpeas until they are ground into a flour like substance. Blend into batter. Stir in chocolate chips. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and pour batter in. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until set and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Chickpea Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


I just used remaining chickpeas from that bag I had prepared, I think it should equal about 1.5 c or a bit less
2 tsp vanilla
.5 cup pure almond butter
.25 cup honey (I also squeezed in a dollop of agave just for flavor balancing, so if you have it, do it)
1 tsp baking powder
a few dashes of salt
.33 cup dark chocolate chips (about a handful)

Process the chickpeas until finely ground. Dump in the rest of the ingredients (except chocolate), process for about 2 minutes or until a lump starts to form and make its way around the bowl, kind of creating a ball of dough. Take out the blade and mix in chocolate chips. Place 12 mounds onto a lined or greased cookie sheet. Flatten down a bit. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 (with about 5 minutes left, I reached in a smashed them down into cookie form, since they don't really do that on their own).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thanks dad!

For Christmas my dad got me this necklace that coincidentally has both j and G's birthstones.
Wore it today to MOPS (a moms group)

Love you dad! I know you check the blog occasionally :)