Easter Weekend and a Cookie Recipe

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! This one was a little different for us because it was our first Easter with a baby. She is still too little to hunt eggs so we just gave her some to play with. We also celebrated three birthdays this weekend in my family. It was a food and family filled weekend!

Saturday

After taking care of some odds and ends around town we arrived home in the afternoon and I set out to make a batch of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. I have never made them before but they are my husbands favorite. Since his birthday is coming up, I thought this was the perfect time to try.

I used  the following recipe as a base because it has never let me down before. (Original recipe can be found HERE)

Dough:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

I added:

1/2 bag white chocolate chips

1/2 cup crushed macadamia nuts (I may have used more)CookieDough

Cream together butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.  Drop onto greased cookie sheet by heaping tablespoons. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.

It’s supposed to make 3 dozen but my idea of a “heaping” spoonful is a bit large so we ended up with 2 dozen.

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My husband said they were the best cookies he’s ever had. He is brutally honest when it comes to my baking so they must be good.

After dinner we watched an episode of X-Files (we can’t stop) before heading to bed early.

Sunday

We woke up early Sunday and headed out to meet up with family to help prepare Easter lunch. By the time it was all ready, I had already helped myself to 3 servings of banana pudding so I only had a little room left for some turkey and dressing.

Because I am sensitive to sage right now (due to a morning sickness mishap last Thanksgiving) I had my own pan of dressing!

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We spent a few hours hanging out before heading home in the early afternoon. The rest of our afternoon was spent getting things ready for the week and then finally sitting down to relax before heading to bed.

Have a great Monday and let me know if you try out those cookies!

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Family Time and Fun Day

Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend and that it didn’t pass too quickly. Lately time has been flying by for me. Our weekend was once again filled with family and a little relaxation.

Friday after work I was able to attend yoga with one of my favorites teachers. Her flow is always challenging and the hour session seems to pass by so fast. I always feel like I had a great workout and yet feel completely relaxed at the same time. Since I didn’t get home until around 7, our night was spent eating dinner and then hitting the hay early. We were both exhausted after a long week.

Saturday we slept in a bit before getting ready and heading over to visit my mom and grandparents. We spent a few hours there just hanging out. Well, I was hanging out, my hubby was sleeping. When we finally left, neither one of us had the energy to cook dinner so we decided to pick up some comfort food from Cracker Barrel. I had the grilled chicken with mac n’ cheese, fried okra and a sweet potato. I didn’t think to snap a picture because I was so hungry.

When we got home, we realized that it was FUNDAY on Freeform (formally ABC Family)! I always enjoy FUNDAY because it brings back so many childhood memories. Although we both had a lot to get done, we had the TV on in the background. A Bug’s Life was on first but it was already a third of the way in so we ate an early dinner and played with baby girl for a while until it went off.

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I just love that line!

When that went off, one of my absolute favorite childhood movies followed. The Jungle Book! I was curious who played the voice of the little elephant so I turned to Google and saw that the movie originally came out in 1967! How is it so old? I feel like it came out when I was little but clearly it did not. We put Little T in her fun chair and she thoroughly enjoyed watching the colors and hearing the music from the movie. She really liked the elephants, just like momma Smile 🙂

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Once that went off we put the baby to bed and Ratatouille came on. That movie makes me so hungry for Italian food!

Since I am currently writing this post during this movie I can only tell you what the plan is for the rest of the night. We will probably watch an episode of X-files before streaming last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. We have been one week behind this season because we thought it would be too hard to watch on TV with the baby and the dog. Now we wait until the baby and the dog are both asleep before cuddling up and watching it.

I don’t know what our Sunday holds but I am betting it involves church followed by finding some water-proof bed sheets. We had a bit of a pee pee accident Friday night during a midnight diaper change and barely made it out with a dry mattress. I think we have been very fortunate to have not had an incident thus far and I don’t want to push it!

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Questions:

What are some of your favorite childhood movies?

What is your go-to meal when you don’t feel like cooking?

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Highlights From This Week

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week. I had my first full day back at work this week so it was a bit busy and I was all over the place. Even though this week has been a little more hectic than normal, I still had several highlights pop out to me.

Lactation Room

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Now that our baby girl is in daycare I have become a pumping machine. It is hard to balance work with pumping but something that makes it a bit easier is a nice, private space to relax and express without the added stress of someone interrupting me or being uncomfortable. This room in the student center is perfect!

Stairmaster Workout

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Earlier in the week I attempted my “first run” and it didn’t go so well. Everything from the waist down felt great but my chest area was in serious pain. Apparently new sports bras are a must in order to help with the soreness that breastfeeding has caused. Anyway, after throwing in the towel with running for the day, I decided to hop on the Stairmaster for a quick 20 minute workout. I was short on time but still wanted to get in a great sweat. I decided to do an interval style workout by spending two minutes at the following levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6. I also included a warm-up and cool down. It was TOUGH after taking it easy for a few months. If you decide to give it a try let me know how it goes. 

Kodiak Cakes

Kodiak cakes

After seeing these on Janae’s blog and finding out they were on sale at Costco, we had to give them a try. After having them for breakfast a few days ago, we were instantly hooked. They have such a hearty delicious flavor that makes you feel like you are eating something unhealthy. They are filling due to the protein and make for a great pre- or post-workout food. We loved them so much we decided to have them for dinner last night! We will be going back for more this weekend.

Panera Flatbread Sandwich

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On one of our first outings with little T, we realized while we were out that we forgot to eat lunch at home before leaving. We both wanted something quick but healthy because we aren’t big fans of fast food (most of the time). We decided to go to Panera because it was in the shopping plaza we were at. I had only ever had their bagels so I decided to branch out and try one of their flatbread sandwiches. I opted for the Chicken, Ham and Swiss on whole grain flatbread and it was magnificent. Ever since having it that day I have been craving another. The student center on my campus happens to have a Panera and because I forgot my lunch yesterday, I chose to go and get the sandwich I have been dreaming about. It was just as good as I remember and I think my wallet will be taking a hit in the next few weeks.

Boilermaker Chili

A while back I went out of town and my husband decided to make this chili because I am not a fan of spiciness. When I got back he went on and on about how delicious it was and that he wanted to make a less spicy version for me. We kept putting it off because it takes quite a while to prepare. We finally decided to do it this week and he was right. It is delicious! The best part is, we have tons of leftovers so we will be enjoying this chili again this week.

I realize that the majority of my highlights involve food of some sort. That seems to be the trend in my life.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Questions:

What are some highlights from your week?

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Love Yourself and Our Weekend

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend whether or not you chose to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We had a rather laid back weekend that was much needed after my first week back at work.

Friday

Friday night I went to my first yoga class since giving birth. I had no idea how much tension I had in my body! It was a challenging flow that kept me engaged the entire 60 minutes. The focus of the flow was on loving yourself (a special Valentine’s Day class). We were all given a piece of paper and a pen at the beginning of class that we were encouraged to write a word, phrase or quote on that was uplifting and/or loving to or about ourselves. I chose to write two loving sentences to myself that I ruminated on throughout the class. It was a nice reminder to go easy on myself and to stop being so negative towards myself. It was the perfect start to my weekend.

Saturday and Sunday

I have never been a fan of Valentine’s day. We don’t even really celebrate it in our house. Usually we will go get some candy the day after while it is on sale. Other than that, we keep it low key with a simple card or a dinner together. Saturday morning, while my husband was outside, a package arrived. At first I thought it was something baby related because, let’s face it, every package we have received in the last few months has been for the baby. When I opened the door and saw the box, I was completely surprised to see a box of beautiful red roses from my husband.

roses

Of course I had no idea because we normally don’t do anything so I had nothing for him. When I asked him what he wanted, he said he just wanted to watch Netflix and chill out on the couch. So, for our Valentine’s Day, we did just that! And, because we are unconventional, we decided to binge watch X-files all day long. 

X Files (source)

On Saturday, we made a delicious chicken noodle soup (recipe to come) that we had as leftovers Sunday so there was no cooking involved! 

It was the perfect weekend for this exhausted mama!

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LIFE WITH A NEWBORN AS A FIRST TIME MOM (THE FIRST 6 WEEKS)

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I have dreamed about having a family since I was a little girl and when I got married to the greatest man ever three years ago, I knew it was going to happen. When we found out I was expecting last year, we were over the moon ecstatic. I immediately began reading and “studying” for the big day. Well, a few weeks ago, that day finally arrived and it was better than I could have imagined. Now, six weeks in, I am (just now) beginning to get the hang of things. This is a very long-winded post so I apologize in advance. Please keep in mind that this is just my experience and I am being honest about how I feel. I’m doing my best to be the best mom I can be.

I can’t begin to explain how much I love this little girl. I worried about her for nine months before she was born and when she made her appearance, I couldn’t believe it was real life. I know it sounds corny but it really does feel like a dream. I can’t stop thinking/saying things like “I can’t believe she was inside me” and “I can’t believe I am a mom.” There are no words to describe the emotional and physical ups and downs that come with being a first time mom. I constantly stress about her and I probably check a million times a day if she is breathing. Every whimper, grunt, hiccup or cough and I run over to see if she is ok. Her cry breaks my heart and her smile lights up my life. She is my sunshine.

fingers

When I though about how the first weeks would go, I figured there would be a lot of time spent entertaining and playing with her. However, all she did was sleep and eat. There wasn’t really any time between feeding her and her sleeping for us to “play” with her. Almost all of those first two weeks were spent holding a sleeping baby. This was fine because we were extremely exhausted those first weeks…and still are.

BREASTFEEDING

I thought breastfeeding would be hard at first and get easier with time. It was something I didn’t research because I new there would be a consultant at the hospital. As much as I told myself I was definitely going to exclusively breastfeed, I couldn’t imagine my body actually doing it. When she was born, they laid her on my chest and she immediately began nursing. I didn’t have to coax her or position her in any way. She just new. Then, my milk came in. At first, everything was going smoothly. Then, at around two and a half weeks, she started getting fussy and throwing up a lot. This led to more frequent feedings (like every 30 minutes). This was physically and mentally exhausting but really wonderful at the same time because I was still nourishing my little girl (other moms will understand). At her 1 month checkup, I told the doctor what was going on and he asked some questions and ran some tests. It turns out, she has reflux. I know it could be so much worse and I’m really thankful there is a reason and a treatment for what she has been experiencing. We started her on medicine and since then she has been doing much better in terms of pain (she still throws up sometimes).

Then, we hit a point recently where I was having issues with latch and let-down and it was getting really frustrating because I really want to continue to exclusively breastfeed. After reading about Julie’s experience, I purchased a nipple shield and it is a lifesaver. When it is 3am and she is thrashing her head back and forth choking from a forceful let-down, it is literally the best thing ever!

After all this, I think we have established a rhythm that works for us. So I guess this was my long way of saying it started easy, got hard, and is getting easier again. Even though it is challenging sometimes, it is my favorite way to spend time with her and I never imagined how much I would enjoy it. To any moms out there struggling, stick with it!

SLEEP

Overall sleep has been touch and go. She usually does really great at night with only two feedings. After she eats she goes right back to sleep. Daytime is rough. At first, she slept through the day with no problem. Then, when her reflux emerged it became an issue. She isn’t comfortable laying flat on her back so we either have to hold her or put her bassinet on an incline for her to nap. She still experiences some discomfort so she cries between naps/feedings. Her naps range from 30 minutes to an hour. She never really goes into deep sleep during the day so it is hard for me to nap or do chores around the house because I usually end up helping her “settle” several times during her naps. She has been on meds for about a week and we have started to see an improvement in her sleep in general. 

HOW AM I?

Overall, I am doing really well. Some days I’m exhausted and overwhelmed but that just comes with the territory. Mentally, I feel like I am in a good place. I am happy everyday (maybe not all day every day, but every day I am happy). I am extremely anxious about returning to work in two weeks. I love my job and I’m excited to get back but I feel nervous and guilty about leaving her. I’m sure it will pass with time.

Physically, I feel more normal as each day passes. My body doesn’t look different from before I was pregnant but I definitely feel weaker and more flabby in my arms, stomach and legs. That too will get better when I am able to return to the gym and honestly I’m not too worried about it.

Right now I am focusing on doing my best as a mom and treasuring the last days alone with my precious little girl. We already have a bond that is indescribable and I will forever remember these past few weeks that we have had alone (while dad is at work) to get to know each other and to form a very strong mother-daughter relationship from the very beginning.

I want to say thank you to my sweet little girl for being mine and loving me unconditionally.

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