Caffeine and My Toddler

I learned a very valuable lesson last night.

I drank a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast yesterday evening. It’s something I have now maybe twice a year, and I thoroughly enjoyed having one yesterday. I also learned a very valuable lesson: a large size of anything loaded with caffeine is probably a bad idea when you’re breastfeeding. Well after midnight, she was awake, kicking her father and I while she desperately avoided sleep, in spite of the fact that she was exhausted after the day’s events. It didn’t occur to us until sometime after 2am the reason why she was so wound up.

It was a total parenting fail on my part.

And don’t let the picture of the cute little girl reading with her daddy fool you. It was the calm before the storm. She sat quietly for her bedtime story, only to become a terror shortly thereafter.

She’s napping now. If I weren’t busy, I’d be tempted to join her. I certainly deserve a nap after the night I had.

What’s A Social Life?

When I had a baby, I thought it would be a short time before we could start leaving her with a sitter or a grandparents so that we could go out and have fun once in a while. I figured, my life would change, but it wouldn’t have to change that much, right? We could still keep our friends and make plans once in a while; we’d be parents, but we’d still be us, you know?

In the end, my perfect vision for what life would be like post-pregnancy was way off base. Not only did we sort of lose contact with most of our friends, but I found myself not even wanting to go out. I didn’t want to leave my daughter. It was hard enough when I was forced to go back to work because we needed the money, so, as you can imagine, the idea of leaving her with someone to go have “fun” was kind of a terrifying concept for me.

Over the course of R’s seventeen months of life, I haven’t had a single night out. I’ve kind of forgotten what it’s like to have real-life friends to hang out with, but we finally had a chance to hang out with a couple of them yesterday evening at an event in a neighboring city. (It was actually today since I haven’t gone to bed yet, but since it’s after midnight now, I guess it makes more sense to say it was yesterday. It took me about five minutes to decide which term to go with.)

It was so, so, so nice to get out of the apartment for a while and spend time with new people. I had actually forgotten what a social life actually was. R had a pretty great time, too, in spite of the fact that she skipped her afternoon nap.

We’ve all been having a pretty good week with the holiday, actually. My fiance’s schedule gave him Monday through Thursday off, so we’ve all been able to spend a considerable amount of time together. It’s been a nice change from the ordinary, since he spends so many hours at work normally. We went swimming on both Tuesday and Wednesday, which was a lot of fun. It was R’s first time in a pool and she loved it!

My fiance goes back to work Saturday, sadly; until then, we’re going to cram as much family time in as we can. If we can manage to get ourselves up in the morning, we’ll be heading out to see the Independence Day parade, and in the evening, we’re planning on taking R to see a fireworks show. (Not her first show ever, though. We actually took her to see fireworks last weekend as well.) He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to try to convince him to finish up season four of “The Walking Dead” with me once R is down for the night. I’ve been dying to finish the last two episodes for days!

…get it? “Dying”?

Okay, so the joke wasn’t that funny anyway. I guess that means it’s bedtime.

Happy July 4th, everyone!

Soft Sugar Cookies

So, it’s night number two of Operation: Put R in Her Own Room, and I can’t sleep because not only am I totally freaked out by the fact that something bad might happen to her while I’m ten steps away in the next room, but I miss her in our bed already. We’ve been bed sharing since she was a few weeks old (and she’s now a couple days shy of seventeen months), so I think this transition is actually going to be harder for me than it will be for her in the end. We’re still nursing to sleep for naps and bedtime, but tonight, she actually nursed for a little bit, then cuddled until she fell asleep. Last night, she ended up in our bed after about two and a half hours; she’s been asleep for two hours now, and she’s shown no signs of waking up yet. We’ll see how the night goes.

If all else fails, since she’s set up on a futon, if I miss her too much, I can always snuggle up next to her for the night, but I’m trying to avoid that. I really want her sleeping in her own room in the near future, even if I do miss cuddling with her when she’s in there.

Anyway, this post isn’t supposed to be about my anxiety in moving my toddler to her own bedroom – it’s supposed to be another recipe post! I meant to put it on here a couple of days ago, but I’ve been busy with work, and (if I’m being totally honest) I’ve been a little lazy too.

A few days ago, I was craving something sweet and there was nothing in the apartment of interest, aside from waffles in the freezer, which didn’t really sound that great at the time, so I did what I always do in these situations: I pulled a couple of sticks of butter out of the fridge to soften and made cookies. The kind of cookies I make often varies, depending on the ingredients on hand and how I’m feeling. About a week or two ago, I pulled out my cocoa powder and attempted a batch of chocolate sugar cookies, but they turned out to be a massive failure. Not only were they incredibly bitter, but they burnt on the bottom a lot more easily than I expected. I was bummed.

These sugar cookies I made the other day were a hit. I’m not even really a fan of sugar cookies, but these were insanely delicious. The best part? This recipe is my own creation. I’m quite proud of myself, really. I encourage you to try this recipe at least once, and feel free to change it up a bit as you please.

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 sticks (or 1 cup) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Begin by preheating your oven to 375°.

Cream together your butter and sugar. (Note: For these cookies, I would absolutely recommend a hand mixer or some kind of stand mixer, as I think you’ll get a better texture for the cookies, but it’s completely up to you how you want to do it.) Once the mixture begins to look lighter in color, continue beating it together for another couple of minutes to ensure that it gets really, really fluffy. Make sure to scrape the sides with a spatula occasionally to get the ingredients mixed in correctly. At this point, add your eggs and beat again for another couple of minutes until it’s well mixed and still looks light in color. Add the vanilla and the salt and beat again until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder, then add to the wet mixture. Mix it together very well. Your dough should be a little wet and sticky at this point. Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, or a couple of tablespoons, place the cookies on a cookie sheet a couple inches apart – they will spread! Make sure they’re also a little flat on top, as I used an ice cream scoop and didn’t flatten them and they ended up getting just a little too brown on the edges during the time it took to cook the middle of the cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes, and once they’re out of the oven, allow them to rest on the pan for another 5 minutes before removing them.

These cookies are some of the best I’ve ever had. I love that they aren’t overly sweet, and they’re so soft, they just kind of melt in your mouth. I promise you, these are totally worth making!