Monday, October 26, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Gender Reveal}

For most people this day and age, a text is enough to convey a message to the masses. To a hormonal pregnant lady with insane nesting instincts, it makes more sense to stay up until midnight baking and decorating cookies to convey a message. Mostly I just wanted cookies. For myself.

I purposely scheduled my official anatomy ultrasound late in the afternoon. As my coworkers were dying to know what we were having, this appointment time made it possible for me to go straight home and prepare a little announcement before blabbing to everyone at work, therefore eliminating my excuse to make/consume cookies. Even though everyone already "knew" it was a girl (I am definitely carrying like it's a girl), they could not wait to see if basic women's intuition and the old wives were right.

To make the big announcement I put some cookies in a basket, wrapped in regular sandwich bags and tied with simple pink ribbon. Of course, they were arranged much more perfectly than is displayed in the picture...until the 2-year-old started messing with them. Sigh. The cookies were accompanied by these little inserts I made:

What better flavors to represent pregnancy than peanut butter and chocolate? Ladies and gentlegays, behold:

Emily's Favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup (plus more) Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift dry ingredients together.

Using a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Stir in the peanut butter and mix thoroughly, then gradually add the dry ingredients until the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Mix in a cup) of the Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. Then add more chocolate chips if you have a sweet tooth like me.

Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes, or until firm.

When dough has hardened, preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 cookie sheets.

Roll the hardened dough into balls and press flat with a fork, making criss-cross patterns on each cookie. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned. Transfer baked cookies to a rack and allow them to cool.

Dig in!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Telecommuting (3)

Everett and I had quite the busy telecommuting day. Between checking emails and finishing work projects, we brought the cat to a $400 vet appointment (not doing that again), worked on his Halloween costume, went to a parent-teacher conference at his school, got his hair cut, and visited the Finch Arboretum. At the end of the day I went to prego yoga, then crashed on the couch and binge watched Vampire Diaries.

What a perfect day it was! I was especially ecstatic about taking Everett to the arboretum on a day when there weren't a million families in matching outfits getting their Christmas photos taken (that will be us in a couple weeks, so no judgment).

Observing the leaves falling from the trees.

Everett's favorite part of the arboretum is the stream. Big surprise?

He loved throwing leaves in the water, then watching them float away. I find these types of activities helpful for raising a little boy. They do not need piles of toys to stay entertained when imagination and natural reasoning skills are properly developed.

We found an awesome pile of leaves on our way back to the car. 

I have a hysterical video of him jumping in the pile, turning around to tell me to stop taking pictures, then walking toward me demanding I put my phone away. After that he searched really hard to find me the perfect leaf. Such a sweet and sassy boy! And for the record, he loved watching those videos of himself later. You're welcome, sonny. Mom knows best.

 The arboretum is one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon in Spokane. I love exploring all the trails and unique trees, and Everett had a pretty good time, too.

We absolutely love the gal who cuts Everett's hair. If you live in Spokane and need someone to do your family's hair, Miranda is theeee best. She is great with kids, and has a kid-friendly area for when moms and dads need to get their hair done. Most of the time I will book Everett's and my appointment back to back, then he gets to play with her awesome toys while I get beautified. I will not let anyone else touch my hair, or Everett's for that matter. You have to book her pretty far in advance, because she is that awesome, but the wait is totally worth it.

I am so proud of this little guy. He is growing up to be quite the young man. He is respectful to his friends, has made huge strides with sharing (thanks daycare!), I can trust him when he's playing independently, and he has been an incredible listener these last few weeks. Of course he has his moments, but at the end of the day I feel so lucky to be his mom. #blessed

Monday, October 12, 2015

22 Weeks Pregnant

Bellies and bodies are getting huge over here. It seems that people are either commenting on how huge I am getting, or they are telling me I do not even look pregnant. I certainly feel pregnant everywhere. I look in the mirror and feel like a cow, my hips and ligaments are sore, and I am in that awkward phase where I am hungry all the time, yet nothing sounds good.

Last night Jeff and I went to a birthing prep class offered by my prenatal yoga teacher. I always find her classes helpful for my aches and pains, and I love to witness all the expecting mamas grow from week to week. When I was in labor with Everett, I used many of the calming exercises she taught in class to progress the labor. Since I was in labor for only 6 hours, I would say it worked!

Last night husbands were welcome to join us in class, and they learned tips on how to help us through labor. We practiced massage techniques, yoga poses, breathing exercises, and they were given general guidelines on how to be our advocate at the hospital. Toward the end of class the partners were seated against the wall with their legs spread, and the women were nestled against their chests. We were instructed to relax against them and breathe, while they were pushing on pressure points used to relieve pain. I was so relaxed and calm, and closed my eyes. At this moment I had an out of body experience. My past self from 10 years ago was in the room watching. How could I have known, 10 years ago, that I would be here? I was nestled against my warm, caring husband, our beautiful child was sleeping peacefully at home, and we were preparing for the birth of our second baby. Does life get any better than this?

If we could see ourselves 10 years into the future, how much more would we appreciate the present moment? I could not be more content with my life, but I seldom stop to give thanks for all the rich blessings I have.

For those interested, Neely offers the birthing prep class at Harmony Yoga Studio every few weeks. The cost is only $40 per couple, which is totally worth it. Follow her on Facebook (Neely's Yoga) to get news and information about her upcoming workshops.

- SHIRT: Full Moon Maternity via Stitch Fix Maternity - PANTS: Margaret M Maternity via Stitch Fix Maternity - SHOES: TOMS Flats via Zulily

How do I feel?
As I sit here I think, "I feel great!" Then when I try to stand up everything falls apart. This pubic symphisis is killing me. If there is anyone out there who knows a cure (that is not Tylenol), please contact me immediately. The yoga, stretching, and strengthening helps, but my "area" is still on fire

Weight gain?
17 lbs. At first I thought I was letting myself go, then I realized this is exactly how much I gained by this point with Everett. Phew. I'm gonna go eat now.

Food cravings?
My most recent obsession is lime flavored mineral water. La Croix and Trader Joe's are my two favorite brands, but I am always willing to try new products. I am also loving anything with hella flavor. This means I am dousing anything and everything with hot sauce.

Food aversions?
Not really. The heartburn is starting to kick in at night, so I am sure I will need to step back on the hot sauce here pretty quick.

I am sleeping like a champ these days! My current routine is as follows:
  • 7:45pm get ready for bed
  • 8:00pm start reading book on the couch
  • By 8:30pm fall asleep on the couch
  • 11:00pm wake from nap 
  • 11:15 read book in bed (I'm surprisingly energized at this time)
  • 12:00am fall back asleep for the rest of the night
The other day my Fitbit told me I slept 11 hours. This is unheard of with a toddler! Not every night is bliss though. I have awoken to a couple debilitating leg cramps. Neely says that taking calcium magnesium before bed helps with night cramps, so I will have to try this if the symptoms worsen.

Lots of movement! It is funny how baby already has a schedule. I can count on movement at certain times of the day, and for the most part the schedule is pretty consistent.

Stretch marks?
Not that I can see.

Innie. I don't think this is going to change.

It's a...

There were more balloons in that bunch before Everett popped them.

What have I learned?
I am trying really hard not to be a crazy person, despite the raging hormones and excruciating pain I am always in. I believe that children inherit a mother's emotional baggage, and this transfers to real life when they exit the womb. I do not want our little girl to hear me shouting at Everett in frustration, or yelling at people who cut me off during rush hour traffic. Even though she's not currently here, she can still hear and sense everything that is happening. In fact, I feel her moving around (in agitation?) when I start to lose it. As hard as these emotions are to manage, I am still going to try, and I think (hope!) the yoga and breathing exercises I learn in class will help.

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