Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Motherhood: The Best Advice I Listened to

{Jules lost a toenail and was bleeding all over the place so we held him down, bandaged him up and laughed hysterically while he attacked his foot}

I don't often take others' advice.  But as a pregnant lady, I was the target of a lot of advice (both solicited and unsolicited).  I've watched my friends and sisters (appear to) seamlessly make the transition into motherhood so I was eager to hear their words of advice for me as I joined the club.

As the year has gone on I've decided there is no right or wrong way to be pregnant/parent.  I assumed I would feel more strongly about what the 'best' thing to do or not do but I don't.  With obvious exceptions that endanger your children, I am a firm believer in doing what works for you and your family.

While I tried to soak up as much intel as I could (and still do) from those who are more experienced than me, I have to say these two gems are worth passing on.

The best advice that I listened to while pregnant was:  "Get as much sleep as you can"

I slept like my life depended on it (wait, doesn't it?) and it felt great.  Enough said.

The best advice that I listened to as a mom:  "Ease yourself into going back to work full time"

I know I'm so lucky to have had the option to ease into work and I thank my lucky stars for it.  My boss is super flexible, my husband's job is flexible and we saved the entire pregnancy to have a 'kid fund' so we wouldn't feel squeezed without my full salary.

After official maternity leave, I was able to work part time for almost two months.  The last week of my part time schedule we sent Calum to daycare two days (Tues/Thurs), then three days (the usual Tues/Thurs plus the first day of September), then four days (thanks Labor Day!) and finally a he went to daycare for five days in a row last week!  (And is sick to show for it haha, but that's to be expected!)

I've enjoyed being back full time and when I'm there I want to be there.  I don't feel like I was rushed away from my baby and back to reality.  I'm thankful to have had the option for such an easy transition.  Of course it is sad to not see him all day but reuniting in the evenings (and mornings, too) is so special and fun.  Don't get me started on the weekends.  I used to love weekends but now it is a whole different ball game.

He is pretty un-phased by daycare.  He seems to like it and he's learning from the older kids - he now realizes a jumper is for jumping not just a toy station ;)

In other news, Calum made his first piece of art for daddy's birthday present and I got Andy some Arsenal swag.

Like I said, counting my lucky stars :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rye Banana Muffins

It happens to everyone.  You and your spouse miscommunicate and you end up with two bunches of bananas, one of which will most likely get too ripe for your preferences and you'll have to bake something to use it up.

That's what happened to us.  Fortunately I'm not too sad about it since I love to bake!  (And I miraculously found time to do it.)  Instead of making my usual Banana Bread with Wheat Germ or this Banana Bread Granola I'm obsessed with, I wanted to make some muffins with my Rye flour (used for these Rye Brownies, which are insanely good).

I found this recipe and made a few modifications to make it more tasty and nutritious - applesauce instead of oil, added cinnamon, raisins and raw walnuts.  I made these three days ago and we ate all but two of them by the time I got around to photographing the final product!

I like to put two in the toaster oven then top with some Kerrygold Irish Butter and eat them with a cup of tea - or spoonful of crunchy peanut butter, ya know, whatever you like :P

May you have ripe bananas on hand and enjoy these as much as I have!  Happy Tuesday!

Rye Banana Muffins


2 large ripe bananas
3/4 c white sugar
~ 1/3 c unsweetened plain applesauce
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c rye flour
1 1/4 c white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
~ raisins
~ raw walnuts


Preheat your oven to 350.  Prepare 12 muffin tins with cooking spray and then muffin liner thingys ;)

Mash up your ripe bananas in a large bowl.  Add sugar, apple sauce, eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth.  In a separate bowl, add your flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, whisking to combine.  Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and stir just until everything is incorporated (don't over stir).

In your muffin tin lined with muffin liner papers, add raisins and walnuts to your liking.  (I suppose you could add oatmeal or chocolate chips...oooh, maybe next time!)  I used a 1/4 cup scoop to evenly distribute the batter over the raisins and walnuts, filling them all to the top since this muffin doesn't really rise.

Bake for 25 minutes or until muffins are slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins <3