How To Blame Your Baby For Making You Fat

I like to blame the fact that I got fat on pregnancy and nursing. I gained the typical 35 pounds while pregnant with Alex, and I like to think that my ravenous hunger while nursing contributed to my weight gain.

In reality, it’s not because I was simply eating more while nursing or holding on to that pregnancy weight. In reality, it’s because I started cooking. And I blame my son for that.

Cooking was never something that I didn’t like, but it wasn’t something I did a whole lot of. I mean, I was in college. I had professionals cooking for me at every single meal. When I didn’t want what was being served, I went out to eat. Or ordered pizza.

But then I had Alex. And, you see, Alex was a picky baby. He was picky about how he wanted to be held, and if you weren’t complying to his demands he would wail. There was a three week period during his first two months of life when I was the only person that could put him to sleep. I tucked his little legs under his belly and held him on my chest. It was a very specific position, with a certain place to put my left hand and a certain place to put my right; a certain tilt of his head resting on a certain place on my chest.

While he has always been rather independent, even as a young baby, when he was tired, not feeling well, or otherwise feeling the need for some lovin’, he needed to be held. So, he spent the vast majority of his time on my chest as a baby. As fun as it is to hold a baby on your chest, not only is it tiring, but also it is boring. What, exactly, was I supposed to do? Thank GOD for slings.

When you have to wear a baby on your chest for 8 hours of the day (I won’t mention night times because that was a whole different story involving rocking to sleep for half an hour and then hoping he would sleep by himself for more than five seconds) there is only so much you can do. Especially when the person being worn on your chest won’t let you sit down. No, it wasn’t just that he had to be held. He had to be held and you had to be standing. And not just standing still. No, you had to be rocking back and forth or somehow moving around.

So, I started cooking.

Anyone who has ventured into cooking for the first time probably knows that there are so many recipes out there. And the ones that sound the best? Aren’t exactly the ones that are low in calories. I turned to many an online-recipe-blog, picked the recipes that sounded the best, and started making them. Pot roasts, stuffed chicken, casseroles, stir fry, stew, cheesy-fatty-starchy-calorie-filled goodness. I won’t even mention the secrets I learned when it comes to baking.

So, I got fat. I got fat while standing on my feet wearing my kid on my chest. I baked cookies, made bread from scratch, and learned a lot about food. My brain filled with knowledge and my butt filled with adipose.

When I finally realized that I had to make a change, I was scared. What are we going to eat? I don’t have a single recipe that is okay for Weight Watchers! I can’t even use butter when making eggs?! I can’t bake cookies anymore?

But I figured it out. And my love for cooking grew exponentially as I discovered that not only is it still fun to cook while not using added fats, it’s more fun.

So, my brain filled with knowledge about the healthy way to stir fry vegetables and my butt slowly lost the adipose. Alex no longer needed to be worn all the time, and instead began “helping” me cook.

“Help me stir! Want to help. Have a piece of pepper? Pour the pepper in the pan? Stir the veggies! Need to help, Mommy. Need to help.”

I can blame my baby for making me fat, for sure. But I can also blame him for making me not care that he made me fat. It was worth it.

Eating Pizza

A Boy And His Food

Like most parents of toddlers, I have a constant supply of snacks with me. Even on Friday night when the Burgh Moms got together I found a small bag full of crackers in my purse. A selection of Elmo crackers, Cheddar Bunnies, and some Gorilla munch. You know, Just In Case.

I learned the hard way that having something for Alex to munch on at all times is an absolute necessity.

Alex loves to eat. This kid can eat his weight in food, often a few times a day. This morning? Two waffles, two pieces of banana bread, a handful of grapes, some strawberries and a small bowl full of cereal. After hearing “mo? peas?” over and over again, I would give him more food. And then more. And then more.

It shouldn’t surprise me that he eats so much. Not only has he not slowed down in his growth yet, he also runs all. the. time. It’s a rare moment when he sits down for more than a few minutes to read a book or play with something. The vast majority of the time he is running back and forth, demanding my hand to take him outside so that he can run up and down the block, climbing up and down the stairs again and again, climbing onto and off of the couch, running around the dining room table and tackling me. And then repeat.

So, I guess when he’s running around he needs to have a bite every few steps, right? Makes perfect sense.

Happy to be snacking

He was actually still sick when we went to the park on Friday when this picture was taken. He still ate all day long.

Mmm Cookies

The Burgh Mom cookie swap was a huge success. Not that I had any doubt in my mind. How bad could it possibly be? Amazing women and cookies. Oh, and a really cute baby. And a really cute little girl. And a really wonderful 13-year old (they exist! It’s a miracle!). And did I mention lots of cookies? ‘Nuff said.

I made two types of cookies: Peanut butter peanut butter cup cookies and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies. Both pack some serious yum into them. (Although, to be honest, I was disappointed with my peanut butter cookies. They were not their usual “oh-my-god-my-mouth-is-in-heaven” love bites. I blame my probably poor attempt at tripling the recipe.)

I still don’t have a working camera, so I can’t share pictures of the baking processes. Instead, I will simply share the recipes and the iPhone picture of the finished products.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 6 oz craisins (or other sweetened, dried, cranberries)

  • Directions

    1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar together, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add vanilla.
    3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating well until blended.
    4. Add white chocolate chips and craisins until blended. (Hint: coat the white chocolate chips and craisins in flour before mixing into the batter so that they don’t all sink the bottom of the cookie.)
    5. Drop cookies onto lightly greased baking sheet.
    6. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
    7. Let cool on wire racks.
    8. Eat while warm for maximum enjoyment.

    Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (or butter flavored crisco; horribly bad for you, but deliciously delicious)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Reese’s cups, unwrapped

  • Directions

    1. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    2. Cream the butter and both sugars together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add vanilla.
    3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating well until blended.
    4. Drop cookies onto lightly greased baking sheet.
    5. Bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
    6. Push unwrapped reese’s cups into cookie immediately upon removal from oven.
    7. Let cool on wire racks.
    8. Eat while warm for maximum enjoyment.

    I Bring You “D”

    I have never been more impressed with bloggers who post every day regularly.

    It’s not that I necessarily don’t have a lot that I want to write about, it’s that I want to mostly focus my blog on my family and occasional odd situations I encounter. It would probably make sense for me to find another outlet for my more politically minded posts, but they are pretty sporadic and often are in some way connected to Alex. Everything is connected to him these days. The life of a mom, I guess.

    So today, I am thanking the wonderful ClumberKim for passing on the letter “D” to me. Here’s how it works (thanks, Uncle Crappy!): You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

    I bring you: The Letter D!

    I grew up dancing. As a young child, I was a gymnast. I rolled and tumbled with the best of them, but quit when it became too competitive. Moving on to dance, I fell in love. I took ballet, jazz, modern and tap, but my passion was definitely in tap. I continued to dance throughout young adolescence, but gave it up in the middle of high school. I still love dance. Not only is it great exercise, it is fun

    Desperate Housewives I can’t help it. I have loved that show since I first sat down with Season 1 on DVD and watched it from beginning to end during Finals period my second year at Smith. I love the ridiculousness of it all.

    Denver What’s not to love? The weather is beautiful. It’s a fun city. My Great Aunt (Grandmother’s sister) lives there.

    Donnie Darko: I am in love with this movie. The music is fantastic, the acting is great, and I love movies that force you to think.

    Dessert: Sweets are my weakness. I love brownies, cookies, cakes, pies, you name it. I probably enjoy making them as much as I enjoy eating them.

    Dalai Lama: It’s kind of cheesy to say that I like him, but I do. He came to speak at Smith before I left, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Listening to his words and watching him interact with people was moving. Seeing him and the other monks walk around campus was a surreal experience, and it was even more surreal to see all of the pictures posted online after his visit.

    Dad: Not my dad, but Zach. I love him, think he is an amazing father, and know he is going to continue to be SuperDad.

    Dogs: Yes, I love dogs. I grew up with a Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniel, Phoebe and Sebastian, and was profoundly depressed after each one died. I’ve always had an odd fascination with tiny dogs that yap, but mostly I would love to own a Labrador Retriever, probably a black one. My Uncle has always had Labs, and each one that he has had through the years I have fallen in love with. His current Lab is actually a mutt named Lola. Lola is well behaved, smart, sweet, and was scared of Alex, which continually cracked me up. My mom currently has an adorable Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Jackson, who is wild and crazy but oh-so-sweet.

    Drinking: I love wine. I love beer. ‘Nuff said.

    Diving: During the olympics, Diving was one of my favorite things to watch. This is kind of a stretch (honestly, I was having trouble thinking of a tenth “D” that I loved), but it really is an amazing sport.

    Want a letter? Let me know!

    Cookies Cookies Cookies Cookies

    I just finished baking the last batch of cookies for the Burgh Mom Cookie Swap. There are about 180 cookies in all. Do you know how long it takes to bake 180 cookies? A long time, let me tell you. And it was a long time having to smell deliciousness emanating from the kitchen without eating all of the gooey, chocolaty, sweetness.

    Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yum.

    Recipes for both are forthcoming. At least, to the best of my ability. I screw with recipes a lot, but I will attempt to remember what I do every time I make these cookies. I don’t really use measuring cups or spoons, except for the simple fact that they fit perfectly into small boxes of baking powder and baking soda; I just go by my memory of what the measured amounts are supposed to be and then what those measured amounts look like. At the end of the mixing I go by consistency. Too sticky? Add more flour!

    Nothing But Love

    All credit goes to Jennifer for not only posting the amazingly adorable photos of her owl cupcakes, but also being kind enough to e-mail me a detailed description on how to make these guys!:

    Owl Cupcakes for Halloween

    My cupcakes (above) did not look nearly as good as her perfect little owls but I was still thrilled with how well they turned out. I’ll definitely make them again, even though cutting Oreos was a painstakingly awful process and I forgot to scrape off the little bits of dark cookie on the frosted side so the owls’ eyes look dirty. Next time I’ll even have junior mints for the eyeballs instead of M & M’s.

    But Oh. My. God. were they delicious!

    Maybe He’s Finally Getting It?

    The sippy cup adventures are not near an end, yet. Alex still doesn’t seem to get that he has to tilt the sippy cup in order to get any milk out of it. To make matters worse, he doesn’t even try anymore. He just holds the sippy cup out to me whenever he wants a drink and expects me to give it to him. If I don’t help, he throws the sippy cup on the floor, angry at me, and won’t drink. Awesome.

    Today I got him to try drinking from it himself again. He wasn’t able to get any milk, and right after this picture handed the cup to me, but at least he tried. And at least he’s cute whether he’s trying or throwing.

    Thanks, Carmi, for allowing me to post my blurry picture.

    Blurry Sippy Cup Drinking

    Turning One is a Big Deal

    It’s hard to believe that I have a one year old. A walking, semi-talking, little person.

    Alex had a wonderful Birthday and Birthday Party. We went to a nice little Italian restaurant on his Birthday and he enjoyed eating tons of white bread and tortellini. Seriously, he ate about a pound of bread. It was impressive.

    "I'm 1!"

    Wearing his “I’m 1” shirt, made by the wonderful and talented Karen, everyone knew without asking how old he was! At lunch the next day, a (clearly naive) waitress asked, “How old is he? Three or four months?” I almost laughed in her face, but refrained and answered her nicely.

    Thanks to Zach’s father, “Big D” to Alex, an unbelievable cake was made to celebrate Alex turning one:

    Wall-E Cake!

    If I could take all of the credit, I would. But the credit is due almost entirely to Big D! The cake turned out fantastically, and Alex clearly enjoyed it:

    Wall-E Cake!  and Alex eating him

    By the end of the afternoon, Alex was exhausted. He had played with everyone for hours, had cake, opened presents, and played some more. He took a nice two hour nap while some cleaning was able to occur, and was refreshed and ready to play some more when he woke up!

    All in all, the Birthday madness was a success!

    Alex and Daddy