Tis the season…for being sick. Ugh. As of Saturday I’m officially 36 weeks pregnant and developed a sinus infection. Since I am not in a hurry to head out in the Chicago bitter cold weather, we decide to bake cookies.
My Godmother has the best recipe for the best sugar cookies. We took artificial dyes out of my daughter’s diet and are always looking for treats that she can enjoy. That’s why I was so excited when my mom picked up McCormick natural food dye for our cookie extravaganza.
SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE:
1 CUP SUGAR
3/4 CUP BUTTER
1/2 TSP. ALMOND EXTRACT
2-1/2 CUPS FLOUR
1 TSP. BAKING POWDER
1 TSP. SALT
MIX SUGAR BUTTER, EGGS AND ALMOND EXATRACT. STIR IN
REMAINING INGREDIENTS. COVER AND REFRIGERATE AT LEAST
HEAT OVEN TO 400. ROLL DOUGH 1/8 INCH THICK ON LIGHTLY
FLOURED BOARD. CUT INTO DESIRED SHAPES WITH THREE INCH
COOKIE CUTTERS. PLACE ON UNGREASED COOKIE SHEET. BAKE
UNTIL VERY LIGHT BROWN, 6 – 8 MINUTES. MAKES ABOUT FOUR
POURED COOKIE ICING RECIPE:
THIS ICING DRIES TO A SHINY, HARD FINISH. GREAT TO USE
FOR ICING OR TO OUTLINE AND FILL IN.
1 CUP CONFECTIONERS SUGAR
2 TSP. MILK
2 TSP. LIGHT CORN SYRUP
1/2 TSP. VANILLA
PLACE SUGAR AND MILK IN BOWL. STIR UNTIL MIXED THOROUGHLY.
ADD CORN SYRUP AND MIX WELL. ADD SMALL AMOUNTS OF LIGHT
CORN SYRUP AND MILK UNTIL DESIRED CONSISTENCY IS REACHED.
Hope you enjoy and let me know if you try the recipe!
Dear Mommy Friend,
When I initially left my job to stay at home I thought I totally had this stay at home thing. I envisioned my weeks filled with picnics in the park and playdates with tons of mommy friends. The reality came crashing down. The mommy friends never came. I signed my daughter up for park district classes, swim lessons, and library story times. It felt like high school all over again. I even joined a mommy Meetup and left crying because I couldn’t talk to one person while my daughter ran in circles the whole time. That rejection a week later was anticipated, but stung a little. My cousin, who had found a mommy play group that way in her area asked, ‘Does that happen?’.
Fast forward two years and my daughter not only qualified for the Early Intervention therapy program, but was diagnosed with a speech delay, and the word sensory was being thrown around. My life revolved around four therapists at my house six times a week and researching/investing in everything they suggested to help my daughter.
When my daughter entered preschool I decided we needed one activity a week that was noneducational or therapy-related. I found a ballet school that was taught by an occupational therapist. To say I was a wreck was an understatement. With my daughter’s speech delay I always felt like I needed to speak for her. I felt like she wasn’t connecting to the other children and even the parents with her lack of communication. Regardless, she stuck with the class for a year and is currently in the same class again this year.
D’s speech got better and she caught up to other kids. She started having more interactions with the girls in class. We also chatted during those classes. You reminded me so much of my old work friends and maybe you saw a glimmer of the previous me. The corporate chick that had her life together instead of this mom that had nothing figured out. When you gave that birthday invitation to D for your daughter’s party the impact on her was huge. I could see it in D’s face. She felt accepted for once. She talked about your daughter’s party for weeks and kept the invitation by her bed.
That invitation had an impact on me as well. After four and half years of feeling isolated, I realized that I just wanted to know that D was going to be okay and accepted by other children. D would beg for friends and it would break my heart. I wanted D to be able to interact with other children and she was finally able to do that.
Since that birthday party, you had a baby and were on maternity leave from work. You turned to the other ballet moms and asked ‘This stay-at-home thing is hard. How can I be surrounded by a toddler, baby, and dogs, and still feel…?”. I looked at you and said, “lonely.’ You said yes, and I asked if you wanted to have a playdate that week.
My family and friends had a sprinkle for me last week. At first I really did not want to ask people to buy me things, but my husband’s aunt wanted to throw it so I felt rude saying no. D had a birthday party that day so my husband took her to that.
It was so nice to catch up with friends and family. I haven’t been pregnant for almost five years so I ended up needing (and receiving) more than I thought I would. Also, I was not used to so much blue! The sprinkle turned out so nice, and it was a much-needed grown-up break before baby #2 arrives.
It’s Saturday morning at 9:30 and I’m an exhausted, crying mess in my bathroom. My husband is yelling and frustrated while my daughter has thrown herself across the floor. I think to myself, “why do I go through this every Saturday?” This is the process of getting ready for ballet class. We have tried on 10 pairs of tights. Literally, tried on every pair in her drawer with no success. They are either too tight (ironic, right), scratchy, or small.
I feel like a horrible mom trying to get her to go to this class. Why am I forcing my – old to wear these stupid tights. We still have sequins all over our house from her June recital when I cut off every one from her costume to make it more comfortable. I think of how her occupational therapist wants me to use a special brush twice a day on her skin and maybe I’ve been slacking on that with my lack of energy this pregnancy. I feel the guilt rise, but the teacher sent a notice last week that all girls have to wear tights to ballet class. We tried to slide by without them for too long. I particularly chose this ballet studio because they are less rigid about the dress code. The one requirement is tights.
I think about other activities, sports, or music classes we could be doing. D won’t wear a helmet for ice skating, she won’t wear the leotard for gymnastics, and she hated getting her face wet in swim class. There was always a battle with each activity, but dance was the one thing she asked to do. Parenting can be so hard because I want to be stern that D that she can’t simply quit something, but she has also been seeing an OT for textures since she was two. My internal mom struggle might take over and quit this activity as well.
Part of me encourages her to go to this class because we have finally met nice families with girls D’s age that invite us to birthday parties and playdates. Then, I start to wonder if I need this class more than she does. The guilt almost wins to forget this week of class when I remember I bought sweater tights for her Thanksgiving dress this year. Maybe the heart tights will prevail before I lose my mind.
D sees the heart tights and her eyes light up. She feels the sweater tights and says, “these aren’t scratchy’. She puts them on with her leotard and we are only 10 minutes late to class. I fall into a chair and watch as she runs into class smiling at the teacher and her friends. After class she runs up to me and says ‘the tights aren’t tight any more mommy’. As D is hugging her friends goodbye, another mom asks if the girls have to wear tights for this class. One mom tells her about the notice that went out saying they have to wear them. She points to D’s tights and says ‘those aren’t ballet tights and my daughter finds the ballet tights so itchy.’ I almost cry telling her we have the same battle, and let her know where I got the heart tights. I realize I’m not alone.
As D takes my hand I ask her if she’s glad she came to class and she looks up and says yes….smiling.
Here we are back at home without tights and taking a 32 week bump shot 🙂
We had these family pictures taken a month ago for my parent’s birthdays. I can’t believe these might be our last photos before the baby comes.
Pictures by: AJ Photography