One of my favorite activities with clients is to help them figure out what questions they want or need to ask their care providers about various procedures. Sometimes clients come to me and ask "what should I do?" and so we will walk through one of my favourite acronyms (B.R.A.I.N) to help them get the information they need to make a decision. It's quite a simple tool, easy to remember and easy to keep a copy of as a reminder when you head to the hospital. I've even attached a link to a printable copy for you!
It's December 1st! The Holiday Season is upon us at last! In our house that means the decorations are up, the tree is planned, the elf has arrived, and the mass goodie baking has begun.
Christmas baking is a tradition that has been handed down to me from my own mother. I have many fond memories of baking tons of delicious cookies that only came out at Christmas time. It's a tradition I enjoy passing on to my own children. Currently the most passionate baker in our household is Bitsy.
Bitsy is 7 years old, she's totally into all things sparkly and girlie and she LOVES "Mommy and Me" time doing things like baking cookies. So I asked her if she would like to be featured on my business blog, to which she enthusiastically agreed. So over the next few weeks we'll be hosting a series of baking posts affectionately called "Baking with Bitsy" and we will showcase some of our favorite recipes.
Today's choice is a family favorite Hot Cocoa Cookies from Glorious Treats.
This recipe has a few steps, and isn't your typical cookie recipe. One thing we must stress is follow the recipe exactly, don't worry about that the dough doesn't look like cookie dough. I promise they will turn out great!
So first we start by melting some glorious chocolate and butter and other good stuff together.
You want it smooth and velvety
Then we set it to the side to cool down while we get started on the rest of the cookie dough. Bitsy says you need lots of flour.
And you add all the other dry ingredients as well then set that bowl to the side
Then you get a new bowl and you beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together, then slowly add your cooled chocolate.
Then you slowly mix in all your dry ingredients, and you mix until it's got a sloppy brownie like consistency.
Then it goes in the fridge and you wait patiently for half an hour (or about the length of one Netflix show) Then it comes out and you preheat your oven to 325*F
Next you form it into balls, we use a rounded 1 TBSP measuring spoon to get the best sized scoops. Then roll them in your hands and place them on the cookie sheet.
Then once they are on the sheet, flatten them ever so slightly and put them in the oven for 12 minutes. At the 12 minute mark, bring them out and place half a marshmallow on top.
Then you put them back in the oven and bake them for 2-3 more minutes, but watch them closely, you want the marshmallows to start melting but not burn. Then your bring them out and let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack.
So the recipe will go on to tell you about icing and sprinkles. Definitely do this if you want to! We've found that Bitsy's Daddy prefers the cookies with no icing and sprinkles, so we compromise. He says this way they are like biting into the perfect cup of hot cocoa!
We are having technical difficulties attaching the recipe so find it here Hot Cocoa Cookies
Until next time!
- Rosina and Bitsy
By: Dezerrae Sanchez (Oh Darling Birth)
Joining the NICU club is something no one really sets out to do. It'll be a journey like no other. Whether your baby was a short timer or spent a lot of their new life in the NICU, the roller coaster of emotions can be intense. I have two amazing NICU graduates, and I'd love to share a few things I know about the NICU.
1. Your voice is just as calming to that fragile newborn as it was when they were inside of you.
Talk to your baby. Tell your baby what an awesome nursery awaits them at home. Tell your baby stories and sing songs. Hearing your sweet voice will help you two bond, even if you aren't able to hold your baby yet.
2. NICU babies can breastfeed.
Were you excited about breastfeeding before going down the NICU path? That's ok! Most hospitals have excellent pumps that NICU moms are able to use to pump that liquid gold for your new baby. Whether it's through nasal lavage, bottle, or just a small taste on the tongue, your baby can still receive the benefits from breastmilk while staying in the NICU.
3. You can still care for your baby while they are in the NICU.
I know some parents feel badly that they may have to take a hands off role while their baby is receiving medical care in the NICU. You can actually help quite a bit, too! Ask your nurse about how you can help hold the tube if your baby is being fed through one. Ask how you can help with baths, diapering, or bedding changes. Who would've thought that wiping baby poo would be so exciting?
4. Decorate your baby's space.
A little bit of decor will hopefully calm your nerves while spending time with your baby. Tape some photos to the isolette. Bring a special blanket or swaddler to add to their bed (Don't forget to add their name, so it isn't lost in hospital laundry). Bring your ipod for you two to enjoy. Hang a photo of their nursery at home, show them what a sweet set up they have waiting! Sometimes nurses or volunteers even scrapbook for you or hang a name banner to brighten up your space.
5. Don't forget about you.
Traveling to and from the hospital and spending hours in that room can take a toll on you, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Give yourself permission to do something for just you. Go out to eat, splurge on a new outfit, take that long nap that is way over do. Anything to recharge your batteries. Remember the ol', "Can't pour from an empty cup."
There's nothing quite like bring your baby home from the NICU. I dare say it feels almost as good as their birthday. You'll always be proud of your amazing NICU graduate. Pat yourself on the back too. You survived the NICU.
Dezerrae Sanchez owns Oh, Darling Birth Services (www.ohdarlingbirth.com), and provides birth, postpartum, and placenta services throughout the East Valley, Arizona. She has one 10 year old daughter and a 7 year old son who keep her busy and on her toes. She enjoys a good Netflix binge, photography, and hanging out with her family.