Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Everyone has a birth story...

I thought for sure I'd do this post so much earlier.  My baby is 3.5 months old.  WHERE DID THE TIME GO?  Oh yea... diaper changes, nursing, no sleep, lactation appointments, projectile squirting poop, nursing, no sleep, painful PP recovery, more lactation appointments, more nursing, more sleep - wait - more NO sleep, naptime woes, eating woes, sleeping woes, IS HE POOPING ENOUGH woes 

- and - 

that doesn't even factor in me trying to get on my feet enough to take care of the other two people in my house.  Good thing my husband is patient with me and good thing our first son doesn't mind being neglected and left to playing on the ipad and watching movies.  Guh.  This too shall pass.  This too shall pass.

I read several other mom bloggers and I marvel at the fact that they have CONTENT.  Within DAYS of having their baby.  OR TWINS.  Or within HOURS even.  I'm sure they see some sort of monetary compensation for their blogging and therefore have more motivation.  But still.

And I digress.

The birth story.  As told 3.5 months late.  

After going a week early with Charlie and have a nice healthy pregnancy this go around, I for some reason, almost knew deep down in my heart or maybe that was deep down in my excruciating lower back pain that surely I would go early (oh 37 weeks or 38 weeks maybe) and just have this pregnancy done.  

37 ticked by.

38 ticked by.

39 ticked by.

40 ticked - oh wait.

Week 40.  Monday afternoon the day before my due date.  I got it into my head to experiment with pumpkin cookie muffins.  I rarely bake anymore but I guess it was one last bit of nesting trying to eke its way out.  I only bring that up because I remember so vividly the fact that even while having my first painful braxton hicks contractions, I was so ridiculously determined to make these cookies that I perused the internet for multiple pumpkin cookie recipes, tore them apart and constructed one of my own from the shards of ideas laying around my kitchen.  And darn were they good.  

So Monday afternoon was baking.  Erratic contractions, sometimes painful, sometimes not.  Oh and texting Nicole to find out whether Lindsey had her baby yet.  What's that you say?  Who are those people?  I'll get to that.

Monday afternoon was me texting my husband telling him I didn't think I could do dinner.  I really didn't know, but gosh I wanted an excuse not to cook and to eat out.  More erratic contractions, sometimes painful, sometimes not.  More texting Nicole to find out about Lindsey - should be anytime now.

Monday evening was William bringing home Pei Wei and me eating a dish that was too spicy - but hey, maybe it will bring on more contractions.  More erratic contractions, sometimes painful, every now and then I had to stop and breathe through them.  Nicole:  Lindsey is still in labor.

Monday late evening was the 3 of us going on a walk down our road hoping to kickstart these THINGS THAT CAN'T MAKE UP THEIR MIND into real labor.  More erratic contractions, but less  all around.  Still texting Nicole to find out about Lindsey.  Should be anytime now.  Oh wait, she's already said that multiple times.

9pm was me giving up and deciding to go to bed since the contractions really were so erratic and not getting stronger or closer together.  Disappointment guys.  I'm sure there was more texting to Nicole around this time to ask about Lindsey.  

10pm found me awake in bed, unable to go to sleep because just as I was nodding off to sleep a contraction would hit that I could NOT sleep through.  And here's where the time and events get a bit fuzzy.  Oh wait, Lindsey finally had her baby!!!  Now I just need mine.

I'm lying in bed, still pretty much in denial that this is happening because after witnessing my sister's last birth where that child toyed around with her for days and days, AND since I had been so lucky my first go around to not have any false starts, I figured I was due for a false start this time.  But lying in bed trying to sleep and 20 minutes pass and you are just about to fall asleep when BAM contraction hits just turns you into a grumps.  Eventually they got painful enough that William said I had to call the birth center.  So I called.  I knew what they were going to say.  

Get in the tub.  Growl.

I hate getting in the tub.  How people think it's comfortable to lay in a hard tub while 9 months pregnant is beyond me.  But get in the tub I did.  They said the warm water would either slow the contractions or make them more regular.  Growl.

So me and the sore back got in the tub and we timed contractions and William kept saying they are getting closer you should call them back.  And I kept saying, no I don't think they are regular enough for them to tell me to come in, and it went back and forth like that till finally I relented because indeed they had not died down in an hours time (even though they really still weren't GET IN THE CAR yet).

I love my midwives.  I love the birth center.  But I remember in that moment being dumbfounded at the recommended advice: try and go back to bed and get some sleep since it didn't seem quite time to go in yet.  I'm sorry, if I could have been in bed sleeping I would have.  I would not have been lying in a hard tub, with a sore back and belly great and unwieldy if I had been able to sleep.  I told her that kindly in between breathing through my contractions and she relented and said "well, since you can't sleep you might as well come in and let us check you so that at least we know where things stand down there."

Okay.  Good.  We can probably be there in about an hour.

Friends, I think it took us about an hour just to get out of the house and in that hour BAM!  It was labor time.  By the time William's mom got here to stay with Charlie, I couldn't walk by myself, I couldn't talk and I was shaking all over.

To those who have never been in labor before - that's called transition.  That thing you do where the pain is at it's worst and you are like right on the edge of getting to push.  We later found out from his mother that the moment she saw me, she kept trying to urgently get us out the door faster than we were moving.  She knew.  Mothers always know.

Let me just say that a 40 minute drive across I-40 in the middle of the night while transitioning is something I NEVER WANT TO REPEAT!!  Ever.  Ever.

I have vague memories of calling my sister and telling her to meet us at the birth center.  I remember through clenched teeth telling William that while I do not generally support speeding, that if he kindly would speed I would appreciate it.  And him kindly telling me that it was dark and wet and rainy out that night and he had a pregnant wife unbuckled in the backseat of his car and no he was not going to speed.  Blargh!  I have memories of not being able to get out of the car until I had William and the midwife to lean on.  And memories of losing a sandal and asking for it to be put back on and them both saying they thought it would probably be okay if I left it there and just walked barefoot the 10 steps to get inside.  Are you serious guys?!  I have memories of getting in there, getting checked and having a fear of them telling me I was only 4cm dilated (like I was with Charlie when I checked in at the birth center) and then having to sit there and labor like that for another LONG time.  Oh please no.

Then it's kind of like a lightening flash.  3am.  BAM!  I was 8cm dilated.  BAM!  2 contractions after arriving I yelled out to the midwife that I couldn't NOT push.  BAM!  Pushing commences because it can't not.  BAM!  40 or so minutes after we pulled into the parking lot, my sister rushes in through the door, grabs my leg and...


2 minutes later we have a baby.  

Yea one more red light and you'd have missed it Carrie.
Ian and Aunt Tater

40 minutes at the birth center and I was done.  I couldn't believe my good luck.  After laboring for 24 hours with Charlie, a majority of them spent at the birth center, I was in and done in 40 minutes here. Not that labor was 40 minutes total mind you, but it felt and was much shorter since most of it happened at home.

Ian Maxwell Cox, 6lb 8oz

So Ian Maxwell decided he'd come promptly on his due date - not a day early and not a day late. :-)  And that my friends is the story of little Max.  Little Ian.  Ian Max.  Imax.  Yea people call him all sorts of things.

Okay so last part here.  Who are Nicole and Lindsey and why do they get mentioned in Ian's birth story?  Well, Lindsey is William's cousin who was due about 10 days before me and she and her husband Josh were also birth center peeps!  Yay!  Nicole is another cousin that I was constantly plaguing for updates so that I wasn't constantly bothering the daddy on L&D duty.  Once I knew Lindsey had the baby so late Monday and once it became clear that we were headed to the birth center in the wee hours of Tuesday, I figured our paths would cross.  So would you believe in the middle of contractions and pushing, through gritted teeth I was asking the midwives if Josh and Lindsey were still next door.  Yea that was all sorts of puzzled crazy looks I got.  It took me another contraction and the explanation that they were my husband's cousins before the midwives took their bizarre look of "Is she crazy?" off their faces.  Yea not crazy.  Well sort of.  I think they thought it was awesome actually.

So the second cousins, Ian and Ever, were born 5 hours apart at the same place, and the following morning before leaving we all had a party!  Not really.  But it felt like a party getting to see familiar faces who had just gone through the exact same thing we did.  

Handsome studs holding little bundles of baby

Amazon Women!
I hope Lindsey forgives me for posting a picture of us not even a day postpartum.  

Congrats Ian and Ever on your awesome timing!

And best picture of the day....

Proud Big Brother

Thursday, September 20, 2012

38 weeks!

How do I say this?  Today is the first day where I don't feel anxious to just go ahead and have this little boy come.  Um....  Today is the first day where I bodily feel content to still be pregnant.


38 weeks and 2 days!
For those that missed that post a couple days ago that detailed my run in with an overly stuffed grocery bag and the nearly gut wrenching pain my lower right back has been in, just know that for the last month I have been in agonizing lower back pain.

And today for the first time, I have been limping around out of habit and not out of pain.  :-D !!!!!!!

My chiropractor finally was like, "you need to go back on active care and get in here several times in a row."  I was in so much pain that I readily agreed and was accordingly told to get in there 3 times last week and 3 times this week (and who knows what in the future).  Finally after having 5 adjustments fairly successively in a row, my excruciating back pain is lessening.

People, I cannot tell you how amazing that feels.  My wallet could tell you how amazing that feels though given how much I've spent at the chiropractor in the last week and a half.  But let me just assure you that while it stings ever so much the thought of spending a chunk of money at the chiropractor day after day (and I realize I am SO blessed to be able to do that anyways), I have to admit that it has drastically improved my pain, my mood, and my outlook.

So getting back to the whole anxious baby arrival thing?  I have been in so much pain for the last month that all I could think about was getting un-pregnant for the sake of letting my back recover.  Not going into labor so I could hold my bundle of joy. Not the excitement of getting to meet little baby brother and cuddle him like I do his older brother.  Not even because I was tired of pregnancy aches and pains.  I was in So. Much. Pain. from the lower back injury (exacerbated by being pregnant), that all I could do was think of myself and how much I desperately wanted - needed - to have this baby as early as possible just to stop the pain.

And you know what.  Today is the first day in a long time where I've been content to be pregnant and to continue to let this little one bake as long as he needs to.  Today I'm enjoying knowing he is safe in my belly still and I don't have to worry about the host of things in life that will bombard him once he is out.  Today, in spite of normal pregnancy aches and pains, I feel as though I move about the house easily and pain-free simply because I don't have the near debilitating pain in my lower back.

Today I love being pregnant, love this little one and limp out of a protective habit not because it is actually needed today.

Now goodness knows tonight I could sleep on my back wrong again, or twist a little too much and sneeze at the same time and cause that one spot to slip back out of it's so gingerly aligned correct placement today.  

But that is tonight or tomorrow, and today is right now.  Right now I'm so grateful God has blessed me with some refreshing enjoyment of being pregnant.  Grateful that I don't have to wish for this baby's arrival simply because I'm in so much pain.  Grateful that I can look forward to snuggling him and kissing him and loving on him.

I've said it before and I'll say it again -

Any day now baby bro!

But today there is no rush if you need a little more cooking time.  ;-)

A Day in the Life of....

...38 weeks pregnant.

written yesterday evening and then forgot to hit publish

1. Seed milk time!  Every 5 days or so I whip up some seed milk for little Chuckles.  In addition to our normal seeds and dates, the one this morning had a splash of vanilla, some unsweetened coconut and a little bit of chia.  Fun times.

2.  Green smoothie time!  One of the few pictures Charlie actually posed willingly for - with a smile - and for more than nano second.  We love our green smoothies and love starting out our days with a healthy dose of greens, fruit and seeds.

3.  Yesterday I was 38 weeks on the dot.  But we frequently forget to take my weekly pictures on the real day, and actually, due to a melt down during breakfast and Daddy rushing out the door to work, we forgot it yet again today.  So I snapped this quick, just to make sure we have something for this week, should I continue to forget to take it.  I feel so. big.  And so. ready.  And this baby is so. low. I can barely bend over anymore.  Any day now little dude.

4. I think I should get props for trying out a new hairstyle at 38 weeks.  I haven't tried a new hairstyle in months!!  What possessed me I'm not sure.  I've been wanting to try it for a while, and maybe I was secretly hoping it would be easy enough to do that, when labor threatened, I could quickly do my hair and might have shot at a better "first picture with baby after birth" picture.  You should see my first picture with Charlie.  It's awful.  But I'm glad I have it nonetheless.  It's all about memories peeps, not beauty.  But if I can get a labor friendly hairstyle in, I'm not complaining. ;-)

 5.  My sister and I are gung-ho hard lotion bars right now.  In fact we are in experimental mode.  The bar on the left is one that I've had for a while and love.  The middle is one I just received from Made On, and the one on the right is a homemade one that Carrie made.  We are trying to get the consistency just how we like it so that we can successfully make homemade bars for ourselves.  SOO much cheaper.  But if you you have really dry hands and don't have a hankering to try making yourself, I seriously recommend purchasing a bar to try - especially a Made On bar.  My hands are in love.

6.  I have discovered a love for crowder peas.  My husband has always loved them, but just this summer I've hopped on the band wagon and joined in his enthusiasm.  I managed to make it to Farmer's Market this morning and bought a 1/2 bushel of crowder peas to freeze for later use.  I actually weighed it out and finally figured out that a 1/2 bushel of peas is roughly 12 cups or 4lbs.  A far cry from a 1/2 bushel of apples which is about 20lbs.  Dinner later?  Yum!

7.  My mom, dad, sister and niece came over today to help me do some last minute cleaning before baby.  So, So, SO appreciated!  DJ actually had to finish her school while she was here and then set about creating a nice train track set up for Charlie for when he gets home from Grammy's.

8.  Some cleaning supplies hanging about.  We (and by that I mean mostly my family) managed to get most surfaces dusted, some windows vacuumed out, carpets vacuumed, my car cleaned out, some clutter picked up and floors cleaned.  My bathroom floor is so clean and slick now thanks to Cathy, and my kitchen floor is Ah-Mazing!  Thanks to mom for bringing her crazy floor scrubbing machine pictured below and taking care of all that built up grime on my kitchen floor that my regular mop wouldn't get up.

9.  If it weren't amazing enough to have family come and help you clean your house, having a friend then come and bring you dinner so you don't have to worry about feeding yourself after a long afternoon of work just tops it off tremendously.  My good friend Karoline popped over to drop off some very delicious kale and white bean soup, sweet potato and apple casserole and blueberry oat muffins.  I had to snap the picture very quickly because I was so hungry I immediately dug in.  So good.  Luckily she gave me a large pot of the soup, so I have leftovers for tomorrow. :-)

10.  Poor Lully got peed on this morning, so he finally made it into the wash this evening.   I am making a rather insane attempt at [at least] potty awareness if not an attempt at potty training.  Yes I know I'm 38 weeks.  It just sort of happened.  And he seems much less reluctant this time.  So it may fizzle out into nothingness again like our other attempts, or maybe this time we'll be blessed to have a mostly potty trained kid by the time baby brother shows up.  Either way, at least this time has been much less mentally tedious on me (in spite of being in pain and barely able to move), and shown me that potty training might not always have to be the bane of my existence.

11.  Things I wish I'd remembered to snap pics of?

A before and after of my kitchen floor - Dude!  Some in action shots of the cleaning going on - peeps were busy.  Dad snoozing in the living room chair during cleaning breaks - :-).  Charlie picking out his cucumber at Farmer's Market - love!  And Charlie Lego-ing it up at Grammy's house with Uncle David.  (Charlie's not obsessed with Legos....or Uncle David....riiiight.... )

So that was my day at 38 weeks and a day.  More varied and unusual than my normal days these days.

Good times. :)

Come any day baby bro!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are you for SERIOUS?!?

I don't even really know what to write.  I spent large chunks of yesterday being seriously weepy if not down right sobbing.  I blame a large chunk of it on pregnancy hormones, but I know I would have cried even if I wasn't pregnant.  So maybe having an easy out was good. :)

We spent our last official therapy session at CPD yesterday.  We took Lisa and Shirley some pictures we colored, we chewed lots of food mommy managed to bring in, Lisa gave us special papers, and mommy started crying.  For real, serious, crying.  Cried in the office.  Cried on the car ride home.  And cried at home.  Charlie sat in the back of the car bewildered and kept asking "what you worrying about Mommy?"  I couldn't even blubber out that I wasn't worrying, just this strange mix of relief/excitement/apprehension/pride/grief/tiredness.  He wouldn't have gotten it anyways, so it's a good thing he eventually gave up and just said "it's okay!  you saw a paramedic truck!".  

I did choke out some giggles.  What a relief he knows just what to say.

For three years we have have trekked to CPD on a weekly or biweekly basis.  I have made pureed foods so much longer than I anticipated.  (Till Charlie was 2 1/2 years old.)  The only peaceful meals I've had are ones where he was napping or at someone else's house (which was rare since monitoring Charlie's eating was more involved and I didn't want most people to have to mess with it).  I have chewed so much food with my mouth open, chanted innumerable times "chew, chew, keep chewing!"  "use your big boy teeth."  "make your tongue move it to the side."  "don't swallow until you've chewed it.", tried so many mouth exercises, nearly broke down multiple times over trying to do nursing, pumping, bottle feeding and bottle exercises all at the same time.  Oh wait, there were definitely break downs.  And we have been through 4 therapists.

Lisa has been our most recent and last therapist.  I forget when we started with her, but I think it's been at least 14 months or so.  She's been patient, encouraging, supportive, understanding, excited for our new addition coming up, and really encouraging through all the tired, sick pregnancy weeks where I knew I wasn't as on top of Charlie's work as I should have been.  She's been great.  We'll be sad not to see her on a regular basis now.  We'll be sad not to see everyone at CPD actually.  When you spend 3 years walking into the same office on a near weekly basis, you do become attached.

So today, we were given the golden piece of information that we are done with active therapy.  I've been dying to hear that nearly the whole time we've been going, yet I'm so apprehensive about being on our own.  Truthfully, we will most likely go back in a couple times after we get settled in with the new baby, for sporadic check ups to make sure things are still looking good.  This isn't goodbye forever.  Actually, I'd still take the baby back in to show him off, and to visit with everyone even if it was goodbye forever, because we WILL miss them.  But along with my shear joy of being released from active therapy, really does come a great deal of apprehension.  Charlie has made tons of big strides in the last 8 months.  He really has grown up and improved and overcome lots of eating issues.  But I know we aren't perfect.  I know there are textures he still struggles with.  I know this won't be the end of my chanting "chew, chew, more chewing".  And I know every meal won't be easy breezy from here on out.

But for now.  We. Are. Done.  :-D

And I couldn't be more grateful.    Thank you Lord for seeing us through.

And now it's off to another baby doctor appt! :-D

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

32-37 Weeks!

32-37 weeks, moving from L to R, starting at the top.

Being pregnant with a toddler is hard.  My hats are off to all the mamas out there who are pregnant with multiple kiddos already.  I know you grow and stretch gradually as God gives you things, but wow trying to imagine this pregnancy with more than one kiddo is hard.

Actually, let me retract that.  Trying to imagine this 3rd trimester with more than one kiddo has been hard.  The rest of the pregnancy I probably could have done with more than one kiddo.  This third trimester has presented with all the typical 3rd trimester aches and pains, plus weird anxiety and insomnia, plus a lower back that has basically given up on me and refuses to work.

Let's all take note that the lower back is not the fault of this baby.  Well, I mean, the babe's partially to blame in that if he weren't here, I'd have full use of my muscles and that darned grocery bag would not have presented so heavy.  Yes, it was a grocery bag that did my back in.   Admittedly, I usually grumble about my grocery baggers under-filling my reusable bags, thereby requiring me to still take home multiple plastic bags on each trip.  Grumble grumble.  Don't they get that my reusable bags are more awesome than that and can heft some serious weight?  However, about 2 weeks ago (gosh probably 3 at this point), I had an over-zealous bagger who over-filled my reusable bags.  Except I didn't catch this phenomenon until I was mid-lift with one of these grocery bags and felt sharp shooting pains all in my right lower back.  I think it was a bag of all cans, disguised with some fluffy produce at the top.

Oh so deceiving and oh so cruel.

Let's just say I've pretty much been limping around ever since and in almost constant pain.  Charlie and I have resorted to so much couch time that I really feel bad for him.  Of course he's not feeling bad because it involves movies and ipad.  :-P

The good news is, I'm still healthy, the baby is still doing well, and I'VE HIT 37 WEEKS AND AM ALLOWED TO GO INTO LABOR ANYTIME I WANT NOW!!!!

Okay maybe that's anytime the baby is ready now.  Wish I could do anytime I wanted. :-)

Actually, I'm in pain so much of the time now that I feel like I constantly grumble.  Not a realization I'm proud of.  Let's see how many things I can be thankful for.

1. Baby is healthy.

2. Baby is not measuring extremely big right now (oh I beg of thee, let him stay that way and not jump up to 9 or 10lbs or something).

3. I can still move period.  Even if it is slow.  and limping.  and painful.  It's not bed rest.

4. My husband has a job that allows me to have stopped teaching at this point, which means I have less needed movement.

5. L&D bags are packed and thanks to some friends, I've gotten more of my house cleaned than I would have on my own. :-)

6. My son still gleefully volunteers kisses to my growing belly, and really does appear to be excited for baby brother's arrival.  (Even if he retracts some of that joy when he sees how busy mommy becomes.)

7. At max I have another 5 weeks of this.  Even if not an ounce of my being wants to think about that scenario, 5 weeks still technically better than having 10 weeks of this left.  I should remind myself of that.

8. I have fresh Farmer's Market crowder peas cooking right now, and I am TOTALLY looking forward to eating them.

9. My mother has, in deference to my birthday request, agreed to bring me a large bag full of ready to steam (meaning washed and de-stemmed) Farmer's Market kale, once a week, for 6 weeks postpartum, just so that I can have my beloved steamed kale, brown rice and tangy tahini dressing while recovering with a newborn, without all the extra work of taking care of the kale myself.  LOVE THAT MOM! :)

10.  I get to hold sweet little baby boy in my arms sooner rather than later, and that my friends, despite the pain, makes my heart glad.

There. Now that I'm on a roll, there are lots of things I should be more thankful for.  But so as not to bore you, I'll cease listing.  That list was more for my personal benefit to remind myself that no matter how much pain I'm in, there are still things in life worth being thankful for.

Feel free to come any day now baby boy!  We love you already and are eagerly awaiting your arrival. :-)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Aaaaaand it happened

Disaster struck today.  Not in the form of house burning, broken legs, credit card fraud, or early labor.

No friends, it was in the form of this....

Can't tell what's going on?  Look closer...

Notice how the finger is actually inside the elephant?  

Yeaaaaa.....  We came out to the car from his therapy today and found that Lully had magically developed a nice rip in his back.  I say magically because that was the first I saw of it.  I would assume that just sitting in the car didn't make his back magically burst open, but since Charlie seemed just a dreadfully shocked and upset as I was (just kidding...about me, not him), I assume he was at least unaware of when he aided and abetted this rip happening.  Or, you know, it happened magically.

Oh. My. Word.  The car ride home was painful with lots of weeping and wailing over Lully's sad state. Of course half way home when I asked to look at him again, (to examine him for repairs), the rip had of course become bigger due to someone picking at it, and by the time we made it home, Charlie was pulling what can only be considered the pitiful last remains of Lully's stuffing, out of the now even larger hole.  And yet while aiding and abetting Lully's growing wound, Charlie still was just as distressed and upset that Lully had a hole in him.  In fact, in the brief intervals between moaning and crying on the way home, I heard Charlie in a quiet voice, comforting his beloved saying, "Iss okay Lully.  Isss okay."

Be still, my melting heart.

So Lully is in for repairs tomorrow morning.  Why not this afternoon you ask, since this is after all the beloved lovey?  Because this is the perfect opportunity to finish gutting the darn thing, remove the rock hard broken music box that no longer works and has even given a black eye when Daddy accidentally threw Lully at an unprepared Charlie, and restuff him with fiberfill.  And I don't have fiberfill.  But my mother does.  So tomorrow morning, I will go and restuff this grubby little elephant and we will see how much more life he actually has in him.

Oh yea, the fiberfill?  He once had a belly full of fiberfill and the working music box.  Overtime it seemed to unexplainably disappear as well, till it seemed that only the hard music box was left.  Well, now I know why all we could feel was the music box.

We'll continue along in the magic vein and say that either the fiberfill managed to magically disappear out of Lully's belly, or somehow all that fluff managed to magically compact into the nothingness you see above.  (Courtesy of Charlie very distressedly pulling all the stuffing out today in the car.)

So there is today's disaster.  I knew it would happen eventually.  

Also I feel like you should know that my son came up to me this morning with something in hand and said to me "you get this at Bah-fee-ahn?"  And it took me a good couple minutes of staring and thinking and asking again before I figured out that he was saying "Bed Bath & Beyond".

Who knew the kid even remembered the store name?  So there you go.  "Bah-fee-ahn" is the new code name for BB&B.  Pass it on kids.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nut Bombs!

So many things I mean to post about.  So few posted.

These little yum balls are me and Charlie's latest go to health bomb/treat/bribe to get him to eat his lunch.

Actually, it really started because I needed a bit more iron in my preggo diet, and I was tired of grabbing handfuls of plain pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, so I remembered a post I had read long ago about something like this, and then promptly set to work experimenting.  

These little nut bombs are packed with good nutrition!  Healthy fats, protein, fiber, and whatever vitamins and minerals your particular nuts and seeds are high in.  Which makes these especially awesome for little kids to eat, but you can eat them too. :)

The nice thing about these things is that they are SUPER SIMPLE.  And totally flexible with ingredients.  I am making them to cater to my higher iron needs, so I am using mostly sunflower, pumpkin and some almonds, but you could easily do mostly almonds, walnuts and cashews, stick with just one or two nuts/seeds, or toss in a small handful of every nut you have in the house.

So here is the recipe...and really by recipe, I just mean a set of guidelines.  Seriously.  Do whatever you want to do.

Nut Bombs!

2c. raw nuts or seeds (almond, walnut, cashew, pecan, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, etc)
      -my current go to is about 3/4 each sunflower and pumpkin, and 1/2c almond

1-2c dried fruit (dates, raisins, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, etc)
      -I generally stick with mostly raisins (cause they are cheap), and some dates (because I like the

Any extra add ins (optional): I will toss in 1-2Tbsp of hemp, flaxmeal, chia, raw cacao, or unsweetened coconut - or all of them!  I've also started adding 1-2tsp of ground cinnamon, and up to 1 tsp of ground ginger for a nice spicy kick.

Place all nuts/seeds in processor and pulse/process till nuts are turned into a fine meal.  Start adding dried fruit little bits at a time (1 PITTED date at a time, 1/4c raisins at a time, you get the idea).  The amount of dried fruit I use varies each time.  Continue processing till mixture comes together*.  Once mixture comes together, and is sticky enough to squish together (but still crumbly and not nut buttery), scoop mixture out 1 Tbsp at a time and roll into balls.  Keep in the fridge for 7-10 days.  

*So this whole "mixture comes together"thing is the only even slightly difficult part of this.  The more you process nuts, the more the oils release.  If you are trying to use closer to 1c instead of 2c of nuts, be sure to process the nuts a little more, to release more oils, to make getting to the "sticky" part, a little easier with less fruit.  If it doesn't matter how much dried fruit you use and aren't watching sugar intake, then the increased fruit provides the necessary stickiness to hold these things together.  Whatever you do, don't process the nuts enough that they start to turn nut buttery.  But that really does take a long time.

And that's it folks.  Really I think I might have over explained them with that last paragraph, but I remember being slightly baffled the first time I went from really crumbly dough, to much more oily, sticky dough.  So you got the explanation early.

If you are feeling fancy, roll these little suckers in some shredded unsweetened coconut.  And whatever you do, try not to eat them all at once.  

Actually you could.  They are pretty darn healthy.

But of course these are mostly nuts and seeds, so if you are watching your fats and oils, don't eat them all. If you aren't watching your fat intake, eat away. :-)

And of course, enjoy. :-)