Monday, July 17, 2017

My mom's chocolate chip cookies, with instructions for new parents.

My mother has a great recipe for chocolate chip cookies. In a fit of nostalgia, I asked her to send it to me (again, as it turns out...the ol' memory ain't what it used to be). Oddly enough, I found that there are some new instructions that need to be added, so I've done so.
Reason that new instructions are required.

Mom's Recipe:

"Cream: 2 c butter, 2c sugar, 2c brown sugar.

Add 4 eggs, 2tsp vanilla.

Mix: 5c oats that have been measured and then ground into flour, 4c flour, 1 tsp salt, 2tsp each baking powder and baking soda.  (I have been known to skip the baking soda.)

Mix all together and then fold in 24 oz chocolate chips and 3 c chopped nuts.

350 degrees, 8-10 minutes for medium-sized cookies. Note that the ground oats in the dough, being a little coarser than actual oat flour, help make it easy to pry off a little frozen cookie dough with a fork and bake just one or two at a time so that you can limit your caloric exposure at any one time if you want."

Mom's Recipe with Edits:
  1. Remember how much cookie dough this recipe makes. Look at freezer. Ascertain that there is no way in **** you'll fit it into your freezer. Consider that, while you absolutely could polish off the whole recipe in a brief period of time, that is no way to lose the baby weight. Halve recipe.
  2.  Realize that you need ground oats. Put baby down to nap, then carefully measure out oats and grind them. 
  3.  Look for mixing bowl. Find it in the dishwasher because you just made dog treats. Set aside ground oats. Get text from husband that he forgot his work tools. Pack up baby. Drive tools over to work site. Realize husband wants to show off baby for his buddies at the next break. Drive baby around until break time, because there's no way the baby is going to sit happily in a carseat that isn't moving.
  4.  Return home. Get newly cleaned mixing bowl out of dishwasher.
  5.  Wait for baby to fall asleep again. Put dog outside.
  6. Look at recipe again. Decrease sugar and brown sugar by 1/3 because you and your husband prefer cookies that aren't tooth-achingly sweet.
  7. Remember that you can't eat dairy because the baby has a dairy allergy (possibly), and the pediatrician has you on a dairy elimination diet. Pull out Earth Balance (a non-hydrogenated butter alternative)
  8. Cream sugar and butter/Earth Balance. 
  9. Add eggs and vanilla.
  10. Add salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour.
  11. Add ground oats.
  12. Realize that all of your chocolate chips have milk in them. Grab Trader Joe's pound plus bar that your mother brought you from California, and whack off a good sized chunk. Start chopping, realize that nobody has time for that, then throw the rest of it in a food processor.
  13. Chop chocolate in food processor.
  14. Look at recipe again. Remember that your husband doesn't like the texture of nuts. Decide that you like nuts, so nuts to him (see what I did there?). Look in freezer. Remember that you threw the pecans in the deep freeze because you rarely use them. (See "husband doesn't like nuts"). Find about a cup of spiced pecans that you froze down over the holidays seven months ago. Decide that'll do. Throw them in food processor with chocolate and roughly chop.
  15. Congratulate yourself on teaching your baby to sleep through food processor noise. Hear baby crying. Swear. Run over to baby and replace his binky, which has fallen out of his mouth. Hope that this "self-soothing" skill you've heard so much about kicks in soon.
  16. Return to kitchen. Throw chocolate and nuts into dough. Mix in.
  17. Hear baby cry again. Realize he's got a ways to go before he figures out "self-soothing." Wonder if it's a myth. Return to baby, replace binky.
  18. Return to kitchen, decide that you've gotten as far as you're going to for now, and throw cookie dough into container to stick in fridge.
  19. Start to give bowl to dog to lick clean. Remember dogs can be killed by dark chocolate. Consider pros/cons. Remember that you're no longer pregnant, and can eat raw eggs without endangering anyone but yourself. Decide to lick bowl clean yourself.
And here we enter the realm of futuristic fiction:
  1. Plan on rolling cookie dough into individual cookies for freezing. Remember that your oven is on the fritz, and that it can be 25-75 degrees (F) off at any given time. Cross self and hope that the cookies will someday be successfully baked.

In short, my recipe:

1 C butter/Earth Balance
2/3 C brown sugar
2/3 C white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2-1 tsp salt
2 C flour
2.5 C oats, measured, then pulverized

1 whacked off piece of a dark chocolate Pound Plus bar
1 C (approx) pecans or spiced pecans, roughly chopped.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Poop Monster Rules of Engagement

Rules of life per my 10 week old son:
1) Flatly refuse to breastfeed. Mommy has convenient sources of milk readily available to you. Have nothing to do with these. Make her pump; it's a value added service and you should demand it. If you can wait until she's pumping to decide you're hungry, do so. Mommy loves irony. Exception: if mommy takes you to a lactation specialist it's ok to pretend to breastfeed. Anything to make mommy look neurotic.

2) Develop reflux. Any fool of a baby can spit up. You want to aim for fountains of barf. If you haven't soaked the wall behind your mommy then you're not really trying.

3) This should go without saying, but spit out any reflux medicine given to you. Your parents are trying to rob you of your special barf powers. Don't let them do this!

4) Develop an allergy to dairy. Do not, and this is important, make it clear that you have done so. If your mommy starts eating dairy again after an elimination diet, give it a few days of increasing, but gradual, fussiness before you become the Poop Monster. When you do become the Poop Monster, make sure you blow out your diaper so badly that everything your mommy is wearing becomes covered with poop. Think fountains of barf, but in reverse, as it were.

5) Decide you're hungry at the most inopportune moments. Wait until your mommy is standing in line to checkout at the store, then become ravenous. Decide your mommy is clearly trying to starve you, and tell everyone about it at the top of your lungs...remember, your life is at stake here. Make your mommy pull out a bottle wherever she is--remember, mommy shamers will think you're formula fed and look askance at your mommy. This is your goal.

6) Develop colic and scream for at least an hour every afternoon. But, and this is also important, remember to stop right before daddy gets home from work. Be cheerful with daddy--make him think that it's just mommy's being stressed out that makes you fussy for her.

7) Always be cheerful and/or happily asleep for grandparents.

8) Remember that if you can get mommy involuntarily committed to inpatient psychiatric treatment you will be proclaimed King of the Babies. Work towards this goal.

9) Inconsistency is key. If you like the baby carrier today, make sure tomorrow you react as if it were slowly burning you to death. If you can scream hard enough to make strangers call child protective services, so much the better.

10) Safe sleep is for unambitious babies who don't want to become King. Refuse to sleep in any situation that would allow your parents to take their eyes off you for a minute. Cribs are out. Hanging by one toe from monkey bars over a pit of lava would be ideal.

11) Spit out your binky every five seconds. Scream because you have no binky.

To be updated...

Meet the poop monster...

Obviously this is way overdue, but my son was born April 26th. I'll update this post later with the full story of how he had to be induced three weeks early, but for now, here are pictures!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A plea for decency

I try to keep politics off of this blog. It is designed to be a safe space for people to learn about their disease, not a soapbox from which I rant about the state of world affairs.


Since Tuesday there has been a spate of hate crimes being perpetrated by those who feel that the election of Trump gives them  a mandate to target immigrants, the LGBT community and Muslims. No matter what your political affiliation, this is morally abhorrent, and must be stopped immediately.

It does not matter if you feel that immigrants endanger American society, that the LGBT are sinful, or that Islam is a dangerous religion. These are human beings, and we have an absolute responsibility to treat each other with dignity. Let me repeat: this is not dependent on whether these people are a threat to you. They are still people. If you stand by while people write white supremacist messages on black peoples' cars, or while a Muslim woman gets her headscarf ripped off her head, then you are tacitly supporting evil. We have a duty to protect everyone, regardless of who they are.

If you happen to be Christian, then this duty extends further: you have an absolute religious obligation to stand with those being attacked right now. (Other religions have similar teachings; I'm just less familiar with them). Christ's entire ministry was spent ministering to the marginalized members of society--some of whom were clearly sinners. It is a fundamental and non-negotiable part of the Gospel of Christ to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Period.

As a cis, white, Christian woman in a heterosexual marriage, I am, like many, a little at a loss to know how to help if I don't actually witness a hate crime. I can only make suggestions:

1. Contact your local mosque and ask if there's anything you can do to support their community.
2. Contact your local LGBT alliance and do the same.
3. Contribute to the ACLU, which is trying to protect the victims of hate crimes.
4. Speak up whenever you hear hate speech.

Please let us learn from history...

When the Nazis came for the communists,

I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
-Martin Niemöller

Sunday, November 6, 2016


So, here's my excuse for not updating this blog recently:

The heir to the Rolland fortune is due on Mother's Day, 2017. Needless to say, they're following this pregnancy very closely. Not only do I go to the usual pre-natal appointments (where the nurses are great about calling my rheumatologist with questions), but I have a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, who specializes in high risk cases. Which any lupus patient is, by definition. He says, however, that the fact that I am in remission makes it far more likely that the baby will be ok; generally lupus patients have an increased rate of miscarriage.

The good news is that my disease is under control, that I have good health care coverage, and that my rheumatologist very carefully tapered me off my immunosuppressants in preparation for this. Doing so took several months, but was necessary because drugs like CellCept can harm a fetus. I am still taking plaquinel, as it decreases the chance of something going wrong. Also, I do not have SSA/SSB autoantibodies or anti-phospholipid syndrome, which are strongly associated with neonatal lupus and other problems. So we're crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.

Boy or Girl?

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the "gender reveal" parties. If that's your thing, go for it. But it's not ours, so I'll just say that I had cell-free genetic testing done (which is fantastic--they can draw the mother's blood and make sure that the baby doesn't have any trisomies like Down's Sydnrome), and found out that it's a genetically health boy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Just a reminder...

Early voting has started in many states. Don't forget to vote; whatever your political ideologies happen to be, you cannot deny that this is a critical election.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Bartolome Day!

This comic pretty much expresses how I feel about Columbus Day.