The beginning of a pregnancy leaves me rather lifeless. I find it difficult to accept that I must slow down because my body is making a baby (can’t I just power through it?) The sickness, lack of energy and general fogginess affect everything. Joys such as reading, baking, drinking coffee and playing ring-around-the-rosie with the kids make my eyes bulge in terror. I know these activities will make me feel worse than I am already feeling (and I’m barely making it through a day). In times of weakness, I wish desperately for these feelings to let up for an hour to give me a breather.
But then, unexpectedly, the sickness does all end. I wake up and feel somewhat normal around 17 weeks. My energy and zest for life return. It’s been like that for all 3 pregnancies. Sure, I still have significant food aversions and certain smells can just throw me off but otherwise, I start my regular routine again albeit, being slightly forgetful and less graceful.
Now that I am 27 weeks along, I am keenly aware of how fast time goes by and I wish for the opposite. Time needs to slow down. I’m not ready yet. I still need to spend more time snuggling my girls, listening to their stories and watching them dance. There is an urge to capture every moment with my camera or iPhone and to write down every word said. What if I forget? I’ve noticed recently that the kids start to pose as soon as I pull out my phone. My oldest has asked me to take photos of her several times and then immediately asks to see them. I am keenly aware that this habit is becoming part of their routine and it kind of bothers me. Not every moment needs to be photographed (something I need to remind myself of constantly). Cameras, and mobile phone, tend to take people out of the moment. To ruin the moment in some circumstances. I cringe when kids are happily playing and an adult pulls out his or her phone and ask them to “look at the camera and smile.”
How to combat this? How to combat the feeling that a phone has control over our lives? I do not have a clear answer but, I know I don’t want to set a precedent for this type of behaviour. Like any change in behaviour, baby steps are important. Here are some things that I try to do at my home:
- No phones or computers at the table (for any meal). This seems obvious but it is tricky when visitors are over.
- Only take photos when the lighting is perfect (in the morning or evening). This is especially important during holidays where the tendency is to photograph everything.
- Think about the end product- what will you do with all those photos on your phone? Will you make them into an album or do they live on the phone indefinitely? Do you have time to edit them (if not, consider taking less)?
- Be mindful of the faces looking back at you. What does it do to their experiences?
- Consider the different options for remembering events and little days in your life such as journaling, creating crafts, singing a song or remembering smells.
- Remind yourself to live in the moment (I know, it is said so often these days but I don’t know how often people practice it).
- Did I miss anything?
Now that my technology rant is over, let’s talk cookies. Before Valentine’s Day has come and gone, mini eggs and all sorts of Easter confections hit the shelves. In my house, I try not to overdo it with chocolate but I had a weak moment recently and it resulted in the recipe below! Enjoy!
Mini Egg Cake Batter Cookies
Makes: 2 – 2 ½ dozen
Time: Prep Time (30 minutes) + Resting time (2 hours) + Baking Time (8-12 minutes per batch)
170 g (3/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
145 g (1 1/4 cups) light spelt flour
190 g (1 1/4 cups) vanilla boxed cake mix (just the mix)
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp fine grained salt
90 g (3/4 cup) mini candy coated eggs, roughly chopped (I used Cadbury mini eggs)
85 g (1/2 cup) white chocolate chips
1. Cream the butter using the paddle of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Scrap down the bowl using a spatula and add the sugars. Beat until fluffy. Scrap down, beat in the egg until light in colour. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
2. Whisk the flour, cake mix, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cake mix is sometimes lumpy so be sure to break up these pieces with your whisk.
3. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix on slow speed until just combined.
4. Add the mini eggs and white chocolate chips until just combined.
5. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours (alternatively, wrap the dough in wax paper, then seal in a Ziploc bag and pop into the refrigerator or freezer).
6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
7. Measure 1 ½ tablespoons (about 28 grams) of dough. Roll into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet leaving 3 inches between each cookie. The dough should be cold when you bake it. If it seems warm, just place the whole cookie sheet (with the unbaked dough) into the refrigerator to cool it down. Bake 8-12 minutes. Start by baking the cookies for the minimum amount of time and if they look really undercooked, add more time. The cookies will look slightly undercooked when you take them out of the oven. This is what you want! They will firm up on the pan. Remove from pan after 10 minutes, place onto a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy as part of your Easter spread.
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.