Friday, April 30, 2010

Dark Chocolate Microwave Brownies

These little jewels are an after-pregnancy-I-really-gotta-lose-these-extra-25-lbs dieter's dream. If you are not a huge fan of dark chocolate, you can back off the cocoa a bit and they are still very yummy. Oh, and the best part? They are ready in less than 5 minutes! Perfect when you need a fix but are not willing to bust the whole diet plan with the real thing.

1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 c raw sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c vanilla soy milk (or almond milk, or rice, whatever kind you drink that's low fat)
a handful of chocolate chips

Mix wet ingredients in a bowl, except for soy milk. Then add dry ingredients, except for chocolate chips. Use soy milk to make the batter like brownie batter - it takes about 1/2 cup. Just add slowly and stir it till it looks like real brownie batter. Then stir in the chocolate chips.

Spray a microwave-safe dish (I use a pyrex 8" round) with baking spray and pour the batter in. Microwave it for 4-5 minutes on high. I do closer to 4 minutes because I like 'em gooey, but if you want them to be more fully cooked, do 5 minutes. They are best when they are still warm. You'll also have to resist the temptation to cover them with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. That, folks, is a Southern tradition, but it doesn't help keep these in the "decent tasting diet dessert" category. That would automatically qualify it for the "this used to be diet, but then I went and added stuff that will make me fat" category.

I'd include a picture, but I ate them all. Does that mean they still qualify as "diet"? Not sure...but they were so delicious I couldn't resist. =)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The newborn fog is lifting. Last night I even slept for 3 continuous hours! Needless to say, these days we are thankful for 7:45 p.m. bedtimes - for us, not the kids - and coffee. We're almost through the roughest part and expect to be sleeping more soon. At least, we hope! =)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Seriously, Mama.

Henry says, "How many more photos are you gonna take?"

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Earlier in the week I blogged about the feeding troubles around our house. We have come to a resolution, so I thought I'd share...

We have decided to pump my milk and bottle-feed Henry. There are lots of reasons for the decision, but mainly it stems from us sensing that trying and trying to breastfeed him (with little success) was becoming a major stress on our entire family.

We went to see a lactation counselor this week and she was actually very helpful and encouraging. She assured us that Henry probably could breastfeed at some point, but his only problem was that he was used to the bottle. I fed him while we were there and he was only getting about a half an ounce in an hour of trying to nurse him. She encouraged us to go home, get rid of the bottle, and try to breastfeed him only. So I spent the rest of that day trying for an hour at a time to nurse him, then pump, and then feed him with a syringe. Meanwhile my almost-two-year-old wandered around the house getting into all sorts of mischief for 4 hours of that day. By the end of the day, Henry was ravenous and mad because he simply wasn't getting enough food. And actually I don't blame you know how slow it is to eat from a syringe?! Like eating crumb by crumb when all you want is a whole plate of food. We decided that we should abandon the effort, even if it'd only been 12 hours. Henry was hungry and crying non-stop and he needed to be fed.

I am totally okay with our decision and actually, I'm really glad to be moving forward. We will not give up totally on the whole BF mission. I'll still offer him chances to nurse in the coming weeks and maybe he'll get it. But if he doesn't, that's fine too. The benefit of having peaceful mealtimes for Henry (and for our whole family) and the ability to enjoy our baby are worth far more to me than the cost of not actually nursing Henry. Sometimes you gotta make decisions for the sanity of your whole family. Besides, now we can actually enjoy all the things Henry really excels at...he's a great sleeper, hardly ever fusses, and is already taking the title of Laid Back Baby at our house. We've actually never had one of those. =)

I'm actually finding out - as someone who commented on my first post pointed out - that there is a lot of flexibility with pumping and bottle-feeding. Jason is in charge of the middle of the night feedings, while I am busy pumping. It's a nice way for us to tag team and both spend quality time with Henry. I'm also really digging my new hands-free pumping bra. (Here's a link to one - CAUTION: don't click on the link if you don't want to see a picture of the actual bra and a nursing mom!) Hope this is not too much information for y'all, but seriously, if you are a mom who uses a breast pump, you totally need one. I now feel like I am redeeming the time while I'm pumping instead of counting down the 20 minutes that I have to sit there in the stillness with the sound of my pump. So fabulous.

Thanks to all of you who have commented and kept up with our journey. These newborn weeks are full of sleepless nights, demanding days, and hard work. But we are loving every minute of it!