The nights and mornings are finally cold enough that hot cocoa is necessary. When I was an art teacher one of my favorite students gave me a jar of this cocoa mix as a holiday gift one year. I instantly fell in loooove with the delicious treat. So much so, I actually asked her mom for the recipe! Since then, this cocoa recipe has replaced any store bought in our home since it is just as creamy, and costs less.
Large container with a lid
mixing spoon or whisk
Home Made Hot Cocoa Recipe
2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. unsweetened cocoa
2 ½ c. powdered milk
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. corn starch
3 vanilla beans
Add 3 tbs. to your mug of hot water....stir......sip........mmmmmmm.
We also keep a few extra goodies to spice up our warm treats. Try these different additives to your cups of cocoa this winter season.
*½ tsp. vanilla, pinch of cinnamon and zest of an orange
*1 tbs. chocolate hazelnut spread or creamy peanut butter
* 1 tbs. cinnamon pumpkin pie sugar (another diy recipe)
Is there a spice or something extra your family adds to cocoa? Let me know, my family would love to try it.
Becoming a mother is a huge role transformation. The beginning is a bit rocky because your first few weeks as "mom" are not your best moments. your emotions are all over the place which makes a new identity strange to fully comprehend since you feel slightly unhinged. Your healing - everywhere. Personally, I had not worn pads for many years and had always used tampons. Obviously that's not an option after a paper. But you are not only leaking "down there," your boobs are too! So on top of being exhausted, dealing with a new identity, and healing mentally and physically you are wrapped up in pads. Pads in your underwear and pads in your bra. Lets not forget you have a beautiful new baby to take care of as well.
My first few weeks as mom was not feeling sexy or attractive to my husband. They were vulnerable, teary, and leaky. My son was my first experience of unconditional love. This is something I have always held myself to - love yourself. The first few weeks after birth, was a big realization on the limits to my self love.
Between spit ups and leaking I changed multiple times a day. between the pads up north and the pads down south you never feel dry. My first few days as mom felt "wet and scatter brained." If someone were to ask me "hows motherhood?" My response would be "Its amazing how much love you feel for your baby, and the new meaning of love they show you." other than that......no one would have wanted to hear me say "Motherhood? OH you mean the leaking, wrapped in pads, feeling like I just ran a marathon with no training, identity questions, stripped of all sexy, dirty hair, new perfume of spit up......its the best thing ever!"
I'll be honest. I did not now if I would ever completely heal. I had a vaginal birth, with tearing. I felt wrecked. I did not know if I would ever return to my post "popped-a-melon-out-of-something-that's-normally-the-size-of-a-lemon" self. And the answer is - I didn't. Hence, the sneeze pee.
So what do the experts suggest for the sneeze pee - kegels. I am the kegel queen, just trust me on that one.I do believe they have helped a lot. My sneeze pee is virtually gone.I play on a coed soccer team, and occasionally the sneeze pee makes an appearance there. What I think may be around for a few more years...perhaps always, is the intense on set of needing to pee. Its no longer a question of contemplating to hold it or not. It is a peeing now type thing. I did not used to hustle to the bathroom.....its a regular for me now.
I am breastfeeding my son, which is the most incredible bond. However, redoing my wardrobe for nursing was a bit odd.Finding outfits that somewhat disguised the bra pads was challenging. I cannot remember when I stopped wearing the pads since the beginning of motherhood blurs a bit. I think around 3 months I was able to stop having them in my bra all the time. I would instead look for signs - crying baby down isle 8 at the grocery store - lets take a detour to isle 22, sappy commercial - close eyes and cover ears. Needless to say, as time passed I better learned my body and the tingles of my breasts letting out.
Than the let outs begin to numb. They no longer have the strong tingle as a pre-sign. (There needs to be a manual for all the changes that take place so maybe some embarrassing moments can be saved.) The other day I became reacquainted with the let out in the store. All my back up tricks were not handy as it has been several months since this happened.SO what do you do?
Rock it out.
That's what motherhood is all about if someone were to ask me now. Its about rocking it out, weather physically putting your baby to sleep and enjoying that special moment, or owning the situation like a boss. It have found my self love as mother.
Loving myself to own the leaky boobs and the sneeze pee was the first step.
Being a new momma and postpartum Doula, easy and nutritious meals are a must have. Breakfast can get forgotten, or reach for something quick instead of cooking a hearty meal. But...I found a solution! This is such an easy and delicious breakfast meal.
Going into the fall and winter months, oat meal is a great breakfast. Oats are also supportive to lactating mommas! I have to admit, I am a big fan of the pumpkin craze and this oatmeal fits right in. However, it is not really "pumpkiny" it is more spice. The recipe is a little bit of fall joy for you in the morning. It is not very sweet, so if you are having a sweet tooth attack I suggest adding a bit of Maple syrup.
I love the concept of sensory bags for discovery play. Prior to becoming a postpartum Doula, I was a certified K-12 art teacher. The importance of discovery and sensory play is crucial. My son is at the age where sensory bags are now applicable. Many people are familiar with these easy toys. Typically they are made by placing trinkets in a freezer bag filled with inexpensive hair gel and sealed around the edges with duct tape.While the idea of inexpensive hair gel does work, I wanted to find a non-toxic solution. My active son would be the type to try and rip open the bag. I thought I would share this alternative with you. It is just as easy and cheaper than hair gel!
Cornstarch- a 16 oz. box will make 8-12 sensory bags depending on how much goo you place in each bag. Much cheaper then dollar store hair gel.
Food coloring - optional
Soft Trinkets- sharp edges can rip the big from the inside
Large ziploc bags
Duck tape - got mine at the dollar store
Nontoxic goo recipe
1/4 a c cornstarch
3 cups water
1. Place water in a sauce pan and add the cornstarch.
2. Turn the burner on to medium heat and begin stirring the solution. You want all the Klumps to dissolve. It will turn a solid white color, looking like milk.
3. Stir the solution every minute or so. It will change color to a more clear consistency.
4. Continue stirring until it comes to a boil. You will see a small bubbles begin to form around the edge, this tells you it is almost at a full boil.
5. once it reaches a full boil, turn off the burner.
6. Let it cool completely. I transferred mine into a separate bowl, because I wanted to make two batches so I could have a variety of colors.
**** stir the solution sporadically while it is cooling. A film forms on the top that you want to continuously dissolve into the rest of it.
7. Once it is completely cooled, spoon the goo into your large plastic Ziploc bags. Add glitter, trinkets, and a few drops of food coloring.
**** you do not have to use food coloring if you do not want. Here is one just made with glitter.
8. Once your bag is filled, squeeze out extra air and close. Be sure to tape over the Ziploc. I prefer taping all of the edges for extra stability. I noticed it's easiest to first tape the top and bottom and then tape the sides.
No let's the discovery play begin!
Suggestion - place these in the frig for a bit to give them the sensation of cold.
I adore being a mom. Each day is filled with small moments of joy...and some challenging ones too! All of it is just too precious.