Saturday, January 30, 2010

That's how the cookie crumbles. .

I had an awesome Thursday. In my own opinion. 
All stay at home moms will agree with me: as much as you love your kids and as much as you love staying home with them, there are so many times when you just need a break from the physical and emotional energy that they require. And you need to do something for yourself that is not baby-related in any way. 

Sometimes, all you need is a little time on your own. 

Feeling all of that more and more strongly as the year rolled along, some time towards the end of last year I told hubby I'd really like it if I could just stay home for a weekend while he takes the kids and stays at a hotel. Just so I can get a break from my daily routine, organize my thoughts,and relax. Basically: get my groove back. Even one whole day would do. 

It was a bizarre proposition but he agreed. He's been traveling a lot the past several weeks so he thought he would get some quality time with the kids, and I would get to do my own thing. Win-win situation. 

What a great guy! Seriously. 

The kids were so excited at the prospect of going on a 'trip' with their father that they didn't even turn around to say bye to me. After forcing asking them to give me hugs and kisses I saw them out the door, feeling both elated and a little bewildered at the prospect of 24 hours on my own. 
What was I going to do with myself?

I cleaned the house. All day. 

That's right. I rearranged furniture, dusted, scrubbed, mopped, cleaned and was vacuuming at 1 a.m. 

I think all of it is good therapy. 

Hey, I didn't say I find cleaning bathrooms therapeutic! But just about all the other activities can be oddly relaxing. Does anyone else agree? Maybe I felt that way because for once I was able to think all day with an uncluttered mind and without distraction/demands. It was just what I needed. 

The kids called me every hour throughout the day in order to give me progress reports such as, 'I turned on all the lamps, mama' (toddler) or 'I drew a T-Rex and it has reallllly big teeth' (the kindergartner) or 'I am jumping on the bed' (toddler again) and 'So mama, if you're too scared to sleep alone - just call us and we'll bring you to the hotel', said my older child. Note that he didn't say they'd come back home, but instead offered to take me to the land of fun called 'hotel room' where, for starters, you get to jump on beds you don't need to make and create complete havoc). .

So I had a great day, even if seemingly all I did was feed my OCD ;-) 

In order to repay the lovely trio for letting me get my 'me time', I made oatmeal raisin cookies to welcome them back home the next morning. Couldn't have expressed myself better than that. 

This is adapted from the original Quaker Oats recipe, I halved it because I wanted a smaller batch of cookies. The only changes I've made is adding nutmeg, and using half raisins + half pecans instead of raisins alone: 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4th cup All purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups Old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.
Cream butter and sugar for three minutes.
Add in vanilla extract and the eggs, beating a further two minutes.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Mix well. 
Mix in the oats and raisins.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an un-greased cookie sheet. 
Bake 10 - 15 minutes. 
Let them cool on the sheet for a minute before removing and placing on rack to cool completely. 

These cookies can also be baked as bars by spreading the batter into a 9x13" pan and baking for about 30 - 35 minutes. 

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