Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Starting the new season, and a recipe!

The school year is well underway and I haven't done a single post in here since before the summer holidays began. This year is different for me than any previous year. I have only one child home with me every day, and that is Lauren, my only girl. She turned three this summer, and she is amazing. Strong, both in body and spirit, and just a delight to have around. I have told more than one person recently that I feel like a bit of a fraud. Desperate house-mom? Not so much anymore. Yes, I am still staying home with my kids, but now there's only one here full time, and it feels so...dare I say it...easy. 

That is not to minimize in any way the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom. When I was home with just Cody, it was very hard, but he was much younger (under one), and much higher maintenance. Lauren is independent, and she doesn't get into trouble the way her brothers used to. People used to tell me, "It will get easier!", and it felt like the day would never come, but here I am. I feel strong now, once again, perhaps for the first time in ten years, since before I was pregnant with Cody. Lauren is now okay with a baby sitter, and that has opened a whole new world of opportunities for me. Not that I'm running all over the place now. In fact, I'm still home all day, most days. But tomorrow, for example, I have a baby sitter lined up and I'm going riding. Horseback riding, that is, for anyone who doesn't know me. 

Micah is in grade one this year, which means he is in school full time, every day. I worried about this transition for him, but he is handling it better than Jamie did last year. I'm thankful for that, because he is my most cuddly and clingy kid. 

And now the hockey season has begun, so we are now in for a whirlwind of a winter. All three of our boys are playing, on three different teams, in two different towns, so we will basically eat, sleep and breathe hockey for the next four or five months. I will be on a team too this year again, so that will be fun. 

And now it's ten o'clock at night and I just realized I don't have sufficient snacks for my boys' lunch kits tomorrow, so I have to rush to the kitchen and make some. Just for fun, here is my very simple, very fast recipe for what my kids now affectionately call "Healthy Drops". 

1/2 cup nut or seed butter of your choice (I love almond butter, but use peanut butter when we are out)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup oats
1/2 cup dried fruit (I use craisins)
* 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use these. Non-negotiable.)
* I also add 2-3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds, but that's not in the original recipe.

Melt nut butter and honey in a pot, stirring constantly. Add the chocolate chips next if you are using them, to melt them in. Then add the oats, the dried fruit, and the flaxseed. Once it's all mixed, drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. It should divide into 12 drops. Then pop the pan into the freezer for about 15 minutes to harden them enough to eat. I keep these frozen in a ziplock bag and they make a great snack mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Filling and satisfying!