New Year, New Chapter

“Now Presenting… New Year, New Chapter”

Ford and Wyatt tried their first piece of candy, peppermint. It seems like treats tend to debut on the first birthday, but since they are only a few weeks away… Wait… WHAT! How are they almost one!
IMG_3672IMG_4453As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been following the Wonder Weeks. This research identifies and explores mental leaps a baby goes through at various ages (It’s somewhat hard to track exactly where Ford and Wyatt are based on their prematurity, but the App outlines signs to look for). Between 41 1/2 and 46 1/2 weeks, a baby experiences the mental leap of ”Sequences”. “In the world of ‘sequences’ your baby learns to recognize and manage the flow of events and relationships over time. Eating cereal with a spoon for example, means grab the spoon, put the spoon into the bowl, scoop some cereal onto the spoon, bring the spoon to your head and put it in your mouth (and not in your eye). Your baby starts to link actions together to reach a ‘goal,’ such as feeding himself, but may miss a component or two in the beginning. At this stage, your baby likes to feel needed and will want to help.” We don’t give Ford and Wyatt free reign with their spoons very often, but they have held their own bottles for several months. Maybe gnawing on a peppermint stick is good practice!IMG_3678NEWNEWNEWNEWI made Peppermint Shortbread Cookies last month for a cookie exchange and decided to make them again along with Peppermint Bark (I attempted to copy Williams and Sonoma’s bark) and Peppermint Tea Cakes for Matt to take to work.IMG_2082IMG_4193NEWNEWNEWPeppermint treats to ring in the new year!IMG_3716 Original NEWNEWNEWNEWIMG_1695So far we have only delivered a New Year card to Matt’s work and the Pediatrician… I need to get on this!
IMG_3578IMG_4135 IMG_3586Treats in the making…

Recipe for Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
Wet Ingredients:
2 Cups Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Cream
1 Teaspoon Peppermint (Extract)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dry Ingredients:
4 Cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Peppermint (Extract)
Additional Ingredients:
Crushed Peppermint
Coarse Sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix Wet and Dry ingredients separately; combine. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on heavily floured surface. Use round cookie cutter (or top of glass or jar) to cut shapes and place on cookie sheet (6-8 at a time). Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Remove. Makes 24 cookies. Top with Peppermint Frosting (recipe below) and sprinkle with mixture of crushed peppermint and coarse sugar.
Peppermint Frosting
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Milk or Cream 
1 Teaspoon Peppermint (Extract)
Mix ingredients (Tip: Add additional sugar to thicken or milk or cream to thin. Thickness should allow you to easily roll frosting into a 1 inch ball which can then be pressed across top of cookie while still warm from heat of hands.
IMG_1631 IMG_1822 IMG_1237 IMG_1903Card in the making…IMG_2706 IMG_2770 IMG_2727 Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 2.59.33 PMSparkling eyes…IMG_2772Sparkling Sprinkles…IMG_2016 IMG_2021One day you look down and wonder, “Who is this small, beautiful person in my arms?” He resembles a tiny baby you once had, but who is this BOY!
IMG_2811The changes are good and necessary, but hard. You want to freeze time.IMG_3654IMG_3648Part of the reason is because you know you will never get those years, days, seconds back. You wonder… can I have another chance to do it all again. I promise I will do it right this time because of course you have questions… and regrets… and what if’s. But you can’t go back. Your babies keep pushing forward, one foot in front of the other… encountering first times and fresh starts as fast as they can.IMG_4512
You may have noticed I’ve slowed down on posting this month. I’ve found… sometimes I get too focused on the blog. I forget to look past the camera and simply take in every element of the moment. This occurs to me when I peer down at my baby-child and realize a new chapter is approaching. This life I’ve been bookmarking is going by so fast, and I’m not sure I want to move on… as I’m left to question if I cherished the last chapter to its fullest.

Maybe this is why I’m taking so long to jump in to the new year. I’m not ready to move on. I guess at some point you have to acknowledge – even if you could go back and do things over and over again, a perfect outcome would never exist. There is no such thing as a perfect mom. That said, while you may not be the perfect mom, no one would be a better mom for your babies than you… as God chose you to be their mother…

So you move forward… not perfectly, but doing your best, knowing this “best” is what your babies fall in love with each day.IMG_2730So here is to 2014 and cherishing each moment… Happy New Year!

♥ Tera