Archive | May, 2010

Something Else I Didn’t Know {recipe: easy focaccia bread}

29 May

Right now I have 11 friends who are pregnant. And one coming home Friday with a baby from Ethiopia. That is 12 babies. That is a big enough number that according to the rules of writing, you don’t have to spell it out with letters. That is a lot of babies.

I am sorry, but there is still something that no one tells you about having babies. I am going to tell you abut it so maybe the seven of you who are pregnant with baby number one don’t for a minute wonder, “am I the only one?”

I am over most of the weird things that happen to the body. And those things are weird not because they don’t make sense or because they seem completely out of nowhere, but because all of these things happen to your body that all work together for a specific purpose to support you and the baby perfectly. For example:  Your body emits some hormones that make your ligaments all loosey-goosey. This could be annoying because if the hormones work in you like they did in me, you have to stop running and rest or your hip joints cause shooting pain down your legs. You could think this is annoying but really it is helpful. You don’t need to be running to prove that “you can still do everything you did when you weren’t pregnant,” and, you need everything to slide out of place a little to make room for that baby to make its grand entrance into the world.

All of that seems so weird because it really does work together so well. Most of what we experience in life doesn’t work together well because it gets wrecked up by us and our pride and our selfish motives or desire for someone else’s approval that we expect everything to get all messed up. When hormones and bones and body systems all work together how God created them to support and sustain us, it feels weird.

So here is the other thing:

It took a while to feel any love.

People tell you that the minute you have a baby, you experience more love and joy than you have ever felt before. Consequently, I was really confused in our first few weeks as a family. I knew I was supposed to take care of this baby, and I could do that, but I didn’t feel much love.

I felt tired most of the time and confused at how to get her to stop crying when nothing seemed wrong. I felt a whole new set of responsibilities and the weight of someone else’s needs being forever more important than my own. But I did not feel love.

And then that did funny things to my head like make me wonder what love and joy are and if I ever felt them before and what was I doing wrong? Because I was definitely not feeling like everyone said I would. And you don’t want to tell anyone that you don’t love your baby because surely someone will take your baby away and put you in one of those jackets where the arms tie in the back. And you remember the time that your husband came with you to one of your last doctor’s appointments and as you were leaving the doctor quickly said something under her breath to your husband about how if he ever sees any bad or depressed behavior in you post-delivery that he should call the doctor immediately. And I didn’t want to go to the crazy house. And I didn’t think I needed to. I didn’t feel anything bad, I just didn’t feel anything awesome.

In a moment of weakness or after a glass of wine (which I think are the same for me ), I tell my husband all of these things and he tells me he thinks that’s ok, he thinks what I am feeling is normal and that I am a good mother. He assures me that this is not grounds for the straightjacket. And that is what I need to hear and we talk about it again the next weekend and I can’t even remember the feelings of emptiness that I had because now I feel love and joy and I want to do nothing but hold that baby and if she cries in the middle of the night and it means I get to fall asleep holding her or see her smile at 4am, well, I just think that is wonderful.

And for the recipe:

This bread is awesome. Make a big bowl of dough and then stick it in the fridge and pinch off parts of it on different nights. Top with your favorite pizza toppings for a meal, smear some garlic butter on it for s side, or slice it open and make a tasty sandwich.

Focaccia Bread

Makes about three 12-inch pizza crusts.

2 3/4 c. warm water

1 1/2 T. active dry yeast

1 T. salt

1/4 c. olive oil

6 1/2 cups flour

optional add-ins: garlic powder, rosemary, lemon zest, italian seasoning…

  • Put water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until most all flour is incorporated.
  • Cover bowl with saran wrap or a slightly damp towel.
  • Let sit at room temperature 2 hours, use right away or refrigerate until ready to use (can stay in the fridge up to five days, the flavor will get yeastier as the days go on).
  • When ready to use, preheat oven to 400. If you have a baking stone, put that in the oven.
  • Pinch off the dough you want to use and slowly pull it out into a circle.
  • Place on baking stone or lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 9-13 minutes. If I am making a pizza, I bake it about seven minutes, then put the toppings on it and bake about five more.

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4am Not so Bad, Happy Mother’s Day {recipe: healthyish organic carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting}

8 May

The day before last Mother’s day we had a baby shower for Erika. She was on her way to becoming a mother. We sat in a room with her sister and her own mother and talked about babies and all of the things that were to come.

The day after last mother’s day I took a pregnancy test and saw that extra line and cried and got excited all at the same time while having the selfish thought that I should wear my tiniest jeans to work that day because it might be the last time I wear them. Ever.

But sandwiched between a day celebrating two new motherhood experiences, was a day for my own mom. Mother’s day. I surely have a mother worth celebrating. She would stop whatever she was doing to talk to me. She had supersonic ears and would show up at my bedroom door if I woke up sick in the middle of the night, even though I was upstairs and across the hall…she knew. She let me use her as an excuse, which probably kept me out of a lot of trouble. If you are ever in a situation that you don’t want to be in, if there’s a party that’s going to a second location that you don’t think is right, you can always blame it on me. Tell them you would go, but your mom is so lame, she won’t let you stay out that late, and then call me. I will pick you up wherever you are, whatever time it is…I used that so many times. My mom stuck with me and took the heat during the awkward teenage years when I wasn’t yet strong enough to stand up on my own two feet and needed an out. She was patient while I gained my self-confidence.

On my birthday this year I wondered why we even have mothers day at all and why our own birthdays aren’t days where we solely celebrate our mothers, for enduring another year with us. Taking care of us. Loving us through spilled bowls of cereal and wayward decisions. But that doesnt happen. On birthdays our mothers celebrate us. Because there is something about being a mother that makes you want to celebrate your kid. Regardless of what they do, or even if they don’t do anything.

Shilah has been getting up at 4am for no real reason. She’s wide awake. She’s ready to start the day. I get frustrated for a minute when I think, five hours of sleep? Really, that’s it? But then its her and my little secret that I don’t mind the 4am getup. She eats and then I lay her on the floor and try to hold the pacifier back in her mouth so that she will go to sleep but the pacifier won’t stay in because her mouth is open so wide in an all-out smile, that the pacifier falls out. By that time it’s only 4:30am and while the rest of the city is sleeping, we are awake, smiling. It’s cute and I love it. I am honored to be her mother.

And, I am honored to have a mother of my own who I know has felt the same things about me, times 100. Literally. Shilah is three months old and I am 25. Which means my mom has 100 times more experience with me than I do with my baby girl. I won’t run the calculations on grandma, but she has more than both of us.

Four generations of Weirauch ladies.  Love you, mom. Thank you.

How did we manage to cover the entire spectrum of hair color? Don’t genes mean anything?

Healthyish organic carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting

adapted from Whole Foods

  • 1 cup rolled or quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter a (9-inch) square baking pan and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix oats and walnuts. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well.
  3. In a second large bowl, combine carrots, maple syrup, currants, coconut and vanilla.
  4. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir until completely incorporated.
  5. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to let cool before cutting into squares.


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  1. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and additional maple syrup until creamy, Dollop on top of carrot cake.