Makes between 20 to 25 cookies (depending on desired size)
Bake at 350 for 8 to 10mins (oven time may vary)
What You Need:
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 full stick of softened unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
2 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used dark, but you can use semisweet too)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium size bowl mix together oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour.
2. In a large bowl beat with an electric mixer the brown sugar, the stick of butter, and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in egg. Then beat in maple syrup and vanilla extract. Once it’s all combined begin beating in the flour mixture. (Can use hands when it begins getting thicker)
4. Once mixture is set add chocolate chips and mix well. (If you have kids this is fun for them to mix with their hands)
5. Place generous dollops of oatmeal batter onto parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 mins.
Note: when taking the cookies out of the oven beat the tray on the counter a few times to enhance a chewy soft texture. So yummy. It needs to be done RIGHT AWAY once pulled out.
ALSO, I personally bake one tray at a time on the high rack. This recipe made about 3 trays for me.
A kinship adoption is an adoption of a child by an extended family member. An example would be a child’s Grandma, Grandpa or maybe an Aunt, or Uncle.
If a kinship adoption is occurring the circumstances are not typically ideal and can be very heartbreaking for many people involved.
Substance abuse is a prime example of why a kinship adoption may occur.
The great thing about a kinship adoption is the child or children remain within their family who they are usually already familiar with. Which can help with a smoother transition for the child or even other family members.
In many cases it is preferred that a child that needs to be adopted remains within family but sometimes it just cannot be done. And that’s ok. Each adoption case has a story and is different.
Having had guardianship over my niece now for over two years and legally adopting her with my husband I would like to share the struggles of a kinship adoption and maintaining an open relationship with the birth mother.
(It is entirely up to you if decide to keep an open relationship with the birth parent or parents. It’s difficult because the birth parent or parents are related to you in some way and your relationship is now impacted and will no longer be the same going forward.)
I am sharing these struggles for other people that may be in the process of adopting a family member or having to make the decision of taking a child in and gaining an idea of what to expect if you accept this responsibility.
What matters is doing the absolute best for the child.
I am sharing these struggles so YOU reading this have an idea on what to expect when adopting a child and maintaining an open relationship. I hope this will allow you prepare in some way and to go into this process aware and confident.
5 Struggles Of A Kinship Adoption
1. The Whole Family is Affected
When you take in a child within the family the whole family is affected. If the child has other siblings it can be even more of a challenge because they may not know the whole situation. Family members are hurt, upset, concerned and it takes a toll on everyone. The family members that are very affected are the ones taking the child in. It can create hardships within your own family and significant other. It can be even more difficult adapting when you have children of your own for many different reasons.
2. It’s Drama And A Whole Lot Of Emotion
The relationship with the birth parent or parents becomes very unstable. The relationship will be different and emotions will constantly be high. The birth parent or parents are more comfortable saying how they are feeling or saying very inappropriate things because they can “get away with it” because you are indeed kin. Hurtful actions and words will take place and you can’t take what is being said or done personal. Easier said then done.
3. Developing Boundaries And Ensuring EVERYONE Is On the Same Page
A birth parent or parents may have lost custody but they will expect to still be able to see their child whenever they want. They also may expect to still have a say in the raising of the child.
The child is no longer in their care. This is where you need to establish boundaries. The child was taken away for a reason and when the boundaries are set it is very important that the rest of the family respect your wishes. This is the struggle. Not everyone will be on the same page with your boundaries. You may be blind sided at times and will have to constantly remind other family members what is and what is not okay when it comes to the birth parent or parents.
4. Doing What Is Best For The Child
Other family members will share their input and it’s hard to separate those feelings and what’s really best for your child. You will want to accomadate to what they want or you will try to make everyone else happy. It’s easy to lose track of what’s best for the child because now relationships with other family members are interfering and you don’t want to upset or hurt anyone. It’s very difficult and it becomes very upsetting when other family members are upset with you when you are just trying to do what’s best for your child. They will have a difficult time seeing things from your side and perspective.
5. Not Receiving Empathy/Lack Of Support
Some family members will not take the time to really notice the struggles that you are facing or even take the time to understand how hard this has all been. Especially when it happens out of the complete blue. This is why it feels like you are going through this alone at times.
People have a hard time understanding that you made THE CHOICE to take the child and other family members will take advantage of the situation not truly realizing what your position truly entails. Especially as you move forward and as the child gets older. If you decide this or that, a family member may lash out at you because they don’t agree with a decision that you made. When really, you should be supported whether they like it or not.
The birth parent is asked about, the child is asked about, but often you won’t be asked how this is all affecting you.
With writing this my goal is to share common struggles you may face when handling an open kinship adoption and to ensure you that you are not alone.
It’s hard. I know it is.
But I also know the many amazing things that come out of a kinship adoption. Before we took in my now daughter I remember googling the pros and cons of taking in a family member because I wanted to know what to expect. I knew taking her in would be hard and would open plenty of cans of worms but I also knew it was the right thing to do.
You are doing the right thing and that child you may have now is very fortunate to be with you. YOU, are their parent. Despite the struggles you are facing and will face there is no better place they could be.
To the person or persons taking in a Child within the family:
What you are doing is brave and takes courage. I want you to know you are doing the right thing even if you feel confused and stressed right now. Taking a child without any time to prepare is extremely challenging and many others don’t know the hardship of it all.
You are not alone in how you feel, you are not alone in this process, and you are not alone with your decisions.
There will be challenges and there will be tears, however, there are many rainbows within these storms I can assure you.
As a mother and a parent you can only hope and pray that when the day comes for your kids to venture on their own and do their own thing that they will be more then okay.
More then anything you want them to always be happy, to chase their dreams and to overall be a good person.
As much as you always want them to need you, you also want them to be independent and to be able to solve their own problems and to provide solutions to others.
In order for them to be independent and successful it’s important to develop good habits at an early age. Of course that’s my own personal opinion.
Being a mother to 3 girls, it’s very important to me for them to develop good habits in more then one category.
I want them to live an amazing life, with more joy then regrets and fears. I hope they feel accomplished while staying humble. And I pray that my 3 daughters will always stay close with one another through their lives. (I have faith they will hold each other accountable when they don’t feel like confiding in my husband or myself)
Teaching my daughters good habits while they are young I feel will only benefit them.
To me it’s much easier to develop a good habit then to break a bad habit.
With that being said here’s a list of habits I will teach my daughters in hopes that they will continue these habits as they grow older with age.
I do believe in these good habits and I know they can provide fulfillment in their lives.
20 Habits To Teach My Daughters
1. To Always Make Your Bed
Making your bed is such an easy way to start your day in a positive way. It encourages you to keep the rest of your room clean and tidy and did you know that making your bed every morning lowers stress levels. Also a nice made bed just makes you feel good and is nice to get into when it’s time for bed, am I right ?
2. To Have A Vision
Having a vision on what you want in your life and what you want to accomplish leads to motivation and productivity. Having a vision helps you to stay focus on your dreams and goals. It’s about knowing where you are going and what you want to do along the way.
3. To Stay Active
There are numerous benefits to staying active in your life. Higher self esteem, more confidence, lower stress, more energy, and that’s just a few of them! I want my daughters to choose activities, to explore, and to challenge their amazing bodies. We are more capable then we think.
4. To Be Mindful Of Their Diet
Im not saying I don’t ever want my girls to eat junk food, that’s just not living. I want them to be mindful though. To eat foods that will provide for them and not just be full of empty calories. Your health is so important and no, you can’t control everything. However you can control what you are putting into your body.
5. To Pay Themselves First
I don’t want My Daughters ever living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve been there and I’ve seen it with working in banking. I don’t want my daughters constantly being or feeling stressed by money. Paying yourself first means to put money into a savings every time you get money . Debt is a heavy burden. I want my daughters to be smart with handling money.
6. To Read
Reading is so power and I truly believe that. There is so much to be said and to learn through books. Words can influence and inspire. To have a habit of reading is having a habit of eagerness to constantly learn and grow.
7. To Be A Giver
I want my daughters to always know, that they will always have enough to give. I want them to give freely. I know how good giving feels and it’s also something we are instructed to do. The more we give, the more that will be given to us. To help another person or persons is being a light in their life. And I will always encourage my daughters to shine bright.
8. To Be Optimistic
Life is life. It’s not always fair and many things will happen in life that we just won’t understand. However, we choose our attitudes and our behaviors. Remaining optimistic and trusting in all situations will provide more peace in our lives. Who doesn’t want more peace and rest and in their life. I know if my daughters can remain optimistic through even the tough times that they will live a happier life and uplift others along the way.
9. To ALWAYS be Grateful
You’ve heard it before, omebody always has it worse. When you think your situation is a horrible one you will only be shown how grateful you really should be. I want my daughters to give thanks in all things, even the bad things. Everything that happens is shaping and guiding us in some way. Our trials are what strengthen us. No matter what, I want them to always be grateful.
10. To Clean Up After Themselves
People don’t like messy people. Sorry not sorry. It’s polite, it’s good manners, and cleanliness is just overall a great habit to have. I don’t think I need to say anymore.
11. To Always Take Time To Learn Someone’s Story
Everyone has a story. Not all are comfortable sharing theirs but some need to share theirs. Listen to them, learn from them. It is a privilege when someone decides to share something very personal with you. I want my daughters to take the time to listen to what someone can offer them through their own experiences. And to always thank them after they share something. It can take some courage sharing a story, we all know that much.
12. To Treat Yourself, Often
Often times we do so much for others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Treating ourselves lifts our spirit, boosts our mood, and is overall refreshing. It’s important to take care of yourself. Your happiness matters. As my daughters grow up and their lives become busy I will constantly be asking, “What have you done for yourself?”
13. To Sleep When Tired
Sleep is rejuvenating and we need sleep to properly function. It’s so important to listen to your body when it is tired and needs rest. Don’t just drink another coffee or energy drink. If the body is tired then rest. I also believe sleep has healing powers. I wish for my daughters to develop good sleeping habits.
14. To Be Courteous Of Others
I want my daughters to be courteous and respectful of others. Everyone has a story and everyone is going through something or has gone through something. There is no room to judge others or to ever think you are superior of another person.
15. To Pray/Meditate Daily
Prayer. Enough said. ( Joshua 1:9) I know with prayer my daughters will never feel alone.
16. To Live More Minimal Vs. Material
Less is more. The greatest things in life are not material things. Those types of things can only provide a temporary happiness. Then we become bored, and want something else. Training ourselves to live minimally and developing a habit of separating needs and wants will take you much farther and provide more clarity and freedom. I don’t want my daughters feeling they have to have specific items to feel joy.
17. To Practice Affirmations Often
Affirmations provide a type of awareness and self identity. We are capable of so much however many times we convince ourselves that we are not deserving or worthy. With practicing positive affirmations often we are reminding ourselves of our potential and what we are capable of. With encouraging my daughters to do affirmations I know they will begin to recognize how strong, courageous, and beautiful they truly are.
18. To Laugh At Yourself
We aren’t perfect, we are human. We are going to make mistakes in our life. Instead of dwelling over something that is out of our control or becoming fixated on something in the past we need to develop a habit of laughing at ourselves and brushing it off. We can’t change what’s been done but we can control our reactions. I want my daughters to learn to laugh at themselves vs beating themselves up.
19. To Serve Others
We all need one another. Giving your time is the best gift you can give. There are so many opportunities to serve others and in doing so I know others will help them when they are in need.
20. To Always Pause, And Enjoy The Moment
You know that country song that goes, “I’m in a hurry to get things done oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun, all I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why.”
We are always in a rush. Our mind is always on the next thing. We become so distracted that we don’t stop and enjoy where we are. Life is too short and too fragile to not just embrace moments. I want my daughters to stop and enjoy the sunset, to lay outside and look at the stars, to put their phones down. I want them to stop and to smell the flowers.
“Here’s To Strong Women. May We Know Them. May We Be Them. May We Raise Them.”
What kind of habits are you teaching your daughters?
20’s are an absolute blast I will say and a time for some full on growth.
Full of foolish moments that make you smile whenever you think about them. Happy hours, parties, late night shenanigans, plenty of all nighters, summer love, blurry moments, adventure, dancing, and some really fun, stupid times.
A few moments of “what was I thinking?” and, “I still can’t believe I did that” will happen when reminiscing about your 20’s.
Your twenties are kind of the carefree time in your life. At least in the beginning it starts like that.
When I say carefree I mean go with the flow kind of mentality. That things will just work out how they need so. Your thought process is that you have time.
Later you realize that’s not exactly how it works, if you want something it’s going to take work and you have to be willing to put in the work to get what you want. You also realize time doesn’t wait and you don’t get time back.
You don’t really realize how young and naive you are at that age till you are reflecting on the past.
You will be a different person at age 21, 25, and 29 no doubt. A little hard to believe how much changing and evolving happens during this time.
Your 20’s are full of growing and identifying who you are and what you truly want to be. You may move to a different city, make a drastic career change, get into a committed relationship, do things you said you’d never do, and a few setbacks may happen here and there.
Your 20’s are also full of mistakes. Recalling events or actions and feeling completely embarrassed or guilty. Or not taking that leap of faith your initiation was telling you to do.
During these moments you learn to discover the silver lining in all things.
Towards the end of your 20’s you begin to love yourself and you learn how to not let the opinions of others alter who you are. You may become lost, but you also find yourself in a completely different way.
You drift away from friends but gain new ones. Some you cut off completely, some you rekindle with.
You become very close with your family and recognize how often they have been there for you and have supported you.
You may get married and have kids. If it’s not happening to you it will be happening to the people around you. Don’t feel rushed or saddened.
There is a time for everything. One lesson you will learn in your 20’s.
There will also be a few hard moments that will probably happen in your 20’s. Heartbreak and loss. Feelings of wasted time and regret.
Struggles will happen with your relationship, you may experience struggles of trying to start a family, you may struggle with work, you may struggle with debt, you may experience betrayal, you may experience heartbreak, etc.
These are the moments that will shape you the most. You will become more empathic towards others and gain a variety of different perspectives.
A few things you will take with you onto the next decade are:
More confidence and more self assurance
A list of goals you are determined to accomplish
Awareness of how fast life really does go
Words of wisdom from friends, parents, or mentors
The courage to say No to things you really don’t want to do
That things will pass, and life does go on
More knowledge about your physical and mental health and how you need to stay on that
Friendships you’re incredibly thankful for
Advice for your 20s
Seize opportunities that approach you
Explore and Travel
Learn how to manage your finances
Spend time with your parents
Go On A Solo Trip If You Can
Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s
If you aren’t happy, don’t wait, do something about it NOW
On to the next adventure. On to the 30’s.
For myself, I am incredibly grateful for where I am and the lessons I have learned.
What do you and your spouse do once the kids fall asleep?
Do you both get on your phones, or attend to solo activities that don’t involve each other? Be honest!
First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong if you do those things. My husband and I spend many evenings like that. We each have our own things we want to do or catch up on.
However we both know that when the kids are down for the night that it’s also an opportunity to spend some time together. Might not be able to go on an actual date but we can definitely do an activity with one another.
I have a list of activities below that you and your spouse can do once the kids fall asleep. They are fairly quiet activities so both of you won’t have to worry about waking up your kids.
Quiet Activities To Do With Your Spouse Once The Kids Fall Asleep
1. Do A Puzzle Together
Honestly, when is the last time you’ve even done a puzzle? This is a great quiet activity with many benefits for the both of you. Lowers stress levels, delays dementia, improves your memory, and that’s just a few! There are so many “puzzle levels” out there, so have fun picking one out together and accomplishing it together.
2. Watch A Movie Or A Documentary
Netflix, amazon prime, red-box. Movies are so accessible these days. And there are a lot of great ones out there! A great opportunity to snuggle with your honey like old times. While cuddling you two will be increasing your oxytocin levels, which, makes you both feel calm and at ease. I knew I loved cuddling for a reason.
4. Give Each Other Massages
Light some candles and bring out the essentials oils. Another great stress reliever. We could all use less stress right?
Go full body. If you’ve never had your butt massaged you’re missing out my friend.
5. Do Self Portraits of One Another
We’ve all seen Titanic right? Where Jack does a self portrait of Rose and she’s naked. I’m not saying you need to be naked but definitely have fun with this one. Make it a competition and have your friends pick the best one!
warning: you both may begin to laugh uncontrollably.
6. Read Together
Whether it be magazines or a novel this is a great time to stimulate your brain and then have an open discussion about what you’re reading.
7. Give Each Other A Foot Rub
Currently getting a foot rub now as I write this haha. Have I mentioned how much I love my husband.
This is such a great thing to do for one another. It’s relaxing, feels good, and gets the blood flowing!
8. Go Outside And Stargaze
This obviously depends on the weather. But if the weather is nice pull out the lawn chairs and just enjoy the stars. Let the deep convos begin. What is life?
9. Cook Or Bake Something Together
The possibilities are endless! Don’t make it too complicated of course. You could make cookies, prepare some overnight French toast for breakfast (yummm), get messy with rice krispy treats, make some French bread pizzas, etc!
10. Slow dance
I’m such a sucker for the lovey dovey stuff. Turn the music on low, dim the lights, and just dance. Something so simple yet so intimate. Dance to your wedding song and get lost in the moment.
Have you heard the song Heaven by Kane Brown? Oh my goodness, you’ll cry.
11. Do Yoga Together
Yoga is a great way to wind down and enter a relaxing state of mind. You two can get even more creative with couple yoga poses. If you two end up laughing hysterically because these couple poses are winning, I say embrace it.
12. Do Facials Together
Try a DIY facial or get some sheet masks from the store. Definitely take a picture. Who doesn’t love a refreshing face to kiss later!
13. Play Cards Or A Board Game Together, Like Scrabble
Bring on the nostalgia. Let the inner child be exposed and start reminiscing with one another. A great time to learn even more about each other and how you want to raise your children.
14. Make Ice Cream Sundaes Together
Go all out and do full on ice cream Sundaes! I’m talking hot fudge, nuts, cherries on top, whip cream, the works! Or make up your own type of Sundae together! This is teamwork if you ask me.
Or, just have ice cream cones like this couple pictured above, they look like they are having fun.
15. Plan A Vacation
Make some coffee or tea and take a moment to dream together. Plan a trip and write down some goals you two would like to accomplish. You two are more likely to accomplish those goals when you write them down. Once you’re done writing your goals place them in an area where you two can see them often.
16. Take A Bubble Bath Together
Dim the lights, light some candles for a very relaxing and intimate time. Pop open a bottle of bubbly or open a bottle of wine. Relax.
Remember the scene in Pretty Woman? You two can recreate that. If this leads to something else, don’t look at me!
17. Have A Staring Contest
Believe it or not looking into each other’s eyes is a very intimate thing. Fall in love with each other all over again with this fun activity.
Tell each other why you love one another. Sounds cheesy, but you’ll never forget the sweet things he ends up telling you.
There ya have it! A few quiet activities you can enjoy with your spouse once the kiddos are sleeping tight!
Any quiet activities you would like to share? I’d love to hear it!
As always, thank you for reading and I hope you can have fun and become closer to your spouse with a few of these!
Having a newborn is a very joyful, exciting, and can be extremely overwhelming and stressful experience. Especially if this is your first baby.
With figuring out breastfeeding, motherhood paranoia, a body that is still healing from birth, sleep deprivation…..it’s a lot to process in the beginning. Not to mention your hormones are now adjusting to this change that just happened. It’s exhausting.
And everyone adapts differently. Everyone. Don’t compare your yourself to anyone else.
Once you have your newborn, it’s like flys to a light. Everyone wants to come visit you and meet your new little bundle.
First of all, if you’re a new mom, don’t feel obligated to tell everyone yes to meeting your baby right away. This is a precious time and again, you’re also healing. They can wait.
With my first I didn’t allow anyone to see me or meet my baby in the hospital. Everyone is different I know, but personally I didn’t want to see anyone. Not even my family. And once we got home, everyone wanted to come visit….and for the most part I let them.
But in my head I was thinking I just had major surgery, I’m bleeding right now, I’m in pain, I’m so tired…….why are you here? Let me be for a little bit and give me a moment to bond with my baby. But did I say any of that…..of course not.
When you have your baby believe it or not you become extremely possessive and mama bear kicks in high gear. You let people hold your baby but in your head you’re shouting; give her back! Don’t hold her like that! Okay, she wants her mom now….
With a new baby, have people visit when YOU are ready.
Remember this is YOUR baby. It’s OK to have a few requests with people meeting your baby for the first time. Know that much.
SO with that being said, I’d like to share my own requests:
If You’re Sick, Please Stay Away
You’d think this would be a no brainer but it’s surprisingly not! Well, truth be told I think deep down people know they shouldn’t be getting close to a new baby when they are sick but unfortunately it happens. And it happens often sadly enough.
Listen, I know you may be anxious to see those cute little cheeks and baby lips. But if you are sick, feel like you are getting sick, or literally just got over something please STAY AWAY.
Please wait till you are better. This is a newborn, my newborn, and I don’t want any harm to my baby.
2. DO NOT Kiss MY Baby
Please do not kiss my baby, ESPECIALLY, on the lips. This is my baby and I do not feel comfortable with you kissing my baby.
Now, you may offend people with this request, if you choose to tell people the same thing. Shocking I know, but unfortunately true. The people you will offend are the family members. But listen, they need to respect your wishes. If you see them kissing your baby, do not hesitate to step in and say something if you are not comfortable with it. Also, don’t feel the need to explain your reasoning.
As I mentioned previously, I am not comfortable with it. That is all I need to say.
3. Make Sure Your Hands Are Clean
Please, if you’re going to hold my baby, wash your hands before you hold her. More then likely you’re going to be admiring how adorable her little feet and hands are which will you lead you to touching them….
But what you don’t know is she sucks on her hands for comfort.