Having children has taught me the value in following schedules—especially when it comes to eating and sleeping. That said, summertime activities and a newborn baby tend to throw a wrench in our best-laid plans. It’s true that Jack has never been a “good sleeper.” It takes him a long time to settle in at night and then he’s up at the first light. It’s like he’s afraid the world is going to have fun without him. And during the day he goes about 100 mph, eating, playing and “working” (his work usually consists of a really creative cooking or craft project that takes over a third of the house). At only 4 months, I can already tell that Matthew is a different boy. He’s a little more easygoing, taking life one toy rattle at a time. He enjoys quiet time to himself, which I suppose is a rare commodity for the second born.
But now that school has started up again, we’re more focused on keeping schedules. There are kids to dress, lunches to pack and carpool lines to get into, all of which is an adventure with a 5-year old and a newborn. Jack was so excited about his first day. The whole drive to school he talked nonstop. When I got back to the house, Matthew looked up at me as if to say, “Why are things suddenly so quiet?”
I expected the boys would be different—most siblings are—but they are very much alike in two ways. One, they both have these incredible smiles. The kind of smiles that you can’t help giving back even when you’re more tired than you ever thought possible. And two, they have huge appetites. From birth, Matthew ate as if every meal might be his last. He’s such a big, healthy baby that I have to remind people he’s only a few months old. Jack’s always been a good eater and when he gets in a growth spurt, you’d better cover your plate (and count your fingers).
I thought Jack would be tired when he came home from school, but instead he’s ready to play and ready to eat. I’ve found that cooking together gives us a moment to reconnect after time apart and also gets something relatively healthy into his belly. He loves my chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. The recipe has quite a bit of oatmeal and I use golden raisins. The other day we made those and he ate five in a row. But I didn’t feel too bad about it. It’s not exactly a healthy recipe, but at least there’s not a ton of sugar or butter. Poor Matthew looks as if he wants nothing more than a bite of that cookie, but his time will come (and I’m going to have to get a bigger pantry when it does).
So that’s my life right now—scheduled chaos. At night I fall into bed profoundly tired, but also deeply satisfied. As a parent, you have to prioritize your day in order to accomplish all that needs to be done, which is why I’ve decided to take a brief hiatus from blogging to pursue some exciting endeavors that I hope to share with you in the near future.
As always, thank you for all your kind words of encouragement and support!
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
yields: 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins.
Chill the dough for at least 20 minutes. Scoop the cookies about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, taking them out when golden around the edges. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm
Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am
I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am
Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm