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chaos cookies: my life right now

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I think these may be some of my favorite cookies ever, and they look like my 5-year old decorated them. She didn’t. Nor did my 1 month old. I did. I call them “chaos cookies.” I’m not exactly sure you can call these cookies “art,” but I’ll at least steal the concept of how art may come about, because I was compelled by emotion to create these.

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Though surprisingly, even with a kid and a newborn, I don’t necessarily feel surrounded by chaos, so maybe these are more about what I should be feeling? Don’t get me wrong. I’m someone who needs order. A house that appears clean, even if it never actually is (I’m a terrible cleaner). My to-do list tidily sitting next to my computer, even if I rarely cross stuff off of it. So having a 5-year old that talks all the time and is messy and gets nail polish on the coffee table, and having a newborn that goes through lots of diapers and tends to awaken at maddeningly frustrating hours in the night, or a newborn that sleeps when I’m awakened by insomnia (like as I’m typing this), in theory, should make me a bumbling, chaotic mess. And I sort of am a bumbling, chaotic mess (ack!! No new blog post in weeks?!?). But gosh,  I’m so dang determined to care less about chaos. It’s hard work, though, caring less about the chaos that’s going to exist no matter what precautions I try to make to prevent it. Because I went through a lot to have my daughters.

 

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I went through a lot before they were even notions in my head. You can read my story and battle with intestinal disease, organ loss and reconstruction in an article I wrote almost a decade ago, HERE. Given my medical history, I needed IVF to conceive a child. As a long-time, experienced patient, I wasn’t phased by the daily shots I gave myself in the stomach and the doctors’ pokes and prods. I could even give myself the butt shots, wherein you inject a very long and big needle and push thick, viscous meds into your muscle. Not easy to contort oneself in the position necessary to do this to yourself. Yeah, I’m proud of this feat, and I brag about it every chance I get.

My first daughter was an immediate IVF success. My second, as many of you know, was not. After the first embryo transfer, I developed a very rare infection that led to more complications that, in short, put me in the ICU. I understandably lost the embryo, but I almost lost my life as well. Needless to say, this worried my doctor. After my next two frozen embryos failed, my doctor refused to try a new round, and they did not find humor in my insistence that I ALWAYS almost die, and I never actually do, so they needn’t worry (which, by the way, is true). My husband and I presented our case. We were thorough and thoughtful and were heard. After much debate, my doctors reluctantly agreed to try again. And we have Violet.

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Someone told me to make sure I “enjoy” her when she’s born, after what we went through to get her. I thought that odd. Who “enjoys” a newborn? They don’t do anything enjoyable. Sure, maybe when she starts making eye contact and smiling, but a newborn? I remember being so stressed with my first. I wrote down everything she ate, her pees and poops. It was a bizarre journal of bodily function. I held her head correctly, I scolded my husband for leaving her lying on the couch, I was nuts. But I know now what it means to “enjoy” a newborn. I’m working less (apparently, by the way, sorry for the lack of blog posts). I let all of Maeve’s friends hold the baby, often forgetting to tell them to wash their hands. I don’t panic when I hear that blood curdling scream. Really, baby? A blood curdling scream just because you have a wet diaper? Is it really that bad? I’m (only slightly) less anxious by the lack of sleep. And one day at some hour when the rest of the world is fast asleep I pictured a cookie with just a whole mess of icing. Chaos. Imperfection. Though admittedly, neatly contained on a circle. Hey, I can’t change all at once.

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how to make chaos cookies

 

you will need:*

cookie dough

royal icing

circle cookie cutters

food coloring

disposable decorating bags

couplers

size 3 or 4 decorating tips

rubber bands

lollipop sticks (optional)

*Find circle cookie cutters in the craft store. I have a set of them. Here I used 2 1/2-inch and 1 1/2 inch. You’ll also find decorating bags, couplers, tips and sticks in the craft store. For food coloring, I suggest Americolor Soft Gel Pastes, found online or in specialty stores. Orange, Electric Pink, Electric Green and Sky Blue used here. For tips on finding supplies, click HERE.

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step one: bake your cookies

Roll out chilled cookie dough according to the recipe, cut out your circles and bake according to the recipe. For cookie pops, roll out a bit thicker, 3/8 inch, and insert sticks before baking. For tips on making cookie pops, click HERE.

 

step two: make your icing

Prepare icing according to the recipe. Divide and color your preferred colors. Assemble a decorating bag with coupler and tip for each color, fill and close with rubber bands.

 

step three: decorate your cookies

Pipe swiggles and designs and loops or whatever for each color in any way you like and let the cookies dry overnight.

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21 Comments

  1. Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Great post and love the chaos cookies! I remember those shots oh too well. All 3 of mine are IVF as well. The twins a 2 for 1. Well sorta. :)

  2. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Loved reading this. The baby is adorable. Children are the perfect chaos to have in one’s life :)

  3. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Oh Meaghan, what a beautiful post. You’ve described the transition from first to next baby perfectly. Oh, how I remember the paranoid First Child days! Rushing off to the doctor when mine had heat rash, thinking it was chicken pox. Hahahaha! And congratulations on Violet! She is a gorgeous, gorgeous little girl. And those cookies are perfection. Bless you!

  4. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Meghan, this post brought a smile to my face when you mentioned the journel you kept! I did the same thing with my first – took her to the doctor for a cold and had written down the exact time she coughed or sneezed and presented it to the doctor. I’m sure he thought I was nuts! I’m glad you’re able to relax a little more with Violet, with my second, I was still a little “nuts”. Violet is just precious, I want to reach in the screen and hold her! :)

    Oh, and I LOVE the idea of your chaos cookies!

  5. meaghanmountford
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Definitely laughed aloud at the chicken pox rash and the perfectly measured sneeze! I’m guessing pediatricians have many such stories to tell!!

  6. Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    You have a lovely daughter Meaghan! You must beso proud of her :)

  7. Posted January 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on your beautiful daughter. It’s wonderful to hear about your love and enjoyment with such a sense of humor despite the chaos.

  8. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful post- and Violet is adorable. Congratulations!

    : )

  9. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Violet is a darling! I had hoped you would post a photo soon. SOOOO happy for you and your family. The cookies are great . . .

  10. Posted January 15, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Violet sure is a cutie! Love the chaos cookies. What will you create when you have 2 teenage daughters?

  11. Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Lovely…

  12. meaghanmountford
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Gasp. I never thought of the 2 teenage daughter thing. And one will be a tween! Egads!

  13. Posted January 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Baby Violet is adorable, she has grown so much since her newborn picture was posted.How is big sister doing so far?
    I know how you feel, I have been there. You will see, time goes by so fast, sometimes I wonderder how I have made it on my own, and now Emma just started to walk!!! ohh my poor baking books are beeing attach every day.

    Lovely cookies!!!

  14. Rachel Kaufman
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    These cookies look fantastic and I love all the colors in them! Your baby looks so cute and I am glad you are able to still laugh through all the craziness! Laughter is said to be the best medicine!  I love the cookie on the stick idea it makes every thing more exciting! I am so excited to go home and try to make these cookies! I especially love the name of the cookies!

  15. Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Chaos cookies! I knew when I saw the cookies what your post would be about..well sorta. Even though the days have long since passed, I well remember, sitting on the sofa with my newborn (and last) baby boy. I was 20 years old and I told myself to remember how he felt laying asleep on my shoulder. I knew he was my last and I can absolutely remember that very moment..28 years later! Sniff* Your little Violet looks precious! Love the cookies and how the “chaos is contained”!

  16. Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I love this post! Having a newborn baby (and older sibling) is just plain HARD. I no longer have a newborn but I still have days full of chaos, with 2 kids with special needs. I am learning to “go with the flow”. :)

  17. Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to all the family!

    I have to chime in to say, from experience, there will be plenty of time for cookies and blogging one day. With both my boys in college now I am thankful all this blogging stuff came about when they were exiting HS and I was finishing up all my school volunteering. I would not have given up a second of all I did for them and with them as they were growing up but with all our creativity a computer click away I would have been tempted to spend more time on the computer. It really is a short time we’re given to be with our growing family looking back. Everyone says it and it’s true. :)

    Marilyn

  18. Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! I am sorry I missed the news Dec 7th, so precious baby girl. Best wishes on a blessed and wonderful year for you and your family. xo

  19. Sheri
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Love the chaos cookies;-) I know what you mean about enjoying the 2nd child. I had three miscarriages between our two and there were times where I sat and snuggled the newborn even with chaos all around because I could. . .the chaos will take care of itself someday, like when the kids are grown and gone, my baby would only be a baby once;-) The baby is three now and there is still chaos, a little better managed, but still chaos. Maybe we’ll be baking cookies today. . .

  20. Posted January 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I kind of love these. And ohmygoodness she’s so cute!

  21. Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing. I wrote down my first born’s every detail of her bodily functions, feedings, hand, eye movements, etc.. It drove me nuts. Must be a right of passage to parenthood. Your cookies look so fun to make.

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