Garrett turns 2!

Garrett turned two on August 15th. This last year has gone by so fast.

Garrett is such an amazing little guy. I’m not sure how one child manages to be such a melded combination of characteristics but somehow he is able to do it. He is my snuggler and a complete mama’s boy. He still finds his way to my hip or in my lap for much of the day. At the same time he is very independent and the phrase we probably hear most often from him is, “Garrett do!” or “Garrett too!”. Mike has taken to calling Garrett, “Garrett too.” Over the last several months and especially the last few weeks Garrett is developing a deep love for his daddy. He wants to do everything daddy does and is starting to miss him when he is gone. For the last six months or so when Garrett wakes up in the morning he will say, “dada?” wanting to know where daddy is. When I respond, “at work” his usual response used to be a somewhat disappointed “ohhhh.” The last week or so he has started saying “missssss. dada missssss” with a very sad face. He is truly sad and distraught when daddy is gone now.

Garrett is also very stubborn, strong willed and frankly, rebellious. For someone who has just barely turned 2 he is amazing at toeing the line. If you draw a line he will run to the edge of it, look you square in the eye and then calmly put his foot over it taunting you to see what you’re going to do about it. He does this not only with Mike and I but with other adults and children. He likes to provoke reactions, usually just for fun. This has caused me, as his mom, a lot of stress. I have learned to loosen up, to enjoy his nature and to give him a bit more wiggle room.


Garrett is a rough and tumble all out boy. He likes guns, dirt, water and sticks. What he wants is “his”, what he looks at is “his” and what anyone else wants is “his”. He is not afraid of taking it by force even from a child (or adult) bigger than he is. He sometimes takes great joy in snatching things from others even if he has no desire for what he has snatched. He reminds me of a little lion cub looking to dominate anything and everything around him. He will push down little babies that are minding their own business, just to know that is able to do it. It is to the point where if we are with a group of children and one of them starts to cry, I usually have to jump up and remind Garrett that we do not hit, push, take…etc

Unfortunately, his sister receives the brunt of Garrett’s attempts at family domination. She will often comment about how she doesn’t like him much but then carefully add that she loves him but that it’s hard being his sister. Thankfully their relationship has taken a turn for the better in the last two weeks or so and they are beginning to have as many positive interactions throughout the day as negative and are starting to really play together. All of my parenting techniques, theories and patience have been worn thin by this little boy. But despite this, I love him with all my heart. His sweet nature is so apparent and he is a loving and giving boy who’s empathy is really starting to blossom. He is beginning to treasure and love his sister and despite his behavior towards her sometimes, he can not stand when she is not with us. He calls her “nana” (his attempt at saying Camden) and is sad whenever she is not with us. He is beginning to worry and cry when she is upset and tries to make her feel better. He also wants to do everything Camden does. He even decided he wanted to ride a horse despite his initial terror over them because Camden loved riding so much.



Garrett has so many quirks it is hard to know where to start. He has developed a hate of “tags” and will not allow one to be in his shirt or on most objects for that matter. Even during his Birthday party he made his dad cut of a “tag” on one of the gift bags. He is a funny blend of liking “boy” and “girl” things. He turns every available object into a gun (including alphabet letters and veggie booty) yet at the same time begs to wear Camden’s dresses, butterfly tattoo’s and prefers to sleep with pink blankets. He even asks for pink nail polish. Of course Camden and I find this hilarious and often oblige him with his requests. He will hate us for this someday, I’m sure.  His favorite color is orange and he takes great joy in any object he finds or owns that is “ownge”.


Garrett loves musical instruments and especially likes the drums and guitar. He likes to color and paint and his favorite food in the world is candy. Meal wise he loves things with a lot of flavor. He enjoys spaghetti (with rice noodles) and beef stew. Development wise he is really in a big growth phase right now. His expressive language has been exploding the last two weeks and he is repeating much of what we say and is learning new words every day. He is learnings his colors and wants to do everything the big kids do. He learned how to peddle a bike yesterday, on his Birthday. He is fully potty trained now, both during the day and night. We have weaned him from nursing at night but he still wakes up anyway. I am hoping he will start truly sleeping through the night within the next 2-3 months. He is still nursing and though I would prefer to be done with our nursing relationship I am waiting until we can get a vitamix to make sure he is getting enough nutrition.

Garrett continues to have serious allergies to many foods. Though his reactions have greatly reduced in frequency he is continuing to lose foods. He is currently allergic to: wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, nuts, sunflower seed, sesame seed and dogs. Recently he has come up allergic to rice all though we have not removed it from his diet at this point because we are not seeing any reaction from the rice and his diet is all ready so limited. Feeding Garrett is definitely a huge challenge all though I am getting more used to it. What is frustrating is the things he can eat sometimes are quite ridiculous. It makes me mad that he can eat things like french fries, all manner of candy, soda, chips, sugar cereal like Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs but I can not give him an egg or a piece of bread. I have had to let go of my concern for many foods not because I have changed my mind on whether or not they are healthy or good for you but out of necessity and a concern for his quality of life. For example I did not have the money, time or energy to find and edible recipe for a wheat free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, seed free Birthday cake. So instead, I made him a rice crispy treat cake chock full of corn syrup, petroleum based dyes and all manner of artificial flavors. But it was delicious, he loved it and it was simple. I’ve just had to learn to let go, some. He eats way too much candy and french fries for a kid his age or for any kid for that matter but you try telling your child day in and day out, “No. Not for Garrett. That will make you sick.” It’s hard and frustrating. I do my best to get high quality whole foods in him but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. I am so excited to be saving for a Vitamix blender that I plan on using to increase the amount of vegetables in his diet since he refuses pretty much any vegetable besides corn, carrots and potatoes.

For his Birthday this year we had an Elmo themed party. I’m not quite sure how he has become so fond of Elmo since he has never seen Sesame Street but he recognized Elmo in the dollar store the other day and we had leftover Elmo party supplies from Camden’s 1st Birthday. He was sooooo happy when he woke up from his nap to find an Elmo party. He also has Elmo sheets now that one of Mike’s friends from work gave us and he loves having them. We had a spaghetti dinner for him (one of his favorite meals) and I made him a Rice Crispy cake with Dots and sprinkles on top. We also had ice-cream sundae’s for everyone else. To make the cake I used Spectrum Vegetable shortening which is made of palm oil rather than soy based shortenings. You can not tell a difference in flavor or texture and it is delicious.

Despite how challenging these first two years have been for me I would not trade raising Garrett for anything. He has required me to rise above my fears, selfishness and insecurities in order to be a better mom and a better person. I am a less judgmental and more forgiving person because of him. His love, precious hugs and kisses, laughter and sense of humor bring so much joy and entertainment to our family. His presence in our family has given me greater spiritual strength and faith.

Garrett Michael Reid, we love you with all our hearts.

Land of the Dulldrums

That is just how I have been feeling lately. I am just sort of in a funk. I think there is just so much going on in our lives right now and with the pregnancy on top of that and the stress and worry over this new baby my mind just went into a fog. It is so hard to motivate myself to do anything all day.

I have an ultrasound on Friday to try and determine how far along we are in this pregnancy and I think that will make my mood better. At our last midwife appointment when I was supposedly 12 weeks we were not able to hear the heartbeat on the doppler and my uterus was not measuring 12 weeks. Which isn’t too alarming on its own since I didn’t feel like I was that far along anyway. I think I am closer to 8-9 weeks pregnant. However, last Friday I had some spotting and that was stressful. I have never spotted before in a pregnancy and even though it wasn’t red blood and they say it can be normal it has stressed me out since we haven’t heard the heartbeat yet. So, we’ll find out on Friday.

Mike’s parents are also most likely moving in with us at the end of June. One of them needs to find a job up here with health insurance and so that is what we are praying for right now.  It is also possible that Mike’s sister will be moving in with us in August. It may become a rather full house, but that is okay. The more the merrier. Right? :)

We’re also having a hard time being able to see Mikayla right now and that is frustrating. We haven’t been able to see her since April and she doesn’t even know we are pregnant yet. We’re supposed to have her this weekend so I am crossing my fingers that it all works out.

Honestly what is stressing me out the most is Garrett and this pregnancy. We just found out that Garrett has developed 2 new allergies in addition to the ones he all ready has. He is now also allergic to rice and sesame so all of his allergies include: wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, sunflower, pea, sesame, rice and dog (he doesn’t eat dogs but if he gets licked by one he breaks out in hives).  So far we don’t have to take rice out of his diet (they want us to continue unless his reactions get bad) but I still cried the whole way home. Usually I’m a pretty good sport about his allergies but on Tuesday I definitely had a “why me???!!!” day. I am very worried that this next baby will also have extreme allergies like Garrett and it is frustrating beyond belief that no one can give me an answer on what to do/not do to prevent allergies in this next baby. And it is the same with Garrett, so far people can only tell us what he is allergic to and we have not been able to make any progress in healing his gut or reversing his allergies. I just pray that time will eventually heal his little body and that he will eventually be able to eat most foods. I am interested in visiting a local NAET specialist in Bellingham just to give it a try. Honestly, I’m very skeptical about this allergy elimination technique but at this point we’re willing to try anything. I’ve just got to come up with a way to pay for it since insurance won’t cover the treatments and unfortunately, they’re expensive. I am thinking of doing some fundraising this summer to raise money for a few trial treatments to see if it makes any kind of improvement.

Well, I think that is all for now. I can not wait for this fog to lift so that I actually feel like doing stuff. Right now I just want to sleep all day.

Garrett’s Sitting, Camdens Twirling and more Allergies

Garrett started sitting pretty well on Monday. Every day he sits for longer and longer stretches of time.

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And Camden? She twirls and whirls and dances around like the princess she is. Here is her dancing and twirling like the “12 Dancing Princesses,” one of her favorite movies.

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For over a month now Garrett has been developing a rash around his face and sometimes all over his body in reaction to something I’m eating. I went on an elimination diet and from that I was able to determine that it was most likely egg he was reacting to and that tummy wise he was also sensitive (though not allergic) to dairy. Sure enough we got a conclusive answer at the allergy doctor that Garrett is indeed allergic to eggs. This is a picture of one of his more minor reactions.

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Prickly Heat Rash?

Poor, poor Garrett. Every time I look at his little face and the back of his neck it makes me want to cry. He has this awful rash that has spread all over his face, ears and the front and back of his neck. It is worse on the back of his neck but I wasn’t able to get a picture of that because he was sleeping. These pictures were taken Friday. Today is Saturday (I started this post yesterday but never finished it) and today it is looking a lot better but many of the bumps are still there. The rash is definitely made worse with skin contact, such as his head resting on my forearm when nursing. So I try to keep a burp cloth between his skin and mine. I can’t believe what a warm blooded little guy I have. He stays so warm!

I’m really hoping that this is prickly heat rash because it should clear up in a few days if it is. Otherwise I am assuming that the rash is due to an allergy to me eating dairy and I’ll have to cut dairy out of my diet. His rash looks like all the other prickly heat rashes when I googled it though.

It is kind of weird that he got this rash because I don’t dress him in a lot of clothing, just a onesie. I’ve been keeping him in only a diaper now and have given him a few baths in lukewarm water, which is supposed to help. He does sweat a lot though and prickly heat is caused by blocked sweat glands. For awhile I had used some Eucerin cream on his rash because I read somewhere that it would help with the friction that makes the rash red and “angry” and it helped a lot at first but then made the rash worse because it clogged up his sweat glands even more.

Really hoping I don’t need to cut dairy. :)

Here is my poor sweet boy with his ugly, awful rash.

UPDATE

January 26th, 2013

Dear Readers,

I think it is important to update you and say a few things. First of all, my son is now 4 1/2 years old. My son had prickly heat rash. We live in a desert and it was 105 degrees the day he was born. I was putting too much clothes on him and keeping him swaddled with a blanket and had a hat on him. His immature skin had pores that got clogged easily and he had very sensitive skin. His rash resolved within hours by keeping him out of clothes and keeping him cool and taking him into lukewarm baths with me. To this day he still sweats a lot but doesn’t get rashes anymore from sweating.

Someone stole my image and used it as an image for measles. What an awful thing to do to parents. He never had measles and has never had any type of vaccine preventable illness. We don’t vaccinate, either.

He did have food allergies later on in life but we have been able to clear up many of them with an alternative allergy therapy called N.A.E.T.

Please keep in mind that your child could have a similar looking rash and be experiencing something COMPLETELY different. All though the rash looks like it, this wasn’t hives. I am very familiar with hives as I have kids that are prone to food allergies. This does look like some of the reactions they’ve had in regards to food.

In my son’s particular case this was heat rash. I wish you the best of luck in diagnosing your babies rash and getting to the root cause.

Life’s Little Developments

Keeping it Clean:

So somehow I’ve been busy without being all that busy. Not sure how that works but it does. Mostly I’ve been keeping the house A LOT cleaner and it is amazing how good that makes me feel. I’ve been making myself make the bed every day and that small task does wonders for me. I’m normally not so obsessed with a spick-n-span house but these days I don’t feel complete unless it’s clean. Maybe it’s that whole nesting thing getting started? Who knows.

New Camera:

A few weeks ago I was able to get a new camera!! I can not tell you how excited I was about this. It is such a great camera. I bought a used Canon XT from my friends husband for a great price who wanted to exchange his camera for the same camera but for one that was only black instead of black and silver. Apparently camera snobs find this important. Maybe someday I will be cool enough to be able to be that picky. I was able to afford the camera by selling our Kodak one on Craigslist and selling a few things on eBay. I’m so happy to have a camera that will take non-blurry pictures and has a faster shutter speed so I won’t miss all those great shots. I still need to learn to use this thing though. My friends husband also gave me a photo editing software called Bibble that is on the professional level but I have NO IDEA how to use it. Need to learn that as well. I would post pictures but our computer is not cooperating. See below.

Dumb, Ancient Computer:

The upgrade of our camera has very poignantly highlighted the need for a new computer. Our computer is about 8 years old. This dinosaur bohemeth runs more slowly than I am able to waddle these days. And now EVERY time I try to upload a picture to the blog it FREEZES my computer. Grrr. It makes me so mad. I have been attempting to write this blog post for a few days now but kept getting frustrated and giving up because I hate not posting pictures with the blog. So, um imagine things I guess. Until further notice I don’t think there will be any pictures posted. Must get this fixed before baby arrives. On a funny note my friend Emeth joked with her husband that she was going to give his computer to me since I needed one and he believed her. He gave her a deer in the headlights, shocked look and paced a little but didn’t say anything. Yes, she definitely wears the pants in their family and no, I would never let her actually do that. But very funny.

A Close Call & First Lies:

So I had a midwife appointment on Monday in Hermiston, Oregon which is about a half hour drive from here. During the appointment Camden was playing outside with one of the midwifes sons (it was his 8th Birthday) and they were playing with a new baby goat that they just got. Innocent enough, right? They’re outside so I don’t worry about anything and just relax and chat and enjoy my appointment. As we are leaving and I am buckling Camden into her carseat she asks me an odd question.

“Mommy?”

“Yes?”

“Do cupcakes have nuts in them?”

What a weird question. “Well, sometimes. Sometimes even though the cupcake doesn’t have nuts they are made in a kitchen that has nuts so you can’t eat them…” As I’m saying this my voice trails off because I notice a light yellow crust all around her lips. “Camden, what is on your face? Were you playing with the Dandelions?” It really looked like she’d been rubbing dandelions on her lips. Then before she could answer the “duh” light went off. “Did you eat a cupcake?”

“No.”

“Then what is on your face?”

“I don’t know. Nothing.”

“There is yellow all around your mouth. Is that yellow frosting? Did you eat a cupcake?”

“No.”

“Then what is on your face?”

“I don’t know.”

She’s totally lying. My heart is a little heavy and worried and I’m really ticked at myself. “Camden, it is more important to tell the truth to mommy. You will be in more trouble if you don’t tell me the truth. It’s very important that we’re honest with each other. What did you eat?”

She sighs. “I ate a cupcake.”

I then proceeded to lecture her for about 10 minutes about why it is so important that she NEVER eat food unless her dad or I give it to her or unless we say it is OK. We talked about what would have happened if there were nuts in the cupcake (she is severely allergic to them) and how we’d have to go to the hospital, etc, etc. On an annoying note the cupcake was also bright yellow otherwise known as containing food dye. I am happy to report that I did not notice ANY behavioral side effects afterwards (she has a dye sensitivity) which is promising. She is mostly sensitive to red but I was happy to see that she tolerated the yellow cupcake. Doesn’t mean I want dyed concoctions in our house but it is nice to know she may be able to have them on occasion. Mike was really, really mad at me. I’m only somewhat mad at me. Really, there is only so much you can watch your child. They were outside playing and there was no food outside. The little boy had snuck inside during our appointment and snuck cupcakes for them. I just need to drill it into her head that she can’t eat food from other people since realistically I can not always know what she is doing.

So that was her second “lie” if you want to call it that. Not sure what constitutes an active lie by a child and at what age they are capable of lying. But it used to be that if you asked her a question no matter if she was going to get in trouble, she’d be honest. For example if Camden was standing next to a small crying child looking suspicious I could ask “Camden, what happened?” and she’d say “I pushed her” or “I took her toy.” Looks like those days are gone.

Her first “lie” was last weekend. I was on the computer working on her scrapbook and Mike was showering and she was supposed to be watching a movie. Mike came out into the living room and I hear him getting mad at her. He comes into the office and told me she was out there painting her fingernail. Big no, no. He goes to wipe off her thumb and notices her whole other hand is painted. “Did you paint those?” he asks. “No,” she says. “Then who painted them?” “Mommy did,” she says. They both come into the office and he asks if I painted them. Nope, I didn’t. She is sent to her room. Once she is in her room we both laugh. She did a really, really good job painting her nails but she knew she wasn’t allowed to do paint by herself and she was painting them on the couch. But it was also the first time she lied to us. After she came out of her room we talked about honesty. Sigh, this is only going to get more complicated. I can tell.

30 Weeks:

At my last appointment the hearbeat ranged from 132-146 bpm. I was measuring 33 weeks and the baby was head down in the posterior position. I will be 31 weeks on Friday.

Busier:

So I started this blog post earlier in the week and now I am busier because we are having a garage sale at our house on Friday and Saturday. Some other families are combining their stuff with ours so we’ll have enough stuff. I was going to put this off for a few more weeks but it is only going to get hotter and I am only going to get bigger so I am scrambling to get it done. Originally I was hoping that the money we made could go towards something fun like a new computer but like always it looks like the extra money will go towards bills. We are hoping the garage sale traffic will spur some interest in our house. I am going to have flyers ready. Cross your fingers for us.

I am also taking care of my friends little girl because she has been put on bedrest for the next week. She is not due until July 16th but is having a ton of contractions. They are wanting to try and hold off birth until at least next Wed when she will be 37 weeks that way she can have her baby at home, as planned. Otherwise she’ll need to deliver at a local hospital.

Weird Things I’m Looking Forward To:

So I’m really excited to mother a newborn again. It still hasn’t sunk in that there will be a new little person in our lives but I’m slowly starting to wrap my mind around it. Some of the things I am really looking forward to (yes I’m weird) are:

-Cloth Diapering: I didn’t start cloth diapering Camden until she was 13 months old but I am really looking forward to using cloth with a newborn. I received some very cute fitted’s from Nanipoo Diapers today and they are absolutely adorable. I’d post a pic if I could but they are just too cute. I also received some diaper covers today. We also have an assortment of pockets, prefolds and a few AIO’s. I’ll have to post pictures later. It is a wide variety of boy and girl prints since we don’t know what we’re having. I’ll just have to sell the ones we don’t wind up needing.

– EC: We will be practicing Elimination Communication with this baby. I’ve all ready had a little practice with this on a baby I used to watch and it is really amazing plus all the mothers that I hang out with on a regular basis practice this with their children so I’m totally over the “weirdness” factor. I think it’s awesome when a small baby can tell you when they have to go potty, and then do. I was amazed that it actually worked with he baby I used to watch who was only 2 months old.

-Happy Hangup: When I first became pregnant I found an awesome deal on a used Happy Hangup that I found on craigslist and was able to sell some stuff to get it. It hangs from the ceiling and is an infant hammock bed. I need to get Mike to install the ceiling hook and I just can’t wait to see our little bub sleep in it for the first time.

-Parenting Minus the Nervousness: I don’t consider myself a very nervous type person but I am looking forward to parenting this newborn without the all the second guessing. I loved parenting Camden as a newborn and am really looking forward to doing it again.

-Baby Wearing: I wore Camden when she was a baby too but I only had a Baby Bjorn and that thing was super uncomfortable. I am looking forward to using a wrap with this baby and a sling as well. I am loving knowing that I will be able to carry baby around and get everything else done that needs to be done.

-Birth: Yes, I really am looking forward to birth. Which seems fairly odd since I had quite a long, knock down drag out first experience. For those who don’t know I labored for over 56 hours with Camden. Not ideal, to say the least. There are many factors that contributed to that and I feel that this time things will go much different. We are having this baby at home and my friends are planning on attending the birth which will make this a really different and fun experience. I am really looking forward to it. Mike is thrilled with this idea because it takes the pressure off him. I thought he wouldn’t like the idea but he loves it. And I love the idea of being surrounded by women who have all given birth naturally and who are all funny and upbeat. I think we will all have a lot of fun and what a wonderful atmosphere for a baby to be born into.

Interesting Study…Lousy Conclusion

In a recent German study, which was presented to the American Thoracic Societies International Conference on May 21st, researchers found that mothers exposed to farms or “farm milk” during their pregnancies conferred protection from allergies to their newborns.

Researchers found that the mothers exposure to farms or “farm milk” affected the babies T regulatory cells. These cells are believed to suppress immune response and therefore maintain and develop a healthy immune system.

“We found that the babies of mothers exposed to farms have more and better functioning regulatory T cells,” explained Bianca Schaub, M.D., who led the research team at University Children’s Hospital in Munich.

“The effect was strongest among those mothers who entered barns or drank farm milk.”

First of all, let’s call it like it is. A duck is a duck is a duck. I find it fascinating that through this entire press release they refer to raw milk as “farm milk.” Pasteurized milk comes from a farm too but you can be sure that this study was not looking at mothers that consumed pasteurized milk.

What is also being said in this study (albeit quite silently) is that you don’t have to live on a farm or be exposed to one to be able to confer these benefits to your child, you can simply drink raw milk. Good news for us suburban and urban dwellers since most of America’s households are 99.8% bacterial free Lysol homes.

Another noteworthy item? This study points out the benefits of drinking raw milk while pregnant. If, as a pregnant woman, you decided to mention to a health care professional that you drink raw milk (I wouldn’t recommend this) you can be quite sure that it will have a “shock and awe” affect quickly followed by a stern lecture. Raw milk consumption is hugely controversial in America and a very big “no, no” while pregnant. Me? I am guilty. Then again I am the mother to a little girl who appears to be allergic and or sensitive to about a million different things on this planet. Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration. Nevertheless, if the act of drinking raw milk will help repair the damage that has all ready been done to her immune system and possibly spare her sibling the same allergenic fate then I am all aboard. By the way, we’ve been drinking raw milk for over a year with great results.

But my biggest pet peeve? That would be the conclusion that Dr. Schaub (one of the doctors conducting the study) presented:

“It is a long way off,” she concluded, “but these findings may one day hopefully help researchers to develop an effective preventive strategy, perhaps even a vaccine, against allergic diseases.”

Oh, another vaccine. Beautiful. So you take something full of simplicity and truth and you see how you can twist it into your medical model of something to sell. Shocking.

Here is the press release.

Peanut Butter/Sunbutter Brownies

These pictures were taken from SmittenKitchen, where I got the recipe. I couldn’t get my pictures to turn out and these ones are beautiful, so here you go.

We are on a brownie kick, apparently.

Peanut butter brownies (in our case sunbutter brownies) were sounding so good and I stumbled across a fabulous recipe. I took them to a mommy gathering yesterday and I didn’t go home with any – so that is always a good sign.

I made half with the ganache and half without. It is good both ways but the ganache adds a nice touch and seems to give it the perfect balance. I prefer a lighter layer of ganache than showed in the picture, however. Very easy to throw together and they are full of yummy, yummy goodness. They are even better tasting the day after you make them. They are very rich so I’d cut them into small pieces. I love these stored cold in the refrigerator. It is the perfect balance of peanut buttery cholateyness.

Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 3/4 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter/sunbutter

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla exract

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate chips)

*1/2 tsp salt (If you are using something like Jiff or Skippy you can omit this, only use if you are using a natural type peanut butter/sunbutter because they have less salt)

Ganache

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream (aka heavy whipping cream)

1 TBSP butter, softened

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350

-Butter 9 X 13 pan. Line with parchment paper and butter parchment (if you don’t have parchment just butter the pan)

-Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add peanut butter/sunbutter until it is incorporated.

-Beat in eggs, egg yolk, *salt and vanilla

-Reduce mixer to low and mix in flour until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips.

-Dough will resemble a cookie dough. Spread in pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (mine were done at 35). You want them golden but not overbaked or they’ll be too dry and crumbly. I’d say when the edges are a nice golden you can assume they are done.

-Cool completely with the pan on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours)

-To make Ganache: bring cream to a boil in a saucepan and pour over chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl and let stand one minute. Gently whisk in butter. Spread or drizzle over cooled brownies. Let ganache set and then cut and serve.