Monday, January 30, 2017

Day in the Life - 2 Year Old Part 2

Just when I think we've hit a stable time, a regular, I realize over the past month Emmett has once again changed quite a bit. When will I stop being surprised by that? This month feels unique in that I'm not sure what the cause is - maybe a growth spurt? And emotional/intelligence spurt? Or maybe it's the two back-to-back colds he's had that's consumed January. Either way, he's sleeping lots (like 12 hours each night and 2+ hour naps every day). I'm sure this will end soon, so I'm not stressing and am enjoying it while it lasts. [EDIT - it didn't last. The next day was the worst with a 4:45 a.m. wake up and nap strike. Oh joy... Foot in mouth :) ].

And the HUGS. Can we talk about the hugs? Like, enthusiastic, run at you grinning, full body hugs. All. The. Time. It's GLORIOUS. I've been filling my lifetime hug bank, and it overflows. I wish I could bottle this and send to friends who need a hug. So happy.

And the sentences. They're real. The new favorite is "I want _______ please" - not always with the please, but sometimes! I think it's funny when he says "I want hungry" ha. But seriously, I'm thrilled he's beginning to grasp pronouns.

As I already mentioned, E has been sick most of the month. Mostly runny nose and cough stuff - typical winter grossness. But despite the symptoms and extra sleep (and reduced appetite), he's not one to sit on the couch all day and rest. I wish. So hiking we still go! But maybe not quite as exuberantly or far.

Oh, and he's starting to have opinions about his clothes (beyond just demanding his fire truck jammies everynight). He FREAKED OUT on Tuesday for picture day at school because I wanted him to wear anything other than his fire truck jammy shirt with yogurt stains from breakfast on it. Geez louise....

We did luck out having a healthy weekend so we could go to Houston so Luke and E could meet my sister's baby! We took a trip to the Houston Zoo while we were there, and E loved it.


This time I'm mixing it up, and sharing more of a weekend in the life, because why not?

Luke's mom is here for the weekend, which is fun! It's always nice to have company during the day and extra hands. We head down to Mayfield Park for a Hike It Baby hike. E does a great job hiking on foot for the first 3/4 mile and we find some cool shells in the near empty lake. We get to a fun stair step area that leads to a mini "cave" that the other kids all climb and explore, but he holds back until everyone is down and ready to go and is ready to go up himself (he did this at the carousel at the Houston Zoo). They were good sports and didn't begrudge us a quick jaunt up the stairs. Then he got REAL huggy and I ended up carrying him a bit and even wearing him in the Onya (the first time he's gone up on my back all month, I was thrilled he let me carry him!). We ended with some fun in the gardens with the peacocks that roam there, always a thrill.

That evening, Jennifer offered to watch Emmett and we pounced on the date night opportunity. We stopped first at Pinthouse Pizza for a happy hour with some of Luke's work friends. We meet up with them there maybe once a month, but always with Emmett in tow. It's super family friendly (they even have arcade games - he likes to sit at them or watch big kids play), but gets old taking turns walking him around and missing out on chatting with friends. It was so nice to both get to stay at the table and visit! We had drinks and split a pretzel so we wouldn't be starving for dinner. We went to Titaya's - the best Thai in Austin. We hadn't been in a couple years since they don't take reservations and are always hopping - a total no-go with a toddler. It's next to a Half Price Books, so we perused the aisles which was a total luxury! (Oops, I didn't take any pictures all night - too busy having fun!)

I wake up SO excited for breakfast. Jennifer, Emmett and I had stopped at Central Market to grab a few things and I got this baller loaf of "breakfast bread" that was wheat with apples, pecans and dates in it and a little sugar dusted on top. We come down to scramble some eggs, crisp some bacon and toast up the bread, only to discover that BENJI ATE IT ALL last night. AHHHH. I was crushed. Kind of embarrassingly so. Plan B - I run to the donut shop and get a half dozen for us to nibble with our eggs and bacon. It works!

We're ready to go hiking! I almost beg off because historically this is always my worst week for allergies, but I can't resist (and I figure two extra hours won't REALLY make a difference compared to the 4-5 hours E and I spent outside every day). We head to St. Edward's Trail - I haven't been since the summer! We go to the more challenging hillside and E impresses us by managing the first 3/4 miles on foot despite some tricky hills. He's ready for a snack and we convince him it's a good idea to go up on Luke's back for it.

When we get back home, I run over to my friend Karen's house one street over for her son's first birthday party! Since E is sick I didn't want him to descend on their house, and it was full of babies so definitely the right call. I meant to only stay for 30 minutes, but it turned into an hour and a half. So fun to catch up with friends! I get home in time to participate in "outside milk" time before nap. Luke is cashing in on my being out by getting lots of E hugs - he's loving it alllllmost as much as I do! Current book favorite is the Construction Alphabet - E can name all the trucks A - Y (I haven't gotten him to say Zipper truck, but he can say knuckleboom loader and quad-axel lowbed - go figure!).

E goes down at 2:15 and Jennifer heads back home. Luke and I do some house projects and I cut his hair. E wakes up at 4:45 and we watch some Daniel Tiger. We ask him if he wants to go on a walk after (which we do every afternoon), but he surprisingly says no. He's hungry, so we decide to eat a little earlier than usual. We've got the Love and Lemons Miso Maple Sweet Potato Tacos on the menu - one of my favorites that I hadn't made in months! I accidentally didn't put a lot of thought into E's meal (since he's not eating much this month, I haven't gone out of my way... oops). He pounds a tortilla and dunks it in yogurt. We convince him to try a sweet potato, but after chewing he spits it out (not surprising, he hasn't liked them before, but we figured it was worth trying). He eats some apple and orange too and we say good enough.

We have fun playing around the house, front yard, back yard and garage, then it's 7 p.m. and tubby time! He has fun "swimming" in the tub. Book time is a blast and usually involves him climbing all over dad. Oh, and 10,000 momma snuggles - yesssssss. We say goodnight at 7:50 and after hearing him continue to say goodnight for another minute, he's out like a light. Luke has a video game date with his friend Mike, and I pour a glass of wine and watch the first Scandal episode of the season, followed by Portlandia, while I work on this post.

Ah, another 7:45 a.m. morning. I actually woke up at 7:15, so I laid in bed and caught up on some news. E and I slip downstairs to let Luke sleep in a bit. He asks to watch Daniel Tiger and since it's the weekend and we're not starving, I acquiesce and make some coffee and prep a simple breakfast, then curl up next to him with a cup of coffee and a quarter of a leftover donut. Ahhhh. Luke comes down just in time to sit down to our regular breakfast of mixed cereals (Quaker oat squares and Life in my bowl), berries, and walnuts (pumpkin/Greek yogurt for E with 3 cereals - he's Luke's kid for sure! - and some milk splashed on top).

We take it slow and plan to meet up with some friends at the Mueller Farmer's Market which we haven't been to in months. It's gorgeous outside! Sunny and clear, but cool. E enjoys listening to the live music at the market, then we mosey around and buy some vegetables and bread for the week. The stroop waffle stand is there, so I nab an original for us to share while Luke grabs a cup of coffee. I have fun catching up with my friend who's there with her hubby and son who's Emmett's age and their newborn daughter! E wants to go to the playground so we say goodbye and frolick for a bit before he says he's ready to go home.

Lunch is delicious leftover quiche that I made for Jennifer to enjoy when she babysat E on Friday. It's the first slice I try and it's awesome! Leftover Christmas ham that I'd frozen that I flash brown in a pan (otherwise it waters down quiche, in my experience) with mushrooms, onions, kale and cheddar. Homemade crust FTW. A simple side arugula salad dressed with honey, red wine vinegar and olive oil to balance things out. E is still rocking a beef and barley stew I made earlier in the week. This has been our go-to stew this season that I've made 3 or 4 times now - a LOT for me. We all love it! I'm thrilled to see he's getting his appetite back.

It's only 12:30 and not nearly nap time, so we all head out front to do a little yard work. Luke trims the bushes while E and I sweep up the clippings and bag them - he's surprisingly helpful! We finally convince him to take a nap at 2:15. I immediately go neti pot (uggggh allergies) and relax with a bubble bath, while Luke continues to be productive around the house like the saint that he is. I catch up on my Hike It Baby log for the January challenge (only 52 miles, but Emmett hiked 36 of them himself!).

Pretty typical afternoon of play, walk, dinner, play, sleep!

See you next month!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Day in the Life - 2 year old

Guys, we have a full-fledged two year old on our hands! I remember being pregnant and looking forward to the baby phase, but totally dreading the toddler years. Like, dreading. But now that we've started them, they've been lots of fun! And the tantrums are not too bad - yet. Everyone talks about how three is the new two, so talk to me in a year ;)

Right now, the big phrase is "by yourself" - Emmett chants it and wants to do EVERYTHING himself. And surprisingly, he CAN do most things himself. Sweet! He also enjoys trying increasingly more daring jumps - which again, he does pretty well - and his vocab is out of control. Like he's almost speaking full sentences. So proud of him, and at the same time being ever more aware of what's coming out of MY mouth since he repeats a lot of what we say.

His second birthday was a blast! We had about 20 kids and their families to a nearby park where we rented the pavilion, in case it rained, and then spent most of the time partying on the playground. The morning was dreary but mild, which was perfect because we pretty much had the place to ourselves! The kids and adults enjoyed kolaches (that we kept warm in the crock pot), snacks, fruit and homemade vanilla buttercream cupcakes. E mostly played by himself and with his grandparents who came in, but I think he was glad all his pals were there :D

The next weekend, I got a text from my sister that her second baby boy was on the way! I frantically whipped up a few dinners that day/night and the next morning after breakfast, left my guys and drove to Houston to meet the baby, stock their fridge and spend time with my mom/Lauren's older son. Everyone was doing well, so they headed home the day after the baby was born. Love sweet  Zach already!!

Emmett met Santa at a little fundraiser at his school and was NOT A FAN. I wasn't surprised since the Easter bunny didn't go well either. Oh well, maybe next year! He did love decorating the gingerbread house we got there, so that was a win!

During the brief cold snap we enjoyed some chilly outdoor hiking and biking. We are rain or shine outdoor folks for sure!

My mom joined us for Christmas for a nice, quiet weekend. We snuck away to downtown Austin to see the Nutcracker. I haven't seen the Austin version yet so it was a treat! We used to go ALL THE TIME since my sister was a ballet dancer growing up. But it's been a good 5 years. I was impressed at how many young kids - like Emmett's age - who attended, and behaved themselves! There's NO WAY I could get my kid in the door, let alone to stay sitting down, for a two hour performance. Bravo, parents!
 E received WAY too many presents already, and there's more to come with our Christmas festivities with Luke's family this weekend and my sister's family in January. I mentioned to some friends we were going to get him a balance bike, and they had an extra they just GAVE us. Wow, so generous! We gave it to E on Christmas day, but unfortunately it's a wee bit too tall for him (the box said 2 1/2 to 5 years), so we'll try again in the spring. He still loves his tricycle so no rush. He LOOOOVES the Bruder garbage truck we got him, and the crocs too. We lost one of his last pair on a hike (he was outgrowing them anyway), so it was time to get a new, bigger pair.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas - we did!

6:10 a.m. I wake up to the sound of Emmett singing Jingle Bells in his crib over and over again. HOW FREAKING SWEET. It's been my dream to wake up to him singing instead of crying, and I lay in bed a little longer listening and doze off. He wakes me up at 6:30 crying, so now it's really time to get up!

6:35 a.m. I let Luke sleep in since he's been up with Emmett he last three mornings. Our kid HAD been sleeping til 7 most mornings and still taking a 2 1/2 hour nap both days which was EPIC, but not so much this week. Definitely my turn! We head downstairs and immediately start playing with his garbage truck. I sneak away to make coffee, and smell a dirty diaper so we get him changed. Then, he helps me whip up some blueberry pancakes with leftover pancake batter from the other morning. He's been fun in the kitchen lately and enjoys helping/watching - I love it!

7:00 a.m. Luke comes downstairs right as we're sitting down to breakfast, so the three of us enjoy breakfast together, per usual. E has a mix of pumpkin and Greek yogurt sprinkled with pomegranates. He asks for Wheat Chex, so I pour some in the box with a splash of milk and he pounds it. He also has a few strawberries (hotly contested as Luke is convinced they give him diaper rash. This is the final test, so fingers crossed we're all clear tomorrow!). Luke and I each have a few small blueberry pancakes and strawberries, then split a waffle leftover from Christmas morning. Fat kid breakfast - oops!

7:15 a.m. E is itching to get down from the table, so it's time to play. We take turns playing with him and cleaning up from breakfast. The guys head to the backyard to run around and I go upstairs to get ready. I come down and get Emmett dressed and pack a bag for the day while Luke gets dressed.

8:20 a.m. E is "ready go" and walking around the house in his preschool backpack (our current go-bag, I need a new back pack for me in a big way). We hop in the car and drive south towards downtown to the Austin Nature & Science Center, located on the edge of Zilker park. There's zero traffic so we arrive before it opens, so we enjoy horsing around on the Town Lake trail and going over the Mopac pedestrian bridge to look at boats and ducks. Fun for all!

9:00 a.m. Time for the Nature & Science Center! I've taken E there a couple times over the past year, but always on weekdays so Luke has never been. Not surprisingly, he's a fan (science geek :) ). We head straight for the animals (they have a handful of animals they've rescued like a bob cat, several foxes, birds and raccoons that E enjoys watching) and then the bird section that Emmett and I hadn't visited before. The owls were so cool!! Then we head over to the "dino pit" where there are fake fossils in sand pits for kids to dig up. We had lots of fun over there and hung out for a while before snack time (some whole grain Goldfish and half a graham cracker) before walking around the small lake and visiting the animals one more time.

11:00 a.m. We say goodbye to the nature center and hop in the car. We're mildly hungry, jonesing for coffee and not quite ready to go home, so we head out in search of sustenance. We decide on Sweetish Hill Baker on west 6th street at the edge of Clarksville. I'd walked past it several times on my way to lunches back when I worked at Whole Foods, but had never stopped in. It was super gentle and just what we were looking for! Luke and I each ordered big lattes and sandwiches, we got E a slice of veggie pizza and we got a small slice of baklava to enjoy with our coffee. E housed his pizza, and I ate half my sandwich (in-house made pimiento! I wasn't super hungry though) and we enjoyed watching cars go by for a bit. We wander down the strip center for a bit and Luke pops into the liquor store there for more rum for his holiday faves (eggnog and apple cider!).

11:45 a.m. Our adventure winds down and we drive home. We get settled in the front yard and I do some major raking with Emmett's help (he's surprisingly good at bagging leaves!). Luke runs upstairs to fix our toilet that seems to be running. Then, E demands a bike ride but is getting kind of whiney, so we offer him milk first. We have fun reading one of his new Christmas books (Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem) while he enjoyed "outside milk" and then he wants to go in the backyard, so we forget about biking for now. We run around with Benji for a bit and have a grand old time.

1:25 p.m. It's way early (naptime has been 2:15-2:30 lately but since he has been waking up earlier this week I've been able to start nap a bit earlier) but I ask him if he's ready to brush teeth and he says yes. We head upstairs and brush teeth, then read an Elmer book in bed and lights out. Score!

1:30 p.m. I pop in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Luke bought me the blueray complete set of HP DVD's, which is nice because some of my DVDs are super old and scratched) and start working on this post. Then I do a quick clean up around the house because it's still a total sty after Christmas. I fold a mountain of laundry and throw some black beans in the instant pot to cook for some chili I'm making tomorrow. E stirred around 3:15 but fell back asleep - score!

3:45 p.m. Luke has been working on some deck railing between the deck and garden (Benji sneaks in with our current sad fence) so I sneak out to the Domain to grab a birthday gift for my mother in law (she's got a New Years Eve birthday - fun!). I also get myself a cute holiday apron on sale at Sur La Table - never enough aprons, right?!

4:30 p.m. I arrive back home and Emmett is awake. He's sitting on the couch watching Daniel Tiger with Luke and snacking on Kix, happy as can be. I take the opportunity to assemble some Christmas ham, brie, cranberry sauce and spicy mustard on olive bread sandwiches for dinner that I'll put on the panini press when it's time to eat.

4:45 p.m. We suggest a bike ride to E and he's game. He happily climbs in the bike trailer while we get set up, then we head out weaving through neighborhood streets. We eventually end up at the playground and E gets to run around for 20 minutes. It's hopping (this time of day tends to be the most crowded), but he likes watching older kids play. We hop back on the bikes to head home and run into our friends Liz and Phi and their kids Thurgood and Ellsworth and chat on the sidewalk for a few minutes. A happy coincidence since we had plans to meet up with them at our mutual friends' house tomorrow but they had to bail.
 5:45 p.m. We get home and I run inside to cook the paninis while the guys do a little walk down the street. E is NOT thrilled to come inside and eat, but we convince him by reminding him he can wash his hands with the cool dinosaur soap my mom made him. Whatever works!

5:58 p.m. Dinner time! We sit down to our paninis with some apple slices and leftover green beans with crispy onions. E has ham, a roll, peas, oranges and apples. Kid isn't interested in the ham, but eats half his roll, the apples and peas (after begging for applesauce - we told him if he ate all the peas he could have a pouch. We haven't had those around since the spring but he's suddenly back on the applesauce train).

6:15 p.m. All done! E and I play on the piano for a bit then we go out to help Luke finish bagging the leaves we racked since pickup is tomorrow.

6:40 p.m. Everyone heads upstairs. I get changed to go to Body Jam and the guys horse around. They wave bye bye to me from the window and I zip away. Apparently tubby time was lots of fun and bedtime was a breeze, phew!

6:55 p.m. I arrive at the gym and head up to Body Jam. It was an awesome class and I was feeling really energized - despite tired legs from biking. The core group convince me to stay after for squats which we do sometimes. My legs were screaming but it was fun and I'm glad I stayed!

8:30 p.m. Back home, Luke and I catch up for a bit before I grab a much-needed shower. He decides to play a new computer game he got himself for Christmas and I put on an episode of Elementary while I finish up this post. And of course I have my post-Body Jam bowl of Great Grains Raisins, Dates & Pecans cereal :)

9:45 p.m. I limp upstairs (ouch legs!) and get ready for bed, then read some of my book.

10:30 p.m. Lights out!