Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day in the Life - 2 Year Old Part 4

I love March in Austin. Well, I don't love the SXSW insanity that descends, but now that I don't work downtown, it's much easier to avoid. We've had a month full of FUN and sun with sassy weekend happenings, a hike-filled spring break week (Emmett didn't have school that week) and blissful normality on the weekdays. With all this fun we've been having, I'm embarrassed how many meals E has cobbled together consisting of Goldfish and applesauce pouches when we're out, but I try to just keep that to once per week (except this weekend when we managed it twice, oops!).

But this kid is all about experiences big and small. We're hardcore in the storytelling phase, so anything special that happens he tells over and over again (whether this is a tumble he takes that results in a scrape, or somehow thinking the window contractor's name is Mike - it's actually Justin - and telling how he carried a really heavy window into the house, or seeing peacocks at the park and what they sound like). The other obsession is jumping and hopping. And he does this cute little run that finishes in a quick hop - it reminds me of a character from Mario Bros.

Luke's best friend Mike and his wife Aubrey visited us for an enjoyable weekend that included some much needed babysitting time so we could go out with them sans-toddler. And, I just scored the Oregon Trail game at Target that we played while enjoying cake and champagne over naptime one day (it was Aubrey's birthday, we had to celebrate right!).

I had an awesome weekend away in Boerne to celebrate my friend Alison's upcoming nuptials and had a blast with my sister and gal pals hitting the spa, wineries and shops. Is it time to go back yet??

My mom visited for a few days during spring break and we had great time finally checking out the Austin rodeo. I kept hearing it was "cute" from friends and wasn't expecting much (especially coming from Houston), so I was pleasantly surprised with how much fun and excitement there was with a totally manageable crowd on a Saturday morning. We will TOTALLY be back (and plan more rides on the carousel for Emmett - we waited until it was time to leave to let him go once and he HOWLED the whole walk back to the car wanting to go back and do more!). We went to an epic birthday party in a park for one of E's friends that afternoon that came with adult beverages for the parents - this mama enjoyed that ;) And we capped the fun off with a crawfish boil! Phew.

Not to be outdone, the last weekend in March we took Emmett berry picking at Sweet Berry Farms in Marble Falls. Not surprisingly, he LOVED it. But, he was NOT into the bounce spot there like he has been at other places before, oh well. Our dining plans fell through and our friends' kid fell asleep immediately, so we decided to drive 45 minutes to go to Jester King Brewery for pizza, beer and more fun. It was HOPPING. Like so crazy. But we found a shady table near the fun dirt pile with shovels and trucks for kids to play in a had a great time.

 6:45 a.m. Emmett is awake and we're both shocked (well, as shocked as you can be when you're asleep). He's been sleeping in until 7:30-8 for the past month and we've been loving it, so this is less than awesome. Oh well, time to get up! He's demanding his spray bottle, so we grab that straight away (they planted flowers at school yesterday and they watered them with spray bottles. Needless to say, spray bottles are now a THING). We head downstairs to make breakfast while Luke showers. He's been really into bananas lately, but only cutting them with his butter knife, not eating them, which is moderately annoying.... But, we get breakfast prepped and sit down.

7:08 a.m. Breakfast is served! E has his normal mix of pumpkin and Greek yogurt with cereal on top (I think today is Life and Kix) and strawberries on the side. Luke and I have toast with homemade strawberry jam from berry picking, scrambled eggs and fruit. Oh, and coffee in my Beauty and the Beast mug I scored at Disneyworld!

7:30 a.m. We tidy up and take turns getting ready. Since we're up so early I jump on the chance to take a shower while the guys play soccer in the front yard (the front yard is the new back yard in our house these days - E loves playing there). He decides he wants to go on a walk, which is a nice change. We haven't been doing our morning walks due to the late wake-ups, so I'm down.

8:05 a.m. We head down the road (spray bottle in hand) toward the creek - another thing we haven't done lately. I think we only tossed oak balls maybe twice last month. We've been busy! We have a fun time on the walk and E happily spritzes neighbors' plants as we go. He gets going a little too fast and is looking behind mischievously at me instead of in front of him at the road and trips and gets a little scrape that he tells me about a lot on the walk. But the spray bottle comes in handy and we spray his scrape - all better! I end up carrying him on my shoulders the last 2 blocks so we can stay on schedule.

9:15 a.m. We head south toward the Austin Nature and Science Center. We haven't been in a few months, so we're excited to go back. This time we're planning to explore the hiking trails I didn't know were there and co-lead a Hike It Baby hike.

9:45 a.m. We pull in just in time, but I forgot to account for applying sun screen, new diaper and walking to the meeting spot, oops! Then we encounter our first problem... The trailhead is tucked back in the center, and E has his heart set on seeing the animals. We look at a few of the birds of prey exhibited near the trailhead, hoping that will pacify him, but he loses his MIND when I tell him it's time to hike. We make it through the welcome circle and I put him in the pack to have a snack and hopefully calm down, but I can tell it's a lost cause. We apologize to the group and decide to skip the hike and just play around and see the animals. He immediately calms down, pounds some applesauce and graham crackers and is himself again. Phew! I'm a little disappointed not to explore the trail, but it's a beautiful day and we're both in good spirits, so I'll take it as a win. We have fun exploring the fish/amphibian area and the animals - we go back and forth several times, before heading to the dino pit to do some digging. Our friends meet up with us there and I have fun visiting with the moms while the kids dig.

12:00 p.m. After saying bye to our friends and visiting the animals once again, we walk back to the car. We're parked by the pedestrian bridge over Town Lake, so we enjoy looking at the boats and stand up paddleboards for a while.

12:20 p.m. We get loaded back up (after having to ask a bus driver to move the bus since it's blocking us - E loved that and told that story a lot on the way home/over lunch). We give Luke a call to meet us at home for lunch.

1:00 p.m. Lunchtime! It's a smattering of leftovers - turkey and black bean crunchy tacos with avocado and cheese, fresh cooked white rice, grilled zucchini and the boys shared some grilled chicken leg meat. E also has an applesauce pouch and dried okra. He's once again in a bit of a mood (he freaked out about carrying his own plate to the table and then about me trying to help him work the applesauce up to the spout for him), but we talk him off the ledge.

1:30 p.m. We say bye to dada and head to the front yard to drink some milk and read books, then it's time to spray water again and mow the yard. He pulls the hose out for a "bump" to drive over - he's obsessed with bumps, especially speed bumps!

2:00 p.m. E was looking REALLY tired at lunch and is getting a bit testy, so I convince him to head upstairs for quiet time. We get his diaper changed, remove his shoes and set out his lamb rug and stuffed animals. He enjoys more milk while I read books to him, then say goodnight.

2:10 p.m. So last week we had a CRAZY wind storm that whipped the umbrella out of our patio table that broke the glass top. Luke is amazing and built us a picnic table that weekend in an afternoon. Total baller. I bought some stain at Home Depot yesterday so headed out to paint a coat on it. The paint guy recommended solid vs semi-trainsparent stain because it would protect the wood better from the sun. I'm not convinced I love the solid stain, but I'm thinking it'll grow on me... I enjoy a podcast while I paint - the latest Stuff You Missed in History Class.

2:55 p.m. Wow, that took longer than I thought! I take a shower then sit down to relax and work on this post. Then I clean up the kitchen from lunch and unload the dishwasher, and I enjoy a homemade strawberry muffin while appreciating my rununculas :)

4:30 p.m. Time to get dressed and put on a little makeup so I look like a human again. Then I double-check that I have our backpack all ready to go, car waters poured, E's shoes and fresh socks and put Benji in the back.

4:45 p.m. I go into Emmett's room to wake him up. He's happy to see me and snuggly - gotta love it! I change his diaper then we head downstairs. He asks for his spray bottle (again), and I let him spray a few things in the front yard. Then I ask him if he wants to get in the car and watch Daniel Tiger (the answer is ALWAYS yes - he watches Daniel either on the couch or in the car on our way somewhere every day after nap). Well, of course, the answer today is no. That takes me back, but I let him spray some more things and enjoy himself a few more minutes and ask again, but no response. Oy. So I call Luke to chat about our options. I had planned to drive down to in.gredients - a zero waste grocery store with a lovely outside hangout area with kids' toys and a playscape for a Hike It Baby happy hour. But the later E plays, the less appealing that option comes since it'll mean more traffic and less time to play before we turn around to come home. A few of Luke's coworkers mentioned happy hour at Oskar Blue's just down the road - they always have a food truck and have a fun outdoor space, so we decide to change plans and do that instead. I'm super bummed to missed my HIB pals though and text to apologize.

5:25 p.m. Emmett is on-board with the plan and we hop in the car for the 5 minute drive to the brewery. We're the first ones there so I go ahead and order us a pizza from the food truck (since E didn't have a snack I don't want him to turn hangry on us) then I go inside to order a beer. He's on the HUNT for Dad and only agrees to go inside when I tell him we're looking for him and maybe he's inside... ;)

Luke shows up right when the pizza gets there and E asks to go inside (which surprises me) so we go find a table to sit down and enjoy. Then E beelines for the couple of pinball machines they have there and I realize why he wanted to go in. He LOVES watching the pinball machine and gets to push the buttons - he's not bad, really. Well, then we can't get him AWAY from the machine and he stands on the stool pushing buttons while we sit at the table nearby enjoying our pizza and chatting with friends. After some tears, he agrees to eat a few bites of an apple then asks to go outside. There are a few other kids his age around (including some neighbors we run into) and they sit there playing together, without adults intervening, happy for about 5 minutes (which is AMAZING). He has the biggest smile on his face. Finally he wanders over to the table and sits on Luke's lap and dominates almost a whole huge slice of pizza and a few dried okra pieces. Score! We play some more.

 (It looks like he's flipping off the camera here - ha!)
7:20 p.m. Oops, we stayed a little too long (let's be honest, this happens every Friday night that we go out). But we're only 5 minutes away so we're not too off-schedule.

7:35 p.m. We're back home and we've convinced E to go upstairs, and then he loses it. He pounds his whole cup of milk (he usually only drinks it after tubby) and then is NOT into tubby. So we end up forcing a 2 minute bath just to scrub off the day's grime and then get him in diaper and jammies. Then he calms down and we read several books. Then it's time to brush teeth, run back to bed and read another book.

(This is how tubby time USUALLY looks)

8:10 p.m. Lights out! Phew, that was not the easiest day. E was having a hard time coping and had way more tantrums than usually (typically he has 1 maybe 2 in a day, today was more like 4 or 5). Sigh. I'm trying to respond with kindness and empathy and then lovingly correct. Toddlers aren't easy though! Needless to say, Luke and I both look forward to relaxing more. I considered making a drink, but honestly, more times than not I prefer happy hour instead of after bedtime for a bev, so I stick to water. We turn on The Catch to wind down.

9:15 p.m. We head upstairs to get ready for bed, then settle down to read.

10:45 p.m. Oops again, I stayed up way too late reading! That's been happening especially since he usually sleeps in, fingers crossed he does tomorrow (spoiler alert, he sleeps til 7:30, we'll take it!).

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day in the Life - 2 Year Old Part 3

We've had a super chill February. I love this time of year! I just wish it loved me. I thought I was going to squeak by without a cedar sinus infection this year, but no such luck. E and I had one miserable week where we attempted to stay indoors. Luckily I'm well again and we're outside all the time again!

It's rare we can't understand him these days, and his vocab and sentence-making skills continue to flourish. He even can use past tense correctly now, which kind of blew my mind. He's all about the hugs and kisses still, which is still delightful! And he's getting pretty good at independent play (especially when the alternative is naptime ;) ).  My favorite saying is "What ya making?" when he sees/smells me cooking or "what's that noise?" - the inquisitive phase is HERE.

I enjoyed a long weekend in Orlando with my MiL Jennifer where we did the Princess 5K at Disney World with her friend and her friend's daughter. We then enjoyed a few more days at the various parks. It was lots of fun, even for a gal who doesn't enjoy roller coasters (I hadn't been since I was a kid, so I forgot that roller coasters aren't really a Disney thing anyway). I missed Emmett like CRAZY and was so happy to see him again on Monday. Though, I was glad not to have him there because I'm pretty sure he would've hated it at this phase in his life.

Speaking of grandma's, we enjoyed having my mom stay with us for a week while she attended her annual teacher technology conference in downtown Austin. We had fun hanging with Gammy, and she was nice enough to babysit a couple times while she was here!

Other shenanigans include Sundays at the Mueller farmers market, fun at the Thinkery, hikes at Walnut Creek (including last Wednesday when it was warm enough to splash in the creek), hanging at Springdale Farm and finally trying Eden East for brunch, and visiting the new tasting room at Austin Beerworks (and getting to watch Emmett run around with other kids there chasing a ball and playing games together. He seemed like SUCH a big kid, my heart was swelling!).

6:47 a.m. Shucks, E decides to wake up early today. We've been loving these later mornings, but this isn't too bad. Luke goes into get him and E is already jumping around in bed. He's ready to party today! He demands to go downstairs so I get dressed really fast and we head down while Luke jumps in the shower. Emmett wants to cut strawberries (with his butterknife), so I rinse several and let him loose while I start making pancake batter (currently crushing on America's Test Kitchen 100 Percent Whole Wheat Pancakes with blueberries). He moves on from strawberries and wants to help, so I give him a bowl and some measuring cups with flour and water to pour and "mixa mixa mixa!".

7:20 a.m. Coffee's ready, pancakes are piled up and happy and Luke's downstairs. Breakfast time! Emmett actually eats most of a pancake with some syrup, along with his usual pumpkin Greek yogurt and cereal.

7:35 a.m. All done and he's already begging to go outside. He's been better about hanging out inside lately, but not so much today. Luke and I take turns playing while we finish getting ready for the morning and rinse off dishes.

8:15 a.m. Emmett is pushing his lawnmower around in the back yard and decides he wants to go on a "mow mow" walk, so we go through the side gate and head out without saying bye to Luke, oops! He sets off at a good pace and sees a garbage truck driving by the street we're approaching and takes off! My legs are jelly from an intense 10 minutes of squats after Body Jam last night, so there's no way I'm keeping up. He's good about stopping to wait for me before reaching the street, and we set off towards the garbage truck. We see Luke drive by on the way to work and wave excitedly. More garbage trucks and school buses drive by, lots of waves and smiles!

8:45 a.m. Back home and playing in the front yard. The "donut gang" walks by (some neighbors my parents' age who walk to the local donut shop every Wednesday). They have extra donuts without sugar on the outside and offer one to E to share with Benji (after checking with me first of course). E is unsure, but then decides he loves donuts and repeats that repeatedly while demolishing half! We play around front, back and inside and I get us packed and ready for our hike.

9:45 a.m. We set off towards Walnut Creek for a Hike It Baby hike. Emmett has fun playing and is super speedy the first half of the hike! Then he tires out a bit and I end up wearing/carrying him most of the last half mile or so. He enjoys some applesauce, apple, graham crackers and Goldfish along the way. We cover 1.25 miles, pretty good for a toddler-led hike!

11:45 a.m. Surprisingly, E says he's ready to leave after only 10-15 minutes at the playground after the hike. We say goodbye to our friends and head home. He's jonesing for Daniel Tiger, so he sprawls out on the rug and watches an episode while I throw together a lunch salad (no leftovers today since last night was salmon night) and empty the dish washer.

12:20 p.m. Lunch time! E has some leftover brown rice (he's not much of a quinoa man these days), edamame and thyme white beans. Luke and I scarf down some delicious salads. The mix is quinoa / roasted beets / cucumber / olives / cherry tomatoes / thyme white beans / arugula / feta / lime, honey & olive oil dressing. Watermelon for dessert!

12:45 p.m. Surprise surprise, E wants to head back outside. We head to the sandbox while Luke clears the table. He comes out intending to spend a few minutes hanging out, but Emmett says back to work and gives him a kiss goodbye. Luke can take a hint, and heads back to work ;) More front yard, back yard fun with an "outside milk" break. E loves drinking milk on the patio while I read him books - fun for all! We wrap up with some trains.

1:00 p.m. I convince E to come upstairs for additional milk and quiet time (the new nap time). Basically, instead of going down for a nap in the crib, he lays down on his lamb rug on the floor and takes a nap there. He was starting to push naps suuuuper late and fight them, so I decided to give him the option not to sleep and play in his room to keep the nap. Other than a few days chockful of tears, this has meant a couple hour nap on the floor and we're all happy. Sweet.

2:05 p.m. Sweet sleep achieved! I head downstairs to kick up my feet for a few minutes and start this post with Gilmore Girls reruns in the background. Then I start on a Pi Day blog post for Whole Foods (right up my alley!). I wittle away at our tax return, almost done! Next up it's dinner - an Indian chicken dinner (I love simmer sauces as a short cut. Our favorite is surprisingly the Target brand butter masala). I grab a bell pepper plant to put in the garden. I finally got everything planted yesterday but accidentally grabbed a serrano plant instead of a red bell (don't want Emmett to accidentally eat one of THOSE!). I plant it and give the garden some water and clean up some miscellaneous tools left from the planting process.

4:45 p.m. Time to wake Emmett up! No matter when he goes down, I always wake him up by 4:45 because I don't want him to push back bedtime. That made for a short nap time the last couple weeks when he was going down after 3, so I was thrilled to get 2 1/2 hours today! He's happy and snuggly and glad to see me :) We head downstairs and cuddle up on the couch to watch an episode of Daniel Tiger.

5:10 p.m. He's getting wiggly and wants to play, so we turn off the episode early and head outside to have some fun! More garbage truck shenanigans (he loves driving it over the "speed bump" i.e. slightly raised tree roots over and over). We have fun digging in some dirt (our garden beds were suuuuuper bogged down and not draining well, thanks Texas clay soil. So we scooped some out and mixed in fluffy amendments. We spread that dirt in a low patch in our garden and E has looooved scooping it with his construction trucks and shovels!). I end up doing a sassy shovel dance to 24K, but E is surprisingly unimpressed. Ha! It's lovely out so I crack a lime La Croix that totally hits the spot. We move to the front yard and race back and forth in the driveway with his lawnmower then garbage truck for quite a while waiting for Luke. He's running a little late, oops! But we're having fun and don't mind.

6:10 p.m. Luke's home! I quickly warm the Indian food and warm a piece of naan for us all to share. Tonight's Indian is chicken, carrots, onions and beet greens. E doesn't love cooked carrots but sometimes will eat them, not today though. He loves the rice and naan and eats some chicken and sauce.

6:30 p.m. We clear the table and run circles around the downstairs and have an epic dance party. E normally has been asking to go upstairs early, but not today! We finally convince him to head up around 7:15.

7:15 p.m. Emmett "plays beach" for a while. I think he learned this from Daniel Tiger when it was raining and they couldn't go to the beach so they pretended with pillows and blankets. He takes all the pillows and an excess blanket from our bed and piles them up in the doorway. Super cute! While he's playing I sneak in a quick shower. I intended to shower earlier but thought I'd go to Sh'Bam tonight at the gym (a dance class kind of like Body Jam but in a Zumba format). But my legs are killing me and I'm tired and having too much fun with my guys, so decide not to go.

7:25 p.m. Emmett's turn! He has fun in the bathtub and loves scrubbing himself. We get out and do the "doot doot" shark song (even though we're using the lamb hoodie towel today instead of the shark one). Jammie time - he chooses super quickly today, nice! He pounds milk while I read him books and he proceeds to climb all over Luke. Clearly he's tired ;) Not! We brush teeth and then he jumps in bed for 5 minutes. You know, so he can go to sleep. We read one last book in bed and said goodnight. He proceeds to call out "goodnight mommy, goodnight daddy" for a few more minutes, so sweet!

8:05 p.m. He's asleep, score! We pour ourselves some wine and sit down to watch the last episode of The Crown, so good!

9:00 p.m. I'm beat, so we head upstairs. I'm reading The Man in the High Castle. We loved the series, but the book has been a little slow to start.

9:45 p.m. My eyes are closing, so lights out! E was kind and slept til 7:20 the next morning, score :)