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 :)

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!