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!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Day in the Life - 23 Months

Just a couple weeks until Emmett is two, so another day in the life is in order!  As an update to the last post, E's Halloween costume was SO cute. Unfortunately, he did NOT want to wear it. We got him to put it on for a photo and then he just went out in jammies. He had a blast though, so we'll consider it a win!

One of Emmett's latest obsessions is his red tricycle he got for his first birthday. The reason it has surged in favor is that he finally wears his helmet, so we take it out in the neighborhood! He loves going "fast!" and is good at slowing down/looking for cars, and has only tumbled twice. He also loves hanging (there are some hanging bars like on playgrounds on our neighborhood greenway that he learned it from, and now he wants to hang on EVERYTHING). He wants to see everything (whenever I finish a meal, he demands to see the inside of my bowl to ensure it's empty like I promised it was - ha!). He's also showing lots of interest in potty training, so we got a second option for downstairs (we have a stand alone kid potty upstairs, so I got a lid with little stairs for the downstairs) and will need to put a potty training book in my amazon cart I guess. I'm not ready yet really, but it'll be nice to get our feet wet (ha!) over the next few months.

We had a busy November including a trip to Grandma and Papa's (Emmett decided to call him that all of a sudden) and the San Antonio zoo. Emmett LOVES "telling the story" about our visit to the zoo and still perks up whenever he gets to tell it.

We also had a delightful visit out to Barton Hills Farms near Bastrop for his friend George's birthday party - he loved the baby pigs and goats, pumpkins and jump spot and tells that story too :)

We traveled to Houston for my nephew Ben's birthday and also go to stay with our friends Christine and Nate (and their darling daughter Aurelia). It was a whirlwind weekend and a great chance to see my sister one last time before she has baby boy #2!

Thanksgiving week was full of family and fun. Luke's brother and his girlfriend came for a visit from Raleigh, and his parents joined in too. Then his extended family came for a belated celebration on Friday. Luke fried the turkeys and I made this cheesy corn casserole from Bon Appetit and they brought a slew of sides.

7:30 a.m. I hear Emmett making happy noises in his crib. I'm thrilled he slept in this late since we were spoiled by grandparents hopping up when he wakes up and letting us sleep in all week. I come in and he says "grandma? papa? dada?" - sorry to disappoint kid, just plain ol' mommy today! Luke stayed up late playing video games with his bestie in Corpus Christi, so I let him sleep in. We head downstairs and I start the coffee, then Emmett wants me to read him several books. Then I change a dirty diaper and he asks for breakfast. He's super into pumpkin yogurt (half canned pumpkin, half Greek yogurt) that he then dunks cereal in. And, he's mixing up his fruit loves (apples are always #1) and recently also really likes pomegranates and raspberries.

8:00 a.m. Luke comes down just in time to sit down with us for breakfast. I have my bowl of PBJ oats with raspberries and blackberries and a nice big cup of coffee. No pic - sorry!

8:20 Emmett is all done and (shocker) wants to play. I throw some shoes on him and Luke takes him in the backyard to play while I tidy up from breakfast a bit and pack up our hiking gear for a morning outing. Then we swap and Luke gets himself ready and does a bit more kitchen cleaning while Emmett and I play at the sand box.

9:15 a.m. We hop in the car and drive towards the Turkey Creek Trail, about 25 minutes away from our place. Emmett happily watches Daniel Tiger (and I think he missed it since he didn't really watch all last week).

9:45 a.m. The parking lot is bumping, but there's room for us - woohoo! So many hikers and their dogs out today (it's a gorgeous off-leash dog trail and I don't think they allow bikes, so dog lovers frequent this place big time). Emmett wants to start out hiking and we happily oblige him. But I think he's a little tired because after two mild "tumbles" he wants to go "up!" on Dada. Luke wore the Onya so we could easily put Emmett up and down and not have the bulky hiking pack for when Emmett was walking - it's perfect especially when we're both there so I could wear the backpack with snacks/water/diapers. We do a mile adult paced then Emmett wants to get down and hike again. He has so much fun hopping over the rocks and roots and figuring out the best way to get places. Eventually the pace slows and we near lunchtime, so we throw him back up and walk (/run! He wanted a fast pony ride on dada, so we were the weirdos galloping down the trail). That brings us to 75 miles so far this month for the Hike It Baby 30 Challenge - sweet! Beating our September 65 miles, I'll take it.

12:10 p.m. Back in the car home, more Daniel Tiger for E (don't judge me!). Then the guys horse around in the front yard playing with chalk while I warm up Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch. We finish up all the sides but still have plenty of turkey left for some dishes I'm making this week (score!).

1:00 p.m. Emmett wants to go back outside to play, so I pour his milk and we head out. With the nice weather, he's taken to enjoying his milk outside to watch squirrels and have me read to him. I totally love it so we do that again. He's FINALLY OFF THE BOTTLE! We got him to use a transitional bottle a Hike It Baby friend passed down to me, but we accidentally left it in Houston last weekend, so on our drive back we picked up a hard spout cup and he's been using it no problem. At last! He's not tired at all yet and we run around and party for a while, playing basketball, running in circles and having tickle fights (kid LOVES tickles). I sneak upstairs to take a shower because it is NECESSARY.

2:00 p.m. I emerge from the shower as I hear the guys brushing teeth, so I make it in time to help tuck him in and read his book, then we say bye bye. Luke and I have a whirlwind naptime where we put up our Christmas tree and inside decor, install our new TV (Luke found a black Friday deal and pulled the trigger since some of the pixels were failing on our old 65 inch TV), I finished the last installment Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and I worked on this blog post. I also whip up some beet hummus to take to our friends' house later this evening.

4:45 p.m. Geez this kid is STILL asleep. He must be growing/teething because I swear his sleep has been epic this past week. I'm also certain come Monday it'll be back to normal, so I'm embracing what I have while I have it. I go up to wake him and we get right in the car to head to our friends' house.

5:15 p.m. It's paella night! Our friends do an annual paella night to kick off the holidays. They live in one of the beautiful Mueller courtyard homes so Emmett loves to run around with the other kids there (and they had a super cute dance party too). The paella was SO FREAKING GOOD, we were all raving about it (did I mention she's 9 months pregnant? #myhero). Emmett was being picky unfortunately, so he loved the salmon in the seafood paella and some crackers, but no rice or anything else.

6:45 p.m. E has decided he's all done with being there (and oops, that's usually when we start bedtime nowadays) so we say our goodbyes and head home. E is still hungry and asks for broccoli, so I whip him up a bowl that he munches on -score! We check out the Christmas tree and he puts as few ornaments on, then we snuggle and tickle on the rug.

7:30 p.m. We all go upstairs to start tubby time. E enjoys playing with toys and helps scrub himself down. Then we sing the shark towel song, put on a diaper and let him select his jammies. (He screams WEEOOO WEEEOO on the top of his lungs looking for fire truck jammies - they're all dirty so he settles for construction truck bottoms and elephant tops). He enjoys some milk while we read him books. Then it's time to brush teeth and get in bed. We read him one last book and all say goodnight!

8:15 p.m. He went down a little later than usual (and we hear him talking to his animals on the monitor another 10 minutes) but we'll take it! We sit down to watch Designated Survivor and admire the new TV.

9:45 p.m. We head upstairs to get ready for bed. I get through one chapter of my book and lights out by 10 after 10.


E woke up at 6:45 the next day which wasn't bad, but only had a 45 minute nap which NEVER happens. It all evens out I suppose :)