Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Day in the Life - 21 Months

Someone is barreling towards 2! Emmett started school last month (school aka two days a week of Mothers' Day Out). While the first couple weeks involved teary drop offs, the teacher assured me he cheered up within a minute or two. And now, no tears and he's telling me bye bye immediately - woohoo! He likes the other boys in his class (it's just 4 boys in the class) and his teachers and says all their names and friend and school all the time. Love!

He's all about hopping right now, is saying two word sentences like "more rice" and "hi mama hi dada," adding so many words to his list I've lost count (well over 100 now), likes racing by counting to random numbers and then shouting GO and running down the side walk, building block towers and tearing them down and still books, trucks and trains.

Since our last update, Luke and I got to enjoy a few days away at his best friend's wedding in Dallas over Labor Day. We had a ball catching up with college friends, and Luke gave an excellent toast at the wedding. His parents came to stay with Emmett at our place while we were gone - they're the best :) We also enjoyed a visit from my mom, sister and nephew this past weekend who came for a baby shower I co-hosted for my friend Meg. We all go way back since she and Lauren were in high school, so all the Lehfeld ladies were attending. Luke was super dad/uncle and watched both the boys while we were at the shower (my brother in law was out of town) and everyone survived and had fun! My fun contribution was making some fall sugar cookies for the toddlers to decorate. They did great (with some help from the adults) and our table was only somewhat littered with sprinkles!).

And here's a day of preschool life:

6:25 a.m. I hear Emmett make a few grunts, but then he quiets down - great!

6:54 a.m. I hear Emmett again, this time singing EIEIOOOOO - he loves Old McDonald :) This is such a treat since he usually just fusses/cries/grunts when he wakes up until we come grab him. Since he's happy and then gets kind of quiet again, I take the chance to brush my hair and even put on a little makeup - what a treat!

7:10 a.m. We go grab Emmett and he's all smiles. He wants to read Little Blue Truck's Halloween - a gift from my mom and his current obsession. He shops his other books and we read one more, then we change his diaper and head downstairs. I start some brown rice in the rice cooker to send in lunches (both the guys are rice snobs and prefer fresh), the coffee and get breakfast together. Luke and Emmett play in the living room.

7:30 a.m. Time to sit down for breakfast. We've been eating lots of cereal lately, so it was fun to do something different today. I made a breakfast casserole this weekend for when my family was here similar to what we enjoyed on the holidays - bready, eggy, cheesy and bacony. Yum! Served with a side of mango (huge kent mangos on sale at the store!) and figs. I served Emmett some casserole, which he didn't touch, and mango, which he LOVED! He probably ate 5 times what I initially served him. And of course, his favorite, cereal in a bowl with milk. Current favorites are Kix and Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins.

7:45 a.m. All done! The boys start playing again and I clean up from breakfast and pack lunches while enjoying my second cup of coffee. I turn the corner to find them on their computers on the couch - too cute! Then Emmett starts pretending to make/eat soup - I love that he's playing pretend now! He's usually making "rice" - his favorite - so soup is a good change.

8:30 a.m. We say goodbye to dada and set off on a toddler led walk. We stop by the little fish pond on the side of our neighbor's yard. Emmett calls them turtles (he's obsessed and that's going to be his Halloween costume!). We walk a bit more to his favorite peekaboo spot and play for a bit, then we head home. He starts dilly dallying and we are running late, so I ask him if he wants to go up, and he says high! So I put him on my shoulders and we head home. Just a half mile but lots of fun.

9:15 a.m. I gather his school things and we head to school. I drop him off and he's ready to play and says bye bye! I don't linger since he's good, which is just as well since I have a doctor's appointment to get to.

9:40 a.m. I arrive at the doctor. Since I started staying home with Emmett and we started spending a billion hours outside, my allergies have gone into overdrive. So, I'm finally consulting an allergist! I fill out a survey and then the doctor comes in and we chat and he takes a look at my ears/nose/throat. We set up an appointment for allergy testing next week - nervous/excited to see what happens.

10:40 a.m. I drive to Old Navy to look for some toddler pants. We've been enjoying a delightful cool front which made me realize that E doesn't have many pants for this season yet. I also found a few pieces for myself ;) Afterwards I headed to Target to return something and grabbed a couple other cute toddler pants.

12:15 p.m. Back home and hungry! I warm up some leftovers from last night - pork tenderloin, butternut squash, brown rice and a few sweet potato fries from yesterday's lunch. I never love reheated pork tenderloin, but this one is passable. Then I tidy up quickly and finally start working on the family photo gallery wall in our staircase. I love that I'll get to walk by these photos every day!

1:05 p.m. I grab some library books that are due today and head out the door. I drop them off and quickly pick out some more kids books for Emmett. I used to take him with me, but he never wanted to look at the kid books or have me read to him there and wanted to run around the aisles.

1:30 p.m. Time to pick up Emmett from school! He had another good day. He did some independent climbing and loved playing ring around the rosie with one of the other boys and apparently loved falling down. Ha! He says "home" so I grab him and his things and we get in the car. I turn on Daniel Tiger - his favorite. The drive is ten minutes which is both short and long. It's his nap time so I turn on the TV for him to help keep him awake. We get back and immediately go upstairs for naptime. He drinks his milk and luckily doesn't get too made when it's empty, and we read a few books. Then we brush teeth (per his request) and he gets in his crib. I read his goodnight book and say goodbye. I hear him over the monitor for a few minutes chatting with his animals, then he goes to sleep.

2:10 p.m. I grab a cookie favor leftover from the shower (I made them - I think they turned out pretty good! I followed the recipe from Glorious Treats). I start a load of laundry then work on this post. Then I flesh out some story ideas for The Latin Kitchen (I'm contributing to their Austin section) and fold laundry. He's still sleeping, so I prep a salad for dinner and pack a fun toy bag to take to the doctor - Emmett and Luke are getting flu shots. I had the hiking carrier all ready for an after nap hike - we had our first one in MONTHS yesterday due to the cooler weather and it was glorious. I was looking forward to repeating that.

4:30 p.m. E slept until 4:30. What?! He's been taking super short naps on school days - like an hour, so I was fully expecting him to be awake by 3:30 at the latest.Gotta scrap the carrier nap (bummer!!) in lieu of expending some toddler energy around the house. We read some favorite books and the new library books.

5:05 p.m. We hop in the car and head to the doctor. We get there and found out I took us to the wrong office.... WAH WAH. But, they're kind enough to fit us in. Luke meets us there (yay dada!) and they have some fun in the waiting room.

5:40 p.m. Shot time. Luke is holding Emmett at the time and asks to get his first. Emmett immediately starts crying when Luke gets his shot and continues until he gets his. Luckily he calms down within 20 seconds - phew. I promised him some Daniel Tiger on the drive home so we hop back in the car and turn on some DT and head home.

6:10 p.m. I immediately start reheating pieces of lasagna that I whipped up during a looong nap time yesterday for dinner tonight and toss the salad (romaine + cucumber + queso fresco + yogurt + lime), warm up some peas for Emmett and we sit down for a slightly late dinner. E loves the onions in his lasagna (ha!) so we go digging for extra onions to give him.

6:30 p.m. After dinner we immediately suggest a walk and Emmett is all for it. We have a great time enjoying the weather and each others' company. More acorn gathering, rock examining and games of peekaboo happen, and we meet lots of friendly neighbors and dogs. Fun!

7:20 p.m. We were so chatty we're home a little late - oops! The boys head upstairs to start bathtime while I power clean the dinner mess - luckily not much since I cooked the lasagna yesterday. I pour Emmett's milk bottle and make it up for the tail-end of bath time. E is in good spirits and after bath demands his "doot doot" song (it's a silly song about sharks we sing in his shark hooded towel). Then I attempt to put on some adorable new Halloween jammies my mom brought him - but he DEMANDS "honk honks" (truck jammies) so I compromise with monster bottoms and truck tops. *sigh* Then we settle down for a bottle while Luke reads us Harry Potter (we're in the last quarter of Deathly Hallows - I had no idea we might actually finish this one!).

Then, things go south... E gets REAL mad when his bottle is empty. But, I only pour 6-7 ounces in the bottle and have backup milk in a sippy cup (we were hoping to gently ease him off bottle drinking, I'm not sure this is going to happen...). He starts crying/fussing and asking for milk but refusing the sippy cup (which happens sometimes). Usually when we start reading a book he likes, he calms down, but NOT tonight. He literally cries his way through three books (including lots of breathing exercises and calm talking too). We ask if he wants to brush his teeth (which he's super into again these days) and he says NO. We decide not to push it and instead put him in his crib with his stuffed animal besties and read him his goodnight book. He's still crying when we say goodnight and I feel AWFUL, but we decide to see what happens.

8:10 p.m. ASLEEP! He only cried 2 or 3 minutes. Geez. I need a glass of wine. We've been really fortunate that we haven't had to put him down crying in over a year. He's usually awesome at bedtime. This was a total bummer and really emotionally draining on both of us (and him too I'm sure!), so we just veg out to some TV and share a cupcake.

9:25 p.m. We head upstairs to get ready for bed and then read.

9:58 p.m. I'm beat and pass out.

I'm still navigating the waters of what our days look like on preschool days. This one was weird with the long nap. I'm hoping the rough night of sleep was a one-off (maybe due to some flu shot discomfort?). He slept til 7:15 the next day and we had an awesome day and fun hike! Glad to have my sweet boy back.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Nut-free Peanut Butter Oat Balls

Emmett's school is nut-free this year. I expected it, but I waited until the weekend before class started to test that his favorite recipe tastes just as good with sunbutter - oops! Luckily, he loved it and scarfed down five until I made him stop. Phew!

I make a batch every week or two and we run through them like crazy. Probably because I always bring extras to share with Emmett's friends - they know Miss Lindsay always has the good treats ;)

I love to bring them when we hike because they are so satisfying and a few can really fill you up. They're also my secret weapon when we go to play places. I let E run wild for a while, then I make him take a snack/water break to refuel, and then he's good to go for a while. A great way to spend a morning if the weather is yucky!

Ok this recipe is super simple. Wait and see:

Nut-free Peanut Butter Oat Balls

1 cup sunbutter (or a nut butter if they don't need to be nut free. Peanut butter or almond butter are my go-to's)
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to break up the dates, then whir until it resembles wet sand. Grab about a tablespoon worth and roll into a ball in your hand. Keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks or freeze. Makes 2-3 dozen depending on the size of the snack balls you make!