Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Day in the Life with 4 Year Old and 9 Month Old

In the spirit of not letting another 6 months go by, here's another day in the life! Adelaide has changed a lot the last few weeks. She's comfortably going from laying down to sitting back up all on her own, she's rocking on her hands and knees and scooting backwards. She's got 5 teeth and has the most charming wave, and she loves playing with balloons (with mama's supervision). She's also really taking to solid foods. She loves feeding herself easy finger foods like peas, beans and Cheerios, and girlfriend can pound a pouch in no time!


She's also starting to cut down on nursing a bit, but her nursing and sleeping habits still vary a lot day by day. Like, some days she takes one 20-minute nap, on my lap. Like, that's it, all day. Other days, I'll get one 2 1/2 - 3 hour nap out of her. Other days, it's a couple short-ish naps. We just go with the flow, and luckily she stays happy. Her night time sleep has leveled out a bit the last couple weeks with even a few 10-12 hour nights again mixed in - woohoo!

Emmett is really into imaginative play and will tell these intricate stories or have us act out these crazy scenarios for long periods of time. He also likes to act out what he sees on his favorite TV shows. We played a weird version of shuffleboard for an hour last week with some coins on our coffee table based on something he saw on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - ha!

7:30 a.m. I wake up to Emmett jumping on me in bed telling me Adelaide is awake. I'm all smiles because she slept through the night! It takes me a minute to get out of bed, and I find Luke, Emmett and Adelaide all snuggling in Emmett's bed, happy as can be. I say good morning and we get the download from Emmett because they had a new babysitter last night so Luke and I could go see the Texas Roller Derby Girls for a fun, different date night. He had a blast, and so did we :) Then I grab Adelaide for a quiet nurse in her room.

8:00 a.m. Breakfast time! Luke has some blueberry muffins I made yesterday warming in the toaster oven, so I make some scrambled eggs and grab a Sumo orange. Emmett had a little bit of cereal in a cup and a cup of milk while watching a show with Luke before I woke up, and claims he's not hungry for breakfast- ugh! not cool... He says the orange looks good though and eats half of it. Adelaide chows down on some Cheerios, ignores the eggs I give her and sucks on the orange for about 2 seconds before discarding it. Since she's just nursed, I didn't really expect her to eat a ton, so no surprises here.

8:20 a.m. Adelaide rolls around on the carpet while Emmett and I pretend to drive in a car and go to the zoo (but it was closing, too bad ha!), an ice skating rink, and a music shop. Then he and Adelaide move to the play room to horse around while Luke gets himself out the door for work and I throw some clothes on. I make Emmett's lunch for school, feeling bad I didn't go to the store so he won't have his usual fresh strawberries. He says apple slices will work just fine though - no sweat!

9:18 a.m. I think he's having too much fun playing at home, because he declares he doesn't want to go to school. Uh oh... We go through this maybe once a month, and it's so stressful for me. He LOVES school, but every now and then he kind of freaks out about going. We talk about it and I remind him about everything he loves there, and offer to let him take a stuffed animal. He agrees while still grumbling, but gets in the car. When we pull in the parking lot, he says he LOVES school. 4 year olds - am I right?....

9:40 a.m. Adelaide and I head over to Target. I have fun cruising for Valentine gifts to send to my nephews for their annual Valentine box and get a few groceries as well. I was hoping to get a few produce items, but the selection looks particularly dismal today, so I only get a bag of apples and plan to hit Whole Foods with the kids tomorrow.

10:30 a.m. I'm in line to check out and realize Adelaide fell asleep - oops! I get out to the car and load up. Luckily she wakes up when I get her out of the Baby Bjorn, and I realize she has a dirty diaper. I change it, then nurse her in the passenger seat in the vain hope that she might fall back asleep on the way home. She doesn't, but no worries!

11:00 a.m. I throw the milk I bought in the fridge and head out on a walk. I listen to the first half of the latest Stuff You Missed in History Class episode on the regulator wars - which was inspired by the Outlander books/show. I've been reading the series, so was excited for this episode! I texted my neighbor Tiffany when I headed out, and 15 minutes into the walk she says she's down. I loop around to scoop her up, and we walk and chat.

Noon - I realize Adelaide fell asleep in the stroller - woohoo! We do one more block and say goodbye. I get her in the house and put on some white noise, and she stays asleep. Yay! Lunchtime for me. I warm up some leftover Instant Pot risotto with some roasted cauliflower. For color, I steal some steamed butternut squash I made for Adelaide (she hasn't really enjoyed it the few times I offered, so I figure she won't mind ;)  )

12:30 p.m. I kick up my feet to eat on the couch, turn on an episode of This Is Us and get typing. Then it's time to catch up on laundry mountain!

So. Many. Socks.

1:40 Adelaide wakes up, and just in time. I grab her and we have a nice nurse, then finally get her dressed for the day and head out the door to pick up Emmett.

2:15 Emmett is all smiles after school, and it's gorgeous outside. We play on the playground with a few of his best pals. Adelaide even gets in on the action! I can't put her down on the ground, since she'll immediately start shoveling rocks in her mouth - ha! We have an applesauce snack before heading out.

3:30 Back home, and Emmett has some "relaxing TV time." Adelaide plays on the rug for a while and I do some dinner prep and unload the dishwasher. Then she has another nurse.

Throwing cups - but really, those rolls though! <3 <3 <3

4:40 We head to the backyard to pick some kale and sage from our garden for dinner. Fun fact, we planted our garden way too late and then didn't tend to it, like, at all. But, the kale came in thick and happy, as did the sage, so at least there's that! After gardening, we have fun swinging, playing baseball, basketball, and other 4-year-old random ball games.

5:45 Luke gets home just in time for some preschooler drama. I feel bad he often gets home right when someone is melting down, especially because we usually have mostly lovely days! We talk Emmett off the ledge while I finish up dinner.

6:00 We sit down to dinner! On the menu: panko crusted honey mustard salmon, mashed sweet potatoes with sage brown butter, simple kale salad (recipes below). Adelaide has bits and pieces of everything, minus salt. Emmett doesn't like sweet potatoes or kale (luckily he likes most other veggies though), so he gets brown rice and peas on the side.

Sleepy boy <3

6:30 Emmett looks REAL tired at dinner and just houses two bowls of peas and a few bites of salmon. He asks to go upstairs and take a tub (it was a long, high energy day for him, so no surprises here). I decide to do a quick nurse with Adelaide since she didn't eat a ton at dinner. She's down (which is good, because if I try to nurse and she's NOT hungry, she may be tempted to bite -- ouch!!). She falls asleep on my lap, but no dice with a 6:30 nap. I throw her over my shoulder and we head upstairs, which promptly wakes her up. Emmett is in full tubby mode but says he doesn't want to tub with her tonight, so we wash him up then put her in. He loves "babysitting" her while she's in the tub and happily keeps her entertained with toys while Luke monitors. I sneak back downstairs to tidy up from dinner, then get changed.
Sorry sleepy girl, too late for nap, too early for bed. WAKE UP! :)

7:10 p.m. It's Monday night, which means it's time to head out to Body Jam! They just launched a new routine last week, and I'm really digging it. My watch pings me at 8 with Luke sending a celebratory text that he already got both kids in bed and asleep - woohoo! I stay after to gab with my jam pals for a few minutes, then head on home.
Post-Jam glow

8:50 p.m. Back home, Luke gives me the bedtime download. Apparently, Emmett wanted to keep them company while Luke gave Adelaide a bottle. He crawled in her crib and promptly fell asleep. So when A passed out, Luke placed her next to him and then scooped him up and put him in his own bed. I wish I could've seen that!

I hose off, then pour a little bowl of cereal and we watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

9:35 We head upstairs to get ready for bed, read, and pass out at 10:30. That night, A wakes up once at 12:30 to nurse, and then luckily goes right back to sleep. Spoiler alert, she doesn't wake up til 9:30 and takes her first nap at 2:30. So unpredictable!

Panko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon

2 salmon fillets, skin-on
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons German or grainy mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup panko
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Stir mustard and honey together in a bowl, then spread over salmon. Top with panko and gently press down.

Warm an oven-safe skillet like a cast iron over medium heat and drizzle with oil. Place salmon, skin side down, in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. Place skillet in oven (don't turn salmon over), and cook another 8ish minutes (depending on thickness of your fillets). Enjoy with or without salmon skin (it's easy to scoop the salmon right off the skin with a spatula when removing from skillet).

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sage Brown Butter

3 medium sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 sage leaves, cut chiffonade-style
Salt to taste

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in steamer basket and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternately, you could microwave or cook in the instant pot, but I like the texture of steamed potatoes when mashing). Remove from heat and mash. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-low heat, add butter and sage. Let butter melt and stir occasionally, until right as it starts to get brown. This took me about 4 minutes, but definitely keep an eye. Pour over sweet potatoes and stir. Season with salt to taste.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Day in the Life with a 4 Year Old and 8 Month Old

You don't realize just how quickly time flies by until you look up and it's been 5+ months since your last allegedly monthly day in the life post. Oops! It's not that things have been particularly harried around here, I just rarely have down time at the computer, and I haven't had the energy or desire to document. It's impossible to adequately fill in the last 5 months without rambling on for pages, so a few highlights:

  • We survived the summer! I was so nervous how August especially would go since Emmett didn't have any school then, but it flew by pretty painlessly. It's kind of a blur now, but in a good way. Luke's folks took him for four days that month for adventures in San Antonio. We had our own fun with Adelaide doing things that are hard to do with a preschooler in tow (like visit a non-kid-centric museum, and make fun lengthy dinners like paella).
  • Adelaide WAS an amazing sleeper. Key word: was. She slept 10-12 hours without waking from months 3-6. We thought we were golden. Nope! The 6 month sleep regression happen, and never actually ended. I'm averaging 2 wake ups a night, which luckily are just nurse and go back to bed. A few weeks ago, it was nurse and then listen to her squawk and party in her crib for another 45 minutes.... Momma is a little bit sleepy zzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • We're in a nice groove with Emmett back in school, now 3 days a week. He does after school cooking class (how cute right?!) and explorers class as well, so some days A and I have nearly 5 hours to do our thing. Often when we pick him up, we stay and play on the playground with his pals as late as 3 or 4, and those days fly by!
  • Luke and I got to get away to New Orleans in September while his awesome parents came to Austin to stay with the kids. We had the best time attending a friend's wedding, eating, drinking and catching up with folks.
  • I'm getting allergy shots (hello, cedar fever!). The office is around the corner from E's school, so A and I are in a nice groove of popping over there after we drop him off, now once a week (used to be 2-3 times in the fall). I have to stay 30 minutes after each shot, so I bring a picnic blanket and a few books and toys and we play in the courtyard just outside and have a super gentle time. It's nice no-chore time for me to really focus on her.
  • Adelaide now has 4 TEETH (at this age, Emmett was still toothless). Her first 2 popped up at 4 months and we didn't realize she was teething other than some drool. The second 2 came with a bit more fussiness, but we survived with the help of our friend Tylenol ;)
  • She's sitting strongly and has a wide wingspan to reach toys and interact. She's rolling around everywhere and can get pretty dang far even though she's not crawling. She's saying Dada, but not Mama despite my best efforts! She enjoys grabbing foods, but isn't eating a ton of solids yet - work in progress! 
  • I thought I would've gotten back to freelance work by now, but see comment above on little free computer time. Emmett dropped his nap in September (props to him for keeping it up all summer for me - my goal). So my free time during the day is limited to when he's watching TV and A is napping, and usually I'm cooking/doing laundry/mouthbreathing then. The good news on the dropped nap is that bedtimes are much smoother and earlier (usually 8 again), whereas before sometimes we could still hear him awake at 9:30!

Here's a day in the life. And oops, I forgot to photograph the food. DOH!!! Sorry :D

7 a.m. I wake to the sounds of Adelaide. We're a bit flip-flopped this morning. Usually Emmett rolls into our room between 6:30-7:15 and quietly wakes Luke and they head downstairs and A and I snooze until 8ish. But she skipped her second wakeup last night (woot woot!) so she's the first up today. It's coooold out so Luke scoops her up and I nurse her in bed while Luke showers.

7:30 Emmett STILL isn't awake (surprising!) but we know he'll be sad if he misses breakfast with daddy, so we wake HIM up for a change. Luke plops Adelaide on E and he wakes up smiling. He LOVES snuggling with his sister!

8 a.m. Breakfast is served! PBJ oats with blueberries - a Robison family classic.

8:45 a.m. We wave bye bye to daddy, then head to the play room to play with a new Christmas toy - a magic truck. You draw a line with a thick black marker and turn the truck on, and it follows the path you make. Pretty cool! It takes us a while to figure out how to turn it on (hello cheap Amazon toy), but I prevail and we're entertained for quite a while.

9:30 a.m. I realize A is probably hungry and could use a nap. I turn on Emmett's current favorite show - If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - while I put A down for a nap. Then Emmett helps me take down Christmas ornaments, vacuum the car (his idea! one of his favorite activities), garden in the front yard.

11:30 a.m. We head inside to warm up some leftover soup for lunch (recipe below. Emmett LOVES soup, especially brothy soup - chicken noodle is a favorite. He doesn't like kale so I just scooped his bowl before adding the kale at the end).
Adelaide wakes up right as it's warm so I grab her and she plays with some pasta, carrots and kale from the soup in her booster chair while we eat. Then I nurse her again while Emmett sulks (kid would love to watch TV every time I nurse - ha!).

12:15 p.m. The cold morning has turned into a BEAUTIFUL day, so we head out on a neighborhood balance bike stroll. E is actually getting really good on his pedal bike without training wheels, but still needs a little help getting started/getting off which I can't really manage by myself with A, not to mention I can't keep up with how FAST he is! Though over the break we met some friends on a trail and Luke biked with the boys for 4 MILES - go E!

1:00 p.m. We get back and have a tea party, then head upstairs to play sleepover in his room. Lots of snuggles and horsing around and fun!Then I pull out a book a friend gave him for his birthday - 5 Minute Pete the Cat Stories. He LOVES Pete the Cat so it's awesome to binge read several of these. I nurse Adelaide and Emmett turns the pages for me.  E and I are hungry, so I pack a picnic per his specifications - apple, banana, raisins, cheese and pretzels and we gobble down.

2:20 p.m. We had tentative afternoon plans to meet up with his bestie Max at a playground, but I need Adelaide to take a nap first! Max's mom and I text and her youngest hasn't napped yet either. We decide to abort the playground idea and plan to meet up for happy hour/dinner later. I head to A's room and nurse her and put her down for a nap. Emmett and I horse around in my room jumping around the bed (three cheers for setting a good example - whoops!). Then we see a funny video my sister posted on Instagram of her two boys dancing and we watch it over and over. So then naturally we take a dance video and send it to my sister - Emmett thinks it's hilarious!

3:00 p.m. Adelaide wakes up from her nap - womp womp. I half-heartedly propose a trip to Costco to get a few things we kinda need, but look outside and it's still SO nice out and say OR we could swing in the back yard. No brainer!

4:00 p.m. Time to nurse Adelaide again, and I let Emmett watch a bit more TV. We cap our day at home with an afternoon dance party to KUTX's Old School happy hour (every Friday 4-7) and they are ON IT with jam after jam. I'm glad Emmett isn't old enough to be embarrassed of me yet :D

5:00 We hop in the car and head around the corner to our favorite neighborhood restaurant - Santorini. We're meeting up with his bestie Max and his family, so we're in for a fun night. I make sure to pack all sorts of glow sticks, a frisbee and a ball to keep the party going. The grown ups enjoy sangria, we all enjoy mozzarella sticks, and I get my favorite falafel gyro. They have a great outdoor area with kid toys to play around with, and we always have that area to ourselves. Adelaide happily sits in the middle of the picnic table the whole night being little miss social. It's a great night!

7:15 p.m. We head back home, and I realize it's been 3 hours since A's last nurse. I pop her on to nurse in my bedroom while the guys run around being silly a bit more. She tries to pass out but we keep her awake. Then it's tubby time, jammies and books.

8:15 p.m. Adelaide and I say goodnight to Luke and Emmett. L&E snuggle in his bed, while I head to her room to nurse her and but her down for a late 8:30 bedtime.

8:30 p.m. We kick up our feet and watch a TV show, then do some reading.

10:15 p.m. Lights out!

Sausage, Shell and Kale soup

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
8 cups chicken broth
Parmigiano Reggiano rind, optional
6 ounces pasta (I used small shells - Emmett loves them!)
1/2 bunch kale, chopped

In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, brown sausage and break it up, 6-8 minutes. Remove sausage and place in a bowl. Warm olive oil in the pan and add veggies and saute about 5 minutes. Season with spices. Add broth and bring to a boil. Pour in pasta shells (and parm rind if you have one) and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in kale and cook 2 minutes. Add additional salt if needed.