Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Progress.

We are making it... just enough to keep me from blowing up but not quite enough to have me feeling settled and confident in this upcoming move.  I know we'll get everything done, we don't have a choice, but it feels like there is not enough time to accomplish it all.  I'm choosing tonight though, to focus on the fact that we have, in fact, made some progress.  You wouldn't know it by looking in our house (hence my uneasy nerves) but we had to spend time going through all of the half-packed boxes in the garage that were spewing their random contents all over the space first.  ALL over it. Since we just moved across town last October, we didn't think we needed to pack carefully but that decision seems to have come to take a big ole' bite of our butts.  The plus side... and there is one... is that we've been able to purge a lot while sifting through each box and that makes me incredibly happy.  I am growing to hate the clutter.  A trait from my Mother that I never saw in myself growing up.  High school Victoria thrived in knee-deep clutter, but with each passing day I hate it more and more.  I keep telling Eric over and over (and am probably driving him insane by doing so) that if we don't absolutely and truly love something and know for fact that we will need to use it, then just get rid of it before we look at it long enough to want it.  Since we only half way unpacked when we moved into this house, there is so much stuff out there that is just that: stuff.  Things that have absolutely no meaning to us or purpose in our day to day life.  If I ponder over each thing long enough I can think of plenty of reasons why maybe we should keep it a while longer, but I know that since it hasn't been touched in over half a year and we had forgotten all about it, we no longer need it. So out it goes. When we move to the new house in Iowa we will be without a lot of things that we'd like to have.  But we can get by simply and it feels good to know that from here on out the things we acquire will be things that we love.  We are really ready to make this next place one that feels like home and reflects us. Waiting to complete that process will be frustrating, but I'm looking forward to it.

Packing is being put on hold now for a few days, as we are half way through our week with Eric in the middle of nowhere living alongside the grizzlies. He's working outside a small village, while we hold down the fort here.  Henry has been battling his molars, so keeping him content is my focus.  And, packing is much easier with two people, so I'm anxious for E to get back so we can keep going together!  Actually, even packing + entertaining baby-tot with two of us has proven to be difficult, and has resulted in more Baby Einstein than I'd like to admit.  Oh well.  So it goes sometimes.  At least we are all getting very good at our animal sounds as a result, since Henry is nuts for the Old McDonald episode only. As far as these molars go, we hate them.  Henry's usual signs of teething include a shockingly large and constant flow of drool, finger chewing, and sometimes a little irritability depending on the tooth.  His first molar came in fairly easily, but this one.  This one has made the poor boy miserable.  Yesterday afternoon he seemed to have turned a corner thank goodness, but I saw the corner of his third one today so it should start all over again soon.  A lot of mamas tell me that their babies feel the pain while the tooth makes its way up slowly, and then when it gets to the surface it pops up quickly and the pain is gone.  Henry seems to be the opposite.  I won't even know a tooth is coming until one day it's just right there slicing through the gums, but it takes forever to come all the way through.  No wonder he hurts, it's been almost a week and there is still 1/4 of the tooth under the skin.  Thank goodness we forget that feeling, right?

Sad baby feels better while he eats yogurt that I froze.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Balance

To all the Mamas out there, maybe you've already been as glued to Honest Toddler's blog/tweets as I have been, but if you haven't seen today's post, read this.  There haven't been many posts that don't have me snorting and whatnot with gut-deep laughter, but this one touched much deeper.  I often think back to being pregnant with Henry because sometimes it just feels like it was yesterday.  It can be hard to look at him and understand that he is on his way to being a big boy and he'll never be a baby again.  I miss being "one" with him despite the fact that I adore watching him grow into this amazing little person. I just really love HT's perspective in this post. You'll see. It's yet another reminder to just hug that little one in, hold him close to me and together enjoy that familiar feeling.  I think we're both still really learning that we're completely separate people. To me he is just as much a part of me as he was when his little life grew inside of me.  I suppose it will always feel this way, but it's my job to find a balance between that feeling and helping him to explore on his own and be his own person. Lucky for me he's young enough that every day Henry rides in that middle place too- wanting to be as close as possible one minute, and the next running from me as he heads off to explore is own interests.  My gosh I love it all.
Our friend Megan snapped this picture of us as we flung down the slide at one of those bouncy places, and I'm really happy to have it. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Little Panic, A Little Relaxation

I need to just be honest, I'm FREAKING OUT about the move.  Eric has to travel for five days which means we have a week and a half of time together to get this place packed up and ready to move across the country. We have essentially nothing no where near enough ready at this point, and my blood pressure feels through the roof over it.  It would have been lovely if we could have risen to the occasion and spaced this all out over time (you know, how some people start these things early? I don't know, I've never tried that) but it really isn't our style to be ahead of the game and overly prepared.  We apparently enjoy working under pressure.  This weekend must be productive.  So naturally Henry has a fever from who knows what,  and I usually catch every single thing he has, so here's to hoping that tomorrow brings a very healthy day for all. And the next after that, and the next after that and so on.
I'm sorry, are you sensing panic in my jumbled thoughts here?  It's hard to decide if I should share my stories of craziness and sweaty palms/anxiety attacks over this enormous change, or just wait until things have quieted down a bit.  Hopefully you can all bear with me for the next few weeks as I try to rein in the crazy a bit and just buck up and get things done.  I hope to sound more relaxed next week as all of our things sit nicely in boxes ready to start the new journey.  Adjustments are all around us right now and will be for quite some time, so I guess I just want to be able to focus on that rather than worrying if we'll even be able to get our things out of the house and on their way to the new one before it's time to go.  I feel like I was barely home this past week and essentially lived at the birth center (which was AMAZING, but incredibly busy) so with the next week off call we'll see what can get done.

Before I sign off to go make myself useful around the house,  a few photos of the more relaxing aspects of our week.  What have you all been doing to relax and enjoy the weather? I would love to hear.

Henry has learned to blow dandelions!
We went to an awesome park, but Henry was really only interested in the swings. 
On Father's Day, we played in the yard with friends and Eric and I got a little solo game of badminton in.  We were horrible, but it was fun to spend time one on one while Henry was entertained in the yard.
In an attempt to spend more meaningful time together even when at home rather than just exist in the same space, we've spent some evenings sitting on the porch together.  We tried a few new beers this night.
The geese have had babies!  They're fun to watch. 
Nap time on nice days has been split between getting dishes and things done, and spending some time alone resting in the sun on the porch.  It's much needed and very, very relaxing. 
After a dinner picnic on the porch, Eric and I caught H standing really close to Finny looking at him strangely.  Turns out he was working out how he was going to scootch in for a hug.  They hugged over and over for a good five minutes.  Our dog is a patient one. 
Today, it felt like real, actual summer.  I don't remember it ever feeling this warm up here the past few years.  Maybe I've just forgotten, but we were darn hot. We can't buy a baby pool or water table before moving, so I made do with his baby tub as a water table.  He wasn't as impressed as I thought he'd be, but I assume because he didn't feel well.  When we get home to 90 degree weather we had best be living in a pool to get by. 

 Have a wonderful weekend!






Sunday, June 17, 2012

Henry.

.

Henry my love,
I thought it was high-time I sit and jot down a few of the things you're doing right now that just make us giggle and our hearts burst time and time again.  You've always had a big personality, but you are really becoming such a goofy character.  Sometimes you do something so cute I'm sure I'll never forget the moment... until you do five more cute things and then I realize that I can't remember a detail from before.  So I need to make sure I'm keeping track.  Better get in the habit now before you really start talking and killing us with the silliness.  I remember when your Aunt Ray would tell me things about your cousins and the things they were saying and I wanted to write down every other sentence because they were so darn funny.  You'll be there in no time.  So a little update on you at nearly 15 months-
You've turned a corner with how quickly you catch onto things.  Or maybe you were able to understand before but it was just hard to mimic.  You remember the purpose of so many things we use, and how to do it and it never stops making me laugh.  You pull q-tips out of the drawer on your own, and sometimes you'll stop for a minute to touch one to your ear before throwing them all over the house.  I don't love finding qtips under my feet ever three steps, but I love seeing how you know just what they are used for, and how cute you look doing it so I haven't taken the box away yet.  You also pretend to put makeup on after emptying the bag all over (see a pattern here? You're all about using something and scattering.  Use and scatter, use and scatter.)  I still can't find half my makeup, by the way.  I'd like my eyeliner back when you get the chance :) You brush your hair and mine too, brush your own teeth (we follow with a better scrub of course), and you can spot hand sanitizer machines and insist on getting some and washing your own hands (I swear I didn't force this at all, you must have just picked it up watching me every three seconds!)
Your very best word is "uh oh!" but it sounds like "uh- ayyyyy" and I wouldn't mind if it took you a very long time to say it correctly.  It gets me every single time, which is a lot because you go out of your way to "drop" things so you can use it.  Let's see, what else are you up to these days?  You still obsessively wave at all planes that fly overhead, which is quite cute.  You also are best friends with the train that goes by our house each day.  You've been waving to it for weeks, and it's the main thing you blow kisses at when it's time to say goodnight and head to bed.  You put your arm up and motion along while saying "choo choo!" You haven't lost your love for the vacuum and now you've started really trying to help.  You always liked the on/off switch but now you crumble to tears if I don't let you stand beneath me and push it back and forth with me.  When I'm done cleaning I let you stand there and just try on your own for a long while.  You seem to be equally enthusiastic about the swiffer, you clean little boy! On the topic of cleanliness, if I hand you a wet wipe, you'll wipe your face, the table, or your privates.  You definitely pay attention!
I must have made the mistake of scolding the dog in front of you, because sometimes, when you see fit, you raise your little index finger and wave it back and forth saying "nnn nnn nnn nnn" (no no no) which I feel bad about but still love to watch.  I don't want you scolding the dog left and right, but watching you wave that little pointer around is hilarious! Pretty sure you also push my hands away from you sometimes and say "stop".  It sounds more like STAH! Not sure how I feel about that. Why you don't want me hugging you 12 hours a day I'm not sure, but you're entitled to your space so I try to listen.  I will not, however,  "stah" when you try to shove my hand off of yours while walking across parking lots, so you should probably stop trying that one soon. You keep getting better and better with animal sounds (cow, sheep, owl, dog, lion, monkey) and you love practicing.
I could go on for ages, but I think that's good for now.  I'm sure I'll have another update soon as the changes just don't slow down.
The toddler-esque bits of you become clearer by the day (attitude, anyone? Wrestle match?), but a lot of the time I still look at you and see baby, so I'm just eating up all of it.  It's all so fun.  Toddler, baby, our Henry... you are wonderful.  And we love you like you wouldn't believe.


The picture was taken the other day on one of the rare occasions (recently) when he fell asleep in my arms.  He may be getting big, but he looks 100% baby to me there.  Love. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mini Vacation- Photo Dump

Hey all!  I'm back from a super refreshing and incredibly fun week with my friend Elana.  She and I have been friends practically since we were embryos (okay, three and four years old so close enough) and sadly we don't see each other or even get to talk that much due to the fast pace of life, our living across the country from each other, etc.  Two and a half weeks ago I didn't even know we'd be seeing each other soon, but she suddenly decided to book a trip up to visit and holy cow am I SO GLAD.  Reconnecting was fantastic, we giggled like we were kids again. It was fun to show her a little piece of our life up here.
 There are a million and one photos that I'll be sharing here in this post, but in case you aren't really interested in seeing them all, I'm going to put them after the page break.  Come along if you want to see more from the week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

If you need a laugh...

Then let me suggest you read the blog Honest Toddler.  I found Honest Toddler (HT) on Twitter, constantly writing hilarious thought and comments from the mind of a toddler.  I just about pee myself night after night while looking through the words of HT.  I read them aloud to Eric all the time, some just because they're snort-laugh-worthy, and some because I just picture Henry and the thoughts he must have.  Some of the situations are just so easy to relate to over here, and I'm sure with everyone who has a toddler. I appreciate this kind of exaggerated humor so much, and if you haven't seen HT yet, I hope you enjoy when you do :) Many insights into the world of toddlers are ahead. Off to read some more!  I have already cried laughing once tonight when reading the post on one-year-olds, craving a bit more before bed.




Woke up in a panic. Something tells me my parents are enjoying the best sleep of their lives. Must end this.

and this:



Honest Toddler
 That was fun. Let's do it until you die of exhaustion.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer is more fun with no pants, apparently

Couldn't resist just sharing a few sweet moments from a couple of nights ago.  We went to Uncle Davie and Aunt Priya's house for a bbq.  Henry had so much fun playing with the hose, balls in the yard, and despite the fact that his forehead was eaten alive by mosquitos he had such a fun time.  My gosh nice weather rocks with this little boy.  I love the winter, but he can just do so much when he isn't limited by snowsuits!  Obviously in these pictures he wasn't limited by much clothing at all.  Just the way he likes it. 
We are pretty excited over here, because our dear friends left us for Mexico and have finally returned.  And one of my greatest friends who I rarely get to see gets here for a 5 day visit TOMORROW! She threw the idea around a few weeks ago and suddenly had a ticket booked and will be here shortly.  I have the next week off call so we will get to go adventuring a bit. I love when people spontaneously come for a visit! Any other takers out there? 





Monday, June 4, 2012

TBB

Happy Monday, everyone!
Top Baby Blogs reset again, so I'm here to ask just once for your vote if you would be willing.  I only mention it once each time they reset, and I hate doing it even the one time.  But I do hope you all know how much I love to write here, hear from you, share things together, and be a part of this whole blogging thing.  I know I only have a teeny tiny corner of it, and I do hope to be more active on here when things slow down just a tad.  But I appreciate every one of you that reads, and I want you to know that.  If you should feel like voting to keep the blog in the rankings on TBB, you can just click the link that's always on the right sidebar, and then click the owl on the left of the next screen.  You can vote once a day, occasionally, or vote no times and I am just fine with that either way.

 On another note, I hope you all had a nice weekend.  We had a good one, even getting the chance to meet up with some friends to share wine and good company, and I also went out dancing!  Two things that essentially never happen, so it was a nice treat.  We took family bike rides, ate some good food, and that essentially brings us to now.  We are at the tail end of Henry's nap right now, and I was planning to glance through recipes and make a meal plan for the week, but my eyes are sleepy and so I've just been staring out the window and being generally unproductive.  I'll try again later.  We've at least got tonight figured out, and I thought since we have a rotisserie chicken waiting to be eaten and the weather is cool and gloomy, it's a good night for pot pie.  HOORAY (!!) is all I have to say about that.  I let Eric do most of the pot pie making, because he's darn good at it.  I'll just buy the ingredients and watch.  Then eat. Happy Monday, indeed!




Photos:
1- We don't get out together much...
2- We can actually be a bit normal.
3- Enormous wine glasses. Love them, but made me feel like I was having 2 sips. They do that on purpose, I'm sure.
4-Friends, bistro fries, wine. All good things.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Kale chicken salad

Remember when I said I was going to stop relying on my phone to capture pictures, and make friends again with our camera?  Well, that hasn't happened yet.  Apparently the camera and I are on a break, so forgive the awful quality of these food pictures.  Phone or not I've never been great at photographing food actually (I'd love to get better at this, someone teach me!)  It hardly makes me look credible when it comes to delicious things but trust me when I say that this salad is delicious.  And you should be making it, or some variation of it.

The idea came from here, but I didn't really follow a single direction.  I don't care much for measuring or being careful, which is probably why I am a terrible baker, but love to cook.  It still turned out well, though!
I love kale and I've been wanting to make more salads recently.  My hope is to find more ways to spice up a salad and pack one for work every day for a few weeks. Regular green salads get boring after a while.  I stumbled upon this one earlier today and decided to practice tonight.
I started by sending the husband to the grill with a couple of chicken breasts that were marinated with some combination of olive oil, tamari (soy sauce essentially), garlic, a splash of rice vinegar, and a little salt and pepper.  I'll be honest when I say that I'm not a big meat cooker, so I had zero idea of what to put on there but it turned out delicious.  Meanwhile I rinsed and chopped half a bunch of kale, used a vegetable peeler to shave a couple of carrots, and chopped about a quarter or a red cabbage and mixed it all in a bowl.  I then melted a little spoonful of smart balance in a small frying pan, and toasted a package of crushed ramen noodles and a good handful of tamari pumpkin seeds and tamari sunflower seeds ( I bought both already flavored from the bulk section of the grocery store, which saved me a few steps in the kitchen!) We would both love to just eat a warm bowl of that combination, yum!  Don't be skimpy on the seeds, I wish I had put more in.
Those went into the salad and it all got mixed together.  I sort of remembered that the dressing was supposed to be a basic vinaigrette but I forgot exactly what she used.  Reading back now I realize that I just swapped rice vinegar for balsamic.  I just mixed olive oil (I didn't have any flax oil at the time), rice vinegar, Bragg's liquid amino's, and oregano together in a small bowl.  If you don't want to use Bragg's, just soy sauce is good!  When I had Eric taste it, he said it was oily and needed something to cut it a little, so I grabbed the lemon juice and put a little splash in there. The salad is uber crunchy and good on it's own, so I just put a little dressing on it, it didn't need much.  Chopped the chicken on top and voila!
The best part beside the flavor is the fact that everything is so crunchy it won't wilt right away in the fridge.  It's going to be a perfect salad to take to work, when usually salads are kind of underwhelming when they've gotten soggy waiting to be eaten at lunch time.  Henry and I ate it with some roasted sweet potatoes just for a little bit extra.  It was filling enough that I felt perfect after dinner, but not so stuffed that I won't be in the mood for my late night snack... just the way I like it! :)
It was a really easy dinner that I'll be keeping on hand for busy weeknights, and it was cheap which is extra exciting.  A big bunch of kale is only a couple of dollars, and all three vegetables last forever in the fridge so we can use them on something else.  Success!

Since Henry can't chew any of the vegetables in the salad while they're raw, he had sauteed carrots, the chicken from the salad, and the sweet potatoes instead. Strawberries for dessert!


During the busy week.

How is it already Friday?
This week has been a complete blur to me... I honestly cannot even tell you what I was doing three days ago.  What I do know, is our schedule was turned upside down just trying to accommodate various things.  I ended up working more full days than usual, which resulted in me hardly seeing Henry for a couple of days.  I got to take a nice drive to the valley to do my skills checkoff for work, but the drive itself was relaxing and fun.
Eric and I had our second wedding anniversary on the 29th, and we didn't get much of a chance to celebrate, but we at least had a chance to eat dinner together at home and recognize how thankful we are for the past few years of our lives.  It has been quite the ride, not a moment of it dull.  It's crazy to think about, really.  We have packed so many changes into our time together, it's amazing we keep up!  Cross country move, a wedding, a pregnancy right afterwards, welcoming a baby, raising that sweet baby, moving into another house, job hunting, planning the move, and now we have FOUND A HOUSE back home so we can really get excited!  There's no doubt that all of these changes can be trying at times on a new marriage, but I'm proud of how we've handled it all together.  We are so lucky for all of these things in our life together, and lucky we get to face the changes as a pair. Hopefully this weekend we can get outside and celebrate a bit more.
On the move front, I feel like I can let myself relax a tiny bit now that we have found a place to live.  The stress was driving me crazy, because I just wanted to find the right thing for our family. I had my mom racing around town every day looking at different places, and either things weren't right, or they were perfect but taken by another lucky family.  Just as I was on the verge of complete disappointment, my mama found the perfect spot, and the owner was willing to take a chance on us despite never meeting us and the fact that we have "a beast".  Referring to the dog, of course, not the toddler. :)  It has a yard for all of us to run in, enough space for us but not too much, and it's in a great part of town.  I'm thankful. And of course, I am racing back to Pinterest to play pretend house decorating in my head, filling each room with the simple and lovely things I want but probably cannot afford.  It's a cruel game. But piece by piece, I'm hoping to make this house the home we've been wanting for what feels like a very long time.
Henry turned 14 months old yesterday, and in this past week I have had more glimpses of his full on toddlerhood than ever before.  He's experimenting with various screeches and crazy energy levels, and also catching onto so many concepts and demonstrating proudly.  He's getting really good with animal sounds, and just various things he does around the house let me know how much he absorbs daily.  He carries things over to the garbage and tosses them in on his own, sweeps the floors, takes things apart and puts them back together, announces anything that's hot or cold to us etc.  I'm a little bit overwhelmed by the speed of his growth, really.  Yesterday he reached up to put a cracker on the countertops and he actually touched the top.  WHEN did he get that big?  I swear it must have been overnight.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  I'm hoping to soak up what is left of nap time in peace and quiet, and dream up some fresh and healthy meals for the week.  If there are any you've tried and loved recently, please feel free to share in the comments!