Monday, September 17, 2012

What We've Been Up To

 I hope you all had a great weekend!  Last week brought a new determination for me to break up the little rut that we found ourselves in during the days.  I don't feel right calling it a rut because really it's just our daily routine that we enjoy.  Routines work really well around here, but I don't like to find them becoming rigid, where we do exactly the same thing day after day when we're at home.  We are used to being quite busy and we needed a little of that energy back!  So I came up with a few new activities to do with Henry, and that was all it took to just reconnect us with each other and all of the fun, every day things that are all around us.  I sometimes forget just how quickly he's growing, and how much more he is capable of and interested in each day.  Honestly, even just a few days makes a huge difference... He is learning so quickly!  One of my main goals as a parent is to give him the opportunity to constantly explore and experiment with new things, and while I try to include lots of little adventures in our days, I am always reminded that for a toddler, it doesn't take much to please.  The activities don't have to be fancy to be really wonderful.  Some of his favorite things to do with me are in fact, quite the opposite. Playing with the laundry, pushing the vacuum, turning it on and off, holding the dustpan for me, emptying the bookshelf as I put all of the books away, these are some of his favorite things.  We spend the majority of our day playing outside, in the yard, at the park, on a walk... but when we're home, he loves to do those everyday little chores.  Like I said though, we needed some new activities, so...
Here are some of the little adventures we had during the week:

Henry's first kayaking trip.  He liked it a lot!
 We made granola bars together.  Henry was especially fond of missing the bowl and throwing oats on the floor. I think he secretly just wanted to ensure a vacuuming session afterwards :) 

Daddy snapped a picture of us while we stirred.  I wasn't allowed to touch the spoon, so I just held the pot still.
 We made finger paints!  Henry isn't that into coloring or painting yet... but he's definitely into squeezing different textures through his hands and watching the mess unfold.  So this was still fun! They didn't really stain and were a breeze to clean up.  I was surprised.

 This wasn't an activity.  Just a cute moment of Henry checking himself out in the mirror
 Probably the highlight for H.  A friend opened up the fire station so he could climb on all of the trucks!

 He tested out every single vehicle they had. 
 And who knew- he LOVES to help with dishes! This is great because I feel like I do them all day long.  I don't know why I never had him "help" with those before because he loves playing in water and doing big boy activities. I'm sure this will be his new favorite thing to do in no time.  See? Easy to please.  Also, doing the dishes was not an activity that I came up with.  The thought makes me giggle.  It just happened to be something we were doing today that Eric snapped a picture of. But you better bet we'll be doing a lot more of it during the days!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Delicious Start To Autumn

Today we went to watch football with Eric's dad, and as we walked in he had the most wonderful surprise waiting.  We had talked about going to the orchard to pick apples for applesauce soon, and he had done so this week, picking up an extra bag for us.   It has been a long time since I've made applesauce, but in my opinion, baking and cooking anything with apples is one of the very best parts of fall.  I've been half way looking forward to the changing season because autumn has always been my favorite time of year, but I've been clinging a bit to the last moments of summer because it was a short one for us, and I was really soaking up the feeling of a few hot months.  I can certainly say I am done clinging to summer now, and am more than ready for this season and all of the cozy things it brings.  Like making applesauce, of course.
I love the whole process, how involved it is, how all it takes is the simplest and freshest ingredients to make the most delicious treat, the overwhelmingly delicious smell that surrounds you as it simmers away, and how next to nothing is wasted in the end.  We started with a huge bag of apples,  included the core, seeds, and peels in the pot to cook, and at the end we may have had half a cup total that was sifted out.  Pretty much just seeds and the tough part that surrounds them.  
We will be heading to the apple orchard in the coming weeks to pick more.  I can't wait to see Henry there, I know he'll be just as in love with it as I always have been. 

In other news, I'm happy to say that after my down day last week, I'm feeling much better! I tried really hard to plan some fun things for Henry and I to do, and I'll share some of our projects this week.  The boy likes to bake (throw ingredients on the floor), I can tell you that!  I know that hard days will continue to pop up here and there, and that is normal and to be expected.  But I cannot help but to be slightly irritated with myself when I think back on it, read my post from that day, etc.   I have SO MUCH to be thankful for, and I would really like to focus more on that. It's important to acknowledge the things that are hard for us, the bad days, and then move on from them, and luckily, I've done that this week.  

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.
What do you look forward to doing as autumn rolls around?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not Each Day Is Easy

I would say the majority of our days here have been fine.  Good, even.  And when there are multiple days like that and I'm feeling like we are finding our groove, it's easy to forget that we are still in the beginning stages of this big change, and not every day is going to be smooth.  I was definitely reminded of this today.  Well really, this week in general.  The fact that I've been in a funk is undeniable.  Henry and I have a pretty established little routine day to day, but I know it's not a long term reflection of what our days will look like, and I'm just getting incredibly anxious to get our plans sorted out.  I think we are both bored on occasion, as we don't see many other people than just each other.  Don't get me wrong, he's my very favorite person in this world to spend time with, but it's hard starting over knowing no one.  It leads us to do the same things over and over again most days, which I don't think he minds quite as much as I do.  But I'm trying to be creative.  I know I'm lucky that we get to be together all day long, even if it is just the two of us most days, and I need to make the most of it because one day we will be busy again. I do not want to whine away in this space, so for tonight I am relaxing, and feeling more positive as I sit here and recharge.  With a glass of wine in hand, I'm searching for more activities to do with Henry, so that his days are full of fun, exploration, and adventure.  I am also dreaming of carving time for activities that center and inspire me. And as always, trying to just continuously work on being content with the now.  I can get so stir crazy, and while I love to wander and explore, I truly want to enjoy the slower days as well.  It's a constant battle for me, enjoying slower paces and not losing sight of patience.  I am a busy person by nature, while I crave a slow day here and there in the midst of incredibly busy days, I thrive in the faster pace.  Right now I'm adjusting to the exact opposite, and am hoping to be patient with myself and those around me while I do.

As always,
thanks for listening.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Long Weekend

I was so happy to have a long weekend this past week, because it meant an extra day with Eric free from work, a family get together with some family members I haven't seen in quite a while, and a few outdoor adventures too.  It was so nice to have my sisters and nieces and nephew here too, and I know Henry adored that part.  It was so wild with all of the cousins together that I didn't have time to snap a single picture of the chaos.  My sister had her camera at the ready though, so I'm excited to see the pictures of the whole bunch of goofballs together.  We had a picnic, we went to the park, rode the mini train, fed ducks, and oddly enough the best toy of all was my oldest sisters wedding dress that each babe wanted to try/sit on.  Too cute.
 We decided to take a quiet little trip to the farm (Eric's family's), just the three of us (plus dogs).  It seems Eric's entire family is the most at peace when they're there, and I think Henry feels it too.  He was so excited to see the horses, walk through the tall grasses, pick old dandelions, and sit to soak it all in.  It's refreshing for each one of us to go out there and enjoy the quiet, and now it's one hundred times more special because we get to see Henry explore.  One large reason for moving back was to give Henry that very opportunity that was so special to Eric growing up.  
We grilled the most delicious food on Monday evening, and before we knew it the weekend was over.  I'm not complaining though because in one short day it'll be back again.  I'm hoping to make some delicious tailgating snacks on Saturday, and on Sunday my plan is to bake my first loaf of bread, and a pan of granola bars.  I think it must be the little hints that fall isn't far away that put me in the mood for baking  and cooking. Or maybe just the fact that my creative energy hasn't had much of an outlet recently and it's time to let it out.  

What did you do over the long weekend?