Felix loves dramatic play right now. LOVES IT. We pretend to be superheroes, pirates and space travelers every single day. And first thing in the morning is no different than the middle of the day -- he hops out of bed, and before having breakfast most days, he is ready to rescue someone or blast into outerspace. He loves imagining himself (and me or Dustin) in all of sorts of awesome, adventureous scenarios. I adore his imagination and find this kind of play to be the cutest thing ever. But...let's be honest, it also zaps my energy quite a bit and I find myself needing to switch things up after a good round of whatever it is we're pretending to be. This is where other activities come to the rescue. We often make art or do a sensory activity (e.g. water play, cloud dough, water beads) and we adore this activity to bring things back down to a quieter, calmer place. Lately, though, we've gotten more into playing board games, and it has been just the ticket. Of course, taking turns can get a little wacky sometimes (most of the time), and I always know when he's bored because he starts changing the rules of the game.
Some of favorites currently are Sneaky Snacky Squirrel and the Goodnight Moon Game (snagged it for 50cents at a yard sale, yes I did). We've also got our eye on a couple of othergames as potential birthday gifts.
Have any good board game suggestions? I love to hear 'em.
For my birthday (back in April) I received a wonderful little juicer and we've been going juice crazy around here ever since. Felix gets in on the fun most days-- he loves to drop the fruit and veggies down the chute and watch as the juice and pulp come out. Although I love a good swampy green juice, so far my favorite combo is: apple (granny smith and gala); pear; carrot; celery; and lemon. So bright and tart and tasty.
Do you have a juicer? If so, what's your favorite juice recipe?
Flower beds were prepped and seeds were planted A rain shower made for some fun outside playtime We took a beautiful country road drive to an organic strawberry farm There was a picnic I ate too much cashew butter Me and the mister got a sitter and had a lovely morning brunch date, followed up with some window shopping (it's been ages) The grill was fired up daily We walked to the farmers market I bought a GIANT bouquet of bachelor buttons Mornings came early
and...I got loads of sweet mama's day love to boot!
Hope your weekend was swell. Roman was crowned prince of the clover patch, which must have excited him to no end because he wasn't much interested in sleep all weekend. Very stinkery of him, if you ask me.
Let's see...what else is going on here...
Felix has informed me that for his upcoming 3rd birthday he wants to have a monster-themed birday party (?) and only Dustin and I are allowed to come. He is very outgoing, so I'm a little perplexed by this. We'll see how he feels as the date nears.
I started doing Whole 30 on May 1st. I'm on day six. So far so good, but damn I miss the taste of dark chocolate after lunch and dinner. It appears I had a little ritual going on there because so far that's what I'm noticing and craving most. It should be mentioned, though, that I am making some of the most amazing salads known to man. I'd love to hear from any of you who have done a 30 day "cleanse" like this. Any tips you can offer are greatly appreciated. For those of you who haven't heard of Whole 30, it's basically eating as clean as possible -- no sugar, no processed food, no dairy, no alcohol, AND, NO dark chocolate after meals. Sigh.
We're only gardening in pots this year. Two little ones are keeping us completely tuckered out most of the time so planning and preparing a big garden is one of the things we've decided to let go. We will have plenty of pots, though. Peas and tomatoes and herbs are already going strong. I am crossing my fingers that I can prepare a portion of our garden plot (about a third is what I'm thinking) for planting flower seeds. A wild cutting garden would make me very happy. It's on my list...hopefully I can find a way to make it happen.
Also, today is a big day for someone very special to us who has recently gotten some bad health news <<--that may just be the most cryptic sentence I've ever written:-) Anyway, we're thinking of him and sending tons of love from over here in NC.
Oh, one more thing before I run. Have you seen Top of the Lake? Just started it and I'm hooked.
p.s. I'm posting over at Habit with great company all month.
I am slowly trying to find the time and energy for crafty pursuits. It's challenging with two little ones, but slowly I think I might be figuring it out. I truly miss making stuff, which I haven't been able to do on a consistent basis since giving birth to Felix almost three years ago (yep, he'll be three in June. nutty, eh?). But every now and again I do find the time and it's thrilling. Sadly, though, I don't often find the extra time needed to photograph and write about it here. Today, I am trying to turn that around.
So...here is a little block puzzle I created for Roman a few weeks ago. I had the super smooth sanded blocks on hand (a big bag was given to me by a woodworker friend) and I knew I wanted to try making a little puzzle. It turned out really cute and was so relaxing to work on. As I worked one evening, Dustin commented that I seemed really calm as I painted. And after a day of hanging with kiddos, calm is what I was looking for. Yes indeed. It was relaxing and satisfying and now Romy gets to bonk himself with blocks ;-)
Hopefully there are more puzzles to come. I have a few littles in mind who are due for a gift.
p.s. Just a reminder that I'm posting over at Habit the entire month of May. Go take a peek.
Life has certainly gotten in the way of my being able to say hello in this space lately, that's for sure. I'll spare you every detail; here are the highlights from the last few weeks.
Felix was super sick for nine days with the most wretched norovirus ever. It involved a trip to the pediatrician and then the ER before everything was said and done. Luckily, he's back to his spunky self and the virus didn't sweep through the entire family. I suppose if Felix getting sick needed to happen it did so at just the right time because Dustin left for consecutive trips to Seattle and Switzerland right about the time Felix started feeling better. I dodged a major bullet there, let me tell ya.
While Dustin was away, I (THANKFULLY) had some much needed assistance from both my mom and then D's mom. They both flew in from out of state to save the day(s). Not sure how single parents do it. My admiration for people raising kids all by themself has always been pretty huge, and it has grown even bigger now.
Dustin returned from Europe yesterday (Yay!) and we're all healthy and happy, so onward we go!
Oh, and I turned 37 on April 8th. Yes indeedy. We had ice cream sundaes to celebrate. Boy, the 8th seems like ages ago...
One last thing. To get the blog juices flowing again (and to get my poor DSLR dusted off. shame on you, iphone and instagram) I'm joining the wonderful folks over at Habit for the month of May. It will be my third time participating. Can't wait.
Our homeschool co-op has been meeting for a little over a month and it is going so well. We look forward to it every week, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I first started scheming about organizing a co-op way back when. There are four families involved now, with another one set to join us soon. Five is definitley our limit as too many kiddos would make for too much chaos. We rotate hosting/lesson planning every week and everyone is doing a fantastic job planning and organizing when it's their turn to host. We're learning as we go (just like the kiddos!) and having so much fun.
Each time we meet we try to fit in storytime, arts and crafts, a sensory activity ^^^, a life skills activity (e.g. make your own smoothies, sweeping and using a dust pan, pouring drinks, making a simple snack), and some much needed outside time.
We baked bread week before last. That roll is marked with an "F". ;-)
It's wonderful to see Felix's face light up when I say, "today is homeschool co-op day." Can't wait to see what our future meetings hold. My face is kinda lighting up just typing this...
It has been a loooong time since I sent off a roll of film for processing. I forgot how exciting it is to get the the envelope back and pour over the prints. Since it often takes me quite a while to shoot a roll of 36 exposures I am always surprised by the shots I had forgotten about. Film is such fun. I highly recommend giving it a go sometime.
Here are a few of my favorites of our Miami trip back in January. More shots to share soon.
p.s. We had the whole place to ourselves because we wake up with the birds! This particular morning we had our breakfast and made it to the beach (a short drive from from our hotel) before the lifeguards started their 8am shift. Life with little ones...
Romy shared his bathtub with Felix. It was a use-at-your-own-risk endeavor, though. Romy kicks!
While out thrifting I found some handknit sweaters in perfect condition for the boys. Love it when that happens.
A batch of saurekraut was started. Have to wait a while to see how it turns out.
We had some friends over for breakfast on Sunday. I made a couple of quiches (my go-to when hosting breakfast or brunch) and whole wheat waffles with strawberries for the littles. D made several pots of coffee.
Felix was a big helper when it came time to feed Romy lunch. Melted my heart.
A big pot of chicken soup was made.
Dustin and I watched The Master (sadly, it had to be split between two nights -- we are old and sleeeeeepy).
I almost made oatmeal raisin cookies, but plans changed when poor Felix came down with a nasty stomach bug on Sunday evening. Several loads of laundry and lots of sanitizing later, he seems to be feeling better. Now our fingers are tightly crossed the rest of us don't get it.
I thought I'd take a few moments to write a little bit about something we've recently started doing that has made a big difference to us. Over the last few months we've gotten serious about making a weekly meal plan and sticking to it. This new way of thinking and planning has resulted in some very postitive things happening, namely, that we are eating more thoughtful and healthful meals, and we are actually meeting our monthly food budget.
One of our biggest issues before meal planning was that we (both of us, but mostly me) would make a last minute dinner plan several days a week, resulting in too many trips to the grocery for dinner ingredients AND additional hunger-induced purchases. This kind of shopping was doing a number on the amount of money we spent each month, and it was also wearing me out. A new plan of action was needed. Or...better yet, meal planning (and following said meal plan) to the rescue!
I'd love to hear your tips and advice, but so far here's how we've been approaching the whole thing at our house:
Each weekend (usually Sunday morning) I sit down with my beloved binder full of favorite recipes, my computer (for bookmarked recipes) and a few of my most used cook books and begin coming up with a plan. It is my goal to plan meals that are simple and healthy without being boring. I am also committed to spending a little more for quality ingredients whenever possible.
I begin by planning all of our dinners because it is my goal for dinner to provide leftovers to be eaten for lunch the next day. Do you do leftovers? We love leftovers at our house, however, I was just talking to a friend who said her family (mainly her husband and son) won't touch 'em at all. Strange birds.
After our weekly dinners are planned, I start thinking about what staples we need to restock and what snack items we could use that week. Felix eats snack every day after he rests and some of his most preferred snacks lately are: apples and cheddar; edamame; pretzels and peanut butter; and hummus with celery. He is also quite fond of dried fruit, which we now limit after hearing from our pediatric dentist how bad it can be for children's teeth. Yikes.
Along with whatever we need for meals, my weekly shopping list always includes eggs, milk, bread, and greens (for breakfast, dinner, and smoothies).
Each week I also try to make a big batch of salsa, hummus, steel cut oats (made in my slow cooker and stored in the refrigerator for breakfast), and homemade yogurt. We have lots of smoothies and smoothie pops because homemade yogurt is super economical.
This week our dinner plan is:
Monday: roasted chicken, sweet potato fries, salad Tuesday: sauteed kale and mushrooms over polenta with fried eggs on top Wednesday: lemon pasta with roasted broccoli, salad Thursday: veggie enchiladas, spicy adobo rice, avocado slices Friday: homemade whole wheat pizza dough with veggies and cheese, salad
I would love to hear how you go about food shopping and planning?
Today marks the day our little baby boy has traveled half way around the sun. Just like that six months have passed since we first laid eyes on his beautiful face at 4:44am that morning back in September. What a moment! I remember it like it was yesterday. I know I always will.
The last six months with him have brought so much joy and love into our world (and lots of quick smiles, too!). It has also been a challenge finding our footing at times, don't get me wrong. But even the hardest times (I'm looking at you four hours of sleep some nights) have been worth every minute. Truly.
It has also been the most wonderful thing to witness Felix and Roman's relationship evolve. Of course, as is normal with new babes and toddler siblings, it was a little rocky at first (nothing major, just requests from Felix that I "put the baby down over there"), but as time has passed Felix has become quite enchanted with his baby brother, and Roman has fallen hard for Felix. I'm fairly certain it would suit Romy just fine if he could watch his big brother's every movement for hours. And apparently Felix is quite hilarious when he is doing nothing more than sitting and eating his breakfast! Oh, brother. :-)
We love you so much, Roman Elias. Happy half birthday.