Monday, June 24, 2013

Cooking up (sort of)

Cooking was a family affair last Thursday when I decided to make brownies (because we needed some baked chocolate in the house and Katie asked for them) AND zucchini bread (because I had three zucchini from the local CSA and they weren't getting any fresher).   This was a lot for an afternoon, especially since we were supposed to be going to swim team practice and I had a book club meeting that night.  We were only able to do it because Katie and I decided together that we were going to play hooky from swim team.  After the meet on Tuesday was rained out after the freestyle, we had to go back on Wednesday and finish the rest of the meet.  Two days of swim meets with toddler in tow had me whupped, I was ready for a swim team break.  So, on to cooking!

Katie wanted to stir the brownies but had difficulty getting the spoon around in the thick batter.  She needed me to hold the bowl so she could use two hands to hold the spoon and even that didn't last too long before her poor arms gave out.  She did use her professional egg cracking skills to make sure that the eggs were properly cracked into the mixing bowl.  She was especially thrilled that I needed 6 whole eggs for the zucchini bread since I was making a double batch.  Christian got in on the action with the zucchini bread.  I cut the zucchini up and he and Katie put it into the food processor.  In hindsight, I should have had Katie slice up the zucchini and hand it to Christian to put in the food processor.  That would have been a great opportunity for Katie to work on her knife skills and a better division of labor so that they wouldn't fight over who got to put the zucchini in.  They both helped blend the zucchini and they loved pressing the buttons. :)  Sadly, I wasn't able to get any pictures of the zucchini bread helping but it was pretty neat to have both kids on different height stools next to me helping.  I did get some good pics of the brownie clean up though.

 This was Christian's first experience with getting to lick the spoon and oh, did he loooooove that part of cooking!

Mmm.  Yep, that's how I feel about chocolate too. :) 

Is there any more on here?

 You're the BEST Mom! 

The best part of the night was that I left immediately after putting the zucchini bread in the oven for my book club meeting.  When I got home, my amazing hubby had put the children to bed AND started the clean up.  He knows how to get me to make more scrumptious treats!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

What a difference...

What a difference a year makes, especially in the lives of children.  Last summer, I had a 1-year-old.  More importantly to my life, I had a 1-year-old who Would. Not. Walk.  I know, I know, all children walk in their own time, he was building lots of neuron connections that will help him later in life, he walked at just the right time for him, you'll be in trouble when he starts walking, blah blah blah.  Sorry folks, I know you meant well and I KNOW that he walked when he was ready but after Katie had started walking right around her first birthday, I was expecting (with my other May baby) that we would get to go out and play at least a little last summer.  Parks (when it wasn't too hot), the POOL(!), the children's museum, indoor play areas, etc.

Instead, I had a child who was every bit as active as a running, jumping, climbing toddler, only without the running and jumping.  It is hard to take a crawler to a southern park in the summer because it is HOT!  Plus, mulch is not so easy on the knees.  Scratch the baby pool in the neighborhood, he tried crawling across it and just ended up drinking the water.  He wouldn't stay in one of the infant floaties in the big pool which meant I had to hold him the whole time while he tried crawling up my shoulder and I am trying to squat down in the shallow end so he is actually in the water.  That is not a position my back agrees with very well.  We ended up just going to the pool for the 30 minutes that Katie had swim team practice.  For swim meets, he was stuck in the super hot stroller.  I couldn't exactly let him crawl around on the scorching hot pool deck where there were 500 hundred parents and children potentially stepping on him.

As May turned into June, turned into July, turned into August with still no sign that he was going to walk, I got to a point where I would let him crawl on virtually any reasonably safe surface.  Germs, schmerms.  Anywhere I could put him down without out him hurting himself or others, I did because he was HEAVY.  I joined the local children's museum out of desperation, even though it is 30 minutes from my house, because I needed SOMEWHERE indoors, outside of my house, that I could put him down and just let him play.

When he finally walked on Thanksgiving Day at 18 months and 1 week old, angels sang loud HALLELUJAHS in my head.  It was a big deal, if only to me.  Now, he can run and jump and play as he really wanted to last summer.  He can go the playground and do everything he wants to do without me having to lift him up everywhere.  He can splash and play in the baby pool and I can sit on the side while he plays without worrying about him drowning or drinking all of the water.

And my body can heal and recover.  Halfway through last summer I suffered a back spasm related to an old injury making it even more difficult to cart him around places.  Carrying him was very difficult but it some places, carrying him wasn't optional.  Since he started walking I have been able to work through the back spasm and build more strength so that I am better able to carry him when I need to.  Even better, I can relax a little bit while he runs around letting off the energy that bubbles out of him without worrying that someone will inadvertently step on him or wonder if his hands are tracking through something unmentionable.

What a difference a year makes...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Exploring! (Photo explosion!)

We went for a walk around the lake near our house one day after our Stroller Strides class and we had a great time exploring.

Yay for summer!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Interesting Conversations

Two recent conversations with my fun and amazing 7-year-old daughter.

After seeing someone kill the spider that was on the posted heat sheets at our swim meet last week.

K: Mom!

M: Yes?

K: They just killed that spider!

M: Yes?

K: That means that they killed a frog!  And they killed a bird! And bigger animals!  They're RUINING the WHOLE FOOD WEB!!!

Side note: She has been watching a lot of Wild Kratts lately.  It is a great show and I guess she is learning a lot about animals and the natural world!

This morning after walking between the rug in our living room and the runner behind the loveseat several times.

K: Mom!

M: Yes?

K: Did you KNOW that this big rug is just a BIGGER version of the one back here?

M: Um, yeah, actually.  I bought them as a set.  There is a third and smaller one by the back door.

K: (walking immediately toward the back door) What?!? Really?!?

Side note: We bought these rugs about 2-3 years ago and the living room is the room we spend ALL of our time in.

I have often wished I had a voice activated tape recorder that would turn on and record the most precious and hilarious conversations.  I love the things she says that are funny because of the way she forms language and I especially love hearing the things that she says that show how differently her mind works from mine.  She makes connections that I would never even imagine and yet sometimes, although not always, I understand how she got from A to F by going through Z.  I want to record these memories so that I can hold them close to my heart because I know that I won't remember them when she is 15 and telling me to talk to the hand or when she is 20 and away at college or when she is 32 and having her own babies who say things that make her giggle inside.  Stay innocent and full of life and zeal for learning about the world for just awhile longer sweetheart....

Friday, June 7, 2013

Talking talking talking!

In January we had to take Christian in to the pediatrician for a developmental evaluation.  Since he did not walk until he was 18 months and 1 week and wasn't speaking very much at his 18 month check-up, the doc wanted us to get him evaluated, even though she wasn't particularly worried that there was anything wrong.  At the evaluation, he was walking but was still not speaking much.  Mostly, he said "car".  Everything was a car.  Actually, we started thinking that he was using the word "car" to ask us, "What is that? And that?"  Every time he would say car, we told him the name of the thing he was pointing at.  He started saying, "Car?"  It was definitely a question.  :)

The evaluation was an eye opener for me.  She asked him to do things that I didn't realize I should be asking him to do, and he DID things I didn't realize he COULD do.  The evaluator did list him as officially delayed and wanted me to bring him back if he was not making progress in a month or two.  Fortunately, since the evaluation he has grown in words and skills every day.  Around the time he started talking, he also got his first ear infection.  It proved to be a nasty bugger that took 8 weeks and three rounds of antibiotics to make go away.  After the infection was finally gone, there was still fluid on his ear drums, which affected his hearing, although I don't feel it has affected his speaking very much yet.  His words are mostly clear although there are some sounds that he can not say very well. He got ear tubes on May 23rd and I think his speaking has already improved.  Since it wasn't too bad, the difference is subtle but he starting to gain some beginning and ending sounds he did not make before.

He has finally moved from single words to two word phrases including, "Car go!" "3-2-1 Blastoff" (which sounds more like "tree-two-one dast off!" and "Mommy car".
Like an little kid learning language for the first time, he says some funny words.  My favorite mispronunciation right now is "bupcake".  We have been reading If You Give a Cat a Cupcake which is one of his current favorites to read, especially the page where they are visiting the science museum and seeing the dinosaurs!   He keeps asking for "Bupcake! Bupcake!" :)