Saturday, August 16, 2014

Adjustments

Radio silence on the blog, sometimes a good sign, sometimes a bad sign. This time it was just a busy sign; in that too busy to think (let alone write) kind of way. But things are finally, slowly but surely, winding down. Before I know it we will have a new normal, but in the interim we have adjustments, lots of adjustments. 

So let's catch up. The move was stressful. I flew with the kids to Texas, M drove and made it there two days later. We were packing until the very last second; it was beyond crazy and intense. The next couple of weeks we spent in Texas involved scouring rental listings, checking out google maps, coordinating the second part of the move, unpacking some stuff to leave in Texas and repacking some stuff we had waiting there for us. M flew to NYC for a weekend to see some places and I was just trying to survive solo parenting in a totally not baby proofed house.  We tried to do a few 
activities while we coordinated part two but all in all it was a very nomadic feeling.

Once our things were finally all packed in a pod and heading north, it was time for us to do the same. This was probably the best part: we took a week to drive up to New Jersey with the kids. The drive was intimidating and the longer stretches were not easy by any means, but they were troopers, and we even saw some cool places along the way. Dare I say, it was kind of fun. We arrived and headed straight to get some permits for our pods that would arrive the next day. And that just sums it up right there because the logistics were just exhausting (and something we are still dealing with). Since then it's been a lot of unpacking, organizing, buying, returning, and just figuring out how to set ourselves up. To sum: moving with kids; it was worse than I could have imagined. 

Now we are adjusting to a new place. Apartment living. Sleeping on a twin mattress (for Baby Brother), not going to school/speaking the language (for Little Boy). New routines for all of us. I'm looking forwards to a few months from now when hopefully we'll be a bit more organized, know some more people, and feel less like foreigners. In the meantime we'll just keep on truckin'.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

16 and 17 Month Update

16 Months

Things you like:
Air kicking, like the players kick in the world cup, accompanied by "pa!"
Popping balloons and saying "pop"
Climbing onto the couch and lounging
Pointing out birds and airplanes in the sky

New words:
Click- like a horse
Bam- water
Ke- yes
Bakbuk- bottle
Mira- look
Ack- Snack


17 Months

Things you like:
Hiding in little corners/away from us
Wrestling with your brother
Going through tunnels (real ones in the car, and little ones at the park)
Climbing on everything and standing on boxes
Walking down the stairs facing forward (with help)
Playing on the playground and especially the slide
Face planting onto your mattress
Playing baseball/tennis with various items+ a ball

New words:
Ah-yes
Bulbul
wack- quack, like a duck
Mayim- water
Signing "eat"
Ya- yad- hand (for help getting down)
Wow!
Pak- park




Sunday, May 25, 2014

MSPI Friendly Muffins

The hardest part of being dairy and soy free, other than giving up cheese, has been being limited in options for store-bought baked goods. After trying many recipes, this one has emerged as our family favorite: it's tasty, filling and uses ingredients I always have on hand. 

MSPI Friendly Muffins

2 carrots, shredded (1-1.5 cups)
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg*
1 cup applesauce, or other fruit purée**


1) In large bowl shred carrots.
2) Add dry ingredients, then wet, and mix together.
3) Spoon into muffin liners. 
4) Bake at 350 F approximately 25 minutes

*To make egg-free, add an extra teaspoon of baking soda, and finish off with a tablespoon of vinegar.
**I usually use unsweetened applesauce, but have also made these using pumpkin, strawberry/banana and apple/berries purées. Essentially any sweet puree or baby food you have on hand should work.

Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food


Sunday, May 18, 2014

14 and 15 Month Update

14 Months


Things you like this month:
Sweeping with your little broom
Drying your hands with a towel (by yourself)
Playing with the magnets on the fridge
Helping us get you dressed
Playing the piñata game (hitting the bushes with a stick)
Eating whole tomatoes, bananas, and carbs
Playing in our ball pit
Climbing up slides from the bottom
Taking all the books off the shelf, and flipping through some them
Splashing water (from the pool, bath, sink, toilet, water bottle, puddle, etc)

New words:
mama- mayim/agua (water)
sss (while crouching)-potty (although we've never seen any results)
bzz- bee soud
Ma- Ima (mommy)
Pa- puffs



15 Months

Things you like this month:
Climbing, and moving boxes in order to get up on the couch or table
Lying down on the floor and rubbing your belly so that we will tickle you
Only the obstacle course part of your gym class
Dancing by nodding your head and clapping your hands
Trying to jump on the floor mattress by bending your knees
Dogs! (real dogs, stuffed animals, and pictures of dogs)
Blowing kisses! 
Flipping through books on your own, and bringing them to us to learn names of words 
Sitting on something (chair, couch, bench) like a big kid
Going through "tunnels" at the park, gym, behind the couch, etc.
Blowing on Mommy's (hot) coffee
Trying to pry the door open so that we go outside

New words:
Oof- woof (like a dog)
Mam- mayim (water)
Nana- banana
Da da - dale dale (the piñata song)
Ba- ball (in English!)
Bama- lemala/lemata (interchangeable, used to mean going up or down stairs)



Monday, April 14, 2014

Fiesta!

My boy is obsessed with birthdays. Can I blame him? Games, candy, cake for dinner, kids running around, and the main event...the piñata! What's not to like?

It's hard to describe the level of obsession: from the day we receive an invitation until party day, he talks about it every day, especially about how there's going to be a piñata with candy inside. One of his favorite imaginary games is hitting the piñata and then fake collecting candy. Then the day of a party he tells us numerous times that *he* is going to break the piñata, no matter that he is almost always the smallest one at the party.

Since Little Boy started preschool, we've been going to lots of parties and boy do they go all out here: ponies (check), spa (check), crafting/painting something ceramic (every.single.time), bouncy house (of course), playground (check), carnival style ride (check), characters and clown shows (yup, yup, yup). In our foreign eyes, sometimes these get a little excessive because where do you go from here if you've already had many of the above attractions by your third birthday? But from my parenting point of view the only thing that is often lacking is food: usually it's a plethora of candy and fried snacks, cake, and jello, not exactly a nutritious meal. But the kids love it, a lot! Happy kids, happy parents!







Friday, April 11, 2014

Monkey see, Monkey do

Baby Brother is our imitator extraordinaire. He is not an observer, he is a do-er. This week he decided to walk up the stairs, walk not crawl. Of course his short and chubby little toddler legs can't really reach. So he stops and stands mid-stair and waits for us to help him, and of course we do because otherwise his erect little body would fall straight back.

Exposition number two: Little Boy is allowed to jump on the small crib size mattress. He's also a little monkey so we figured it was safer to give him a designated spot than having him try to jump on the rest of our beds or couches where he is much higher off the ground. So now the little one gets on the bed, stands up and tries to jump! He obviously didn't get the memo that that is a two year milestone.

And for the grand finale, the other day Little Boy was stacking pillows on the ground as part of his imaginary play. Then he decided to jump off his stack. We immediately put a stop to that since our tile floors are not conducive to that. Well low and behold Mr. Daredevil was watching and has now decided it is a great idea to try and pull pillows off the couch to stack, climb on, and attempt to slide off. Boys.

Mr. I do what I want to do

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thoughts

Ten years ago I left a (very) high stress job and knew that I would never again choose to be in a position where I had so little say regarding my overall well being. 

It was a moment of change in my life, of pushing boundaries, of prioritizing my desires. I didn't know where it would lead, but I made a rough plan and started moving forward, figuring out the details as I went along. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that within a few months I would meet my future husband,  start changing the course of my life based on shared interests, and prioritize goals that were not my own. I never for a moment regret that leap of faith, but throughout this entire period I also stayed true to that decision I made so long ago; no more stress. 


Recently, however, the stress has found its way back into my life. For a few weeks now I've been walking around with an intermittent pit in my stomach. I'm finding it difficult to deal with having no control over the course of our future. Of course, I will be involved in the details, but that big picture, over arching trajectory: it's not in my hands and it is SO hard. I can make contingency plans, although they end up feeling mostly like a mental exercise without much substance. I can focus on the day to day, but sadly, I don't find that quite enough to be truly fulfilled. I can think about myself instead of "us" but seeing as it's difficult to separate the two that does not feel very fruitful either. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to distract myself enough to not think about it until there is a concrete plan. I'm trying to inspire myself with new recipes, house organization projects, and enjoying the little moments with our awesome little boys. I'm finding that being proactive helps a little, but ignoring the problem helps more. That's something I didn't expect...hmmm.