Saturday, May 5, 2012

Monthly Snapshot: April 2012

Well, here we are again!  For anyone not familiar with what's going on here, I'm posting monthly snapshots of my day to day life on my blog.  Stories, photos, and the inevitable craziness that tends to crop up.  Since we're all here, let's just dive right in, shall we?

Incidents & Events

Our first major event for the month of April was, of course, Easter - or as we affectionately call it (erm, at least around Sarah's bonfire), Zombie Jesus Day. 

We celebrated Easter twice this year.  First, we had the opportunity to go out to my Aunt Julie and Uncle Jim's for a very nice dinner.  I was very relieved to see that Jim was doing really well because he had not seemed well when we last saw him at Christmas.  Yay for better health!  Norah thoroughly enjoyed their 2 boxers, Rosie and Wilson, and she got to go on a golf cart ride!  All through the ride she snuggled in to me and would say, "Mommy, look!  Look how far we've ridden!" over and over.  I think it's safe to say she had fun.

When we returned from the golf cart ride, I saw that Erica had texted me, asking if I was at Julie's house.  Turns out her brother lives across the field from them and she was over there and had seen my car in the driveway.  So I texted her back and told her we were there.  At that point, she decided to ride her dirtbike across the field to visit.

Whoa, go back.  Read that again.

She rode her dirtbike across a field to visit me.

I didn't even know I had friends who were capable of that.

This is a whole new epiphany for me.  I have friends who can ride dirtbikes.  Across fields.  How badass is that?  We know who I'm adding to my Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness team, don't we?

Norah: "Miles, look, the Easter Bunny bringed you spoons!   
Spoons!  Spoons!  The Easter Bunny comed in our house and
bringed you spoons!  Look, here they are, Miles!"                  
Miles: Blink, blink                                                                   
On Easter Sunday we celebrated at mom and dad's house with the Mills side of the family.  As it turns out, our Easter Bunny was one of those colored-egg-hiding, brings-small-gifts kinds of Easter Bunnies, while their Easter Bunny has apparently been moonlighting as a diabetes drug rep on the side.  Shame on you, Bunny, for what you've done to our blood sugar.  But it was nice that Norah could have some Easter treats without there having to be candy in our house to deal with over the next few weeks, so I'm not entirely upset with that bunny, though I do think next year he should read the conflict of interest clause on his contract.

Sugar aside, the kids were super cute.  Look at these happy little faces:

Easter was a lot easier for me this year than it has been in the past.  I think I really have come to a good place with my feelings about the Jesus story vs. the Christian religion, and it was nice to be able to think of the story fondly without brooding over all the yuckiness of the religion.  I will say that it was difficult to know what to tell Norah when she asked why we were celebrating.  How do you explain to a toddler that many, many people believe something, but you don't, but that you're going to celebrate anyways because it's still a story worth celebrating even if you don't totally believe it?  And then how do you further explain the actual story without scaring the living crap out of said toddler?  Uh, so there was this guy, and, uh, he was murdered, and, uh, then he came back from the dead.  No, that's not creepy at all.

And so we muddle through.

Oh, but it's so worth it.

My children also attended their first protest/rally this month.  One of Indiana's Certified Professional Midwives was arrested for practicing midwifery without a license.  The thing is, there is no licensing available for CPMs in our state.  26 other states offer licensing, but not Indiana.  Because there are only a handful of CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives, who do have licensing in Indiana) who attend home births in our state, the lack of licensing essentially makes homebirth illegal.  Ok, maybe not exactly.  But it sure sounds dramatic, doesn't it?  At any rate, the lack of licensing definitely restricts women's rights in regards to their healthcare and reproductive choices.  The rally took place at the LaGrange County courthouse, where said midwife was scheduled for a hearing, and ralliers (is that a word?) gathered to demonstrate our desire for legislation to legalize CPMs in Indiana.

This is not me or one of my kids.  But I did take this picture, so I'm claiming it.
It's possible I'm raising my children to be hippies.  I'm not really sure how D feels about this.

Building in action!  Go D!
In other news, WE GOT A SWINGSET!  I'm a little excited.  We gathered up bits of our tax return to purchase a nice swingset for the kids.  It arrived earlier this month and D has it mostly put together.  There is still a canopy that goes on the top, but we received an incorrect piece with our set and are waiting for a new, correct, piece to arrive.  This thing is awesome!  There are spots for 2 swings, a trapeze bar on the side, a slide, a rock wall.... everything a 3 year old could want. 

Missing the canopy and a few toys up top yet.  The trapeze bar is on the side
behind the slide area, and the rock wall is on the side by the neighbor's fence.

Norah absolutely loves it.

Miles doesn't think it's too shabby either.

My Lovelies

Looking through my hard drive, it turns out I've taken a lot of photos of my kids this month.  Prolly because they're frickin' adorable.  Consider yourself warned: you're about to see some photo-whoring.
Good morning, Sunshine!

Norah had her orientation at Bunche this month.  She is going to be going to preschool there in the fall - how exciting!  We found out that she will be in Teresa's classroom, which is just wonderful.  Her playmate from across the street will also be in the same classroom with her, and I'm so happy that she will have someone she knows to start the year with.  Very, very rarely, everything falls into place, and this was one of those times.  Everything I could have hoped for happened - she got into the school, she got into the class I was hoping for, and she knows someone in her class.  Woot!

Completely unrelated to the text of the blog, but absolutely adorable.  *swoon*

Norah's favorite books this month have been Corduroy (the one about the Corduroy bear), and Harold and the Purple Crayon. She's started getting better at putting puzzles together and has been spending a lot of time on them lately.

Norah has been working very hard at growing her very own flowers!  She chose 5 kinds of flowers, planted them in pots, and has been checking on them every day and watering them.  I think she's going to have success with them - they're looking good so far.  She's really excited about having her very own plants and is looking forward to planting them in the ground when they get bigger.

Miles has been growing by leaps and bounds!  I can't believe it, but he's getting close to 6 months old.  Where has the time gone?  Miles is doing really well sitting up unassisted, though I do keep a pillow or a boppy close by in the event that he tumbles over.  Usually he falls over because he has reached too far forward for a toy, but he occasionally still topples over backwards or to the side for no apparent reason other than unsteady balance.

He has also been eating like crazy.  I feel sad watching him eat so much big-people food because that means he's not such a baby anymore.  *sigh*  But he seems to really like and want food and is doing really well with it.  He's recently discovered sweet potatoes, which he likes quite a bit.

Nom nom nom.... sweet potato!!

Norah and Miles are getting along very well.  Miles is now big enough to interact with Norah more, and she absolutely loves it!
Here, let me cover you up, baby brother.   Uh, ok sis.

Food & Health

This month has been difficult for me as far as trying to keep things healthy.  We ate a lot of sugar at  Easter time, and it was surprisingly hard to recover from that.  I also haven't done any regular working out at all because I'm checking out fitness places in hopes that I'll find a good fit.  More on that now:

In April, I visited both CrossFit facilities.  There is one on the north side of town,, and one on the southwest -  I was very impressed with both places and I think that the CrossFit philosophy will be a good fit for me.  It seems that there will be a lot of strength training, and that there's surprisingly little equipment because you learn to use your own body to train your own body, if that makes sense.  So far the southwest CrossFit has my vote, mostly because childcare is available for some class sessions.  With Daniel's work schedule not always being consistent, and with him traveling for up to a week and a half at a time, I need to be able to have somewhere my kids can go while I work out.  The biggest downside is that it is pretty pricey, and I don't know that I will be able to go forever.  If I go I will likely make a 4 or 6 month commitment, which I can pay for now, but I don't know how I will come up with the cash to keep going after that.

My goal was to decide on a fitness plan by the end of April, but that didn't quite happen.  I still have one more place to visit - Studio Seva.  Sarah has been going to a circuit class there that I would like to check out.  On the up side, it's substancially less expensive, however the circuit class meets only once a week (though they do have yoga and zumba on other nights) and there is no childcare.  I'm going to check it out next week, and then D is gone for the week following that, and then I hope to actually start going somewhere regularly.  So hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, I will figure out what I want to do and actually start doing it by the end of May.

As for food stuff, April was the month of frozen things.  First we tried a cherimoya fruit, which we froze and then scooped out of the skin.  I read on the internet that if we did this, it would taste like ice cream.  The internet clearly does not know what ice cream tastes like.  The reason we bought the cherimoya fruit in the first place was because it was sitting beneath a sign at Meijer that read: 'Cherimoya:  Tastes like candy'.  Uh, candy?  In a fruit?  Yes, please.  However, as with the internet and ice cream, Meijer clearly does not know what candy tastes like.  As Nicole so helpfully pointed out to me, there is a list of things that taste like candy:

1) candy

As you can see, the Cherimoya fruit is not on the list.  It does taste pretty good, though.  I think that had it not been frozen it would have been kind of banana-y in texture.  It was sweet and yummy, though definitely not ice cream or candy.

Srsly, mom?  How am I supposed to
 scoop out this giant frozen watermelon?
Next we froze some chunks of watermelon.  I read on the internet that if you freeze chunks of watermelon, your kids will be more inclined to eat it.  In what can only be described as a moment of redemption, this time the internet turned out to know its shit.  I have never, ever, ever gotten Norah to eat more than a taste of watermelon before spitting it out.  Freeze it, though, and it's frickin' toddler caviar.  I did make the mistake of quartering a mini-watermelon and thinking that would be good enough.  Obviously, this is a bad idea, as it was nearly impossible to eat.  The next time I cut it into manageable strips, which I then cut into little cone shaped treats.  This was much easier to eat.  Even Miles loved it!

Which leads me to my parenting tip of the month:  Things taste better when frozen.  At least at my house.  So far this year we've had huge success freezing bananas, yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, and the ill-described cherimoya fruit.  Not only does freezing somehow make fruits more appealing to my kids, but it also preserves them so that I'm not silently cursing while I throw them into the compost at the end of the week because I couldn't get anyone to eat them.  (Side note, I received a compliment on my compost bins this month.  You know you're running with a crunchy  crowd when.......)

Keeping with our frozen theme, we also made sorbet this month.  This particular sorbet is strawberry orange lemon.  It was supposed to be strawberry orange, but I ran out of oranges while I was making it, and the next closest thing I had around was a lemon.  *shrug*  It was still really good.
Mmmmmmm..... sorbet.

Other treats we made include a grain free faux thin mint (heavenly!), and some super delicious lemon-coconut balls.  I'm experimenting a bit with grain-free baking, and these were both successes!

Reading back over that, it sounds like all we eat is fruit and grain-free baked goods.  Uh.  Oops.  Rest assured, that is not the case.  The baked goods I try to limit to one a week or every other week, because even though they are grain-free, they probably shouldn't be the staples of my diet.  Other than the frozen things and new baking, things have pretty much been our same old recipes.  However, I'm really looking forward to getting my garden moving so that I have some new vegetables to try new recipes with.  I got plants of spaghetti squash, zucchini, broccolli, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, which I think sounds pretty amazing!  I'm waiting until after Mother's Day to get them into the ground, but I'm hoping for a good vegetable garden this year, and subsequently, some good new recipes.  In particular, Pinterest has provided me with about a zillion spaghetti squash recipes, and that's something I've only tried to cook a handful of times.

Aaaaaaaand, I think that's about all for the Puff family for the month of April.  Tune in next month for more of our adventures!


Stock Photos said...

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stock photography

Photographer Melbourne said...

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