Sunday, October 7, 2012

Monthly Snapshot: August 2012

Why, hello again!  I'm so glad you joined me.  August was a fantastic month for the Puff family, and I'm excited to share it with you.    Be warned, this post is picture heavy!  (Seriously, like, picture obese.  That many pictures.)

If you're new to this, every month I'm trying to write up a review (complete with photos!!) of what kind of adventures we've had, what's going on with the kiddos, and ways I'm trying to improve my health.  My sister, Michelle, left Fort Wayne in February to join her new groom in Colorado, and these posts are especially aimed at her, to give her a nice snapshot of what's going on back home.

Enjoy!  And feel free to leave me a comment.  I'm always curious who's reading these things. (Stalker!!)

Incidents & Events

While August was an excellent month for us, we also got a spectacular visit from Michelle and Chris at the end of July.  It's going here because I had waaaaaaay too much stuff in my last post.  So here we are.  Michelle and Chris came to visit for Chris' brother's wedding.  We got to see them shortly at the lake, and then they also came to visit us at our house(!!)  Mom and dad came with them during the day, and we all walked down to Packard park for some play time with the kiddos.

Norah is still getting used to having an uncle Chris, and declared she didn't like him when he showed up -  but by the end of the visit they were best buds:

Follow me, Uncle Chris!

Miles had an excellent time with his aunt and uncle as well:

Oh wow, Aunt Chelle, you really don't know how this works, do you?
I was so happy to see my sis and Chris, too.  I mean, look at them!  Can you imagine them not being fun?

In the month of August we also had our traditional Puff Family Ice Cream Social.  We've done this every year since 2006, and I hope this is one tradition that never dies.  Each year we break out the ice cream makers, make homemade ice cream, come up with some yummy toppings, and invite all our friends.  This year we had homemade ice cream, my mother-in-law's homemade hot fudge sauce, Sarah's homemade salted caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream, and other assorted goodies.  Jason even made us some homemade beer.  What can I say?  It was awesome!

This summer we went on our first official 'vacation' since we've had kids.  Dan had vacation time to take, so we decided to make a few short trips to nearby attractions.  Our first trip was to the Toledo Zoo, where we found lots of kid-friendly things to do.  Unfortunately, we forgot to take our camera, so we don't have much in the way of pictures, but we got to see elephants and rhinos, the Toledo aquarium, and lots of other awesome stuff!

We then took 2 days to visit Indianapolis, where we first went to the Children's Museum.

Small oversight on my part, walking first thing into this scene with a 3 year old who gets very distraught about death and who didn't realize the dinos we were going to see wouldn't have their skin:


Fortunately, she recovered rather quickly.   There was a lot of other good stuff to see at the museum, including..... (drumroll!)...

Look momma!  A train!

I can climb!
Archaelogy activities - removable rocks!

The infamous $4 T-Rex cookie of cafeteria-land.  Not actually all that tasty.

Miles had a great time in the baby play area:

Why can't I get that other baby?!?!

Norah was a big fan of the 'water drop' station in the kids' play area:

Look Mom, they have a carousel!

After we went to the museum, we had dinner at the Spaghetti Factory, where Daniel and I visited each year until we had kids.  This year we got to bring the kids with us!

This picture makes Miles look kind of like a Gremlin.  Don't feed him after midnight.....

What Miles really looks like, eating spaghetti

We took the next day to walk the canal with the kids and stopped at Trader Joe's before heading back home.  It was so nice to get away with the whole family.

The last big event we had in August was a picnic with Dan's employer.  They rented a pavillion at Paige's Crossing and we all got ride bracelets for the day.  Norah really enjoyed getting to go on all the rides.

Go Kart rides with Daddy!

Norah called this one 'the caterpillar ride', because all the cars one after another reminded her of a caterpillar.

We also got to play in the game room, in the playground at the park, and enjoy a catered meal.


Lots of adventures in August, wouldn't you say?!

My littlest loves

Honestly?  I've not gotten around to writing this until almost mid-October.  I can't even remember what we were doing in August.  That's how life is when you have little kids.  And so I'm just going to babble aimlessly and show you cute pictures.

First off, I do vaguely remember that there was a lot of drumming.  Not that we have any drums, mind you.  But we do have a hat box filled with legos, and a couple of wooden spoons.  That's how we roll, yo.





There were also a great many sofa-cushion 'forts', and pillow piles:

Tiny engineers, they are! (said in my Yoda voice - what? 
You didn't know I had a Yoda voice?  You do now)

For being nothing but a stack of blankets and pillows, this thing gets an impessive amount of use:
My personal favorite.  This demonstrates with surprising
 accuracy just how glamourous the stay-at-home-mom life is
Norah has been gaining independence in the kitchen as of late.  She's been getting many of her own snacks, and helping with much of the cooking!  Here she is, single-handedly managing both the spaghetti and the sauce:

She also helped me bake this super yummy zucchini bread:

Must fit whole piece in mouth...

Miles has also had many fun moments:

This is one of my favorite moments from August.  Miles was unwittingly playing quite well with Satine.  He'd pick up a pipe cleaner (read: kitty toy), wave it around, throw it on the ground, and then watch in wonder as Satine would bat it back to him.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  It was adorable!






Miles also got to try some new foods in August - smoothies and spaghetti! (not together):

Hmmm, what should I do with this?

I know -spaghetti on the head!!

Rockin' the smoothie.  This is the life, I'm telling you.

 So, it looks like August was a good month for the kiddos as well - wouldn't you say?  I'm so glad I'm doing this blog.  It's given me such a gift in these monthly photos of what my kids have been up to.  *sappy happy smiley face*


Health & Fitness

August was a rough month for me, health & fitness-wise.  Between multiple birthday dinners (29, again?!  Amazing!), the ice cream social, a week of vacation eating (there was a day we had dessert at lunch and at dinner.  We're not talking about it, except to say I didn't realize there was complimentary dessert with the dinner until they brought it out), and just having white flour and sugar in my house for awhile (hey!  you can't make ice cream without sugar!  or cookies for your ice cream social without flour!)..... you get the picture.
The only thing I can say about August is that I'm not much fatter now than when it began.  Uh, yay?  But September has been pretty decent, so hopefully we can get back on track and move forward from here.
My motto for this year has been "These things take time" - and I would argue that applies to everything, including figuring out how to adjust these crazy times, like birthday meals and vacations, and such.  I've spent 30 years following the USDA carb/fat recommendations via a very flawed food pyramid - hopefully it won't take me another 30 years to unlearn all of that, but certainly this first year of trying to break the cycle won't be perfect.  So we pick up and move on.
One perk in the month of August was that I had the chance to get a free fitness assessment from Andrew at CrossFit.  From what I've gathered, he is learning to do these assessments, and so was doing them free as part of an assignment.  There were some lifestyle questions, body fat measurements, mobility/flexibility type measurements, and we also tested my one rep maxes for several of the major lifts.
I was really excited to do this, largely because I have not had a good way to measure where I've started my journey and how I am progressing.  The scale has been larely unhelpful, as I lost an entire dress size without losing a pound.  I've taken some body measurements, but this helped with some other areas that I didn't know how to measure.
I was also very excited to do some of the one rep maxes - first, because that will give me somewhere to start from in our WODS (workout of the day) and strength work.  Many times, the prescribed weight for a workout or strength work will be a % of your one rep max (1RM) - and up until now, I have not known my 1RM for very much.  As a result, I've kind of just been guessing.  This will allow me to be more accurate with knowing how much weight to use for a workout.  And, guess what!  Turns out that I can do more than what I'd guessed!  How's that for good news?
Secondly, I did have a few 1RMs from earlier, and I was curious to see if they had improved at all.  They definitely have!  From the beginning of June, when I had a deadlift 1RM of 150lbs, to the end of August, when we did this test, I increased that to 175lbs. (!!)  So it was encouraging to see the progress I've been making since I began.
I'm very hopeful that Andrew will make these fitness assessments available in the future (for pay, obviously),  so that in the next 6 months or year I can re-test and see what progress I have made.
In August, I also got the very fun news that Jason and Anna decided to join CrossFit.  So now I have a new workout buddy!  Jason is currently away on work, but I have had the opportunity to work out with Anna a few times, and I am enjoying spending time with her in this way and having the opportunity to get to know her better.

That's most of what I have to report for August.  With any luck (fingers currently crossed tightly!), I will actually finish the September update before the end of October.  This time of year (Sept - Dec) tends to get very busy for me, and I tend to get behind on everything (my reading challenges, in particular), so we'll see.  You may get a few very abridged updates, but I hope to keep up as best as I can.
See you soon!
~ Heather


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