Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chicks

I guess it is befitting to introduce our new chicks on Easter Day. Kyle and I had a rule that we could get chicks when we moved out in the country. I tagged along with my co-worker to Farm and Fleet and couldn't pass them up, sorry Kyle! He quickly warmed up to the idea and enjoys their company now. Lauren and I decided to name them after some of our favorite book characters. 

 Nellie (Little House on the Prairie): Buff Orpington
Gretel (Hansel and Gretel): Rhode Island Red
 Enjoying their temporary home in the basement under the warming light.
 Gretel and Matilda (Brown Leghorn)
Gretel is huge compared to the other 3, she is definitely the Queen Hen!
 Flora (Flora's Very Windy Day): Plymouth, will look like a zebra
Matilda
We named the black one Flora because she tried to fly out of the box at Farm and Fleet. I originally purchased 2 (Gretel and Matilda) and then after doing some research decided that we needed more to meet our "egg needs". The next day, I drug the entire family out to pick up 2 more (Flora and Nellie). Right now, they are residing in a large rubber tote in the basement. They need to be checked on at least twice a day to make sure they aren't putting pine shavings in their water dish and to shoo Gretel off the top of her throne (the food dish). I am slowly learning how to most efficiently tend to the chicks and clean their area. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meeting Loren Long

We have been working on Lauren's writing skills a bit more lately. Trying to master some of the letters has been tricky but she is getting there. I like to incorporate "learning" into real-world scenarios so she has been writing letters to my mom each week (thanks for the postage stamps!). We need to start adding more family members into the rotation.
 It is easier when the tongue is out!
 Miles enjoyed the company of his friend Klaire the other day.
 The kids and I went to meet Loren Long in Naperville, the author/illustrator of the "Otis" books.
 Lauren was so star-struck! 
 He talked to the kids about being an illustrator and drew a really fast picture from his new book.
 I think I enjoyed the evening more than Lauren who was sidetracked by the massive wall of greeting cards right by her chair. I stalk the bookstore's website waiting for children's authors!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Dancing


Just to throw a few words into a "Wordless Wednesday" post. If we ever happen to move back to Iowa, my yellow stove is coming with me!

Monday, March 25, 2013

St. Patrick's Day 2013

Lauren talked a lot about St. Patrick's Day at daycare. We decided to leave a note for the leprechaun just in case he happened to stop by! She even set up a "trap" in her baby car-seat with peas. She said the leprechaun would go inside the seat and it would flip over on him and trap him. 
 Off to Church we went and when we arrived home, the car-seat was flipped over!!
She was FRIGHTENED! What was she going to do with a trapped little green man?
 Daddy coaxed her into looking!
 Oh, silly me!
 I was scared of crayons!

 Miles got into the green spirit by eating avocado for lunch.
 Lauren decided to paint her nails by herself later, it wasn't too successful!

 Dad pitched in to help out.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Whole30 Program

My friend/childcare provider were discussing how our "eating habits" have become a bit crazy lately. Between having young children and being pregnant in the last year, we can't seem to get ahold of ourselves. She brought up a week long detox program that slightly scared me (only fruit first day, only veggies second day, etc.). I didn't think that was realistic with nursing, working full-time, and caring for a family! I talked with another friend who suggested the Whole30 Program. In short: no grains, no dairy, no sugar (including honey and maple syrup), no beans, no processed food/preservatives (with the exception of canned tomatoes and applesauce) for 30 days! You can eat: meat, fish, poultry, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and oils. Sign me up!! We encouraged a few other family members and friends to partake and began our journey on 3/13. Yes, the day before 3.14 (Pie Day)! 

The first few days were rough. My body was seriously mad at me! I couldn't believe how much I depended on breads, sweets, and candy throughout my day. The first night, I was up at 2:30 needing to eat because I was shaking and sweating. The second night, I was up at 4:30 with the same. I seriously considered throwing in the towel but realized my body needed 1 good week to regulate itself. We are now on Day 11 and I am feeling AWESOME!! No more bloating, feeling tired throughout the day, and I actually feel like my mood and irritability has improved. I've come to realize that I am a "free" eater, meaning if food is free, I eat it, regardless of what it is! Teacher's Lounge, Church fellowship hall, samples at the Grocery Store...I eat it! I've come to realize how much it sucks to not eat what everyone else is, I have incredibly strong willpower.

It takes a little while to switch your brain in regard to meal-planning but I am feeling confident now and coming up with some creative inventions! 

Breakfast is a big deal in this house. Miles (and Mac) tried out the grain-less pancakes one morning.
 All they are 1 banana and 2 eggs mixed together with a pinch of cinnamon and fried up on the skillet with coconut oil. Put a little dollop of sugar-free almond butter on top, yummy! Don't expect them to taste like a pancake, think crepe.
 A complete breakfast!
 What is this? We are waiting to introduce grains to Miles until at least 1 year of age so these pancakes were PERFECT!
 Our group also decided that we needed to try 1 new food item/week. We experimented with a canary melon and red bananas. Canary melon=amazing!
 Mahi Mahi topped with pico de gallo served with roasted broccoli and pineapple
 The BEST meal ever! Sweet potato hash-browns topped with a fried egg! Toss the sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder before placing them on the skillet with coconut oil.
 Another breakfast option. Sauteed spinach with garlic and red pepper, egg, red banana, and olives (good fat source)
 I told Lauren to show me her, "I'm eating a red banana for the first time face!"
 How does it taste? She didn't know!
 The same as a yellow one Mom!
 It tasted a bit different. I honestly prefer the yellow banana better. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the red and yellow. Lauren ate hers with peanut butter on bread. Kyle and Lauren aren't participating in the program but Miles and I are! 
 Breakfast scramble: eggs, pico de gallo, and homemade seasoned taco meat
Who else is in it with me?? 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Snow Day!

We had a lovely SNOW DAY at the beginning of March. It had to be one of the best weekends of the year because it fell on a Tuesday and Monday was a holiday (Pulaski Day), yay for 4 day weekends!

School was cancelled before the storm even hit. We were able to watch it fall down in the comfort of our home and venture outside before it got too bad. 

Lauren and I made a "Zoo" during Miles' morning nap. 

 Falling snow! There is a road in there somewhere!
 Our finished zoo. Although it was freezing outside, we enjoyed dress-up time inside!
 It was a great zoo!
 When Miles woke up from his mid-morning slumber, we traipsed outside for snowman building
 Bundling up!
 I wore Miles in the wrap under Kyle's coat. 
 Mr. Snowman himself
 He wasn't so sure about the snow
 Since the snow was falling pretty hard, Miles was getting frustrated with it getting in his face. I tucked an umbrella in my coat and kept him sheltered. I figured no one would drive by in the blizzard and see me, but lo and behold, my young neighbors came by, rolled down their window, and commented on how awesome of an idea it was, embarrassing!
 Carrot eyes and breadstick nose
 Looking at the snow

 Snow angels
 I'm freezing Mom, time to go in!
 Picnic Lunch in the kitchen. School was called off a bit after 6am. I had lunches already packed for the day so we decided it would be great to have a picnic lunch, tablecloth and all!
 Mister Miles is starting to enjoy food more. His favorites are definitely sweet potato, egg yolk, banana, and this weekend he chowed down beets and squash.
 After picnic lunch, we let Miles explore the zoo.
 Not so sure how he managed to pull the tape up and wrap it around himself
 Since he mauled our zoo, Lauren and I played a game with the tape. I taped a part of her body and she had to walk down the hall that way!
 It was difficult!
 Mac conked out from all the outside play!
 Plows came around but the snow continued to fall. I shoveled twice before Kyle got home and it was still pretty deep!
 Before Dad arrived home, we played on the easel and baked some goodies
It was a perfect SNOW DAY! I sure hope I get many more of these for years to come. There is something so fun and special about being stuck in the house for a day on a whim.