Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jesus. Bunnies. Babies. Family.

Easter was nearly a month ago, but I wanted to get some pictures up before we head off to our next adventure this week...

We had a few egg hunts, visited the beautiful Cantigny Park, had a visit with Mr. Easter Bunny and apparently he has a wife (who we also visited, to Claire's dismay). We ate good food, enjoyed the company of Grandpa and Gramie and even got out for a little date night while they were here.

We also colored eggs. That's an activity I have since learned from after Benjamin dumped the entire cup of pink coloring on the floor, which quickly transitioned into the next activity, cleaning. We will either be skipping that fun event in years to come or doing it outside.

Claire was overall confused with the hoopla surrounding the holiday, but had no problem finding eggs and popping crackers into her mouth like a boss. Benjamin fully enjoyed the egg finding (except when he found eggs with coins inside them. Clearly one gummy bear trumps a quarter to a 3yo). He was an expert at finding all the pink eggs at the park we visited and at home, found every one and ate the treat as he found them. Next year might be a little different when he has competition in the form of a 2yo little sister who will know better than to sit around watching him take all the treats!

Jesus. Eggs. Sugar-filled kids. Bunnies who bring gifts (and also make toddlers cry). Grandparents and lots of love. Easter 2015 down on the books.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Well, That's a Wrap

I spent 27 of the last 38 months of my life breastfeeding.

It was wonderful, sometimes stressful, but I'm just overall grateful for the experience.

On Saturday morning, I sat in bed with Benjamin and fed Claire for the last time.

She is 15 months. Benjamin was 12 months, but definitely ready to be weaned by 11 months. It was like wrestling an alligator that last month with him. He was done within a couple days of his first birthday. Claire was not so keen on quitting. She was down to two feedings, which she seemed fairly content with.

In the next three months, we will leave the kids twice for overnight adventures together and I've already sent my pump packing along with all the breastfeeding supplies I own. I never saw her happily feeding to 15 months because Benjamin was completely disinterested.

I'm not excited about the enormous prospect of other womanly things returning very soon, but man. Twenty-seven months of freedom from that was pretty sweet.

But you know what's not sweet? How I'm feeling right now convincing my body that the shop is closed for good.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Benjamin Babble II

Scene: Listening to The Beach Boys in the car (borrowed from friends) and the song Fun, Fun Fun (until Daddy takes the T-Bird away) comes on. It ends.
Benjamin: "Again. The Daddy Take the Kefir Away song."


Scene: Telling me what they do/sing in preschool. Starts in on saying the Pledge of Allegiance + a song that they sing to follow. Recites the whole thing, not accurately, but surprisingly well for his age!
Benjamin: "Pledge Allegiance to the Flag ... Red white and blue, I love you. Your flag and my flag, red white and blue... okay put your flags away and go to your seats."


Scene: Opening kitchen cabinet doors and stacking Tupperware and such, talking to sister.
Benjamin: "Claire Mae Wilson, this is a factory (loves calling her by her full name)."


Scene: Leaving Benjamin with my parents (in Arizona) to go for a 3-hr hike (who he loves and has never fought to be left with ANYONE, he's that chill). We get down the hall and hear him wailing. Return and he was in the process of losing his mind.
Me: "We're just going for a walk and will be back in a bit, but we can't take you."
Benjamin: "You can take me and push me in the stroller."
Me: "No, the stroller can't come on this walk."
Benjamin: "Yes it can. You can push it."


Scene: Claire falls and bumps her head on the nightstand, making her look like we beat her. Which we don't, in case my obsession with her wasn't clear. Benjamin is on the bed about 5 ft. away. Comes down from bed once he hears her crying.
Benjamin: {comes over and embraces her} "I'm going to help Claire." (this empathy thing is RARE and totally amazing when it happens!)


Scene: Driving away from Dad's work after having lunch with him.
Benjamin: "I want Daddy be in the car, too, but Daddy's at work."


Scene: Talking about a movie he saw at Redbox that he wanted to rent (Barbie Princess), because it's pink and he loves pink.
Benjamin: "I cannot watch Barbecue Princess. Barbecue Princess is not good for my belly (I tell him it's not good for his brain, because BARBIE. He must have confused it with things I tell him aren't good to have too much of-- sweets.)"


Scene: Driving home from the train restaurant tonight.
Benjamin: "Do you not have a penis, Mommy? Mommy does not have a penis. Claire does not have a penis. Benjamin and Daddy have a penis. Claire, do you have a wugina?"
Claire: "No (she says no to everything, because she doesn't know to answer any other way)."
Benjamin: "Mommy, Claire say no, she doesn't have a wugina."


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Citrus Wild Blueberry Compote

I recently purchased an enormous bag of chia seeds. I've been incorporating them into smoothies, grinding them into a powder for pancake mix and adding them to yogurt. I'm always trying to think up the next way to get those little extra proteins and omega 3's into foods we eat often. Both of my kids eat fruit.

New idea: compote. 

Wild blueberries are one of my favorite fruits because they can be purchased frozen at a great price (and therefore used all seasons!), are rich in color, flavor, antioxidants and they're adorable. Okay, that last one is true but totally not a prerequisite.

Wild blueberries + chia seeds come together in this recipe to soften the seeds and fruit and marry them both together in perfect harmony. Bam. Power food that the kids might actually eat. The citrus adds a sophisticated flavor that even adults will totally dig.

2 cups frozen wild blueberries
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla
zest of 1/2 orange

In a small saucepan, add the ingredients and cook down on low until the fruit has completely softened and most of the moisture has evaporated. The fruit should remain in a somewhat whole state, but if you'd like it more preserves-style, cook down and smash the fruit a bit. I like it somewhere in between with some whole fruit pieces and some pureed in. Chia seeds thicken the mixture so if you leave little liquid in your cook down, it will resemble more of a pectin-based preserve (without the pectin) when cooled. Store in a mason jar in the fridge.

Agave for honey, pure maple syrup, sugar
Orange for any citrus (lemon, lime, clementine - I actually used a mineola)
Chia seeds for flaxseed

This makes a great topper and mix-in for so many things. I've tried it on waffles in the place of syrup and my one-year-old gobbled it up! I've also mixed it into plain Greek yogurt. 

More possibilities: ice cream topper, replacement for pancake syrup, incorporated into pancake batter, smoothie addition, oatmeal topper, replacement for jam/jelly/preserves on toast or in sandwiches, by the spoonful even. It will totally jazz up a brunch spread in that cute and totally trendy mason jar.