Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall Bucket List

I'm calling this a Fall bucket list, but let's be honest, it's pretty much just an October bucket list. Halloween seems to get all the spotlight during Fall, but with all these fun activities, I'm ok with that.

This coming Saturday Joe and I are leaving Ezzy with his Grandma Kat so we can go to Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary. We went once, back when I was pregnant, and it was so so soooo fun and scary. A lil tip for you, if you've never been to these types of places: the more scared you look, the more likely you will get chased around by something scary. Last time I literally got chased out of a maze by a creepy ax carrying butcher guy. I didn't even realize they could leave the maze... Scary.

The following weekend Ez and I are going to Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland with my mom. I've never been to the Halloween party, but I love Disneyland when it's all decorated for fall, so I can't wait.

I've already gotten started baking fall treats over the weekend with a batch of maple pumpkin cookies. Delicious! And we visited our first pumpkin patch too, so we're already knee deep in fall activities over here. And judging by the blog world, it looks like we're not the only ones!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Weekend: A Sailor in the Making

Another Monday comes too soon. 

You know how lately everyone is talking about Fall this and pumpkin that? Well usually I'm over here drenched in sweat, drinking my iced tea and just wishing the temps would drop to the low 90s. But guess what, guys? The temps dropped all the way to the 70s. That's about as Fall as it gets in Southern California. So clearly I was a happy camper this weekend. Also, we went on a mini getaway to San Diego and had so much fun exploring. Somehow we managed to cram a lot of stuff into a little overnight trip, so expect more posts and photos coming up.

I know a maritime museum sounds like a kinda "eh" activity for a toddler, but when the museum is actually 4 ships and a submarine that you get free reign to wander around, it's basically toddler paradise. Ez was so fascinated watching the boats on the water (especially the fast ones) that he practiced saying boat over and over. And by saying, I really mean screaming. Cause that's his new thing, screaming his favorite words over and over in excitement, and then looking at us with a really satisfied grin. You can't help but tell him how great he's doing, even if all his words sound like, "Bleuahh!!" Here's a little video of Ez spotting boats, which may have been his favorite part of the whole trip:
One of the ships had a mini ship set up for kids to play on, and this lady got so excited when she saw Ez, and asked if we could please, please put him on the mini ship cause it was just his size and would be so cute. Cute photo op? Don't have to ask us twice. We're on it! Here's a little video of a somewhat tipsy Captain Ez steering his ship:  
The submarine was really interesting to check out, but definitely not anywhere you'd want to be if you're even the slightest bit claustrophobic. Just getting around that thing while 4 other girls were also looking around was like trying to solve a rubiks cube. "I'll stand in this corner while you squeeze by me so we can switch places in two feet of space..." basically it was a chaotic mess. And there were only about 6.5 people on the boat. So I was pretty surprised that a crew of 46 was normally wandering around that thing. I imagine everyone pretty much hunkered down at their station and stayed put for the majority of the time. Not exactly how I'd want to spend weeks at a time.

So that was a little slice of our weekend. How was yours? Hope you explored lots of fun places and spent QT with the fam :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

5 Signs That You're in Toddlerville

Last night, after Ez went to bed, Joe and I were lying awake talking about this new place we've found ourselves in: Toddlerville. We started joking about how we'd rate it on Yelp, if we could. 

1. Toddlerville is full of little hoodlums. Any toy you've ever bought can and will be used against you. As a weapon. For some reason Ez has gotten into a fun new pre-bed routine when he's tired but still fighting sleep so he decides to start launching everything he can get his hands on at our heads. And he does it with a mischievous smile, that lets you know he knows he's doing something bad. I believe parenting books call this "testing the boundaries." But most people in the real world would call this bullying. Or being a jerk. 

2. I already mentioned that toys are weapons in Toddlerville, but it should also be mentioned that Toddlerville is basically built out of toys. Toys definitely seem to be the roadways of our house, anyway. Here's a picture of my kitchen floor right now, which is pretty standard if we remove the barricade (our ottoman) for a few minutes:

3. Toddlerville is a place where pooh defies gravity. Joe spent a lot of time dwelling on this one last night. How does pooh climb up a back? It just seems like it defies physics.

4. Clearly this Yelp review isn't looking too good for Toddlerville. I'd say we're at about 1 star. (Having a toy car launched at your head will remove a lot of stars real fast.) But the amazing thing about Toddlerville is that a little thing like an impromptu dance party or a smile (of the non-mischeivous, not plotting-harm-against-you variety) can completely wipe the slate clean. I can't even count all the nights when we've finally gotten Ez to sleep, and then we spend our free time looking at pictures of him and contemplating if we should maybe wake him up for just one more snuggle.

5. The learning curve in Toddlerville is pretty astounding. No day in Toddlerville ever looks the same, because Ez is just changing so fast these days. One day he's crying in frustration because he can't make his puzzle piece fit, and the next day he's mastered the puzzle. And the words are starting to come. Real words. Not only ones that start with "B" - this makes Toddlerville a very exciting place.

Final Yelp review for Toddlerville? 5 stars - just like every other stage Ez has gone through. Though this stage is definitely not for the faint-hearted, and is much more challenging than the newborn phase, it's also so fun, and much funnier. That kid cracks me up every day. And watching your kid figuring things out and learning how this world works is one of the most rewarding parenting experiences, if not the most rewarding.

Linking up with The Farmer's Wife for the Oh Hey, Friday series!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Home Makeover Project: Ezzy's Room

It's about that time again...painting update time! One of Ez's walls is made of wooden boards, so I decided it might look cool to paint a striped accent wall. I don't think I would attempt this if the lines weren't already outlined for me. That's too much precision and measuring for a very non-type A person like myself, whose motto is "close enough." After a little searching on Pinterest, I decided I liked a subtle gray color. Here was my inspiration:

Here was Ez's room before:

I forgot to take before pictures, so this is from when we first moved in. Other than the horse and bucket of stuffed animals being moved against the wall, this is pretty much what his room looked like. With the way the furniture was arranged, the amount of play space was narrow and rectangular and not that inviting. I wanted to rearrange everything to make it more open. I moved his changing table and the small container next to it into his closet (his dresser was already in there), and I moved the crib against the back wall. That made a huge difference, and now Ez loves playing in there. He'll often wander in there by himself and I'll find him playing contentedly with his toys.

Back at our old place, Ezzy's nursery had a balloon theme. You can check it out here. Lately Ez has an obsession with moons, and one could even argue that his first word is moon/"boon" - so I ran with that and gave him a moon decoration from our room, a pond & moon painting that I made, and some moon and star night lights from Ikea. Even the gray paint is called silver moonlight. He also likes cars, so we got him the car roadway rug, also from Ikea. I think he'll love that for years to come. (I hope so, anyway!) The mini green recliner with monster trucks on it was a birthday gift from Ez's cousins & aunt. The rocking horse was a birthday gift from Gangy, Grampa, and the uncles. We got the white wall shelves from Ikea, and I really love having a few seasonal and favorite books displayed. For some reason Ez has the most Halloween books of any holiday. I think he has 2 Valentine books, 2 Christmas books, and 6 Halloween books. Not quite sure how that worked out. We'll have to add some Christmas books this year. 

I still haven't decided what to put above the big chair. I'm thinking maybe another shelf? Any suggestions? Also, my friend suggested curtains. I installed those blinds myself, and that was quite the headache (as were the shelves, for that matter), so curtains will be a future project, once the power drill and I are on speaking terms again. 

And here's a progress pic of Joe and Ez enjoying his little reading nook before it was quite finished. Love those two so much.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: Toddler Edition

Anyone else have toddlers that eat their veggies? And normal people food? Tips, please! I'd love to know what healthy-ish foods your kids love. We try to feed Ez what we're eating, but usually he won't try enough for it to actually be considered a meal. Last night we had salmon and Ez ate one bite and then went into super-inspector mode, examining each piece of food we tried to feed him from then on out, and making sure not a single piece of salmon crossed his lips again. The other night Joe fed him a few bites of his lentils, and after each bite (which we had to sneak in between bites of watermelon), Ez would shudder and make the most awful face. The foods Ez does like are limited, so his diet is on a pretty short rotation. Fruit is always a hit. If he sees fruit, chances are he's not eating anything else until every last bite of the fruit is gone (and we have to show him the empty bowl several times as proof). Here's a sample of what Ez typically eats in a day:

Yogurt, cereal, and fruit.
French toast & berries.
Lately I've been feeding Ez a Stonyfield baby yogurt mixed with about a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a handful of raisin bran, and some blueberries or strawberries. One of his other favorite breakfasts is french toast. That's what I always order him when we go out to eat, because that's pretty much the only way he'll eat eggs. Sometimes I make a batch at home, and freeze the leftovers, which I serve with butter, berries, and a tiny bit of syrup.

Lunch & Dinner:
Macaroni & cheese + veggies.
Toast + almond butter & jam.
Veggie dog & cantaloupe.
Pomegranate, apple, & beet Happy Tot pouch + Spinach, lentil, & brown rice Earth's Best Pouch + baby oatmeal.
We are vegetarian (+ fish, so pescatarian, but I already told you how receptive Ez is to fish), so Ez eats the vegetarian versions of typical toddler faves: veggie dogs and veggie nuggets. I can get him to eat veggies with his mac & cheese if I mix them up together. If they're separate he skips over the veggies. He's also a big fan of pb&j (of course!). I try to healthify it by using Ezekiel bread and switching up the nut butter (almond butter, cashew butter), and using the no sugar added jam. I still feed Ez baby food at least every other day, because that's the most surefire way to get him to eat veggies + beans. I mix one of the veggie/bean pouches with a fruity pouch, and stir in some baby oatmeal (for iron). I know it sounds disgusting, but it just tastes like fruit (yes, I've tried it!) I try to make sure Ez eats some vitamin C at every meal, because that's supposed to help with absorbing vegetarian forms of iron. And that's easy, cause fruit.


Typical snacks include crackers, fruit, or home baked goodies, like the banana oatmeal cookies above (so yummy! I left out the chocolate chips using this recipe). 

So that's a typical day for Ez. What are some of your go-to kid-friendly meals? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Ez went to his first Gymboree class today. There were several baskets full of balls, so it was a pretty magical place. (Also pretty identical to our living room in that regard, but I guess it's always more exciting to play with someone else's toys.) Ez was also a big fan of the hoops and tunnels. The slides and other kids...not so much. He enjoyed the bubbles for a few moments (they are shaped like little clear balls, after all), but once he realized he couldn't catch them or throw them he got frustrated. 

Side note: Joe hates when I use the word "balls" over and over, especially when referring to how much Ezzy loves balls. Sorry - I don't know what else to call them! And get your mind outta the gutter ;)

Ez was pretty shy with the teacher at first, but he grew on him by the end of class, especially when Gymbo (the creepy clown puppet) gave Ez kisses. By the time we said our goodbyes I had to drag Ez away, and as I was signing us up for more classes my little bandit kept trying to break back into the play area. 

Any play date that ends with a sleeping toddler gets an A+ in my book. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Recap: Play Dates

As I was sitting down to write this blog post, I look over at Ez and notice poop smeared all over his diaper. On the outside. So in case you were wondering what a case of the "Mondays" looks like for a stay at home mom, it basically involves half a package of wipes and a pooh scavenger hunt through the house. I'll spare you the details, but here's a humorous article on the subject if you're interested. (It made me laugh out loud. I'm sure all parents can relate.) Hope your Monday is off to a better start!

K, mess cleaned up. Back to our weekend. The past few days have been filled with play dates for Ezzy. He's definitely at the age where he mimics everything he sees, so I've been trying to make sure he's spending more time around kids. He's pretty shy and tends to spend the first 5 minutes just staring at other kids, taking it all in. My friend and her daughter Bella, who's 8, came to visit and Ezzy adored Bella. He followed her around like a little shadow. And she was really good with him. She put all his stuffed animals on a chair (the audience) and they put on a concert using Ez's toy instruments. They also played with chalk outside. Ez had a great time.

On Friday we met some friends at the splash park. Wyatt is about a year older than Ez, but unfortunately they didn't get to play together long because Wyatt refused to put on his shoes and so he didn't get to play in the water. Ez, on the other hand, refused to leave the water. So he wound up with the place to himself, and I think he kinda liked it that way. 

Saturday was a long play date with Grandma Kat. Lots of cars and puzzles and reading Panda Bear, Panda Bear what do you see. The usual.

Sunday we got in some cousin time with brunch and a mall date. Ez loved watching Logan climb on everything like a little monkey, and he actually got brave enough to branch off on his own and climb some steps all by himself. He's growing by leaps and bounds lately. 
Aww! Warms my heart to see them loving on eachother.

Sunday evening we took Ez to the park to run off some energy. We brought his ball to kick around and we found another boy who was 2 months older who also travels everywhere with a soccer ball, so of course they became insta-friends. I love how friendship works when you're a kid. At first the other kid was doing all the playing, and Ez was just observing - meaning Ez would throw the ball and the kid would run and get it and bring it back to Ez, but after some prodding Ez started running after the ball too. It was the cutest thing to watch.

So that in a nutshell was our weekend. I also finished up painting Ez's room. Pictures coming soon! How was your weekend?