dentist to pancakes. I'm sorry, where were we?

I felt like I found some sort of clarity today as I was wearing over-sized sunglasses and staring at a fluorescent light, waiting for the dentist. I was tipped back slightly and it was almost relaxing. I found myself smiling as I realized they were playing a song that, once upon a time, Dave knew on the guitar and would play for me while we were dating. Then they played some "semi-charmed life" and yeah, it was just a weird time for reflection.

I was also waiting for my all-clear from the dentist. I haven't had cavities for a few years because, guys, I don't mean to brag or anything, but I floss every day.

boom, two cavities. One of them wasn't even one that was on "watch". In 6 months, just a new cavity. I'm trying to figure out what was different about the last 6 months...perhaps all the flat bread?

And to add insult to injury, this is the month we didn't even eat any sugar! How did this happen? curse you, genetics.

So yes, we decided to go without any added sugar all month. Not in like a "sugar is the devil" way, because generally, I'm not one to eliminate a whole food group/category (unless it's medically necessary). Although if I were, I do think sugar would be up there. Anyway, I read an article about a family who gave it up for a year and had a lot of benefits from that. I figured we could do a month and just see. We didn't have any special days (I'm still dreaming about the salted caramel chocolate ganache tart we had to pass on for my brother-in-law's birthday) because Dave was like, "if I eat any, it's over."

Have we noticed any difference? Dave will tell you emphatically no. I, however, think one month is not enough to really say (I am still waiting for my miraculously clear skin people claim to get when they give up sugar; perhaps next month is when I will notice that there was a difference?), but I do think it has been easier to wake up in the mornings. I also don't think we ate so much sugar before that we felt poorly, so maybe it wasn't really enough to make a difference. But obviously we are more aware of what we are eating, especially where sugar is involved. The biggest change was breakfast, as Dave looves his cereal. We mostly ate these waffles and these pancakes (sans sugar).

I am proud of us for sticking with it. May is long, people. It was kind of fun to have a challenge to do together, and maybe by the end that is all it's about. We made it this far! To say the least, here's to a weekend of chocolate chip cookies, Salt & Straw ice cream and real maple syrup. (cheers to our friends Alli and Shane, who did the sugar-free month with us!)

And then, you know, a future of mindful eating.

anyone done anything crazy like this?

zero fun sir

We met some friends yesterday at the Children's museum to check out their new outdoor adventure area. Sam had a good nap, a good lunch and I thought he would really have fun. He loves outside, water and it was even gated!

-so hot and sunny, he refused to wear a hat/sunglasses
-too timid to really do anything
-surprised by the water fountains and it wasn't pretty
-in surprised crying fit, he spits out chewed up almonds all over me
-cried 75% of the time, causing a lot of coughing
-happiest when playing with gravel and a cup (??)
-by the time we left, he had eaten raisins, almonds, 3 watermelon slices (they were snack-sized), two clementines, half of a banana and goldfish. I brought none of these items.

Obviously I need to step up my snack game. Those lame-o cherrios I brought mostly ended up in the dirt (and then he probably ate some of those). Sam's friend Avi did eat some, so they weren't for naught. I mean, toddler 101 is everything everyone else brought is way better than what we brought. Sam is seriously the biggest mooch there is. He's too cute to be refused and always hungry, I guess. But really, I'm thankful for friends who don't mind helping a mom out!

I mean, by the time we got home, I just called the whole thing a disaster. We took a nap and I want to stay inside for a week.

The last two weeks have had so many of these days! I'm still trying to decide if Sam almost really choking was better or worse that it was over a facetime audience. And that feeling of "oh my gosh, I don't know what to do if this doesn't work" was intense. But somehow, Sam survives. I know that things happen and I think that more incidents will happen as Sam gets older and wants to assert his independence and we are in new situations. It's hard to find that spot between hovering and, you know, neglect. Somewhere between those places, Sam fell down half a slide and face planted on the bark. FAIL. my gosh.

Seriously, I think the last few Fridays I've been so glad it's the weekend and that I somehow managed to save Sam from himself and gravity that week. Oi. Hopefully I'm not the only one with these toddler stories? I try not to take it personally and feel like I'm doing a bad job, but the poor kid is having really bad luck these days.
Sometimes I feel like we have a dog? We just say "come back Sam", "Sam, come back please", "hey, Sam, come here!", "can you go get your ball?" all the time when we are outside.

pinata!

A few weeks ago our church group had a dessert auction/talent show. It's always a fun time and we like bidding on a few things and we buy something great. Last year I ended up winning like 3 things, so this year we played it a little more cool. Our winnings, an olive oil orange loaf with rhubarb jam (I was just so intrigued, I had to have it) is currently sitting in our freezer as we decided to give up  added sugar during May (but that is another post, I suppose). I bid on things I thought would freeze well, and I think it will be worth the wait.

I wanted to make something fun, so I tried making a pinata cake. I used a favorite chocolate cake recipe and the best frosting (I used one batch to make the two cakes). I was so happy that it worked! I also had fun using a wide-angle lens for my iphone that I got for Christmas. It's probably not supposed to be obvious you have a wide angle lens...but I am not a photographer.

Anyway, a sweet little boy won the cake and I think he and his siblings enjoyed watching the candy fall out. I will have to make another one so we can witness it ourselves. It killed me to not try any of the extra cake, but life moves on, right?

notes at almost a year and a half

Sometimes Sam pats your back when he gives you a hug, mostly likely when you're rocking him a bit before you put him to bed. Sleeps until 7 or so most days, unless it's a day when he randomly wakes up at 5 and won't go back to his crib, but lays in our bed, half asleep and whining. It's cute.

Most days he takes one nap instead of two, and I'm still mourning for that first nap. I remember when dinner was ready about when Dave got home or we didn't take until 8:00 getting Sam to bed and I just can't figure out why I was able to get so much done a year ago....then I remember that he didn't used to be 1. mobile 2. so demanding 3. awake as much.

He loves to climb stairs, working on other things like the couch, tub, etc. Has recently learned to climb off of things correctly. Going down stairs entails turning around, doing a downward dog crawl down the stair, standing up, facing down the stairs, turning 180 degrees and starting over.

He also loves baths and insists on having the water run the entire time. Even when we recently realized he was satisfied with a small trickle, it leads to some deep baths, which he enjoys.

I think he may be a hobbit. He eats first breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, etc. By 5:00 if he hasn't had enough to eat he will slowly and dramatically starve to death, right in front of your eyes! I've seen it happen. While I strive to remember the counsel "never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved", I am not perfect at it. Sam can get really hangry.

His favorite thing to do outside is walk and walk. I love living in the city, but sometimes I wish for a park that is enclosed with only things that he can play with. One time we went to a park that was perfect: a huge open space and gated except for the two feet of entrance. Guess where he headed almost the entire time....he just loves to walk where he wants to.

Still very wary of machines that make noise. Isn't terrified of the printer anymore, but doesn't trust the vacuum, blender, etc. He sure loves trucks, trains, buses, etc. He loves to point out the wheels in books and loooves to read about vehicles. He also loves to have the same book read to him over and over. For how quick he can move past something, this surprises us, but we love when he brings us a book and sits close (and still) with us to read it. The number of children's books we have memorized keeps going up. Too bad this isn't a hugely marketable skill. It does come in handy at 7:00 am when he brings us "the little blue truck" and he'll sit up in bed while one of us "reads" it to him while laying down with our eyes closed.

He has some great stink faces and funny faces and is so fun to play with. He's so good and I love having him as my little buddy during the days. It's so fun to watch him figure things out and copy what you do or even remember what you do with a certain thing. I mean, he obviously has seen me dig the cocoa container out of the recycling and eat what is left. Who hasn't done that?
not the best picture, but eesh, right?

attached

It's an old story. Clothes in the closet that you don't choose and you don't really love, but you find yourself attached to them. And you can't get rid of them. I would really like to once and for all remove all the things that I want to...without having the "wait..." come into my head and I leave it for another round.

Has anyone just purged everything? Or do you get stuck just donating a few things at at time? I have a clothing, etc. swap on Wednesday and I'm trying to decide if I can just do it. I don't see the point of keeping pants that don't fit, shirts that I find too tight, belts that I never use, shirts I don't love....but years later, here they all are! 

So friends, tell me what to do! be ruthless or conservative?

children's museum II

Last Friday we met friends at the Children's museum for a few hours. The last time (love sam's tongue and mullet...) we went, he wasn't walking yet. This time it was so fun to see him walking around to all the different activities. I think he had a really good time. He was too short to reach most of the water activities, but he loved what he could reach. They had a little vet office and he walking around holding a puppy for a little while. Adorable.

Oh, and he was totally thrilled to be riding the train. Hah! He loves to watch the trains, but I guess it's been too long between our MAX rides for him to remember what it's like.I think he was torn between apprehensive and apathetic.

easter

I made sam a bow tie for Easter and I finished it up about 15 minutes before we headed to church. I watched three videos on the way to church trying to learn to tie it. I finally found one that was able to explain it in a way I understood and the crisis was averted (I was seriously getting frustrated). When I put it around his neck, it was too small, of course. I played around with it trying to tie the smallest bow I could and I finally got something. Next time I will measure his neck before I start.

We tried to get a few photos of said Easter tie or of the family and we just nailed it, as you can see.

We had a great dinner with some friends (tacos for Easter? I like this idea) and a little egg "hunt" for the three toddlers. They are all within a month of each other and not one cared about the eggs, really. Sam just loved to throw the gravel around and scatter it off the slide. He seriously did not (and would not) look at the eggs or pick them up. So weird.

hope you had a great Easter! (coolest video ever)