Thursday, October 29, 2015

Truck-Lining-Up Skills

Happy FRIDAY!!! Yay! We made it! Next week brings some big changes for our little family, and I'll share more this weekend, but for now we're enjoying a little time with PopPop and JanJan. We're also really excited for Halloween! Marshall is going to be a dog; Terry and I don't have costumes yet (should we dress up?); and we're going to hang out with friends at home and keep it all very simple. I'll be sure to share photos!

Meanwhile, my parents arrived yesterday for a quick visit (they had planned a trip to Puerto Vallarta and had to cancel because of the crazy hurricane last weekend). We started off with a stroll down Third Street in Santa Monica.

Marshall loved the dinosaur fountains. Mama regretted forgetting an extra pair of pants, because that kid was soaked from all the water!

My parents also brought Eiger for a visit! (Remember when he was "little"?) Yeah, now he's 75 pounds and only 6 months old. And still adorable and SO sweet! I also couldn't believe how well behaved he is! My parents are great dog owners, and I am extremely impressed with their hard work with Eiger. He is calm, sweet, obedient, and still playful! 

Last night we ordered pizza and hung out at home. Then this morning we headed to the dog park with Eiger and Marshall, and I'm really not sure who of all of us had the most fun. We saw so many fun breeds--Bloodhound, Basset hound, Great Dane (only 4 months old but probably 60 pounds), Golden Retrievers, a Doberman, and more. All the dogs were friendly, and Eiger had a blast running around with them!

Marshall had a blast, too. He and JanJan raced around in the crazy wind before we all headed back.

My parents took over for a while so I could run out for some errands, and I even stopped by to have lunch with Terry! I always love seeing that guy in the middle of the day! Later in the afternoon, Marshall demonstrated his truck-lining-up skills. Impressive, no?

Tonight Terry is at a Clippers game, so my parents hung out with me until a bit ago. Now I'm hoping to watch a few episodes of Friends and doze off on the couch, so happy Friday to you! I'll be back to share my news soon!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

17 Months

Marshall turned 17 months last week, so I thought I'd write down a few fun developments we've noticed lately. I love how much he seems to understand now! So often throughout the last almost-year-and-a-half I've heard people tell me, "Oh, this is such a fun age!" at various times. Well, this one really is! I'm so much less stressed now that he's sleeping (pretty) well, and I feel like our family has gotten better about enjoying each other's company more than trying to get as much done as possible around the house.

So, 17 months! Crazy! 

Favorite activities: going for walks (especially if he gets to walk by himself for part of it), reading books, playing with trucks, hearing us sing songs (Bingo, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and ABCs are favorites), playing at the park, choosing which socks to wear, and playing hide-and-seek.

Favorite toys: TRUCKS. All day, every day. Never gets old. Books, stuffed animals, and balls.

Size: Mostly 24 month/2T clothes; 25 pounds, 10 ounces; not sure on height. Lots of people comment on how big he is. He does seem to be a bit bulky, so we'll see how that goes.

And more fun:

- The tantrums are really on a roll all of a sudden. If we take something he wants, tell him no if he's in the wrong mood, etc., he can end up in tears and screaming within seconds. We're working on our patience and his emotions, but it's TOUGH!

- Eating is good. Marshall eats most of what we give him, and if he doesn't care for something one day we try again later. He does this thing now where he'll chew food and keep adding more and then eventually spit it all out, so that's really fun. But overall, he's eating a varied, healthy diet, so no complaints here. Favorites: fruit, bread, and eggs!

- He's getting better at following directions ("Bring this to daddy!" "Where do your trucks go?" "Let's set the table!")

- We taught Marshall "boo!" where we cover our eyes and then uncover them and say, "Boo!" He tries to do it, too, but he only covers his mouth, which for some reason is hilarious.

- He learned that a ghost says, "Ooooh," but now he thinks we're saying "ghost" when we say "goat." So we ask him, "What does a goat say?" And he says, "Ooooh." Oh, well. 

- New words: pumpkin ("mah"), orange ("jah"), book, bucket, boat, bag, moon, boo

- New sign language words: help, please, thank you, spider

- He's starting to run! He's not too quick yet, but I'm already noticing I have to really work to keep up with him. 

- He goes on little sprees of loving (obsessing over) certain books, maybe five at a time for about a week or so. He just wants to read the same few books over and over and over and over, but we're seeing that he does eventually move on to a new set. It drives me a little nuts, but I can see him discovering something new each time we read, so that makes it more fun.

Overall, we have a happy, fun, curious, thoughtful little boy. He's becoming more independent every day, which makes us so proud and a little terrified. He wants to share his discoveries with us and makes sure we see what he is learning. He loves routines and following patterns. He loves helping with small chores, like throwing trash away or doing laundry. He has a silly side, but it takes a while for him to open up to new people. 

A fun age, indeed. We're lucky to get to see this little toddler become a little boy. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips

Hello and happy Monday to ya! Ours started niiiiiice and early this morning when Marshall woke up at 4:15 am and never went back to sleep. Mama is tired today.

We spent part of the morning at Jenn's and came home in time for a quick lunch and nap time. Marshall slept a long while, which gave me time to rest, read some scholarship applications for UCLA (I volunteer from time to time; it's super easy to sign up if you're an alumnus and takes very little time!), and have some extra tea. 

Later in the afternoon we ran out to Aaron Brothers to take advantage of the buy one, get one for a penny sale. Unfortunately, the outing turned into our first public "toddler moment" where Marshall refused to be held, wanted to explore the store, wouldn't stand with me in line, and threatened a major meltdown if I tried to hold him. The line took forever, the store was super quiet and awkward, and I started feeling anxious about the other customers' reactions. When I hit the verge of tears, Jenn rescued me with a couple humorous texts, and I took a few deep breaths. Marshall never did throw the full-on tantrum, so I'll count myself lucky, but I may stick to more predictable outings like the grocery store for the afternoons (mornings are much better around here!). 

Anyway, when Terry came home we all took a walk together and enjoyed some fresh air before coming home for dinner. Another lovely day for the Heinrichs!

Some random photos from my phone:

Lunch after Underwood Farms while Marshall snoozed in the backseat. Chipotle is just too delicious.

I saw this ad for a bamboo dish rack that looks just like ours, except it has that extra little rack on the bottom. I mentioned to Terry how I wish ours had that "updated" little rack, and of course I realize then that ours does, in fact, also have a lower rack. I've had that dish rack for about five months.

Yesterday Terry and I got to sneak away for a mini date to BJ's, just to grab a pint (or a pitcher!) of their pumpkin beer. We love it!

Today Marshall napped in a typically strange position.

Tonight's meal: roasted butternut squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, sauteed ground turkey, and crumbled hot Italian sausage, all thrown together with some cheddar cheese on top.

And tonight's dessert, as featured on Instagram:
A classic combination.

And with that, I'm off to bed early to make up for that pre-sunrise wake up today. Good night!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Underwood Family Farms

This weekend started with an exciting outing to Underwood Family Farms! 

Terry had Friday off, so we all trekked up to Moorpark for a family day at the farm. I've always wanted to go, and it worked out to be able to attend during pumpkin season, which was twice the fun!

After breakfast, we hit the road around 8 am to arrive at the farm as it opened. We spent a little over two hours exploring, picking through pumpkins, choosing some produce to bring home, meeting the animals, riding in wagons, and sitting on tractors. Here are some photos from our adventure!

The best part of the whole day: riding in a wagon.

Every time we go out together as a family now, I make sure we all wear something nice and I do my hair and makeup in hopes that maybe we'll capture a holiday-card-quality photo. So far, we're 0 for 4. But don't you worry, I'm going to keep trying!

Baby goats. Ridiculous.

This kid turned 17 months on Friday, too!

We had a wonderful morning at the farm!

The rest of our weekend was less adventurous but fun nonetheless. We relaxed and worked around the house Friday afternoon. Saturday we played at the park, knocked out our squats, and took Marshall to the library. For dinner Terry made us all homemade banh mi sandwiches--they were amazing! And today we enjoyed a long walk to the farmers' market before spending most of the day at home. What a fun weekend! (I'm completely beat.)

And speaking of squats, here's the plan for the week:

Monday (Day 26):
7 rounds:
- squat + jump squat (1 min)
- 30 sec rest
- plie squat + plie squat jump (1 min)
- 30 sec rest

Wednesday (Day 28):
5 rounds:
- alternating side squats (1 min)
- alternating side lunges (1 min)
- rest 1 min

Friday (Day 30--and done!):
Max (or 3 minutes each):
- Squats
- Plie Squats
- Wall Sit
- Plie Pulses

Have a wonderful week! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Let's Call it a Win

First, fun photos:

I found my shoes like this the other day. Marshall prefers them upright, obviously.

Choosing a Halloween costume for M. Not easy; he just wants to look at the animal faces.

Marshall's gotten really into lining up his various vehicles like train cars.

Love that kid.

Today had its ups and downs. Ultimately, Marshall refused his nap for over an hour. Eventually we did a "reset" (a technique we use here when we have no other options and decide to just do something different from what else we've tried): I brought Marshall back out to the living room and let him play quietly by himself for a while. Finally, two hours after the first attempt, Marshall fell asleep. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and got to work around the house, making two batches of soup (one for us, one as a new baby meal) and tidying up.

At first, I felt frustrated and annoyed about Marshall's strange sleep, but the rest of the day went really well. We had a fun visit at Jenn's, we spent a lot of time reading, and I got a lot done around the house. Marshall was pretty tired and cranky this afternoon, but I can't blame him for that. Between not sleeping well, teething, and just being a toddler, he had a lot going on. Poor little guy.

With all that going on, we survived. The house survived. The dishes are done, we had a great meal (YUMMM I love Ina), we took a family walk, and Terry and I managed to catch up on our squats and yoga (we skipped yesterday for no good reason). So I'm going to call today a win. I guess my standard for "win" is just having everyone alive and fed at the end of the day? :-)

Speaking of squats, I forgot to post the last few days (I knew it would happen), so here's what we've been doing:

Sunday we skipped our planned HIIT squat workout because we ran the stairs on campus instead. My heart rate was through the roof (I had to take breaks to keep within a not-insane range), so I'd say it was a good trade.

Tuesday (well, Wednesday for us)/ Day 20: 
- 10 squat thrusts
- 10 3-pulse squats (squat down, pulse three times, stand up = 1 rep)
Repeat with 9 reps, then 8, then 7, all the way to 1

Day 22: Pyramid Roundabout
Front lunge + side lunge + back lunge + squat = 1 rep
Complete 1 rep each side, then 2 reps each side, then 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Day 24:
20 each:
3-2-1 squats
Squat with slow rise
(3-5 rounds)

Some fun links:

The Surprising Change that Cured My Threenager (I really enjoy reading Brittany's insights on parenting!)

Dads should read the bedtime story!

Anna Kendrink's Shower Thoughts (my friend Winnie shared this one with me and I loved it, of course)

More Anna Kendrick

SNL's Democratic Debate

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday Prep and Triceps Workout

As promised, here are the photos I meant to post yesterday:

Marshall's first peanut butter cookie (I think he likes fruit better, so I'm not sure if he's truly my child)

The glorious silicone muffin cups arrived. I'm so excited that I can't even think what I should do first with them.

Individual banana cream pies with a crust to die for and a filling that needs some tweaking.  (I told Jenn about them and later I got a text from her that said, "Not dropping too strong of hints, but I bought you the graham crackers for my banana cream pie already." This text explains why we're friends.)

Lots of Sunday prep for the week! See below for more on that.

Dinner last night: crock pot chicken, stir-fry vegetables, and brown rice.

Terry and I are on a quest to try as many different pumpkin beers as possible this season. These two were okay but not amazing. My favorite ever (so far) is actually BJ's pumpkin beer, which wasn't out yet when we went to BJ's last month, so we'll see if it holds up!

Sunday Prep 
Yesterday we put a lot of time and effort into prepping our meals for the week. We stopped at the grocery store on our walk (huge mistake, because we bought way more groceries than we could fit under the stroller, so Terry ended up carrying Marshall all the way home and the grocery bags got a cozy seat!), wrote out our meal plan, and started in on prepping a few things. Here's our meal plan (lunches and dinners):

- smoothies
- crock pot chicken, stir fry veggies, and rice

- leftover stir fry with chicken and/or a fried egg
- chicken enchiladas with black beans, spinach, cheese, and our favorite salsa (Whole Foods 365 Roasted Verde salsa)

- Chicken salad pitas
- leftover enchiladas

- Chicken salad pitas

- Leftovers (enchiladas, or use any leftover veggies to make quesadillas)
- Leftover soup

- Pita pizzas (my recent favorite: spread ricotta cheese on a pita, then top with vegetables like frozen spinach or onions and peppers, then sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes) 
- Maybe eat out? 

So for our prep on Sunday, here's what we did:

- got the chicken cooking in the crock pot (I also measured out the spices for a second chicken for the future and stored those spices ready to go in a plastic bag so next time will be even easier)

- chopped veggies for and cooked up the stir fry

- made rice (in the rice cooker) for the stir fry

- packed up lunches for the next few days

- after dinner, Terry finished cutting up the chicken and threw the bones back in to the crock pot, filled it up with water, and set it to cook on low overnight for broth (we end up with more than 20 cups of chicken stock this way because our crock pot is huge, so it's about $14 for a full chicken--at least three meals for us--and tons of stock for soups!)

- cleared out the fridge of old/expired/unused food--we're getting a little better about not wasting stuff!

- washed all the dishes (Terry did tons of dishes yesterday!), tidied the kitchen, put dishes away

We managed to get most of that done while Marshall was napping, but some of it was just popping into the kitchen throughout the day. We haven't really done a ton of big prep days like this since I've been off work, but this week I know we have two intensive meals: enchiladas and minestrone. They're two of our favorite meals, but they do require more work, so now I can work on those during naps instead of the other daily stuff I normally would have done.

So anyway, that's just a look at how we handle prepping for a full week of eating meals at home. It's definitely rewarding to open my fridge and see all our meals either ready or started!

Today I made enchiladas, and I tried a new process: instead of separating out the ingredients (bowl for black beans, bowl for chicken, bowl for cheese, etc.) and scooping a little of each into each tortilla, I threw all the stuffing together in one bowl, mixed it up, and then scooped out a little for each enchilada. WHY HAVE I NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE?! Um, hello, it tastes the same and it is SO much easier; plus I use fewer dishes. And I use a spoon instead of my fingers for the scooping, so it's all a little cleaner. Have people been doing this for years and never told me?

The enchiladas turned out deliciously, and we topped it all off with a crazy upper body workout tonight:

- 30 seconds skullcrushers, 30 seconds crunches of choice (repeat for minutes 0-5)
- 30 seconds DB chest press, 30 seconds reverse plank (repeat for minutes 5-10)
- 30 seconds overhead triceps extension, 30 seconds crunches of choice (repeat for minutes 10-15)
- 30 seconds wide-arm push ups, 30 seconds Supermans (repeat for minutes 15-20)

I won't lie: my triceps are already dying. Just typing this post is making my arms ache. So now I'm going to bed. Good night, friends!

Pumpkin Patch Pirate and My Shellfish Aversion

Despite missing the opportunity to travel north to see my family and celebrate our friends' recent wedding, we ended up enjoying a really lovely weekend. The weather even cooperated and gave us some cool days! Well, except Saturday afternoon, when we visited the pumpkin patch and regretted our timing immediately. 

Still, we loved watching Marshall play in the pumpkin patch. There were huge, clear pathways, but Marshall chose to walk among the pumpkins, stumbling and tripping the whole way. He kept trying to pick up the pumpkins ("muh"?), and he showed a lot of interest in the chickens ("bock! bock!"). 

We dressed him as a pirate. It was cute.

That evening we went to dinner at The Boiling Crab, which we've wanted to try for a while. Marshall scarfed down half a pound of shrimp by himself, but a lot of the spices were too much for him. (Honestly, they were too spicy for me, too!) I did not like that the shellfish is all served whole. So the head, shells, legs, etc., all intact. I made Terry do ALL the peeling! I absolutely cannot handle shellfish faces, tentacles, etc. (although I love the food itself), which is strange because I have no problem handling a raw chicken or a full fish. Why is that? Terry said I had to share my weird aversion here, so there you go. 

After dinner, I insisted on stopping at Simple Things for pie. We went with banana cream, it was delicious, and long story short--I ended up making banana cream pie from scratch today.

It's a work in progress, but I'll share the recipe when I'm satisfied. Lots of testing in my future. :-)

This morning our little family headed up to UCLA for some time outside and so that I could run the bleachers. 

Marshall had a blast kicking a ball around, so I think he got his exercise in for the day.

Originally, the squat challenge plan called for a HIIT workout: 10 squats, 10 180 squat jumps, repeat for 90 seconds, then rest 60 seconds; repeat for 7 total rounds. I originally hoped to tack that workout on to the stairs thing, but as usual my eyes were bigger than my muscles. Instead, I just did the stairs snake twice and called it a day! We also hit 12,000 steps by 11 am thanks to the long walk to campus and back. 

I had a lot more pictures to share, but they aren't loading for some reason. I'll post them tonight if all goes well, or perhaps they'll remain a mystery forever. 

The only photo that did come through is this one:
Cereal in a mug is more fun than a bowl.

So there you go.

Off to start the day before my little sidekick wakes up!