Thursday, May 31, 2012

Aguas Frescas

Yesterday, I was reading one of my favorite food blogs and stumbled across these recipes for Cantelope Basil Agua Fresca and Watermelon Agua Fresca. I had a hankering for the summer drinks all afternoon and couldn't get them out of my head.  Aguas frescas are fairly simple to make with few ingredients, but the process of chopping and straining all of the fruit seemed a little daunting with a toddler at my heels.

On the way home from work, a light bulb went off in my head: I wonder if the nearby authentic fruteria sells aguas frescas. 
Palmer and I were off for a field trip to find out!

What did I see when I pulled up?
Oh HECK yes.  Good call, Bethany!

For $1/each, I ordered a melon agua fresca and Palmer enjoyed the mango agua fresca.  It was love at first sip.
And with the wide offering of seven flavors, you can BET I'll be back this summer, er maybe later today.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Time

The temps are starting to creep up and we are making the most of outdoor activities before the inevitable 100+ degree weather hits.

The park is a big hit these days.  With all of the options to climb and run, Palmer is in heaven.
And he's slightly impatient to go down the slide.  I often have to remind him to "sit down" at the top of the slide because Palmer would prefer to barrel down face first.  Sitting just takes too much time away from the impending fun of the slide.
Last summer, Palmer was too little for sunscreen so we had to dodge the sun and limit our outdoor activities.  Not this year.  I slather the little boy up and send him on his way.  
So far, he seems to have his mom's skin genes and doesn't burn.  I remember how dark I used to get as a kid and hope he has the same fortune.

Palmer had a blast at Blythe's birthday party.  He couldn't believe his luck when he played in 4 kiddie pools, sprinklers, AND a ball pit.
Combine all of that fun with a cupcake, an ice cream cone, 3 packets of teddy grahams, and strawberries...
 ...and you can bet that a very happy and very tired little boy quickly fell asleep on the way home from the party.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lake House

Rick went out to the lake house last weekend and came back with stories about Palmer's first boat ride.  Rick said Palmer was content as long as he was tucked away safely in Rick's lap.  Otherwise, he was terrified.
Palmer (aka Dad, which I think is really aka Pops) caught his first fish, but I hear he didn't help with pulling the hook out of the fish's mouth.
Elle and Palmer had a ball together, until they had to share a seat at the dinner table.  Then, Elle was sure to tattle on Palmer and his messy eating habits.  She kept telling Rick and Nana, "Palmer making mess.  Hey.  Palmer making mess."  
I'm sure the dogs had a feast of floor scraps after Palmer and Elle were finished at the picnic table.

And speaking of messes, check out the hand smudges on the back door of the lake house.  Poor GG.  I'm sure she had her Windex out as soon as everyone left.  Sorry about that, GG.
Rick took Palmer to the lake by himself so that I could have some pre-Mother's Day alone time. Interestingly enough, my girly plans were canceled at the last minute and I found myself at home alone.  When everyone is driving me crazy, I dream of some time to myself.  But, while the boys were gone, I discovered I actually missed them and couldn't wait for their return.  It's a good lesson to realize how good I really have it.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Family Board

My neighbors (technically my neighbors from my old house, but whatevs) gave me a great idea several years ago when their kids were toddlers.  They put a photo of every person in their family on a poster board and laminated it.

The neighbor kids loved to point to different aunts and uncles and grandparents and tell me who they saw.  That idea stuck with me until I eagerly put together Palmer's own family tree last month.
Palmer loves to go over to the board and say "Dada" or "Dog".  The board also helps me to prepare Palmer for an upcoming visit with "Grampi" or "Pops" or "Cousin Elle".
Thanks, Burns Family for the great idea!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

I love Mother's Day.
I really don't understand the hype about a birthday.  I'm always a little somewhat embarrassed about the attention.

But, Mother's Day is a whole different story and a newly special day.  When you are a mom, you give and you give and you give.  It's a lot of (happy and rewarding) work.  Mother's Day is special because it's a day families stop and say, "Thank you for all that you do" and for me, it's a day to stop and say, "Thank you, Palmer for letting me be your mom."  It's also a day to thank my own mother for all of the work that she puts into raising me.

The boys have a two-year-old tradition of making me a delicious breakfast.
I'm wondering if Palmer was more helpful last year in his two month state...
...than this year when Palmer made a big mess while Rick tried to round up breakfast:
After breakfast, we ran over to Fort Worth to see my mother and brother who was in town for a mere few hours for a wedding.
The afternoon brought a swimming date with some friends where Palmer was sweet to share his lounge chair with his friend Brooks.
And an unseasonably cooler evening made our front porch the perfect venue for a wine and cheese kind of night after the little guy went to bed.
Thanks to my boys for making the day special.  Palmer, I'm so happy to be your mom.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Swimming Lessons

We started swimming lessons last weekend with about six other families from our playgroup.  I feel bad for the families that aren't in our playgroup because we kinda take over the class.  I'm pretty sure the swim instructor thinks we all talk way too much.
Our fearless toddler had fun in his first class and actively embraced most of the activities until he reached a breaking point of exhaustion about 45 minutes into the one-hour class. He learned how to go under the water:

Palmer didn't seem to mind too much about going under but needs to learn to not swallow so much water in the process. He was also taught to reach for the side of the pool, jump into the pool, and kick his legs.
Couple that with a few "Ring Around the Rosies" and "Wheels on the Bus" and it was a rompin' good time.

Floating on the back is not a current interest of Palmer's, but we hope that a few more lessons might convince him otherwise.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Leaps and Bounds


We just experienced a ton of developmental changes in the span of a few days.  For those of you familiar with The Wonder Weeks, I wholeheartedly believe we just exited the 55-week developmental phase. 

Palmer has been fussing a bit in the middle of the night for the last few weeks, which is unusual because he is typically a good sleeper.  On Tuesday, Palmer woke up with a raging fever and napped for a whopping 5.5 hours during the day.  On Tuesday night, Palmer slept like a rock and slept in late.
When he awoke on Wednesday morning, he was a whole new boy.

What's new?

1.  Vocabulary:  Palmer is adding (or attempting) new words right and left.  He said the big one we've all I've been waiting for: Mama.  He also says: uh oh, oh wow, whoa, up, down, out, bubble, and tries to repeat a lot of things that I say.

2.  Comprehension: I can definitely tell Palmer understands a lot of what we are saying and doing now.  If I give him instructions (such as, "Palmer, will you go get that cup and put it on the table?") he usually follows thru.  It's so fun to talk thru our day knowing that he is actually grasping a good portion of the world.

3.  Communicating: Last night Palmer looked up at Rick and clearly said what sounded like, "out".  Rick was confused and said, "Out?"  Palmer repeated, "Out."  Rick said, "I don't understand.  Will you point with your finger?"  Palmer walked over to the window, pointed out the back door and said, "Out."  Palmer wanted to go outside and decided he was going to tell us his preference.  Although I'm sure we will soon tire of hearing what Palmer wants, it was amazing to have him clearly communicate with us.
Make this now!!  I made this pizza last night for dinner because we had onions, kale, and potatoes in the bin and rosemary in the garden.  It was so delish that I am seriously considering making it again tomorrow.  I substituted real potatoes instead of sweet potatoes because that's what was in the fridge.  I'm sure it's lovely with sweet potatoes, too, and come winter I can bet we'll have sweet potato, kale, rosemary, and onion pizza.

PIONEER WOMAN ICED COFFEE:  Aunt Samantha is staying with us for a few months (more about that in a future post) and she was trying to figure out a new morning coffee routine.  Some time ago, I saw a Pioneer Woman recipe for iced coffee and thought this might be the perfect opportunity to give it a shot.  Survey says: winner.  We both added almond milk and vanilla syrup.  My Starbucks baristas are going to miss me for a little while.