Monday, September 27, 2010

A Few More 18 Month Things

This kid is so much fun right now, and it occurred to me I need to record some of the things he says and does before he moves onto the next big thing.We've been moving through the animal sounds for some time now. Neigh is his favorite. This week we added a few that just make me laugh. Milo thinks a frog says bbllhh (that sound you make when you purse your lips together and blow). It does sound a bit like ribbit. After hearing me a say a camel spits and demonstrating it, he now coughs if you ask him what a camel says.
  • Milo dances by turning around in circles and stomping his feet. He does this when music starts or when he is very happy about something.
  • If you say golf or soccer, he will start clapping. He will also clap whenever he sees football or baseball on television.
  • Milo's most recent word is honey. I call Chris honey a lot, and I think this is where is got it from. However, he also knows that bear from Bear at Home eats honey for lunch. In Milo's world it is pronounced HAHNey.
Also, using the fantastic photo tips mentioned here, we recently took these shots of our little guy. They are some of my favorite images of Milo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apples and More Apples

There are few photographic memories I find cuter than apple picking pictures. Something about the crisp fall air, the lush foliage and the happy, apple juice covered faces just make for great photos. In the past year, we've gone from sweet cherub little face happily munching on his first apple, to wild toddler frantically taking a bite of each apple he could get his hands on.

We'll keep going back year after year to add to the collection, so I need some great fall back apple recipes. Apples pick easily which means you end up with more apples
than it seems while picking. And for some reason the apple stash never seems to go down no matter how many apple snacks we have. So far I have made apple crisp, apple turnovers, apple sauce, and I also modified this muffin recipe to utilize more apples.

What am I missing?
What is your favorite thing to do with apples?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Year at Home

One year ago today I cleaned out my office, was given a surprise going away ice cream social, and said goodbye to co-workers and to a second income for our household. There are things I miss about working - the structure, the constant adult interaction and the camaraderie of working together toward a common goal. Overall though, I wouldn't trade this year or this current life for afternoons spent in meetings or at my desk whiling away the hours until I could go home.

Leaving my job to stay home with Milo was the right thing to do for our little family. And, yet, I still struggle with that decision to some degree. I am uncomfortable about how stay-at-home mothers are often viewed and the looks I sometimes get for staying at home. It shouldn't matter what other people think about how I spend my time, but somehow it does.

Trying to delve into those feelings a little more, I picked up Mommy Wars at the library. The book is supposed to elicit a truce between those mothers who work outside of the home and those who stay home. The essays in it were intended to shed light on the experiences of both sets of mothers and show both to be valid.

Fine premise, but I couldn't get through the book. I was feeling judged before I even made it through the forward (being how the author couldn't understand how a stay at home mother could put her economic circumstances into another's hands). Plus, the book seemed very dated (it was published in 2006) with references to things that just don't resonate only four years later.

At the end of the day, each woman needs to do what is right for her family. Economics, personality and individual circumstance play a role in this. Each outcome is genuine to that family. No one book of essays is going to be able to explore the vast array of situations that defines motherhood.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

18 Months

Our little buddy is a year and half old! It's a milestone. We are collecting more and more of these milestones...this month Milo started walking backwards, hopping, dancing, climbing a bit more, echoing more words, having more interest in drawing with crayons, and all together just being a super happy little boy.

Each day brings more words and better communication skills. He likes to hold our hands now and show us where he wants to go or what we should play with next. Milo still likes to play with kitchen tools and seems to have a special affinity for stuffed animals. We bought a sand table on summer sale and he has been clocking many hours digging in the backyard in it.

I was warned that the 15- 18 month time period can be a bit trying, but really I've found it a joy. Yes, we have some tantrums, but for the most part he is quite good-natured and is willing to go with the flow. This week we are trying to make sure he gets in bed each night by 8:15 and that has seemed to make him even more pleasant to be around.

We're now heading for the age of two and it is so exciting to me to watch a little boy emerge where there was once a baby.

ETA: At our 18 month appointment, Milo measured 32 inches and weighed in at 27 pounds, 10 ounces.

*Milo helped me decorate his sign this month.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Summer of CSA

For years, at least years since I have become aware of CSAs (community supported agriculture), I've wanted to participate in one. This summer we finally did it. After some research and weighing of options, we chose New Century CSA as our farm provider. This is one of the few (only?) central Ohio CSAs who deliver their produce, which was very nice. I also liked that it is a family-run farm.

Other Impressions of the season:
  • We split a full share with another couple. This worked out well as there would have been way too much food otherwise.
  • Corn, oh the corn. There was a lot of corn. Like 20 ears per week a lot of corn. Even with splitting the share, this was just too much corn for us.
  • The farm said they mostly use non-chemical methods of farming, but will use chemicals as a last resort. I would like some clarification on this policy as it seemed to me some of the produce must have been sprayed.
  • We would get a weekly e-mail saying what would be in the share that week. This was helpful, but it wasn't always accurate.
  • Each Tuesday morning was an adventure as Milo and I would sort out the veggies. Our favorites were beets, cucumbers, the various lettuces. We could have done with less of the cabbage, okra, and hot peppers.
  • Overall the quality of the produce was great. I would have preferred more variety of vegetables overall and varietals of species (all the produce seemed to be from modern seed).
All in all, it was a positive experience. I liked having to come up with menus and recipes using whatever we happened to have at the time. It was interesting to see how the share changed from the beginning of the summer to the end. Early June we had a lot of peas, kohlrabi and some early beets. By the end of August we receiving mostly tomatoes and corn.

We'll definitely do something similar next year, but we may branch out and try a different farm. For people who are interested in participating in a CSA, my advice is to create excitement for it in your family (Milo and I would look forward to the unpacking each week), be open to trying new vegetables prepared in different ways and use it as a learning experience.