Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cookie monsters

Hayden's 1rst birthday is on Saturday, so I guess it is alright to allow her to consume nuts. To be honest, she actually had a head start completely by accident when she got a hold of Jacob's pb&j a couple months back. At first, I had that moment of panic (she better not be allergic, I thought), but once I knew she was okay, my more laid-back mommy-of-two attitude (been there, done that) decided to let her try some other related food items, like almonds, cashews and pistachios.

Her first experiences with these items were either in nut butter form or blended into a beverage, pudding, etc. Now that she has teeth (and she knows how to use them), we're moving on to raw cookies. Yum!

Speaking of cookies, did you know Natural Zing is carrying some of Cafe Gratitude's pre-made creations, like I Am Delighted Chocolate Fudge Cookies and Lemon Coconut Cookies. Lucky me, I made sure to get some with my last order. Although they'd be perfect for sampling as an after-school snack (Jacob starts back next week), I naturally couldn't wait that long, so I took a few with us to the beach/boardwalk.

I must say, the lemon ones were quite refreshing and and the chocolate ones were so cute and fudgy (love the piped flower shape and candied walnut center). But, what did the kids think?

Jacob wasn't really in the mood for a photo shoot (as I've mentioned in the past, he's beginning to outgrow it; he's tired of these paparazzi-like moments), although he was kind enough to let me snap a few pics while he shared some lemon cookies with his little sis.

Hayden, on the other hand, loves "cheesing" it for the camera (she gets it from her mama), so I was able to get these extra pics to share with you. Here is what she had to say about it:

Look mom, I've got my very own cookie.

How does it taste?

Mmmm ... I really can sink my teeth in these things.

Nice texture ... it holds up in my hands ...

Okay, just a little more ...

I think I just ate the whole thing. Yum!

Nice summary, Hayden. I should've put you in your Cookie Monster shirt for this one (she actually has a shirt with the monster himself on it that says, "me did it all for the cookies"), but instead, you still look adorable in your Toucan Sam tee.

Although I don't plan on giving her that particular cereal, I have fun dressing her in these "novel-tees." Besides, I could eventually serve her a raw version like this one. I might like some, too :-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blueberries for Hayden ...

... and Jacob, too, although he was camera-shy today. Thanks to him, we got to enjoy some yummy blueberries with a good book, "Blueberries for Sal;" it is one of the books on his recommended reading list for the summer.

This morning, the three of us snuggled up on the couch together to take turns reading the pages in this classic tale of a little girl and her mother berry picking on Blueberry Hill, alongside a baby bear and her mother bear with the same idea. The mamas had plans to save the berries to preserve for winter (there's no way any of my berries would ever make it into the dehydrator, although I have managed to sneak a few into the freezer for future use), while the little ones just wanted to eat them all.

As you can see in the pic, my kids can't resist snacking on these sweet treats. Looks like Hayden got caught with her hand in the "cookie jar," or in this case, the blueberry bowl. Yum!


BTW, I just wanted to share Jacob's progress with his Passport to Summer Reading project so far. Here are all the states we've "traveled" to this summer (each book read represents a different state; today's book was Kentucky). We're picking up 14 more books from the library this afternoon. I think he'll cover the whole map soon :-)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Having a hoppy good time

So much has been going on lately that I decided to give a quick update. I am a little overwhelmed with all that I have to say, but I hope to give you a glimpse into some of the highlights.

To start, I almost finished the mural at my parents' house; I just keep forgetting to take a pic of it to show you. At least I remembered to take the camera out for this tooth-filled grin Hayden flashed me in the moon bounce, while celebrating my sister's college graduation (the party was also at my parents' house).

Little lady loves to bounce, as you can see in this less than flattering pic. Us mommies have to sacrifice what we look like in photos sometimes just to capture the true joy experienced by our children. Hunching over and letting it all hang out can cause some criticism (poor Janet Jackson received her share with this photo, although she appeared very tone in this one taken at the same time), but it is well worth all the fun we were having.

Jacob also had a blast bouncing, but I'll refrain from posting a pic of him in the moon bounce. He was wearing only his swim trunks at the time, as there was also some Slip and Slide action, kiddie pools and the jacuzzi. Both Jacob and I took turns in the dunk tank, where he was bare-chested again and I ended up in my bikini (yes, this 34-year-old mom of two still opts to rock a two-piece bathing suit). Although I have no issues with us sporting swimwear in a public setting, I don't feel comfortable having these pics displayed on the Internet (you never know where they could end up). Therefore, I'll just share this photo of Jacob playing with his new hand-held Nintendo DSi.

Don't worry; I made sure he hasn't been glued to this device all summer. His grandma bought it for him to recognize how wonderful he has been to his sister this year, as well as all the other things he has done. Did I mention he got a perfect report card for all four marking periods in 1rst grade? He also far exceeded the recommended number of advanced reading books/quizzes for the year (for every five books they read and pass the test on, they get to "travel" to a new location on the map; he made it all over the globe).

This summer, we've been working on a "Reading Passport" package, where we are "traveling" to a different state with every book he reads from the list. Each week, we get a hefty stack of books from the library, each one representing a different state. After he reads it, we have a mini ceremony at home, marking off the states with star stickers. His passport map is filling up fast.

While at the library, he and Hayden also participate in a weekly activity group, where they listen to stories, go on scavenger hunts utilizing the references in the library, do science experiments and make crafts. Even Hayden has gotten involved in the coloring. Now I've got two artists on my hands.

Other summer activities have included Jacob's basketball camp (Hayden loves to watch her big brother play), swimming in the pool (Jacob is getting better everyday, and Hayden likes the water, too), going to the farmers market, the carnival, the boardwalk and more events. I'd tell you more, but I need to get back to what's going on now (Hayden is working on walking, taking multiple unassisted steps; she'll be taking off running by the end of the week).

BTW, I apologize for the lack of food pics, as I also was ill for much of July (it happens when I try to do too much; a little sunshine, fresh air and cayenne pepper-spiked lemon juice shots made me all better again). I guess I wasn't really in the mood to take pictures of food. Thank goodness for Heidi (who's quite the artist, too), I've got her yummy raw cupcakes to share (the pink icing is perfect for Hayden's upcoming 1rst birthday on August 21). She even remembered to add Ellen. Love it, don't you? :-)