On Saturday, we spent the morning with Calliope's favorite five year old, our downstairs neighbor Annabelle, so that Annabelle's mom could get their apartment ready for Annabelle's birthday party. Calliope was thrilled to have so much time with her idol. And then to sit on a Big Girl chair instead of a high chair... wow!
Annabelle was very patient as we alternated letting Calliope walk instead of ride in the stroller. I'm a devout believer in the importance of exercise, for children as well as adults. But Calliope lacks, shall we say, the ability to walk in a straight, continuous line.
Bringing the doll stroller for her to push helps, for a while. Then she sees some enticing stairs to climb, or trash to pick up, or a gate to cling to and peer through... and then our progress screechs to a halt once again.
After lunch and a nap for Calliope -- a lovely long one -- we went to Annabelle's birthday party. It was a bit overwhelming for me at times, the noise, and I fear this doesn't bode well for my future. I didn't use to be so sensitive to noise; something seemed to change around the time I got pregnant, I think. But now, loud commotions completely overwhelm me and I feel a desperate need to escape. Thank goodness there were none of those loud honking birthday things -- you know, the ones that you blow into and it makes a loud screeching noise? I loved them when I was a kid and now they make me want to run and hide.
Anyone else have a change in their sound sensitivity like this? It really feels unbearable.
And then today, Calliope played quietly on the kitchen floor for more than a half an hour while I sipped hot tea and checked my email via Ipad. I can't sit at my computer without her wanting to "help" by typing on the keyboard and move my mouse around... but I guess because she's so rarely used the Ipad (only a few times on Amtrak), she seems to not know what it's for. And thus, I got some rare down time for me while she was awake. I was exceedingly grateful. Some weekend days it's hard to just be 100% "on" from the moment I wake up until naptime at 1 pm. I can't imagine what it will be like when she stops napping -- I'm trying not to think about it! She's always played independently very well, but allowing me to do what I want to do isn't always as easy for her.
After breakfast (or round three of breakfast, for her), we went to the playground and farmer's market and saw a couple of friends. Then back home to make banana muffins together -- lots of fun and tasty to boot. They are gluten free and sweetened only with stevia and dates, plus bananas, of course. Next time I might try skipping the stevia. I am, as another friend claimed to be, "Paleo curious." I'm not really trying to avoid gluten right now, but I'm intrigued by the concept. Anyway, they came out great! I used almond flour by mistake instead of coconut, but they're amazingly sweet and tender and delicious. Perhaps a little more moist than they are supposed to be because of the almond flour. Regardless, I recommend them, Paleo Curious or not!
I left out the walnuts. http://www.elanaspantry.com/banana-walnut-muffins/
She really liked setting out all the muffin liners, then stacking them again.
I have these awesome silicone ones that are easy to clean and don't require cooking spray nor a muffin tin -- win!
After naptime, another long one, we went for our second walk of the day. We wandered by a playground for a few minutes, but mostly what Calliope wanted to practice was stairs -- for the first time, she managed to go up and down without crawling! She was very, very proud and it was very, very difficult to get her to leave her favorite stairs. At one point we had finally left and were half a block away when she suddenly wheeled around and headed back. They were just that fun.
|Look Ma, no crawling!|
Very proud of climbing onto this little "stool" at the playground.
It took a while, but she eventually figured out how to get herself
into a seated position, to boot.
When we got home, we tried making kale chips for the first time. She loved washing the kale with the salad spinner and did a great job helping me tear the kale into bite size pieces. And tossing kale with olive oil and salt -- how much fun can a girl hope to have? This was a great project to do with a toddler!
I've been hearing about how amazing kale chips are for quite a while now. Calliope and I agree -- they're pretty amazing! And ridiculously easy!
Just tear kale into bite size pieces and discard the thick stemps. Wash and dry the kale very well. Toss pieces of kale with olive oil and salt on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (parchment not required but makes for an easy clean up). Bake for 25-30 minutes at 300 degrees. Voila! Crunchy, salty, delicious perfection!
Calliope loved her first exposure to kale. I don't know why she insisted on eating it with a fork, and also, why she wanted to use my enormous fork instead of her own.
|Delicious kale chips -- giant fork not required|
I also made a beautiful grassfed steak, and she gobbled up a nice little portion -- maybe about 6 bites. And ate slice after slice yellow bell pepper -- she would mainline bell peppers if she could -- and a slice of pear to finish things off.
Now that she's looking a little more sturdy -- not really chubby, but she's got a little belly and some nice padding on her limbs, though she still doesn't feel all that heavy -- I'm hoping we can back off of processed foods a little bit. Not that she ever ate a lot of it, but her cracker consumption had steadily climbed for a while. I'm glad to see that crackers don't hold the same allure as they once did. Honey, however, is her new favorite food. I figure that a little honey mixed into her peanut butter and spread onto a whole wheat english muffin seems pretty reasonable as a breakfast option.