Happy Leap Year, people! February 29th always makes me laugh. See, when I was a freshman at university I really wanted to get my eyebrow pierced. I was only 17 during the first semester, turning 18 that December. But of course, I didn't want to wait until I was actually 18 - I wanted it right then. So I asked my suite-mate (who was EPIC at chalking IDs - ah the skills of youth) to utilise her brilliant abilities and make me 18 already. Well, the easiest way to make me 18 was to change the 1 in 12 to a 0 for 02. Simple, right? Yeah....until I started signing away waivers and realized they were taking a photocopy of my ID and I realized that there was no way that my birth year was a leap year and the date my license now said I was born couldn't exist...and I started panicking! I was such a good kid I started freaking out that they were going to realize that 02-29-1981 wasn't a valid date, that I chalked my ID, and they'd call the cops and arrest me for forgery. !!! HA! As if the tattoo parlor even cared. It's funny the things you freak out about when you're a teenager, isn't it? And now I always have a little wince and a laugh when a leap year rolls about, thinking about my anxieties that the cops were going to knock on my door that evening and arrest me in all of my freshly-pierced glory.
Anywho, today it is MARCH - as in, Spring is just around the corner and Winter is nearly gone, yahoo! Granted, it also means that shortly we will turn back the clocks, thus losing an hour of sleep - plus for parents of small children for whom the idea of 'daylight savings time' is lost, we will lose days and days of that hour of sleep..!. - but still. SPRING is coming! There's been so much going on lately that it's become another season of starting blog posts on different topics but not completing them, but hey - this space is for me, right? ;) Here are a few reasons that things have been pretty awesome - albeit busy - lately:
San Francisco. I took a (solo!) trip to San Fran two weekends ago to visit my oldest and dearest friend from growing up, meet her new little baby, and see a bit of their city. Of course, now I want to move there ;) It was an amazing time! I can't remember the last time that E and I had 3 days together, just talking and catching up and talking about literally EVERYTHING from reminiscing about the days of when we used to have sleepovers regularly at each other's houses, up until these much more adulting days. It did my soul a ton of good to have that connected time. And of course, traveling without kiddos was a true luxury - plus M pulled some strings so I got to fly first class for the first time ever, which could be dangerously easy to get used to. Tack on all of the delicious food we ate when I was there, and you can easily see how I fell in love!
Potty Training! So the training part doesn't start awesome, but the results will be! This is day 4 of getting Bug to use the potty and so far - touch wood - we are doing great! I knew she was well able to grasp the concept but she always seemed slightly resistant whenever I asked. But seeing that she's 3 now and her tummy issues are well under control I figured, we may as well give it a real shot because soon I'll be bigger and more tired, and chasing even more after Peanut, and I really do NOT want to have 3 kiddos in diapers. So we started on Sunday and after a couple accidents on the first 2 days, she is doing marvelously - she even handled it at school yesterday morning, and a few times yesterday and today when I was putting Peanut down for a nap or taking out the dog, she ran and used the toilet all by herself...! Fingers crossed this continues as it has started. :)
Food. I have been cooking and baking SO MUCH! The hunger factor of this pregnancy has really kicked in, which probably explains the rapid growth of this bump. ;) On top of the Hello Fresh meals we've been trying out the last few weeks, I've been attempting to do a lot more authentic and natural cooking. I've been reading about all the junk that is in packaged food and after watching "Fed Up" I've been consciously trying to not purchase so much in the packaged / processed food 'bucket'. Why buy something from the grocery store that isn't half as fresh as literally-just-pulled-out-of-the-oven-at-home, and has more than a dozen added preservatives that I myself wouldn't be adding?! Bug loves to bake with me so we made banana chocolate chip muffins, banana bread, and zucchini pumpkin bread in the last week. YUM. A few nights ago I made enchiladas with ground turkey, black beans, and cheese and a green chile sauce (so good!) and then last night for dinner I tried a quick red lentil curry with spinach. (Meatless Mondays, giving it a go.) Man I love food! I really want to try homemade butter sometime soon. I had fresh whipped butter at my friend E's wedding years ago and it was amazing - and it sounds like it couldn't be any easier. Literally. It's churning cream around in a food processor!
Reading. Granted, I'm still not reading at anywhere near the capacity I used to. But I did read a great thriller in January (and a rubbish romance-y kind of novel that I finished in 3 days), and I'm currently entrenched deeply in two VERY good nonfiction novels: GUT: The Inside Story of the Body's Most Underrated Organ, and Originals: How Non-Comformists Move the World. Both are fascinating on completely different levels. Gut is the ins and outs (pun intended, ha) of the entire workings of the GI tract, and how the things we eat affect it, and how it in turn affects the rest of the body. Some of the basic things I knew but none of the more detailed things. And Originals is all about how non-comformists effect change in the world, and how everyone can take learnings from them and become someone who can effect change as well. I'm interested to see where both of these go, as I'm only halfway in so far.
Homemade. I won't get up on my soapbox (pun intended) but suffice it to say, after a while of reading and learning about what is in the foods on the grocery shelves, in the cleaning products and personal care products we use without thinking about it, I've been developing this 'ick' feeling about the preservatives and foaming agents and potentially harmful chemicals we expose ourselves to constantly. Herein lies one of my goals for the year, around 'natural' and 'homemade' living (to a realistic extent). I've started pinning recipes like crazy to this board, and have a list of all the things I want to try my hand at making - ranging from foaming hand soap and natural shampoo, to laundry detergent and dishwasher powder. Although I've had to invest a little at the beginning, for most of them I will end up saving a ton of money in the end, since you can make huge quantities of the homemade versions with relatively small amounts of the ingredients. Plus, I get to try new uses for all of my fabulous essential oils!!
Reusable. I have been kicking myself for months, pretty much ever since we bought a Keurig. It seemed like a good idea at the time since M and I like our coffee very differently, and we drink it so regularly. But truly, it's another environmentally UNfriendly option that is chosen purely out of convenience, because we didn't need to measure out coffee grinds or clean the filter afterwards. I mean...how lazy can I be?! I found reusable K-cups and they even work on the 2.0 - and one set came with a 'single' and a 'carafe' pod, and they are simple to use. (There are tons of options on Amazon - look here. And these are the ones I got which I can specifically vouch for.) I feel SO much better now that I'm not chucking away dozens and dozens of pods to top our landfills each week. I'm starting to collect jars and other things that we toss in recycling to see if I can find another purpose for it first, even if it's simply to craft something with Bug. Baby steps, but we're on our way to being friendlier to our environment!
Organic. I was referred to a wonderful - and extremely local - organic farm and signed up for a CSA share this summer! You get a selection of their harvested ripe vegetables each week from June to October, plus you can cut as much fresh herbs and flowers from their gardens as you like. They also separately sell fresh eggs and farm-raised, freshly butchered meat, which I definitely plan on trying out! It can be ridiculously hard to find organic meat in the grocery store near us, and when you can, it's exorbitantly priced (& definitely NOT local) so I'm delighted to have this option! I can't wait to show the girls how vegetables are grown :)
What's been awesome in your life lately? Sometimes just thinking about these things can make a bad day turn around!
Joining Anne at Love the Here and Now for an Awesome linkup