Haircut, swimming, picnic and a trip to the aquarium – oh my!

Despite the record-breaking heat (100+ degrees) this weekend, we still had a lot of fun. :)

I decided on the spur of the moment to get my hair cut Saturday morning and had probably 5 inches cut off. It’s in a chin-length bob now and is sooooo much cooler. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to style it, but with this heat lately, I haven’t tried too hard. ;)

After my haircut, we went to a public kiddie pool in town for some swimming. It took Ava about 20 minutes to really get used to the idea, but then she had a blast. It was wonderful to hang out in the water, and the pool wasn’t crowded at all either, which was very nice. Jody got sun-burned even though I put sunscreen on him (oops), and I got a little red around my belly-button and bathing suit top, but Ava didn’t get burned at all, which was a relief (and kind of unexpected since she had on the chemical-free sunscreen – California Baby – and Jody and I had on Banana Boat – hmmm). We packed a lunch which we ate by the pool in between dips in.

We left the pool and went for a little drive to ensure that Ava took a good nap before the picnic we had to go to that evening. It worked like a charm and she continued to sleep when we got home.

The API potluck picnic was a lot of fun (especially after the sun dropped down in the sky a bit). It was wonderful to hang out with so many AP parents (roughly 15 couples) and their kiddos, including a couple that just found out about the group the day before. The kids played on the playground and splashed around in a little wading pool. Ava had so much fun.

On Sunday, we decided to get out of the sweltering house and drove into Denver to have lunch at a little vegetarian, organic restaurant, called Karma, that had been recently recommended to me. It was really tasty. After that we went to the Downtown Aquarium and saw tons of different fish. Ava enjoyed it for a while, but then the dark spaces and the relaxing music they played just about put her to sleep and Jody had to carry her around. Once we got outside again she perked back up. Just in time to go see a petting zoo nearby.

It was a fun, busy weekend. :)

Today, Ava and I met some friends at a play/activity center for “open gym.” They had a special today where you got free admission for bringing in a canned food item. We’d never been to a place like that before, but Ava thoroughly enjoyed it. She was all over the place playing, and helping out the little kids too and bringing balls to the babies. She also asked to hold my friend’s son Mason who’s 5 months old (I had been holding him) and she was so cute talking to him and gently petting his head and arms. I think she will make a great big sister.

We got a brief break from the heat today w/ temps *only* reaching 90 degrees, but it’s back up to 100 for Tuesday. *groan* I’m so glad I’m not further along in this pregnancy. I remember how miserable the heat was at the end of my pregnancy with Ava. I’m still not happy about it now and would welcome a cool down, but it’s at least tolerable. The good news is that it looks like temps should be back into the 80s by Thursday. Hooray!! :)

Triple digits weekend

Holy heatwave, Batman! Today and tomorrow’s forecasted highs are 102, dropping to 100 on Monday. And yesterday it was 99. Oy!!

We plan to go to a public pool for some of the afternoon today to cool off. I just hope the whole city doesn’t decide to do the same.

This evening we are going to our local API chapter summer potluck picnic which should be a lot of fun if we can find ways to stay cool. That will be the tricky part. I’m taking a bean dip to share. I found the recipe this week in one of my veggie cookbooks. It’s pretty tasty and easy to make.

Not sure what we will do tomorrow, but quite possibly leave the house to find respite in some air conditioned facility.

On Monday, Ava and I have plans to meet some friends at a kiddie play gym (similar to Gymboree) for part of the day. I haven’t taken Ava to anything like that before, but I’m sure she will enjoy it (and it will be air conditioned!).

Then the rest of the week consists of a midwife appointment, a doctor’s appointment and a moms’ night out.

Hope everyone finds ways to stay cool this weekend. :)

Not something you hear every day

Overheard during a discussion (at our API meeting yesterday) about tandem nursing and deciding whether or not to wean an older child while pregnant.

B (who tandem nurses her 6-week-old and 2 1/2-yr-old sons) said: “I thought seriously about weaning him (the older boy), but he’s such an emotional nurser. I think it would be really hard on him.”

E (a newcomer to the group who weaned her older daughter at age 3 yrs, 2 months while pregnant with baby #2) said: “Oooh, but he’s still so young.”

Being a supporter of extended nursing, I’m not sure why this struck me, but it did. Maybe because I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to wean Ava before baby boy is born. (At this point, I’ve decided neither of us are ready for it.) And maybe because it’s not a response you would get from MOST people. Of course, in retrospect, if someone is going to be supportive of extended nursing, it would certainly an AP member, but it was very refreshing to hear, nonetheless. :)

Read more about it: A Natural Age of Weaning
by Katherine Dettwyler, PhD

Kid brag

Ava just counted to 13 (with the exception of 6, which she always skips) all by herself! She was spinning the other office chair and counting each time she pushed it and got all the way up to 13. And then after 13, she said “eleventeen.” ;) I was totally floored. We never count past 10 when we count together. Anyway, proud mommy moment here. Just had to share. ;)

Trying to be better

I have to say that I’ve come a long way in the past two years as far as eating more health-consciously is concerned. Before Ava was born, I never gave pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically modified foods or organic vs. conventional foods a second thought. Now I read more labels and look to buy organic foods whenever I think the health benefits justify it. Speaking of which, here’s a great article by Consumer Reports on the subject – When buying organic pays (and doesn’t).

(I need to clarify – I didn’t take this pic. It’s some stock photo off the ‘net.)

Today I went shopping at both Safeway and Vitamin Cottage (the only health food store we have close by). I picked up things at Safeway, such as refried beans, whole grain tortillas, peanuts, vinegar (for washing diapers) and some baking supplies that I just don’t care if they are organic or not and I’d rather save the money. Then we went to Vitamin Cottage, where I bought some organic produce (apples and grapes), Mighty Bites cereal (for Ava), raw almonds, organic cheese (which was on sale – yay!), Agave nectar (my first time to splurge on that), organic tofu, natural turkey bacon (without nitrates), and free-range chicken (also on sale – bonus!). The bill from the two stores was about the same ($50) although I got 4 bags of loosely packed groceries at Safeway and 1 very full bag of groceries at Vitamin Cottage.

Then we came home to find our Door to Door Organics produce delivery on the front porch (which cost another $30) and gave us mixed baby greens, spinach, avocados, bananas, onions, carrots, melon, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes.

I guess my point is this… while I try to buy organic foods when it comes to produce, dairy products and meat (when we eat it), I still buy things like chocolate chips (not Nestle brand, mind you), ice cream (once in a while), the occasional frozen meal, and pizza dough mix in a package, among other non-healthy foods. I guess it’s another case of everything in moderation. I try my best to prepare healthy meals and be conscious of what is in the foods we ingest, but I also sometimes just need a quick and easy meal and will let the whole health factor slide as I put a frozen pizza into the oven. *gulp*

I am working on getting out of a “I don’t feel like cooking” rut here lately and am doing better at it. In the past week, I made G-Z burgers (garbanzo beans and zucchini) from a recipe over at Isil’s – (I just jumped over there to get the link and found the news that she’s expecting her first baby! Congrats to you, Isil!) and Red Chard Quiche (for dinner last night). I’ve got a few ideas on things to make this week too so hopefully my rut is coming to an end.

A friend once told me that organic produce tasted better to her than conventional produce. I was VERY skeptical and just kind of nodded, like “ok, sure.” However, after eating both and really comparing the two, I honestly think organic produce *does* have more flavor and just tastes better. I know this is something that’s up for debate, but that’s my experience with it, and it makes sense to me. The more chemicals you put on something, I think the more it would dull the flavor. The more natural the food is, the more the flavors exist. Perhaps others who’ve eaten both organic and conventional foods could chime in on your thoughts on this?

By the way, I’m happy to report that the sun came out again today after we got rain all weekend. The rain was very much needed, but it was amazing to me how much the dreary weather affected my mood. I honestly don’t know how I survived without antidepressants while living in MI all those years. When I first moved away, I thought we’d return there someday, but I know there’s no way that I could. The abundant sunlight here in CO really does affect me and I’m so thankful to have it. :)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to prepare a healthy dinner with some of the yummy foods I bought today. :)

Rained out :(

I know we desperately need the moisture, but why’d it have to rain again *this* weekend? :oP

We headed out this afternoon so I could take Ava’s pictures (that I’ve been trying to take since last weekend – when it rained) and we got rained out again. The rain also put a damper on our hiking plans and music festival plans. :(

More of the same is expected tomorrow.

In light of this setback, I think the thank you notes are going to get mailed without the pics and I will have to send the pics out whenever I am able to get them done. Arg.

The plus side of getting rained out today is that we stopped at Ross (hoping the rain would pass through while we hung out) and I got a couple maternity shirts and another pair of shorts (woohoo – I’m up to two pairs of shorts now!) all for only $25. :) Yay, bargains! And the other good thing about the rain is, of course, that it reduces Colorado’s fire danger. Not as glamorous as new clothes, but still a good thing nonetheless. ;)