Our days are filled with crafts, music, books, coloring, homemade play-doh, baking treats, fort making, step climbing practice for Natalie and lots of farming and construction with Nathan’s toy equipment! It’s hard to feel as if there’s much to say in lieu of news.
I haven’t seen the goats in ages, although Dan sold our billy goat on Saturday since we are done with breeding. The animals all seem to be weathering through this cold winter quite well, though the chicken eggs are often frozen and cracked, but we eat them anyway once they thaw. Dan took the kids out on Saturday, when it “warmed up” to 45F, and they made a snowman. It had a bit of a Picasso vibe since the snow kept crumbling and refused to maintain a round shape. But they loved doing it anyway!
In N&N news, as I mentioned on Facebook, Natalie got her first tooth on the bottom last week!! I think her ravenous appetite might be reflecting this change, along with her active crawling, climbing and exploring. She and Nathan love to chase each other around the table! I can only imagine how many “steps” they would have on a FitBit. Especially since it’s not uncommon for Nathan and I to just run “laps” around the table, until we catch and tickle each other! It must be in the thousands! Natalie can certainly communicate what she wants and doesn’t want, and shrieks anytime she sees a stuffed animal, or live animal, for that matter. Maybe one of them will grow up to be a Veterinarian.
Nathan is becoming such a big boy. He can now put on his pants by himself, and needs some help with his socks. It is tricky to get all those toes in there! He is so helpful and cheerful to fetch me things that I need, especially at mealtime. He sits in a big boy chair, and is more than ready for his big boy bed. He is definitely nearing 3, which features a phase of constantly asking questions. He loves to tease!
The big family news is that we acquired a minivan last week! It is SUCH a blessing! Especially the part where I can start it from inside a building and the heated seats!! I find myself being corrected by Nathan when I say, “I’m going to start the car” and he looks at me and says, “Van, Mom. ” Oops. Guess I haven’t adjusted yet. He totally understands that a baby is coming. If we’re eating something, I’ll say to him that we have to save some food for Daddy and Mommy, and he’ll reply, “And the new baby!” Yup, that’s right. Baby needs to eat too.
In pregnancy news, I am hungry all. the. time. I probably eat 6-7 mini meals a day! Mostly healthy, but sometimes not. This week I’m making a trail mix with nuts, dark chocolate and dried cherries! My kind of healthy snack! I’ve also been focusing a lot on putting together freezer meals for this summer, for both breakfast and supper. Once Dan goes back to work, it will probably feel a little chaotic, so having meals ready will be a huge help. The mornings are always difficult because the kids are still young and they want cuddles with Mom and breakfast ASAP. Since we are committed to living a healthy lifestyle without processed foods, we don’t really do cold cereal, except maybe Granola, and Natalie barely has teeth, so that doesn’t really fly for her. Plus, I need breakfasts to be nutrient dense and filling, so eggs, hashbrowns and bacon, oatmeal and fruit, spinach and fruit smoothies, whole wheat pancakes, granola with Greek yogurt, etc. are on the rotation. So I’m making doubles and freezing them as I go, with the goal of once a week, so as not to tax our grocery budget or feel stressed out.
I’ve also asked a few people to make some meals, since we are kind of specific about our food, and then I’m organizing a Pampered Chef freezer meal party to put away a few more. So I’m feeling more optimistic. Tonight, I’m making corn and black bean enchiladas, and I’ll double it, and stick the other pan in the freezer. Nathan and I have already made 3-4 dozen muffins and zucchini curry soup. I’d like to include some breakfast burritos, waffles, hummus, cooked shredded chicken, quiche, egg muffin cups, and smoothie packs to start. So if you have any other great ideas that are super healthy, and generally low or void of sugar, dairy and pasta, send them my way!
At this point, we are just looking forward to spring and dreaming of nice, long walks, green grass, planting season, sunshine AND…..we’re bunny sitting for my friend Berty while she is gone on a long hike on the Continental Divide Trail. She’ll be hiking from the border of Mexico to Canada and we are excited to care for her rabbits that she raises for meat while she’s away. It’ll be a great addition to the farm this Spring and the kids will just love it! Add in some fluffy chicks, cute baby goats, and kittens, and it will sure come alive here at VanMeeteren Farms!
And that’s the news this Picasso-snowman-minivan-and-freezer-meals week on the farm!