Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ezra's 2nd Birthday Party

Ezra’s first birthday party was an event for Amanda, our families, and me. Though Ezra was the guest of honor, we admitted that a party (or even turning one-year-old) would not mean that much to him. Really, who could blame his indifference?  Over his first 365 days, we pointed out when he turned one-day-old, one-week-old, and one-month-old.  To Ezra, becoming one again in a new unit of measurement probably seemed a silly reason to celebrate. So, when we planned the party we skewed the menu, theme, and atmosphere towards the adults in Ezra's life. Ezra still had a wonderful time.  He was delighted to discover  that such delicious foods as cake and ice cream existed in the world, and he took advantage of so many of his loved ones assembled in one place to walk for the first time. He knows how to give an audience what they want.

At two, Ezra understands the party is for him. He realizes we are celebrating because "It's my birthday!" and "I'm two." He also has, and expresses, clear opinions about his likes and dislikes. This requires planning a very different party than a year ago. One that is more casual. One that is more playful.  And most importantly, one that is filled with balloons!

Approximately 100 red balloons filled our church (and emptied my lungs). The air, the floor, and many of the surfaces were covered in a sea of red latex. Hand-painted balloons reading "Ezra's 2" greeted guests as they entered our kitchen. Luckily for everyone's safety, Ezra inspected each balloon to insure its durability prior to the party.

The party's simple menu consisted of appetizers followed by homemade pizzas. Making the dinner even more casual, we encouraged guests to assemble their own pizzas selecting their favorite toppings from the veggies, fake "meat," and a giant vat of homemade pizza sauce we prepared. For dessert, we abandoned the traditional birthday cake and ice cream for ice cream sandwiches. The cookie sandwiches, which consisted of homemade vanilla ice cream  "sandwiched" between two snickerdoodle cookies, were delicious and surprisingly easy to make.

Ezra had a great day. He had fun playing with all of his guests. He loved all of his gifts.  Each present was carefully examined upon opening, and Ezra has been playing with them non-stop since the party.
Eventually the party ended, and a little boy in pajamas with a belly full of cookies and ice cream, a pile of new toys, a house full of balloons, and a new year ahead of him made his way to bed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ezra's Birth Revisited: Day 2

It took me months to write my birth story. I started and stopped writing several times, during which Garry we jokingly agree he's our editor grew increasingly impatient with me and my inability to meet his deadlines. So he formulated a new approach: an interview. Garry prepared a set of questions and gave them to me to review before we sat down for a face-to-face interview. Really. I had expected it to be an interview in name only, but Garry can be very formal at times. It must be the stuffiness gene he inherited from his British grandmother.

Garry and I agree this is the best birth story in the series. It's honest, forthcoming, and has some very good advice for expectant mothers and families.

An Exclusive Postilius Interview

photo by Stefanie Boucher

Amanda agreed to sit down with Postilius to talk about the birth of her first child, Ezra. Amanda, dressed in jeans and tee shirt, had already arrived at the coffee shop we planned to meet. She causally held Ezra on her lap while sipping one of the first cups of coffee she has had now that she is no longer pregnant.    

Postilius: Hello, and congratulations on Ezra’s birth. He really is a beautiful baby! 

Amanda: Thank you. I am glad to be here. I love your [our?] site. 

P: Before we get into too many details

Snapshots: September 26-October 1

This week we . . .
 became superheroes,
picked pumpkins,
made important phone calls,
played with chickens,
and celebrated becoming 2! (a little early)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ezra's Birth Revisited: Day 1

We are mere days from Ezra's second birthday! Over the next several days we're republishing the birth stories shared with us by those in attendance, starting today with Garry's, The Legend of Ezra Oak.

Three days after Ezra's birth, we posted a brief birth announcement and photo on this blog. While we were excited to share the news of Ezra's birth and immediately called our family members after he was born, actually sitting down at the computer to write Ezra's birth announcement seemed difficult. During our two-week babymoom, it was easy for us to sever our connection from the outside world, so I'm always surprised to hear of families live-tweeting births and even broadcasting a birth live on the Internet.

Ezra Oak Milius-Posto
was born at home
on October 9th.
He weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces,
and measured 19 inches in length.

Garry crafted the shortest, but most lyrical story of Ezra's birth. Among Ezra's birth stories, it is truly a story. 
The Legend of Ezra Oak

Ezra Oak was born in a church on a brisk, October evening. The same church he was conceived nine months earlier. The same church his parents moved into three years before that, and the same church that has sat atop a hill of a small town for a hundred years.

Though the beginning and the end of the pregnancy happened in a church, his mother spent most of the pregnancy in buildings of science, and that is where his birth began. Without warning, among the pheromones of birds of all species, his mother’s bag of waters burst. Since she was not expecting him for several days his mother, now joined by his father, finished preparing for Ezra’s arrival and returned to their home.

Ezra was eager. From the beginning, contractions were strong and close. His mother moaned, breathed, cried, and screamed. His father held her hand. They awaited assistance. She was hot. She opened windows filling the church with a cool, autumn breeze. Could the neighbors hear? People arrived and she pushed. She had little rest. His father still held her hand. She was strong. A black cat watched. A second one hid. A little girl stopped catching fairies for a moment to announce the emergence of his head. Ezra’s body quickly followed. His grey skin turned pink with his first breath. He was quiet but not yet content. He found his place on his mother’s breast. She placed a yellow hat over his dark hair. She kept him warm. She fed him. He was happy. The life of Ezra Oak had begun.
And yes, a little girl was really catching fairies. The apprentice midwife's two-year old daughter was catching fairies on a cell phone game for much of Ezra's birth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snapshots: September 12-25

We had ice cream and voted on our favorite antique tractor at our town's fall festival.
(At least I think they were antique tractors, but maybe rare or famous or expensive tractors.  I don't know, but something made them warrant special attention).

We asked ourselves the question, "Is it possible to over-accessorize?"

 We continued to make cute Bento snacks.

Amanda and Ezra watched the Australian performers, Strange Fruit.

After we confirmed our house was not on fire, we were surprised and excited to come home and find a fire engine in front of our house.

We were also excited that I fixed our broken washer with the help of a YouTube video.  We think this might have been the problem . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Snapshots: September 5-11

Ezra disagrees with DC Comics decision to change Superman's costume.  Underwear as outerwear is always in style.

 Amanda attended a Bento party where she learned to make fun lunches and snacks.
 Inspired, she made Ezra an elephant shaped grilled cheese for lunch the next day.
The trunk was delicious.

Ezra had his first "overnight" with his aunt and uncle.  It was fun and, as you can see from this photo from the following morning, exhausting.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fabulous & Easy Peanut Dip

You got salsa in my peanut butter! Two of Ezra’s favorite foods are peanut butter and salsa. Ezra does not have many favorite foods. I am reluctant to call him picky because that implies there are some foods he eats well, but is unwilling to expand his palate. However, there is not really anything he eats well. A few foods he will occasionally ask for and almost always take a few bites when given to him. I consider these his favorite foods. It is a low standard, but both “butter” and salsa are on that list. 

We are glad Ezra likes “butter.” As a vegetarian it is a great source of protein, but you can only eat so many peanut butter sandwiches. Fortunately, peanut butter is pretty flexible. We often add peanut butter along with coconut milk to stir-fry or stews. This simple recipe mixes peanut butter with salsa. We thought this was a great way to add more fruits and vegetables to Ezra's meals. The salsa immediately adds a few vegetables, and the dip is perfect for dunking apples and green peppers. Will Ezra like two of his favorite foods combined?

Delicious! Look how excited and happy this wonderful food made him! Ezra was very willing to show how much he enjoyed the peanut dip for our camera. Though he isn't a great eater, Ezra is a pretty good actor. Away from the spotlight, he ate a few bites of the peanut sauce and seemed okay with it. I guess that could qualify it as one of his favorite foods.

We have been using this recipe for peanut sauce, given to us by a couple of our good friends, for years.  Served with bread, apples, vegetables, or really pretty much anything, this delicious and simple sauce makes a wonderful quick snack or hors d’oeuvre.

Jared & Briana’s Fabulous & Easy Peanut Dip
2/3 c. peanut butter
1 T. brown sugar
¼ c. lime juice
2/3 c. salsa
½ t. cumin
salt to taste

Blend in food processor until smooth.  (I did mention it was easy, right?).

Keeps up to 2 weeks when covered and refrigerated.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Snapshots: August 28-September 4

Ezra keeps trying to bring the Silly Bandz trend back.  This week's attempt involved wearing them in new and original ways.
 Aunt Effie began instructing her "farm hands" on chicken farming (or is it husbandry?).

Ezra and Amanda went to visit grandma & grandpop
 where they visited the park,
 the zoo, and
 had a train deliver their pizza.
They then returned home where Ezra continued his look-out for buses.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bus Rides

Two weeks ago, just as Ezra’s daycare began its two-week summer hiatus, the public schools started their 2011-2012 school year.  This worked out wonderfully for Ezra.   Everyday at 3:30 we would sit on our stoop, eat a snack, and wave as the school buses passed on their way to the elementary school a block away.  Ezra’s obsession with buses has not wavered over the summer so this was one of the favorite parts of his daily routine. 
Amanda and I also enjoyed a school bus this week.  Rather than filled with anxious and excited children off to meet a new teacher, make new friends, and explore a new curriculum, our bus was piloted by Merry Pranksters and fueled by psychedelic drugs.  We did not ride this bus. We missed its stop by nearly 50 years, but learned all about Ken Kesey’s1964 cross-country, LSD adventure in the documentary Magic Trip.  The film was shown at the IU Cinema and followed by a Skype interview with one of the Merry Pranksters, Ed (Captain Kentucky) McClanahan.  Before setting out on their journey, Kesey and the Merry Pranksters painted their bus and christened it “Further” - a place that can only be reached by pushing one's own perceptions of reality.  With their bus trip and subsequent parties in the San Francisco bay area, the pranksters asked people "if they could pass the Acid Tests?" as they provided a counter-culture bridge between the beats and the hippies.
The spirit of our playful (yet very adult) painted bus full of costumed passengers merged with the innocence of Ezra’s buses by the end of the week in a different form: the Muppets.
Ezra was already a big Sesame Street fan.  Curious about how the newer episodes differ from the classic episodes I partially remember as a toddler, I searched Netflix for older seasons of the show.  All that was available via streaming was a twentieth anniversary special from 1989 featuring Kermit the Frog in his role as news reporter.  Ezra fell in love with “frog.”  We had already been listening to the Muppet tribute album The Green Album, and "Rainbow Connection" has always been one of Ezra’s favorite bedtime songs so we decided it was time to introduce Ezra to the The Muppet Movie Friday night.  “Look frog, SEE!”  "There frog!" Pointing and joyful clapping greeted Kermit with every appearance on screen.  The disappointed voice of a toddler questioning, “where’s frog? Want frog,” filled the room during the movies few Kermitless scenes.  He was partially appeased by appearances of “bear,” but was indifferent to the Muppet’s band, The Electric Mayhem, and their painted school bus.  A traditionalist, Ezra prefers his buses yellow and his Muppets green.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Snapshots: August 22-28

This week . . .
We built new shelves for our toys.
 We tried new hair styles.
We met "frog" and "bear."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Help Legalize Midwives in Indiana

Ezra was born at home. I'm grateful for the prenatal care we received from our midwife, grateful for Ezra's safe, quick, and uncomplicated delivery into the hands of a midwife, and grateful there is an obstetrician willing to provide back-up care for the midwives in our area in case a hospital transfer should be required.

Unfortunately, it is illegal in Indiana for midwives to deliver babies at home. According to data from the Midwives Alliance of North America, midwifery is prohibited in 10 states, including Indiana, and only 26 states regulate midwives. Midwifery licensure provides legal protection for midwives attending home births and also protects families by setting standards for midwifery training and certification.

If you support home birth and are a resident of Indiana, please join the Facebook group Indiana Push for Midwives to learn what you can do to help support upcoming legislation for CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) licensure in Indiana, which would legalize midwifery in our state.

Also at noon today, you can listen to local home birth advocates discuss the advantages of home birthing on the program Noon Edition at Indiana Public Media.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Belly Ice

Ezra is becoming a picky eater. He's never been a great eater - frankly, he's not that big of a guy and has never experienced the hunger of a sudden growth spurt - but he's given up a lot of his previously favorite foods. For example blueberries, bananas and yogurt are now all rejected. These are kind of biggies since they're healthy, and he now just seems to prefer carbs.

Ezra however loves ice. He asks for ice all the time. Since ice is not exactly full of nutrition, I froze some blueberries last week and offered them to him as "blueberry ice." I really like to snack on frozen blueberries and hoped Ezra would too.  He loves his (renamed) "belly ice," and asks for it constantly. Too bad he's not actually eating them! He puts them in his mouth one at at time just until they start to thaw and moves on to the next. It's good I like them because I'm the one actually eating them. At least  he is putting healthy food in his mouth, even if only for seconds.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Snapshots: August 15-21

We ate lunch in a cave.
We read new books.
We saw exciting things at the zoo.  Like...
 a giant tortoise,
a lemur family,
and many other wild animals.
We had fun with grandma.