Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Kale and Tofu Delight

I made the "Speedy Gourmet Kale and Tofu Delight" from La Dolce Vegan tonight. I pureed the heck out of the kale so that the small girl would eat some. I knew if it was caked on to the tofu she might give it a try. She totally loved it (dipped in ketchup of course). I also toasted almonds instead of pine nuts since we were out. When I put it on our plates and tasted it, I noticed it was rather bland (as suspected), so I whipped up some "Sweet Red Wine Vinaigrette" to go with it. This made it quite tasty and we really enjoyed this meal. The picture doesn't do it justice, sorry my photography skills are lacking.

Monday, July 30, 2007

While I Was Out

Mondays I get 2 whole hours of kid free time. I meet some friends at a local cafe for the Stitch N Bitch group. I love Mondays and really look forward to my time. I am not much of a knitter, but I do make hats.
While I was out tonight, Rowan sat in Athena's booster for the first time. I guess he loved it and had fun dropping his toys over and over again. Athena is such a loving big sister. She always wants to share her old things with him as she out grows them. I can't wait to see how their relationship develops over the next few years.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Last Day of Summer School and 4 month Check-up

Athena at the "Science table"(not sure if that is what they call it but that is what I called it). She loved showing Daddy the big magnifying glass and these cool colored glass things you could look through. She said, "If you put the red one on top of the blue one, then everything looks purple!" Pretty cool stuff at school.
Athena in the block/building area with the dramatic play area behind her. She played there most I hear, dressing up and taking care of her babies.
Athena with her awesome teacher. I am so happy she had great time her first month of school. Now she is off until September but will return with the same teacher. Yay!
And for the boy...He had his check up. He is 18 lbs 5 oz, and 28 1/2 inches long. He is sooo tall, taller than Athena was at 6 months and she was a BIG baby (I thought). This picture cracked me up because he dressed himself up in the butterfly wings grandma made for Athena. She loves to get him dressed up, but this time he really did it all himself. I found him all wrapped up like that. It was too cute.

Zucchini Madness

I had 3 giant(and I mean freakishly large) zucchinis from my SILs garden that I had to use up soon. Here is what I did:

1. Mad a giant dish of pasta served with sauteed zukes which fed us for 2 days.
2. Zucchini Pancakes. This was a total first for me, and I think they were pretty good. They are savory, although athena demanded maple syrup when she heard there would be pancakes. OK, whatever, she ate them with ketchup and maple syrup and I tried hard not to gag. The recipe is from Chris' first vegan cookbook called Simply Vegan from way back in 1991 (he became vegan in high school). Anyway, I think I'll make it again because you puree the zukes so a kid who usually tries to pick the zucchini out of everything actually consumed some. The only problem I had was they were a little gooey, I couldn't quite get them to cook all the way, I think I needed more oil, and a hotter temp.
3. Zucchini muffins. They are the veganlunchbox full meal muffins. I totally copied Lindsey as she just made them yesterday. They were quite good, Athena ate 1, and then started to try and pick the zucchini out. I guess I can't win them all. I added some ground flax just for fun, and otherwise stuck to the recipe. YUM.

*Just in case anyone is still reading, thought I would say that I went running for 2 miles today. Yay for me. It was still almost impossible but I am already feeling better and it has only been 1 week. This could be a good sign, but this heat keeps making me stay inside my air conditioned house. Wish me luck for next week.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Music To My Ears

Athena sang this little song at dinner tonight, I love when she makes songs up.
(To the tune of Farmer and the Dell)

Tempeh on the skirt
Tempeh on the skirt
I'm gonna clean up
The tempeh on the skirt!

So can you guess what we had for dinner?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

GTM Finds

GTM treated me well today. The most exciting find was the Kidz Dream Smoothies. I'd been wanting to buy them for Athena to try. I thought they'd be nice for playgroup or camping. I was also really happy to find a couple little stainless bowls with lids. I am slowly phasing out plastic, nothing drastic, I just do what I can. If you don't know about GTM, then check the link. It is a discount store, but they have 1 health food aisle with great stuff for cheap sometimes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vegan Yummies

This stuff is incredible. If you like peanut butter, you will love this stuff. I can't stop eating it. It isn't very good for you, but for a treat, it is awesome. I wish it were organic, but alas...I bought it on my field trip to Whole Paycheck today. I usually shop at the co-op, but there are a few things that only WFs carries. The main reason I went was for the next item, a new kind of vegan "cheese" cracker. They were featured in VegNews this month. They are the eco planet ones. Now that Athena is in school, she keeps seeing the other kids eat goldfish crackers. I wanted her to have a fun cracker to eat at snack time. She was asleep when I got them out so Rowan modeled with them, but I hope she likes them tomorrow!

Watering Mommy

Tonight in the bath:

Athena: I am pouring water on your boobs so they'll grow bigger!

Me: You really think they need to get any bigger?

Athena: Yeah, they need to be so big like you!

This coming from the child who describes my breasts in length! Thanks Athena, that is about all I can say!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bye Bye T.V.

Yep, that is right, tonight we said goodbye to our TV. Athena seemed the only one "emotionally" attached to it. She welled up a bit as Chris carried it out to the garage. She usually doesn't embrace change so quickly, so it came as no surprise. I explained to her that we could still watch DVDs on the computer when we wanted and she was OK with that, but still wants "her shows". I told her I'd look for some of them online.
Anyway, I've never lived without a TV, though we haven't had cable in 5 years I think? It is hardly worth it to watch the few fuzzy stations we had, and for the past 2 weeks I haven't turned it on at all (well once for Athena to watch Thomas, but that was it). I think it will be just fine. Maybe it will give me more time to do the running that I've been trying to get into.
We are just trying to simplify things over here, a little late on our spring cleaning I guess.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Running is hard

I went "running" today for the first time since I got pg with R. (if you do the math that means is has been 13 months) Wow, it is really hard. I don't know if you could even call what I was doing running, but it felt something like that. Thanks to google pedometer, I know I went 1.86 miles, maybe ran about 1/2 that (all the downhill and some of the flat). My legs really hurt, but my lungs felt good. I'll keep you posted on my running developments. Chris is running 8-10 miles these days, training for his 1/2 marathon next month. I don't know if I'll ever do that, but I'd like to be able to do 3-5 miles like I once did. Wish me luck! Oh, and I went running kid free, which makes a big difference. No stroller, no crying, no I'm hungry, just me and the road.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I went to the Mommy and me Yoga class at Java Mama yesterday. It was really nice to do something alone with Rowan. Now that Athena is in school, we have alone time, but I find myself doing stuff around the house or getting groceries and not really focusing on R so much. I enjoyed the class and hope to do it again. I don't think I have that much time left to do the mommy and me class since he already is rolling away from me. They can only be in the class until crawling. It was awesome though, when we did the relaxation portion of the class, he totally relaxed on me. Very amazing.
Meanwhile, Rowan has perfected his favorite yoga pose, the "happy baby pose". I think the class really helped him:)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mother/Daughter, Shoe Store, and food

The mommies showing off their slings with babies!
Athena played shoe store the other night. She has A LOT of shoes. Most of them aren't real practical though. She tends to choose those ones though, just to drive me crazy! I counted and I actually bought 6 out of 12, the Grandma's are to blame for the rest.

I had to post this because I can't believe how cute Rowan is. I just love his big opened mouth smile. Both of my kids were/are masters of that toothless grin. Now when is he going to sprout that first tooth?

Here is what's been cooking this week:

From VLV, Pureed chickpea pasta sauce (minus the fresh herbs). I wonder how much better it would have been with the herbs? Without the herbs, it was kind of weird at first. I grew to like it though once I added some hot sauce and some veggie bacos. I don't think I'd make it again though. If someone else made it, I definitely eat it, but just not my one of my favorites and I don't have time to waste on food that I don't LOVE.

At first glance, this may look rather boring, but it was my first attempt at making burger buns. I used the recipe from vegweb and used a combo of Stone ground Whole Wheat and Whole Spelt flour. They were really yummy but tasted more like a roll than a bun. I don't really know the difference, but that is the only way I can think to describe it. Athena really like them and wanted to bring one for her snack at school the next day with some FYH Monterrey Jack Cheez. She loves that nasty stuff!

Chris' night in the kitchen was a success. I made some chipotle tofu sour cream and he made the tempeh tacos. We didn't really use a recipe for this, just kind of faked it through after looking at a few recipes on vegweb. Lots of avocado and homemade tomatillo salsa made them extra yummy. I could eat these tacos everyday!

This was a random dinner night where I had to whip something up in 10 minutes, you know those kind of days!? Anyway, I just have to say that ketchup makes an excellent stir fry sauce when paired with tamari. You may have never thought to try this on your own, but my family always loves my crazy sauces. Chris always asks if it is Ponzu, but I would have to say NO. Just my weird style cooking. And yeah, we doubled up the carbs that night, I love that Bread and Cie bread, especially when dipped in the Balsamic Flax Oil from VLV.

Last night I also made a crazy weird dinner involving ketchup but I was so hungry I didn't take any pictures. It is a kind of curry (just a slash of ketchup). I was wondering if anyone knew why frozen spinach is so good. I could write a whole post on that though, I really love how you can just throw it in a pan and it magically becomes this perfect spinach, no dirt to worry about it!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Saturday at the Beach

Athena in water with cousin Ethan (4), Daddy, Aunt Cita, Baby Patrick (1), and Uncle Greg and Cousin Liam (6) are in the background in the yellow raft. They were loving it.

Chris teaching Athena to surf on Nana's "pink" body board.

We joined up with our 3 nephews at the beach this Saturday. They had so much fun! Her cousins are a blast, so full of energy. After the beach Uncle Greg wanted to stop at Robertos for old times sake. Chris and I figured there wouldn't be anything vegan there but we still wanted to hang out so we thought we go just for the fun of it. Then Athena wanted FOOD, so I ordered her a side of avocado and some corn tortillas. They gave me an entire avo for $1 which was nice since most restaurants charge a dollar for a slice or 2, and Athena was happy to get to eat with her cousins. I didn't even ask about the beans and rice, I just assume Robertos is BAD for vegans. Who knows?

Friday, July 13, 2007

It IS possible

I learned that it is possible to go to the beach with a baby and a 3 year old, and it wasn't that bad. Once I unloaded the giant amount of stuff that I had packed, and gave up on my runaway umbrella, we really had a nice time. Athena had the most fun of all I am sure. She liked when she "went deep in the water". Since it was actually a bay, she didn't have to field those big scary waves like the beach daddy takes her to. She wants daddy to take her back to this one now she says. Anyway, it was a lovely day. I even baked yummy muffins to share with our friends. They are the cranberry orange muffins from the Vegetarian Mothers Cookbook (I think, I stole the recipe from a friend and that is what I think she said), quite good and only a little bit of sweetener so they are pretty good for kids. The thing I love most about the beach is the naps that follow. And I am proud to say that we are all bathed, almost sand free, no sunburn, and the dirty stuff from the beach is in the laundry. I am so not making dinner tonight.......Sipz is on Chris' way home from work!

Oh, and I just realized that Rowan is 4 months today. I kept telling everyone at the beach he was almost 4 months and even said he'd be 4 months Friday - uh duh, it is Friday!!!
Rowan's top 5:
1. Rolling - he can go back and forth now
2. Grabbing his toes
3. Laughing hysterically at his sister when she practically smothers him
4. Exploring his voice
5. Bathtime
*and one more but I won't give it a number. He loves books, he used to sit back and relax while I read to Athena but now he grabs for the books, he wants to eat them.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Athena's new sleeping spot

Athena has been wanting to sleep with us again. I am not ready to have her sleep in our bed again as it has been just over a year since we gave her the boot (very gently, don't worry). Anyway, I decided to set up a little spot for her on the floor that she can sleep on each night if she chooses. She is really liking it and it hasn't really affected our nighttime routine at all which is what I was so afraid of. The TV is in our room so it has cut our TV watching down to zero, also a good thing. I could totally live without the TV, but I think I'd keep it just for movies.
Here is my question though, she asks me why daddy gets to sleep with me? I don't know how to respond. I've told her it is because he is my partner and that is what we do, that she will do it when she is older. I also told her about how she slept in that bed when she was smaller but that we all didn't fit well and weren't getting good rest. Anyway, I just feel kind of guilty when she asks me questions like that because I remember being a kid and thinking that it wasn't fair that my parents got to be together! I also keep reminding her that when Rowan gets older he can sleep with her if she still wants him to and she seems excited about that. She wants to do it NOW though.

Athena is doing well at school. She is described as "quiet" by her teacher but that she is doing great. I can see her getting more comfortable each day. Everyday she brings home paintings and each time they have used a different technique. Today she said the made "salad paintings". Lucky for me, I used to teach preschool and knew she was talking about a salad spinner . It is cool to see how she progresses with the changes. At first she didn't talk at all, then she only talked to her teacher, and now she is starting to talk to the other kids. She is learning new songs and reading interesting books, but most of all she is exploring and playing a lot. It is such a neat place, makes me want to go back to preschool!

Monday, July 09, 2007

What we've been up to

Rowan all cute and drooly these days. He loves to roll over and find his toys now.

Athena is back in a new dance class for the summer. Actually, same class but different time and kids. She still loves it. I keep hoping she will change her mind so we can do something else, but she continues to want to dance...and go to gymnastics (which we don't do anymore). With school now I feel like it is more than enough but she wants to do more. She will start soccer next month. Am I crazy or what? I think it will be a good way to channel her aggressive side but who knows, it may just do the opposite. Wishful thinking...

We made these muffins for one of her school snacks. They are adapted from a recipe in How it All Vegan (fruit filled anything goes muffins). We made them with spelt flour, maple syrup, hemp milk, blueberries, bananas, and ground flax (for the egg replacer). Also a little cider vinegar, baking powder, and salt. I also let her put 1 chocolate chip in the middle of each. They were pretty good considering they were healthier than a lot of muffin recipes we like.
You can see in the corner of the picture my recipe book open to VLV to the Sunflower-Lentil Pie recipe. I didn't include the picture because frankly it had NO eye appeal. It was pretty tasty though but I think if I include the picture you won't want to make it! Athena wasn't too into it. She ate 3 bites, and the on the third one she decided it wasn't worth swallowing so I had to wipe it off her chin and shirt. I was shocked she even went for a third. The edges were crunchy but the center was mush and she liked the crunch. Oh well, I'll keep trying. She did enjoy her frozen grapes (we call them popsicle grapes). I am sure they are a total choking hazard but we live on the edge sometimes. I keep meaning to cut them before I freeze them but I haven't yet.
I baked these peanut "better" cookies from VLV for a mother blessing celebration I went to on Saturday. They also turned out well (sorry for the ugly baking pans though, man I should get some new ones, any recommendation anyone?). The mother blessing was awesome and I will totally throw the next one for anyone I know who gets pregnant, OK?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rowan is Rollin'

Rowan has been rolling over all day. He goes from his back to his tummy, over his left shoulder every time. I remember Athena was the same way (back-stomach) which is supposed to be harder than stomach to back. I think it is maybe because I put my kids to sleep on their stomachs, so they tend to relax when I lay them that way instead of flailing themselves over. Who knows, but the little roller is very excited about his new skill! We got a video of him doing it, maybe I'll figure out how to post that someday.

I didn't cry

I didn't cry today! It is Athena's 2nd day of school and I actually felt pretty good about leaving her. She didn't seem as nervous as the first day and was busy elbow deep into a pool of bubbles when I left. The first day I looked back at her on the playground and she looked kind of lost and confused for a couple of seconds and that is when I lost it. But today, she didn't even think twice about my leaving. She was just BUSY. She is still shy when the teacher talks to her, but I am sure she may be different when I am not around. I hope she has another great day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Backyard Movie Night

Athena and Chris were going to sleep in the backyard tonight in our tent, but plans were altered due to the neighbors party plans that we were not informed of. These people are notorious to us for having loud, late night parties, you know the kind I don't enjoy now that I am rarely invited to them?
So instead they are watching a DVD and eating popcorn in the tent in their sleeping bags. Totally roughin' it.
Rowan is asleep, and he rolled over again today during one of his naps. It is frustrating though because once he rolls to his back, he wakes up within 5 minutes and I am pretty sure that if he had stayed on his tummy that he would have slept longer. His sleep patterns are still mysterious though, let's hope tonight is a good night!

Athena's 1st day

I survived her first day of school. I believe she handled it all better than me but it is hard to tell with her as she can be shy and hold her emotions in for awhile. Her teacher said she had a good day and Athena told me she didn't cry. I don't know where she heard that though, I swear I never said anything about her crying with her around, but maybe I did, or maybe she heard another parent asking about it? I don't know but she was very proud of that. She was busy painting the sidewalk when I left (with water). I was told she carried the baby around for a long time (no big surprise) and that she painted (she was upset by the blue paint spilled on her shirt). I guess her teacher had to reassure her that I would wash her shirt and she got over it. At home you know we would have had to change the entire outfit. It really seemed like she enjoyed the day so I am feeling much better about it already. It will still take some getting used to. We made a plan in the morning to go out for lunch and she was really excited about that. I hope she doesn't think we are going to do that everyday after school! Oh, and I was the 2nd to last parent to pick up! I was almost embarrassed because I sat at home watching the clock and made sure not to be early as I didn't want to be an obnoxious parent. Then I ended up almost being late. I forgot to figure in the time to get the baby out of the car. So, that was her day. We played school a bit, I was hoping to get deeper into how she felt about it, but the most she could talk about was how her kids (imaginary ones) went to Oli's school, and she packed them a bagel with hummus for their snack.
I think as the school thing becomes a part of our routine, we will both settle right into it. I was honestly up thinking it all over until 3 am last night, so I hope the anxiousness passes quickly! My girl is really growing up.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A starts school tomorrow and I am freaking out

I totally can't sleep right now. I am so anxious about tomorrow. I can't decide if I should stay the whole day, or leave, or stay for awhile and if she freaks out when I try to leave, then stay. I keep thinking it all over. And while I was laying there thinking I heard Rowan in the cosleeper make some noise but didn't look (because you know when you look they always wake up), well then I looked 5 minutes later and he had rolled over, tummy to back. I have laid him on his stomach to sleep since he was a newborn but he sleeps most of the night on his side or back with me. I wonder if he prefers it, or if the roll over was a fluke? Now it sounds like he is awake, I guess the back isn't good for him, or at least not for me since he has only been asleep an hour or so. I'll post more tomorrow about the big day, I hope I stop freaking out!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mock Tuna Salad

I made this Mock Tuna Salad today. It was pretty good. I was really scared to make it because some of the reviews said "it tastes just like tuna" and I wasn't sure that was a good thing. Also, it reminded me of my horrible experience with TUNO when I was newly pregnant with Athena. I didn't know I was pg yet and I picked it out on a weird craving one day. When I decided to make it the next week (when I knew I was pg), my morning sickness began. It was like the Tuno triggered my morning sickness. I never felt well again until Athena was born! So anyway, the mock tuna salad was pretty good. I ate 2 sandwiches worth and Chris had 3 (I know we are pigs!). The only thing I would do differently is to mash the beans up in the food processor first as mashing them by hand in a bowl left some hard chunks of bean that I didn't really enjoy. I didn't give any to Athena because it contained too many things she just doesn't like. She had regular hummus instead.

Beach Day

We headed out for a great day at the beach today. We tried to lighten our load and left the camera at home though. Rowan slept the entire time, the ocean must have lulled him, and Athena and Chris played and played down by the water. Usually A will run back and forth up to see Mommy as she can't stand to be away from me more than a few minutes, but today was different. She stayed down by the water for over an hour and loved every minute of it (as did I). Now if only we can streamline the beach process. I seem to over pack every time and never know just what we will need. Oh, and I got the worst weird sunburn. Only on my knees and lower thigh. That sucked! I can't wait to do it again though, well not the burn, but the beach!