Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Little Swimmer

Today was Athena's last day of swim class. She really improved a lot and is pretty comfortable in the water with assistance now. I can't believe how outgoing she is too. She talked the instructor's ear off!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Little visitor

This little guy was right by our back door last night. You can't tell by the picture, but it was only about 3 inches long, head to tail. Just a baby. After we tortured it with a photo, we left it alone to find its mommy. When we checked back 5 minutes later, it was gone.

Can your kid do this?

Mine can - but do you have any idea what she is talking about?

Peach upside down cake

This IS good, but not very original. Every vegan blogger is making it right now, but at least it doesn't suck! I followed the Fat Free Vegan's recipe with the extra sugar, orange instead of lemon, and spelt flour instead of unbleached - I never seem to follow recipes exactly! Totally worth your time to make this, even if it means a fussing baby strapped to your back and a toddler refusing to nap who keeps interrupting the process, and I mean totally.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Birthday Entry

My birthday/anniversary was awesome. On the real day, Chris and I went out for 5 whole kid free hours. We had a fabulous dinner at Cilantro Live and then watched the movie "Death at a Funeral". We had a great time and according to Grandma, my kids were "perfect". Rowan took the bottle like a champ, and wasn't even starving when I got home. It was almost like he didn't even miss me! I am not used to that since Athena used to CRY the entire time I left her. It is nice not having to worry that he is miserable though, and now she is awesome when I am away.
The day after my birthday we had a family party at the beach. We brought all kinds of yummy food and of course, cake. It was a lot of fun to get the family together at the beach and the kids really enjoyed it. You can look at the set of pictures if you click on the cake photo. Enjoy!

You will also see photos of Athena's summer school art. I am hoping to get it out of the house soon so I thought I'd take pictures to "save" it forever.

And finally, I am going to try out the new video feature...Yay, something I can figure out!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Birthday Eve

On the eve of my birthday, we all had a craving for some vegan ice cream so Athena and I ran out to the store to grab some yummy stuff. When we got back, this is what we found. What a bummer, the kitchen and bathroom drains are clogged. Chris did some plunging and draining before heading out to my Dad's to borrow his snake. Damn. Did I mention it is our anniversary tomorrow too?

On a brighter note, I made some Kale Lasagna for dinner. I didn't follow a recipe, I just made it up and it wasn't bad. I made a box of noodles, pureed kale with pizza sauce and fire roasted diced tomatoes, and made a tofu ricotta with tofu, nutritional yeast, Italian herbs, and apple cider/balsamic vinegar. I sprinkled more nutritional yeast on top and some bread crumbs.
Oh, and I drizzled balsamic flax oil on it, Yum!
Asleep at last! Rowan is a night owl, but I am trying to get him to go to sleep earlier. Last night it was 10 and tonight it was 9:40, 10 by the time I laid him down. I've been trying to walk him or bounce him to sleep in the sling because when I nurse him to sleep, he always wakes up within a few minutes. It seems to be working...but I probably won't keep it up. Some nights I am just too lazy to walk him and just lay with him and fall asleep myself. He makes me sleepy!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Athena's Soccer, Daddy's Run

Athena had her 1st soccer practice today. It was cute. As long as they keep it fun, I think she'll like it and I'll be glad she is getting to run around a lot. She did pretty well, but gets nervous when it is her turn to do stuff or doesn't exactly listen. She had FUN though, so we loved to see her out there. The tiny kids in their gear crack me up anyway. Oh, and I am an assistant coach. I didn't really want to coach her team yet, but they needed help and knew I had experience so I couldn't argue.

And here is Chris finishing his first 1/2 marathon this morning. It was 80 degrees with 80 % humidity so he is just happy to have finished. His time wasn't what he expected but we were still proud of him! He even gave us a smile for the picture. He made his own "sports drink" and ate some dates to keep him going. Go Team Vegan! ( he is not the Marine)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ro sits up

Rowan has started sitting up a little now. He can sit for a few minutes sometimes before he spazzes too much and falls backwards, sideways, or forward! He likes his new talent and enjoys the different perspective. We even put him in the high chair at dinner tonight. I had to hold on to him with one hand because there were no straps on the chair, but he liked it and it allowed us all to eat for awhile without him grabbing everything!

Moments like these make it all worthwhile. I still can't believe how much these two love each other. I hope it continues as they grow up, it is just amazing to watch. She can always cheer him up, even in the car sometimes when he fusses she can distract him with her laugh or a silly song. I never thought I'd be able to trust her with him, but she has proven to be a remarkable sister.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trolley Ride, Families, Fireworks

We rode the trolley today and played in the fountain. It was a lot of fun. My favorite part of the day was having lunch with our friends in an air conditioned restaurant. It was refreshing as it was VERY hot today. I can't wait to do it again. It is a really nice outing. Athena wasn't that into the fountain because she wanted Jamba Juice right when we got there (and I said NO). She did play a little bit until I was ready to go.

Athena always makes families out of everything. These markers were sorted into mommy markers with a baby marker, some had daddies, some kids, and some even had aunties. She does this with everything. She also talks in this high voice when she is playing by her self with the families. It is so awesome. I love her imaginative play.
She also likes to set the chairs up for concerts, recitals, or tonights special "Fireworks". Chris turned the light on and off a few times and she just loved it.

Eating Toes, Playing Ball

MMM Toes! Rowan really likes to suck on them these days.

He also LOVES that ball. It kind of makes him crazy sometimes though, like he is trying to fit it in his mouth and it won't go. He starts to get really frustrated by screams when I take it away.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Banana Oat Bundles and Chana+++ Masala

For dinner I made a gigantic Chana Masala. I added some kidney beans so it isn't exactly Chana, but it was a good combo. I used the following recipe and I really can't say enough about how good it was. I served it with wild rice and it was a good pair.

2 Tbs Coconut Oil (or a little more if you are feeling naughty)
1 medium onion chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbs curry powder
1 tbs garam masala
4 tbs tomato paste
2 cans of chickpeas drained (or kidney beans)
Juice of 1 lime
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red curry paste
1 tbs unrefined sugar
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
black pepper to taste

Heat the oil on medium heat and fry onions until they are slightly browned.
Add garlic, curry, garam masala, tomato paste, and red curry paste. Stir until onion are well coated.
Add rest of ingredients except frozen veggies. Simmer 5 minutes, stir occasionally.
Add frozen veggies and simmer about 5 more minutes until everything is warm and delicious.

Serve over rice
I made these this morning from VLV, they were so easy and yummy. I used coconut oil in place of canola oil and it seemed to work perfectly. I will definitely make them again and maybe add some nuts next time around. They are a cross between a muffin and a cookie. Kinda crunchy on the outside but doughy inside. We all gobbled them up!

Rowan is 5 months

Rowan loves to read and eat his books! The first time he cried when I took something away from him that he really wanted was a book!

He also loves to dress up. Well, at least Athena thinks so. He is starting to sit up very well, but still tumbles to the side when he decides he needs to roll to reach stuff. He is the master roller! He can roll all over the house. I love when he rolls off the rug and onto the wood floors. He gets this really fascinated look on his face as he touches the wood. He is still very happy and smiles and giggles so much. Athena is the best one at getting him to laugh. It is awesome because when he gets fussy in the car she can snap him out of it if she starts to laugh or sing for him. He may be crawling in another month. He sometimes gets up on his knees and forearms and then lunges forward. We love him so much! He is so fun to be around and he just makes everyone happy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Camping Fun

Click on the photo above for the rest of our camping shots

We had a great night of camping. At first I was wishing we were staying longer, but in the end I realized that 1 night of camping is perfect with small children. We had so much fun but left before any meltdowns and extreme fatigue kicked in. We arrived Thurs. night, had dinner, set up camp, told funny stories and went to sleep. This morning, we had breakfast (chris had already taken his annual cuyamaca peak hike carrying Athena), went on a 1 mile nature loop. It was cool to be up early and one of the first hikers on the trail as we saw some cool animal footprints. We also saw a wild turkey which was cool because I was telling Chris earlier that I hoped we'd see one since twice others had told me they had and I was a little jealous. We then stopped at the museum and the green valley falls on our way out. It was just a really nice day. We also stopped for pizza on our way home. The Wynola Springs Pizza express has a vegan pizza which wasn't bad. Kind of cool find for when you are OUT that way.
We had Sipz for dinner. This was our mini 24 hour vacation. It was fun and now I am happy to sleep comfortably in my own bed!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Synchronized World Breast Feeding Day

It is World Breast Feeding Week and today was a special event. All around the world at 10 AM, women planned to breastfeed their babes together. Read more here.
Our poor little group needed 25 people and we only got 23 so we won't count to the Guinness Book but will count to a national record I believe. My nurslings were very cooperative for their one minute group nurse session. Athena was excited to get milk in the park since I haven't nursed her out in a LONG time. It then quite possibly contributed to a let down of extreme emotions in her that were not fun, but she eventually regained composure and threw some bark around with a friend.
We had a cool park visitor, Athena was very interested but wanted to be sure he was a friendly snake.
***apparently it was a California Kingsnake, Chris asked a friend of his who said, "They're not poisonous, and they actally are immune to rattlesnakes and eat them."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Raw Walnut Hemp burgers (almost)

I made my a super easy and delicious raw burger recipe tonight. It was from the Thrive Diet book that Chris just got. He is super into this guy, a vegan ironman triathlete. The book has some good whole foods recipes and is encouraging me to try some new things since I tend to stick to my same old favorites. We ate them on buns though, as I just am not ready to have an entirely raw dinner. I know it would be good for me sometimes, but I just love bread. It was good too because you throw it in the food processor and it becomes like a pate almost. I was able to spread about a tablespoon onto Athena's bun with her avocado and ketchup and she gobbled it all up. She would not have eaten it if it had been more obvious, so I liked the spread factor. I can't wait to try more of these recipes and hopefully start eating a little better over here.

Sick kids

The kids have had a cold so I haven't spent as much time on the computer as usual. Athena didn't ever seem too bothered by it, but poor Rowan has been a mess. He is still really cheerful and smiley, but hard to put down and a complete snot factory. How can one small being create that much snot? His eyes have been watering constantly too. I think he had a low fever, but never took his temp. Last night was better than Sunday, at least I got some sleep. It is hard to sleep when you have to keep your baby propped up so they can breathe, but we got it worked out OK. I hope tonight is better and that the snot stuff clears up soon. Then I am sure I will get sick when we are supposed to be camping Thursday night.


Why did a woman at the co-op today leave her child in the car? He was probably 18 months or 2. It was hot. She had cracked the windows but still, why? He had a blanket on his legs too which would have made him warm up even faster. Anyway, I reported it to the employees and they made a page. She returned within 5 minutes but my heart was beating so fast and I was so MAD at her (the mom).
Athena kept asking me, "why did she leave the baby in the car?" Maybe because she is an idiot? I don't know and try not to be too harsh or judgmental. I know how it is when they fall asleep in the car and that is going to be the only nap they get for the day, but heck, forgo the food and stay with your kids.
Even with the doors open, my car felt close to 100 degrees. Anyway, just wanted to rant. That really shook me up. I know I've left them in the car to bring one in at a time to the house, or to get cash out, but this just seemed extreme. I hope the mom got the message that it wasn't OK!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tasty Tempeh Chili

I made my favorite chili from La Dolce Vegan tonight. We ate this all throughout the winter. In fact, I craved it a few times a week while pregnant with Rowan. We suspect this very chili may have something to do with how he got his size due to the strong cravings I had for it. It is the perfect chili. I like to top it with parma and hemp seed nuts. It also goes great with tortilla chips but I had already polished off more than my share of pico de gallos today so I passed on the chips for dinner. Also, to make it perfect, you need to add some chipotle hot sauce. I didn't have any tonight but it was still good, not perfect.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The House of Sara(h)'s

In college I lived in a house with 8 women , 4 named Sara(h). I was always known as Sara C. My good friend Sarah K. from the notorious Channing Way house was in town for a visit to her parents and came by to hang with me and the kids. It was so nice to catch up with her and just hang out at my house for the day, since usually we are running around each day trying to do way too much. The kids both really liked Sarah, although Athena was being shy when I tried to get some pictures. Anyway, it was a really nice mellow day, and did I mention she brought us food? That was awesome!