Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mini Me

Chris and Rowan as Daddy finished his final lap of the 8 hour race.

It's back

Here are some photos from the summer that you've been missing out on. We never found the camera cord, but Chris bought a cheap card reader and now we are back in action.
The feeling I got when I took this picture was hard to describe. I just love when my kids are loving and happy towards each other. This was one of those moments where Athena went and helped Rowan off something that was too high for him, and then they came strolling back to me hand in hand.
My brother went all grill crazy at a family BBQ at my Mom's house. I don't think I've been as full as I was that night since. It was a lot of fun.
BBQ/Pool party at Grandma's. Athena and her cousin love their matching "Ariel" cover ups.
Self face painting. Do you think she liked the results?
Every year, Athena's school asks for a family portrait to hang up in the classroom, and each year it is the same story. We don't have any! So, as a family tradition, we took one of ourselves and had it ready for the first day of school.

Remember, Rowan got his first haircut!? He looks like such a little boy now.
Athena often works with Rowan on the art of baby wearing. I'm pretty certain that Athena will make sure Rowan is a good Dad when he grows up since she is always encouraging him to play his part. "You are such a good Daddy!" she'll exclaim. Or he'll walk up and grab her baby stroller out of her hands and she'll say, "Oh, you want to take the babies for a walk." She is such a good sister.

More to come, but that should do for now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hurkey Creek

The "Le Mans" start to the race (we had to run a lap).
Listening to directions from the clown.
Kids at camp with bikes.

We went to a bike race at Hurkey Creek yesterday. We camped over night with 100's of other cyclists and their families and friends. It is quite an experience. If you haven't heard of them, they are called '24 hours of adrenaline" races, only this year Chris entered an 8 hour category. For 8 hours, he and his brother took turns riding the mountain bike course, relay style. Athena got to ride in the kids bike "race" as well. She was so excited the entire drive, she kept asking me when her bike race was going to be. They had all of the 4 and under kids line up first and follow this silly clown around. They were riding in the grass so I had to run along side her (while carrying Rowan) and give her a push whenever she got stuck, most of the parents were doing this. The next age group of 5-7 year olds were a little more serious, although they made it really fun and difficult to say who "won". The kids really loved camping. It is so much work to camp with the little ones, but they get so much out of it. Athena even said, "I LOVE nature!", as we walked around the campground. She later exclaimed, "We are having a REALLY good evening Mommy!" Rowan cracked me up with his fire reminders. Everytime we went by a fire he say, "Hot! Hot! No, no! No, no!" I guess my little speech to him worked. He also said a new phrase which I don't know where he picked up, "Oh baby". Rowan LOVES, I mean LOVES, bike helmets. He didn't want to wear his own though, only his Dad's. When we looked at pictures he would get so mad when he saw the pictures of him wearing his hat, and then get really excited when he saw the ones with him wearing his helmet. It was too funny. We are all wiped out, but it was worth it. I think we will all sleep well tonight.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I LOVE when this happens...

I've won a prize, hooray for me! Cafe VegNews hosted a contest asking readers for ideas on how to use some random left over ingredients from their pantry. I had a lot of competition (2 other entries), but my answer won out.

Here is what I had to say:

"Hmm, pop the amaranth so it gets nice and roasty, and then make hemp seed butter bars with pine nuts and molasses and a few other fine ingredients you can scrounge up."

(the ingredients were molasses, hemp seed nut butter, pinenuts, and amaranth)

Now I should probably try to come up with an actual recipe using those. I'll get back to you on that!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Party Crashers

The kids and I crashed a party at the park today. Some friends, and Athena's cousins were having a party with their home school group right down the street from us. I knew a few of the people already, which is always nice when you are crashing an event. It was a super fun day for everyone. The kids got to do some crafts such as making necklaces and painting their faces (that was probably Athena's favorite as she got to paint her own face). There were capes to be worn and ice cream to be, the ice cream. Not just any old ice cream my friends. It was some of the best raw vegan ice cream around. If you haven't had Tomberlies before, then you are really missing out. This stuff is fantastic, made with quality ingredients, and made by some really cool people (the mama behind this stuff is part of the group). I had tried a handful of flavors before today, but now I could review just about all of them. The Orange Cremecicle surprised me as my #1 pick, with close runner ups being chocolate and strawberry. Please, go out and try some for yourself, you won't be disappointed.
Athena is really curious about homeschooling. I was worried she'd beg to be homeschooled, once she knew that it was an option, but so far she hasn't mentioned it. I told her that she does homeschool on the days she doesn't go to school, which is the truth. Sometimes homeschooling sounds appealing to me, but I talk myself out of it for a number of reasons. I'm still planning on sending Athena to school, but not a traditional school as she isn't really a traditional kind of kid. I'm glad I don't have to figure this all out for another year or so.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Picky kid's Potatoes

Tonight I made breakfast for dinner. Nothing sounded good to me at all so I just decided to follow my cravings which were for potatoes. Then I had to think of what went well with that, other than veggie burgers (because I didn't want to make them) and pancakes came to mind. The pancakes were wholewheat/buckwheat with bananas and blueberries, mmmm, everyone loved those. For the potatoes, I wanted to try something to get Athena to eat some greens. I think I tried this before and she didn't go for it, but this time it worked! I cooked 7 red potatoes in coconut oil, and then added about 2 cups of spinach that I pureed in the food processor. Athena immediately questioned their color upon inspection, "Why are they green," she asked. "Why don't you taste them and see if you can figure it out," I replied. "Mmm, I can't taste the green at all when I dip them in ketchup!" Athena exclaimed. "So, do you want to know the secret are eating spinach!" I was tempted to lie, worried that if she knew it was spinach, she might change her mind, but she was OK with it and just continued to gobble up at least 2 potatoes worth, plus pancakes galore. Have I mentioned our food consumption has reached epoch proportions lately? The 4 of us have really been going through a lot of food. I wonder what it will be like when they kids are older and have even bigger appetites?!! Anyway, just thought I'd share about the potatoes. They were really tasty. I'm well aware there are other picky kids out there who wouldn't touch these green potatoes with a 10 foot pole, but you never know unless you try. I was pretty sure Athena wouldn't go for them, and she really surprised me.

On a totally unrelated note, Rowan started singing recognizable songs today. It is so cute to hear his little sing songy voice. He was holding his "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" book and singing it just like they do in his parent participation class. He also has been begging to watch this fire truck song on you tube. He says, "hotsa, hotsa", which means "lots of, lots of", as in "lots and lots of fire trucks." It is pretty catchy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's coming...Veganmofo 2008

I am excited to participate this year. I'm hoping to get out of this food rut that I've been in since we moved. Now I just need to figure out a way to grocery shop with a screaming 18 month old and an always hungry 4 year old. I did it today and, whew, it was pretty much a nightmare.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Today a realtor came to show our condo since it is on the market. She was from Russia. She asked me where I was from and continued to tell us that she detected an accent with me. It was so see, I have this awful uncontrollable habit where I start speaking with an accent when I hear people with an accent. You don't know how many times people have detected a slight accent with me. I've been mistaken as having a 'southern' accent (that one was because I lived with a southerner for 3 years back in college - Hi Roommate!). In an interview once, I was asked if I was from England. So yeah, it can be a bit of a problem. Chris thinks maybe I talk like them because I think they'll understand me better, but seriously, it is not something conscious that I do. I actually hear myself start doing it and try to stop, but it just gets worse! Good thing I find it pretty hilarious. Any other people with fake accents out there?!

The Screaming

Rowan screams a lot these days. I finally realized why it seems he screams sooooo much more then Athena ever did. It is because he is the little brother. He has to share EVERYTHING, and that is really hard for a toddler. Athena got to play with all her toys all the time, and never had someone bigger than her frequently scrambling for her favorite toys. Athena is really good about sharing with Rowan, but he is NOT good at all about sharing with her. He even screams at her if she tries to hold my hand or sit on my lap. It kind of makes me laugh when I think about it but it actually can get pretty frustrating. So yeah, he is a screamer, but he is learning new words every day. Here are some of my favorites:
  • "gahguh" - goggles
  • "mmuhmmuh" - mixer (as in cement)
  • "buhbode" - skateboard (I just heard him calling this word out in his sleep while napping, referring to his new skateboard.) He has been envious of his cousin's skateboard for awhile so we finally picked one up for him at target. I don't think you could even find a used one cheaper then $7.99.
  • "rella" - any princess (yes, the disney types, it is really cute but kind of a little gross that my 18 month old recognizes these!)
  • "buck lll" - buckle
  • "I dooo!" - as in the answer to "who wants just about anything?"
  • "breetoe" - burrito
  • "mana" - banana
While we are at it, some of my favorite Athena words of the week are:

  • Painful - she used this word to describe her "hardest fall" in her soccer game. She had a lot of falls but she never cried. She was way more into her game this weekend.
  • Lopsided - this word was used to describe the heart she drew. She was trying to learn how to draw a heart.
  • Baddest - we took her to dinner at the vegan zone last night and she said, "I thought this dinner was going to be the baddest ever, but it was actually the gooddest!"

Monday, September 08, 2008

So much to blog about

I have so much to blog about but the missing camera cord has me in a rut. Over the weekend, Athena had her 1st soccer game of the season. I have pictures but no way of putting them on the computer for now, so just imagine a group of 4 and 5 year olds in neon orange uniforms that are 3 sizes to big, running around chasing a ball, lots of arms around each other (that would be Athena and her cousin who is playing on the same team), really hot weather, Rowan running in the dirt with his own ball having a blast, well, you get the pictures. It was really fun. Athena didn't seem that into it, and yet she was having a great time. She would always come off the field happy and did what she listened well, but she really observed most of the game. She said she loves the games which is funny because last year she liked practices more.

This week both my babies started school. Rowan and I are taking a parent participation class for 1-2 year olds and we had a great time. He was really attentive to the songs and story, and loved exploring the classroom and playing on the playground. He was exhausted after the first day and unfortunately I had a meeting at Athena's school with her new teacher directly after. I barely made it through the 20 minute conference with Ro's tantrums, but I left feeling really good about the new year for Athena. Her teacher seemed liked a good match for Athena.

Today was the official first day of school and it went great. Athena seems so much older this year, so much more READY for school. I don't know how to explain it, but she just seemed so confident walking into a brand new room. She wasn't hiding behind me, but engaged herself right away in the classroom. She even answered her teacher's question right away, which usually takes her awhile to do, especially when I'm there for her to hide behind. I left feeling totally confident that Athena was in good hands, and that she was going to have a great time at school. When I picked her up, she was in good spirits and she told me all about the day. She told me that some kids were doing dangerous things on the playground so her teacher wrote them down when they had a meeting. (She reported a boy was crashing into her on his bike). Hmm, what else did she tell me, oh yeah, and at snack there were little signs telling them how many crackers to take. I thought that was cool but it made me feel bad that she couldn't participate because I pack her her own vegan snack. She said it was fine though, really. She said the girls had to talk to the teacher about something, that there was only 1 princess dress and that her teacher was going to have to buy some more. It was funny what she remembered from the day, and she learned a new song or two. She was super up beat about everything, nothing phased her. She also had a ballet class today which I'm not sure how we feel about it. She said it felt like there was a lot to do. I didn't get to watch much of it because Ro was having a real hard time so I had to stay outside the room. When I asked the teacher how she did she replied, "Oh, great, she's definitely ready for this class but she has a lot to learn!" Hmm, how does a mother interpret that. For some reason I have a feeling Athena wasn't listening very well, but maybe I'm wrong. Next week I may try to leave Rowan home with Chris so that I can watch and see if the class is worth our money. Athena said she'll try it 5 more times and if she still doesn't like it much, then she'll stop going. That made me laugh.

So, the summer seems to be behind us, although we did have our last hoorah last night at the beach. My sister and her BF were camping there so we headed up for an evening of surfing (the Dads), playing, BBQing, and good company. The kids had a blast and were both asleep on the way home. I guess that is enough updating for now. I really hope I find my camera cord soon, it is killing me, or I guess maybe I should look on the sony site and find out how much a replacement cord is going to cost me. Wish me luck! G'night!