Thursday, April 27, 2006

What a barfy night and a ? about chicken-style seitan

What a barfy night. Not for me (well, inadvertantly it was since I was on the receiving end of the barf), but for Ava.

Poor Ava was up off and on barfing from 2:30 to 7 a.m. It made for a very long night, especially since I went to bed already having a headache last night. Jody got up with us the first few times and helped clean up (which was good because those times were the messiest), but I let him sleep through the later dry heaves in the early morning. I wanted him to get *some* sleep before having to go to work this morning and I figured Ava and I would sleep in (which we did, til about 10:30).

It was so sad when she woke up a few times saying "no more throw up" because she knew it was coming again and then she'd heave some more. :(

I made a stirfry last night trying out "chicken" seitan for the first time and now I wonder if something was wrong with it. You may recall a similar situation happened to us with tempeh before.

So does anyone know what the White Wave Chicken-Style Seitan is supposed to look like out of the package? Should it resemble a block of tofu? That's what I was expecting it to look like, but mine was all broken up into chunks. The expiration date was in May and I just bought it yesterday so I figured it'd be fine, but I just didn't know what to expect. And I have to say that it tasted just fine too. Maybe her system just didn't like it because, other than my having a headache, Jody and I didn't have any reaction to it.

Thankfully she's been fine since about 7 this morning. No more puking and she woke up to her happy, energetic self. I asked her how her tummy was this morning and she replied, "pretty good." And she never ran a fever or had any other symptoms which is why I'm thinking she just had a bad reaction to dinner. Poor lil chickadee.

Of course this happens the day before we have plans to leave Ava with friends while Jody and I venture out to celebrate our anniversary which was last week. We have reservations at The Melting Pot and I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully Ava will continue to do well and we'll be ok to leave her tomorrow evening. Keep your fingers crossed. :)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ava wants to share some news with you...

Yep, we are expecting baby #2!! :)

I have to admit that we've known for a while now, but I wasn't feeling ready to share the news publicly until now. I'm actually 10 1/2 weeks pregnant and my "guess date" is Nov. 16. It's been incredibly hard keeping my mouth shut on my blog because so many things in my life lately have revolved around being pregnant! So I'm relieved to have finally told my secret so I can start blabbing about baby stuff and all the things that have been running through my mind lately.

I never wrote about our experience getting pregnant with Ava (or her labor and birth, but I will save that for another day), but it was a long road for us. I charted religiously for months before starting on fertility testing. It was determined that Jody had a low-ish sperm count and we opted to try intrauterine insemination in hopes of getting pregnant since it wasn't happening the "old fashioned way." Our second month of IUI worked (though we still have our suspicions she was conceived naturally since we followed up our IUI with intercourse), and Ava was born 9 months later. :)

So while we had sort of started "trying" to get pregnant with baby #2, we weren't expecting anything to happen for several months at the very least. But, we were PLEASANTLY SURPRISED when my period didn't show and I tested positive (a few times even - just to be sure).

Case in point:
Can't argue with that!

Apparently, when you aren't stressing over it and charting and you already have one wonderful child, it can help things just happen on their own. :)

That's all for today. I will, undoubtedly, be writing a lot more about this pregnancy and all the decisions I've been trying to make lately (doctor? midwife? hospital birth? homebirth?! and other things regarding vegetarianism, how much protein do I need due to my history of complications w/ Ava's birth?, etc... - all requiring lots of thought and research and none of which would be made lightly) in the near future.

Thanks for reading. :)

Much-needed revisions considered

Good news for parents of breast-fed babies who are concerned their little ones aren't gaining enough weight. "The World Health Organization is to issue new guidelines on measuring the growth rates of babies.

"Current charts are based on calculations using the growth patterns of babies fed largely on formula milk from 20 years ago.

But bottle-fed babies put on weight more quickly than those that are breast-fed, meaning breast-fed children could be shown as underweight.

The new recommended charts are based on data from breast-fed babies."

Here's the whole story: Baby growth charts to be revised

I know several of my friends will be excited about this because it seemed like their breast-fed babies weren't measuring up on the growth charts. I was lucky in that it wasn't an issue with Ava as she was always at the top of the charts, though I am sure I would've obsessed about it if she'd been on the opposite end of the spectrum.

It's good to see this revision is being considered. I'm sure it will help put many parents' minds at ease that their babies are growing just fine on mama's milk. :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Happy Earth Day!

Here's a great site called Go Organic for Earth Day. It's chock full of information such as reasons to go organic, recipes, stuff for kids, lists of organic retailers in your area, and organic manufacturers.

Whether you check it out on Earth Day or anyday, making the switch to organic foods and product (even in small amounts) can help make a positive difference for our Earth. :)

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Five years ago today...

Five years ago today, our family and friends came from Michigan and Oklahoma here to Colorado to celebrate our happiness and witness our joy as Jody and I proclaimed our love for each other.

Mom and me:

My sis, Carrie and me:

Jody, getting ready (and Look! He had hair!):

Hugging my dad after my parents walked me down the aisle:

Introducing the new Mr. and Mrs.:

The wedding party:

Getting into the limo for the drive up to the ranch in the mountains where our reception was held:

Me and my friends:

The outlaws:

Our wedding cake (the best damn cake I've EVER had - seriously):

Outside at the ranch:

Our first dance together - "From This Moment On":

From This Moment On - Shania Twain

From this moment, life has begun
From this moment, you are the one
Right beside you is where I belong
From this moment on...

Happy fifth anniversary, Jody. I love you.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No rest for the wicked

I woke up this morning with a migraine and proceeded to throw up. Poor Ava was so sweet. She was very concerned about me hugging the toilet and making the barfy noises I was. :( So I managed to blurt out, "Mommy's very sick." She kept saying, "very sick." Then I told her that "Mommy had to throw up." And she kept saying, "Ava throw up too." She's such an empathic little girl.

I did start feeling better later in the day, only to come down with the cold Ava's had the last few days. Ugh.

Why don't mommies get "sick days?" :(

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Pics from the day (mostly egg hunt)

As always, click the pic to see it larger.

Daddy and Ava having deviled eggs.

And now for more egg hunt pictures than you ever cared to see! Ava enjoyed finding the eggs so much (and mommy enjoyed taking pictures) that we had to do it twice. ;)

And lastly, Ava sitting with mommy, checking out her egg hunt loot. (Pay no attention to my nappy, growing out, looks like crap hair. I am SOOO in need of a haircut, it's not even funny.)

Where'd the Easter bunny come from, after all?

Today is widely celebrated as Easter Sunday, the day that Christians believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead - on the third day after being crucified.
But if the holiday is supposed to focus on Christ and his resurrection from the dead, have you ever wondered what's up with all the bunnies and eggs?

I've done a bit of research lately about the origins of Easter (more here) and came across the following article on how the Easter bunny and eggs tie into all of it. I thought it was an interesting read and worth sharing, especially since we saw someone dressed up as an Easter bunny and kids having an egg hunt at a local park this morning and then we had our own egg hunt in the yard for Ava this afternoon. (She LOVED it by the way. Pics will follow at a later time, of course.) :)

Ostara's Hare
From Jennifer Emick
The Pagan origins of the Easter Bunny

Have you ever wondered where the celebration of the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ acquired its unusual name and odd symbols of colored eggs and rabbits?

The answer lies in the ingenious way that the Christian church absorbed Pagan practices. After discovering that people were more reluctant to give up their holidays and festivals than their gods, they simply incorporated Pagan practices into Christian festivals. As recounted by the Venerable Bede, an early Christian writer, clever clerics copied Pagan practices and by doing so, made Christianity more palatable to pagan folk reluctant to give up their festivals for somber Christian practices.

In second century Europe, the predominate spring festival was a raucous Saxon fertility celebration in honor of the Saxon Goddess Eastre (Ostara), whose sacred animal was a hare.

The colored eggs associated with the bunny are of another, even more ancient origin. The eggs associated with this and other Vernal festivals have been symbols of rebirth and fertility for so long the precise roots of the tradition are unknown, and may date to the beginning of human civilization. Ancient Romans and Greeks used eggs as symbols of fertility, rebirth, and abundance- eggs were solar symbols, and figured in the festivals of numerous resurrected gods.

Pagan fertility festivals at the time of the Spring equinox were common- it was believed that at this time, when day and night were of equal length, male and female energies were also in balance. The hare is often associated with moon goddesses; the egg and the hare together represent the god and the goddess, respectively.

Moving forward fifteen hundred years, we find ourselves in Germany, where children await the arrival of Oschter Haws, a rabbit who will lay colored eggs in nests to the delight of children who discover them Easter morning. It was this German tradition that popularized the 'Easter bunny' in America, when introduced into the American cultural fabric by German settlers in Pennsylvania.

Many modern practitioners of Neo-pagan and earth-based religions have embraced these symbols as part of their religious practice, identifying with the life-affirming aspects of the spring holiday. (The Neopagan holiday of Ostara is descended from the Saxon festival.) Ironically, some Christian groups have used the presence of these symbols to denounce the celebration of the Easter holiday, and many churches have recently abandoned the Pagan moniker with more Christian oriented titles like 'Resurrection Sunday.'

Note: This post is not meant to criticize anyone's beliefs or say they are wrong. To each, his/her own. :) I just wanted to share the information I found for those who might be curious to learn about the bunny and egg origins, as I was. Of course, if you have information to the contrary, you are welcome to share it too.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day! :) It's sunny and in the 70s here and couldn't be a more perfect spring day.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ugh - taxes!

Here it is April 15 and we still haven't filed our 2005 income taxes. Maybe I shouldn't be admitting it on my very public blog, but the good thing is that since "tax day" falls on a Saturday this year, we have until Monday to file. So we aren't late - yet. What a relief!

Generally we would've filed by now, because let's face it, everybody wants their tax return. But...this year we aren't getting any money back. In fact, we owe. (Not a lot, but still.) Jody adjusted his withholdings this past year so that we'd get the maximum amount of money in each paycheck so we could afford to actually pay our bills. (Novel concept, I know.) But because of this, the gov't didn't get quite enough and we owe a couple hundred bucks.

Anyway, I am thankful for Turbo Tax and the fact that we pretty much have our taxes already done, we just need to give it the old once-over and submit it and send off our hard-earned moolah. Should be pretty easy, so why do we keep putting it off?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Holy turnout, Batman!; The 'stache club; and more...

Yesterday was our monthly API meeting. This month's topic was focused on baby wearing, which is one of the eight AP ideals for infants. Our speaker talked a bit about different techniques for baby wearing; various slings, carriers, wraps and pouches; and safety. Then there was a slew of slings, carriers, wraps and pouches available for everyone to try out and get some hands-on experience. Most folks there seemed to already have a favorite kind that they use/used, but it was good to see the different varieties available.
I, for one, had a NoJo basic ring sling with Ava and never really got the hang of it. It was just so big and bulky. So instead, Ava was held in arms a lot. Then once she was a little older (around 4 months I think) I got a Mei Tei made by a WAHM (work-at-home mom) I knew from a message board and I liked that OK, but didn't use it a lot because Ava was so heavy by that point. Then I finally got an Ergo carrier and LOVED to use that.
Anyway, the really exciting thing about this meeting was our incredible turnout! There were a total of 22 families there (25 adults because 3 dads came too) and a whole mess of children. This was, by far, our biggest turnout yet. The interest has grown so great in such a short amount of time that the group leaders are going to have to seriously look for a new, bigger place to hold our meetings.

Now moving on to the "'stache club"...
My husband has created a monster (10 of them really) at his work. He got this grand idea last week to shave off his long beard and grow just a cheesy mustache instead. And not only that, he then recruited at least nine other guys at work to join in the silliness as well (and he tries to get more every day). Ava and I stopped in there after our meeting yesterday for a free lunch and I got to see a few of the participants. One of them walked up to me and said "Your husband made me do this" and pointed to the Paul Sr. (from American Choppers) looking 'stache on his face. Jody's has since turned into something resembling Paul Sr.'s mustache as well. I mentioned to one of the guys that I think it's just a power trip for Jody to see how many guys he can recruit into this silliness, but the guy said it's a good for "team building." Guess Jody has him fooled. ;) The plan is to keep it up for the rest of the month, then everyone is going to get a mug shot taken before they can shave again. Boys will be dorks boys, I guess?? :oP

I apologize for not blogging much lately but I've been seriously swamped with the photoshoots I had over the past several weeks. I'm still behind, but hope to catch up this weekend. It will be sooooooooooo nice to have a break this weekend so I can relax a bit. Sure, I will still need to work on proofing my last session, but at least I won't have to leave the house. ;)

I made another recipe from the Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook last night and I liked it better than the last one. This one was called Parmesan Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole, which also had tofu and marinara sauce in it and baked mozzerella cheese on top. It was dee-lish. I promise to post pics and recipes from this and the enchiladas soon. I'm bummed though that my other cookbook still hasn't arrived.

It's supposed to get up to 85 degrees here today (gah!) and I think Ava and I might head to the park for a bit before it gets too warm. So that's all for now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Off to the dentist (and other stuff)

I'm embarrassed to say it, but I haven't been to the dentist for a cleaning in over 2 years *gasp* - since before Ava was born.

I grew up going to the dentist for cleanings every 6 months without fail. Mom was very good about that. It was something I kept up for the most part after I left home. I prided myself on not having a single cavity until I was in my late 20s and was shocked when it finally happened.

Anyway, my regular dental appointments were easy to keep up, that is, until I had Ava. It seems once you become a mommy, you don't always take the time for necessary upkeep for yourself that you need to. I know I should have gone, but then there was a change in our insurance and we didn't have coverage at *that* dentist anymore, and I just let it go from there.

Well, as a result of my lackadaisical attitude, I think I now have more than a few cavities. :(

It's not that I haven't taken care of my teeth since then - I still brush and floss regularly - but I really think the professional cleanings make a good deal of difference.

I bring all of this up because I finally made myself an appointment and am going for a cleaning tomorrow (Tues.) morning. I've never been afraid of the dentist or had any worries about going there, but I admit I'm a bit afraid of what they may find tomorrow. However, I know it's better to get in there sooner than later, before any problems I may have worsen.

I'll keep ya posted. ;)


In other news, had a nice weekend here. Went back to the dairy farm on Saturday and saw the goats again. Then had a yummy lunch of Chinese food and hung out at Jody's work (the place was empty) and played a round of pool. Jody won. :oP On Sunday I had a maternity photoshoot for a friend, which went pretty well. Didn't do much for the rest of the day, other than spend some time outside because it was gorgeous out, but that was cool with me. Oh, and I made my own marinara sauce (yum!) using fresh tomatoes and we had pasta (that Barilla Plus brand which is really good) for dinner.

Today, after a trip to Vitamin Cottage for some groceries, I tried out a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato (with Kale) Enchiladas from my "Vegetarian Mother" cookbook. Got to use up some of the veggies we got from our Door to Door organics delivery this morning. :) I even made my own enchilada sauce! I took some pics, but I have to admit it wasn't as delicious as I hoped it would be. It was good, but just not *WOW* good. I may post the pics and recipe another day.

That's all for now.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Excited about my new cookbooks

I've felt like I've been stuck in a rut lately as far as cooking is concerned. Sure, I come up with a few new interesting things to make here and there, but it takes time and thought, both of which I don't feel like I have a lot of lately. I feel like I need more direction. While it's fun for me to invent new recipes, lately I'd rather just flip open a book, find something with the ingredients I have, and go at it. Which is why I'm so excited about two new cookbooks I recently ordered off Amazon. :)

The first is "Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day" which I found used for $5.72. Here's a bit about it:
"The Moosewood Collective has had big vegetarian cookbook success with other collections. The main aim of this addition to their list is to offer much-needed help to those who need recipes for speedy preparation. Most take less than 30 minutes preparation. Recipes include stir-fries, salads, sandwiches, bean dips, soups, scones, pancakes and desserts. Almost all are vegan, with dairy products offered only as optional extras, though there is a separate section on fish and eggs. Winner of the 1995 James Beard Award for vegetarian cookbooks."
It comes widely reviewed and recommended and I've heard only good things about the Moosewood collection as a whole. I'm especially interested in the recipes that don't take long to prepare. ;)

The second book I got is "The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook: Whole Foods To Nourish Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women - And Their Families" which I found used for $14.24. This book comes highly recommended as well. A bit about it:
“The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook is a cookbook especially designed to nourish vegetarian pregnant and lactating women, though the delicious meals are also excellent for serving one's whole family. Over 300 vegetarian and vegan recipes with nutrient analysis (vitamins and minerals as well as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and sodim) along with vegan recipes, "quick fix" meals and freezable entrees, wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and egg-free options," and more.
The reviews all seem to indicate that this cookbook will be very useful to the whole family beyond pregnancy and lactation and I'm looking forward to it.

I already checked the mail today and no books yet, but hopefully they will be here by the weekend so I can check them out and get cookin'. :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fun on the farm

We met a group of friends at a goat dairy today for a free self-guided tour. We saw lots of baby goats - some who were less than a week old, pregnant goats, milking goats and the bucks.

Ava enjoyed petting and feeding all of the goats and had a grand old time. :) I think all of the kids enjoyed themselves and it was a fun way for us to spend the afternoon. Plus the weather was perfect. Who could've asked for more?

After we finished making the rounds, we sampled some cheeses and bought some chevre marinated in olive olive with garlic and spices. OMG. It's soooo yummy.

Here are some pics from the day. (Click the pic to see it larger.)

Checking out the older baby goats.

Ava and a couple of her friends (the boys, not the goats). ;)

Feeding the pregnant mama goats.

Ava and her buddy Creed.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

He's baaaaaack and other random stuff

I didn't write about it earlier (for safety, etc.), but Jody was back out in California for work for much of this past week. It was hard having him gone two weeks in a row (much props to all the single parents out there), but this looks like it will be a rare occurence.

He spent most of his time at the Googleplex this week and keeps raving about the gourmet meals he ate while there. (For those of you who missed it, Jody's company was recently acquired by Google.) They actually have gourmet chefs that work in the cafeterias on the Google campus. He was proud to say that he can't recall being hungry the whole time he was there because there was always food to eat. I guess they joke that when you first start working there many employees gain the "Google 15" just like the "Freshman 15" in college. I can see how that would be very easy to do after all the yummy things Jody has said he ate. The thing he keeps bringing up though is some cheesecake topped with mango marmelade and damnit it all if that doesn't get my jonesin' for some myself. Mmmmmmm.

Now onto other random stuff...

Anyway, now that he's back, he will be tackling the delightful necessary task of rounding up the deceased mice in the garage tomorrow. Not a fun job, but one that I gladly saved for him (and I'm so grateful that he will be doing it and not me). ;)

I had a great photoshoot today with a 6-month-old little girl. I'm excited to start proofing it, but since Jody has been gone so much lately, I'm not spending much time on the computer this weekend so we can have some family time. :)

This coming week should be a fun one. We are planning on going on a tour with some friends of a local dairy to see the new baby goats on Tuesday. Then Tuesday night Jody's work is having a big party to celebrate the Google acquisition. Families are invited and I think it will be a fun time for all of us. On Wednesday we are going to try to go to a play group (if we can get our butts out of bed early enough).

Oh, Ava's started singing song with the actual words lately. She can sing the "Happy Birthday" song. It's not in key, but it's so cute. :) She also loves to sing "Itssshh spider" (Itsy bitsy spider) and "Tinkle tinkle" (Twinkle twinkle little star) though can't do the words to those as well as "Happy birthday."

This time change thing is going to be a beotch to get used to, I can already tell. We're already late to bed, late to rise kind of people and this will make us even later (which we really don't need). Anyway, hopefully we can do some adjusting this week.

On that note, I should probably get myself to bed.

Congratulations to the new mama :)

Congratulations to my blogging friend Miriam (aka Knocked Up Vegan) and her husband Todd on the birth of their first daughter, Emaline. :) Emaline was born at home on March 31.

Welcome to the world, Emaline!