Saturday, May 22, 2010

Today over lunch Nate told me he had an "I love you" dream last night. I asked him to tell me about it and he said he was at school, and going out for recess, but it was raining. When he got outside, he saw me and he wanted to run and give me a big hug. That's when he woke up.

Strangely enough, he did wake up in the middle of the night last night and ask to come sleep with me. I wonder if they're connected?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The cuteness is killing me

A few cute things the kids have done / said over the last few days:

Last night, we all went out to dinner to celebrate Aunt Drebba's birthday. Stewart got there a little later than the rest of us and when Jack saw him he happily yelled "It's Daddy! Daddy, it's me - Jack River!"

While we were waiting for the food to come out, Nate was asking how long it would be. Deborah started teasing him, saying that first the kitchen had to kill the macaroni, then take the feathers off, and so on. Nate was saying "Macaronis don't have feathers, guys..." and after we kept the teasing up a while he said "The more you talk, the more you're wrong."

I like to wear skirts when it's warm out, and I've been forced to start wearing boxer shorts underneath - Jack likes to swirl around them whenever we're standing still. He's under, through, pulling,'s cute but crazy. He's also taken to holding onto the edge of the skirt while we're walking places together.

And last night at the hospital when we were waiting for Nate's second set of stitches (forehead this time), he looked at me plaintively and said "I wish I was the doctor and not the kid so I wouldn't have to get the shot." It was so sad, but so smart at the same time.

These boys are amazing to me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our first stitches

With two small kids, stitches were inevitable. I'm actually surprised it took this long!

On May 8th, Nate was out back helping Stewart reclaim some lumber from a construction project a few houses down. After a while, I heard Nate crying and Stewart came hustling into the kitchen. I watched him pass by I saw drips of blood hitting the floor. Stewart told me "it looks deep" and I knew we were headed to the hospital.

Our car was in the shop so our wonderful neighbor Sara drove us to Children's. The nurses confirmed that he'd probably need stitches and got us right back through triage into our own little private room, complete with a TV turned to cartoons (I love Children's hospital!) Nate was happy to lay back and zone out.

They did an x-ray to make sure there was no metal left in the cut (there wasn't), plied us with fruit punch and sandwiches, and we were left to wait for the big stitch-up. I joined him on the gurney and we had a bit of a cuddle watching TV together. Look at the blood running down my poor sweetie's leg!

On the way to the hospital Nate had asked me if the treatment was going to hurt, and I was frank that it probably was. I made him a promise that if anything was going to hurt, I would give him fair warning. Each time a nurse or doctor came in, I made sure to tell them that I had promised Nate he'd get fair warning if something was going to hurt. When the doctor came in to do the big job, it was time to give him the fair warning: this was going to hurt.

The doctor asked if I wanted to "papoose" him to restrain him, and I talked it out with Nate. We decided not to restrain him and to have him sit between my legs (partly so I could help hold his hand still for the doctor) and she started injecting the anesthetic right into the cut. Blargh. Nate was crying and yelling, and after 5 or 6 she gave him one that made him scream and pull away. It was awful. She had to do another 4 or 5 and then she was done. He calmed down quickly and lay quietly during the whole process of stitching it up.

He took such amazing good care of his hand, keeping it clean and dry. For the first five days, he really didn't use it at all; he held it pitifully in front of him. He had them removed yesterday; it was a little traumatic but he handled it well. I am so incredibly proud of his maturity, self-control, bravery, and independence.

And to round out this long post about 4 little stitches, here's Nate rapping:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Keeping a balance

In my own life, I find it really hard to keep a balance. I overeat, I overwatch TV, I don't exercise at all. People say "just do it in moderation!" like it's a new idea and I laugh and laugh. Moderation, for me, is almost impossible. Sometimes it really is impossible.

But somehow, with the boys, I'm a little better at it. Not perfect, not at all, but better.

I am very good at feeding them healthy food, but somehow I'm also good at relaxing about it and not making it too strident. We have McDonalds once a week. They eat cake and cookies, and meat when they're at my parents house. And the other day their Aunt Deborah bought them a treat that was a big hit. So this is what their after-school snack looked like:

Ooh, what a lovely snack! Is that healthy kiwi? Yes! Yummy healthy oranges and organic apples? Of course! And...what else? A cake? A...twinkie?!?!

Yes. A twinkie. And not just a twinkie:

A Shrek-themed green twinkie. Yuck. It was a big hit. :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We have a winner

Rainy days always relax me. I think the pressure is OFF for being outdoorsy and productive, so you can hunker down, wear pajama pants, and enjoy the day inside.

While Jack resisted his afternoon nap, I decided to try these energy bars. I wasn't in love with the earth balls and this recipe used a lot of the same basic ingredients, so I was skeptical.

To say they were good would be an understatement. Let's say this: they were GOOD in a sincere OMG way, not in a "pretty good for vegan" way.

I played around with her recipe a bit, and frankly I'm glad I'm writing this down so I can replicate it!

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup (plus 2 more) dates
2 dried apricots
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp raw pepitas
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
3 tbsp dried coconut
1 tbsp goji berries
1 tbsp dried cranberries
vegan chocolate chips, melted in a small saucepan with flax and hemp oils to make it spreadable

I ground the almonds to a fine powder, then added the dates and apricots until everything stuck together. Added in all the other ingredients and ground well. Spread it in a pan, covered with chocolate, and froze for 10 minutes. It was dense, chewy, sweet (but not overly sweet - I was worried about the dates), and delicious.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Slipping the vegan through

I try to volunteer for anything at Nate's school that keeps me from having to actually participate in the classroom. I help them with craft projects by prepping materials at home (peeling crayons, cutting out shapes, etc.) and I always volunteer to cook if they need food.

This week was "teacher appreciation" week and there was a luncheon on Wednesday. I offered to make my version of summer rolls, which is tasty and surprisingly vegan. I don't miss the shrimp at all!

They're rice paper with the traditional noodles, thick slices of avocado, cilantro, and chives. I served them with a bottled asian dipping sauce (I usually use a peanut sauce but the school is nut-free so that wasn't an option).

I love showing people that vegetarian / vegan food can be so delicious that you'll never miss the meat!

Big boy haircut

It was time. I didn't want to know it but I knew it.

Not the best pictures, but here's a few "before" shots:

Since Jack now runs crying each morning when he sees me coming towards him with a brush, I anticipated a disaster. I tried to take him to one of those kiddie-kuts kinda places since I thought the TVs might distract him but got insanely lost. I ended up just taking him to the Hair Cuttery and crossing my fingers. I apologized in advance for the crying.

He was perfect.

He flinched a little from the water

grinned at himself in the mirror

and got pinned up like a proper lady.

At one point he realized he was famished but couldn't find his hands. He was promptly hand-fed by one of his adoring Moms (Kari went along on the trip).

He zoned out as the cut went on

smiled at his new "look"

even tolerated the buzzer

and emerged a new man. With a huge muffin for good behavior.

The muffin was considered


and judged to be acceptable.

I'm very proud of my little lawyer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A flash from the old days: Nate's lunch for tomorrow!

Sandwich is a ww tortilla spread with hummus and lettuce, sprinkled with wheat germ and flax seed, with a squirt of organic hemp oil for bonus omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Then (clockwise): chocolate cat's cookies from Trader Joes, baked sweet potatoes (canola oil), an earth ball, mandarin orange, dried peach, and teeny-tiny pickle.

Snacks for after school (one for each boy):

Organic watermelon, kiwi, raw almonds, goji berries, apple slices, dried peach slices, raw cashews, and a mandarin orange.