Friday, March 30, 2012

"S" is for screaming.

Thank you Loki.  Thank you for sleeping four hours last night.  Not all at once of course, thanks for splitting it up into painful 30-45 minute segments.  And thanks also for filling the silence with all that screaming.  Oh, and the kicking, I loved that too.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The dreaded "S" word.


Holy flying Spaghetti Monster.  When Loki is sick, or teething, or feeling very Loki like, he just won't sleep.  And by that I mean, he requires being held, for hours.  The worst part about this is that the normally 'mama's boy' really wont relax and settle in my arms...  Except, I won't realize this until I try for 2 hours.  Then the super hero DAD will come to our rescue and in a no nonsense tone to his voice, takes Loki and he falls fast asleep on his Daddy's chest.

This has been a bad sleeping week.  Sunday night/Monday morning, we heard him starting to sniffle.  Monday morning was his 12 month check up, which included 3 vaccinations.

Loki weighs 19 pounds 4.5 ounces (10%)
He is 29.5 inches long and is generally a healthy boy.
He is also cutting 3 teeth at the same time.

Of course the pediatrician flinches when I tell her he still wakes several times a night.

So tylenol was already being giving to Loki.  Of course, now, he has sore teeth, sore legs, his body is ramping up his antibodies and he is teething.  He's not happy.  So he didn't nap well, so he was moody, so he didn't sleep at night.

Finally, last night, he only woke 5 or 6 times, but was able to be rocked or nursed easily back to sleep.  No siting in the rocker for hours and no screaming.  Even though I was up at 5:30 am, I feel great.

Now, I am planning on going to see a friend today.  I will have to give Loki Benadryl though, as I have determined he has allergies just like his Daddy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" day 10 and 11

POBA muffin (vegetarian), smoothie made with frozen banana, blueberries tablespoon of Chia seeds, a teaspoon of peanut butter and almond milk (vegan)

half 'Amy's Texas burger (vegan) Jeanne ate this too.  Not her favorite, but she ate it. Pumpkin soup (vegan) (Loki liked this too),wheat crackers

afternoon snack:
2 "fast lunch cookies" (oatmeal, maple syrup, peanut butter)(vegan)

You know.  Before this experiment, I would have 6 meals and several grazing snacks throughout the day.  Dinner was always my biggest meal, and I always craved 'dessert'.  This is all still true.  I actually feel like I  eat a lot of food, I just never eat until I am full.   Never.  So there is always room for more food in a little bit.

Brixx: Veggie pizza with vegan cheese.  When I say 'pizza', I mean the whole pizza.  By myself.  I did not share.  I did not have a leftover bite......  All me.  A whole pizza.  In my belly.  All of it.

Scrambled eggs with spinach, scallions and feta (vegetarian) whoa boy this was good.  Loaded a bunch onto a whole wheat english muffin with vegan butter.  YUM!  Ironically, I wasn't hungry for over 4 hours after eating this meal....  As I wrote just above, I usually eat constantly.  Hrm, food for thought.

Cauliflower chowder (oh boy this was good, recipe coming)(vegan)  I ate two bowls and Loki liked it too. Made in the slow cooker and easily adapted for the stove top.  Also had left over Pasta Florentine (vegan).  3 store bought oatmeal raisin cookies (vegetarian)

Creamy tomato soup from the Veganomicon (recipe below), grilled cheese (vegan), smoothie with peanut buter, greek yogurt, pineapple, almond milk vegetarian)

We now take a break from Operation "Eat Better", because I know many of you don't give a rats tutu what I'm eating.

You know, sometimes I can really knock out this 'mommy' thing and get a whole bunch of stuff done in a day while remaining patient with my children and remembering to get on the floor with them and play too. Other days, I can't remember if I brushed my teeth.  Never can figure out the secret to the good days.  Wish I could.  I'd like to have more "Awesome Mom' days.  Today was an Awesome Mom day.  We're all smiles here.

Today I took the kids for a walk, returned some items at a local store, brought Jeanne into Pet Store to look at rats, ferrets and fish.  Both kids ate a great vegan lunch, and lots of it!  I played with them both, they played well together, I ran the dises, did dishes in the sink, did the laundry, folded the laundry.  Remembered I have no idea what is for dinner, and scoured some cookbooks I have from the library.  While the kids napped, I chopped the veggies and soaked the sun dried tomatoes.  After that I was able to cut my fingernails.  Yes, getting to my fingernails gets counted towards a good day.  Do you know how hard it is to cut your fingernails with two kids clambering on you.  This task is really low on the 'must do' list.  You know, picking up the same toys for the um-teenth time that day usually wins out.  That or remembering I have time to pee during a nap.  So yes, I cut my nails!  

CAULIFLOWER CHOWDER: vegan, from "The Everything Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook" serves 6 (yeah right, maybe 10)

2 pounds cauliflower florets
2 quarts vegetable broth (this was too much I think..., I would reduce by 2 cups personally.   I think of chowder as being thick, not watery like soup)
1 onion, chopped 
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon white pepper (I only had black, who cares?  Not me)
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2 carrots, cut into coins
1 stalk celery (oops, seems I forget this... oh well)

1. In 4 quart slow cooker, place cauliflower, broth, onions, garlic, pepper and salt, stir.  Cook on low 6 hours or until cauliflower is fork tender.  Tip: don't go crazy chopping, you will be using an immersion blender here, so just make it small enough to balance flavors and cook quickly.

2. Use immersion blender (see, I told you).

3. Add broccoli, carrots and celery.  Cook for 30 minutes or until fork tender.  

(I also added 1/2 tablespoon vegan butter, and it was CRAZY GOOD).

Calories: 135, fat 0.5g, protein 6g, sodium completely dependent on your veggie broth and the amount of water added, fiber 9g, carbs 30g, sugar 13g

Honestly, it smelled wonky while cooking, so I wasn't thrilled to try it.  I let it cool and put half away (it made a ton, ton, ton).  When I warmed it up today for lunch, I was WOWED!  It was so good I had two bowls, and the kids both liked it too.  Next time I will add a but of corn too.  I will be making the vegan soup again!

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP: from the Veganomincon serves 8

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (cruches between your fingers)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt ( I didn't add any)
lots of freshly ground pepper
1 pound waxy potatoes (about 2-4 not  russet) and weigh them, I used two medium sized ones, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup sun dried tomtoes (not packed in oil)
6 cups water or broth
1 (28 ounce) fire roasted tomatoes
juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste (I didn't use any)

Pre heat a large soup pot over medium heat.  Saute onions until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Saute for about 1 minutes.

Add potatoes and sun dried tomatoes (these should have already been sitting in boiled water for 10 minutes, then that water drained).  Pour in water or broth, cover and bring to boil.  Once soup in boiling, lower heat to medium and simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Add can of tomatoes and heat through.  Use immersion blender or puree in blender in batches CAREFULLY.


Both Loki and Jeanne liked the soup.  We had it with grilled cheeses (mine was with vegan cheese).  Hubbers said it was the best tomato soup he ever tasted, and he hates tomato soup.  He only ate half of his bowl, but he ate 'some' so I count that as a win.

I really like this soup.  Really.  I'm thrilled the kids liked it too.  Sweet.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" day 8 and 9

very little oatmeal, pineapple, then we went to the gym

11:00 hummus wrap, that didn't feed the beast so I made a bowl of black lentils (indian slow cooker recipe) over jasmine rice

pasta Florentine (sautéed onions garlic and spinach with barilla plus pasta and nutritional yeast.  The kids added red sauce to theirs too.  Followed by lots and lots of gelato
Hmm, I don't remember the rest.....

scrambled eggs and beans in a wheat wrap,

brussel sprouts

Pasta Florentine, tortilla chips, 'green' snack bar

baked fries, and a PBAO muffin,

smoothie made with cashews, strawberries a banana and almond milk, grilled cheese (vegan) on wheat, frozen yogurt, one beer

Friday, March 23, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" day 7

smoothie with bananas, blueberries, strawberries almond milk and chia seeds (vegan)

Peanut butter, Oatmeal, Banana, applesauce (POBA) muffin, goldfish (vegetarian snacks)

Brixx: veggie pizza with vegan cheese, root beer, bread sticks (vegan)

tortilla chips (really just the crumbs at the bottom of the bag...), left over salmon, stir fry with broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, jasmine rice, left over pizza from lunch,

right before bed:
been soup, slice of wheat bread with peanut butter and honey with cup of almond milk

I'm going to have to pay more attention to how much I eat during the day.  I'm starting to eat a significant amount of calories right before bed.  I need to space them out a little more.  But so far, I am consistently, truly, hungry late at night.

Today, Memaw and Papaw left for their home.  We had such a great visit, and I was sad to see them go.  Today, we went to the bounce house so the kids could play and I could keep my allergy having hubbers out of the clouds of pollen.

Yes, I know this picture is blury, but this boy really doesn't stop moving.  He's smiling, believe me.

Big Boy is getting his third tooth on the bottom.  Way to grow Loki!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" day 6

steel cut oatmeal with dried apricots, almond milk, pear (vegan meal)

snack later
dr. kracker with peanut butter and honey (technically not vegan, but it counts for me)

white bean hummus with whole wheat pita, single slice veggie pizza (some cheese on it), half a banana (due to the cheese, a vegetarian meal)

4 mini cookies (vegetarian meal)

bowl mexican tortilla soup (vegan) with avocado, salmon, beer, frozen yogurt, 2 'fast cookies', almond milk (omnivore meal, and the only 'meat' I eat right now)
(note: I ended the day being overwhelmingly hungry.  It didn't help that our restaurant choice for lunch was sub-par)

Today we went to the mall with Memaw and Papaw to get the birthday boy some new shoes and clothes.  While it was a beautiful day outside, it was made unbearable due to the literal cloud of pollen.  The cars were all yellow.  My husband was effected the most, but both the kids were obviously scratching their eyes today.  On the way home, while driving down a highway with many trees on both sides, we watched the clouds of heavy billowing pollen float up and away from the trees.  I have never seen anything like this before. I really thought it was a forrest fire, or a fog cover before a thunderstorm.  But no, it was a wave of tree pollen.  You could feel it in your eyes and your throat.  We didn't take the kids back out today.  Hope it's better tomorrow.

Jeanne getting her snuggle on after her nap.

The Birthday Boy and Daddy playing with trains.

Jeanne teaching her Papaw how to use the iPad.

Loki and Jeanne's new summer shoes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" day 5

Me: english muffin with Scrambled eggs, blanched spinach, and grapes
kids.  All the above plus sausage

Jeanne and mom: left over 'green chips' (not so crunchy or 'chipy' anymore, but still tasted great, we ate them all up).

kids each: half a Quorn patty, corn, peas, shredded cheddar, apple, goldfish (they ate so much!)
Me: salad, Dr.Kracker with peanut butter and honey

whole grain pasta / barilla pasta plus with red sauce, wine, wine, wine, tortilla chips, coconut 'ice cream' and grapes.

March 21, 2012


At 8:56 pm this evening last year you were born.  At 8:59pm, you were taken from me and brought to the NICU unit.  All that matters now is that we fought to take you home with us and won.  The first moment your sister saw you, she gave you a kiss.  Your observant eyes were always searching for your mommy, even in the first days.

 We named you perfectly, and love every breath you take.  You came during a very difficult year for us, and all the challenges we had, brought us all closer as a family.

I will never forget the first time you smiled at me Loki.  Your face beamed, and I could feel myself being brought out of a deep, dark place.  Thank you for coming to get me.  I wake each morning, waiting to see your smiling face now.

Words he understands:
Mama, Daddy, Jeanne, wake up, more, thirsty, water, beans, play, friends, 'at work'

Words he can speak:
Mama, Daddy, (he's working hard on jeanne, it sounds like 'eene')

Signs he makes on his own:
Daddy, more, hello, all done

Signs he understands:
water, thirsty, home (I think)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" day 4

Me: Homemade granola with vanilla almond milk, some pear and a coffee
Hubbers: cereal with banana
Loki: left over ham sandwich, cheerios, pear, quinoa with black beans and mango
Jeanne:left over ham sandwich, cheerios with plain almond milk, pear, white grape juice (diluted 50%)

Early breakfast / snack?
Me, hubbers and Jeanne: hummus wrap with cucumbers, celery, red peppers, lettuce
a little later, green chips.

Afternoon snack:
Me and the kids, goldfish
Me: beets.  Sheesh, I am trying really hard here to be all healthy etc, but man, while tasty they sure didn't fill the "I want a snack" feeling.

We had dinner out at 'Moe's'.  I had a small wheat tortilla with pinto beans, organic tofu, guacamole, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Kids had quesadillas, and dad had a rice bowl with chicken, we all had water or unsweetened tea.

OK, we did go next door and get dessert.  Two kids cups of ice cream, mint and dark chocolate.

GREEN CHIPS:  recipe from "The 30 minute Vegan"
1 bunch of curly leaf kale (the other kind wont crisp up well)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

OK, now that I gave you the ingredient list, I can tell you I don't follow it.  I use all the ingredients, but not in those measurements.

Pre-heat oven to 350F
First wash the kale, then rip the leves off in bite size bits and put on cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake 12-15 minutes.  Too short they will still be too chewy, too ling and they will be burned.  Figure out your oven.

Move kale to large mixing bowl and drizzle with the oil, sprinkle the yeast and salt.  Again, I just keep tasting.  Not too much oil, I don't want fat chips, I want healthy green chips.  I use less then half the yeast, Jeanne doesn't care too much for it and I would much rather her EAT the KALE chips than not.  If you don't want to use the yeast, you can't go wrong with oil and salt!

Give it a try, go on.  Organic curly kale from my foo foo grocery cost me $1.99  You can't go wrong with that kind of experiment.  The worse thing that can happen is that you and your kids LIKE it, and ask you for green chips every time you go grocery shopping.

A note on any food I list that sounds 'good'.  I didn't come up with it.  None of them.  If there is a mention of something I ate, believe me I looked up the recipe and followed it from a book.  I apologize before hand if I am slow in citing correct references, but I am absolutely taking no credit for coming up with them on my own!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" day 3


Quinoa with almond milk and cinnamon, one POBA muffin, TWO coffees, blueberries (it was a really rough night, Jeanne spent an hour screaming.  Screaming. Screaming, and I have no idea why).
Steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar, tiny bit of eggs and potatoes left over from yesterday, coffees
Loki:Quinoa with almond milk and cinnamon, eggs, potatoes, whole milk french vanilla with blueberries
Jeanne: Quinoa with almond milk and cinnamon, steel cut oatmeal (she stole most of her dad's), whole milk french vanilla with blueberries
Jeanne: half a "Fast lunch cookie"  recipe will come and some corn chips
Me: Mexican Chili (vegan) with corn chips and a banana

Me: half a PBJ sandwich, small hummus wrap with red peppers, cucumbers and lettuce, veggie chips
---half a 'fast lunch cookie"

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango, recipe from 'The Veganonicon"
left over vegan shepards pie, beets and lots and lots of grapes!

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango recipe:
tip, make quinoa ahead of time to save prep time for dinner.
1 mango diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup scallions
1 cup cilantro
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 (15) ounce can black beans

Combine mango, red bell peppers, scallions and cilantro in mixing bowl
Add red wine vinegar, oil and salt and mix.
Add quinoa, mix , then fold in the rinsed beans.

You can eat at room temp or eat chilled.  I ate mine at room temp, but this will also be a very nice chilled salad on a hot day.  Too bad we don't get too many hot days here in Raleigh.

Happy with my mostly vegan day!  Feel great today, not too hungry, despite the lack of sleep.

Fast cookie recipe, from "Forks over Knives"
Makes about 8 cookies (I always make 9-12)
Tip#1, use all ingredients as listed, these are amazing!
Tip#2.  Use a whisk when heating the liquids, and a spatula when incorporating the oatmeal.  Use the same spatula to place and form the cookies on a cookie sheet or piece of wax paper.  Place/keep your cookies in the freezer.  They are much more manageable when frozen and go great with a cup of almond milk.  If putting in a lunch box for later, also pack napkin.  ENJOY!

1/3 maple syrup
1/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups rolled oatmeal
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped optional

Put maple syrup, almond milk and cocoa into saucepan and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Add peanut butter and stir until dissolved.
Remove from heat and add vanilla, oats and walnuts.
Stir well and form into cookies.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Operation "Eat Better" cont.

First see the Fooducate Blog post, then read what I ate today.


Scrambled eggs with a wee bit of cheese, orange scented broccoli
red potato has browns with onions and beet greens
cup of almond milk

Tacos, with homemade heirloom beans, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, jalepenos
4 mini store bought chocolate chip cookies
couple of goldfish and corn chex (really to see if they would choke Loki)

smoothie (very little, I bought it for Jeanne) made with blueberries, strawberries, peach juice and protein powder

Vegan Shepards pie, so that means peas, corn, carrots, and mashed potatoes baked, I didn't eat the cheese on top
a slice of homemade pizza with banan peppers
one beer

"Ice cream", made with bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, strawberries and a couple of chocolate chips

POBA muffins: or peanut butter, oatmeal, banana, applesauce muffins.  I think these need a better name.  Here is the recipe.
POBA muffins

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Operation "Eat Better"

Okay,  we're serious this time.

 Hubbers and I are making serious changes to our diet so we can be more healthy.  This has been coming for a while, but has recently been spurred by the 'releases' that the cholesterol reducing medication has further side effects, namely 'memory loss' and 'diabetes'.  Excuse me?  You just figured this out?  Right, LIARS!

I don't have a key word for our new diet, since we are doing our best to actually stick to it and not someone else's rules.  We're not going 'vegan' as only half and half will do in my coffee.  I tried almond milk and it just doesn't cut it.  And no, I will not give up coffee, I have kids, so back off my caffeine.  My kids also love salmon, so I would love to continue eating salmon, so we're not really vegetarian either.  They certainly don't eat everything I eat, but they also refuse to eat anything I won't put in my mouth, so Salmon stays on our table.

So, as a matter of keeping myself and my family on track, I will post what we ate that day.  No, I won't do this forever, that would be crazy boring don't you think?  30 days.  Nice easy number, complete, one month then done.  Maybe that wil also help me from doing the same ole same ole every night, folding laundry and picking up toys.

So here is begins:
Today we ate:
Mom: PBAO muffin (recipe coming), a couple of bites of steel cut oatmeal, coffee
kids:steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar, Jeanne whole orange, Loki apple cubes

Mom snack: "fast cookie" (recipe coming)
All roasted red pepper hummus with olives and lettuce on a wrap, water
Kids: split cheese stick

Kids almond milk
mom: barilla plus pasts with spinach and nutritional yeast

All salmon, orange scented broccoli, beets, spanish rice
adults: wine, corn chips

Very Late snack:
corn chips, jalapeños, tomatoes, uber yummy heirloom 'good mother stallard' beans

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Boston 2012

(A pre-Boston picture, here, a bunch of puzzle pieces and Jeanne)

...and done, here are the solved puzzles

Some tower building..

My beautiful girl in front of the butterfly house

 Our Boston Trip, in Photos.

Our first day there, we just chilled out and let the kids nap since we woke them before 4 am.  On Tuesday I met my old lab mates for lunch and a trip to the Children's Museum.  It kills me that I did not get their faces in this photo, nor a photo of the three of us together.  Drat!

Marla and Loki spinning!

Jeanne at the hand cycle in the Children's Museum

Loki and Aunt Eileen


The Aquarium with Aunt Laurie!

Bye Bye!

The Queen after her evening bath

The Family Gathers in New Hampshire

Great picture of these two

What beautiful girls

Unka Lee Daddy and Jeanne chilling out.

Jeanne was totally diggin' the Legos.



Jeanne and Aunt Claudia

Dr. Baker to the rescue! 

Second cousins playing.

More second cousins playing.

The after party.  Jeanne teaches Loki how to use the iPad.

My family.  Sans me and Aunt Eileen.