Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well....

I had been working on a fabulous little post about our beach trip last weekend, when woes and frustrations over dealing with uploading pictures took over and I abandon the project for now.  I've never understood when I read a fellow blogger's post about some frustration that has to due with posting pictures - until now.

Grrrrr.

The pictures are pretty awesome by the way. :)  Loving my sandy son's face. :)

I will attempt later.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What did you have for dinner?: The leftover edition

Husband wasn't home tonight, there was already plenty of food in the kitchen - that means NO COOKING!  Hehehee.  I do love to cook.  Really.  But you have to admit, some nights, it's just a relief when you don't have to dirty up the kitchen.  Besides, no cooking meant I had time to do working out during at the end of Charlie's nap and then went for a light jog when he got up.  Whee!  So good for me.  I've started doing some Body Rock workouts lately.  I'm not a huge fan of the wardrobe she sports, but the work outs are killer and I'm enjoying them immensely.  Then I popped Charlie in the jogger and went out and got turbo chased by the dinkiest little dog that Charlie even kept mistaking for a cat.  Fun times.

Oh.  But.  So.  Dinner.  Leftovers!

Actually half leftovers, half sauteed frozen veggies.

Here are my brussel sprouts looking fabulous!



And here are my vegan jambalaya leftovers!  (Not nearly so fabulous looking, but still very tasty.)


And here is my lovely dinner paired together.  Oh the sauteed brussels perk up the leftover jambalaya immensely!


Vegan jambalaya is actually super great and one of my faves, so don't let my love for the brussels and the lack luster enthusiasm for the jambalaya pictures deceive you.  Jambalaya just doesn't LOOK as appealing as those sprouts!  :)

Mmmm.  It was a good dinner. :-D

Spider Boys

I went over to my sister's house again today for the morning (the sister who just had a baby).  My job was to keep an eye on the boys - the youngest in particular who has an uncanny knack doing the most outrageous and terrifying things (oh yea, he's two) .  I took advantage of that time to snap some fun pictures!  Turns out that Charlie and Conal both had on spider man shirts, and Liam obliged by putting one on too, just so that I could snap some spider boy pictures.  :)

Usually the boys look a lot like twins.  I think Conal's longer hair was throwing it off.

Conal cheezin' it up for the camera. :)

LOVE IT!  I love that Charlie and Liam match.  I love that Liam decided on his own to put his arm around Charlie.  I love their expressions. 

Hehehe!  Those boys are awesome!

Bros!

Aiden, the older brother not pictured, had the bright idea to have them all lay down under his spider man bedspread.  I was skeptical the boys would pose again, but I think it worked out pretty well.

Conal catching a sideways glance to make sure the others are behaving.

So hard to get all 3 smiling at once.

Where'd Liam go?

"HERE I AM!!"  Conal does not look impressed.

I had a blast taking pictures of these boys.  Cindy got a shower.  And no one got in any trouble that morning. (At least not serious.)  ;-)

Guardian of the Peanut Butter

Charlie has taken it upon himself to point out, hold, put away, carry anything that he recognizes as something Daddy eats.  No really.  In a very obsessive way.  It's like the Daddy food is the pinnacle of warm, snuggly, amazing wonderfulness.  (Sometime I'll tell you how the Daddy bread saved us from a catastrophe in BJs one time.)

We went to Whole Foods and bought several jars of PB, and when we got home before I even knew what had happened, Charlie swiped them out of the bag and sat on the couch carefully guarding them with Taggie close at hand.  He is the guardian of all things Daddy.



He takes his job very seriously.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moments

Sometimes the best moments involve just curling up on the couch with your arms wrapped around your son, starring at his little face and facial expressions, while watching some Tangled.  I wish I could have stepped out of body to grab my camera and capture that moment.  All I have is my memory to hold onto that moment forever - which unfortunately isn't the most reliable these days. 

Oh wait, blog to the rescue.  Moment saved - at least for now.

Baby Rory is here!

Here is me and my (almost) little birthday niece!  One day late.  Too bad.  But she was born on my Grandma Allion's birthday, so that's cool too. :)


Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great Vaseline Incident

That title still makes me shudder.

Oh the horror of much too much sticky vaseline, smeared everywhere you don't want it - which is pretty much anywhere.

It all started last Tuesday.  I was happily putting clothes away in our bedroom at around 4:15, anticipating another 30 minutes or so out of Charlie's nap, when I hear blood curdling screaming from across the hall.  He never wakes up crying like that, so I thought it was pretty unusual.  I gave him a little while to see if he'd just woken up on the wrong side of the bed and would calm himself down.  No avail.  After 5 minutes I decided to get him up early and see what was wrong.

I open the door to see Charlie looking very strange with "stuff" all down his front.  My first thought was puke. It could have passed for puke, and I'm not sure but what there was a little bit of vomit mixed in.  But on closer inspection I realized the stuff covering Charlie's face, hair, inside of his mouth, shirt, shorts, legs, stuffed animals, drawer inside, wall, floor and changing table was in fact, vaseline.

Sticky, nasty vaseline.

My second thought upon seeing all this was, I kid you not, "Well that's the end of Lully."

Brief detour to explain Lully.  Lully or E-O as Charlie now calls him, is the beloved blue elephant Lovey that he has been attached to for the last 18 months of his life.  This really adorable, dirty grubby little thing is not washable due to a music box inside, and therefore is pretty grubby and smelly, but also one of the only sources of comfort for him when Mama and Daddy are not around.  I hadn't planned for a Lovey, but it had worked out in our favor, until now.


Lully/ E-O was covered in gooey vaseline.  COVERED.  Before thoughts of "how to get my child clean" popped into my mind, thoughts of "I'll never get that animal clean/what do I do/this is a disaster/poor Lully" flooded my brain.

But thankfully I set aside my paranoia for a while and tackled the job of first getting my son clean.  Which involved of course stripping him down and dumping him in a tub with as hot a water as he could stand and scrubbing the daylights out of him.

After scrubbing him, I gathered up all the sticky clothes and stuffed animals and deposited them in the laundry area while I went to go wipe down surfaces in his room and start the process of scrubbing the floor.  Then I searched good old google for how to clean vaseline off of fabric.

Lots of suggestions.  Lots of steps involved generally.  I was not looking forward to this.

But I settled on one website that suggested first saturating the sticky items with rubbing alcohol, and then after letting them sit a while, douse them with Dawn dish detergent to sit for another long while before washing in hot water and rinsing like crazy.

Over the course of 2 days, I went through the above process 2.5 times, surprisingly getting most of the items clean.  His little shorts fared the worst, with greasy stains that simply won't come out.  His little shirt has a shadow of a grease stain still on it, and most of his stuffed animals are fine now.

Lully on the other hand I am still battling with.  I cannot seem to get the grease out of his feet.  Still greasy to the touch after all the scrubbing and washing.

And oh, by the way, he has gone in the washing machine several times now despite the "spot clean only" warning on his tag (since at this point I had nothing to lose), and amazingly enough his music box still plays - albeit a little more creaky and tinny now.  If I had only known this, the animal would have been washed months and months ago.  I don't know if I'll ever end up getting E-O fully cleaned or not, but I figured I wanted to try, so that at least I had "What to do if your child smears vaseline everywhere cleaning experience" under my mom belt.

In the mean time, Charlie has actually been (sort of) holding onto a new E-O, which I had picked up for cheap at a consignment sale recently, as a back up for this one should it ever die (since the elephants in the store where this was bought, now play a new tune, which I knew would be a dead giveaway).

He eyes this new one suspiciously, holding it by it's tag and trying to smell for the familiar stinky smell of the tag and toosh area, half the time casting it aside as though the poor animal has betrayed him by no longer bringing the comforting dirty, grimy smell of old.

And that ends the vaseline saga.  Mostly.  I'm still scrubbing the old Lully's sticky feet.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How I spent my birthday

So my birthday was last week.  The big 2-7.  I did not spend it going out for lunch, getting a pedi, or generally being child free.  In fact, I gained 3 kiddos!  My sister was 3 days past her due date at that point, and was in desperate need of a kiddo break.  So I volunteered to get them out of her house for the day so she could rest or you know, go into labor.

So I piled the 4 kids and car seats into the van, drove to my parents house to see Grandpa for a little bit and jump on the trampoline.  All well so far.

I had planned to take them to a park, so we headed out after jumping for a while and got to the park about 30 minutes before lunch time.  I figured we could still do it, since we had snacks packed, so I hauled them all out of the car, fought with the new stroller I didn't know how to work, and got them all to the picnic tables to eat snack before playing.  We skipped over two picnic tables due to yellow jackets and went for a third which I thought was bee free.

I thought.

We were all happily munching on snack when a yellow jacket started whizzing around our heads.  We all held still like statues and thought we were in the clear, when it made one last pass between Conal and Liam's heads, and apparently conducted a drive by sting to Conal's ear.  Oh, that was the end of that.  And pretty much the end of the world and everything.  Conal was madder than a hornet (ha.ha.ha.) and the poor thing kept clutching his ear.  No amount of snacks or holding or distracting was going to work.   We spent about 10 minutes wondering around the park trying to calm him before I decided No. Can. Do.

We packed up and headed home promptly.  After only 10 minutes at the park.  Oh well.

We got home and I started fixing lunch and THANKFULLY all of the new/different toys distracted Conal to the point where he apparently forgot his stung ear and happily started flinging toys about.

Whew.  Crisis averted.

While I was lunching about the kitchen, Liam the 5 year old, wondered in...

L: Did you hear what I was playing, Aunt Jamie?
Me: I did.  It was very nice.
L: I was playing music for you cause it's your birthday.
Me: Aw, really?
L: Yes and I was playing the hardest I could and concentrating really hard to do my best work cause it's your birthday.
Me: <melts>
L: Did you like it?
Me:  I loved it. :-D  Will you go play me some more music while I finish lunch?
L: YES!

So I snuck in and snapped this.

My birthday serenade. :)

Then we all sat down for lunch.  Wouldn't you want to sit down to lunch with these faces?




And yes, that is macaroni and cheese from a box.  I wanted so badly to be the cool aunt who fed them something super healthy and plant based, but I had little time, little food options, and little money.  So rather than feed them something I wasn't sure if they were going to eat and then be stuck if it turned out bad, I opted  for something I knew they would eat.   There's always next time....

Then the littles went down for a nap while the big kids watched X-Men 3 and played Legos.



And I know you are all wondering if my past-due sister had her baby on my birthday.  No.  We all were hoping and waiting and wishing.  I wanted a little birthday niece, but it didn't happen.  (Happened the next day actually after 2 more false labor attempts.)

But it was still a good birthday, filled with lots of chasing little kids and diapers. ;-)



Friday, August 5, 2011

Flax eggs

I just realized I posted a recipe that used a flax egg, and I didn't even explain what a flax egg was!

A flax egg is super simple.

1 Tbsp flaxmeal (ground up flax seed)
3 Tbsp water

Stir well and let sit for several minutes to thicken up.  Once it thickens it has a consistency remarkably like an egg.  You can use it in baking just like you would a regular egg.

Flax Egg

It's hard to tell, but it's thickened up to a nice egg like consistency.

Why would I want to use a flax egg? 

If you are vegan and avoiding all animal products you would obviously want to use a flax egg instead of a regular one.

If you were looking for an extra dose of healthy essential fatty acids (EFAs), flax is a GREAT way to do that!  It also contains fiber, which eggs do not.

If you have allergies to eggs.

If you were trying to watch your cholesterol, flax is a great substitute for egg.  1 large egg has 70% of your RDA of cholesterol, which means 2 eggs for breakfast already puts you past your RDA of cholesterol.  Whereas a flax egg has 0 cholesterol and half the calories that a regular egg does.

Obviously you can't scramble up two flax eggs like you can regular eggs.  But for baking, flax away!!  :-D

Curried Vegetable Burger

Boy, I have got a tasty veggie burger for you all!  We had this a couple weeks ago (and it's taken me that long to blog about it!), but it was so good, even on a full tummy, my mouth is watering a little.  :)  It's the first veggie burger I've made with potatoes and curry in it, and mm-MMM good.  The curry gives it such a nice spicy warmth, and the potato adds a nice texture that we don't usually have in our veggie burgers.

The recipe was taken from http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/278/Curried-Vegetable-Burgers-With91962.shtml

I made a few alterations (as always), but not many.  And because I love it when posts show step by step pictures along the way, I'll will do that for you now.  Well, 4 pictures to be exact.  Not quite step by step, but this recipe is hardly complicated enough to warrant that.  But I do like to know what a recipe looks like at different stages to make sure I'm on the right track, so I'll assume the same for you all. :)

Ingredients:
1lb potatoes
1 flax egg
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 small leeks, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
non-dairy milk (optional)
salt and pepper

1. Boil the potatoes in water until tender, then drain.  When cool enough to handle, peel and mash them with the egg yolk (or flax egg).

2. Meanwhile, cook the onion slowly in the oil until softened.  Add the garlic, leeks, and carrots, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, adding water if needed to cook without additional oil.
All the veggies sauteing.  I'm kind of obsessed with how leeks look these days.  I think they are gorgeous.

3. Stir in the curry powder for 1 minute.  Mix the curried vegetables and the parsley into the potatoes.  Add a little milk if the mixture seems dry.

Doesn't that look delicious already!

4.  Form mixture into flat cakes.  Put on lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 375 for roughly 15 minutes on EACH side.  You want a nice golden brown color on both sides.

Prior to baking.

And voile!  A little spicy, warm and tasty dinner!  Generally I like a nice dollop of hummus on my veggie burgers, but this one was so good, I didn't need the hummus!    I like just putting my burgers on a bed of lettuce and tomato, but hubby of course eats his on a bun with fixin's.  :)  You can eat it however you choose. :)



Let me know what you think if you try it!