Friday, February 12, 2010

Big Girl Panties and a Blizzard!!

Where do I start?  We have been having a lot going on.  Nothing really different than the norm but still a lot. 

Tot school has been hit or miss as I struggle to make time.  I saw on another blog that someone had let their toddler practice cutting their own food.  I decided to let Clara try and she really did a great job and enjoyed it very much.  I gave her a butter knife first.  I then gave her our Pampered Chef cutter.  As you can see in the pics she was very supervised while doing this.   Another activity we did was place colored pom poms out and try to sort them by color into the tray.  Clara struggled with this but loved just placing the pom poms in the tray.  She is starting to catch the words of the colors but I don’t think she has realized that they are the colors of the objects.  It amazes me how quickly she is catching on to so, so very much.  I have not done a Tot Food in a while so I decided to throw one in.  The plate pictured contained raisins, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and avocados. 

I meant to post sooner but Clara got the cutest pair of shoes.  She has gotten many compliments on them and she loves them too.  They are pretty glitzy and only a young one could pull these off.  They also light up when you stomp them.  Here are some pics of her showing them off.

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OK….look close at this next pic and I mean look real close.  Do you see anything different??  Come on I know you can figure it out???  Clara is wearing big girl panties!!

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My baby girl is wearing panties now during the day and using the potty with a large amount of accuracy.  She has had one poo poo accident.  The poo poo will come later.  She screams with delight when she tee tees in the potty.  She cannot wait to empty her tee tee into the big potty and look out to anyone who tries to flush it for her.  =)  Her reward is that she gets to wash her hands and get sickers.  As of today though, she has just been pleased with the fact that she tee teed in the potty.  She still maintains the scream of delight!  As of Monday night she came in when I was on the phone with Clay as he was on his way home from work.  It had been a long day and those of you with toddlers know what I mean.  Then top that off with struggling during the day to get our schooling done.  Clara has been getting into EVERYTHING lately!  She wants to do everything we do.  She is smart as a whip!  Well, anyway back to the story.  Clara walked in while I was on the phone and said, “I tee teed in the potty!”  At first I thought, “great…she got into the big potty AGAIN!”  Well, she was not wet and she was not naked….so, what could she possibly have meant.  Well, she meant that she went into the bathroom, pulled down her pants, took off her diaper, tee teed in her potty and then pulled her pants up.  She then proceeded into the kitchen to tell me about it.  My big girl did this all by HERSELF!!!  Here I had tried and tried and finally just let it go while leaving the potty in the bathroom.  Well, she knew when she was ready.  Since this happened Monday she has been wearing big girl panties.  Today she even took a 3 hour nap and her diaper was dry.  She peed a LOT in the potty after that and her squeal of excitement was even more so that time.  =)  

On another note….we have snow!!!  We have a LOT of snow ……for Texas anyway!  =) 

Christian sat her on top of his giant snowball and she got a kick out of that.

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See Clara with her hands over her eyes.  She was cracking us up.  She wanted socks on her hands like the boys did.  She would run around the front yard and cover her face so the snow wouldn’t get in her eyes.  She just makes us smile!

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Look how much more snow we had gotten this evening.  As I type it is still just snowing away.  I LOVE it!  Although it is messy and cold, snow is the most beautiful site there is.  Snow can make anything look pretty.  We have gone on two walks today to enjoy the snow.  One we took after lunch and then another one tonight.  I am hoping that I have more snow pics to show you guys tomorrow.  I think this is the most snow I have seen in Texas since the early ‘80s.  My dad built me an igloo.  It took every last bit of snow in our front yard but he made me an igloo!  =)

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Food" for Thought

I wanted to share something that came over me last night. Most of you know that I stopped eating meat/dairy around July which is approx 6-7 months ago. When I first stopped I felt led by God that meat/diary was something that I should not eat and was not overall good for your body. Thus, I automatically wanted to protect my family from the things I was learning too. Clara was easy as she is just 2. She eats most anything. For snacks she asks for potatoes/sweet potatoes, avocados, and will bring me cans of beans from the pantry. Cullen followed along well and I could not believe how easily he jumped on board. I figured he would be the toughest to convert. I also have to brag on my other two guys. Clay has really followed suit and has kept his ears open and learned a lot. He has not had meat in over a month!! He still eats minimal amounts of dairy in the form of cheese and ice cream. Christian, on the other hand, has done well coping with the big changes in our life but they have not been very easy for him at all!! If we are having family functions or go out to eat he still really, really wants his meat.

Well, as the vegan voyage has progressed it has changed from just a healthful decision to a moral one as well for myself and Cullen. I have learned of how animals are treated before they end up on our table. I am not okay with supporting that. Last night we were talking over veggie fajitas at a Mexican restaurant. Christian was saying that Jesus ate meat. I agreed with him. I do not believe it is necessarily wrong to eat meat but I do think how the animal was treated before it lands on your plate is of great importance. I, personally, do not think Jesus would sit down at the table with me and dive into a 12-oz steak knowing it had been injected with hormones, antibiotics, stood in inches of its' own filth, and treated inhumanely, etc. I do not think Jesus would be okay with the way we have come to treat the animals He put on this Earth for our benefit. I think we need to open our eyes and be aware of all that is going on around us. If you are interested in educating yourself about your meat supply and where it comes from watch the documentary Food Inc. You can also view, for free on YouTube, the documentary Earthlings (very graphic and heartbreaking) The link is to part 3. I think there are 10 parts.

We by no means eat healthfully all the time. We eat too many chips and have ice cream too often. I overeat still to this day and need to work on it. By being vegan you are by no means cutting out all the foods that can be bad for you. A vegan can be someone who exsists on sodas and bags of chips alone. I do try to make my food choices count but I am human and fail miserably some days. It just weighs heavy on me that we need to watch who/what we are harming in the search to put meat on our tables.

I would love to hear your comments, thoughts, etc. on the topic. Please share!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Family Pics

For Christmas Candy and Matt bought us all a session with Michele Jones of Picture This!   She travels to you to take pics!  She is great!!  I am so happy we had the opportunity to get all our pics taken together.  These pics were taken Dec. 26th in mom and dad’s back yard.  I thought they turned out fantastic!bb_52 bb_07_txt bb_13_txt bb_21_txt bb_26 bb_28_txt bb_34 bb_35 bb_38 bb_42_txt

Thanks Candy and Matt for such a fantastic idea!  The memories are priceless!  Words alone cannot express to you enough how much my family means to me.  What a great Christmas present! 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our 5 Food Staples I was tagged to share with you all the 5 food staples we must have on hand at this house all the time. You can go to Faydra's blog here to see what she put and what others have put in the comments.

1. Potatoes/Sweet potatoes on hand. We put them in the microwave for a quick dinner. We use sweet potatoes for snacks, sliced in stir frys, etc. Nothing like throwing together a quick potato soup when you don't want to cook.

2. Almond butter. We use almond butter in all things. We use raw butter. Almonds have more calcium than peanuts. I put almond butter into a lot of things for added calcium and protein. I put it into smoothies, quinoa (super grain) breakfast cereal, sandwiches, etc.

3. Rice milk or soy milk. We use it in smoothies, cereal, pancakes, soups, you name it!

4. Nuts. Raw almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. I used nuts/seeds in many of my recipes. We also like to snack on them. You can make a nut pate (salad like tuna or chicken but skip the meat) in the Vita-Mix with raw sunflower seeds and almonds with a bit of lemon juice, garlic, onion, celery, etc. You can top salads or eat on a sandwich or with crackers. It is really good and great for you! Clara and I like it. The boys are not too keen on it.

5. All types of Noodles. We use rice noodles for the most part. Curly noodles for lunches with pasta sauce and nutritional yeast flakes for added Vit. B12. Rice spaghetti noodles for you guessed it spaghetti. We also use Thai rice noodles with our stir fries and peanut butter noodles.

It was very difficult to narrow it to just 5. If you asked on another day I would probably say something different.

As far as favorites but aren't necessarily a necessity we like Kidz Clif Bars. They have too much sugar though. It is difficult to find an easy to take with us snack bar that is dairy-free. We also keep jarred roasted red peppers on hand. We throw these in salads and Clara eats them like candy! The boys don't like 'em though so they are not essential as far as all of us liking them. Another one I left out and we eat almost daily is avocado and/or guacamole. This is the quick something I can give Clara and she will down a whole avocado! =) We love them! We eat them plain, in salads, on burritos (that we have a LOT), etc.

Well...let's hear it. What are your 5 staples??? Please re-post back to Faydra in her comments and post them here too.