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Sunday September 24, 2006

Cage was a mean baby today. I guess I could say demanding, not mean. He was definitely having a ‘me’ day.

It all started when I was making his oatmeal for breakfast. I was standing at the stove. He knew I was cooking him breakfast. Apparently, I was not cooking fast enough because he started pointing at the stove and whining. Next thing I know he is pinching my legs repeatedly demanding food. It was funny at first, but that little person can really pinch!

I get the oatmeal cooked and to his liking (maple syrup, soymilk, and a dash of cinnamon). As I am putting him in his high chair, he is pulling my hair. Quickly I give him a bite. Smiling at me, he leans over his high chair and spits it on the floor. Okay, maybe this was a fluke. I know how hungry he is, he has been demanding food since he woke up, and I am trying this again. This time I let him feed him. The oatmeal stayed in his mouth for a few seconds longer, he leans over and spits it on the floor again, laughing. Then he looks at me and just starts spitting and laughing. I asked him politely to stop, did not work. I begged him to stop, did not work. I demanded he stop, did not work. Okay, maybe he does not want to eat oatmeal. I was removing the bowl from the table when Cage noticed what I was doing. He threw a FIT! He pointed and said "no. no, no, no, no". Maybe Chris could get him to eat. Wrong. He just wanted to spit it on the floor. Redirecting his energy into something else would not work. He flat-out refused to have any other type of food by him. We ended up taking him out of the high chair and away from the oatmeal. He threw a fit at that, but he did get over it.

I feel horrible saying this, but naptime could not have come soon enough today. Every parent on the face of this earth will understand. I have to chuckle at my frazzled self. I knew the asserted stage was coming, but I was not prepared. Before naptime Cage pinched me, pulled my hair, smacked me, threw temper tantrums (full body, legs kicking, back arched, arms swinging, and lots of shrieking), and generally wore me out. I would hold him close and tell him I loved him; he would emit a high ‘meh’ sound of displeasure and turn his face away from me. Then he would run to Chris, look at me, and chuckle. When he was misbehaving for Chris, he would do the same to me. We decided he needed to take a nap, he decided we were wrong. Chris and I won. Then we collapsed on the bed and took a nap ourselves.

When we woke up Cage was so happy to see us. We both got big baby hugs and kisses. J As we started eating lunch, I noticed him starting to spit his pb&j on the floor. Then he spit his corn chips on the floor. I know he is teething and not feeling so good, so maybe he wanted some applesauce. He did eat two or three bites of that, and then he spit it on the floor. THEREFORE, he does not want to eat. I made him a smoothie (powdered greens, banana, avocado, frozen fruit – I believe it is strawberry, cherry, peach, pineapple, and tofu) and he drank several cups of it.

We played on his slide, played roll the ball (his favorite), read a few books, rolled the ball again, and chased each other around the house. We had a great time. Then, out of nowhere, he started pinching me again. I told him "ouch" and pouted, letting him know he was hurting me. He gave me a big baby hug as if he was sorry; mid hug, he started pinching me again! I sat him down and told him ‘no’ and ‘that hurts, lets be nice and give kisses instead’. Well, that did not work. We tried averting his attentions to other fun and noisy things, like banging on blocks and tin containers. Did not work. He wanted to pinch me. I know he is testing me to see how far he can get; at the same time asserting himself but I was not prepared for this today. I ended up sitting him on the floor every time he did pinch me. He loathed it, but he did stop pinching me.

His gums were bleeding a bit off and on today. Cage really did not eat at all today, but he did drink loads of soymilk, water, and smoothies. We ordered out sandwiches for dinner (tomato, black olive, avocado, lettuce blend, mushrooms, sprouts…when I got them home I put a little veganaise on) and he had a few mushrooms and olives. Jake came home just before dinner and was as grumpy as Cage was. Chris was moody today as well. I wonder if it was a male thing?

Tomorrow I am having Jake start writing to animal liberation prisoners (the ones that have children). I think it is a great project for him. He knows that these people have stood up for what they believe in. He said he appreciates people that work for the animals. I think if he sent them thank you cards it would be a great start. Something like ‘thank you for fighting for the animals’ and a little more of whatever his creative mind wants to say. I will enclose it in my letter.

Jake is an awesome activist. He is so proud to tell the world he does not eat meat, milk, or animal products. The other day while at the grocer, he saw some cookies and cream dessert in the deli section. He asked if it had milk in it. I checked the label and there were no ingredients listed (scary). He walked up to an employee and asked if the dessert had milk or other dead animals in it. The man looked a bit confused, but he answered the dessert probably had milk in it. Jake told him that was too bad, we were vegetarians and did not hurt animals by eating them. "Give him a book Mom!" (He meant pamphlet, but the employee was gone anyway. I do not think he knew how to handle what Jake said.) Jake also gets displeased with companies sometimes. He will see an advertisement for a kid-geared product, ask if it is full of dead animals, and if it is, want to write the company. He will tell them that he would really like to use the product but he cannot hurt an animal. He also asks why they hurt animals. He is the next me. Cage is the next him. I love them both so much. Jake has the courage to stand behind his convictions at 6 years old. By the time he is my age he will be unstoppable. Thinking about it makes me teary with joy.

We took in two little dogs Saturday. They are going to be neutered and in homes of their own. I have five cats being altered on Wed. Sheesh, we are putting the vets’ children thru college. The two little dogs are perfect. Both healthy, well adjusted, well-tempered animals. They fit in just fine; right now they are in bed with Chris, under the covers.

Although TV is not the greatest thing, I just became aware that Aqua Teen Hunger Force is on. (I do leave the TV on for background noise occasionally.) I do really enjoy that show. This is a great way to end my night, relax and have a good laugh, slowly drifting off to sleep.

September 22, 2006

Jake is back in school. They seem to be doing a good job at channeling his energy into work. He could not be happier to be back. I walked him in his first day, introduced myself to his teacher, saw the other parents, and (snif-snif) let my little dude go. Even thought this is not his first year I still got the sniffles. I did not go overboard like some parents (staging every move for the camcorder) but I still got teary. Chris and Cage went too. Cage was very happy to see all the other kids and the brightly decorated room. However, once he learned that Jake was not returning with us he too got the sniffles. J

Chris is still out of work with a hurt back. Looks like he is going to have surgery to remove a disk. He has been in so much pain; it is unbearable to witness. Let us see, 3 months with no work so far. Yes, he just started getting FMLA short-term disability (thank Dog) but it is nothing compared to what we are used to. I have learned to shop on a budget (I used to have free for alls at the health food store) and we are all adjusting well.

I had a job! I cannot blog about it yet, but I was working 60-65 hours every 4 days…working 7 days a week. Breaking my foot was an added bonus (hehe, I am kidding. It was not a bonus, but a big throbbing pain in the rear). I will say it was very difficult to be away from my family so much. When I came home there was hug time, shower for me time, put the kids to bedtime, my time with the fur kids, and sleep. Then I would get up before everyone woke and out the door I went.

Cage was 26 pounds last month. Jake was 46. Cage is a chunk! If I were blogging about an animal, I would say he is very food driven. I know in time he will run off all his baby fat (as Jake did) but he is so adorable all chubby. He is so healthy he glows. My whole family glows. We love being vegan!

Mr. Cage is now climbing, dancing, spinning, jumping, running, etc. He wakes up, has a yawn and a stretch, goes potty, and he does not stop moving until naptime. (Yes, he is using the potty on a regular basis. YAY!) The energy he has is incredible. When Jake is home, they are like peas in a pod. Neither one of them stops moving. When Jake is at school, I do not get to stop moving. The single thing that astounds me the most is Cages attention span. He gets interested in something and will not tire of it. We can roll a ball around for hours. In fact, we do roll a ball around for hours. He is an amazing little person.

Cage is still babbling. He brought me a book the other day. He looked at me and said, "Read book". My mouth hit the floor. I had to ask Chris if he had heard this too, and he had. Therefore, we read the book (all about different tails) and off he went. Chris and I were amazed. He has also picked up the phone, put it to his ear, and said "Hi" in his ultra happy baby voice. It is so cool to watch him learn.

Cage has almost all his teeth. I keep thinking this one has to be last. Then, I see another one poking thru. He happily lets us brush his teeth morning and night. I think he likes the way the toothbrush feels, especially when he bites it. Jake has his first and second adult teeth poking thru. Adult teeth! What happened to my baby? He is going to the dentist in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, his baby teeth are not even loose. The new teeth look huge in his little mouth. He was so excited to have adult teeth coming in. He wants to grow up so badly. I do not want things to change. My little dude and my baby should stay the same forever. *pipe dream*

Super chunk (aka Cage) is growing so fast. I see this every time I get him dressed. He is in size 24 months now. I have a lot of stuff saved from when Jake was that size which is a plus. It is very expensive to clothe a child. With the clothes that do not fit anymore, we give away. I hope that they will stay in circulation for years. It would be easy to sell them, but we really want to help others. We will be giving away all of Cages things as he grows out of them. If no one wants them, they go to a pregnancy assistance shelter. Let’s keep the good karma going. J

It is fall here. There is a great variety of squash and pumpkins already. I really want to take the family apple and pumpkin picking. Cage has never been, I know he would love it. It combines his two favorite things…outdoors and eating. I can see Jake and him running thru the rows of trees, having so much fun. I have made applesauce already this year, but I did not make enough. Fall to me is pie season. I can make and freeze pies. Yes, I can, but will I? Hehehe, we will see. I really would like to get enough applesauce done to carry us to next year.

Cage is still stuck with pasta as a favorite food. He loves every aspect of it…the noodles, the sauce, the veggies. Last night I made rotini and ‘meat’balls with an awesome red sauce. Of course, he was red from head to toe. He is a monster when it comes to pasta; you had better not come between them.

Everyone here likes big breakfasts. Pancakes, French toast, eggless scrambles, oatmeal, breakfast burritos, and biscuits and gravy. I am fine with a bowl of oat groats that I soaked overnight. Jake and Cage like them too, but I always end up cooking something for Chris. Of course, Jake and Cage have to then have a second breakfast. It is a compliment to be in such high demand.

Speaking of high demand, try cooking for three males. These boys eat! I have found I can never cook too much of anything. I will make lasagna and it will be gone in three days. An entire pot of chili in a week. I am not complaining at all, I love that they love my cooking. I am asked to cook allot of the same things repeatedly. That is fine with me; I get a chance to play around with the recipe a bit. Chik and dumplings, potpies, open faced sandwiches, chili, lasagna, pasta, pizza, etc. We also have many things that require no cooking or little cooking…sandwiches (lightlife deli slices, pb&j, or grilled soycheese), tofurkey brats (we are addicted), veggie burgers, not dogs, chik patties (we like bocca brand), and the likes. Jake just woke up and asked for cereal. That will tide him over until Chris wakes up wanting something. I think I will do blueberry stuffed French toast this morning. That is always a favorite of everyone.

Well, since Jake is awake I better scoot. Cage has been sleeping until 10 am lately (unless we wake him). Jake will eat, then help me prepare breakfast. I will have to finish this blog session later.