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Jan 03 2006

Things have been laid back and hectic at the same time, if that makes sense. For example, today while playing with the dogs a window was broke. They have a football attached to a heavy yet soft rope. We were throwing it outside (it was 42 degrees today!) and next thing we know, CRASH! Right through the window! And, it is an odd shaped window, LOL. Luckily Chris got some power tools for the holiday, hehe. We now have one wooden window :)

Jake got bunk beds for Christmas. My Mother bought them for him. They are really neat except I keep smacking my head. The last time it was so hard it startled Jake :) Thankfully I have a very hard head.

Jake had his first experience falling in the toilet today. It was so funny I had tears. He went to sit down and forgot that he didn't put the seat down (house rule). Plop! Right in. He was a little shook up but we were able to laugh it off.

So I am sure you can have a feel of the way things have been going. I will say it is most entertaining.

Cage pulled himself up to a stand today! He loves his walker, but he now has a toy he can push and walk behind. Well, he went down on his knees and right back up! A new stage is beginning.

For dinner I made left over soup, Brussels-sprouts, and tofurkey sausage (the tomato and basil kind). I ended up just eating Brussels sprouts and a half a tofurkey (Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite things) but before I pigged all the Brussels sprouts I put a few into Cages baby food mill. They were a hit! Maybe I will finally find someone to share my appreciation of this over looked food :)

For breakfast I made cinnamon rolls (I make the best). Lunch was Chik patties and tortilla chips, and I said what dinner was. Cage had soy yogurt (plain), mixed grain cereal (with soy milk and peanut butter), Brussels sprouts, soy milk to drink, and loads of love.

Poor little baby is really struggling with his teeth. I am rushing through this entry because right now if you are not Mommy (MEH as he calls me) you are not good enough. I give him his tea and homeopathic teething gel but I think this is just going to take time. One thing that does calm him is rap music. He heard a commercial where Eminem was playing and he went nuts! Luckily I like Eminem, but I have to edit it for content. LOL, any rap will do. Its way different than my grateful dead. (Right now 8 mile road is on, that's how I am getting a free moment to type.)

A friend of mine called me today I have not spoken to in over a year. She is one of the most awesome people in this world. She has all the guts and the gusto to go so far. We have worked on some animal issues before and I really want her to make the switch from meat eater to vegetarian. The animal rights movement needs more people like her...this planet needs more people like her. Talking to her was refreshing. I had forgot how very much I missed her. We should have gotten in a lot of trouble together, but we never got caught. *Just silly things*

So this was my day. Hehehe, I have to laugh at myself :)

Oh! New Years Eve was alright. We did stay in. A friend of mine got stood up so she spent the night. She had a few shots of whiskey and I had a few shots of water. We tried to watch Napoleon Dynamite, but we ended up falling asleep. It would have made a funny postcard...Chris, Me, Friend, and all the dogs and one cat crammed on the sofa. Cage slept most of the night. Jake went to my Mothers, she had step family over that had children. I made 'meatball' subs for dinner that night with broccoli and for breakfast we had pancakes. Friend is a non veg person but loves to come over and eat my cooking. She could not tell the difference between tofutti sour cream and the sour cream made from milk and suffering.

Hehehe...Chris just dug out an ancient Eminem CD and Cage is dancing and laughing. I must admit, I would rather he listen to classical music, but hey....he is happy. I will just have to dose him with classical while he sleeps.

Have a good night all. I have discovered a new sweet...tofutti too-too's. Dairy-free ice cream sandwiched between two soft cookies and rolled in chocolate chips. All vegan, all delicious. I love being vegan! I can have anything I want ... cruelty free, healthy, and no taste sacrifice :D

This is going to be a good year.

December 31, 2005

HAPPY NEUTER YEAR'S EVE EVERYONE!!!

OK, I am having a hard time believing that almost another year has past. I still sometimes date my papers 2002. Now 2006 seems so unreal. The biggest shock to me is how much faster time goes by when you are old (and sleep deprived). Tonight we are staying home and having movie night. We pop pop corn and everyone climbs into bed (animals included) to snuggle and watch movies. We have sparkling cider, pop corn, tofutti too-too's, chocolate chip malts (I am making), and pizza. Sounds ideal but here is what will probably happen... Cage will be up grumpy and screaming because he is teething. We will be walking him followed by a train of concerned dogs. Then the dogs will go to bed and we will still be walking Cage, trying to soothe him. At least we will all be together ;)

So yes, Cage has been teething. Jake never had a problem ... no crying, fevers, discomfort...teeth came in and that was that. Cage is a totally different story. He has severe pain, the trots, rashes, vomiting, fevers, and cold like symptoms. I get so worn out...I have actually tried to write this about 29 times...lack of sleep makes my writing seem like nonsense and when it does make sense Cage decides to have to have no one but Mommy. So I feel coherent right now, Cage is happy next to me in his Johnny Jump-Up...I have my fingers crossed that this will happen this time. (I had to back track....it has been four hours since I started this, lol)

Thanksgiving went well for us. We had only our family to eat with, which was very nice. I made a blueberry glazed Tofurkey with mashed potatoes, dumplings, sweet potatoes, baby carrots, green and wax beans, and chocolate cup cakes. We ate, we discussed what we were thankful for, we cleaned up, done. Easy and simple.

Christmas was a different story. While we had a good time I can't get over all the consumerism that takes place. SHOP SHOP SHOP-BUY BUY BUY...if your kids don't have this they will not be cool, this is the latest trend, buy this product or die .... sheesh! What happened to spending time with your loved ones? (no, we are not religious and do not celebrate that way. In fact, we could be happy with no Christmas holiday...although I like watching Jake open Santa presents).

So we did the holiday family three ring circus. Some members of the extended family (not saying who or who's side) are very jealous. If we spend one more minute with someone and not someone else it is the end of the world. That really makes the family get together less enjoyable. This is what made the Holiday horrible. Chris's Grandparents live on a beef farm. I think I may have wrote about it before...not sure. Anyway, we were not going to go but at the last minute Chris said we HAD to go. Not that I mind seeing his family but I hate going to that place of death. We went, the people were nice, tra-la-la...now I will not be able to sleep for three months trying to get those cows to safety. One of the kids there said 'they are dirty and smelly'. Its true, their pen smells. It has about 12 inches of loose muck, shit, urine, and slop clay. When they step it splashes all over. Not their fault, as I politely explained. If your Mommy didn't make sure you were clean and not smelly would you be? OK, anyway...I am done bitching about that.

For Christmas I got a toaster oven (I know it sounds silly but I really wanted one) and a pair of Eskimo style snow boots from Chris, Jake and Cage. Jake's biggest present from us was a V-Smile pocket game system and a few games. It is all educational so it is me approved. He also got a lot of little things (light up toys, bunk beds, bath toys, stuff to color, clothes). Cage got toys and clothes but he only cares about the boxes. Chris got a really nifty electric shaver (he also really wanted it), some clothes, and the joy of knowing we do not have to do this again until the end of next year, lol. I forgot, the animals got Santa presents too!

So yes, Cage is teething. It is more like a teething rampage! Poor little guy. I bought some homeopathic teething gel (Hylands teething gel) that does work but he never wants it. If you try to stick it in his mouth you risk loosing a finger. I try to stick it on toys that he chews on and he will throw them on the floor. He is a smart little monkey :) I also give him chamomile tea and frozen hemp cloths soaked in the tea. Works sometimes. Gripe water is never far from us either. The thing that works the most is patients.

We have been eating like its going out of style! Maybe it is because it has been so cold and frigid out...maybe because I love to cook :) I make one humongous pot of soup a week (mostly 32 bean and 10 veggie, but sometimes Jake wants 'Chik noodle' and Chris will want potato) that will last a week until the next pot is done. It makes a great snack, quick meal, well I guess we eat it all the time. I have been making bread again. I like to knead all my frustrations out :) If I get the time to make it I make several loaves and freeze some, that way I don't have to worry about making it again (incase grumpy baby will not give me the chance). I also am making 'stuffed breadsticks' with Vegan Gourmet cheese inside, then we dip them in pizza sauce. Loads of tofu scrambles (tofu, 2 scoops of nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, fake sausage, onion, potato). Pizza every week (once again, thank you to vegan gourmet), grilled sandwiches, salads, casseroles, needless to say we are not starving over here.

Jake had his first sleep over! His little friend Caleb from school came and stayed the night with us. Caleb is not vegan or vegetarian, but understands that Jake is. They were so cute together! Caleb asked to try some of Jakes soy milk. I gave him a small glass. He said " This is better than milk! May I please have some more?" So we had no problems at all. Caleb understood that we were eating nuggets that were not from a chicken and scarfed them down. He said he really liked all of our food which made me feel fantastic. We took the boys to a arcade and let them run wild. It was so much fun!

Chris had a pot-luck dinner at his work. I asked him what he wanted me to make for it. Taco salad. Well, this taco salad is different than a salad with taco stuff in it. It is taco mix, tomato, lettuce, soy cheese, tortilla chip, and French dressing all mixed up. I like to put black olives, onion, carrots, pea pods, sprouts, and black beans in it too, but Chris wanted the basics only. He said people ate it so fast he only got half a scoop (I made several batches of it). Everyone was coming up to him thanking him for how delicious it was, then he told them it was vegan. One man from the factory said "That wasn't meat or cheese? What the hell did I just eat?" Chris said you just ate a very healthy cholesterol-free animal free meal. The guy was astonished. He said his Doc just started him on medication because his cholesterol was too high, but if all vegan food tasted like that he would have no problems (yes, I am gloating now). So I made some pancakes and bacon and sent them to work with Chris for that man. While I am vegan for ethical reasons I understand and appreciate turning others this way for heath reasons. Even if that man starts eating pone meatless-dairyless meal a week he is helping the animal movement. (I forgot to mention I also love to cook for people.)

Well Cage is sleeping and I better try to do the same. I have new pictures to post soon (you will not believe the size of Cage, I call him my super chunk!). Oh, Cage just woke up. I hear 'MA!!!!" I will post again soon. I think I forgot to talk about him in his walker, lol!

Saturday November 19   Wow, time flies!    We have been so busy my head is spinning.  That is a great thing though.  So far we have survived Halloween, Chris's birthday, two bouts of the flu, a chipped tooth for Jacob, two teeth for Cage, animals in and out, my closet friends breakup (after 17 years) with her beau, ...well let me elaborate before I continue.   Halloween is my favorite holiday.  You get to dress up however you want and people give you food items.  Jake loves it too.  We did take him all over trick or treating...he got so much candy he couldn't carry the bag!  Once we get home we sort thru the vegan and non vegan items.  The non vegan items go to the food pantry (for food for the not so fortunate) or to nursing homes (they will not always take it).  Jake happily gives up his candy to the less fortunate.  That has never been a problem.  The problem we have, year after year, is that he wants to wear a costume year round.  I do too so I can't blame him.  I think dressing up is so much fun!  (Yes, I also play make believe with Jake.)

Chris turned 27 on November 14.  He thinks he is old!  I am going to be 29 in March, that seems old.  On birthdays around here you get whatever you want to eat.  Chris wanted biscuits and 'sausage' gravy.  That is easy enough to make vegan.  We love 'gimmie lean' brand vegan 'sausage' in the roll.  I was hoping for a challenge (cooking wise) but dinner turned out great.  Chris was happy and that is all that counts.  For his present we will be going to a NASCAR race.  I don't get into NASCAR at all, but it is his favorite sport type thingy.  Maybe I will like it better in person?  I guess the whole family can go and we could camp or get a hotel.  I opt for renting a camper (then some of the dogs can come too).  We are not going until later next year.  Plenty of time to plan.   I will say I have spoken to the Greg Biffle Foundation (He is a NASCAR driver) due to the work they do for animals.  I thanked them.  It means a lot to me when a 'celebrity' speaks up for the animals.  They are in a unique position.  Way to go Greg Biffle and family.

 Well, its flu season.  Jake, being in school, has survived two bouts.  The first time the school said he would be ailing for at least three days, he threw up once and was fine.  Same thing the second time.  Except he came into my room to tell me he didn't feel good and threw up on my bed, almost on me.  It was so funny!  "Mom, I don't feel goo...SPLAT".  That was it, he was fine after that.  I believe the shortened flu and illness is due to the super diet he eats.  He also doesn't get the majority of the illnesses the other children get.  Thank dog for that too, because this year alone there has been three types of the flu, colds galore, strep throat, pink eye, and some nasty chest congestion funk.   Every week in Jakes class they go over a new letter.  The kids have to find things and bring them in that start with the letter they are working on.  Last week it was 'P' so Jake happily ate some pretzels.  Well those evil pretzels broke his tooth!  It was a molar that chipped, so off to the dentist.  The same evil pretzels also chipped Chris's molar and he has been having the worst time with pain.  Jake's tooth does not bother him at all, Chris's tooth chipped so far down the root is exposed.  I had no problems but then again I can eat jaw breakers like pop corn.  (Why didn't I think of pop corn instead of pretzels?  LOL)

Cage has two teeth!  They are both on the bottom.  I saw a hint of one tooth and the next thing I knew there were two of them!  Teething was (and will be) a little rough.  He was grumpy, wanted Mommy to hold him all the time, and didn't sleep too much.  I have tried to take pics of the teeth in a smile but the only one I got where they can be seen is of him crying.  Still a cute pic:)   So of course with two new teeth Cage wanted to experiment biting everything.  My breasts are included in the 'everything'.  Yes, it hurt.  I said a loud "NO" and put him down.  Then I walked away.  Problem solved.

Cage is also eating solids.  I started him off with organic rice cereal and breast milk.  I have forgot how difficult it is to express with no pump!  I would work so hard for a few drops.  Needless to say I am getting the needed tubing for my breast pump.  I hate to think of what the poor cows go thru.  Its not comfortable to say the least!  Well, I now give him cereal with breast milk, soy milk, or apple juice.  He also likes sweet potatoes.  In fact, I bought a ton of them from a local organic farmer and I don't know who ate more, me or him :)  I roast them slowly for many hours on low heat in the stove.  We eat them plain.  They are so delicious!

Cage also eats applesauce with raisins in it, peas, green beans, brown rice, carrots, bananas, and oatmeal.  I make all my baby food (except the cereal).  I have a baby food mill that I use all the time.  Every time we eat I grind some of it up and freeze it in an ice cube tray.  When the time comes I pop it out, defrost, and serve.  I don't think it gets much easier and cost effective.

Cage does love to eat!  I can't believe that little body can hold so much food.  Its funny, when he eats I am reminded of the birds I used to care for.  He will follow the spoon with his mouth open chirping with excitement.   Well that is all for now.  I just rec'd a call asking me to go hang out with my friend (the one who suffered the break-up/divorce of 17 years) at a hotel room she rented.  They have mini golf inside, pool, hot tub, arcade.  I have a non alcoholic bottle of wine and we are going to party :)  Cage is coming with, of course.  I have yet to leave him.  So I will finish the rest at a later time.   Happy Trails....