Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Problem With Fish

So I stopped eating meat, poultry and pork. It began with the beef scandal here in CA, but it expanded after reading John Robbin's book, Diet For a New America. There are minor parts of the book that I didn't like, but overall, you kind of have to admit that the guy has a point, a very valid point that I couldn't really ignore or argue. "So", I thought...."at least I still have fish". I knew eventually, I would have to look into it and see the problems there too, but at least for a while, I wanted to pretend that I was perfectly ok eating it. Well, I still am ok with it, but I did some research and I will focus on the fish species that aren't in danger of being overfished, have the least environmental impact (in farming or fishing them) and have no bycatching (poor little fishies that are caught in the bottom trawls of another 'target' fish).

Well, I guess I'll start there. Maybe I'll change my mind down the road, we'll see.

A side note, Dan is quite happy with my new dinner creations. I'm glad because I thought he would give me grief for not serving meat anymore. He even approved heartily of the Indian meal I made last night and he generally does not care for Indian food so much. Bonus!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


So today I walked Elise in the stroller to my local grocery store and back to buy a toothbrush. A toothbrush to replace the toothbrush of hers that she lost a couple of days ago. So yes, if you must know, I haven't brushed her teeth in a couple of days. I finally decided today was the day, so we walked to the grocery store. It's about 3 miles round trip, which isn't that bad but there are some hills thrown in for good measure. Where I live, there are hills everywhere. I guess I was kind of preparing myself for the MS Walk on April 26th. It's also 3 miles. yup, I sure hope lots of my other mama friends will be joining me on this very beneficial walk. Yesireeee bob.


So let's be blunt. this means YOU. So if you haven't already, please sign up here and walk with me. It's a cause dear to me because my brother's wife lives with this illness. Thanks!
er, Jessica you are excused seeing as how you live in Japan and all....

Ok the dorky photo...

I must! ha!
Ok, so the only *semi* bad thing about my new 'do is that it took 2 hair products and a blow dry to even begin to come close to emulating what my hairstylist had produced last Friday. I'm actually really ok with that because it still only took 5 minutes to do my hair. I tried air-drying, but was not good. Straightening was even more frightful. Today I found the magic combo so I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My almost vegan pumpkin muffins...

Well, as you know, I really do enjoy baking vegan. Not only because I have to avoid dairy for Lola but also because it's fun. There's always an element of excitement when I take that first test bite because I like to see if it came out well, or really, if I gave it to a non-vegan, would they figure out there was something a bit different? I do love the challenge.

Anyway, I was inspired earlier after reading a post from veganmomma regarding her butternut squash muffins and decided to make those. Except that by the time we actually got around to making them, I didn't have time to cook a whole butternut squash, so we just did the regular old pumpkin kind. So, they are called 'almost vegan' because I got about halfway through when I pulled out my applesauce jar from the fridge and saw the grossest dark spots on the surface of the sauce, with mold growing on them! YUCK! I didn't have any bananas and I couldn't come up with a different alternative for eggs so I just ended up using eggs. They came out really yummy anyway and I also sprinkled some pepitas on the tops for a little crunch.

I kept thinking about it all night and finally realized I could have used ground flax and water for an egg replacement. Oh well. Next time!

Runner's high, where are you???

I started running again recently. When I was 18 or so, I ran everyday. I absolutely loved it because I would work out so much stuff in my head during the run. For some reason, when I was running, I could think so much clearer, but I wonder if it is really because I never took time out of the day to really organize my thoughts except when I was running. But I also loved it because I would feel really, really good. Like a euphoric....well...high, for lack of a better word. I would feel good inside and outside, mentally and physically for at least a couple of hours afterwards.
So, as I said, I started running again, but I have yet to achieve my old runner's high that I used to get. I wonder how long it will take for me to get really into it again. I am getting better at it, I noticed. Today I ran about 85% of my route, whereas, when I first started, I would walk/run about 50% of it.

I haven't excercised in a couple of days. Friday I was busy hosting playgroup and then getting my locks snipped. Since the stylist had blow-dried my hair just so, I didn't want to risk getting it all frizzy from working out, thus ruining it's debut for Mama Needs a Drink. Good thing I have my priorities straight, eh?

Then came Saturday. Um, let's just say that Mama Needs a Drink on Friday night turned out to be a good ol' time, the likes of which I have not really done for a couple of years! ha ha! But it rendered me into an absolutely useless turd on the couch all day Saturday.
I met one of my partners in crime for a Jamba Juice and that was refreshing. The only thing I'm bummed about is that I was really supposed to hustle on Saturday to get my house all spiffy for my sister-in-law's baby shower which was being held at my house later on that evening, but I totally procrastinated. I wasn't actually hosting the shower, her friend was the official host, they were just using my house for a venue. So I didn't really have much responsibilities, the host took care of decorating my house, the food and really everything else. All I had to do was clean my house, but there I was still vacuuming when the first guests arrived! Well, it was just my stepmother-in-law and, in my defense, she was her usual 15 minutes early. I just feel kind of lame for not being on top of it.
Anyway, despite that, the shower was really nice. I think our little nephew is going to be a lucky little kid.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A big thanks!

To urbanhousewife for recommending the best hairstylist I have ever been to! Yay! I LOVE my new haircut! Don't you just love it when you walk away from a salon with hair you love? There's nothing quite like it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm going through a spell where I feel like the worst mother on the planet. Well, I know there are some worse, but I'm not being the mother I envisioned myself to be. It's all roses with Elise, but she's a baby that just coos and laughs and looks cute. The challenge is really with Lola...she has learned a thing or 3 from life, preschool, us, etc....She is growing up and testing her boundaries with me, which is perfectly normal. But it shakes me out of my comfort zone and my patience becomes tissue-thin. Gone is the little smiling toddler who just aimed to please...she has been replaced with a stubborn miniature adult who thinks for herself (yay!) and has learned (somewhat) the "virtues" of deception ("I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!" is the immediate response to her name being called), an angel with just the hint of the teeniest, tiniest little devil horns peeking out of her golden halo of curls.
When 5 pm rolls around and Lola has asked me the 1000th question of the day, never leaving me alone for 5 seconds, the baby is crying and clinging to my pantleg as I attempt to muster dinner together, Lola is the one who receives the bunt of my frustration. It's so unfair to her and it fills me with such guilt. Later on, I see her sleeping in bed and I'm so incredibly remorseful. I used to campaign on and on about how I will never be to my daughters how my mother was to me, but then in the heat of the day, I embody my mother. I wonder how much of it is personality, genetic or otherwise. I thought my mother and I had no personality in common until I also became a mom.
I struggle with this off and on...maybe it's hormonal but I know my patience lacks severely when I've had anything less than 7 hours sleep. Some days are great and maybe there's a pattern to recognize there. I really don't want Lola to grow up being as insecure as I was (am still!). I really believe it begins here at home. Anyone else out there struggling with something similar?
I LOVE her personality, I really do. I love everything about her that IS challenging. It's just that it's so....well....darn challenging!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


A friend of mine, who is a teacher, told me that her school is no longer serving beef in the cafeteria and that the school mailed out a letter to the parents to that effect. The reason is that the slaughterhouse for one of the biggest suppliers of beef to the schools is facing criminal charges for some heinous animal cruelty. Read the article here. There is a video that was submitted as evidence of wrongdoing. I can't bring myself to watch the video, but the article describes it in some detail and it was plenty enough for me. The supplier's statement here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Snow Day!

Today was a very exciting day for me and the girls. We went to Julian with some friends to see the snow, which was a first for Lola and Elise. Lola is positively in love with snow, even before actually seeing it. She talks endlessly about making snow angels and building snowmen. The first thing she and her friends did when they got into Julian was pelt each other with snowballs!

The drive up was a bit rough at the end, say the last 20 miles or so, because Elise cried a bunch. The roads were winding and a bit slushy so I was trying to concentrate a lot, but it's tough when your little one is in pieces in the back seat.

But all was good once we got up there. For Lola, it was pure JOY. Unfortunately, most of my photos were ruined because I dropped my camera in the snow! Oh well, thankfully veganmomma got lots of great shots!

Elise didn't care for the snow too much, but she had a good time in the restaurant for lunch. She loved eating her beans and mashed sweet potato with tortilla chips, next to her little buddy R.

On the way home, both girls finally fell asleep and stayed asleep for the rest of the afternoon. Even after we got home, I brought them inside from their car seats to the bed and they slept for at least another 1.5 hours after that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I heart you

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Hope you had a nice day.
We had a nice evening, a little champagne and great salmon and salad for dinner.


My husband may be a sucker, but I'm so grateful right now!

There were these young salesmen that used to wander in and out of the offices in the building where my husband used to work. They were always peddling toys, books, whatever. Most of it was for children. Lola was a baby back then and Dan could never resist buying whatever the guys were selling. They saw the word "sucker" on his forehead, but really it was because the whole baby thing was still so new, he just couldn't get enough of her smiles so he bought every damn thing on the planet to show her.

This piano mat is one of the trinkets that he brought home, courtesy of the salesguys. It's obnoxious and loud so I had put it away in Lola's closet "until she's older", but totally forgot about it. I found it today and the girls had a blast with it. Occupied them for a whole 15-20 min!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm a lucky girl...

This was totally delicious.

I tossed broccoli, cherry tomatoes and slices of garlic with some olive oil and salt. I roasted them for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Meanwhile, I sauteed some chard in a skillet and added the Christmas Lima beans that I bought from the Hillcrest farmers market last Sunday. I had already soaked them last night and cooked them this morning so they were ready to go, but I wanted to heat them up so I added them to the chard after it was mostly done.
I tossed all of the above together and added a mustard vinaigrette (olive oil, mustard, white wine vinegar & lemon juice).

Anyway, I'm a lucky girl because my kids eat vegetables. This was a huge hit tonight. I served Dan's with a chicken apple sausage, but the rest of us just ate it like this.

I have drastically cut back on meat/poultry comsumption but it's probably big enough for a whole other post. Suffice to say that it stands to reason that the beef I'm privvy to is probably not what is healthiest for me or the planet, for that matter. Don't even get me started on poultry.
So I have a self-imposed moratorium until I figure stuff out in this area. Until then, I'm having fun with legumes.

More on this whole subject later, this is just the skinny.

ta ta

The Chonie Dance

Lola wearing her chonies on her head and then decided my chonies would make a most excellent "backpack"....

oh my!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

AH-HA! This explains a lot....

Why has my normally good-natured little bundle of joy turn into a clingy, crying little monkey? Spotted last night were 2 of the most gigantuan molars I've ever seen grace the inside of a baby's mouth. They are on the top, one on each side. Both have already cut the surface, but then I noticed 2 equally ginormous bulges on either side of the bottom...two more....yay...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Bye Bye to Earthbound Naturals...

I disabled my website recently. Earthbound Naturals has closed it's doors, maybe temporarily, maybe not. I couldn't justify the expense of the fancy shmancy paypal account, the website hosting, etc...If I reopen the doors, I will likely set up an Etsy shop.
I'm going to keep making soap, though.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dan's cousin Mike...

is an old, old soul. He sings like an angel and is about as calm and centered as the Dalai Lama himself. He is the only spiritual person I know that lives so completely...well...spiritually. We were so happy to see him this past weekend. The kids just loved him and we got lots of family to come together since Mike doesn't get to see us too often. He lives with his family of wife, 3 girls and 1 boy in Pennsylvania. We actually haven't seen him in 9 years. He hasn't changed one iota!

Hopefully, we see more of Mike in the future.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tag!! You're it!

This is the girls' new favorite game and they play it constantly! It's hilarious to watch and listen to. Elise is such a mimic so if Lola screams a certain way, Elise will copy her.

Friday, February 1, 2008


On Saturday, 02/02/08, will be our 6 year wedding anniversary. Yep, we were married on 02/02/02. Believe or not, that was totally NOT planned. Well, the wedding was, but I was not trying to do a cutsey thing with the date. I didn't even want to get married in February, but since Dan propose in January 2001 and 2 of his cousins already had weddings planned for summer/fall of 2001, I had to go with early 2002. I didn't want to go way beyond a 1 year engagement so February it was. I was originally going to try to tie it in with some Valentine's Day theme but for whatever reason, that didn't work out so we picked the 1st weekend in Feb and it turned out to be Groundhog's Day.
It was a fabulous wedding though! So fun!!! We danced our butts off and had lots of fun.

Anyhoo, so Saturday is our anniversary, but now we have a surprise guest staying at least a portion of the weekend so I'm not sure what we'll do. Luckily, though, way back in September, I had bought us tickets for Jan 31st showing of Cirque du Soleil's show Corteo. So we decided to pretend that last night was our anniversary just in case family stuff takes precedence on Saturday.
Cirque is particular fun for me to watch because it was an effort created in part by Guy Laliberte and started in my hometown of Montreal. I never saw any Cirque shows when I was growing up in Montreal, but now I've seen about 7 different shows. Corteo was awesome and we had front row seats, nothing between us and the stage! The only bad part was all the dry ice...I sounded like one of Marge Simpson's sisters this morning, when I got up! But it was a truly fantastic show. I definitely missed my hometown a little...sniff...

Oh, there's more...much more!

Um, Saturday we went fishing at a local lake. I don't feel bad about it since we have yet to ever catch anything in our dozen+ "efforts". It's really more about hanging out and doing outdoorsy stuff with the kids. We spent most of the time playing with Lola's new ring toss game! The fishing part is really just the kids tossing string into the rocks, hoping to catch something. Lola gets a real (and really gross) kick out of playing with the nightcrawlers...yuck.

Anyway, after we got home from the lake, I snapped this photo of the kids goofing off. They are such a trip!

OMG! I get to blog! Could it be???

No WAY!!!

Dan took Lola to dinner tonight, the baby is asleep and I find myself alone in the house with a very unfamiliar sound...or should I say, lack of sound. Could it really be???? Silence? I must be dreaming. I probably only have about 5 minutes and I don't know how to sum up a week's worth of events in 5 min., but I'll start at the beginning, right?
So, last Friday Lola had a gymnastics recital and that was really fun to watch. Dan, his mom, Elise and I all came to watch Lola do her little gymnastics routine. There was a huge crowd and lots of acts. Earlier that evening I put Elise in the tutu that my friend Val made and she was absolutely entranced by it. She walked around the house a hundred times just giggling to herself! It was hilarious. So, Dan's mom convinced me to put her in a tutu for the recital. So the show was in one room and there was another room across the way for the performers to get ready in. Elise spent a lot of time in that room running around in her tutu, making everyone laugh and also getting on the gym mats as some older girls were trying to rehearse! I had my hands full that night!
But it was super fun and watching Lola was awesome! She is a born performer. She does a little curtsey after everything and has no shyness in front of crowds whatsoever. So different from when she was younger. People keep telling me to put her in some kind of drama class so I think I will try that...
Oh yah, near the end of the performances, Elise started getting really fussy sitting in the audience with us so I took her back to the performer's area to hang out till the show (which was almost over) was done. There was only one other person in the room at the time...a performer doing ballet, maybe about 8-9 years old. She was practicing a twirl on one foot (I'm sure there is an elegant ballet term for this spin, but I just don't know it) and started spinning really fast. Elise was FASCINATED! She started trying to "spin", but she can't twirl yet so instead she ran these little circles as tightly as she could! It was so cute!