3.29.2011

Pardon me while I hop up on my soap box

Let's play a little game. It's called "take a look at the following photo and tell me what you see:"


It's a baby, right? (My baby to be exact). A smiling, happy, healthy, bright-eyed, sitting in the bathtub and absolutely beaming, little baby. Most importantly, I'm going to gather from the fact that said baby is sitting up, smiling, not laying in the water drowning, that not only is she alive and breathing, but she's flourishing.

That's right. My dirty hippie by proxy, tofu and almond butter eating, coconut milk drinking, never consumed a drop of dairy or hunk of meat (via utero or mouth), almost 11 month old daughter is soaring off growth charts and zooming past milestones.

Annoying, isn't it?

It shouldn't be, and yet, the sheer fact that my daughter has been exposed to foods most adults don't eat let alone kids, and "deprived" of common, household animal-ridden products, seems to rub people the wrong way. Sometimes, I have to actually go over conversations in my head to figure out if I just start the day looking for the fight, or if it just finds me. And while I'm rather confrontational in most facets of my life, when it comes to my lifestyle choices, I try not to shove my garbage down anyone's throat unless they ask. (Ask around, I'm sure there are a few friends who will attest to this).

Now, not only am I "neglectful" because of what I'm not feeding my daughter (see this for my first encounter of the bitchy kind), but I'm irresponsible because of what I am feeding her.

Is almond butter suddenly laced with cyanide and I just don't know it? A seemingly pleasant woman asks me if I like this particular brand of almond butter, I reply "I haven't tried it but my 11 month old devours it!" and I swear her head started spinning and green was spewing out of her orifices. I then received a 5-minute lecture detailing how many children are sent to the ER because of nut allergies and what on Earth I was thinking giving that to a baby under two!

Reality check, psycho, know-it-all woman. I get that the whole nut allergy thing is serious, I'm not arguing that. I am going to kindly point out that a peanut is a legume and an almond is a tree nut, which, may or may not have something to do the almond having one of the lowest reaction rates among the nut family, but you know, let's just throw facts out the window for fun.

You want to know what else a lot of doctors say kids shouldn't have until they're two?

Milk.

Yeah, that's right. That creamy liquid that comes from an animal that outweighs most human beings by a good thousand pounds, yeah, several pediatricians agree that it shouldn't be introduced until two years of age, one year of age at the very earliest.

And yet, last time I checked, mothers everywhere are stuffing their babies full of formula and food laden with all its fun byproducts. (You know, the nutrients required to make a baby calf triple it's weight in the first year of it's life? Sure, sounds like something a human being should consume mass amounts of).

And if that's not enough for you, Ms. "Someone call child services because this lady is feeding her daughter almond butter," let me ask you this, what other species requires another species milk to supposedly "thrive?" Oh, just humans, oh, OK, just checking.

I think I'm going to sit here and contemplate how the circle of life continues to spin when the rest of the animal kingdom isn't sucking down a big, tall glass of the white stuff.

I'll tell you how. They avoid almonds.

Clearly.


Someone call the doctor, this mom fed her daughter almond butter and she collapsed.



Or, you know, she slithered away from her mom because she was being tickled to death. Whichever.

3.21.2011

Hurricane 'Maybe I should have another baby' strikes again

The last few weeks have taken quite a bit out of me. I don't know if it's the increasing momentum Pearyn approaches each day with or the teasing, beautiful and spring one day, cold and miserable the next, brutality of Ohio weather.

At any rate, this mommy is exhausted.


Pearyn is taking after her mommy and grandmother already. She can't stand to do just one thing anymore, but instead tackles multitasking with the ease of at least a toddler. She enjoys playing with her toys, being read to and watching the television all at one time. The good news is she's actually pretty good at doing several different things at once. The bad news is, she's actually pretty good at doing several different things at once.

Another baby cycle is coming to an end. In the last two weeks I think I know a total of 10 women who have given birth, with at least five more due by the end of the month. Has pregnancy always worked like this? Coming in waves, several moms popping out children within weeks of each other, and then there is a short dry spell, like the world is taking time to clear out the old and make way for the new.

With all this baby fever I've found myself flirting with the idea of a second child. Most days I feel like, "wow, you're pretty much delusional if you think you're ready to have another child - EVER, especially with your handful of a firstborn." But then, while browsing through new baby photos or talking with my close friend about her impending bundle of Joy (due in June), I find myself thinking "hey, maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't suck at being a mom to two kids as much as I'm thinking I would."

I'm not so sure the rest of the world is on board with me, or even my own husband for that matter, but I think a little army of siblings would do Pearyn some good in preparing for her tofu-eating, man-made material wearing, cruelty free product using ways. Well, at least one more anyway. They could be a powerful vegan duo!
To celebrate St. Patricks Day last week, Grandma and I took Pearyn to the park for the first time.

In preparation for her big, active day, I decided to test out her first ponytail ever, which all and all amounted to an exaggerated "Pebbles" hairdo. But let's be honest, how could you say no to this adorable little face?



Her favorite thing seemed to be the big-girl swings, which basically entailed me swinging with Pearyn on my lap, while she would straighten her little body as stiff as a board to heighten the tummy rush and I'd try not to slip and kill my firstborn. All and all, it was a success.

We followed up the first trip to the park with a nice "green" meal, which was basically a scaled down version of mommy and daddy's with a little tofu thrown in. It builds bones.


She feasted on spinach mashed potatoes, cabbage roll casserole (sans the cabbage because I decided to heed the warning about the gassy, screamy-pants effect it has on babies) and some tofu in a light sauce. She ate every last bite of that plate too, in addition to a bite of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and a half a container of tangy tomato cheeto-esque baby snacks.

In between neglecting the blog and making sure Pearyn makes it through the day alive, we've faced our fair share of teething woes and spilled puffs, but on the eve of the weekly Tuesday playdate, I can't help but look forward to what tomorrow brings.


I'm hoping for a little of this.

3.10.2011

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands

Do they always grow up this fast?

It feels like Pearyn went through a massive growth spurt last week, and I'm not talking about physically, I mean like marathon-milestone meeting. In the matter of a week, my daughter took her first steps, started shaking her head 'no' (I'm not so sure I'm going to be a fan of this one in the future), learned how to make funny noises by taking her hand to her mouth and humming, started clapping and finally figured out the physics required to tilt her sippy cup all by herself and get a drink.


What's next? Driving, getting married and having her own babies?

Ok, maybe I'm jumping a few steps here.

In addition to her latest accomplishments, Pearyn appears to be showing a real interest in golf. That is if you can count banging her plastic clubs on anything and everything (including her own head) an "interest."



Personally, I'd be more than ecstatic if Pearyn decided to pursue golf. The outfits are pretty cute, good girl golfers can get some really kick ass scholarships for college and well, they can always nab a hot male golfer to marry if it doesn't work out. (I think that comment just put me on a feminist's "watch" list).

Ryan and I have talked about this on several occasions, what hobbies and interests we hope for our little girl to have in the future. Considering I spent my life playing softball and continue to help young girls do so today, it goes without saying that we'd be over-the-top excited if she asks for a ball glove someday (I don't care if it's blue, pink or puke green). While golf and softball would probably be our top picks, I can probably muster up a smile for field hockey, volleyball, dance, gymnastics and maybe, just maybe, cheerleading (shudder).

The only hobbies I'm really rooting against are soccer, basketball and marching band. Trust me, I will completely support our little girl if she decides these activities are her calling, I just happen to know absolutely nothing about any of these except they involve a lot of running or a whole lot of repetitive marching.

Really I just want her to do something that makes her happy (and of course I'd like it to be legal and good for her. While booze and promiscuous sex might make some people happy, it's not exactly the healthiest of hobbies). Basically, I don't want to turn into one of those overbearing parent's that forces their child to compete in a variety of sports they have no desire to in a desparate attempt to live vicariously through them. And let's be honest; we've all been to high school, it wasn't that great, so who really wants to relive that awkwardness again?

Although, if she did share our interest with the whole not eating, wearing or using animals thing, it would probably save us a lot of future arguments.

A fool-proof method to eat those veggies

I'm just going to come out right now and say it. If you don't like these cheesy bites, you're basically an asshole. I know, I know, it seems harsh, but these are so absolutely delicious that there's just something wrong with you if you don't fall in love with them and want to run away and have babies with them.


Ooey-Gooey, Cheesy Bites
(Makes 12)
Ingredients:
2 cups cooked pasta (I used tri-color, curly Quinoa pasta for the added protein)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or Parmesan if you're feeling daring)
12-ounce container of Tofutti sour cream
1/3 cup Tofutti cream cheese
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup almond milk
2 cups grated cheese (I used Daiya because it's magical)
1 cup broccoli
1/2 chopped up onion
Pepper and salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.
Mix wet ingredients, nutritional yeast and cornstarch in large bowl. 
Add cooked pasta, onions, grated cheese and broccoli.
 Pour into greased muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes. 
Take out once gooey and golden brown.

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3.01.2011

One small step for mankind, one GIANT leap for Pearyn

My not even 10-month-old, growing-up-way-too-fast daughter has hit yet another milestone.

Last night, at around 10:24 p.m. (because I'm the psycho mom who scrupulously documents every little detail of my child's life), Pearyn took her first steps.

Her first, real, unadulterated, unassisted, out-of-the-blue steps.

Well, I guess it wasn't really that shocking. She's been standing without holding onto anything for several weeks now, she pushes herself from my knee into a standing position and for the last week she's been mad dashing around the living room with her pushy, walker thinger. (Yes, that's the technical term).


I wasn't even coercing her into using that pushmobile. One day I was just sitting on the couch engrossed in some unhealthy weekend television, when all of the sudden Pearyn comes zooming through the living room (and by zooming I mean walking considerably faster than she crawls) with this thing. It had been over in the corner of our room and how she managed to back it up and turn it around the right way is beyond me. Apparently it's time to start putting child locks on any and everything in our house because she's finally figuring stuff out.

With her new mobility comes more worries from me, however. And no, my concern doesn't come from her falling and bashing her face on something from her man-who's-had-too-much-to-drink style walk. Pearyn has been quite the adventure seeker since she was born, hitting most of her physical milestones far too early, so we were really counting on her getting her first set of stitches some time before the age of one. So we should probably celebrate the fact that she's made it to 10 months unscathed.

   

Seriously, playing peek-a-boo in the hamper with daddy is one of her latest hobbies.

My new troubles come from the fact that my 90th percentile in height, but 25th percentile in weight daughter is going to start burning even more calories now. The doctor thinks our daughter has been blessed with a super duper metabolism, so even though she pretty much ate the same amount as her 15-minutes-younger cousin, she pretty much weighed anywhere from two to three pounds less than Evee. We're thinking her overactive metabolism is a gift from my mom, who used to tell me the woes of how she could eat 10 cheeseburgers and not gain a pound. I've never really considered this a "woe" however, until I'm now faced with the challenge of keeping my incredibly active, a few months shy of switching over to food for good, daughter.

We decided about a month ago that we'll be taking her to a dietitian soon. We want to come up with a meal plan that our little girl can thrive off of, due to the low-calorie nature of many vegan foods. Of course there will be staple foods with healthy fats, avocado, beans, nut butters, but with the amount of calories our daughter burns through in a day I have a feeling we've got a lot on our plate (or will have to keep a ton on hers).

After calling a few dietitians we've finally found one who is not only comfortable with the vegan diet, but incredibly supportive and knowledgeable in it. It absolutely amazes me that people still maintain negative thoughts about a vegan lifestyle when diets higher in red meat and dairy have been proven to be a contributing factor to diabetes, heart disease and different types of cancer. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely willing to admit that there is a responsible way to incorporate meat and dairy into a healthy diet, but why can't others seem to admit that there's a completely healthy way to do it without them?

It always strikes me when I find myself worrying over my daughter's future diet. With meals consisting of a plethora of foods, from veggies most adults don't consume let alone a child, to"nature's proteins" like lentils and beans, I figure why should I be concerned when most children I know have "regular" diets of hot dogs, gold fish crackers and chocolate milk. And trust me, I'm not criticizing, I'm fully aware that most kids go through that phase where they don't want to eat anything but cotton candy, but if they seem to get through that phase with perfectly healthy children, how is it people could question our diet when we're going out of our way to make sure she's getting enough?

At any rate, I find all of this going by far too fast. With Pearyn passing new milestones everyday, I'm still waiting for it to slow down.

How is it possible that my little girl is going to be eating big girl food so soon?